Megan Schulz is a student at Colorado State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Megan is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.
One of the first excursions we took outside of Sevilla this semester was to Lisbon, Portugal. Before traveling to Lisbon, I didn’t really have any expectations but soon enough, I fell in love with the city. Here are 7 reasons why Lisbon may be one of the most underrated cities in Europe:
1. Coffee: Strong, flavorful Portuguese coffee can be found everywhere in Lisbon. On average, I paid only 0.60 Euros per cup. It’s inexpensive, and absolutely delicious.
2. Pasteis de Nata: This pastry is famous and unique to Portugal. It has cream in the middle, with crust surrounding it, and sometimes cinnamon on top. In addition to Pasteis de Nata, we tried other pastries all weekend long, often alongside my coffee.
3. Other food: Not only do the Portuguese know how to bake, but they know how to cook too. As a sea port city, fish is fresh, and the city is famous for their bacalhau (codfish). Asian influence appears in some Portuguese dishes, and I also had a fantastic Brazilian steak one evening.
4. History: Lisbon is a city full of rich history, and offers many places to experience that history.
5. Bairro Alfama: Speaking of history, the Alfama district is the oldest neighborhood of the city. After an earthquake in the 19th century destroyed much of the city, Bairro Alfama was the only surviving neighborhood. The neighborhood was much quieter when we got lost between the tiled and colored buildings there.
6. Nightlife: Bairro Alfama may have been quieter, but Bairro Alto offered great nightlife. We heard music inside and outside and large groups of people filled the streets late into the night.
7. The people: The people of Lisbon were so friendly! As much as I would love to speak Portuguese, almost everyone we interacted with spoke English. People everywhere were so kind in helping us find a location, choose a restaurant, or help us with any other problem. The friendly people of Lisbon definitely made the experience even more memorable!
We only spent a few days in Lisbon, but the city already proved its value to me. Lisbon is one city I will be sure to return to in the future!