Ready for your next weekend break in Lisbon?
Lisbon has been declared as the best European city for a weekend break in 2013. The Portuguese capital has won three times the award for Best Tourist Breaks in Europe at the World Travel Awards: so a weekend break in Lisbon is the best getaway that could do in Europe. This is something like the Oscars of the travel industry, among the most prestigious and international awards of the world, which involved thousands of tourism professionals.
The awards ceremony, which took place on August 31 in Turkey, has won over other European cities like London, Paris or Barcelona. It was the winner thanks to the quality and quantity of attractions, services, leisure facilities and entertainment that Lisbon offers, especially for short stays.
Lisbon has changed a lot, and nowadays is not that melancholy and old city: The last years Lisbon got rid of the cliché of “saudade”, with local events and festivals for young people, bright and futuristic buildings that are lost in the streets of the old town, and in the most elegant and wide streets of the city: Libertate Avenue, the monumental Plaça do Comércio, Rua Augustafra . And if in the past, fado, the Portuguese musical style recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, expressed only pain, nowadays is a happy and hopeful song.
Lisbon, although is not a big city, is definitely a metropolis. It’s easy to get a taxi and restaurants are open at any time of day, like New York. Forty years ago, Portugal was the poorest country of Europe, and perhaps the most backward of the Old Continent. Today Lisbon is almost completely renewed thanks to art, fashion and music.
The Europe’s cheapest capital has changed the old buildings for concept stores, art galleries and boutiques. Along the River Tajo, the old port warehouses have become the heart of Lisbon’s nightlife, a large concentration of trendy places crowded every day. Some of their clubs have already achieved international fame, such as Lux Frágil, the country’s most famous nightclub, or the nearby Bica do Sapato , a gallery – restaurant- sushibar. On the horizon you can see the bridge Puente 25 de abril, red as the Golden Gate in San Francisco, but it’s not only the bridge: Iada skyscraper , is the most important school of visual arts, design and marketing of Portugal.
Another important attraction of the city is the Berardo Collection Museum, an international Art gallery with 900 works of modern and contemporary Art of XX century’s artists such as Ernst, Picasso, Dali and Warhol. The cultural center is probably one of the greatest museums in Europe and it’s situated in front of the famous Jeronimos Monastery, a beautiful XVI century Gothic monastery. This building, with its geometric structure, contrasts and mixed simultaneously with the architecture of the city. If there is a term in Art history that is closely linked to Portugal that is “Manueline”, a Gothic and floral motifs typical of Lisbon and Portugal. The Mude, a eight-story museum dedicated to the design and fashion, is becoming a design and fashion icon and it’s close to Plaça do Comércio in Lisbon city Center.
Probably those who had visited the city before 1998 (the year they hosted the Expo), it would be difficult to recognize Lisbon: since then the city has experienced a revolution. The Parque das Nações, the most modern and cutting-edge face of the capital was an old industrial area.
Today it is perhaps one of the most successful oceanfront experiments (along with Barceloneta after the Barcelona Olympics 92 ), with a large concentration of contemporary buildings like the Oceanarium – Peter Chermayeff Island, the Vasco da Gama bridge and the Gare do Oriente, a metro station by Santiago Calatrava.
Lisbon has modernized and changed his face, without losing his Portuguese soul. Moreover, the city has known how to combine and fuse the modern with the traditional. For that reason every time most tourists choose a weekend break in Lisbon.