If you’re not heading to Lisbon now, you’re missing out!
Before you go, here are some incredible fun facts about Portugal’s capital that’ll make strolling through ceramic alleys even more awe-inspiring!
1. Age is just a number.
2. Seven is a lucky number.
Lisbon is built on seven hills, which you’ll definitely feel when strolling up and down on: Castelo, Graca, Monte, Penha de Franca, S.Pedro de Alcantara, Santa Catarina and Estrela.
Your trip isn’t complete without hearing Portugal’s traditional music genre: fado, which means “destiny.” Lisbon is the birthplace of fado, you can learn more about it in the Fado Museum in Alfama. The sound is typically melancholy and nostalgic about the sea, or life in poverty.
4. The river runs wild.
When you’re busying snapping photos at Praça do Comércio, you can also walk along the Tagus River which is the largest river in the Iberia Peninsula. The river is so wide at 14 km that it can contain all the warships in the world!
5. Speaking of the river…
The Vasco da Gama Bridge that hovers over the Tagus River is the longest bridge in Europe at 17, 2 km.
6. Guinness World Records!
Lisbon’s Church of Santa Engrácia made history with having the longest construction period of any church in the world. It started in the 17th century and work was finally finished in 1966.
7. Old ravens are not easy to fool.
Lisbon’s symbol is a raven since there was a cult for the black bird back in the day. In the São Jorge Castle, there was even a massive cage with ravens. Today, the ravens have left the city, but they can be seen on the municipality’s coat of arms.
8. Another Christ the Redeemer.
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is known for its breathtaking Christ the Redeemer statue. There’s also a similar Christ the King statue in Lisbon. Cristo Rei is a Catholic monument commemorating Portugal’s survival in WWII, and it’s situated on the left bank of the Tagus River.
9. The Great Lisbon Earthquake…
…occurred in 1755 on the holy day of All Saints’ Day. It sparked a tsunami that annihilated Lisbon’s downtown area. Although many historical buildings were greatly destroyed, the recovery efforts led to the rise of wage premium for construction workers. The earthquake also provided opportunities for economic reform to reduce Portugal’s semi-dependence on Britain.
10. It’s not a popularity contest.
With 3+million tourists per year, Lisbon ranks as the 9th most visited city in Southern Europe, behind: Rome, Istanbul, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Madrid, Florence and Athens.