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Lisbon, A Living City


There's an ineffable magic to Lisbon — her heartbeat is strong. You feel it when walking the narrow, cobblestoned streets, running your hands along the concrete walls; you feel it when everyone wishes you “bom dia” in the morning; you feel it on the tram, the tracks rumbling below you. There’s not a moment that goes by where Lisbon isn’t alive. 

Erin running her hand along a yellow and white tram

For a city that’s over 2,000 years old, every corner is steeped in history. It’s a city that never sleeps, with endless opportunities to eat, drink and experience the finer things in life.

Put on your Marla, grab your camera, and set out for a day of adventure. Mornings in Lisbon aren't just a part of the day; they're a heartfelt ritual. As the city stretches and awakens, like the locals, enjoy an espresso paired with a sweet pastry. Don’t worry, you’ll burn off the sugar by lunch time, Lisbon is built on an incline.

Then, get lost in Alfama, one of Lisbon’s most famous, and oldest, districts. Having survived the notorious 1755 earthquake, it stands resilient and welcoming. It’s the perfect place to wander the narrow streets, meet the locals and soak in the history, a dance of shadows and light, where every turn beckons with stories of old, urging you to linger just a little longer.

pale orange and yellow buildings, old cobbled floors

Climb up through Alfama and find yourself at one of the many miradouros (viewpoints). These viewpoints are scattered all around Lisbon, each one offering stunning, and unique views of the city. Here, with a glass of local wine or beer in hand, you're not just a spectator — you become a part of the city's ever-unfolding narrative, soaking in the views of the boats passing by, the cruise ships coming and going, and the beautiful Ponte 25 de abril, an iconic landmark in Lisbon. 

As twilight approaches let Lisbon guide your culinary journey. The city’s heartbeat can be felt in the sizzle of fresh fish, the comforting notes of Caldo Verde, and the bold flavors of chicken piri-piri. And what is a day in Lisbon without its pièce de résistance? The Pastel de Nata - a delicate, creamy revelation that feels like the city's gift to your senses.

One of the many view points in Lisbon

Nightfall paints the town in shades of vibrancy. You can visit the famous Pink Street, where there are plenty of fun bars and restaurants to choose from. Then, if you’re in the party mood, climb back up the hill to Bairro Alto, where you’ll experience an unforgettable night drinking in the old streets, blending the lines between locals and travelers.

As the day winds down, kick off your shoes and relax. While it might be quiet in your room, the city's lullaby — a fusion of distant laughter, murmured tales, and the ever-present heartbeat lulls you to sleep, getting you ready for another day ahead.


Words & photos: Erin N. McIntosh

*Erin is wearing the Vilamoura Swimsuit in Green Lake


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