Everyone knows that Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, but do you know that it is also the capital city further to the west of the European continent on the Atlantic coast? This city is considered the illuminated one, because of the constant presence of sunshine and the attractive weather all year.
In Lisbon metropolitan area, you can see streets filled with heritage monuments and characteristic neighborhoods. The city is all surrounded by the beautiful Tejo River, the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is considered an unique city in Portugal by many foreigners that choose this destination for their vacations. Also, it is a big attraction for international students that choose Lisbon to live abroad because of the lowest crime rates.
Transportation Facilities in Lisbon
For being a big city it offers a great access system for all its zones. It’s better for you to take the public transportation than driving your car, this way you’ll avoid the long traffic that affects Lisbon. You can save your money and your time using public transportation.
The Carris – Lisbon Transportation Company offers you the possibility to go wherever you want in Lisbon for a good price and commodity. There are 93 buses, tram lines for urban and suburban routes and Metro Subway.
But of course, everything starts with you landing in Lisbon at its International Airport!
Living in Lisbon
Lisbon is famous for the vast cultural offer. All year there are many events such as theater, movies, musicals, art exhibitions and traditional shows of Fado – the typical Portuguese music. The big music festivals are Rock in Rio, Nos Alive, Meo Out Jazz, Super Bock Super Rock. Also, there are many museums and monuments to visit all year.
The zone of Bairro Alto is recognized for the best bohemian nightlife, there is a big diversity of cafés, restaurants, bars, shops, and various subcultural hotspots. On Friday or Saturday, you’ll definitely going to find all the streets full of animation and people.
The prices, compared to any other country of Europe, with the euro coin, are a real bargain for most foreigners. You can find a large variety of gastronomic delights in restaurants, cafés and esplanades.
If you want to watch games of professional soccer, you have that possibility in two important stadiums in Lisbon – Estádio da Luz and Estádio de Alvalade. Also, there are many places for you to practice exercise, and there is a big offer of gymnasiums, including low cost ones.
Best place to live in Lisbon
Lisbon is divided by 24 freguesias (civil parishes). The population refer to neighborhoods in terms of “bairros”. You have the possibility to chose where you want to live, the old zone, the modern area or the cosmopolitan zone.
Alfama and Graça
It’s one of the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. You can find Graça and Alfama around the castle and down the hill towards the river. Both zones are very safe and calm. The majority of the buildings are old, this way is a great deal to buy a house and renew it. It’s easy to find a house with a wonderful river view.
The negative point is that some streets are impenetrable by cars and parking space is almost nonexistent, which means that you need to embrace the city walking way of life.
Alvalade and Avenidas Novas
These zones are a mix of award-winning architecture and late-20th century office and apartment buildings in all the wide avenues. For being a metropolitan area is always full of traffic and people all day, often the noise can be a problem. Once you get a house there, invest in some really great windows. You will get a substancial noise reduction.
Yes, it’s possible to live in this area and go out whenever you want. The small Bica and Santa Catarina neighborhoods are the best place to live next to the bohemian side. In this area you can easily access to the most popular restaurants, shops and nightlife. The major part of the buildings need some urgent renovation. If you are not a nightlife person, this zone isn’t recommended because of the noise. But if you are…you’ll be very happy.
It’s the heart of the city. Where you can find many shopping streets, each one once having its own specialty. In this zone you can find all the banks headquarters and tourist shops. During the day is always full of people and cars, otherwise at night is empty and a little bit dangerous. You can find a quite spacious apartment and there are many investment opportunities but also quite expensive.
Belém and Restelo
Belém is located where the Tejo River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At this zone you can find the most famous monuments and museums. Also, there you can appreciate the typical Portuguese custard tart – Pastel de Belém.
Close to Belém is the neighborhood of Ajuda and Restelo. This area also has many green spaces. For being touristic zones, Restelo and Belém are expensive.
Campo de Ourique and Príncipe Real
Both zones are residential and safe, you can feel the neighborhood atmosphere. The prices of living in this areas are above average. There is no metro station in Campo de Ourique. For those who can’t live without a car, living in Príncipe Real is not the best option because its lack of parking spaces. You will find the tram very convenient.
One of the most expensive area in Lisbon, good accesses and perfect for a person with no car. Known for the vast cultural offer all the year, the shops (international chains), cafés and theaters. Chiado is a great Lisbon landmark and you will absolutely love it.
Parque das Nações
It’s a residential and business district in a waterfront location with many green spaces. The architecture of the buildings is contemporary and the majority comes with a garage. Being away from the Lisbon center, you might miss the atmosphere of historic neighborhoods, but you’ll get a business sense of life in a very stylish area. This was the place where Lisbon Expo 98 happened. Beware that Parque das Nações has Gare do Oriente as an excellent transportation hub.
Santos and Lapa
Santos is a riverfront neighborhood where many students live. Lapa is the embassy quarter with mansions and high standard condominiums. This two places are considered quite expensive. The negative points are the inefficient public transportation and the lack of parking space. Either you get a house with a parking space, or you’ll need some patience…and a taxi.