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GoUnusual Guide to Lisbon

Posted By GUNetwork on May 13, 2016 at 3:04AM

“Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world,” wrote Portugal’s most celebrated poet, Fernando Pessoa. For the avid – and therefore wise – traveller, visiting Lisbon is like snagging a seat in the orchestra pit. It offers all the cultural colour and cacophony of other capital cities, but intimate size and unaffected style set Lisbon as the stage for an especially authentic show.

Stay in Alfama. Navigate past the men in central Rossio Square  – who will try to sell you a selfie stick and sunglasses even if you arrive with your own camera crew in the pouring rain –  and into the raked labyrinth of Moorish Alfama, the city’s oldest neighbourhood.  Known as the birthplace of Fado, passionate Portuguese song, Alfama is also the most residential area of central Lisbon. Rooms here boast both breathtaking views of the broad Tagus River and telling peeks into the lives of modern Lisboetas.  If you’re after meeting the neighbours and hearing a bit of Fado, look no further than A Viela do Fado on Rua dos Remédios. Unlike the expensive and hokey Fado houses that plague much of Alfama, A Viela is like a real house – cozy, generous on the drinks, and run by an actual family. Three generations of the Fernandes cook, host, serve, and bartend, and all step in to belt out a ballad.

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