As soon as we arrive in Lisbon, the city of the seven hills and capital of Portugal, we dump our bags in our hotel room and head out to explore the city’s ancient Arab district…
In Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest quarter, we lose ourselves in tangle of cobblestone alleys and narrow streets, where a vibrant energy gives you light feet while the breath of the past brushes your neck.
At every turn, there is something to surprise and delight.
In picture-postcard alleys, colourful tiled and sometimes crumbling buildings huddle together – and steep stairs beckon you up and around another corner.
There is street art and tile art and sculptures and galleries, and small shops selling kitsch and classy souvenirs, fashion, homewares and groceries.
Nearby there are 17th-century churches and an impressive cathedral – and up on the hill there are views to take your breath away.
At dusk, the old quarter comes alive.
Cafés and restaurants serve delicious traditional and international food and fabulous Portuguese wine and beer, while the sound of Fado music drifts out into the street.
There is so much more to this beautiful city, but for now here’s a glimpse of the old quarter…