7 Secret things about Lisbon

7 Secret things about Lisbon

I bet you didn’t know this! Here are 7 Secret things about Lisbon, the vibrant and exciting capital city of Portugal.

1. It is called the (Portuguese) city of seven hills – like Rome. But actually, that’s false advertising. Those who counted the hills on which Lisbon stands were… erm, a bit subjective, to say the least.

2. There are actually 8 hills: Sant’Ana, Sao Jorge, Sao Vicente, Sao Roque, Santa Catarina, Santo Andre, Chagas and the neglected Graca hill, which just so happens to be the tallest one as well.

3. The biggest secret of Lisbon is a taboo nobody dares to address… Well, not really. The biggest secret is actually the famous and unknown pastry recipe for the locally produced Pastel de Belem. The delicious cake is something you can only taste in Lisbon and the Portuguese like to keep it that way. It’s a state secret and the only five people who know the recipe are carefully guarded. They can’t even fly on the same plane together!

4. The yellow trams, the iconic symbols of Lisbon, present on most postcards and stock pictures of the city, are actually… American. It was first introduced in New Orleans, New York and Harlem in the 19th century.

5. Fado, the mourning and melancholy traditional music of Portugal, was recently included in the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage list. The best place to listen to this unique folk music is in the capital city and with a Lisbon taxi, you can get to the restaurant where you’ve booked a traditional Portuguese evening, for instance.

6. The Oceanarium, Lisbon favorite maritime attraction, is Europe’s largest indoor aquarium.

7. No clinically sane person would want to plunge in the Tagus river for a quick swim, let alone eat from it… but the fact of the matter is that Lisbon’s river used to harbor delicious oysters.