The light alone makes Lisbon worth a visit. On a sunny day – Lisbon is spoiled with 2800 hours of sunshine per year – few cities can beat the clear blue skies of the Portuguese capital. The number of visitors is rising by the year as excellent seafood, friendly local people and nearby beaches on the Atlantic Ocean are but a few of the unique selling points.
Josvel Calheiros Jr. (27)
Brazilian by birth Josvel came to Lisbon two years ago. He runs the cash at Café Gelo, a historical bar on the central Praça do Rossio that opened in 1890. His colleagues hail from different countries and they love playing jokes on each other. “Why visit Lisbon?” I ask him. “Great food and wonderful beaches,” says Josvel, as he gives back change back to a customer who had a quick bica on his way to the office. “And visit us at Gelo for a tropical fruit juice with some of the best pastries in town.”
Jorge Cosme. (41)
From the roof terrace of the Bairro Alto Hotel the views reach as far as Lisbon’s iconic Ponte 25 de Abril, the bridge that resembles San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Jorge is the general manager of the hotel on Praça Luís de Camões . Like many other Lisboetas he loves fish for dinner. “Go to Aqui Há Peixe in Rua Trindade for some of the best fish. And drink a glass of Quinta de Soalheiro white wine with your meal.” For culture Jorge tips the Fundação Oriente, close to the river with its extensive collection of Far East art.
Gil Gonçalves. (63)
Gil has come to visit his friend Simão, who runs what must be one of the world’s smallest bookshops, the Livraria Simão of about two square meters. At the end of the Escadinhas de São Cristóvão, in the popular neighbourhood of Mouraria, the shop is so small that Gil sits on his stool on the pavement. His tip is to buy a book at the shop (they sell books in different languages) and to read in the Jardín de São Pedro de Alcântara, a small park with wonderful views. “Lisbon’s geography with hills close to the broad Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean is spectacular.”