Why is Lisbon the Best City to Have Your Flight Delayed?
That's simple: Lisbon's airport is practically at the city center. With only a 20-minute subway ride, you'll find yourself in the heart of this old town. So, to have a delayed flight here is actually an opportunity to take a glimpse at this charming city. Here are a few ideas based on the subway circuit to help you plan according to the length of your delay.
Subway Station: Oriente
A ten-minute journey between the airport and Oriente station and you're suddenly in an amazing Park right beside the river Tagus. Parque das Nações was born in 1998 when the city hosted the World Exhibition. A beautiful wooden gangway takes you to a long walk along the river. Take it and you'll pass through Pavilhão de Portugal with its ingenious sagging concrete roof created by the acclaimed architect Siza Vieira. Further on you'll notice a huge metal building in the center of a lake. It's Oceanarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, built to raise awareness to Ocean ecosystems preservation. Upon returning, instead of walking back you can take the cable car and enjoy the same view from above.
Subway Station: Alameda
This journey will take averagely 15 minutes from the airport. You'll not find any landmark here nor an historic monument. But you'll come up right in the middle of a large avenue with a beautiful big lawn for you to lay down and relax while you wait for your flight. In the meantime, if you look at one of its tops you'll find Instituto Superior Técnico, the most prestigious engineering Portuguese school. On the other top is Fonte Luminosa, a monumental fountain built in 1940 to celebrate the arrival of spring water supply to the city. At the same time, it is also a beautiful belvedere and an impressive work of art with sculptures and bas-reliefs from various Portuguese artists such as Maximiano Alves, Diogo de Macedo and Jorge Barradas.
Subway Station: Rossio
Count with at least half an hour to arrive at Rossio from the airport. You'll need to switch in Alameda. You are on the edge of the oldest and most traditional Lisbon's neighbourhoods such as Graça or Alfama. You might not have time to dive into their narrow cobblestoned streets but you can breathe the essence of this city. At Rossio square you'll find the National Theatre on one side and the pedestrian Rua Augusta on the other, classified as one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Walk around, enjoy the little details and before you leave, pass by Ginginha Espinheira at Largo de S. Domingos and celebrate with a sip of the most traditional Lisbon Liquor made with sour cherry.
Subway Station: Baixa-Chiado
Only one station away from Rossio, half an hour should be enough to get you here. Chiado is the trendiest Lisbon district. The perfect place to combine a dive into the city culture and go shopping. Also Chiado is where the most famous Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa lived. As an homage to his talent, his statue is placed on the outdoors of his favourite coffee shop: a Brasileira. Taking a picture seated beside him is a must do for every Lisbon's visitor.
Subway Station: Terreiro do Paço
This is the longest subway journey. It can take up to an hour. But if you have free time, it's worthwhile. Until the infamous tsunami in 1755 that almost destroyed the whole city, Terreiro do Paço was the king's residence. Today it is an open square to the river, full of outdoor caffes and restaurants. it is also the home of a prestigious luxury hotel - Pousada de Lisboa. One of the city's landmarks, here you can sunbathe by the river or dive into the delicacies of the Portuguese cuisine in one of the restaurants around.
Silvia is a writer and a traveller born and raised in Lisbon. Although her journeys have been taking her a bit everywhere in the world, Lisbon is the city where she always return to unveil and write about its never ending wonders.
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