Lisbon was declared the European City of the Year for 2012 by the Academy of Urbanism in London. This result was possible because of the numerous urban projects that lived up the city and its riverbank. 2012 is right around the corner and what better way to experience the rejuvenated Lisbon than visiting it for the New Year holiday season.
The westernmost European city has a lot to offer during the holiday season (especially if the eastern and northern parts of Europe scare you with their freezing temperatures – Lisbon keeps warm even during the winter). Besides the grand New Year party on the main city square all of the beauties of the city are available during the holiday season (except for the famous bull fights that take place only in the summer).
The heart of the city – Baixa, packed with young people is the center of the city with elegant squares, mosaic walkways, and famous cafes and restaurants. It is hard to miss the imposing tower of Belem, neighbouring the world-renowned Design Museum and the Monastery of Jeronimos, the most impressive symbol of Portugal’s power and wealth during the “period of great exploration.” It will forever be remembered as a holy place where Vasco de Gama and his crew spent the last night of prayer before setting sail for India. The history of the Portuguese people is usually associated with their exploring endeavors and the desire to discover the unknown world, which they greatly helped to shape their cultural expression.
The shop-a-holics should definitely visit Chiado, the largest shopping area in Lisbon, offering clothing, books and pottery. It is also the home to “A Brasiliera”, a famous coffee place that Pessoa frequented, and offers a number of museums for those who want to combine the historic and shopping experience.