After my Erasmus in Barcelona, I have always wanted to go through the same experience again and move to a different city. When I heard about the Erasmus+ placement, I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I had set it as my goal to spend my Summer 2017 abroad. After visiting Lisbon, I instantly fell in love with the city and the vibe. I only stayed there for the summer months but It was enough time to connect with the city and get a really good impression of the reality. If you are also considering doing an internship abroad, here are the top 10 reasons to consider adding Lisbon in your list:
You will enjoy endless days of sunshine
It’s almost always sunny and bright! As it’s on the most western most point of Europe, Lisbon is the sunniest city of the continent. So If you are chasing the sun and want to experience the real summer, Lisbon is definitely a good idea!
People actually speak English
I was impressed by the fact that the most people I met actually spoke English! I have always found language to be a barrier when traveling . Perhaps it’s the fact that Lisbon receives millions of tourists yearly, therefore they adapted to the hospitality that requires when living in such a city. Even the little kids in the subway were able to communicate with me when I was looking for something.
There are many startups located in Lisbon. I was in fact working for a Traveling Startup that was quite interesting to me . All people at work were in their 20’s – 30’s. I also met many people that worked for different start ups that were based in Lisbon but were mostly concentrating in markets abroad, which is still very cool. So If you speak any language than Portuguese, that could in fact benefit you !
Lisbon is Cheap cheap cheap!
Compared to other European capitals, Lisbon is considered relative a cheap city! An espresso costs around 0.60 cents and a pint of beer 1.50€. My sushi box for lunch was only 4€ and trust me – it was more than enough! Not to mention the wines sold at the supermarkets! You can get some really good wines for only €5. Gazella one of the most “popular” cheap wines costs only about €2.80. A monthly pass of transportation is only about €39 and it can be used for the metro,buses and the cute trams! You can even use it for the iconic tram 28.
Visiting other cities in Portugal
Portugal is such a rich and diverse country. You want to taste the authentic Porto Wine? Go to Porto. You want to swim in the most beautiful beaches in Europe -how about Lagos? Travel back in time? Then head to Obidos! And If you like fairytales, Sintra is only 40 minutes away! You name it and you have it. The transportation is quite good too. You can go around with train, bus ( I recommend rede expressos) or blabla car. During the low season, the flights are quite cheap too. Weekends can be really fun and the opportunities plenty, make the best out of it.
It is the city of the seven hills, so what else do you expect? You can get some really breath-taking views from the Miradouros. Many people gather in miradouros and it is the perfect spot to catch the perfect sunset photo! Also most miradouros have canteens that serve drinks for really cheap.
The great opportunity to learn Portuguese!
The best way to learn a language is by visiting the real country. Portuguese is spoken by over 200 million people in the world and by mastering this language it can help you form a bridge! The locals would love to practice with you too. Did I learn Portuguese? Sadly, apart from the basic phrases I didn’t but I honestly didn’t have the time to practice. I got to spend a weekend with a Portuguese family that was only speaking in Portuguese and I think that If I stayed longer around locals and practiced beforehand It would have benefited me. Portuguese is particularly really easy for those who already speak Spanish, French and Italian.
Lisbon is a happy city
I was waking up every day with such a motivation and great mood. Lisbon is vibrant and happy! The locals associate Lisbon with a curvy woman full of beautiful details- and they are right! The blow of the wind, the sparkles of light, the smell of the river and the grilled sardiness, the housewives observing from the balconies – that’s the synergy that makes Lisbon such a great city to be! The inspiration is everywhere.
Humble houses and warm smiles
Portuguese generally are really welcoming. They will cook for you, tell you stories and laugh with you. Hospitality runs in this culture and their spirit is really empowering! I have visited a friend in Caldas da Reinha and I can’t even how they treated me. They didn’t speak English really well but put a lot of effort into trying to communicate ! Also, I don’t even want to mention the times people went out of their way to help me find my way in Lisbon. ( poor navigation skills!)
The food scene is spectacular in Lisbon
There is every type of restaurant in Lisbon and some of the best food experiences must have been there! The local food is delicious but there are also many international restaurants. Check out zomato to browse the thousands of restaurants and read the reviews by locals! Then you can never go wrong.
The sweets in Lisbon are amazing too. I fell in love with the famous pasteis de Belem and I can definitely see why they are soo really well known.
The list could go on and on because Lisbon is such a great city to be but let’s keep it short! Have you ever been to Lisbon or are you thinking to visit or even do an internship?
Share your experiences below!