What makes Lisbon one of the best cities in Europe?

Lisbon is trendy. The capital of Portugal has been the focus of attention in recent years and has been rediscovered by thousands of tourists throughout the year. CNN considers it the "coolest" city in Europe, so today we present some reasons that make Lisbon an appealing city abroad.

View from Graça Viewpoint in Lisbon

1. People

Don't be fooled by the metropolitan life of Lisbon. Despite the city's fast pace, similar to other European cities, the people of Lisbon find a way to make the city welcoming, magical and vibrant. "Lisboetas", "alfacinhas" - as you prefer to call - are generally easy-going, affable people, who like to socialize, participate in events and parties. They are people who preserve their roots and their culture, and this is noticeable as soon as we arrive in the city. But despite incorporating culture in their routines and having typical Portuguese habits (breaks for drinking coffee, for example), people in Lisbon have an open mindset to new ideas, innovations and they know how to welcome and integrate new cultures and visitors who pass through there.

2. Food

Portugal in general is known for its mouth-watering gastronomy. Lisbon is no exception. In this, you can find a variety of delicacies. From typical dishes (such as codfish, the famous sardines, bifanas, and the well-known pastel de nata) to oriental cuisine... You can choose to eat Italian food for lunch, Indian food for dinner, and a beautiful "pastel de belém" as dessert! Lisbon has dishes for all tastes and has become a center for modern and sophisticated cuisine.

3. The nightlife

The American channel CNN highlighted nightlife as one of the aspects that makes Lisbon a "cool" city, stating that fun in the Portuguese capital lasts until the sun rises. In Lisbon you can have a drink in Bairro Alto, one of the neighborhoods that preserve the traditional atmosphere of Lisbon, or in Cais do Sodré, where the famous "Pink Street" is located. Several clubs promise a well-spent night and “Lux" was highlighted as the "king" of Lisbon's nightclubs by CNN. For fado lovers (the musical reference of Portugal), Lisbon is a city not to be missed! The famous fado houses delight locals, foreigners, and even international celebrities.

4. Fascinating streets and contemporary design

Walking around Lisbon is never boring. In this city, you can find buildings with contemporary designs, fascinating streets with typical tiles. Or even traditional and old streets, with a local atmosphere, but many recovered with phenomenal and creative paintings and sculptures, which give life and color to the city. Lx Factory is a great example of transforming an industrial environment into a "trendy" and creative space with more than 50 stores, restaurants, cafes, and bars.

5. Talent and innovation

In an interview with the Municipality of Lisbon, we realized that Lisbon has been developing in recent years, with the vision of becoming one of the most competitive, creative, and innovative cities of Europe. Its unique and organic entrepreneurship ecosystem, combined with the quality of life, make Lisbon an attractive city for entrepreneurs. Lisbon is focused on attracting people, talent, and companies, but above all, putting itself on the shortlist and being a choice. The Web Summit was a launching pad and gave the city great visibility, but for that Lisbon had to create conditions to attract an event of this size.

“10 years ago we were in the middle of a storm, in a big financial crisis followed by the public debt crisis… That crisis brought some skepticism to some of the listeners. But today, if we say that our vision is to transform Lisbon one of the most innovative, creative and competitive cities in Europe, people will say “Ok, that’s acceptable!”. ” - said Nuno Rodrigues. The perception of Lisbon has therefore changed. Part of this change was due to the conditions created to innovate. As our interviewees said, the goal is to transform the Lisbon into an open innovation lab and promote it as an innovation space.

Do you want to know more about Lisbon's startup ecosystem? Find out more in the video below or listen to the full interview on our Spotify Podcast.

This episode is part of the Scaleup Portugal video and podcast series, a spin-out from our comprehensive ecosystem reports, which we wrote in collaboration with EIT Digital. A new episode of this 2nd season about ENABLERS is released every Wednesday. Stay tuned for the next episodes!

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