Studying here will give you the chance to explore the eclectic Bairros de Lisboa – from Barrio Alto, which offers a vibrant nightlife scene that attracts youth of various subcultures to the enchanting, old-world district of Alfama. Lisbon is one of the major economic centers of Europe, leading in industries such as finance, commerce, media, entertainment and the arts. The city has a rapidly growing financial center, is the seat of government in Portugal, and boasts around 126,000 students enrolled in higher education. It is a developed, successful and ambitious urban hub promising culture and entertainment, which also happens to be bathed in sun for much of the year. It’s easy to see why Lisbon ranks highly as a study abroad destination!
Things to do in Lisbon:
Students can enjoy Lisbon’s most renowned landmark for only €6 – Belém Tower is an eclectic mixture of architectural trends from the Moorish to the Gothic that has guarded the mouth of the River Tagus since the 16th century. Vying for the title of the city’s most iconic feature is São Jorge Castle – watching over the streets of the Alfama district, this giant of the Lisbon skyline dates back to Roman times and comes complete with mighty palisades, soaring towers and a moat.
Places of Interest
For a taste of the ebb and flow of Lisbon life, Rossio Square is a people-watching hotspot with a rich history. Once upon a time beheadings and bullfights took place on the cobbles, and today it is a perfect spot for strolling, sunning and sipping a coffee as you contemplate old Lisboetas playing cards. Bairro Alto another of the city’s top-ranked destinations – here, traditional fado music emanates from bohemian bars, hole-in-the-wall cafes and al fresco restaurants.
Art and Culture
Portugal has been famed for its tiles ever since the Moors brought the tradition to Iberia, and students of art and design will love the ceramic creations in the National Tile Museum – the famous blue azulejos are a true highlight with their stunning cobalt hue and hypnotic motifs. The National Museum of Ancient Art also exhibits the spoils of Portugal’s history – students can view the prestigious collections and impressive rotating exhibitions with a 50% discount.
Beaches and the Outdoors
Portugal rules in terms of beaches, and Lisbon is a stone’s throw from some the best. Don a wetsuit as you head out for some amazing surfing at Caxias – this picturesque peninsula boasts the best wave breaks for miles around (don’t worry if you are a beginner – there are multitudes of surf schools offering lessons!). For more traditional beach relaxation, the sand and sea is unrivalled at the summer resort of Costa da Caparica, which is only a short drive across the Tagus River.