Lisbon: A Primer to Portugal
Study History in Portugal
The Worldwide Navigators Difference
Tile-adorned buildings with terra cotta rooftops greet you as you land at Humberto Delgado Airport. Transport will pick you up at the arrivals hall and take you to your hotel in one of Lisbon’s uniquely aesthetic neighborhoods. After freshening up, you’ll be invited to join your guide for a traditionally Portuguese meal and a brief introduction of Lisbon. Spend the remainder of the day orienting yourself as your guide treats you to maze-like neighborhoods and hands-on expertise on how to best capture Lisbon’s majesty. Keep your camera ready, as this city on seven hills presents breath-taking views at every corner.
Walk the inclined cobblestone streets from the Praça do Comercio to Castelo de São Jorge, stopping to capture street art that speaks to both Lisbon’s conflicted history and its purely Portuguese present. Find Moorish details in the city’s architecture flanked by tiles painted with Catholic saints. Focus in on the city’s pride, evident in its ubiquitous hand-painted ceramic sardines that exemplify the city’s great respect for its working-class fisherman as well as its home-grown artistry.
Family-run artisan shops dot the streets to São Jorge Castle, which offers a sweeping view of the city and the Tagus River. At the castle, learn about Portugal’s history and its exchange of hands among warring groups.
Even the most prolific photographers need a break—enjoy an ice cream at Pastelaria Santo Antonio while listening to fado-playing street artists.
For dinner, enjoy local cuisine in the winding Alfama neighborhood and a glass or two of Ginja, the city’s famous sour cherry liquor. After dinner, immerse yourself in an authentic fado show, the soulful yet melancholic performance that is emblematic of the neighborhood.
Today is a day of contrasts. The Baixa neighborhood, built on the rubble of the city’s 1755 earthquake, is Lisbon’s colonial side and the heart of the city. Bairro Alta, with its street art and bohemian feel, is the city’s soul.
In Baixa, savor a pastéis de nata, capture shops full of brightly colored tinned sardines, and ride up the Elevador Santa Justa for unparalleled views of the city. Later, the working-class yet artisan feel of Bairro Alta’s labyrinthine streets will give your camera—and your legs—a workout; enjoy a coffee in the colorful streets as Lisbon’s everyday life comes into view.
Sintra is Disney meets the Moors. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the colorful yet intricately detailed complex at Sintra offers photographers a cornucopia of architectural angles and colorful contrasts. Lush gardens with winding paths, hidden chapels, and geese-filled lakes surround the castles and offer nature photographers a break from architectural shots.
Take a trip back to Lisbon’s nautical past as you experience VIP entrance into the popular Torre de Belém, a fortification on the Tagus estuary and a jewel of the Age of Discovery. The Tower offers breathtaking shots of sailboats, exemplary Manueline style architecture, and even the occasional Instagram-able selfie. In contrast, the Padrão dos Descombrimentos, or the Monument to the Discoveries, offers vertiginous views with modern angles. Finally, the elaborate fairytale-like architecture of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos provides you a playground of architectural shots. Our guides will lead you to the most unique angles and provide guidance on capturing the magnificence of these historical behemoths.
On the way back into town, stop at the Time Out Market to sample elevated Portuguese cuisine and shop local souvenirs such as honey, cork, and olive oil.
Today is the day to experience the outlying beauty around Lisbon. Our guides will take you by car to the religious pilgrimage site of Fátima, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in the early 1900s. The stark beauty of the Cathedral and its plaza are heightened with the palpable faith of the pilgrims. Portrait photographers are guaranteed to capture soulful images in this remarkable site.
The next stop is Nazaré, a cheerful fishing town whose lighthouse dangles from a rocky outcropping over world-class waves. Enjoy a seafood feast at a local restaurant before journeying on to Óbidos, a Medieval walled city known for its distinctly painted interior buildings.
One final Portuguese coffee and pastéis de nata before you head with your guide to the Tagus River for a shoot in the morning’s golden light. Bask in the sight of locals opening their shops as families have done for generations. Don’t forget one final picture of your tour group, a physical reminder of the remarkable experience that indulged not just your artist’s eye, but connected you to another part of the world by immersion in its unique and proud artisan culture.
Bem vindo a Portugal!
Postcard-perfect Lisbon. Custard tarts and coffee, tinned fish and sour cherry liqueur. Cobblestone streets that steeply climb into twisting, tile-adorned neighborhoods, each one its own treasure. In this old, vertical city, one thing is evident: Lisbon proudly holds on to its history as a sea-faring nation and its identity as hard-working artists and artisans. Its multicultural yet deeply Portuguese influences are everywhere.
Often overshadowed by its touristy European neighbors, Lisbon is a city whose history is not something to be visited, but to live in. It presents the best of Europe—beaches, a castle on the hill, lavishly adorned churches, exquisite and distinct cuisine—without the commercialized feel of other European capitals.
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