The people of Lisbon

Lisbon is a metropolis and its inhabitants have a fast, stressed way of life, similiar to that of London or Berlin. Even so, they will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable in their magical city.

Lisboetas love partying, nightlife and cultural events and they are generally very easy-going people. There never was a form you could use to describe a single population and Lisbon is certainly not different. They live differently by day and by night. During the day the narrow streets fill with cars, buses, trams, motorbikes, and a few bicycles, all people trying to get to work. You will see, in certain areas, the varinas (fish sellers) shouting the price of the fishes they have to sell in a strong voice. Artists fill the “Baixa” and the “Castelo” areas showing their paintings, playing songs and performing living statues. One of the most characteristic aspects of the city are the chestnut sellers, who bake chestnuts on wheel-carts that fill the streets with smoke and a toasted smell.

At night, the cars are left at home, the trams stop passing by, instead the taxis’ green “available” light converts to the yellow “occupied” light as people try to find their way to the Bairro Alto area or Santos where most of the bars are. It is common to find people having drinks out on the street. Lisbon’s streets belong to everyone, so a great mixture of crowds join together at the viewpoint bars, at Bica, or in the Bairro Alto and Santos areas. This will last into the early hours of the day, as Lisboetas try to make the most out of every evening.

On sunny days, you shouldn’t be surprised to see a different attitude in Lisboetas than the one on rainy days. Their faces gleam with the thought of lunch-time and with sitting out on a terrace, overlooking the Tagus river. Rainy days tend to soften this smile and people’s faces fill with hope and expectation of the next sunny day, which won’t take long to come by in a country like Portugal.

What a mixture, you must be thinking. Well, this mixture is the charm of Lisbon, a vibrant city with vibrant people and a vibrant way of living... 

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