Lisbon is a riot of pastel flashes, curving alleys and hillside stairways. Dilapidated and bold, it's one of Western Europe's best cities for bargain-hunting travelers. Portugal's colonial history is always right near the surface of life in Lisbon, and a deep impression of Portugal's glory as a seafaring world power is inescapable.
Then there's the sense that Lisbon is a gathering point for the entire former Portuguese realm. Cape Verdean dancehalls, Angolan restaurants and Brazilian soap operas all illustrate this dynamic. While Lisbon's museums and monuments are very compelling, no visitor should ignore the city's amazing seafood-oriented cuisine, strong coffee and delicious custard-filled pastries. And under no circumstances should you fail to encounter the city's compelling nightlife.