There’s a reason why Lisbon is so hot right now: Portugal’s sunshine-filled capital city has flown under the radar for far too long. On a continent saturated with big-name cities vying for tourist dollars, Lisbon has bided its time, emerging from a dire economic recession with construction cranes aplenty and newfound cool cred in the worlds of art, retail, hotels, nightlife, and restaurants. But it hasn’t gone all hipster on us, either: This is a city that knows its past, where steep cobbled paths wind down to grand wide-open spaces, where the melancholic notes of traditional fado music waft out onto youth-filled streets, where historic castles overlook age-old red roofs and never-ending water views—and where typical Portuguese food and wine remains deeply ingrained in the culture.

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