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Guest Post: The Life of an Intern in Lisbon

Annalisa Moscatiello gives us an insider’s peak into life in one of Europe’s hidden gems: Lisbon.

          Lisbon has a light and warmth that charms and fascinates any traveller. I’ve met many people that, after visiting the city as a tourist, have then decided to return to live here. I spent four months here while I doing an internship and I too have fallen in love with the city.

         Finding your way around is straightforward: the city centre can be covered on foot, there are numerous meeting places, it’s easy to meet new people and the Portuguese are very kind and helpful answering any questions. What’s more, the universities and private schools provide Portuguese language courses and almost all the young people speak English.

         I started looking for a room to rent while I was still in Italy, noting down the houses nearest to places that interest me and getting in contact with landlords, explaining what I was looking for. The websites I used were Bquarto, EasyQuarto and Erasmus Lisboa, where there are various adverts. There’s a wide choice and the rent is inexpensive, especially compared to other European cities.

         I arrived with EasyJet, the only budget airline that flies to Lisbon from various cities in Europe. Once you’ve arrived at Lisbon airport, there’s a quick and convenient metro that will take you directly to the city centre for only €1.25.

         Getting around the city is easy with the metro, buses and trams, and Lisbon is well-connected to other cities throughout Portugal via trains and coaches (Rede Expressos, EVA and Renex, which meant I was able to visit all the other main cities at weekends.

         I was lucky enough to enjoy sunny weather the whole time I was there, and I spent my free time exploring everything the city has to offer: its many parks, the narrow streets of the historic city centre, the public gardens, the miradouros (viewpoints) and the shopping centres.

         But there’s more… this city is full of surprises! As a university student I was truly stunned by Lisbon’s liveliness and by the countless initiatives it organises: cultural events, local festivities such as the popular, colourful celebrations in June, exhibitions, music performances (often of Fado, the traditional Portuguese music), dance shows, theatre and film festivals. It’s impossible to get bored in Lisbon!

         To complete this vibrant image, there are whole neighbourhoods where restaurants, bars and clubs are open every day of the week, such as Bairro Alto, Alfama and Cais do Sodré. You simply have to choose which place you like the most.

         For Erasmus students Bairro Alto is a must-see: from midnight to 2 am the streets are filled with students and the bars offer amazingly cheap cocktails and DJs or live music. If you want to go out till later, in Cais do Sodré there are around ten or so nightclubs along Rua Nova do Carvalho. For a more chic club I recommend K-Urban Beach, in the neighbouring district of Santos.

         To find out what’s going on in the city all you have to do is check Agenda Cultural or simply walk around the centre with an eye out for posters advertising all sorts of events.

         I love this city and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to experience living abroad, just for the joy and the energy it gives off.

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