The best books about Lisbon 📚

Browse the best books on Lisbon as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Rick Steves Portugal

Rick Steves Portugal

By Rick Steves

Why this book?

I am often asked for recommendations on where to go and what to see for visitors to Portugal, and I always recommend Rick Steve’s book. He doesn’t just cover the major attractions, he takes you into the small towns and villages, the remote beaches, and the local restaurants and cafés that will introduce you to the ‘real’ Portugal. Top tips, must-see destinations and clever itineraries will help you to pick out the best spots and the most memorable locations of this beautiful place I am proud to call home.

From the list:

The best books on moving to Portugal

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Book cover of Living in Portugal

Living in Portugal

By Anne de Stoop

Why this book?

This is a real treat of a book, with sumptuous photography and detailed descriptions. A book to treasure and rest on your coffee table with pride. Portugal is such a beautiful and picturesque place to photograph – I know, I am married to a professional photographer! This book is a treasure-trove of images and information that will make you want to visit – or even pack your bags and move here to live – which is exactly what we did ten years ago. It was the best move we ever made.

From the list:

The best books on moving to Portugal

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Book cover of The Virgin Suicides

The Virgin Suicides

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Why this book?

Before Jeffrey Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize for his sophomore effort, he debuted on the literary scene with one of my very favorite books, The Virgin Suicides, a dark and haunting novel about a group of five repressed teenage sisters who each commit suicide over the course of a year. In Eugenides’ subversive coming-of-age tale, he explores themes of religion, isolation, and mental illness through the collective narrative voice of the neighborhood boys who obsessed over the sisters and want to understand why they killed themselves.

From the list:

The best dark fiction books that explore the hidden shadows of humanity

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Book cover of The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon

The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon

By Richard Zimler

Why this book?

Zimler is an award-winning American writer who has lived in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, since 1990. I admire Zimler’s historical fiction for its fact-based accuracy, and The Last Kabbalist is a beauty for that reason. His acclaimed novel details the Portuguese inquisition and the massacre of its Jews in 1506. Via his incisive research and great storytelling, Zimler sheds light on this period of history unknown to many Portuguese; as a result, there is now a Jewish Memorial Plaque in Rossio Square in Lisbon’s city center, honouring the two to five thousand Jews who were massacred. 

From the list:

The best historically accurate books about Portugal

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Book cover of Estoril

Estoril

By Dejan Tiago-Stankovic, Christina Pribichevich-Zoric

Why this book?

Part spy novel, part historical fiction, this book tells the tale of a young Jewish boy who’s been deposited by his parents at the Hotel Palacio in Estoril for safekeeping during WWII, when the hotel was home to exiled European nobles and royalty, British and German spies. We meet the Polish pianist, Yan Paderewski; Ian Fleming, the British spy novelist and creator of James Bond; French writer and flyer Antoine de St. Exupery; the ex-king of Romania, Carol II, and his mistress Elena Lupescu, the woman for whom he renounced the crown. We’re privy to the goings-on at the Hotel…

From the list:

The best historically accurate books about Portugal

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Book cover of Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire

Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire

By Alan Forrest

Why this book?

Not since the monumental work of Jacques Morvan in his Le Soldat Imperial, almost a century ago, has a scholar brought so much learning and insight to the experience of the soldiery of the longest wars in modern European history. Forrest brings his hallmark skills as an archival scholar to the daunting task of reassembling the lives of the men who did the fighting, endured the horrors and the hardships behind the glittering uniforms, and heroic paintings of the battles. He brings the ordinary to life and puts the extraordinary in its proper context of the hardscrabble, but adventurous,…

From the list:

The best books on Napoleon and an era that shook Europe to its core

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