ISCTE Business School

Lisbon

The "White City" -The Lisbon of Stories and Inspiration

People

Lisbon, Europe's west coast capital, is the home for more than half a million people, the so-called Lisboetas or ‘alfacinhas’ (translation: little lettuce, Lisbon Local).

For the last millennium, the mingling between groups who have inhabited and traded in Portugal - Iberians, Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, Moors, Jews, and others – combined with the nation’s isolation from Spain and the rest of Europe, resulted in a homogeneous and peculiarly Portuguese population, both ethnically and culturally: about 97% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholic, but other religions enjoy freedom of worship, and most of them reveal typical Mediterranean physical characteristics like brown eyes, dark hair, and a height of less than 6 feet.

Defining a national character is never easy, but one can say that most Lisboetas are hospitable, easy-going and friendly. Although some at first sight may seem gloomy and morose to foreigners, they're known to be ready to go out of their way to help! Almost everyone, especially among the youngsters, speaks – or at least, understands and tries to speak – English!

Lisbon, an international city, with a population made up of different races, backgrounds and cultures, where everyone feels welcome!
(*) When Portuguese greet each other – men and a woman or between two women - they generally expect to be kissed on one or both cheeks, or exchange handshakes – between men and in a professional environment. So, don’t be afraid if someone tries to kiss you on your cheek!