Welcome to the vibrant city of Lisbon! Nestled along the western coast of Portugal, this historic capital has become a hotspot for backpackers seeking an unforgettable travel experience on a budget. With its charming cobbled streets, stunning architecture, and eclectic mix of traditions and modernity, Lisbon offers a wealth of adventures to explore.
As you set foot in Lisbon, you’ll be greeted by the warm hospitality of the locals, known as Lisboetas, who are always ready to share their stories and guide you through the city’s hidden gems. The city’s laid-back atmosphere and enchanting landscapes make it the perfect destination for backpackers looking to immerse themselves in an authentic cultural experience.
Being a budget-savvy traveler, you’ll be pleased to know that Lisbon offers numerous affordable options for accommodation, dining, and transportation. Whether you choose to stay in budget-friendly hostels or opt for cozy guesthouses, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your needs and preferences.
When it comes to exploring Lisbon, one of the best ways to get around is on foot. The city is known for its hilly terrain, so be prepared for some uphill treks, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Tagus River and the city’s iconic red rooftops. Alternatively, Lisbon’s efficient public transportation system, including trams, buses, and metro, offers a convenient and affordable way to navigate the city.
Throughout your backpacking journey in Lisbon, you’ll discover the city’s rich history and heritage through its impressive landmarks and cultural sites. Marvel at the majestic São Jorge Castle, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Alfama district, and explore the atmospheric streets of the Bairro Alto neighborhood, known for its lively nightlife scene.
While Lisbon holds countless treasures within its boundaries, it also serves as a gateway to nearby day trip destinations. From the quaint village of Sintra with its fairytale-like palaces, to the sandy shores of Cascais and the rugged beauty of Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point, there is no shortage of exciting excursions to embark on from Lisbon.
As the sun sets over Lisbon, the city truly comes alive. Its vibrant nightlife scene offers a diverse range of entertainment options, from cozy bars and traditional Fado houses to buzzing nightclubs. Dance the night away, sip on local wines, and mingle with fellow travelers in the lively streets of Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré.
To make the most of your backpacking adventure in Lisbon, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. From taking advantage of free attractions and local markets to sampling mouthwatering Portuguese cuisine, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of exploring this enchanting city on a budget.
So grab your backpack, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating streets of Lisbon. This budget travel guide will equip you with all the knowledge and inspiration you need to make the most of your Lisbon adventure. Let’s dive in!
Getting to Lisbon:
Lisbon is well-connected to major cities in Europe and beyond, making it easily accessible for backpackers from all corners of the globe. Whether you choose to arrive by air, train, or bus, there are plenty of options to suit your travel preferences and budget.
If you’re traveling internationally, the most convenient way to reach Lisbon is by flying into Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). This modern airport serves numerous airlines and offers a wide range of international and domestic flights. From the airport, you can easily reach the city center by taking the metro, bus, or a taxi. It’s worth noting that the AeroBus shuttle service provides a direct link between the airport and downtown Lisbon, making it a convenient and affordable option for travelers.
For those who prefer traveling by train, Lisbon is well-connected to other major cities in Portugal and Europe. The city’s main train station, Santa Apolónia, receives trains from cities like Porto, Faro, and Madrid, among others. The train journey to Lisbon can be a scenic experience, allowing you to admire the beautiful Portuguese landscapes along the way.
Another common mode of transportation to reach Lisbon is by bus. The city has excellent bus connections with other Portuguese cities as well as various European destinations. The main bus terminal in Lisbon is Sete Rios, and several bus companies operate regular services to and from the city.
If you’re already in Europe and looking for a more adventurous way to reach Lisbon, you can consider a road trip. Portugal has a well-maintained road network, and driving to Lisbon allows you to explore the stunning countryside and make stops at charming towns and villages along the way.
Once you’ve arrived in Lisbon, getting around the city is a breeze. The public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro, provides efficient and affordable options for navigating the city. A rechargeable Viva Viagem card is the most convenient way to pay for your journeys, and it can be easily topped up at various kiosks or machines throughout the city.
Alternatively, if you prefer exploring Lisbon on foot, the city’s compact size and pedestrian-friendly streets make it a joy to wander around. Lace up your walking shoes, grab a map, and get ready to uncover the hidden corners and charming neighborhoods of the city.
As you embark on your backpacking adventure in Lisbon, be sure to check the latest travel regulations and requirements, as they may vary depending on your country of origin. It’s also advisable to keep an eye on any updates or changes to transportation schedules during your visit.
With various transportation options available, getting to and around Lisbon is a hassle-free experience, allowing you to focus on immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and atmosphere that this captivating city has to offer.
When it comes to finding accommodation in Lisbon, backpackers are spoiled for choice. The city offers a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference, ensuring that you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head after a day of exploring.
Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers, and Lisbon has a fantastic selection of them. From lively party hostels to cozy and quiet options, you’ll find hostels scattered throughout the city. These accommodations usually offer dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities, making them ideal for solo travelers or those looking to socialize with fellow backpackers. Many hostels also have communal areas, such as lounges or rooftop terraces, where you can unwind and connect with other travelers.
If you prefer a bit more privacy, guesthouses and budget hotels are also available in Lisbon. These establishments offer comfortable rooms with private or shared bathrooms at affordable rates. They often have a more homely atmosphere, and some may even provide kitchen facilities, allowing you to prepare your meals and save some extra money.
For those seeking a unique experience, Lisbon’s vibrant neighborhoods are also home to guesthouses and boutique hotels oozing with charm and character. These accommodations often feature stylish décor, personal touches, and personalized service. Staying in one of these establishments will not only provide you with a comfortable place to sleep but also offer an immersive experience into the local culture and ambiance.
Another alternative is to consider renting a private apartment or a room through platforms like Airbnb or other vacation rental websites. This option provides more space and the freedom to cook your meals while offering the opportunity to stay in various neighborhoods across the city. It’s worth noting that renting an apartment may require longer stays or have certain booking restrictions, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before making a reservation.
Regardless of the accommodation option you choose, make sure to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This way, you can secure the best rates and guarantee your preferred location. Additionally, keep in mind that some accommodations may require a deposit or have specific cancellation policies, so read the fine print before confirming your reservation.
Now that you know your options, it’s time to start searching for the perfect accommodation in Lisbon. Whether you’re looking for a social atmosphere, a cozy guesthouse, or a unique boutique experience, this city has something for everyone. So, kick back, relax, and get ready for a comfortable stay in the captivating capital of Portugal.
One of the highlights of any backpacking adventure is sampling the local cuisine, and Lisbon won’t disappoint when it comes to satisfying your taste buds without breaking the bank. The city is famed for its delicious and varied gastronomy, offering a wide range of budget-friendly options to suit every palate.
When it comes to traditional Portuguese food, you can find affordable eateries scattered throughout Lisbon. Look out for “tascas” and “tavernas,” which are small local restaurants that serve home-style meals at pocket-friendly prices. These establishments often offer daily specials, known as “pratos do dia,” which include a main dish, side, and sometimes a drink, providing excellent value for money.
Another must-try in Lisbon is the “pastel de nata,” a creamy and flaky custard tart that originated in the city. You can find these delectable treats in pastry shops and bakeries all over Lisbon. Be sure to indulge in this local delicacy during your visit, and don’t forget to pair it with a cup of aromatic Portuguese coffee.
If you’re a fan of fresh produce and local ingredients, pay a visit to the various markets scattered throughout the city. The Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market, is a popular spot where you can find an array of food stalls offering a wide range of cuisine, from traditional Portuguese dishes to international delights. It’s an excellent place to try different flavors and soak up the lively atmosphere of Lisbon’s food scene.
In the Alfama and Mouraria neighborhoods, you’ll find charming restaurants and food stands serving “petiscos,” the Portuguese equivalent of tapas. These small plates allow you to sample a variety of flavors and dishes without breaking the bank. From grilled sardines to shrimp “pregos” (sandwiches) and “pataniscas” (codfish fritters), these local favorites are not to be missed.
If you’re looking for a quick and budget-friendly meal, keep an eye out for “tascas a peso,” which are eateries that charge by weight. These self-service establishments offer a variety of dishes, and you can choose as much or as little as you want, paying only for what you put on your plate. It’s a great option for trying different Portuguese specialties without breaking the bank.
Lastly, don’t forget to quench your thirst with some local beverages. Sampling the Portuguese wines, including the famous Vinho Verde and Porto, is a must during your stay in Lisbon. Additionally, indulge in a glass of “ginginha,” a traditional cherry liqueur that can be found in small bars across the city.
With its diverse and affordable culinary scene, Lisbon is a food lover’s paradise. From traditional dishes to international cuisine, street food to bustling markets, you’ll be able to satisfy your cravings and discover new flavors while staying within your travel budget. So, put on your foodie hat and embark on a gastronomic adventure in the heart of Lisbon.
Exploring Lisbon on Foot:
One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of Lisbon is by exploring the city on foot. With its narrow streets, hidden alleys, and picturesque neighborhoods, Lisbon is a delight to wander through, uncovering its hidden treasures at every turn.
Start your walking adventure in the historic Alfama district, where you can get lost in its labyrinth of narrow streets and soak up the traditional atmosphere. This neighborhood is home to iconic landmarks such as the São Jorge Castle and the Lisbon Cathedral. As you stroll through Alfama, be sure to visit the charming viewpoints known as “miradouros,” where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city.
From Alfama, make your way towards Baixa, Lisbon’s downtown area. Here, you’ll find wide avenues, bustling plazas, and grand architecture. Take a leisurely stroll along Rua Augusta, the main pedestrian street, and admire the splendid triumphal arch at the end of the avenue. Don’t forget to explore Rossio Square, a central hub with its vibrant atmosphere and charming cafes.
Not far from Baixa lies the bohemian neighborhood of Bairro Alto, known for its lively nightlife scene. During the day, meander through its narrow streets adorned with colorful tiles and historic buildings. Don’t miss the vibrant street art that adorns the facades, adding a touch of artistic flair to the neighborhood.
As you continue your exploration, head to the Belém district, located west of the city center. Along the way, you can walk along the riverfront and enjoy the beautiful views of the Tagus River. Once in Belém, marvel at iconic landmarks like the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Be sure to treat yourself to a delicious Pastel de Belém, the original custard tart, at the famous Pastéis de Belém bakery.
Lisbon is also dotted with beautiful parks and gardens that are perfect for a relaxing stroll. The Parque Eduardo VII, located near the Marquês de Pombal Square, offers stunning views over the city and is a great spot for a picnic. Additionally, the Jardim da Estrela, with its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful flower beds, is an oasis in the heart of the city.
As you explore Lisbon on foot, keep an eye out for the iconic yellow trams that traverse the city’s hilly terrain. These trams are not only a convenient way to get around but also a charming symbol of Lisbon’s transportation history. Hop on tram 28, known as the “tourist tram,” to enjoy a scenic ride through some of Lisbon’s most picturesque neighborhoods.
While wandering through the city, take the time to embrace the local culture and interact with the friendly Lisboetas. Stop at a café for a cup of “bica,” the traditional Portuguese espresso, or indulge in some “petiscos” at a local tasca. Engage with street vendors, artists, and musicians, who add to the vibrant fabric of the city.
Exploring Lisbon on foot allows you to fully appreciate the city’s sights, sounds, and flavors. So, put on your most comfortable shoes, grab a map (or get happily lost), and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the enchanting streets of Lisbon.
Must-See Sights in Lisbon:
Lisbon is a city steeped in history, culture, and architectural beauty, making it a treasure trove of must-see sights. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, these destinations are the heart and soul of the city, showcasing its rich heritage and captivating charm.
One of the top attractions in Lisbon is the São Jorge Castle. Perched high on a hill, this medieval fortress offers panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. Explore the castle’s ramparts, visit the archaeological site, and immerse yourself in the history that surrounds this magnificent structure. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the resident peacocks roaming the grounds.
The Jerónimos Monastery is another must-visit site that shouldn’t be missed. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a masterpiece of Manueline architecture, showcasing intricate details and stunning craftsmanship. Marvel at the beautiful cloisters, visit the church, and take a moment to appreciate the tranquil atmosphere of this historic place.
Be sure to make your way to Belém, where you’ll find two more must-see landmarks. The Belém Tower, a symbol of Portugal’s Age of Discovery, stands proudly on the banks of the Tagus River. Its unique architecture and strategic location make it an iconic symbol of Lisbon. Nearby, the Monument to the Discoveries pays homage to Portugal’s maritime achievements, with larger-than-life statues commemorating key figures from the country’s exploration history.
No visit to Lisbon is complete without a trip to the enchanting neighborhood of Alfama. As you wander through its narrow streets and picturesque squares, you’ll come across the Lisbon Cathedral, the oldest church in the city. The cathedral’s mix of architectural styles and its tranquil interior make it a fascinating place to explore and appreciate.
The colorful district of Mouraria is another must-see sight in Lisbon. Known as the birthplace of Fado, Portugal’s soulful music genre, this neighborhood exudes an old-world charm and a lively atmosphere. Take a stroll through its winding streets, visit the Fado Museum, and enjoy an authentic Fado performance in one of the local bars or taverns.
For art-loving travelers, a visit to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is highly recommended. This museum houses an impressive collection of European art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from various periods. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Holbein, and Albrecht Dürer, among others.
A trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the bustling atmosphere of Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio). This grand plaza, located along the Tagus River, is surrounded by vibrant yellow buildings and offers beautiful views of the water. Take a moment to enjoy the open space, mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and savor the lively energy of this iconic gathering place.
These are just a few of the must-see sights in Lisbon that will leave you captivated by the city’s beauty and heritage. Each one offers a unique glimpse into the history, art, and culture that have shaped Lisbon into the vibrant and enchanting destination it is today. So be sure to add these remarkable landmarks to your itinerary and let Lisbon’s magic unfold before your eyes.
Day Trips from Lisbon:
While Lisbon itself offers a wealth of attractions and experiences, taking a day trip from the city allows you to explore the surrounding regions and discover even more of Portugal’s beauty and history. From charming coastal towns to fairytale palaces, there are several options for unforgettable day trips from Lisbon.
Sintra is a popular choice for a day trip, and it’s no wonder why. This enchanting town, located just a short train ride from Lisbon, is known for its stunning palaces, lush gardens, and romantic atmosphere. Explore the colorful Pena Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale, or wander through the peaceful grounds of the Quinta da Regaleira, a mysterious and whimsical estate. Don’t miss the chance to sample the famous pastries of Sintra, such as the Travesseiro and Queijada.
Head west from Lisbon, and you’ll find yourself in Cascais, a charming coastal town with beautiful beaches, a lively marina, and a picturesque old town. Stroll along the scenic promenade, soak up the sun on the sandy shores, or simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. From Cascais, you can also visit the Boca do Inferno, a dramatic cliff formation, or take a short ferry ride to visit the idyllic fishing village of Caiscais.
If you’re a fan of wine, consider a day trip to the stunning region of Setúbal. Just across the Tagus River, this area is known for its vineyards and wineries. Take a tour of the wine estates, indulge in wine tastings, and savor the flavors of the renowned Moscatel wine. While in Setúbal, make sure to visit the Arrábida Natural Park, a protected area known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes.
For history enthusiasts, a visit to Évora is a must. This ancient city, located in the Alentejo region, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts a rich history dating back thousands of years. Explore the well-preserved Roman Temple, wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town, and visit the eerie Chapel of Bones. Don’t forget to sample the local specialties, such as the Alentejo wines and the traditional dishes like Migas and Açorda.
Another option for a day trip is the picturesque town of Nazaré. Known for its gigantic waves and vibrant fishing culture, Nazaré offers a unique coastal experience. Take in the awe-inspiring views from the cliff-top viewpoint of Sitio, which overlooks the town and the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re lucky, you might witness the daring surfers riding the massive waves that make Nazaré a world-renowned surfing destination.
These are just a few examples of the incredible day trips you can take from Lisbon. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, relaxing on scenic beaches, or immersing yourself in the charm of coastal towns, there is something for everyone. So, go ahead and venture beyond Lisbon’s borders to discover the captivating sights and experiences awaiting you in the surrounding regions.
Nightlife in Lisbon:
When the sun sets over Lisbon, the city truly comes alive with its vibrant and diverse nightlife scene. From cozy bars and traditional Fado houses to bustling nightclubs, Lisbon offers an array of options for those seeking a memorable evening out.
Start your night by exploring the lively neighborhood of Bairro Alto. This historic district is known for its narrow streets filled with bars, restaurants, and quirky shops. Join the locals and fellow travelers as you hop from one bar to another, enjoying the festive atmosphere and live music that echoes through the streets. Bairro Alto is the perfect place to socialize, meet new people, and savor the lively energy of Lisbon’s nightlife.
If you’re a fan of live music and traditional Portuguese culture, be sure to experience Fado, the soulful music genre synonymous with Lisbon. Fado houses, known as “casas de fado,” offer intimate performances where talented singers serenade the audience with emotionally charged songs. Immerse yourself in the heartfelt melodies and poignant lyrics, and feel the raw passion of this unique musical tradition.
As the night progresses, head to the Cais do Sodré district, a former red-light district that has been transformed into a buzzing nightlife hub. Here, you’ll find a mix of trendy bars and clubs, where you can dance the night away to a variety of music styles. From electronic beats to hip-hop and everything in between, Cais do Sodré caters to all music tastes and provides an electric atmosphere for a night of uninhibited fun.
For those seeking something different, Lisbon also offers rooftop bars and terraces that provide stunning views of the city skyline as you sip on your cocktail. Enjoy panoramic vistas of Lisbon’s illuminated landmarks, such as the São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River, while basking in the warm ambiance of these elevated venues.
Lisbon is also known for its street festivals and parties, especially during the summer months. Join in the festivities of Santo António, the city’s patron saint, in June, where the streets come alive with processions, decorations, and lively celebrations. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the local culture, dance to traditional music, and indulge in delicious street food.
As you venture into Lisbon’s nightlife, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas, and take precautions to ensure your safety. It’s also worth noting that some popular establishments may have entrance fees or require reservations, so it’s a good idea to check in advance.
So, whether you’re looking to dance the night away, mingle with the locals, or soak up the cultural vibes of Lisbon’s nightlife scene, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste. Get ready for an evening filled with unforgettable memories and the vibrant energy that makes Lisbon’s nightlife truly unique.
Tips for Backpacking Lisbon:
Backpacking through Lisbon is an exciting and rewarding experience. To make the most of your adventure, here are some tips to help you navigate the city like a pro:
1. Plan your itinerary: Lisbon has so much to offer, so take the time to plan out the attractions and neighborhoods you want to visit. This will ensure you make the most efficient use of your time and don’t miss out on any must-see spots.
2. Get a Lisbon Card: Consider purchasing a Lisbon Card, which offers discounted or free access to many attractions, as well as unlimited use of public transportation. This can help you save money and make getting around the city more convenient.
3. Stay in central neighborhoods: Opt for accommodation in neighborhoods like Baixa, Chiado, or Bairro Alto to be close to the main attractions and nightlife spots. This will save you time and transportation costs.
4. Use public transportation: Lisbon’s public transportation system is efficient and budget-friendly. Take advantage of trams, buses, and the metro to explore the city and reach further destinations like Belém or Sintra.
5. Try local cuisine: Indulge in the delicious Portuguese cuisine by trying traditional dishes such as bacalhau (salted cod), sardines, or pastéis de nata (custard tarts). Opt for local eateries and markets to enjoy authentic flavors and affordable prices.
6. Be mindful of pickpockets: Like any major city, there may be pickpockets in crowded areas. Take precautions by keeping your belongings secure and avoiding displaying valuables. Stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings.
7. Wear comfortable shoes: Lisbon is known for its hilly terrain, so be prepared for walking uphill and down stairs. Pack comfortable shoes to explore the city streets and neighborhoods without sacrificing comfort.
8. Stay hydrated: Lisbon can get hot, especially during the summer months. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at the numerous public fountains scattered throughout the city. Staying hydrated is essential for a pleasant backpacking experience.
9. Enjoy the local markets: Lisbon is home to several markets, such as Mercado da Ribeira and Mercado de Campo de Ourique, where you can find fresh produce, local products, and delicious street food. Explore these markets to immerse yourself in the local culture and flavors.
10. Embrace Fado: Attend a Fado performance to truly experience the soul of Lisbon’s music. Choose a reputable Fado house for an authentic and memorable evening.
11. Learn basic Portuguese phrases: While many locals in tourist areas speak English, it’s always appreciated to learn a few basic Portuguese phrases such as “obrigado/a” (thank you), “por favor” (please), or “bom dia” (good day). This shows respect and can help you communicate better with the locals.
12. Blend in with the locals: Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture by observing and adopting some of the local customs and practices. Whether it’s sipping espresso at a café or joining in festive celebrations, embracing the local way of life will enhance your experience.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable backpacking adventure in Lisbon. Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance, savor the flavors of Portuguese cuisine, and uncover the hidden gems of this captivating city. Happy travels!
Lisbon, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, is a destination that captivates the hearts of backpackers from around the world. From navigating the cobbled streets of Alfama to immersing yourself in the lively nightlife of Bairro Alto, this city offers a multitude of experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Throughout this budget travel guide, we have explored the various facets of backpacking in Lisbon. From getting there and finding affordable accommodation to indulging in the local cuisine and exploring the city’s must-see sights, we have provided you with valuable tips and insights to help you make the most of your time in this captivating city.
By exploring Lisbon on foot, you’ll uncover hidden corners, stumble upon charming viewpoints, and immerse yourself in the local culture and atmosphere. From the historic neighborhoods of Alfama and Baixa to the stunning landmarks of São Jorge Castle and Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon’s beauty and charm are best experienced on foot.
However, your adventure doesn’t have to end within the city limits. Lisbon’s strategic location allows for exciting day trips to nearby destinations such as Sintra, Cascais, or Évora. These excursions offer a chance to explore more of Portugal’s enchanting landscapes, historical sites, and coastal delights.
As night falls, Lisbon transforms into a hub of entertainment and nightlife. Whether you choose to experience the soulful sounds of Fado, dance the night away in lively bars and clubs, or simply enjoy a drink at a rooftop terrace, the city’s vibrant energy will leave you wanting more.
With our tips for backpacking Lisbon, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the city like a seasoned traveler. From planning your itinerary and using public transportation to trying local cuisine and blending in with the locals, these insights will enhance your experience and help you make the most of your time and budget.
As your backpacking adventure in Lisbon comes to an end, you’ll carry with you memories of charming neighborhoods, mouthwatering food, stunning landmarks, and warm encounters with the friendly Lisboetas. Lisbon, with its unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary vibes, is a destination that will forever hold a special place in your heart.
So, pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating streets of Lisbon. Allow yourself to be enchanted by the city’s rich history, immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, and embrace the spirit of adventure that awaits you in every corner. Lisbon is waiting to be discovered. Bom viagem!