A thousand-year-old city built on seven hills, Lisbon is one of the jewels of Portugal.
Rich of a glorious past during which the Portuguese Empire stretched beyond the seas, the city is in full renaissance and offers an incomparable atmosphere and light.
And if this does not convince you yet to set foot there, here are 10 reasons to visit Lisbon.
1. The Alfama district
It is the oldest in town. It survived the earthquake of 1755 which remains the strongest earthquake ever known in Europe.
Get lost in its narrow streets, and stop by to taste a Ginginha (local cherry liqueur) in one of the many typical taverns of the district to the sound of the Fado echoing.
2. The Castle of Saint George
At the top of one of the 7 hills of Lisbon, it dominates the district of Alfama.
Its walkway and its esplanades offer an exceptional view of the city. Loaded with history, this place is awesome to relax. Get lost in its gardens and you may fall face to face with one of the many Peacocks who live in freedom within the walls of the Castle!
3. The Tower of Belém
Real sentinel, this tower is the guardian of the entrance of Lisbon.
Located on the banks of the Tagus, it watched other ships laden with merchandise from the New World, that were returning to the port of Lisbon, while keeping at bay the enemies who were trying to attack the city. Do not miss the opportunity to visit this Icon of Lisbon and Portugal !
4. The Pasteleria Belém
It is in this centuries-old bakery that the monks of the nearby Jeronimo monastery invented the famous Pastel de Belèm – which in the rest of Portugal is called Pastel de Nata. Do not hesitate to sit down at a table in the pastry shop to taste this gastronomic pearl, and sprinkle it with icing sugar and cinnamon, as the locals do accompanied by a coffee or a glass of Porto!
5. The Monastery of Jeronimo
Built by King Manuel I in a wonderful “Manueline” style, its aim was to celebrate the return of Vasco Da Gama, a Portuguese navigator who discovered the first sea route to India. The monastery has an exceptional cloister and garden. Don’t miss it!
6. Pena Castle
A few kilometers away from Lisbon, do not miss the city of Sintra and especially its Castle. Situated at the top of a high hill, its flamboyant colors reveal a place filled with romanticism and mystery. Built by King Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, it combines the Austrian style with the azulejos (famous Portuguese tiles).
7. A Praça de comercio
Here beats the heart of Lisbon. This huge rectangular square is bordered by beautiful arcades where craft merchants often settle. The yellow facades surrounding the square give it a warm light. On the “Cais das colunas”, by the river, ships loaded with goods from the new world landed and the local merchants bought them, hence the name of Trading Place. We advise you to climb up the arch of the street Augusta, that offers an exceptional view.
8. Elevator of Santa Justa and the Carmo Convent
Here are two reasons to visit Lisbon in one. This elevator connects the Baixa district (literally “the bottom”) to the Bairro alto district (“upper district”). Its neo-Gothic style, all in forged steel is a true work of art. Once at the top, enjoy a breathtaking view of the whole of Lisbon. We advise you then to visit the “Convento do Carmo” which is located right next to it and which is now the museum of archeology. Worth a visit.
9. Parque das Nações & the Lisbon oceonarium
It is a “new” neighborhood. This place was the epi-center of the universal exhibition of 1998. You will discover one of the largest Oceanarium in Europe, a true hymn to the sea and Portuguese discoveries, spectacular! Do not hesitate to take the cable-cars that circulate all day in the district & offer a surprising view on the bridge Vasco da Gama – the largest suspension bridge in Europe!
10. The Rossio Square & its train station
Surely one of the most beautiful squares in Lisbon. Also called Dom Pedro IV Square, due to the status of this Portuguese king who was also the first emperor of Brazil, it represents an ideal spot to stroll. With its 2 fountains and its “calçada portuguesa” (typical tiled pavement), you will find a little freshness on hot days. At the top of the square, you can contemplate the Rossio train station. Architectural wonder, it is one of the most beautiful in the world, thanks to its atypical façade.
11. Treasures of Lisboa
Of course not to be missed! Visit Lisbon but above all… taste it! With our Food Tours in Lisbon, you can combine these two pleasures and live a truly unique experience. Choose one of our tours and live like a true inhabitant of Lisbon for a few hours … A very fast!