Country: Portugal Language: Portuguese Currency: Euro (€)
Lisbon truly is a city for everyone. The history, the culture, the colors, the walking… The hills in Lisbon are no joke! But the hilly streets are well worth a wander. You must not leave Lisbon without trying Pasteis de Nata, which are delicious, traditional egg tarts, best enjoyed with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top! You will also not have a hard time finding seafood. Served many ways, from tins as sardines to Bolinhos de Bacalhau, traditional codfish fritters. The relaxed charm in Lisbon is one to enjoy, as it is one of the few cities in Western Europe that presents a relaxed and welcoming tourist environment.
CTW Must See
Prada do Comércio
Praça do Comércio is a great place to start in Lisbon. The bright yellow square looking out onto the water is perfectly picturesque, and the breeze from the waterfront is pleasant on a warm Lisbon day. In 1755, a tragic earthquake, tsunami and fire destroyed most of Lisbon and many parts of Portugal. Praça do Comércio and some of Lisbon’s most historic buildings were reconstructed soon after the tragedy.
Alfama is Lisbon’s Historic Quarter. It extends from the main square all the way up the hill towards the castle, offering beautiful views overlooking the city, plenty of laneways to get lost in, and some more of Lisbon’s iconic colorful architecture. Alfama was not destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, so this part of the city remains traditional. At the very top of the hill is Castelo de São Jorge. You can either walk the whole way up, or you can take Tram 28 up the hill.
Castelo de São Jorge
From the square, a wander up the hill through Alfama provides the most exercise and history that Lisbon has to offer. On the way to the top, you will see many historic buildings and viewpoints to see the entire city. The fortification as we know it today was built in the 11th century by the Moors, who were Muslim inhabitants from North Africa. There is an elevator that takes you up part of the way to Castelo de São Jorge. It’s free and seemingly only frequented by locals. Just follow R. da Madalena up from Prada do Comércio (about 600m) and find the Pingo Doce Supermarket on your right. Go inside the doors to the elevator, and straight to the top!
Santa Justa Elevator
The Santa Justa Lift is a great place to get another view overlooking Lisbon. Originally, the lift was built to relieve walkers from Lisbon’s hills. It connects the lower part of Lisbon to Carmo Square. It is now mostly a tourist attraction, where tourists can go to the top and obtain a different perspective of the vibrant city.
Bairro Also is another of Lisbon’s unique neighborhoods. Located just on the other side (the higher side) of the Santa Justa Elevator, you will find many shops and restaurants. This area leads to more local life, so the restaurants grow less touristy the higher you go up the hill; but the classic Lisboa architecture and charm remain.
Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Carmo Convent is a historical and religious building that can be seen from almost any lookout in Lisbon. Founded in 1398, the Gothic style convent was severely damaged by the 1755 earthquake. At the time, it was the largest church in Lisbon. Today, the convent sits in ruins, with its skeletal arches and pillars standing tall and beautiful. There is a museum at the end of the convent ruins with a couple of rooms full of relics and artifacts.
About 7 km from Praça do Comércio are some of the most iconic, and must see locations in Lisbon. Belém Tower is the farthest away, but once you get to any of these landmarks, they are all within walking distance of each other. The Tower was built in the 16th century as part of a defense system. It has since been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
A short walk along the water towards Lisbon brings you to Padrão dos Descobrimentos. This monument was built in the 1940s to honor the people who were part of the Portuguese discoveries.
Across the road from Padrão dos Descobrimentos is Jerónimos Monastery, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To get there, take the underground walkway connecting the monastery and the monument. Jerónimos Cathedral is free to visit, but the monastery charges a small fee. The monastery survived the earthquake with hardly any damage. It is truly one of the most beautiful monasteries we have visited…
Time Out Market
This indoor market is a great place for a meal, a snack, or a drink! With dozens of restaurants, a couple of bars and cafes, and a bunch of local shops, your wine and dine options are almost endless…
The Perfect Day Trip: Sintra
Sintra is a great day trip from Lisbon. Check out our Sintra City Guide to plan your day trip or overnight trip from Lisbon!
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