Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and largest city
We have selected 6 things to do, so you can enjoy the best that the Lisbon region has to offer. There are plenty of things to do in this vibrant and cosmopolitan city, which has been on the world’s lips for all the right reasons. Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal, is a culturally very rich city. With a very old history, which makes its origin lost in the mist of the centuries, you will love to know the metropolis conquered by D. Afonso Henriques in 1147 and capital of the kingdom since 1255.
01 – Visit Belem
Belém became the departure dock for the ships and caravels that discovered new worlds and a mercantile center where spices from the Orient arrived and were traded. A gesture celebrated by the Tower of Belém, an architectural jewel from the 16th century, when Portugal was indeed a global power, and by the Jerónimos Monastery, from the same period, both classified by UNESCO in 1983 as Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the parish of Belém you can also visit the Monument to the Discoveries, the Coach Museum, the Belém Cultural Center, the Museum of the Presidency of the Republic, among many others. Oh, and don’t forget to enter the Pastéis de Belém Factory to taste one of the ex-libris not only of Lisbon, but of Portugal!
02 – Climbing São Jorge Castle and strolling through Alfama
São Jorge Castle occupies the top of a hill overlooking the historic city center and the Tagus River. Here, you’ll learn a little more about Lisbon’s history in the permanent exhibition and discover unique views by strolling through the gardens and the belvedere.
But a city’s soul is not only made of monuments and, in 2011, Lisbon saw its popular song, Fado, also distinguished by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In Alfama, in addition to strolling through the alleys that make us feel in the middle of a village, you can also visit the Fado Museum and watch shows in the most diverse restaurants, bars or Fado houses.
03 – Walking around downtown
While walking through Baixa, you can find Praça da Figueira, the magnificent Rossio Station, the Santa Justa Elevator, watch the streetcar pass by, feel like a local. With our eyes on the Tagus River, we find one of the most emblematic squares: Praça do Comércio, symbol of the city and its reconstruction after the great earthquake of 1755. It is undoubtedly a very pleasant place to stroll by the river and enjoy the view over the Tagus River.
04 – Discover Bairro and Chiado
Chiado is an elegant and sophisticated neighborhood with old-style bookstores and cafés, where we can find a traditional shopping area that mixes old and modern stores. The most famous cafe in Chiado is “A Brasileira”, because the poet Fernando Pessoa was among its customers. Chiado is also an important cultural space, with several museums and theaters.
Lisbon is also known for having a very lively and busy nightlife. Bairro Alto is one of the oldest and most peculiar neighborhoods in Lisbon, where calm and serenity reign during the day and at night welcomes the movement that makes Lisbon’s nightlife famous.
05 – See the city from the viewpoints
There are countless viewpoints where you can catch a glimpse of Lisbon. Choosing the best viewpoint in the city is impossible, but here are a few suggestions:
Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte | Miradouro de Santa Luzia | Miradouro das Portas do Sol| Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara | Miradouro da Graça| Miradouro do Jardim do Recolhimento| Miradouro Keil do Amaral | Panorâmico de Monsanto | Miradouro do Arco da Rua Augusta | Santuário do Cristo Rei, entre muitos outros.
06 – Be amazed by the beauty of Arrábida
The beauty of Arrábida is painted between the green of the mountains and the blue of the sea. Just over half an hour from Lisbon, there are a number of reasons to leave the city and indulge in discovery. A territory that covers three municipalities – Palmela, Sesimbra and Setúbal.
The crystal clear waters surrounded by greenery and white sand offer postcard-worthy images. The meeting of the mountains and the sea takes the form of a string of beaches, each with its own particular charms. The hard part is choosing: Figueirinha, Portinho da Arrábida, Coelhos, Ribeira do Cavalo, Galapos or Galapinhos, among others.
A place not to be missed is Cabo Espichel, where the landscape is breathtaking, between the dark depths of the sea, the stability of the land and the infinity of the sky. Here we find the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Cabo which celebrates a cult inspired by the legend of a man who saw a great light at the top of the cliff. Our Lady would have climbed the steep incline sitting on the back of a donkey. The legend drew inspiration from the dinosaur tracks visible on the hillside and interpreted as the footprints of a donkey.
In the gastronomic chapter, fish and seafood are kings. Starters and desserts include cheese and Azeitão pie. To accompany this, it should be borne in mind that this land is also famous for the quality of its grapes. From Moscatel to Bacalhôa or José Maria da Fonseca nectars, just choose what best serves the moment.