What to See, Ride, Taste & Hear
I really don’t know why Lisbon hadn’t been on our ‘go to’ list earlier. We have been to numerous European cities up until now, but for some reason Lisbon had not really risen to the top.
Well now was the time to put that right, our timing wasn’t perfect in terms of the weather, but we weren’t going to let that put a dampener on our adventure.
Lisbon has so many things to offer, but one of the stand out memories that we brought away were the friendliness of the locals.
Like with most cities to capture the true essence of a place you really need to don those comfy shoes and start wandering, with Lisbon this is imperative as there are plenty hills to tackle.
For your sanity, I have just kept this list to 16 but it could have been longer, also once you have visited Lisbon yourself, I’m sure you’ll have your own list favourites.
At the mouth of the River Tagus is another of Lisbon’s iconic landmarks. Built in 1514-20 the defensive tower once stood on an island in the Tagus. The northern bank has been gradually built upon and the tower is now accessible along a walkway.
Just along from the tower is Padrão dos Descobrimentos a truly eye-catching 52 metre high monument built to commemorate Portugal’s age of discovery.
A reference guide
I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide was invaluable to us.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our Lisbon mini-break, now you can grab the revised copy.
Along with Torre de Belém is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery which took 100 years to build, was constructed in the distinctive Manueline style and has an amazing internal courtyard and cloisters, it’s certainly worth a visit.
The Pantheon is wonderful piece of architecture & houses the tombs of some of Portugal’s major historic figures. Take a climb to the top and enjoy the amazing views along the River Tagus & beyond.
If time allows a day in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Sintra is a must. The wonderful palaces and gardens scattered amongst the lush hillside are a real pleasure to explore. Our particular favourite was Quinta da Regaleira, with its subterranean towers.
There are quite a few viewpoints (Miradouros) dotted around Lisbon that give wonderful panoramic views across the tiled rooftops, go explore.
On a Tuesday & Saturday the Feira da Ladra (flea market) in Alfama, transforms into a bustling and lively street market. Full of an eclectic mix of oddities, there is sure to be something for everyone.
‘Squares’ to you and me. There are some lovely squares around Lisbon waiting for you to sit and watch the world go by, the grandest is Praças Do Commercio which stands with the Augusta Arch proudly looking down upon it.
If you have seen any pictures of Lisbon you will know it is renowned for its trams and in particular no. 28. This tram takes you through the winding streets of Alfama and past many of Lisbon’s well known hot spots.
Also, there are 3 funicular trams, named Glória, Bica & Lavra, adorned with local art.
An addition in recent years are the Tuk tuks, I think you tend to either love them or hate them.
Pastel de Nata
No trip to Lisbon would be complete without sampling these little delicacies.
You can get them throughout Lisbon, however our favourites and that of many others is where they were originally created at Pasteis de Belém.
Believe me you’ll be hooked.
The local tipple of ‘Ginja’ a sour cherry liqueur is served almost everywhere, but the best places to try it is out of the two little shop fronts by Rossio Square.
For an experience a little more graceful then try Café Nicola or A Brasileira, Lisbon’s famous cafés that serve a tasty selection of pastries within a very stylish décor.
Inspired to visit Lisbon?
Does the Pastel de Nata tempt you? or would you like to ride on the iconic Tram 28
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