From the historic quarters of Alfama to the picturesque viewpoints of Santa Catarina Lisbon is a beautiful city that has won the hearts of many.
Many tourists visit Portugal due to the weather and beaches and wonder if it is worth visiting the city of Lisbon.
It’s obvious that Lisbon worth visiting, not only because it is the capital of Portugal but also because it is one of the cities in Europe that has the best climate, where it has a vast hotel and gastronomic offer and where there are many attractions to visit and have fun.
Perched on seven hills the city is located in west Portugal and lies in the western peninsula on the Atlantic ocean.
It’s Portugal’s largest city and the westernmost capital of continental Europe.
If you’re planning to visit Europe, Portugal should be ranking top in your list and Lisbon would undoubtedly be your first-stop destination.
Whether or not you should spend time exploring this city is a no-brainer.
Terreiro do Paço
This is one of the most popular places in the whole of Lisbon. Terreiro do Paco popularly Praca do Comercio is an extensive square located in the city’s downtown facing Tagus River. This place has a rich history that dates back to the ancient centuries when Portuguese kings and queens used to hold meetings in this sacred square. Other important documentation that this square holds include the major earthquake of 1755 and the regicide of D.Carlos & his son, (Lisbon Regicide) that took place in 1908. The latter is believed to have marked the beginning of the end of monocracy in Portugal.
Tower of Belem
This is not only a dream destination for many planning to visit Portugal but Europe at large. One of the first things that come to mind when one thinks of Lisbon is this giant Manueline-style architecture that stands tall and undisturbed. The tower of Belem was built in the early 1500s and was used to watch over Lisbon’s harbor thus controlling the passage of ships and other water vessels. The unique architecture that this tower showcase has some similar traits to the ancient inventions such as the armillary sphere & naturalist elements. For these reasons and other outstanding specifications hidden in its impeccable history, the Tower of Belem has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
As the name suggests, this is a historical building that was constructed in the early 1500s. It’s a huge monument with religious and cultural significance that dates back to the monarchy era of King Manuel 1. Nested within the Belem historic quarter, this building mirrors the undisputed richness of the Portuguese discoveries all the across the world in the mid-16th century. Together with the Tower of Belem, this monument features some of the most vital symbols of Manueline style. As part of the sightings, you’ll stumble upon the stunning tombs of Portuguese heroes and figures such as D. Manuel 1, Camoes and Vasco da Gama.
Monsanto Forest Park
If you’re a nature enthusiast who would prefer to get lost in the woods while lavishing in some thrill-seeking activities; this is the place for you. The Monsanto Forest Park is the biggest Portuguese forest park that features bike paths, football pitches, walking routes, tennis and basketball areas. Sitting on a 900-hectares piece of land, this park is considered the green lung of Lisbon and time spent here with family and friends couldn’t be any better. There are also a number of picnic areas and viewpoints where you can pose to take pictures and enjoy the exquisite views over the Country’s capital.
Ajuda National Palace
This is the epitome of architectural beauty in the whole of Portugal and failure to visit this palace is unjustifiable. Despite the fact that its construction began in the late 18th century, it’s just recently that the completion of the west wing of the palace came to an end. The recently completed section of the building will be used to keep the Portuguese Royal Treasure and this makes the whole palace a significant Portuguese monument in the heart of Lisbon. Some of the distinctive collections you find here include ancient sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, and paintings.
This is one of the modern museums in the city that’s focused on contemporary art. MAAT is an acronym for Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology. This museum consists of two buildings located in Belem quarter, close to the other attraction sites in the city. The MAAT has transformed the artistic and cultural landscape of the Portuguese capital and it doesn’t stop here, it also intends to offer tourist and visitors the expensive taste of modern and sophisticated collection. From a distance, you’ll surely fall in love with this museum and this alone makes it a must-visit place in Lisbon.
A visit to Portuga’s capital is never complete without stepping into the cultural buildings that attract more tourists in the whole country. The Oceanario of Lisbon has been named as the best aquarium in the world on various occasions and this comes with a lot of nature and ocean marvels. This site features two buildings connected by an extensively long corridor decorated with a series of glazed-tile panels. If you love the sight of those small sea animals, beautiful fish and the endangered ocean species; this place has got you covered.
Other places worth a visit
The above five places are just but a sample of the various places you can visit in the city. If you have the whole week, month or even the entire summer holiday, feel free to explore other sites such as Lisbon zoo, Fronteira Palace, Carmo Convent, National Pantheon, and the list goes on. Just make sure you have a camera with you so you won’t miss the priceless captions.
Navigating Portugal’s Capital
One of the most overrated aspects among tourists, travelers, and visitors in any foreign country; is the means of transport. Luckily enough, you won’t sweat the small stuff in Lisbon. Everything has been carefully designed and picked to serve your needs. Whether you want to get lost and have fun asking directions from the locals or you prefer to look classy in a customized cab, all you got to do is choose. If you’re to blend into the Portuguese way of life, choose to use the trains and buses and you’ll surely enjoy the well-coordinated public transport.
To make sure you sleep in a comfortable hotel room that you can as well pay without complaining, make some early bookings. The cost of living is affordable but if you lose direction and find yourself renting the five-star executive hotel rooms, you’ll have to bear the cost.
When it comes to where to eat, there are several eat outs, restaurants and decent fast-food outlets where you can satiate your hunger. Some of the popular eat outs are Crisfama, Belcanto, Coimbra Taberna, Frade dos Mares, etc.
Why visit Lisbon
There are possibly a hundred plus reasons why you should pick Lisbon every time you have the option to choose one or two places to visit in Europe. Apart from the pocket-friendly cost of staying and exploring this city, there are various other reasons why Lisbon remains Europe’s dream destination. These include the friendly and welcoming people, the rich culture & traditions and of course, the numerous attractions sites.
Nothing sounds better than a chance to visit a city that’s the talk of Europe without having to overspend.
If you’re on a budget, this city doesn’t discriminate. You can always enjoy free access to public transportation, free access to approximately 25 museums, monuments, and parks provided you have a special card indicating you are a visiting tourist.
Just think of thius card as a gateway to the great outdoors without necessarly pay more that you can afford.