The oldest city in Western Europe and capital of Portugal, Portugal has much to offer visitors. Some of them, however, you should definitely put on your list on your next trip there.
With the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop, Lisbon is undoubtedly a unique city with beautiful buildings and picturesque rooftops. Its past is certainly charming and this is evident from the multitude of historical monuments that are everywhere. Apart from these, it is full of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, earning it the title of a vibrant city.
If you haven’t visited yet, make a reservation, grab a pencil, paper and make a note.
Admire the view from the Castelo de São Jorge
Dating back to the 6th century, it stands proudly over the city, with its 18 towers. It has managed to… stand upright after sieges, wars and earthquakes and today holds the title of the city’s most popular tourist attraction. Lisbon’s colourful past unfolds to visitors through the castle’s museum, while its stunning views of the city and the Tagus River leave everyone stunned.
Walk around the Alfama neighbourhood
Like every city, Lisbon has its most picturesque and old corner and this is none other than the Alfama neighbourhood. It’s an area that feels like it’s been left behind in time, with laundry spread out on the balconies of colourful buildings and children playing in the streets. There you will see beautiful churches and traditional tiled houses, and you can take a nice break from the modern city centre by strolling around and sampling local sweets.
Visit the Berardo Museum
From Warhol to Picasso, the museum’s collection is large, impressive and organised by Portuguese businessman and art lover Joe Berardo. Consider that a host of other cities – including Paris – have shown interest in buying the collection, but the Portuguese government is guarding it like the apple of its eye. This outstanding collection includes many works by the most important artists of the 20th century, and the best part? It’s free to visitors all year round.
Get on the Santa Justa Elevator
Looking like part of the set from a Tim Burton film, it’s an iron neo-Gothic elevator that can be easily missed, lost in the shopping streets of Lisbon. It is one of the most interesting pieces of architecture in the city, whose design was influenced by the Eiffel Tower and is used to connect the lowest and highest points of the city. When there were still horses and carts, the Santa Justa lift was used to transport goods and people around the city. Today, however, it is famous for the gorgeous view of the city that one gets if one is at the top.
Take the tram
Although all of the city’s transportation systems work flawlessly, the tram seems to steal the show with its vintage character. Apart from that, if you use it you can see Lisbon’s most important sights by passing through the centre.
Feel the fado
Fado are traditional, melancholic, Portuguese songs from the 18th century, with sentimental lyrics and Portuguese guitar, kind of like… Portugal’s blues. Passing by bars and places (such as A Baiuca or Patio de Alfama) where you will have the chance to hear them live is considered imperative and will be an intense experience you will remember forever.
Meet Parque das Nações
In stark contrast to the historic city centre, east of Lisbon you will find that there has been a lot of development and modernisation going on as far back as 1998. There you’ll find the more modern side of the Portuguese capital, as well as the Lisbon Oceanário, Europe’s largest fish aquarium, where visitors can stroll among huge fish and even sharks.
Lisbon combines the European element with the Arabic and has a curious charm. It has interesting sights, a beautiful street layout that you will particularly admire if you get as far as St. George’s Castle and is ideal for romantic getaways. For your commute, choose the picturesque yellow tram or the original Elevador de Santa Justa, which will take you up the hill to the upscale Bairro Alto & Chiado district to sip coffee or enjoy dinner in beautiful restaurants. Interesting is also the walk in the Arabic quarter Alfama, which will give you a strong taste of Arabic influences and colonies.
Lisbon airport (LIS). It was renovated in 2008 and provides excellent travel services to passengers in transit.
Transport from Lisbon airport
You can get to the city centre by bus (Aerobus or Aeroshuttle), paying €1.30 for a journey of about 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can choose a lisbon airport taxi (costing around 10 euros) or a lisbon airport rental car. Touristorama has secured the lowest prices on the market for car rental in Lisbon, in order to give you the necessary independence to see the best of the Portuguese city.