Visiting Lisbon - What to See and Do
(Lisbon Portela Airport LIS, Portugal)
The city of seven hills, as Lisbon
(Lisboa) is commonly known, is the capital of Portugal
and one of the Iberian Peninsula's best year-round destinations. Blanketed by a host of traditional limestone structures and sporadically dotted with pockets of modernity, this is a city of amazing tourism wealth. Even though the city is Portugal's main international gateway, the sights of Lisbon demand part of the country's tourism limelight.
Blessed with an array of historic alleyways, structures and attractions, Lisbon is the perfect city to sightsee ancient, medieval and modern landmarks. Rossio Square is likely to be the first landmark visited in the capital. It is the largest and most inspiring square in Portugal, with plenty of sightseeing options nearby. These include the National Theatre de Maria and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
The city's secret weapon is its nightlife. Tourists who don't mind stepping out on the town will be enchanted by Lisbon's astonishing rave parties, clubs and live music scenes. The Bairro Alto neighbourhood is the best option for night clubbers. However, Santos, Alcantara and the castle region also provide services for late-night hawkers looking to dance until the morning.
Ten things you must do in Lisbon
- Visiting the Portuguese capital without spending time in Rossio would be a travesty. This is the main public square in the city and a popular attraction where you can simply sit, watch the world go around and enjoy the thriving city of Lisbon. The square is even more enjoyable in the evening, when the fountain and surrounding plaza light up each night.
- Discover what all the fuss is about with the Aqueduto das Aguas Livres. This 18-km / 11-mile long aquaduct is one of the most remarkable medieval aquaducts in the world. The structure was built in the 18th century and still stands as one of the most alluring features of Portuguese architecture today. It is part of the Water Museum, so plenty of information is readily on hand.
- St. George's Castle is a short stroll from the centre of Lisbon. It is found on the hill overlooking the historic neighbourhood of Alfama and provides panoramic views of the capital. Open every day of the week, the castle does change its opening time between summer and winter. Tourists will also be amazed at the tremendous architecture on display when uncovering this beautiful site.
- Tourists should ride the Santa Justa Elevator, which is one of the most important historic attractions in the capital of Portugal. It began serving locals in 1902, and 100 years later, it was classified by the government as a national monument. It is found in the downtown district of the city, where it connects the Trinidade area. Great views of the surrounding area can be seen while visiting and experiencing this lift.
- Take a journey back in time on Tram 28. This is one of the oldest remaining historical trams in the city. In addition to its historical facade and 'sound', this old tram also passes through the Old Town region of Lisbon. The entire ride takes about 30 minutes, and even though the trip is worth any price, tickets are inexpensive.
- The Jardim Zoologico is the main zoo in Portugal's capital. Therefore, the entrance tickets are somewhat pricey. Nevertheless, for those tourists who enjoy witnessing something new and exciting, this park has what it takes to impress. Exotic animals are showcased daily, including sea lions and dolphins. From most areas around Lisbon, buses can take visitors directly to the Jardim Zoologico.
- For a taste of fresh air and relaxation, take a stroll through the Lisbon Botanical Gardens. This garden park is one of the treasures of Portugal. The site was established by the King of Portugal at the time, with the theme of 'discoveries' racing through his mind. Many weird yet intriguing floral species are on display at this important horticultural attraction. Perhaps the best feature is the filtering of the city's chaotic sounds.
- Shopaholics cannot miss Armazens do Chiado, one of the largest malls in Portugal and one of the most popular. Tourists will have to navigate the young crowds that flock here, but spending a day inside the shopping mall won't disappoint. The top floor also boasts impressive restaurants, cafés and spectacular views of the downtown area of Lisbon.
- Visitors to Lisbon simply have to go clubbing. The Bairro Alto area is the perfect place to enjoy a night out. Its small winding streets are bustling with bars and pubs, although only to 02:00 during week nights. Thankfully, the nightclubs surrounding these bars and pubs remain open until the sun comes up.
- The Feira da Ladra is the city's answer to bargain shopping. Held every Tuesday and Saturday from 05:00 to 18:00, this refreshing open-air flea market has been around since the 17th century. Bargain hunters will need to massage those tired sightseeing legs, as a day at the Feira da Ladra won't make them feel any better.