Ola! Portugal is home to many vibrant cities and it’s capital doesn’t disappoint. Remember to pack comfortable shoes as you’ll be going up and down hills all day in Lisbon. It sort of reminds me of a European version of San Fransisco.
Lisbon is one of the more affordable cities in Europe. You can eat a steak (with plenty of sides) for 12 euros! Their metros are fairly accessible with tickets costing 1.5 euros. Riding a tram can cost 3 euros if you buy your ticket from the tram operator however if you buy a ticket from any metro station it’ll cost 1.5.
But the best way to truly see any city is to walk! Portugal is known for their tiles and some of their buildings are covered in them. As a lover of all things playfully vibrant, I had to talk pictures of all the tiled areas we came across.
We also came across a number of different viewpoints. Most people will head to St. George castle to get a view of the city. If you’re looking for places a little less crowded however, there are multiple viewpoints across the city offering the same view without waiting in the long lines. You can visit the following for some pretty wicked views of Lisbon:
- Miradouro do Graça
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara
Besides the views check out the other attractions Lisbon has to offer.
Praca de Commercio
One of Lisbon’s most recognized plazas, it is situated right by the waterfront. If you’re in Lisbon during one the summer, its a great place to go cool down and enjoy the variety of performances from buskers. The plaza is surrounded by numerous restaurants and shops. I wouldn’t recommend eating at the restaurants no matter how enticing it looks. They overprice their foods and quality isn’t even great.
If you’re staying in the city you can take tram 15 to the Belem area, then walk 10 minutes along the coast to get to the Belem Tower. This tower was built in the 16th century by Portuguese architect Francisco de Arruda. Originally, it was used to defend the city. Now it’s one of Lisbon’s top attractions. If you go to Lisbon visiting this tower is a must! It’s a great place by the water to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. You can also go inside the tower for 6 euros (be prepared to wait in a long line). Nearby there’s also a bakery that makes the best Portuguese tarts you will ever try. Pasteis de Belem have spent years perfecting the craft of making the perfect Portuguese tarts.
Monument to the Discoveries (Padrao dos Descobrimentos)
Located off the coast of Belem and very close to the tower, the monument stands at 170 feet tall. This monument does have an observation deck at the very top (don’t worry there’s an elevator to take you up to the top). For 6 euros you get a breathtaking view of the western region of Lisbon and surrounding areas. On a clear day you could even see Pena Palace in Sintra. Instead of going inside the Belem tower I’d say go up the monument instead.
Built in the 16th century, this monastery is a classic example of Portuguese gothic architecture. It’s also located in the Belem area close to the Monument to the Discoveries (in fact I took the photo above at the monument observation deck). Unfortunately I was only able to gaze at the monastery from the outside. On the day we went there was some state event and tourist weren’t allowed inside. I would have loved to see the inside corridors!
I saw a lot of photos on Instagram of a pink street in Lisbon surrounded by vibrantly coloured buildings. So I had to add it to the itinerary. At arrival I was a little disappointed at how small the street is. The street is about 500 m in length. It’s close by the Praca de Commercio so you can make a quick stop to check it out.
Santa Just Lift
It’s an overly fancy elevator. That’s it. It connects to lower streets of Baxia to the higher grounds of Largo de Carmo. Riding the elevator is free if you have the Lisbon card, else it costs 6 euros. I opted not to ride the elevator. First off there is a massive line to get to the top so you could be waiting for at least an hour or so. Second you can get better views of the city elsewhere. Save your time and skip the lift.
Lisbon is an absolutely charming city that everyone should put on their travel list. Get lost in the alleys, marvel at the architecture and wonder why there are stores dedicated to canned tuna.