Lisbon is one of those European cities that cannot be visited in one day. It takes a little more time to see all its monuments and attractions. Although it is not the largest capital of Europe, you can go sightseeing on foot.
Lisbon is the perfect city for this type of walking tourism and discovering its picturesque nooks and monuments. Located on seven hills, the city will test your condition well and help in forming shapely calves.
So let’s start exploring Lisbon with our tourist guide and find all interesting places, tourist attractions and monuments.
Torre de Belem
The symbol of Lisbon and one of its major attractions is the Belem Tower – Torre de Belem. This is proof of the former glory of Portugal, when great explorers set off on their expeditions.
The tower belonged to the city’s fortifications and served as a port watchtower.
It was built of Manueline marble and is its best-preserved example to this day. For this reason, in 1983 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Richly decorated with towers and balconies, it makes an impression. Interestingly, it was built in the middle of the Tagus riverbed, but after the earthquake of 1755, the river changed course and now the tower stands on its right bank.
Today, it is a must see point for tourists, but in addition to its defensive function, it was also a prison and armory for some time, or even a toll point for vessels entering Lisbon.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Another object very characteristic for the capital of Portugal is the Jeronimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, lying nearby the Belem Tower.
It got its name from the monks who took care of this complex – the order of St. Jerome. This is another building inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, located in the Belem district.
It was created thanks to the influence of trade in spices and was to be proof of the maritime power of the Portuguese and an expression of gratitude for the successful trip to India Vasco da Gama.
The monastery was built for over 100 years and is another example of Manueline style art. Rich floral and marine motifs were placed on Gothic-Renaissance walls.
In addition to the tombs of the kings, here are the tombstones of Vasco da Gama and the famous Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and writer Luis de Camoes.
It is worth knowing from modern history that it was in this monastery complex in 2007 that the treaty reforming the European Union, later called the Lisbon Treaty, was signed.
Visiting Lisbon you cannot miss the attraction that is Monument of Discoverers !
Padrao dos Descobrimentos
The third tourist attraction located near the monastery and tower is the equally famous Monument of Discoverers – Padrao dos Descobrimentos.
It is to commemorate all the great geographical explorers. On the monument, which resembles the bow of the ship, there are statues of Henry the Navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, and King Manuel I the Fortunate.
At the very top there is an observation deck with an elevator, and at its feet there is a marble mosaic with a map of the world and routes that the great explorers sailed. It was donated by the South African government in 1960.
What about churches and other religious monuments in Lisbon?
Se Patriarcal de Lisboa
When it comes to religious buildings in Lisbon, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Se Patriarcal de Lisboa, simply called Se, definitely deserves attention.
Built in 1150 on the site of the Moorish mosque, one of the prettiest religious buildings in all of Lisbon is a real mix of Romanesque (outside) and Rococo (inside) architectural styles.
Visiting the cathedral is of course free, only for entering the treasury with the relics of St. Vincent and the cloisters you have to pay a fee.
Igreja de Sao Roque
Remaining on the subject of sacred monuments, the Church of Saint Roch – Igreja de Sao Roque is also worth visiting.
This inconspicuous from the outside church hides a rich interior. At one time its chapel of St. John the Baptist was the most expensive construction set with precious stones and transported straight from Rome. The church of Roch was the only one that did not suffer during the largest earthquake of 1755.
Currently, there is also a museum of sacred art.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Noteworthy is also Castelo de Sao Jorge, located on the highest hill in Lisbon and thus hard to miss. This is an example of a building dating back to the 12th century, erected by the Moors. Over the years, renovated and rebuilt, it was particularly badly hit by the earthquake in 1755.
Castle of st. George served not only as the seat of the royal court, but also in later years as a prison and barracks. Currently, it is an excellent vantage point for the entire capital.
It’s still not everything. Lisbon hides other attractions and interesting places.
A unique and rare monument are the Lisbon elevators, built to improve communication between streets located at different heights.
Elevador de Santa Justa
One of the better known and eagerly visited by tourists is the Saint Justine’s Elevator – Elevador de Santa Justa.
It is the only elevator that transports residents and guests vertically (the others operate as cable cars). Its construction was made of cast iron in the neo-Gothic style, and its designer was a student of Gustave Eiffel – Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, which explains a lot when looking at this work.
This more than a century old St. Justine Elevator connects the Baxia district with Chiado. At the top of the structure there are two observation terraces from which you can admire the city panorama.
And here the rope and rail lifts mentioned earlier:
Igreja de Sao Domingos
In addition, it is also worth visiting the church of St. Dominic – Igreja de Sao Domingos, which is not only interesting in terms of the structure itself, but also the fact that after the fire of 1959, only part of the church’s interior was renovated. Then you can see this amazing effect.
Casa dos Bicos
An interesting monument is also the House of Spikes – Casa dos Bicos. It is distinguished by a facade decorated with diamond-shaped stone pyramids that look like spikes.
The house was from the beginning in the hands of the family of the Governor of Portuguese Indies, now it is the seat of one of the foundations.
The National Pantheon in Lisbon, in turn, is an unfinished church, which has been converted into the burial place of eminent Portuguese citizens. Here are the graves and symbolic sarcophagi of, for example, Henry the Navigator, politicians, writers, artists, and famous sailors. This building is distinguished by a substantial baroque white dome, on which there is another observation deck.
These are not the only attractions in Lisbon. See what other interesting places you can visit while in this city.
Museums in Lisbon are attractions for tourists, among which certainly everyone will find something for themselves.
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
The most recommended is definitely the Azulejos Ceramic Tile Museum – Museu Nacional do Azulejo, dedicated to this traditional Portuguese ceramics.
Throughout the city, a trained eye can catch mosaics made of these tiles, but the museum can see the development of this Portuguese glaze and terracotta over the years.
The museum has a rich collection of azulejos tiles. The second noteworthy building is the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum with a collection of ancient and oriental art. This is the private collection of lawyer Calouste Gulbenkian, made available for admiring after his death.
The whole is divided into two parts: older (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek or Roman) and art from the 11th to 20th century from Europe (painting, sculpture, furniture).
In addition, in Lisbon there are noteworthy museums: the National Carriage Museum, Museum of Old Art, Maritime Museum, the interesting Fado Museum and the Water Museum, showing the history of Lisbon’s supply of this valuable substance.
Another attraction is definitely a ride associated with Lisbon, a characteristic yellow tram. It is a normal means of transport in the capital, but crowded with tourists. The most famous tram line is number 28, because of the route itself, which leads past most tourist attractions.
Its route leads through popular Lisbon districts such as Alfama, to the Baixa and Bairro Alto districts, passing the Se Cathedral, the Portas do Sol viewpoint and Rua Augusta street.
Feirra da Ladra
An interesting attraction may also be a visit to the Thieves Market – Feirra da Ladra, where antiques are now traded. Its name is associated with ancient times, when at this place there were not always legal transactions. It is now a flea market with its peculiar atmosphere.
Lookouts in Lisbon
Being in Lisbon is also impossible not to see one of the really many viewpoints. The city’s location on the hills naturally offers places with excellent views of the capital.
One of the most popular is the Portas do Sol viewpoint – Miradouro das Portas do Sol called the Sun Gate Terrace in Alfama, where there is probably the most postcard view of red roofs, churches, Vasco da Gama Bridge and the other bank of the Tagus River.
Nearby is the less frequented Santa Lucia viewpoint – Miradouro de Santa Luzia from which we will see a wall of azulejos tiles, the nearby Santa Luzia church. Good photos can also be taken from Miradouro de Graca (the best panorama of the city), or Miradouro da Senhora do Monte or Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcantara.
What to see in Lisbon besides the attractions mentioned above?
It’s definitely worth going for a walk in the historic and old neighborhoods of Lisbon – it’s the only way to empathize with their specific atmosphere, and it’s completely free.
Alfama – the oldest part of the Portuguese capital offers not only picturesque nooks, but also plenty of places with excellent food and the opportunity to become familiar with fado music.
In turn, Baxia is a more cosmopolitan district of Lisbon with its famous squares: Praca dos Restauradores, Rossio and Comercio. Chiado is the cultural heart of Lisbon, it is here that you find theaters, bookstores and literary cafes.
The Belem district with its monuments from the UNESCO list also attracts with the famous pudding cookies – Pasteis de Belem, beloved by the tourists.
Parks in Lisbon
In the capital of Portugal you will also find green places – the parks in Lisbon are attractive and offer great views.
The largest of them has as much as ten square kilometers – Monsanto Park, in turn for postcard photos go to Edward VII Park. The biggest attraction, however, is a visit to the Jardim de Estrela garden with its exotic vegetation, a pond where you can feed the ducks and a pavilion where concerts take place in summer.
The remnant of the 1998 Expo is the Park of Nations in the Oriente district, which includes exhibition areas, fountains, a marina and a shopping center. However, the biggest attraction of this place is undeniably the Oceanarium.
The Lisbon Oceanarium is great entertainment for both couples and entire families. This place designed by American Peter Chermayeff is to this day the largest oceanarium in Europe – apparently 8,000 marine animals live in it.
It is divided into four smaller aquariums with fauna and flora of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Antarctic Oceans and a main tank with a capacity of 5 million liters with tuna and sharks.
The latter can be admired from two floors – the ground floor and the first floor.
An attraction of the Lisbon Oceanarium is also the opportunity to watch the lives of penguins, otters and entire schools of exotic fish. The facility is also aware of how important the oceanic ecosystem is to our existence.
There are still some attractions that are worth seeing in Lisbon.
Bridges in Lisbon
Quite a peculiar attraction of Lisbon are two bridges – Vasco da Gama and the bridge on April 25.
Both are impressive with their size.
Vasco da Gama Bridge – Ponte Vasco da Gama was created to relieve the bridge on April 25. It connects the capital with the town of Montijo, on the other bank of the Tagus river. It is over 17 kilometers long, but is not open to pedestrians.
It is so durable that it is expected to last 120 years, a hurricane of 250 km/h and an earthquake.
The bridge on April 25 – Ponte 25 de Abri, however, is much more popular among tourists, as it visually resembles the Golden Gate of San Francisco.
It connects Almada with Lisbon and one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. The object is over two kilometers long, has six lanes and two railway lines. Its name is intended to commemorate the carnation revolution – the overthrow of the dictatorship in Portugal.
Lisbon is an interesting city. See for yourself:
Tourists often wonder if Lisbon will reveal its secrets in 3 days. As we mentioned at the beginning, we think so! Even a weekend spent in this city is enough to visit interesting places.
Let us know what your opinions about attractions and monuments in Lisbon are. Let us know where the queues are, how, where and when it is best to buy a ticket and in what order to include all the places of interest.