With a unique blend of strong heritage and progressivism, Lisbon, Portugal´s capital, brings a charm and wonder few cities can compete with. From the lively side streets of the various districts to vast historical monuments, there’s a little something for everyone. Here are our top picks of things to see while in Lisbon.
This former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome is also known as Hieronymites Monastery. It is currently over 500 years old and was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In addition to being able to take in the breathtaking exterior, you can purchase tickets to get a glimpse inside the Monastery.
While you´re there make sure to head next door to Pasteis de Belem, a bakery that has become famous for its “pastel de nata”. These delectable treats are made using a secret ancient recipe that originated in Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. (Red Route, Stop #15).
This grand tower sits on the banks of the Tagus River and is the only other site in Lisbon classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed way back in 1514, the tower was intended to protect the city from unwelcomed visitors coming up the river. Nowadays, it is a symbol of the discoveries Portugal made in the Era of Discovery. Buying a ticket for the tower is also a great way to take in the unreal views of the Tagus. (Red Route, Stop #13)
Lisbon is a gorgeous city and if you are looking for a place to get some of the most impressive views, look no further than the Castelo de San Jorge, a castle dating back to the 6th century. Admire the awe-inspiring views before touring the former fortress. Make sure to get tickets early, as this is Lisbon’s most popular tourist attraction. Tip: head to the castle at sunset for the best views!
The National Tile Museum is dedicated entirely to “azulejo” or ceramic tiles. In addition to its exhibitions about the history and heritage of tile art in Portugal, the museum also features ceramics, porcelain, and faience. The building itself is full of history and is a former convent. Taking a stroll through the museum will leave you amazed as you will uncover all the work that goes into such an interesting artform! (Blue Route, Stop #10)
Bairro Alto is so much more than a picturesque historic district. Even though the area dates back to the 1500s it’s famous for its present-day nightlife. Bairro Alto has a little something for everyone, and at all hours of the day, you can find people of all ages enjoying themselves. It’s filled with cute cafes where you can sit outside and enjoy the quiet streets and beautiful art during the day. Then at night the streets truly come alive as people pack in to enjoy all the best bars, clubs, and live music the city has to offer. (Blue Route, Stop #3)
6. Praça do Comércio
A prime example of the resilience of Lisbon, Commerce Square, was completely destroyed in the 1755 Earthquake. However, reconstruction and remodeling began immediately after. It is now considered to be a symbol of the city and the grandest square in all of Lisbon.
From the square, you can access several other attractions including the famous Arco da Rua Augusta and statues of various important historical figures. (Blue Route, Stop #6 and Red Route, Stop #20)
7. Marqûes de Pombal
Part of Lisbon’s charm is its ability to blend its rich history with a modern touch, and Marques de Pombal Square is a great example of just how the city does that! Considered to be the center of modern Lisbon, the square is known for being a peaceful place to take a break from the chaos of the city. It’s surrounded by small cafes, corporate headquarters, and famous 5-star hotels. It is also close to Eduardo VII Park, which is the largest in the city. It truly is a great place to get a comprehensive feel of the city! (Blue Route, Stop #1 and Red Route, Stop #6)