Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is one of Europe’s top destinations to visit. Lisbon is a lively and colourful capital with an authentic charm and is ideal for those who like to stroll the streets. If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Lisbon, just remember the city averages 290 sunny days a year. However it’s best to book for September or October as you’ll find cheap flights to Lisbon and avoid the peak of the tourist season. Lisbon is also known as a Barista city, birthplace of Fado (traditional Portuguese folk music). For this article we’ll look at some of the best places to visit in Lisbon and the top things to do while you’re there.
The Praça do Comércio (The Commerce Square), also known as Terreiro do Paço, is one of the largest squares in Lisbon. This square is located in front of the Tagus River and is the symbol of the city, it is also the gateway to downtown Lisboeta, where you will find shops, restaurants and street artists.
Going to Lisbon and not tasting the Pastel de Nata is like going to Rome and not trying the pasta. Pastel de Nata is a sweet Portuguese egg tart pastry and is well known across the world. It’s made all over Portugal but the secret Pastel de Nata recipe comes from Belém, the parish of Lisbon. A little tip, add some cinnamon on top of the pastry, taste it, and be happy!
The best known Lisbon neighborhoods are Alfama, Mouraria, Bairro Alto, Chiado and Graça. Here you can mingle with the local and head to small taverns where you can taste the best traditional dishes of the city. It was in these neighborhoods that the traditional Fado music was born (made famous by artists such as Amália Rodrigues), and where today you can hear this Portuguese musical style in a fado bar. When it’s time for the St. Anthony's day festival (13 June), it’s in these neighborhoods that the best events are hosted. Traditional Portuguese grilled sardines take center stage here!
Chiado is the most chic area of downtown Lisbon, it is an important commercial center of the city and is where “Café A Brasileira” a historic coffee house know for hosting some of Portugal’s greatest writers over the years such as the renowned poet Fernando Pessoa.
There are several viewpoints where you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Lisbon. We advise you to take a stroll to the Torel viewpoint, Graça viewpoint, Senhora do Monte viewpoint, Portas do Sol viewpoint and Eduardo VII Park viewpoint.
The Torre de Belém is a great architectural symbol of Portugal, is close to the Jerónimos Monastery and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. To go to the Tower, you have to cross a small bridge that connects the Tower to the beach. Inside the Belém Tower you can visit the Palácio do Governador (Governor’s hall), the Audience Hall, the Hall of the Rios and the Chapel. In the highest part you are present with a stunning view of the Tagus River.
The Jerónimos Monastery is one of the most visited attractions in Portugal, inside it are the tombs of Camões and Vasco da Gama. Upon entering, you will be able to visit the church, and the cloister on the outside. A single ticket costs on average € 10.
The Lisbon Oceanarium is situated in Lisbon’s National Park, a super modern region of the city, next to the Tagus River. Next to the Oceanarium you can ride a cable car and get to know the upper town, for those who like to go shopping, next to it is the Vasco da Gama shopping mall, opposite the gare do Oriente. The Lisbon Oceanarium is the second largest aquarium in Europe, so you’ll be spoiled for choice with the thousands of species of ocean-dwellers on display here.
The Cais de Sodré is a super colorful and modern area in Lisbon, known for it’s incredible "Street Art" style. Stroll along the quay, visit the Cais do Sodré station, go to Ribeira Market and eat at the Time Out Market. Here you can find several buzzing restaurants, bars and relaxing areas all located within the market. Cais do Sodré is also the meeting place for many locals before they begin their nights out.
Eduardo VII Park is in front of the Marquês de Pombal Square, while strolling in this park will contemplate the beautiful view of the river Tagus. Enjoy relaxing and get yourself an ice cream. Nearby is the famous Avenida da Liberdade with several luxurious shops.
In the Lisbon area you can take a dip or soak in the sun. We recommend Guincho beach in Cascais, Tamariz beach in Estoril and Carcavelos beach, which are some of the best beachs near Lisbon.
These are our tips for you to enjoy your stay in Lisbon! If you want to travel Portugal you can hire a motorhome in Lisbon and set off to explore all this sunny nation has to offer.
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