15 Things You Shouldn’t Miss If You Come Visit Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is located on the western Iberian Peninsula, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, in what is known as the Western European Atlantic Subregion.
Its surface area is 371,90 km² (143 sq mi). Lisbon is a great place to visit, but there are so many things that people don't know it has to offer. From the expanse of colorful tiles that adorn the city's buildings to the stately monuments and museums, Lisbon has enough culture to fill an encyclopedia!
Here are 15 things you should do in Lisbon if you want to get the most out of your trip. In this article, we will not only explore Lisbon's famous attractions but also some of its lesser-known ones that should not be missed!
1) Enjoy The Art
Lisbon is famed for its art and culture.
With a number of iconic museums that are must-visits if you're visiting, most notably the National Museum of Ancient Art and Archaeology, the Museum of Portuguese Royal Decorative Arts, and the Masterpiece, among others. The city is home to more than 20 museums showcasing art from diverse periods in history. In addition to centuries-old galleries, many modern art spaces have been built along the banks of the Tagus River.
2) Enjoy Lisbon Oceanarium
The Lisbon Oceanarium is a fantastic way to explore the wonders of the sea both inside and out, while learning more about our environment and becoming inspired to take better care of the precious resources that make our earth such a beautiful place.
You can view everything from the viewpoint of marine life to exploring under the water to exhibits about how they can keep their oceans healthier for generations to come.
3) Eat Lisbon’s Food
Have a meal at one of the many food stands on Praça do Comércio o Mercado de Ribeira, where you can find traditional dishes from all over Portugal and seafood from across Europe.
Go to a fado bar in Praça do Comércio o Mercado da Ribeira. Fado is a type of Portuguese song with accompanying guitar, and its lyrics are about the daily life of the poor in Lisbon's old districts. Some of them may be sad or even depressing, but they always have a certain something that makes you want to listen closely.
4) Visit Ajuda Palace
The Ajuda Palace in Lisbon, Portugal offers a tour of this magnificent palace and its gardens that showcase Portuguese art and architecture in the best way possible.
The building was originally a royal residence commissioned by King Charles I of Portugal. It is a prime example of the Anglo-Dutch architectural style which combines elements from two vastly different cultures.
Visit Ajuda Palace in Alfama for a tour that offers insight into Portugal's royal history and home life during the time when it was ruled by the House of Braganza.
Ajuda Palace was a royal palace in the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon, Portugal. It served as a summer retreat for the Portuguese Kings. Though largely demolished, it is worth visiting for its courtyard and spectacular views of the city from its belvedere.
5) See the botanical gardens
Lisbon is full of beautiful botanical gardens.
But Jardim da Estrela (aka Garden of Stars) is unmistakable due to its collection of brightly colored Musaceae trees.
With its beautifully manicured lawns and vibrant colors, it has managed to stand out among Lisbon's other botanical gardens.
6) Stop by Parque Eduardo VII
It is a gorgeous and fully-equipped park with over 200 different tree and plant species from all around the world.
The park has a variety of attractive features such as outdoor cafes, some of which come equipped with live music; an amphitheater with stunning views; and an outdoor theater for cultural events.
The park features many sculptures, with a statue of King Louis I at its center, as well as a fountain and some prettily planted trees.
In addition to being beautiful, the park also features various monuments dedicated to Portuguese military glory. One such monument is that of the Monumento às Forças Armadas Portuguesas (Monument to the Portuguese Armed Forces). This monument was erected in honor of Portuguese soldiers who fought for democracy during World War II."
The park also hosts regular musical concerts, theater performances and art exhibitions.
7) Take a day trip to Lisbon
Consider taking a day trip to the Lisbon area, in Portugal.
You'll be able to see the Real Palace, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region and is only a few minutes from downtown Lisbon by bus!
Don’t forget to visit the MEO Arena or Estadio da Luz during your day trip. If you want to see a soccer game, come to Lisbon and see a match at one of the two stadiums here, either the MEO Arena or Estadio da Luz.
They're both fairly close together so you can easily walk between them during your visit, but they are different experiences with different atmospheres.
The MEO Arena is great for watching basketball games
8) Visit Garden of António Augusto César do Carmo
If you visit during the day, then make sure to stop by the Museum and Garden of António Augusto César do Carmo for a glimpse into Portuguese history through its vast collection of art and artifacts.
9) Do hiking
The Jerónimos Monastery is a historic monastery that was completed in the late fifteenth century and is perched on top of a steep hill overlooking Lisbon.
It's an amazing example of medieval architecture blended with both Renaissance and Manueline style, and it's worth the effort to hike up its steep hill.
10) Make your way to Belém
For an experience that combines the best of Portuguese architecture with a beautiful church and intricately detailed pavilion, make your way to Belém.
Discover ornate Baroque-style churches, Jesuit ruins, and the former Portuguese monarchs’ palace.
You can also take in the view of the docks from one of Belém’s viewpoints.Pérolas de CastroPérolas de Castro is a small fishing village with a long history. This seaside town on Portugal’s Atlantic coast has preserved its centuries-old charm while still embracing modernity.
11) Attend outdoor concerts
Catch one of the free outdoor concerts performed by musicians on Praça do Comércio every Sunday around 6:30pm.
This is a great place to experience all kinds of Portuguese guitar, flute, and mandolin music. Walk around Pça do Comércio at night to see the many street performers, who give impromptu concerts for passersby.
There's usually an accordion playing as well as some sort of sound effects and/or live drumming.
12) Wander around in Lisbon’s Castle District
Stroll around Lisbon's Castle District in Bairro Alto and take in the stunning views with a drink or bite to eat at one of the many cafes. and restaurants.
Visit the nearby UNESCO-listed Jerónimos Monastery, find a cafe for lunch, then head to Lisbon's shopping district of Praça do Comércio.
Have a drink at the rooftop bar of The Copacabana Palace Hotel with stunning views over the Tagus River.
13) Visit the stunning Moorish-style Rossio train station
Explore its stunning architectural beauty before hopping on a Metro to the city center of Lisbon.
The Moorish-style Rossio train station is the main terminal of Lisbon’s public transportation system. The station has undergone many renovations and retrofitting projects since its opening in 1944.
Today, it continues to serve as a major transport hub with six platforms, three of which are underground.
As one of the oldest railway stations in Europe, it was an important building that played an important role during World War II when trains were used to transport Jews to concentration camps until they were finally rescued by allied troops.
14) Explore Royal history
Go for it for a tour that offers insight into Portugal's royal history and home life during the time when it was ruled by the House of Braganza.
Alfama is a great place to visit if you want to go back in history, going all the way back to the 13th century! Its narrow streets are expectedly winding in an incredible maze and it has been at the center of many important events that have shaped Lisbon's royal history.
It was where many medieval nobles from the Algarve settled after escaping from Muslim occupation, where Prince Henry (the Navigator) was born and raised, where Lisbon would be invaded for four centuries, and finally where its most famous king John IV died.
15) Explore the Santo Antonio de Padua Church
This church houses an intricate and iconic history.
This church is centered on the most famous saint in Brazil, St. Anthony of Padua, which is represented by a statue on one of the pillars in front of the church.
The cathedral was built in 1787 from a blend of European and Brazilian styles with a neoclassical entrance portal, Italian-style towers, and a rococo altar
If you're visiting Lisbon and looking for some things to do, this list will hopefully give you some ideas.
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