Lisbon is a great city for a short visit and there are countless places to visit in Lisbon rich with history and cultural heritage, it’s a wonderful place to spend a few days.
The city of Lisbon has good weather, festivals all year long that feature dancing and feasting, many historical landmarks, excellent cuisine, horse riding, water sports including scuba diving and surfing, and more. The best part of all, for many, is that the prices are more affordable than in most other countries.
All-Time Favorite Places to Visit in Lisbon, Portugal.
One of the best views of the capital Lisbon is from the Castelo de Sao Jorge in the Alfama district. This was a castle and then a defensive position that was built over 1,000 years ago and where the beginnings of Lisbon were born. Destroyed along with much of the city in 1755, in 1938 the castle was restored.
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest quarter and is a village inside the city. It has narrow medieval lanes with taverns, hidden churches, small squares, steep staircases, and an old tram that goes through the streets.
The Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon features Egyptian sculptures, ancient paintings, and is free to visitors on Sundays.
The Tile Museum features a collection of decorative tiles and tile paintings that date back to the 15th century.
Less than two hours from Lisbon is the small village of Obidos which was given by King Dinis to his new wife, Isabel, as a wedding gift. The former Queen’s castle has been converted and, for an expensive amount of money, you can stay there. There is also an 18th-century manor house located in the village.
Estoril, a short distance from Lisbon on the Atlantic coast, has a world-famous car and motorcycle racetrack.
The Conimbriga Ruins is one of the country’s oldest attractions and takes you back to the Roman times with portrayals of Greek mythological characters and fascinating mosaics.
The Convent of Christ in Tomar’s superb buildings were occupied by the Knights Templar dating back to medieval times.
Five unmissable sights in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon
During your stay in your Lisbon, there are a few things that it would be a real shame to miss. The city has some picturesque vistas, stunning ancient relics and outstanding cultural sights that will make your trip to Lisbon special.
No matter how long you spend, make sure you take the time to see these attractions on your trip.
Elevador Santa Justa
With its foot in the Baixa and head poking up in the Bairro Alto, “Elevador Santa Justa” is a stunning gothic landmark in the heart of Lisbon. The fancy ironwork architecture of the tower houses an elevator originally powered by steam when it was first opened at the turn of the 20th century, now run with electricity.
The vast majority of the original fixtures remain, including the lifting gear operated with a lever by a skilled attendant who ensures the lift lands precisely at the platform.
Once at the top of the lift, you can walk up the steep filigree staircase to the viewing platform at the top for stunning panoramas of the city. It’s pretty during the day, but if you have the chance it’s even better after dark when you can see the castle and Sé cathedral beautifully lit on the other side of the valley.
One aspect of Lisbon that visitors will notice about Lisbon is that the name Vasco da Gama crops up everywhere. The most famous son of Lisbon, da Gama crossed the seas to India where he established trade routes and a colony on the Western coastal state of Goa.
Panorama of Jeronimos Monastery
The monastery is da Gama’s final resting place, built in honor of his voyage in 1502 on a grand scale. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the monastery is a triumph of gothic Manueline architecture, with the cloisters a particular feature. Each pillar in this area of the monastery has intricate carvings of coiled ropes, sea-monsters and other sea-faring motifs in celebration of da Gama’s successful voyage.
Another World Heritage site, built in the same period and the same Manueline style as the Jeronimos Monastery, the Bélem Tower was built in the sixteenth century as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s busy harbor.
The architecture of the monument is spectacular in itself, but also affords stunning views across the estuary on which Lisbon sits. If you manage to visit on a clear day, you can see for miles around to the Monument to Christ, similar to the Christ the Redeemer monument in Brazil’s capital, Rio de Janeiro.
In the basin created by the two hills on which Lisbon is built, Restauradores Square is a flat, formal square built to commemorate liberation from 60 years of Spanish rule in 1640. The patterned paving surrounds a large obelisk bearing two bronze figures depicting Victory and Freedom.
There are lots of restaurants and cafes around the periphery of the square, and it’s a lovely place to spend a pleasant afternoon, watching people go by. Visitors are highly recommended to try and find an apartment near to Restauradores Square as this location is central and vibrates the atmosphere of the city.
The Number 28 Tram
Less a sight, more sight-seeing, the 28 Tram is a ready-made tour through the oldest parts of Lisbon on one of the oldest modes of transport. With 50 tram cars from the turn of the 20th century decked out in the wood with rattly old windows, this is probably the most picturesque way to see the narrow, steep streets leading up to the Basilica and Sé Cathedral. Pick it up on the Martim Moniz and stay on around the circular route, or hop off for a wander and get on the next one as the fancy takes you.
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