Why should Lisbon be on your Bucket List? In this blog we will inform you about the city and tell you everything why you should go once in your life! Lisbon is perfect for just a citytrip, but also a famous place for students to study or work. EnjoyApartments offers apartments for short and long rent. You will love this city!
25 TOP SIGHTS YOU NEED TO VISIT
1. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
This is the most famous monastery in Lisbon. The monastery contains graves of famous explorers like Vasco de Gama and members of the Royal Family. When you go inside, you will be amazed. The inside is full with European and Moorish motifs. Next to the monastery there is an impressive square called Praca do Imperio. It is 280×280 meters with a garden of 3.300 m2 in the middle, with a large fountain in it, a very beautiful view!
2. Rua Augusta
When you walk through the shopping centre of Portugal, you walk through a very lively and famous pedestrian street. You will recognize this place by its big Arco Triunfal, also called Rua Augusta Arch. This is a historic building with a triumphal arch and in commemoration of the earthquake in 1755. This shopping area is known for being chic, with very nice mosaic tiled sidewalks. There are also a lot of cozy terraces and sometimes you will see street artists. This is quite an experience!
3. Castelo de São Jorge
This beautiful castle is located on the highest hill in the center of Lisbon. When you are at this place, you will have a beautiful view all over the city. Ducks wander through the gardens around this nice castle. You can also make contact with the locals here, they also like to stay at this place.
4. Torre de Belém
The tower of Belém is located in the neighbourhood Belém of Lisbon. This used to be a ceremonial access road to Lisbon, but now it is a tourist attraction for its beautiful appearance. This tower from 1515 is a work of art in the Manueline style. In some places in this tower you also will find features of Islamic and Moorish architecture.
5. Bairro Alto
This is the most popular place in Lisbon for students to go out and go shopping. The tall buildings and narrow streets make for a wonderful stroll through the shade-filled streets of this area. In the evening the bars, restaurants and clubs are crowded. You just need to go and enjoy the friendly Portuguese vibe!
6. Praça do Comércio
One of the highlights of Lisbon is this plaza. It is a very touristic place with a lot of activity of buses and trams. As a visitor, there is a lot for you to see and do. There are the panoramic views from the top of Arco da Rua Augusta, there is the informative Lisboa Story Centre of wine tasting at Vinhos de Portugal. The plaza also boasts numerous fine restaurants, including Lisbon’s oldest restaurant; The Martinho da Acarda, which dates from 1782.
7. Padrão dos Descobrimentos
This bold and imposing monument located on the banks of Tejo Estuary is the most powerful seafaring nation of the era of the 15 and 16th-century Portuguese explorers and visionaries. It is 52 meter tall and this stunning monument was designed to commemorate the Age of Discoveries in Portugal. The tribute is located on the coast of Belém and Jerónimos Monastery. We recommend you visit the observation deck on the top of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. You can take the elevator upstairs.
8. Santa Justa Lift
This Elevator is a unique tourist attraction. This 19th century industrial age marvel transports passengers up 45 meters from the Baixa district to the Largo do Carmo. The viewing platform at the top Elevador de Santa Justa is one of the most romantic locations in Lisbon, especially at night. The viewing platform was the original location of the steam engine which powered the lift. The steam engine did not raise the lift directly, but pumped water into two tanks held below the two cabins, which were connected by a steel cable. As the pumped water increased the weight of the upper cabin it raised the lower cabin, and the speed was controlled by mechanical brakes. This steam engine was replaced by an electric engine in 1907.
9. Oceanário de Lisboa
This is the second largest (!) aquarium in Europe. It contains more than 15.000 creatures from over 450 different species. This building is one of the most eye-catching in the Park of Nations. So the whole experience of this trip will be a highlight during your visit in Lisbon. The oceanarium has two floors, and everything rotates around a huge central aquarium. The largest aquarium is probably the most impressive part of the Oceanarium. It houses hundreds of species, including several types of sharks, stingrays, manta rays and colourful tropical fish. This spot is also a great trip for families with children!
10. Lisbon Cathedral
This is the most important religious building in the city. The exterior of the grand old church resembles more that of a fortification than a religious centre. With massive solid walls and two imposing clock towers. The religious sections of the cathedral are open to the public everyday from 7AM till 7PM. A lovely place to visit if you love history and religions.
11. Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
If you love museums, this is the perfect one for you! This museum is one of the world’s great museums and one of Europe’s unsung treasures. It houses a magnificent collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian and European art. It was substantially renovated and modernized in 2001 (many of its masterpieces were on display in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art during renovation), and can’t be missed during a visit to Lisbon!
All the girls, put your hands up! This is the trendy shopping and dining area in Lisbon situated in a redeveloped 19th century industrial site. Former textile warehouses and printing factories have been transformed into design offices, artists’ studios and hipster stores with colorful street art plastered on the walls. LxFactory is home to a variety of hipster stores and restaurants. Think sushi, tattoos and fashionable British home furnishings sharing space with IT and advertising offices all packed into a fun post-industrial stage set. LxFactory is a good place to see the other side of the Portuguese capital and browse the innovative and hip shops before or after enjoying a drink or lunch in one of its outside eateries.
Another museum in Lisbon! It is a new cultural proposal in the city. The name MAAT means: Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. This museum combines these three fields in a space for debate, discovery, critical thinking and international dialogue. This is one of the most visited museums in the country!
14. Praça Dom Pedro IV
The Portuguese people call this place the Rossio. It is a square located in the Pombaline Downtown, in the heart of the city. It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike. You can also find some bars and shops. This is a busy place with a lot of buses, trains and metros.
15. Carmo Convent
This museum is located in the ruins of the old Church of Santa Maria do Carmo. The ruins of this gothic church are evocative reminders of the devastation left by the 1755 earthquake. At the time of the earthquake, it was the largest church in Lisbon, but today the roofless nave open to the sky is all that remains of the arches and rubble that caved in on the congregation as they were attending mass. In what used to be the main altar is now a small archaeological museum with an eclectic collection of tombs, statuary, ceramics and mosaics. This is also a very nice place to do your wedding here!
16. Museu Nacional do Azulejo
This is one of the most important museums of the National museums. Do you already know the famous ‘Azulejo’? You can find it over here. A must-see for people interested in the history and design of ceramic tiles, this specialty museum houses a splendid collection of decorative tiles dating from the 15th century to the present. Now during COVID19 it is also possible to go for a virtual tour! The museum has its own app to download.
17. Ponte 25 de Abril
Did you already know this place because of the photos? This is a very famous bridge and one of the most iconic landmarks of Lisbon. This massive bridge closely resembles that of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the date remembers the Portuguese Carnation Revolution of 25 april 1974. The suspension bridge connects Lisbon, on the north bank, with the commuter districts of Alameda on the south bank. The bridge is a distinctive landmark of Lisbon and crossing the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge makes for a fantastic entrance to Lisbon. Next to that: this is the longest suspension bridge in Europe! It has two levels, the top level is for cars and the lower is for trains. Fun Fact: the overpass took 45 months to build.
18. Museu Coleção Berardo
In this museum visitors may enjoy works by both contemporary and twentieth-century artists from a range of cultural backgrounds who work in different media and have contributed to the history of art. You can find here art of Piet Mondriaan, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp. The museum is located in the Belém Cultural Center, being in the center of the modern cultural life of Lisbon. Fun Fact: the permanent collection is valued by the auction house Christie’s at €316 million euros.
19. Sanctuary of Christ the King
The statue of Christ stands high above the southern banks of the Tejo Estuary, and depicts Christ with arms raised, blessing the city. Since 1959 Cristo Rei has been an important Portuguese pelgrim destination, and today is a major religious centre for the diocese of Setubal. Lisbon’s Cristo Rei has many similarities to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, and the Brazilian statue was the original inspiration.
20. National Coach Museum
The National Coach Museum houses one of the most important collections of horse drawn carriages in the world, making this a highly recommended place to visit. This place has a collection of vehicles from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century. The museum is housed in an old riding school and was inaugurated on 23 May 1905 by Queen Amélia of Orleans and Braganca, the Princess of France married to King Carlos of Portugal. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular museums in Lisbon. The National Museum is small but unique and charming. It is well-worth visiting.
21. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
The museum has a lot to offer. With over 40.000 items spanning a vast collection of painting, sculpture, goldware, furniture, textiles, ceramics and prints, this one is one of the most visited museums in Portugal. Perhaps the most famous work in the museum is the Saint Vincent Panels, which date from before 1470 and are attributed to Nuno Goncalves, court painter of King Afonso V. Though the history of the polyptych remains enshrouded in mystery, the six large panels have been argued to portray people from all levels of late medieval Portuguese society venerating Saint Vincent, in what would be one of the first group portraits in European art. There are 60 figures on the panels.
22. National Pantheon
The 17th century Church of Santa Engrácia with its huge dome was designated the National Pantheon in 1966. Within are buried many of Portugal’s presidents and cultural icons. The Church of Santa Engracia is one of Lisbon’s finest religious buildings. Located close to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in the Alfama district, the white dome rises high above the surrounding jumble of cobbled streets.
23. Queluz National Palace
One of the last great Rococo buildings to be built in Europe. The sumptuous 18th century palace was built as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza but later became the official royal residence. This palace is known for its fanciful, highly decorative and Rococo architecture. When you go to this palace, you will enjoy a day or a half day trip.
24. Lisbon Zoo
This zoo was originally located in the park of São Sebastião da Pedreira. The zoo moved twice and now it is located at Quinta das Laranjeiras. The zoo opened its doors for the first time in 1884. Go inside and find the Sumatran tigers, lions, giraffes and elephants. Along with education is a strong entertainment component that will ensure a great family time.
25. Parque Eduardo VII
At the end of the long road you will find Parque Eduardo. It is a very nice park with iconic designs on the grass. The park has many benches and in the end you will find a botanical garden. At the viewpoint you can see all the way to the river, it is quite spectacular. You can chill here, lay under a tree and enjoy the view of the city.
WHAT IS TYPICAL PORTUGUESE?
Portugal has a lot to offer, and so also its typical Portuguese things. They have their own famous food products, their norms and values and typical characteristics. Here we will give you some suggestions you have to try, see or do when you are in the country to live like the locals.
- Azulejos; you will see these all over the country, the typical blue/white stones.
- Cork; this is one of the most important export products of Portugal, in this country the cork oak and the pine are the most common trees.
- Pastel de Nata; Portuguese people love sweet food. This is the most delicious and the most popular pie of Portugal. And good to know: locals say that the best Pastel de Natas are in Lisbon!
- Port; this is a kind of wine with grapes from the district Douro, a river in the North of Portugal.
- Fado; if there is something typical Portuguese, then this is the best example. Fado is a Portuguese music style.
- Sardines; Portuguese people eat a lot of fish, but most of all a lot of sardines. Every year about 60 thousand tons of sardines are caught.
- Televisions in restaurants; for Portuguese people it is very important to follow soccer like Benfica or Sporting EVERYWHERE. So it is very important to watch the matches everywhere you come.
- Galo de Barcelos; you can find those souvenirs everywhere in the country.
THE LISBON CARD
The best way to discover Lisbon is with the Lisbon Card. It looks like a credit card and allows visitors to save time and money during their stay. From €19,00 euro per ticket you can do a lot. You can travel unlimited by train, bus or metro, have free entry at Lisbon’s museums and attractions, you save money on transport and tours and travel for free by train to Sintra and Cascais. You can buy this card at www.lisboacard.org. You will receive an email voucher that can be exchanged for your very own Lisboa Card once you hit the city. Exchange offices are located at the Lisboa Welcome Center, Foz Palace and of course Lisboa Airport.
LISBON AND COVID19 (10-06-2021)
The whole country has the yellow code, which means that if you travel to Portugal, you no longer need to be in quarantine upon arrival. If you travel by plane you still have to submit a PCR test. When you arrive at the airport of Lisbon, you will be checked for symptoms. The distance you need to stick to is 2 meters. You need to wear your mouth mask inside and outside, in public spaces. Tankstations, shops, restaurants and bars, hotels, beaches, museums, theatres and cinemas are all open.