Lisbon is one of the most beautiful capital city in Europe. Read our blog article to discover 3 unusual places to visit in Lisbon!
Portugal’s capital is the only one overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Considered, not surprisingly, one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe it hides endless wonders, here are some of them:
Let the Fado Guide You
If Fado has won you over, here are some advices where you can listen to live musicians:
Fado in Chiado: by choosing this experience at a cost of €20 you will enjoy 50 minutes of a musical performance that fully encapsulates the Portuguese soul of Fado where the musicians will bridge the past and modernity.
If, on the other hand, you want to have a less touristy experience, here are some inns where every evening around 7 p.m. you will enjoy a live show while enjoying traditional Portuguese culinary dishes:
Taking tram line number 15 from Praca Figueira within a few minutes you will arrive in the Belem district where as a first stop is almost a must Confeitaria Nacional where the Pastel de Belém is prepared according to the traditional recipe. You can enjoy it among mirrors, crystals and antique furniture that will start your day off on the right foot.
As the first stop on the tour we have the Monastero dos Jeronimos which, according to a legend, was built on the ruins of the little church of Ermida do Restelo where Vasco da Gama allegedly spent the night before the battle praying.
It is built by the architect Diogo de Boitaca, who after 100 years of work resulted in a Manueline building, typical Lisbon style, with architectural references to the world of the sea and navigation but also to the Gothic and Renaissance styles that led it to become a World Heritage Site in 1983.
Once you enter you will find yourself in front of a long nave divided into six columns, each of which is finely carved with motifs reminiscent of the sea such as scrolls of rope, sea monsters and corals. The contrast between the rigid Gothic forms and the almost spiritual silence make this place even more magical.
Next door we find the church of Santa Maria where under the soft light coming from the immense Gothic stained-glass windows we can admire the tomb of the hero Vasco da Gama and the poet Luis Vaz de Camoes.
From here with a 9-minute walk, just enough time to enjoy another Pastel de Nata, you will see appear the sumptuous Padrão dos Descobrimentos a white stone caravel that almost cuts through the Lisbon sky.
This was made in honor of the expedition headed by Vasco da Gama that proclaimed Portugal’s sovereignty over the Indies Sea. In fact, we can see the Portuguese sailors represented on the left side and the financiers of the expedition, who are represented on the right.
Here you can reach the roof whose view, needless to say, will enter your heart. To reach there are two ways. If you want to dispose of the Pastel de Nata you can take a staircase, otherwise there is a convenient elevator.
Once up you can see the Tagus estuary with the 25th April Bridge, the Tower of Belem and below you will see the wind rose made with a mosaic of pink, white and black tiles that adorns the entrance.
Continuing with a 12-minute walk you will arrive at the one and only Tower of Belém a small but splendid fort that rises on the Tagus estuary. To its defense with a Manueline architectural style and by watchtowers in the Arab style, staffs adorned with the cross of the military order of Christ and the oldest carved statue in Europe of a rhinoceros.
Experiencing this quarter by day or by night gives two completely different experiences. You can reach it, starting from Lisbon, with a 20-minute walk. But the best way to get there is by taking the historic Tram line 28 or via the Elevador da Gloria at a cost of €5.30, valid for two rides, which can be purchased on board.
By day you can get lost among its perpendicular and parallel streets where you will find the church of San Rocco, the panoramic terrace of San Pedro de Alcantara, the botanical garden but also numerous ,boutiques, artists’ workshops and design stores. But art is also on the walls of this quarter with incredible street art works.
When the sun goes down, the experiences to live completely change. In fact, numerous clubs in the quarter are preparing to give you different kinds of experiences. In one evening you can have a cold beer in a small pub listening to rock music or a cocktail in a trendy bar or enjoy a real Cuban Mojito.
What I recommend is to take your glass and go out on the streets of Bairro Alto because the real charm of this quarter is right here. The streets with the highest concentration of clubs are:
If you want to have an “aperitif” we recommend a Tasca do Chico where you can enjoy a charcuterie and cheese board with wine all accompanied by Fado.
For a trip out of town here are some ideas. Head to Estação do Rossio, which in itself is an attraction, it is a suburban line to Sintra, a delightful town with , luxurious villas surrounded by nature.
If instead you go to Estacao do Oriente, built in honor of the 1998 Expo and combining Gothic and modern styles, you can go to Porto, Algarve and Evora.
The city I recommend is Porto, and now I will tell you why, is also the city of wine you only need to enter any winery to taste the best products in the Douro Valley.
Walking around the city you will notice young people dressed in dark clothes and often wearing a cape and batina (mantel) those are the university students of Portugal and seeing them you will feel like you are in the Harry Potter movie. In fact, it is from this Portuguese traction that the writer J.K.Rowling ,during her stay in Porto, took inspiration for the uniforms for her novel’s young magicians.
And if you are a fan of Harry Potter then you cannot miss the Lello and Irmao Bookshop whereas soon as you cross the threshold your heart will beat for its almost indescribable beauty. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the most beautiful bookshop in the world, go to believe.
To reach the bookstore, I recommend you take a walk from the center of Porto that will last 30 minutes. During this walk you can go hunting for Azulejos, blue tiles that cover the facade of many buildings such as Capela Das Almas but also the atrium of Sao Bento Station.
The best way to end this day is with a beautiful sunset on the Atlantic Ocean, easily reached by tram line 1. Here you can just sit and admire the sunset while in the background the waves crash on the rocks creating splashes that will make sure that when you return home you will still have the fragrance of the ocean on your clothes.
These were the 3 Best Places to Visit in Lisbon. Check out our blog page for more articles about Lisbon and other cities. Don’t miss them out!
written by Anita Gajic