Top things to do in and around Lisbon

Sunrise at Praia Velha

Since moving here, one thing I am constantly asked for is a list of things to do and places to see. Of course, this request makes a lot of sense. Would-be tourists like to research, and who better to get the information from than someone living in the desired destination?

Because of this, I have decided to make this post as a go to place for anyone with these questions, and highly like the first of a string of posts of other destinations in Portugal. Naturally, all information and destinations will be fact checked to be as accurate as possible, and I welcome suggestions from all for edits & future posts.

Without further ado…

Lisbon

Is, in my opinion…such a beautiful city. A city to wander around and get lost in. It’s a place which is extremely rich in culture and culinary delights. With its vibrant architecture and monuments, it is a place you could visit many times and continue to love & be impressed by. 

Catching the No.28 tram

Catch an old-school tram! You can find these around everywhere in Lisbon. No.28 is recommended as it has one of the most encompassing routes. It can be picked up from Martin Moniz and you can ride it all the way to Campo de Ourique, covering Castelo de São Jorge (Saint Jorge Castle) area. The 28 is one of the oldest routes and also the most famous.

  • Tram runs throughout the day and tickets are good value for money
  • Recommended times are in the morning and evening to avoid busy periods and higher temperatures during the day
  • You can get the tickets on the tram, at any stop, but would be recommended to buy a day pass beforehand, especially if you plan to use it as an hop-on-hop-off service
  • Departure times from Martin Moniz can be found here: http://www.carris.pt/pt/tram/28E/ascendente/

Castelo de São Jorge

This castle is viewable from many places in Lisbon as it sits at the top of one of the hills and is a very famous landmark. The castle organisers offer guided tours in multiple languages, a normal adult ticket is €8,50 and children under 10 enter for free. The website with further information can be found here. http://castelodesaojorge.pt/en/

Also to note it gives a pretty spectacular view of Lisbon in the evening. Especially around sunset time, highly recommend! 🙂

Carmo Archaeological Museum

Personally, I am yet to visit this museum, but I have passed by it a few times. The museum is a surviving building from the huge earthquake which hit Lisbon in 1755. It used to be a church but due to structural reasons, now serves as a monument. A quick search online shows this to be home to various tombs and other points of interest. Ticket prices are €4 for adults. http://www.museuarqueologicodocarmo.pt/info_en.html 

Praça do Comércio

The name of this area translates to “Commerical Place” and used to be the area of which sailors and tradesmen would disembark and offload their goods from around the world, effectively it used to be a shipping port. The area has a large statue monument in the middle of the square, also the square itself is lined with shops & restaurants. Getting to the area from Rossio/Bairro Alto offers amazing views when wondering the streets as well. Coupled with the excellent architecture the journey on the route is as much fun as the arrival itself. It is free to visit.

Belém, the tower, monument & Monastery

Belém Monument
Belém Tower
Jerónimos Monastery

Belém (pronounced, belang) – hosts many attractions and points of interest, all within walking distance of each other. To get to Belém its possible to grab a train from Cais do Sodre, an Uber or a tram as well.

Belém monument is to celebrate the age of discovery as this is on the bank of the Tagus River, of which ships would use on their shipping routes.

Belém Tower was constructed in the 16th century as a fortified point of defence against any unfriendly ships passing through the shipping lane.

Jerónimos Monastery – originated in 1495, this building has a very wander architectural design. Entry is €10 and definitely worthwhile, the site itself is stunning & rich in history. More information can be found here: http://www.mosteirojeronimos.gov.pt/en/index.php?s=white&pid=175

Rossio

Whilst the area of Rossio itself has some nice monuments & fountains to view, the real reason for the entry is that it acts as a central hub for many other points of interest, and also it has the fun bustling vibe you get from popular locations. Many nice restaurants are all within walking distance, also the Praça do Comercio can be accessed easily from here as well. Free walking tours can be found in this area as well. It is a must do for tourists, especially with their first visit to Lisbon.

Cascais

Cascais is a coastal resort town which is a 20-25 minute train journey along the coast from Lisbon (you can catch the train from Cais do Sodre) – With its beautiful marina, various restaurants and a different vibe from Lisbon, it makes a great day out (or two) – there will be a follow up post dedicated to Cascais in the future.

Carcavelos Beach

Captured at Sunset

Arguably, one of the most famous beaches close to Lisbon is Carcavelos, its the largest and is always popular during the good weather. A 15 minute train ride from Cais do Sodre makes this a great day trip if you fancy some sun.

TimeOut Market

Image result for time out market
Not my photo, credit to Time Out Market website.

TimeOut Market is situated a stones throw from Cais do Sodre train station, it is a large market place offering almost every kind of food you could possibly want, this is a great place for groups who fancy something different. 

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is a district in Lisbon which transforms dramatically between day and night, it has been now commonly dubbed as the bohemian district. A place full of culture, bars and excellent restaurants. 

Image result for bairro alto night
Photo credit – http://visao.sapo.pt/web-summit/2016-11-08-Noite-de-copos-comecou-mais-cedo-do-que-nunca-no-Bairro-Alto-e-a-lingua-oficial-foi-o-ingles

Food

As mentioned further up in this post, Portugal is full of culinary delights, good food is a strong part of Portuguese culture. I have a few recommendations of foods to try when you’re here.

  • Pastel de nata – the famous Portuguese custard tarts. The BEST (and I really cannot emphasise this enough) place to get these from (in my opinion, of course) is Manteigaria. See their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/manteigaria.oficial/
  • Bacalhau – This is “codfish” – In Portugal there are a thousand ways to prepare this fish, you will find it everywhere. Be sure to try some variation, Bacalhau com natas, Bacalhau espiritual, Bacalhau à brás are some personal favourites.
  • Arroz de Pato – Duck Rice
  • Alheira – This is a type of sausage, greasy yet delicious! Very rich in flavour as well.
  • Ginjinha – a type of cherry flavoured liquor served in a chocolate cup

I could go on, and will do in another blog post(s) – thank you so much for reading, hope you enjoy the post 🙂

Jake & Ana

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