Lisbon, strategically situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, is the capital of Portugal. It is one of the only few cities in the Western European region that face the ocean and take advantage of the limitless water feature to define its city. It is also what makes it a very attractive vacation spot for tourists and travelers. The city’s quaint charm, coupled with the beautiful limestone buildings and intriguing alleyways makes Lisbon a top year round travel destination.
Lisbon is accessible to neighboring European countries and to the rest of the world through its largest international airport, the Aeroporto da Portela, which is located between the cities of Loures and Lisboa. Distinguished airline services such as the local TAP Portugal, United Airlines, US Airways and a bunch of others offer numerous flights to and from Lisbon, making it very convenient for travelers to get here any time of the year. Once in the territory of Lisbon, vacationers can easily navigate and explore the many Lisbon treasures through a number of land transportation. Some may opt to hire the Aerobus that operates on different routes passing through the main tourist spots in the city. Others may choose to take the Metro, which can easily take tourists from the airport to any destination of interest in and around the city center, while some others take the bus or the taxis to bring them to any Lisbon destination of their choice.
Lisbon will never run out of charming places to see and exciting activities to partake in. For first timers to Lisbon, the most ideal way to explore your way around is to participate in one of the Discover Walks Lisbon and visit numerous famous landmarks, immerse in the city scenery, discover souvenir shops and join local festivals and events. In the same manner, one may also try one of the Lisbon Riders tours or any Lisbon Boat tours, as well.
A perfect spot to begin any personal tour of the city is visiting the city’s equivalent of the Christ statue in Brazil, Cristo Rei. Standing at the opposite bank of the Tejo River, the trip to the top of the statue is worth anyone’s time, especially for the stunning view of the city.
Continue your very interesting tour of the city by heading straight to Castelo de Sao Jorge or St. George’s Castle, situated up the hill. After a very challenging walk uphill, the castle offers a beautiful view of the city and the river. On your way to the castle, it will also be a very enriching experience to visit the city’s oldest district of Alfama and be lost in its many street labyrinths and the endless charm of its late medieval to 19th Century architecture. Find a wealth of historical and cultural landmarks in this old neighborhood, including the centuries old Lisbon Cathedral, the scenic spots of Santa Luzia, and the many cafes, restaurants and clubs that made the place all the more wonderful.
Another Lisbon pride worth any traveler’s visit is the sister bridge of the Golden Gate in San Francisco, in the United States, Ponte 25 de Abril. Designed by the same architect who created the famous California landmark, this attraction was originally known as the Salazar Bridge and made especially to connect Lisbon with the Setubal peninsula. If you enjoy marveling at this bridge, you might want to visit Pont Vasco de Gama which is considered the longest bridge in Europe and the 9th longest in the world.
To immerse in the rich Lisbon history and culture, it will be a rewarding experience to explore some of Lisbon’s numeours museums, starting with the Roman Theater Museum or Museu do Teatro Romano downtown. Be amazed by the largest collection of coaches and royal vehicles in the world at the Coach Museum, situated in the former riding school of the palace. While at it, checking out the many art exhibits at the Belem Cultural Center will prove to be a very enjoyable experience. The museum’s Berardo Collection includes works from distinguished artists like Picasso, Duchamp and Andy Warhol. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, on the other hand, offers an impressive national art collection that includes paintings from the 14th to 19th Century Europe, as well as ancient interesting Portugal artifacts. Meanwhile, those who are fans of Rembrandt and Monet will find it a very lovely experience to visit the Calouse Gulbenkian Museum located at Avenida de Berna. The museum’s beautiful garden is such a charming attraction in the middle of Lisbon downtown.
The travelers who enjoy the great outdoors will find it a pleasurable experience to visit many of Lisbon’s parks and outdoor attractions, beginning with the Lisbon Botanical Gardens created a few hundred years ago by a King of Portugal. Situated in the middle of the city, this hidden gem is a perfect place for a family picnic. Proceed to Ajuda Botanical Gardens, considered one of the oldest gardens in Europe and the first in Portugal. Jardim Zoologico, on the other hand, is a perfect place to visit for those who love to observe exotic animals, including sea lions and dolphins. For more animal exhibits, proceed to the Ocenarium, a part of the Parque das Nacoes, and view the huge aquarium of fishes.
For a unique Lisbon experience, any traveler must include a day in one of its many funiculars in their travel itinerary. Some of the most distinguished ones worthy to try are Bica and Lavra funiculars. While at it, include a lunch or dinner at LX Factory in your travel plans.