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Lisboa

Worth visiting

Added on 20 Aug 2016,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 20 Sep 2016

Nearby cycle routes and tours

Route nameTypeDist. to route

EuroVelo: Atlantic Coast Route - Part France to Portugal

Route

1,0 km

Atlantic cost route - part of Spain and Portugal

Tour

0,9 km

Lissabon - Caminha

Tour

0,9 km

busy

 

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Type of sights

Heritage building(s)

 

Name and address

Lisboa

PT-1100 Lisboa

Geodetic coordinates

38.711671 -9.138092

Communication

Beautiful narrow street in Baxia, Lisbon
Beautiful narrow street in Baxia, Lisbon
Basílica da Estrela, Lisboa
Basílica da Estrela, Lisboa

Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) is the capital of Portugal situated on seven hills at the wide mouth of the river Tagus (Tejo) where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. A port city, an economic centre, a cultural powerhouse and a thriving mix of Portugal's rich history and vivid contemporary culture, Lisbon enchants travellers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy going charm that makes it a popular year round destination.

Understand

Lisbon is built on seven hills, so getting around Lisbon can be a workout. Numerous slopes and few really flat areas is one of Lisbon's trademarks. This is also a city of enchanting contrasts: The elegant squares, broad avenues, monumental buildings and rectangular layout of the lower areas quickly gives way to the hilly, narrow, winding, unpredictable and cramped streets of districts such as Alfama and Bairro Alto. The elegant dining rooms and smart rooftop bars of expensive hotels seems like a different world compared to the excellent restaurants disguised behind an inconspicuous façade in a modest Bairro Alto street. Quality patisseries and restaurants thrive side by side with late night bars and noisy discos. The old, tiny squeaky trams (one of the city's trademarks) are no less of a contrast to the efficient metro network.

Districts

Since December 2012, Lisbon was reorganised into five zones (zonas), which are further divided into 24 civil parishes (freguesias). While the zonas reflect the actual characteristics of each area well, which also aids orientation for the tourists, freguesias serve mostly administrative purposes and are of little interest to tourists. More important are the unofficial bairros (neighbourhoods), which lack administratively defined boundaries, but are entrenched in local tradition and referred to in most tourist guides and even official publications. The main characteristics of each zone and most prominent bairros are outlined below.

Centro Historico

The historic centre of Lisbon is the river-front belt formed by the hills of Bairro Alto and Alfama and the flat area of Baixa between them. It contains the following bairros:

  • Baixa - this part of the city was completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake by the Marquês de Pombal. The planned layout, greatly different from what you will see in the more ancient neighbourhoods, is a testimony to the ideas of the Enlightenment.
  • Chiado - take a stroll along the historical streets of this elegant shopping district, stopping for a cup of coffee with the statue of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal's great Modernist poet.
  • Alfama - this neighbourhood still bears signs of the Moorish presence in the city, with the buildings very close to each other, and very irregular streets. It's very atmospheric and a great spot in which to wander around. Thanks to the firmer rock it was built upon, it was relatively spared during the Great Earthquake and therefore retains the charm of the winding alleys and azulejo-covered crumbling walls.
  • Bairro Alto - head uphill to Bairro Alto and give your legs a good workout, or take one of the elevadores (funiculars) for stunning views of the city and some wild partying in Lisbon's most popular nightclub district.
  • Principe Real - the trendy district with all the fancy shops is just a 5 minutes walk from Bairro Alto

See

Tagus River

  • Cristo Rei statue — This statue of Christ the King overlooking Lisbon is across the river but is clearly visible from Lisbon. The monument was inspired by the similar statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Baixa

  • Praça do Comércio (Take the metro to Terreiro do Paço Station). This magnificent plaza, facing the river, is the beginning of Lisboa's downtown. It is also known as 'Terreiro do Paço', meaning 'Grounds of the Palace', relating to its function before the Great Earthquake of 1755.
  • Rossio station.  
  • Palacio Foz.  
  • Praca dos Restauradores.  
  • Museu de Sociedade de Geografia.  
  • Casa do Alentejo.  
  • Praca dom Pedro IV (Rossio).  
  • Praca da Figueira.  
  • Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Velha.  

Chiado and Bairro Alto

  • Igreja do Carmo, Largo do Carmo (Elevador Santa Justa or a short uphill hike from Baixa or Rossio),  +351 213 478629. M–Sa 10:00–18:00, or until 19:00 June–September. The hilltop church of the former convent of Carmo is a towering memorial of the 1755 earthquake, which made the roof of the church collapse, but the Gothic arches of the nave survived. The church was preserved that way and now serves as the Museu Arqueológico in the extant parts of the building. The museum houses a hodgepodge of archaeological artifacts from around Portugal and the world including mummies from South America, tombs of Portuguese rulers, and the Stations of the Cross on 18th century painted tiles. The assorted artifacts are not well explained, but the church itself is a sight to see and visitors come to relax in the grassy nave of the church, and draw or photograph the spires. €3.50.
  • Santa Justa elevator, Largo do Carmo - Rua do Ouro. 8:30-20:30 (viewing platform). Excellent vertical view of the Baixa streets, next to Igreja do Carmo. €1.50. 
  • Mirador/Jardim de S. Pedro de Alcantara, Rua S. Pedro de Alcântara. Excellent panorama from the lovely terrace/garden on top of Elevador da Glória and northern corner of Bairro Alto. Free. 

Estrela

  • Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Rua das Janelas Verdes. Tu 14:00-18:00; W-Su 10:00-18:00; closed M. Portugal's impressive national art collection, including 14-19th century European painting, artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures. Highlights include Dürer's St Jerome, Hieronymus Bosch's Temptations of St Antony, Nuno Gonçalves' Adoration of St Vincent, and 16th century Japanese paintings of Portuguese traders. 
  • Museu da Marioneta.  
  • Basilica da Estrela.  
  • Jardim da Estrela.  
  • Palacio de Sao Bento.  
  • Cemitério dos Prazeres, Praça São João Bosco (Tram 28 to its Western terminus),  +351 213 961511. daily 09:00–16:30. This large cemetery is packed with majestic gravestones and mausoleums, separated by wide, pedestrian, tree-lined "streets". Many graves are marked with icons telling something about the person's role in historical Lisbon. A beautiful respite from the busy city. free.

Alfama

  • Castelo de São Jorge (St. George's Castle) (Walk up the hill from Alfama or take bus 37),  +351 218 800620. Mar-Oct 09:00-21:00; Nov-Feb 09:00-18:00. Located up the hill, with a great view over the city and the river. If you have the energy, get there by walking from downtown, going through the fantastic old neighborhood of Alfama. €7 with student discount available.
  • Panteão Nacional (Igreja do Santa Engrácia), Campo de Santa Clara (Santa Apolonia station, hike uphill. Tram 28). 10:00-17:00, platform 10:00-18:00 (closed Mondays, shorter hours in winter). This is one of the most striking buildings in Lisbon. It's tall dome and white facade makes it a real landmark in Alfama/Eastern Lisbon. Excellent views from the rooftop terrace. Construction began in 1681, then halted until the dome was added in 1966 and then converted to the National Pantheon. Amalia Rodrigues, queen of fado, is buried here, and fresh roses can be seen on the tomb.
    The church also has wide viewing platform on the rooftop all around its dome. Excellent panorama of the river and surroundings. No elevator. 3 €.
  • Alfama mirador, Largo Portas do Sol (walk uphill from Sé (Cathedral), tram 28). Good viewpoint in Alfama uphill from the cathedral along tram route. Lovely view over rooftops and river. Free.
  • Museu do Teatro Romano (Roman Theatre Museum). Along the way from downtown to Saint George's Castle.

Centro

  • The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Avenida de Berna, 45A (take the metro to São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha Stations),  +351 217 823000. 10AM-5:45PM; closed Tues. Created from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian who longed to see all his treasures displayed in a museum. The *Gulbenkian Antiquities Museum* is a nice assortment of Egyptian artifacts, along with paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat. There is also a separate *Gulbenkian Modern Art Center (MAC)*. The *Gulbenkian Gardens* which surround the museums and foundation building are worth a visit in and of themselves, as a little oasis in the middle of downtown Lisbon. €5 (permanent+temporary exhibition); half price for students under 25 with ID, holders of the European Youth Card (Euro26) and those aged 65 or over; free entry on Sunday, free for under 12.
  • Fundação Arpad Szenes / Vieira da Silva, Praça das Amoreiras, 56/58,  +351 213 880044. Mon-Sat 11AM-7PM, Sun 10AM-6PM. This museum is installed in the restored 18th-century former Royal Silk Factory. It permanent collection covers a wide time period of the works of 20th-century painters Arpad Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and regularly hosts exhibits by their contemporaries. Adults €2.50, students €1.25, kids under 14 free.
  • Museu da Água (Water Museum). Entrance fee of €1.5 to €2.5, depending on age or discount cards you may use.
  • Aqueduto das Aguas Livres. This is a historic aqueduct in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering, including the largest stone arch in the world. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km. The Mãe d'Água (Mother of the Water) reservoir of the Amoreiras, the largest of the water reservoirs, was finished in 1834. This reservoir, with a capacity of 5,500 m³ of water, was designed by Carlos Mardel. It is now deactivated and can be visited as part of the Museu da Água (Water Museum).
  • BES Arte & Finança, Praça Marquês de Pombal, 3,  +351 213 508975. Business days from 9AM to 7PM. Multifunctional space dedicated to contemporary art, especially Photography Free.
  • Jardim Zoológico, Estrada de Benfica 158-160 (Metro:Take the Blue Line to the Jardim Zoológico. Buses: A variety of buses stop here including 16, 31, 54, 58, 701 and 755),  +351 217 232920. 10AM - 8PM (21st March - 30th Sept.) and 10AM - 6PM (1st Oct. - 20th March). A zoo that is fairly pricey, but has a variety of exotic animals featuring sea-lions and dolphins. €15.
  • Lisbon Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico), Rua da Escola Politécnica, 58 (between the Avenida da Liberdade and Bairro Alto). A hidden gem. It was created several hundred years ago, by a King of Portugal at the time of the Discoveries. The story goes that this King wanted one of every type of plant in the world, and although that's unlikely, there is a huge collection dating back by three or four centuries which is worth checking out. And there's something quite eerie about seeing plants or huge trees from completely different climates growing next to each other in apparent harmony. A great place to take a picnic - this green oasis is completely surrounded by city but even the city sounds filter out. Entrance €2 adults, discounts for kids, OAPS and students.
  • Parque Eduardo VII.
  • Praca Marques de Pombal.
  • Centro de Arte Moderna

Zona Oriental

  • Museu do Azulejo (Tile Museum). One of the most important national museums, for its singular collection, Azulejo, an artistic expression which differentiates Portuguese culture, and for the unique building where its installed, former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor.

Eat

Portuguese dining rituals tend to follow the Mediterranean siesta body clock.

For Portuguese traditional cuisine at its finest, head to the area of Chiado. Tour groups primarily feel at home in Alfama. Traditional Portuguese restaurants are in Bairro Alto, scattered abundantly through its quirky narrow streets.

Tourist traps with laminated menus and meal deals are mostly concentrated in the Baixa area. It has an exception, however: Rua das Portas de Santo Antão (north-east from Praca dos Restauradores, parallel to it)—it's the seafood strip, and home to the best greasy spit-roasted chicken this side of Louisiana at the Bonjardim restaurant, Travessa [not Rua!] Santo Antão, 11 (It's in two buildings across a small side street off Rua Santo Antão). appropriately nicknamed Rei dos Frangos .

For a familiar taste at one of the many chain eateries, head to Doca de Santo Amaro (train/tram 15 station Alcantara-Mar) and Parque das Nações (metro Oriental). All the culinary and clubbing kudos is right now concentrated in Doca de Jardim de Tabaco (piece of river waterfront right under Castelo de Sao Jorge). Quality dishes for a high price are in well-to-do Lapa.

Sleep

Inside the range of 4 km:

Useful

Inside the range of 4 km:

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by-sa: CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-ShareAlike

Link to the description of the license

creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Input taken over from:

Wikivoyage contributors, 'Lisbon', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 14 July 2016, 13:12 UTC, <https://en.wikivoyage.org/w/index.php?title=Lisbon&oldid=3022127> [accessed 20 August 2016]

taken over / edited on

20 Aug 2016 - 20 Sep 2016

taken over / edited by

biroto-Redaktion

Nearby cycle routes and tours

Route nameTypeDist. to route

EuroVelo: Atlantic Coast Route - Part France to Portugal

Route

1,0 km

Atlantic cost route - part of Spain and Portugal

Tour

0,9 km

Lissabon - Caminha

Tour

0,9 km

Added on 20 Aug 2016,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 20 Sep 2016