Top 10 Lisbon Attractions
The transcript from my Travel Tuesdays YouTube Video
Welcome to Travel Tuesdays! This week we travel to Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, for some delicious food, lively entertainment, and beautiful landmarks. Lisbon is brimming with charming neighborhoods, lively squares, and friendly people, which makes this one of our favorite destinations. So without further adieu, we bring you our picks for the top 10 attractions in Lisbon, starting with…
#10 Vasco da Gama Bridge & Tower
Are located in the Park of the Nations area of Lisbon, about 6 miles north of Lisbon’s city centre. This area is accessible by public transport as well as Uber and other taxi services. This is a more modern area and that is reflected in the architectural style of both the bridge and the tower. There is a lovely boardwalk spanning between the two attractions, and it makes for a nice stroll along the river. Other attractions in this area are the cable car and the aquarium.
#9 Lisbon Cathedral
Is located in the neighborhood of Alfama, which in and of itself deserves a visit. The cathedral was built in the 12th century, in the romanesque style, and has survived many natural disasters such as the earthquake of 1755, which destroyed much of the city. The cathedral has been renovated and rebuilt on many occasions throughout the years, but remains a jewel of Lisbon’s skyline. You can access the cathedral for free but it will cost you 2.50 euros to see the cloister and another 2.50 euros to see the treasury. The cathedral is open daily from 9am to 7pm, but hours vary for the cloister and treasury.
#8 São Jorge Castle
Is Lisbon’s castle on the hill, and is a great place to get panoramic views of the city, while enjoying a piece of its history. The castle dates back to 200BC, changes hands multiple times over the centuries, and is finally completely destroyed in the earthquake of 1755. It remained in that condition until a major restoration project took place between 1938 and 1944, bringing it to its current state. The walk to the castle is uphill and windy, but the charming streets along the way make it worth the effort. Just make sure you wear a decent pair of walking shoes! The castle is open daily from 10am to 9pm and the entrance fee is 10 euros.
#7 Santa Justa Lift
Is an elevator that helps connect the neighborhoods of Baixa and Bairro Alto. The lift was inaugurated in 1902 as one of the city’s public transport systems, but today serves as more of a tourist attraction than anything else. It will cost you just over 5 euros to take the elevator to the first observation deck and then another euro 50 to take the stairs up to the top observation deck, for panoramic views of the city. Pro tip, you can enter at the first observation deck for free, from the steps behind Carmo convent, and then only pay the euro 50 to get to the top.
#6 Carmo Convent
Is located in the chiado neighborhood of Lisbon, just above the Santa Justa Lift. What you see there today is what was left behind after the devastating 1755 earthquake. The ruins of the Convent, with its gothic arches are still standing, and much of what is left has undergone restoration, but still offers you a glimpse into Lisbon’s past. As this is now a museum, you can expect to find historically significant statues, fountains, and relics. The convent is open Mon - Sat from 10am to 6pm, most months of the year and the entrance fee is 5 euros.
#5 Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square)
Is Lisbon’s main square and sits on the site of the old Royal Palace. It faces the river Tagus on its south side and is otherwise surround by buildings. This square is considered the door to Lisbon and features attractions such as the Rua Augusta Arch, which is the gateway to Rua Augusta boulevard, one of Lisbon’s most popular pedestrian streets, as well as the equestrian statue of Joseph I. This square hosts many events and gatherings and is home to many restaurants and cafes.
#4 Tram 28
Lisbon is famous for its trams and funiculars, but its most popular tram is #28, which takes you on the seven hills route, through some of Lisbon’s most significant neighborhoods and past many iconic landmarks. This is a really popular tram and route, so be prepared to wait in lines and to be stuffed in like a sardine, especially at peak times. We’d recommend taking the tram early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. If you just want the tram experience, hop on #15 from the city centre to Belém for one of Lisbon’s original Pastel de nata, as well as take you to our next stop…
#3 Jerōnimos Monastery
Is a UNESCO world heritage site and is situated in Lisbon’s Belém neighborhood. This monastery dates back to the 15th century and includes the Church of Santa Maria and the Cloister. The architectural style is Portuguese Gothic, and is a sight to behold, as both the exterior and interior are magnificent. The monastery is also home to the remains of Vasco da Gama, and is one of Lisbon’s most visited tourist attractions. The monastery is open from 10am to 6:30pm and the entrance fee is 10 euros.
#2 Monument to the Discoveries
Is located in Lisbon’s Belém neighbourhood along the banks of the Tagus River. It was originally built as a temporary structure in1940 for the Portuguese World Exhibition. Later in 1960 it was rebuilt out of concrete and limestone and is meant to symbolize the age of discovery. For 6 euros you can go to the top of the monument for a birds eye view of the area and the map below. Once you’re finished there, you can head over to our last stop…
#1 Belém Tower
Is also on the bank of the Tagus River and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was built in the 16th century and served as a fortification and as the ceremonial gateway to the city. The tower is one of Lisbon’s most visited attractions, is open tues- sun from 10am to 5:30pm, and the entrance fee is 6 euros. But you can catch a glimpse of this beautiful piece of architecture, day or night, 365 days a year, as you walk along the river or picnic in its nearby green spaces.
What are your favorite areas to visit in Lisbon? Let me know in the comments below! And remember to check out the Travel Tuesdays YouTube Video for the fully immersive experience! Until next time, be loving, be kind, be better!