Lisbon, the vibrant capital city of Portugal, has become one of the top holiday destinations for travellers from around the world. From its rich history to its beautiful architecture, stunning beaches, and delicious cuisine, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with this charming city. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at Lisbon and explore the top places to visit during your stay.
The history of Lisbon dates back to the Roman Empire when it was known as Olisipo. The city has been ruled by the Visigoths, the Moors, and the Christians, and has played an important role in the Age of Discovery. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a major player in global trade, and Lisbon was a hub for explorers like Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus. Today, the city is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, blending its rich history with a modern, cosmopolitan vibe.
Best Places to Visit in Lisbon
1. Belem Tower
Belem Tower, located on the banks of the Tagus River, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon. Built in the 16th century, the tower was originally designed as a defensive structure to protect the city from invaders. Today, it serves as a symbol of Portugal’s maritime history and is a must-visit attraction.
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood, and it’s a charming maze of narrow streets, colourful houses, and beautiful tiles. This area is known for its traditional Fado music, and you can find plenty of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a live performance while sipping on a glass of wine.
3. Jeronimos Monastery
The Jeronimos Monastery is another UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most impressive examples of Manueline architecture in Portugal. This 16th-century monastery was built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India, and it’s a true masterpiece of stone carvings and intricate details.
4. Praça do Comércio
Praça do Comércio is Lisbon’s main square and one of the most popular meeting spots in the city. It’s a beautiful open space that faces the Tagus River and is surrounded by historic buildings, restaurants, and cafes. This is a great place to soak up the city’s atmosphere and watch the world go by.
5. Lisbon Oceanarium
The Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the largest aquariums in Europe and a must-visit attraction for families with kids. This modern and interactive facility features a variety of marine animals, including sharks, rays, and penguins, and it’s a great way to learn about the ocean’s ecosystems.
The Importance of Pastel de Nata
No trip to Lisbon is complete without trying the city’s most famous pastry, Pastel de Nata. These delicious custard tarts originated in the Belem district in the 19th century and have become a symbol of Portuguese cuisine. The recipe for Pastel de Nata is a well-guarded secret, and you can find the best ones at the original bakery, Pasteis de Belem.
Lisbon in Spring Summer 2023