Lisbon is one of the most impressive capital in Europe. It offers the perfect combination of a cultural destination and vibrant city life combined with a chilled beach holiday. Indeed there are numerous places to relax in an around Lisbon, enjoying the sandy beaches or trying some water sports such as kite surfing. As for the city itself it offers a variety of museums, castles and churches where you will be immersed in the county’s culture and history. Lisbon is a shopper paradise with its Centro Commercial Colombo being the largest shopping mall on the Iberian Peninsula, as well as other smaller local markets such as the interesting Campo de Santa Clara flea market.
Lisbon is blessed with amazing natural beauty, set between seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus. It offers an abundance of great districts with top attractions, cultural sites, shopping boutiques and remarkable views. From the Castello de Sao Jorge to the vibrant nightlife of Bairro Alto passing by the Baixa city center with its various squares, Lisbon is packed with wonderful treasures to be discovered.
The Portuguese capital is a cosmopolitan and creative city, the perfect mix of old and new, of traditional and cutting edge, vibrant and laidback packed with top of the hills cafes and riverside restaurants, making it an absolute must visit destination.
The following is a Lisbon itinerary that could be done in two days preferably with a car.
Lisbon itinerary Day 2: Belém to Bairro Alto passing by Baixa and Alfama
Start the day at the Torre de Belem(A) and Jerónimos Monastery(B) on the western district of Belém. Then pass by the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga(C), moving east towards the Baixa center and starting by the Praca do Comercio(D) and the Chiado(E), to finally move to the narrow street of Alfama to visit the Sé Cathedral (F)and Castello de Sao Jorge(G). Go back to the Baixa downtown to Enjoy a coffee on the Rossio square (H)and then move to the north to explore the Jardim Botanico (I) and finish the day in the vibrant neighbourhood of Bairro Alto(J).
Lisbon itinerary Day 2: Parque das Nações to Sintra and Cristo Rei
Start the second day on the east coast of Lisbon at the Parque das Nações(A) near the beautiful Vasco de Gama bridge. Then do your round of museums including the Museu do Azulejo(B) and Museu Calouste Gulbenkian(C). From there move west to Sintra(E) passing by the Palácio Nacional de Queluz(D). Finish the day with spectacular view of the city from the Cristo Rei(F) on the other side of the Tagus river
Top 10 hotels in Lisbon
The following are the top
- Altis Avenida Hotel
- Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade Hotel
- Lavra Guest House
- Internacional Design Hotel
- Vincci Baixa Hotel
- Eurostars Das Letras Hotel
- Tivoli Jardim Hotel
- Lisbon City Hotel
- Avenida Palace Hotel
- Heritage Av Liberdade Hotel
Altis Avenida Hotel
Rua 1 Dezembro 120, Lisbon / 5 stars
The Altis Avenida Hotel is a 5 stars hotel in the heart of Baixa offering a variety of services and facilities to make each guest’s stay as comfortable and as luxurious as possible. All rooms are fully equipped with internet access, separate shower and tub, bathrobes and daily newspaper. The hotel superior facilities and services include various shops, a restaurant, as well as a spa and an outdoor pool. The Altis Avenida Lisbon is the ideal Hotel for guests seeking that perfect blend of modern convenience and attentive care.
Book a room at the Altis Avenida Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade Hotel
Avenida Da Liberdade 127, Lisbon / 5 stars
The Sofitel Lisboa is a wonderful Hotel perfectly placed in heart of Lisbon, within walking distances from famous attractions such as the Se cathedral and Castelo De Sao Jorge or the vibrant districts of Baixa. The hotel is the ideal place for both leisure and business travellers, offering a wide range of facilities with not less than ten fully equipped conference rooms with screens and projectors. The Sofitel is an excellent choice while visiting Lisboa for a stay full of comfort, style and luxury.
Book a room at the Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Lavra Guest House
Calçada de Santana 198 A, Lisbon / 3 stars
The Lavra Guest House is a 3 stars accommodation conveniently situated in the heart of Baixa and offering all the needed comfort for its guest. Indeed each room comes fully equipped with a desk, a bathtub and a safety deposit boxes. The hotel also offers various facilities for is guest including a very popular babysitting services. For a great stay in the centre of Lisbon, Lavra Guest House is a perfect option.
Book a room at the Lavra Guest House now, best prices guaranteed.
Internacional Design Hotel
Rua Da Betesga Nº 3, Lisbon / 4 stars
The Internacional Design Hotel is a nicely styled 4 stars hotel perfectly located in the centre of Lisbon. Each of its room comes fully equipped including a safe and hair dryer for the convenience of its guests. The hotel facilities include room service, a in house restaurant, a laundry/dry cleaning service, as well as various sporting and leisure activities such as massage treatments. Internacional Design Hotel is an excellent place to stay with their focus on hospitality and commitment to service.
Book a room at the Internacional Design Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Vincci Baixa Hotel
Rua Do Comércio, 32-38, Lisbon 1100-150 / 4 stars
The Vincci Baixa Hotel Guests is a popular 4-star Lisbon hotel offering 66 rooms, each fully equipped with a desk, wireless internet access and daily newspaper. The hotel has all the needed facilities including an elevator, various shops, public areas Wi-Fi and an onsite restaurant. The Vincci Baixa Hotel offers its guests quality accommodations since 2008 by combining the most modern facilities with a first-class service.
Book a room at the Vincci Baixa Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Eurostars Das Letras Hotel
Rua Castilho 6 – 12, Lisbon / 5 stars
The Eurostars Das Letras is a 5 stars Hotel set in a charming property and ideal for both business and leisure travellers. All the rooms offers all the needed amenities including in-house movies and daily newspaper. The hotel offers meeting facilities, a bar, various shops as well as a sauna for guests enjoyment. With so much to offer, it is no wonder that the Eurostars Das Letras is a long time Lisbon favourite.
Book a room at the Eurostars Das Letras Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Tivoli Jardim Hotel
Rua Júlio César Machado, 7-9, Lisbon 1250-351 / 4 stars
The Tivoli Jardim is another great 4 stars Hotel in the heart of Lisbon. It is offers 119 rooms, each featuring superior amenities such as a board, hair dryer and a 24hr room service. The hotel boasts a restaurant and offers various services such as laundry and dry cleaning services. It also has a variety of excellent sporting and leisure facilities including a choice of massage, kids pool and club as well as a onsite golf course. The Tivoli Jardim set in a convenient location with its dedicated staff and first-rate facilities make it an all time favourite among travellers.
Book a room at the Tivoli Jardim Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Lisbon City Hotel
Av. Almirante Reis, N49, Lisbon / 3 stars
The Lisbon City is an excellent hotel in the center of the capital. It offers a variety of rooms, each equipped with a balcony/terrace, desk and daily newspaper. This hotel has a laundry service/dry cleaning, a business center and equipped with an elevator. The Lisbon City hotel provide guests with a memorable stay by blending state-of-the-art facilities with expert service.
Book a room at the Lisbon City Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Avenida Palace Hotel
Rua 1 De Dezembro 123, Lisbon 1200-359 / 5 stars
The Avenida Palace is an amazing 5 stars Hotel set within a restored palace in the heart of Lisbon. It is famous for being been a part of the city since the late 1800’s , making it an ideal place for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. The Hotel can serve as the perfect hub for exploring and sightseeing around Lisbon with famous attractions including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Ancient Art Museum nearby. It also offers a car rental service to facilitate its guests exploration of the city. A great location combined with excellent facilities within a charming building, makes the Avenida Palace one of the most sought after places to stay in Lisbon.
Book a room at the Avenida Palace Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Heritage Av Liberdade Hotel
Avenida da Liberdade, 28, Lisbon 1250-145 / 4 stars
The Heritage Av Liberdade offer a luxurious boutique Hotel experience. The hotels is conveniently located on Avenida Da Liberdade ideal for quick and easy access to other vibrant areas of the city. It is perfectly set within a restored 18th century building, combining classic charm with modern and contemporary amenities. As for the hotels stylish and trendy interiors it was designs by the genius Miguel Cancio Martins. The hotel also offers an on onsite gymnasium as well as an onsite spa available for the health conscious guests who wish to relax and rejuvenate.
Book a room at the Heritage Av Liberdade Hotel now, best prices guaranteed.
Best Things to do in Lisbon
The following are the top 10 things you should do while in Lisbon:
- Enjoy a coffee on the Rossio square
- Discover the Baixa downtown
- Party at the high neighbourhood of Bairro Alto
- Get lost in the narrow street of Alfama
- Go shopping in Chiado
- Explore the district of Belém
- Admire the views from the Cristo Rei
- Discover the Parque das Nações
- Explore the Jardim Botanico
- Enjoy a revista theatre
Rossio is the most important square in Lisbon and a good starting point when exploring the central area as well as a good meeting place for locals. It is packed with various restaurants and terraced cafes and is ideal to have a short break in between the numerous cultural sights.
Baixa, which is considered the central area of Lisbon, is the 18th-century district between the Rossio square on the north and the Praca do Comercio further south. The area was completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake by the Marques de Pombal using a planned layout inspired by the new Enlightenment ideas.
The Bairro Alto is the famous Lisbon district set on a hill with typical small streets and offering stunning views of the city. It is home to the Jeronimos Monastery as well as the Cultural Center of Belém. It is known to be the greatest party scene in Lisbon’s with an abundance of bars and nightclubs
Chiado is Lisbon’s elegant shopping district with various fashion and luxury boutiques to choose from. The area is also home to the statue of one of Portugal’s great Modernist poet, Fernando Pessoa.
Alfama is the perfect place to wander around and get lots within its narrow streets. The era has one of the most significant remaining influence of the Moorish presence, from the building architecture to streets layout. It is home to the Castello de Sao Jorge one of the biggest historical sigh in Lisbon.
Belém is one of the westernmost area of Lisbon and famous for being home to the Belém Tower, the sentinel on the Tagus river that used to be the official entrance of sea navigators into Lisbon.
Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações is a great park on the north eastern side of Lisbon. It was built for the 1998 World Expo and include one of the world’s largest oceanariums and the Pavilhao do Conhecimento.
The Cristo Rei is an over 100 meters tall statue of the Christ, located on the opposite bank of the Tejo River. The views of the Lisbon center are spectacular.
Jardim Botanico or Botanic Gardens is the city hidden gem set to the north of Bairro Alto offering a huge collection of plants from all over the world. This green oasis completely surrounded by city buildings is a great place to have a picnic.
The revista is special kind of theatre typically from Lisbon and an absolute must when you visit the city. Your best bet for a show is at the Teatro Maria Vitoria within the Parque Mayer.
Top Lisbon Attractions
Lisbon is a culturally and historically rich city packed with museums, churches and palaces. The top 10 Lisbon must see sights include:
- Castello de Sao Jorge
- Jerónimos Monastery
- Praca do Comercio
- Torre de Belem
- Sé Cathedral
- Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
- Museu do Azulejo
- Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
- Palácio Nacional de Queluz
Castello de Sao Jorge
The Castello de Sao Jorge or St. George’s Castle is one of the best historical attractions of the capital. Located on a hill, within the medieval quarters of Alfama and Mouraria, it offers spectacular views of the city.
The Jerónimos Monastery is a Manueline architectural masterpiece classified as a UNESCO’s World Heritage site.
Praca do Comercio
The Praca do Comercio is the magnificent plaza facing the river, sometimes referred to as “Terreiro do Paço”, meaning Grounds of the Palace relating to its function before the Great Earthquake of 1755.
Torre de Belém
Torre de Belém or Belem Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Lisbon. Located in the western area of Belem on the Tagus river it used to be the key entrance point for sea explorers.
The Sé Cathedral officially named the Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa is perhaps the most famous church of the city. It is not only one of the oldest church of Lisbon but also offers the perfect mix of various architectural style since its original built in 1147.
Other Churches worth exploring include São Vicente de For a, Conceição Velha (Manueline), São Roque and Sacred Art, Madre Deus, Santa Engrácia Pantheon (Baroque) and the Estrela Basilica.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is Portugal’s most impressive national art collection which includes 14-19th century European painting, artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures. The museum 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 do Azulejo
The Museu do Azulejo is one of the most important museums of the country offering a unique collection of tiles or Azulejo, an art form which is truly embedded in the Portuguese culture. The museum building, a former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor is also one of its kind.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is another famous museum in Lisbon offering a wide collection of both ancient and modern art.
Other excellent Museums worth visiting in the capital include the Ancient Art museum, Chiado Contemporary Art museum, Archaeology museum, Ethnology museum, Coach museum, Costume museum, Theater museum, Maritime museum, Military museum, City museum, the Modern Art Center and the Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva Foundation.
Palácio Nacional de Queluz
The Palácio Nacional de Queluz is the Portuguese 18th-century palace considered one of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe
Although not technically part of Lisbon city , but within the Grande Lisboa subregion it is an absolute must place to see when visiting the Portugal capital. Indeed this charming town is a designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site mainly because of its amazing 19th century Romantic architecture. The top attractions in Sintra include the remarkable Pena Palace and the impressive Castelo dos Mouros offering amazing views.
Lisboa or Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and largest city of Portugal. It has a population of a bit more than half a million people and about 3 millions for the metropolitan area, being almost a third of the whole Portugal population . It is known to be the westernmost large city located in Europe, as well as the only one along the Atlantic coast. It is located in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River.
It is widely recognized as an alpha city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, tourism, and considered one of the major economic centres on the continent. It is famous for having two sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site including the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery.
History of Lisbon
Lisbon is by far one of the oldest cities in the world, outdating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. From Romans to Christians conquest in the 12 century, passing by various Germanic tribes from the fifth century and Moors invasion in the eighth century, the city always played a key role in the continental Europe history.
Golden Age Lisbon
Lisbon’s new Golden Age began in 1994, when it was proclaimed European City of Culture. It was followed by the World Expo in 1998 for which Lisbon managed to squeeze both the central government and the European Union for financial backing. This led to a new bridge across the River Tagus, a major expansion of the crumbling metro system and the massive redevelopment of the Expo site, the Parque das Nações, now a major visitor attraction.
21st century Lisbon
In 2004 Lisbon hosted the successful European Football Championships and prestigious MTV Europe Music Awards the following year, helping to stamp itself firmly on the rising Euro star map. It has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today’s Europe.
Lisbon is not only one of the greatest cultural city in Europe but also offers an exciting and vibrant nightlife weekends or week days.
Bairro Alto is perhaps the most famous of all the Lisbon district when it come to its party scene. Perfectly situated on a hilltop offering spectacular views of the city, it is packed will a variety of cafes, bars and clubs. From jazz to electronic music passing by an easygoing reggae vibe, the music scene has something for all taste.
Lisbon offers a multitude of nightclubs scattered all over town within 18th-century mansions or empty riverside docks where revellers can party until dawn.
Lisbon is blessed with a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and very warm summers. Indeed it has one of the mildest climates in Europe with the warmest winters on the continent, with average temperatures of 15°C during the colder months. As for the typical summer season which lasts for about 6 months, usually from May to October, it has an average day temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) with almost no rainfalls.
Lisbon is a cultural, artistic and nightlife center, but let’s not forget its coastal position making it ideal for easy access to a large numbers of beautiful beaches.
Top 10 Lisbon beaches
Some of the top 10 beaches on the Lisbon Coast in alphabetical order include
- Adraga is a remarkable beach with unspoiled beauty
- Ericeira is a great beaches with a picturesque traditional village
- Guincho is the wild and beautiful beach
- Meco is the place to be if you are looking for peace and seclusion
- Morena on the Costa da Caparica has plenty of sand, space and a good bar
- Portinho da Arrábida is perhaps known as the best beach on the coast
- Praia da Cabana do Pescador on the Costa da Caparica offers a great bar
- Sesimbra is the ideal beach for swimming and enjoying a nice meal
- Tamariz is very attractive and easy to reach being close to lisbon
- Troia is the perfect beach for a resort type escape
The Lisbon airport or Aeropuerto da Portela is Portugal’s largest international airport serving about 13 million passengers per year. It is home to various known airlines including Star Alliance TAP Portugal, US Airways, British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia, Easyjet and KLM, covering an extensive network throughout Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Getting to the center from the airport
There are various ways to get from the Aeropuerto da Portela to Lisbon city centre including the Aerobus which departs every 20 minutes, various bus lines and taxis for about €10.00