While many of us think about traveling to exotic locations like the Maldives or the Caribbean when we think of vacation, we often miss some great places just because we didn't do a great deal of research beforehand. Vacation doesn't always need to be exclusive, and there are millions of spots in the world where a person can go, have a great time, and not spend a fortune—one of those places is Lisbon. The capital of Portugal is a beautiful city on the Atlantic coast with a beautiful Mediterranean climate.
Lisbon is home to relaxed Portuguese people, and it is home to many sights and great places to visit. Should you decide to give Lisbon a chance, we are here to show you some of those places and give you many reasons why Portugal should be your next destination spot.
1. Climb the Mesmerizing Castelo de Sao Jorge
The iconic symbol of Lisbon lies on top of a hill in the Santa Maria Maior district. It is a castle and a fortification that overlooks Portugal's capital and provides a stunning view for anyone who visits. The hill itself served as a fort for people who inhabited the lands. The initial castle was built sometime in the Middle Ages and has been expanded ever since. Today, it is under the protection of the Portuguese government, and it is a must-visit tourist hot spot.
2. Another Day, Another Fort – The Belem Tower
While on the subject of forts, another one you shouldn't miss is The Belem Tower at the delta of the Tagus River. Most of us learned about the incredible Portuguese armada, which ruled the Atlantic in the Middle Ages, but not everything in Portugal was focused on attack. Lisbon had an excellent defense, which is precisely what Belem Tower served for. Today, the tower's purpose is to show the world the fantastic architecture that Portugal had in the past.
3. Honor the Predacesors – Padrao Dos Descobrimentos
Padrao dos Descobrimentos is a beautiful monument near the Belem Tower. It is dedicated to late Portuguese naval explorers and all those who contributed to making the Portuguese navy the strongest force in the past.
4. Take a Break at Pasteis de Belem
While you are in Belem, I strongly recommend Pasteis de Belem bakery. The in-house specialty is a custard tart called “Pasteis de Nata.” They are served hot from the oven and are the best snack for sipping your coffee.
5. Visit Jeronimos Monastery
A UNESCO World Heritage monastery is located in Lisbon. This beautiful monastery is one of the most beautiful constructions in the whole world. The order to build it was given by King Manuel I in honor of Portuguese explorers. Within the monastery's walls lies Vasco da Gama, a world-famous explorer. The monastery also served as a necropolis for members of the House of Aviz. Today, it is a holy place but also a historical landmark.
6. Take a Stroll on Praca Do Comercio
Every city in the world has its center. And in every city center, there are few things to do. It is mostly just a piece of land where you can walk, drink coffee, or grab something to eat. Praca do Comercio is no exception. But I have to admit, even if there aren't tons of attractions on the square itself, it is among the nicer ones that I know of. Plus, it is the biggest square in Portugal and among the biggest in Europe.
7. Ride the Elevador de Santa Justa
This incredible neo-Gothic elevator was constructed by the student of Gustave Eiffel, the principal architect of The Eiffel Tower in Paris. It connects two Baiza districts and Carmo Square. The ride is free if you have the Lisbon pass.
8. Walk Down a Cute Pink Street
While it is not the Roman Colosseum or The Acropolis of Athens, it's still a cute street covered in pink color. There are some adorable multicolored umbrellas above the street, and it's filled with local cafes where you can sit down and relax on your walk.
9. Ride the Tram 28
One of the last remaining original Lisbon trams built in the late 1800s is Tram 28. Famous for yellow and red trams, you should do it if you want to see most of the city. This way, you can always exit at the station you need.
10. Support Benfica c.f. At Estadio Da Luz
Benfica is a local soccer club with a rich history and continuous success in regional and European championships like the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Its home is a beautiful Luz stadium in Lisbon. Benfica plays in the local championship during the weekends, so you can go to the stadium and support the club!
11. See the Cristo Rei
The Statue of Cristo Rei, or Jesus Christ if you prefer, is an enormous statue built in Rio under the influence of the Statue of Jesus Christ. It is a beautiful statue where you can pay your tributes and snap some great photos while you are at it.
12. Ride the Famous Gondola
Lisbon offers another great way to see the city. You can ride in gondolas at Telecabine Lisbon and see the city from above.
13. See the Sea Life at Lisbon Oceanarium
Lisbon Oceanarium is a huge saltwater aquarium, among the biggest in the world. There you can see species from five different areas of the world. From jellyfish to sharks, they have it all!