Portugal include everything from cathedrals to castles to colorful streamers running above your head as you walk down narrow, cobble stoned streets. Highlights of Lisbon:
The city’s airport is only about 5 miles away. You can take the bus, train, taxi, or metro into the city center. Lisbon is a very walkable city. Lisbon is probably best known for its colonialist history, ornate architecture and tradition of Fado music. Some of city’s best features are in the every day spectacular hilltop vistas in Alfama or at St. George’s Castle, pleasant year-round weather and friendly locals.
Belem is the delightful district to the west of central Lisbon, and is the setting for many of the capital’s most iconic and important tourist attractions. The district makes for an enjoyable half day excursion, and combines historic monuments, fascinating museums and carefully maintained parks, all of which line the cooling waters of the Tejo estuary.
Torre de Belém
Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in Lisbon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries.
Monument to the Discoveries
Monument is on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém. Located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries. The monument stands out in sharp relief by its dimensions, it catches the eye by the 34 statues which decorate the two sides. The main statue is the one which represents Henry the Navigator, while other figures rendered are important personalities who, one way or another, have contributed to Portugal’s reputation in the age of discoveries.
What red double-deckers are to London is what trams are to Lisbon. Tram 28 takes on a tourist-friendly route, passing through some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods like Graça, Baixa and Bairro Alto. Also to popular attractions, such as St. George’s Castle and Alfama. Along with a scenic route, the cars themselves are also considered to be part of the experience. Many of Lisbon’s trams, are the same since World War II, so a smooth trip up and around the area’s hills.
Palace-heavy Sintra is located 20 miles northwest of Lisbon. Sintra is a fascinating destination, offering a variety of historic monuments, beautiful natural scenery and endless amounts of Portuguese charm. Its gothic exterior is picture-perfect, but its history is the real draw; the palace was occupied from the 15th to the 19th centuries, making it Portugal’s most lived-in royal palace.
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood. It is the most traditional and charming place. One of the only districts to be spared from the devastating earthquake of 1755, Alfama is the historic soul of the city and its steep, cobblestoned lanes stand just as they were in medieval times. The best way to get around this neighbourhood is on your own two feet of course.
Saint George’s Castle
Saint George’s Castle can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. It dates from the 6th century, when it was fortified by the Romans, Visigoths, and eventually the Moors. It served as a Moorish royal residence until Portugal’s first king Afonso Henriques captured it in 1147 with the help of northern European crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. It was then dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of England.
Oceanario de Lisboa
This is not just an aquarium, but considering its size, a world of itself. The Oceanarium, as it’s also often referred to, is Portugal’s largest indoor aquarium.Here lives of 8,000 sea creatures. Four permanent exhibits represent different habitats that hold the likes of various types of birds, fish, amphibians and mammals. Here, visitors will find the likes of sea stars and coral to penguins, puffins and sea otters and everything in between.