I visited Lisbon for the first time last month and within the short 4 days I was there, there were some interesting things I found that people should try to do if they ever visited Lisbon.
Visit historic locations in Belem
Belem is one of older parts of Portugal. A lot of Lisbon’s historic buildings and monuments are on the Belem side of the city. Visit the once military outpost Tower of Belem along the Tagus River, as well as the Monument of Discoveries commemorating the age of discovery in which ships departed to explore India and the Orient. Belem also hosts the UNESCO World Heritage site Jeronimos Monastery which houses a church and several museums. Nearby are the Coaches Museum as well as the prominent pink facade of Belem Palace.
Ride the Santa Justa Lift
I always try to look for a high point in a location to get a view of a city’s skyline. Santa Justa Lift will give you just that. Located in the middle of downtown, the observation deck is located about 148 ft from the ground which will give you breathtaking view of downtown and the hills that surrounds it. You can also spot the ruins of Carmo Convent which is one of the preserved ruins from the 1755 earthquake that struck Lisbon.
Try the famous Pastel de Nata
When you visit Belem, be sure to try out the famous Pastel de Nata, which is a Portuguese Egg Tart, at this place called Pateis de Belem. Situated near the Jeronimos Monastery, you can’t miss their prominent blue awning in front of the store. Alternatively, you can sample this famous delicacy from almost any pattiseries around Lisbon.
Learn about the History of Lisbon at the Lisbon Story Center
One of the prominent events that has shaped Lisbon as it is today was the 1755 earthquake which almost wiped out the whole city. You can learn more of the city’s history and how it was rebuilt at the interactive museum, Lisbon Story Center. It is located at Praca do Comercio overlooking the Tagus River.
Admire the gigantic 25th of April Bridge
Speaking of Tagus River, don’t miss out on seeing this huge bridge crossing the Tagus River. You could even see it from the skies on your way to Lisbon. It red color will also remind you of an American city with a prominent red colored bridge, San Francisco.
Ride on trams to the hills of the city
Like San Francisco, Lisbon is also hilly, so trams were built and used to move around. Experience the hills like no other by riding on these nostalgic trams that goes through the narrow streets of the city. Once uphill, make a stop at Castelo de S. Jorge and admire another hilltop view of Lisbon.
Satisfy your appetite with some Seafood
Lisbon is known for exporting Cod fishes so it’s no surprise the restaurants here serve a lot of seafood as their main dish. The portions served are quite generous that you almost can’t finish all the Salmon, Squid, Mackerels you’re bound to order. Worth the money you spend.
European cities are always a joy to discover. There’s always an interesting history behind those beautifully preserved buildings and architectures, ruins, statues, as well as hidden gems waiting to be explored. Can’t wait to visit another city soon!