The sun, architecture, nature and street art. Nine days and 550 pictures for our photo travel guide! Lisbon true colors!
Lisbon received us with sunny and warm weather. We arrived early in the morning after a 7 hours bus trip from Madrid. As I already wrote in previous posts: buses are cheap, comfortable and reliable in western Europe. The company that we choose was Alsa (a good network through Spain and Portugal), the tickets cost €44 per person. Not bad at all!
Doesn’t matter where the accommodation you booked is, for sure you will have to walk hill up and down to get around the city. So pay attention to the name of your street, sometimes all the buildings look the same with their colored tiles and clothes hanging outside. That’s Lisbon, and those peculiarities make the city so special.
Lisbon is definitely a visual city. Everywhere you look there is a unique color, a different detail, something special and beautiful. Because of that, we couldn’t make a travel guide using words and explaining places. The best way to show Lisbon is through images, and that we have a lot. Our album is packed with great shots. If you are looking for hotels check them here!
From ordinary houses to palaces, from fountains to park seats, the tiles are everywhere. Called “azulejos”, they are an Arabic heritage and give to the city a unique and colored look.
Another postcard image from Lisbon is the electric tram. The yellow “elétrico” runs all around the city.
You can take line 28 that passes through a historical neighborhood like Alfama, Graça, Baixa-Chiado, Bairro Alto and also passes by Martim Moniz, a multiethnic area with cool shops and a busy artistic square.
Most of the places we reached by “elétrico” or walking. But if you really want to understand the history behind the beautiful places I do recommend taking a walking tour. We did one with Lisbon Chill Out Tour, and it was super! A big thanks to Miguel, our guide! Another great way to explore Lisbon is to get in touch with one of the vacation photographers from Localgrapher. They are professional photographers and local experts, so you get to know the city and have a professional photoshoot from your vacations.
Here are some places you must visit in Lisbon
The way up to the castle is a difficult path. The tiny streets made us get lost a couple of times. The fortification dates from 11th century and it is an important piece of Portugal`s history. Nice to walk inside the walls and see families living there.
The cathedral is located in the old part of the city, close to the castle and Alfama area. The building was constructed in 1147 over an ancient mosque. The build is beautiful inside, really impressive.
Barrocan style church built in 1966. It is a huge building, the dome can be seen from all over the city.
– Igreja da Graça and belvedere
Nice square with a church and an amazing view. There you can rest, drink a beer or a “galão” (coffee with milk) and enjoy the city view. Great place to go after a walk in Feira da Ladra, the local flea market.
It is the biggest flea market in Lisbon. Started back on the 13th century and every Saturday it is packed with people, antiques, interesting things and old crap stuff. Located beside the National Pantheon, the market starts around 7am in the morning and goes till 2pm. Take care with pickpockets while visiting there.
This is one of the oldest areas of Lisbon. The neighborhood began with the Romans, but the Arabs are the real responsible of making this a unique area. Small alleys, staircases, old tiled houses and flowers, a beautiful place frozen in time.
Talking about ancient places, one interesting thing about Lisbon is that the city is really old (its history dates from 3.000 years ago) but it doesn’t look like an ancient capital. The main reason is the earthquake that destroyed the city in 1755. The town needed to be rebuilt from the sketch. The Alfama neighborhood was one of the few places that survived from the earthquake.
With avenues and big squares the “new” Lisbon city center is beautiful.
Walking around Liberdade Avenue, Baixa-Chiado, Rossio and the quays you will find amazing places.
Impressive Square in front of the Tagus River. Surrounded by the ministries building is a place full of bars and a wine tasting spot.
If you don’t want to climb one more hill, the Santa Justa elevator is a solution to go from Lisbon city center (Baixa) to Bairro Alto. For a ride you will have to pay 5€.
– Elevador da Bica
Actually it is a funicular, however everybody calls it as an elevator. It connects Bairro Alto with the bottom of the city, near to the river.
– LX Factory
That is a super cool place, a mix of art, food and business. Close to the bridge 25 de Abril, it is located in old warehouses that have been transformed into a cultural center. Nice spot for a happy hour, dinner or to just walk around and see some nice street art.
The bridge connects the Alcântara neighborhood to Almada, the other side of Tagus river. Its name is a tribute to the Carnation Revolution that happened in Lisbon on 25th of April 1974, which ended the longest dictatorship in Europe.
From Cais do Sodré you can take a boat to Cacilhas and enjoy a good lunch or dinner. This is a picturesque neighborhood full of restaurants and beer houses. You can see Lisbon and the river, it’s stunning. Great place for seafood, we will talk about it in our Portuguese cuisine article.
For resting and to enjoy the sun there are two nice places to go in Lisbon (both close to city center)
From there you have a nice view of the city and the Tagus river. Worthy the walk.
From the Praça do Comércio you can walk alongside the river towards the bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril). In the way you will find Cais do Sodré full of bars, restaurants, a metro and boat station. Great place to stop for a drink and enjoy the sunset. 😉
And if after doing all this (not in the same day, of course!), you still have some energy to enjoy the night, go to Bairro Alto! We went there a couple of times and always had great fun.
As the name suggests it is on the top of a hill, you can walk or take one of the elevators till there. During the day is a quiet and beautiful place, at night is the busiest area in town. There you can find people from all around the world, drinks and fun.
These are some of Lisbon highlights you can’t miss. A bit far from the center there is a beautiful neighborhood called Belém, click here to read about it. Other important tips you can find on our Lisbon Travel Costs Guide!
Are you ready to pack your bags and travel to Lisbon? If you have any doubts drop a comment below!