5 Great Activities in Lisbon
With the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean as its backdrop, Lisbon is undeniably one of the most charming cities you’ll ever see. Its historic monuments and grand churches define your itineraries while those spending museums and the outstanding café culture ensure enough of history and culture to keep your plates occupied. You’d surely want to experience those vintage carriages of the Lisbon tram, dive into the city’s mouth-watering seafood and check out works of famous street artists such as the Brazilian twins, Os Gemeos, but you’ll also want to reserve time for these 5 great activities in Lisbon. Check out Bookmundi if you’re looking for more things to do in Lisbon.
St. George’s Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)
St. George’s Castle, or Castelo de Sao Jorge, is located on top of the highest hill of Alfama, offering grand insights into the city’s history as well as its undeniable beauty. The castle once served as a major fortification for the Romans and Visigoths and a palace for Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, but now narrates stories of a bygone era and offers some of the best views of the city, the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. Much of the castle is still intact, including its 18 towers and underground chambers, and there’s an onsite restaurant, an archaeological museum and beautiful gardens to explore as well. Visiting the castle is a fun thing to do for the entire family and the kids will surely fall in love with climbing those towers and walls that circle the castle grounds. For an entirely unique experience at St. George’s Castle, head over to the Camera Obscura, a periscope housed in one of the castle’s towers that project stunning 360-degree views of the city.
Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the early 1500s, has always remained popular as a beacon of maritime Lisbon, a grand symbol of the Age of Discovery. The tower stands guard at the mouth of River Tagus and is known to offer some of the best views of the Atlantic. The tower once stood in the middle of river (the water has since changed its course), serving as the departure point for explorers. It is also a shining example of Manueline architecture at its decorative best. The ornate stonework and beautiful façade with its armillary sphere and twisted ropes that are carved out of stone are some of the main charms of this historic tower. The most striking feature is a second-floor chamber which opens into a Renaissance loggia hosting the royal coat of arms of Manuel I. The monument of Discoveries is also located a short walk away.
This beautiful hill town looks like the inspiration behind those fairy tale cities and palaces, wild woodlands and stunning floral gardens. A trip to Sintra takes about 40 minutes by train and every moment of this day tour is truly a moment to be savored. Sintra-Vila, a UNESCO World Heritage city center is full of pastel colored manors that reveal rolling hills which make their way down to the stunning blues of the Atlantic. The Moors built a magnificent castle here and the Portuguese filled the town with enchanting gardens. Its charms can keep you captivated for days, and it is particularly popular during the summer months. For more information about Sintra, please see here.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is considered to host one of the finest art collections in Europe. It boasts of more than 6000 pieces of art spanning over 4000 years of human history, right from the Antiquity to the 19th century. Plan to spend a couple of hours here, for Turner’s breath-taking painting The Wreck of a Transport Ship, those Roman medallions from Egypt, Thomas Germain silverware and 16th century Armenian manuscripts demand your attention. Lalique’s Art Noveau styled jewelry is equally charming.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Lisbon is full of Renaissance and Gothic wonders and the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos is a striking example of Manueline architecture. This 15th century monastery was built to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s discovery of India and truly deserves its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The star attraction of this monastery is a beautiful Gothic chapel which entombs some of the greatest figures in the history of Portugal. Wander around the chapel admiring its beautifully decorated rooms and stunning stonework as well as the National Archaeology Museum of Lisbon which is located in the West Wing.
This guide presents the 5 best activities in Lisbon to ensure that you have a fascinating time in Portugal’s beguiling capital. Every attraction on this list deserves its superstar status and you’d be wise to plan your journeys in advance for each attracts huge crowds, particularly during peak tourist season. Please check out Bookmundi for other things to do around the world.