Lisbon is and has always been a popular holiday destination thanks to its gorgeous architecture, great food, colourful culture and hot weather all year long. As it is located on the coast of Lisbon (Portugal) is not only a city full of tourist attractions and sightseeing opportunities, but also a real heaven for all the beach holiday lovers. The only possible drawback of spending your holiday in Lisbon is struggling to choose what to visit first.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Lisbon:
Alfama district – the old town of Lisbon
The first thing to see in Lisbon for anyone who appreciates architecture and wants to see the colourful culture of Portugal is of course the old town of Lisbon, which is also known as the Alfama district. As Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe, its old town is full of ancient streets and buildings mixed up with modern, hipster cafes and beautiful boutiques. Getting lost in the old town with no map might be a great way to appreciate the vibrant feel of Lisbon, however, walking tours in Guruwalks are always available as well, for those who have a great thirst for learning the history behind the buildings.
If you want to be blown away by the historical heritage of Lisbon, Jeronimos Monastery is a perfect destination for you. This breathtaking building is not only impressive due to its maritime motifs and sculptural details, but also its vast historical value. Jeronimos Monastery is known as a symbol for the age of discovery, when Portugal was at its peak of wealth and power in Europe, therefore, the place is proudly recognised by UNESCO and classified as a World Heritage monument.
The Monastery was built in 1502 to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s voyage right before he took off with his crew to travel around the world as well as has a tomb built inside to honour him. The story behind Jeronimos Monastery is what makes the visit an unforgettable experience.
Parque das Nações (Park of Nations)
To contrast the ancient feel of Lisbon with something modern and futuristic, visiting Parque de Nações is an absolute must. This area was specifically re-developed for the World’s Fair that was hosted in Lisbon and became one of the most popular and busy tourist attractions of the capital city. This place is praised for its beautiful cafes and restaurants at the waterfront as well as the futuristic contemporary architecture of the buildings.
The area is also full of attractions to visit, such as the stunning water gardens, one of the longest bridges in the world, cable car rides and the Lisbon’s state-of-the-art Oceanarium, which is often praised as one of the most impressive oceanariums in the world. And if that’s not enough, Vasco da Gama shopping center with a glass roof top is one of the greatest places to splurge on some shopping for all the holiday shoppers.
São Roque church and museum
For all the art fans out there São Roque church and museum is perhaps one of the most fascinating buildings you might ever see. Although the church might not look like much from the outside, the interior will take your breath away for sure, with it being known as the world’s most expensive chapel.
The interior was transported to Lisbon in 1747 with a blessing of the Pope himself, holding such expensive materials as silver, gold, ivory, agate and lapis lazuli. Besides the incredible detailing and rich materials, the church is home to many paintings from the 16th century.
Praia de Carcavelos Beach
If you wish to spend your holiday at the beach and enjoy the hot Portugese sun, Lisbon will definitely not disappoint you. As the capital city is located on the coast, any beach is of easy access either with a car or public transport. One of the most popular beaches of Lisbon is Praia de Carcavelos Beach that is greatly enjoyed not only by tourists, but by the locals as well.
This beach could be easily praised as a hidden treasure on earth, with the golden sands, bright blue sea, opportunities for surfing and an endless selection of beach cafes and restaurants. This beach is loved by so many people and families, that it is never empty and always full of fun activities.
With Lisbon offering so many different attractions or activities for any needs and interests, the only thing left to do is to plan your holiday to the fullest and pack it with unforgettable experiences. The ancient feel and rich history of this city is a perfect getaway, with the possibility to join free tours in Lisbon and see many of the above attractions in the same day. Besides that, the modern and futuristic side of Lisbon will not cease to amaze, with great opportunities for shopping or fine dining with a water front view.