Visiting Lisbon (Part 1)
This article is the first part of a list of the essential places to visit in Lisbon will help you make the most of the days you spend in the Portuguese capital without missing out on anything important.
Known as the city of the seven hills or of light, Lisbon has become one of our favorites thanks to its charming neighborhoods such as Alfama, historical monuments and buildings, incredible viewpoints, and lively taverns where you can listen to fado as well as fantastic gastronomy in which exquisite dishes such as bacalhau com Natas and the delicious Bélem cakes stand out, which are a symbol of the city.
To enjoy all these experiences, we advise you to invest a minimum of two days, and if you have more time, you can visit some of the jewels in the surroundings, such as the fairytale palaces of Sintra or Cascais.
To help you enjoy the most of this wonderful city, we have made a list of the most beautiful places to see in Lisbon.
Portas do Sol
If you are staying in the Alfama neighborhood, one of the first things to do in Lisbon is to go to the Portas do Sol viewpoint, our favorite in the city, first thing in the morning. There you can sit at some small tables located on a terrace where you can have delicious Belém pastries for breakfast accompanied by a coffee. All this, while observing an excellent panoramic view of Lisbon, with the pastel-colored houses of La Alfama in the foreground and the blue of the Tagus in the background.
A few meters from this viewpoint, in full descent, is the Church of Santa Luzia with a beautiful garden decorated with tiles, from where you will also get another good perspective of Lisbon.
To get to know Lisbon’s main viewpoints in a fun way, we recommend you book a tuk tuk tour with a Spanish guide.
To get to the viewpoint of Portas do Sol and other essential places to visit in Lisbon, such as the Castle of São Jorge and La Sé, we recommend you take the historic yellow tram 28.
This emblem of Lisbon will take you to another era as you tour the entire historic center (Barrio Alto, Alfama, Chiado, and Graça), and you hear the bell that announces the stops. The best option to make the ticket profitable is to buy the 24-hour ticket that costs a little more than 6 euros (the single one costs 3 euros) and includes the Elevador de Santa Justa and the da Gloria, although if you are going to visit the main monuments of the city, the best thing is to buy the Lisboa Card that includes it.
You can take this tram in the Alfama neighborhood and complete an entire route before starting the visits, just for the pleasure of enjoying the experience, and we assure you that it would be worth it.
Other historical trams are 12, which also passes through the downtown neighborhoods and 15 that will take you to Bélem, another community that you cannot miss on your visit to the city.
One of the best tips for traveling to Lisbon is to be attentive to your belongings on these trams, especially when they are full, as there may be pickpockets.
Castle of San Jorge
From the Portas do Sol viewpoint, you can walk or take tram 28 up to the São Jorge Castle, located on the highest hill in Lisbon, in the picturesque neighborhood of El Castelo. After walking the few streets of this neighborhood, you can enter this 5th-century castle, built by the Visigoths and expanded by the Arabs, to enjoy the city’s excellent views and the Tagus from a terrace that houses several ancient cannons.
Before going down to the Alfama neighborhood, we advise you to go in less than 10 minutes walking to the viewpoint of Graça or Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, located next to the church of Graça. And depending on the time of year, you can even watch the sunset there while having a drink on its large terrace. Visiting hours: every day from 9am to 9pm from March to October; the rest of the months it closes at 6pm.
Come back to check out the second part of the article.