Lissabon I am in love with you! I'm crazy about good food and besides that, my kids have Portuguese blood in their veins. This is one of the oldest cities in the world and certainly the oldest in Western Europe. There are four interesting areas in the centre of Lisbon. Belem, Bairro Alto & Estrela, Baixa & Avenida and Alfama
For many years I lived partly in Cacilhas opposite the Tagus. More about it later! Lisbon and the surrounding area have many hidden corners and angels that will surprise and seduce you as a visitor again and again. The charm lies in the inspiring architecture, the enchanting squares and the Moorish heritage.
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DISTRICT - ALFAMA
Striking are the compact houses, the steep streets and stairs. I love the local grocery stores and small, cellar-style taverns.
Above the Alfama, on the east, stands the beautiful Castel de Sao Jorge. West of Alfama is the twin towers of the Sé. To the northeast the huge dome church of Santa Engracia and the white facade of Sao Vincente de Fora the skyline.
The Alfama is a fascinating neighbourhood at any time of the day and comes to life in the late afternoon and early evening as the locals show up at their doors and the little taverns fill up. Meanwhile, there are modern shops and bars. Given the steep streets and steps of the neighbourhood, I recommend working downstairs. A walk through the maze of winding streets reveals picturesque corners as well as panoramic views from shady terraces such as the Miradouro de Santa Luzia.
Recommended is the Castelo de São Jorge. The gardens and narrow streets of the Santa Cruz district within the walls of the castle are worth seeing. The great view down to the beautiful Lisbon is just amazing! To get a ticket there is always a long line! I recommend you to buy the ticket for the Castelo de São Jorge without queuing at *GetyourGuide online before you travel!
City view from the Castelo de São Jorge
DISTRICT BAIXA AND AVENIDA
The Arco da Rua Augusta is a popular place for pantomime artists, guitar players, break dancers and more. The Baixa is the commercial centre of the capital and houses banks, offices and shops. Watching there are pickpockets.
In the centre, Rossio is a popular meeting place with cafés, theatres and restaurants. The streets are usually overcrowded, especially the lively Rua Augusta, which serves as a thoroughfare to the Praça do Comércio, as well as numerous bars, restaurants and clubs. Praça dos Restauradores, this is the liveliest part of the city, especially the central square of Rossio and Praca da Figueira. The Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, a pedestrian area with restaurants where fresh lobster is, invites you to stroll. Enjoy an espresso or snack in one of the small cafes, then you can really absorb the busy city life.
DISTRICT BAIRRO ALTO AND ESTRELA
The hill Bairro Alto is one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods of the city. In the heart of the Bairro Alto lies the elegant business district of Chiado, one must be wealthy to make purchases there. To the northwest is the Estrela district with its popular gardens. The Bairro Alto district is a fascinating area with cobblestone streets. This is known for the nightlife of Lisbon with countless small bars and restaurants.
Café A Brasileira
The Café A Brasileira is a café is one of my favourite cafe in Lisbon from the late period of the Belle Époque. It is located at number 120 of the well-known Rua Garrett, in the Chiado district and is considered the birthplace of Bica, the typical Portuguese variant of espresso. For me every time a highlight when I'm in Lisbon, there I always enjoy an espresso with my friend Fernando Pessoa (see photo below). Here you can really watch the hectic bustle of the city. Fernando Pessoa, actually Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa, was a Portuguese poet, writer, clerk of a trading house and humanities scholar and is always ready to take a selfie with you.
DISTRICT (HISTORICAL) BELÉM
At the mouth of the Tejo, for me one of the most beautiful places. Two of the most beautiful sights are the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Torre de Belém. Belém a relatively green suburb with many museums, parks and gardens and an attractive waterfront with cafes and promenade. *Belém Bus Tour and Boat Cruise 24-Hour Combo
On my travels, I buy tickets and tours at GetyourGuide*
ATTRACTIONS IN THE NEAR AREA OF LISBON
Cacilhas, Almada was my second home
Cacilhas on the other side of the Tagus is my personal hotspot. I have lived there myself and have many good and great memories of it. How to get from Lisbon to Cacilhas? Just take the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas, which goes every 7 minutes in rush hour. Arrived in Cacilhas you can feel the old Portuguese mentality with small shops and the small old restaurants, where even the mother or grandma in the kitchen and cook this delicious food. The scent of the grill and sardines is for me always an invitation to a hearty lunch or dinner with a delicious Portuguese wine. If you want to eat very good and reasonably priced visit my favourite place!
Pão com Chouriço e Caldo Verde-A Merendeira
On her next visit to Lisbon, I can only recommend "A Merendeira". For me, it is an insider tip for Portugal lovers who like the special. What is Pão com Chouriço e Caldo Verde? It is a traditional bread dish. Spicy sausage with warm bread. The locals usually eat this delicious meal late at night after the disco visit. But since the store already opens at 10 o'clock in the morning, I have often made a menu for me. It is meant for the big hunger, and there is the delicious Caldo Verde soup. Caldo Verde means Portuguese for "green broth", is understood a soup from the north of Portugal, which belongs to the national dishes of the country. Then cut into fine strips of leaves of Couve Galega, a variant of the Markstammkohls (fodder and cabbage), in the soup, which is briefly boiled again. I wish a good appetite. I am waiting for your feedback.
Lisbon's Cristo Rei, modelled after the well-known Cristo Redentor ("Christ the Redeemer") in Rio de Janeiro, stands this huge statue with outstretched arms on the south bank of the Tagus River. The 28-meter-high statue of Christ, which was mounted on a huge pedestal, was designed by Francisco Franco 1949-59 at the behest of Prime Minister Salazar. A lift and a few steps lead you 82 meters to the podium and from there you have a nice view of the city and the river. Just take the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas and you can take a bus there, which takes some time. Alternatively, a taxi is easier at € 5.00.
Me and the bridge "Ponte 25 de Abril"
Originally called Ponte Salazar after the dictator who had it built in 1966, the Lisbon suspension bridge was renamed in commemoration of the April 25, 1974 revolution. Inspired by San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in the US, this steel structure spans over 2 miles. The Docas just below the bridge and along the marina are numerous restaurants where you can enjoy the view of the bridge and Cristo Rei.
Parque das Nações
was the venue of the Expo 1998, Parque das Nações is now a hub in Lisbon. With its contemporary architecture and family-oriented attractions, the park has renewed the eastern waterfront, which was once an industrial wasteland. The ascending geometry of the canopies above the Santiago Calatrava Orientation Station (Estação Oriente) sets the tone for development.
Oceanário de Lisboa, the somewhat futuristic oceanarium, is the centrepiece of Expo '98 and today the main attraction of the Parque. It lies at the end of a pier surrounded by water. It is the second largest aquarium in the world. This is a highlight for all family travellers. Here you get *cheap tickets for the Ozeaneum.
JARDIM ZOOLÓGICO, the gardens of the Jardim Zoologico are as much a feature as the actual zoo. It was opened in 1905. It has an impressive collection of 2000 animals. The zoo's current attractions include a cable car that tours the park, a reptile house, dolphin shows and an amusement park. The area is divided into four zones and the ticket gives access to all attractions. A must for families with children. You can book a combined ticket here
Time Out Market Lisboa, is a food hall in the Mercado da Ribeira in Cais do Sodré. One of my favourite places to enjoy a glass of wine and petiscos (small appetizer). You quickly get to know people from all over the world. A hotspot! It opened in May 2014 and is the first of several planned Food Hall companies for Time Out. There are 35 kiosks on the Lisbon market offering regional specialities such as Azeitão sheep's milk cheese, Alentejo ham, custard tarts from Café Aloma, sardines, wines and chocolates. Five top chefs have restaurants here. The original fish, fruit and vegetable market stalls occupy the other half of the market.
STREETART IN LISBON
just great! Graffiti, sophisticated murals and street sculptures by popular street artists. Then there is an open-air gallery. It was just fun to discover the colourful streets of Lisbon! You get a feel for the lifestyle of the locals. You just have to experience and see that. Especially the price was unbeatable. Here to the ticket*
SIGHTSEEING WITH THE METRO
The fastest and cheapest way to get to the city is through the Metropolitano. The metro stations are marked with a red M. There is usually a departure every 6-12 minutes.
The subway is the recommended way to get to the city centre from Lisbon airport, and it should be the preferred means of transport when exploring the city. Here I recommend buying the *Lisbon Card before you travel. This will allow you to travel around the city for free throughout your stay in Lisbon, as well as free entrance to 23 museums. Lisboa Card - ticket here*
SIGHTSEEING WITH THE TRAM
Trams (Electricos) are one of the most pleasant sights in Lisbon. However, they operate only in a very limited area of the city, along the river to Belem and around the hilly parts of Lisbon. There are two types of trams in Lisbon. The good-looking old from the First World War and the new trams with elegant interiors. Single tickets for all trips are very cheap, except for those on the red Colinas or Tejo who offer sightseeing trips for tourists.
Nostalgic Tram nº 28E:
The nostalgic tram 28 is an institution in itself. This wooden tram takes you into another era. The horn sounds incessant to warn absent pedestrians of the city's long and narrow streets. including Graça, Mouraria, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Madragoa and Bairro Alto. Thousands of tourists travel daily on this tram.
Tram nº 15: The tram 15 is the most frequently used tram in Lisbon because it connects the city centre and Belém. This tram is not romantic. It is useful, modern and is always jam-packed with people, mostly tourists. If you take tram 15, keep an eye on your belongings as there are pickpockets. The tram 15 departs from “Cais de Sodré” station, a large interchange station near Praça do Comércio.
TRAVELLING BY BUS
Lisbon Bus (autocarros) are usually yellow and are bright features around the cities streets. Most inner-city busses start from 05:30 am to 1:00 am. A smaller amount number of night buses operate between 1:00 am and 5:30 am. The bus network is Lisbon's most extensive public transport system, and buses go just about everywhere. Their timetable suffers from Lisbon's traffic problems, which means you sometimes have to wait a long time to get on a very crowded bus. Most public vehicles are smooth riding, air-conditioned buses that bend at the middle Stops are indicated by a sign marked Paragem, where details of the specific route are shown. The final destination is shown on the front of the bus along with the number. Paper tickets can be bought onboarding. If using a prepaid card remember to validate by passing over the electronic scanner. Timetable Busses
THE LISBOA CARD
Save money and time with the flexible Lisbon Card and experience the city with free admission to 23 municipal museums. The card is available for 1, 2 or 3 days and allows unlimited use of public transport.
For the next visit: Lisbon Card & Tours
Here I have listed a few hotels where I have spent my days in Lisbon so far
Hotel *Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, this hotel is in central Lisbon, 200 meters from Chiado, great deals!
Hotel *My Story Hotel Tejo, in a prime location in the heart of Lisbon's historic downtown, just recommended.
See more hotels below ⬇︎