Fantastic food, delectable wines, colourful buildings, notable landmarks, great weather, nearby beaches and much more makes Portugal’s coastal capital city of Lisbon a must-visit destination.
The hilly city is brimming with places to explore, both on land and sea, and plenty of ways to let loose for a holiday to treasure. On land, you can discover a world of artefacts and interesting objects at museums like the National Azulejo Museum, which displays 500 years’ worth of the decorative ceramic tiles, while heading out on the water provides you with a relaxing way to take in the scenery and discover city highlights from a new angle, all while sipping on a glass of renowned Portuguese wine.
If you’re planning on visiting vibrant Lisbon this year, then let us guide you on how you can enjoy the very best that this city has to offer.
On the water
While exploring the city’s highlights on foot will provide you with an in-depth look at the history and beauty of the place up close, sometimes the hustle and bustle of these hot spots can stifle you and so getting out on the water, especially in the warm summer months, can be the perfect way to relax and sightsee at the same time.
Take in a river cruise on the Tagus and see the coastal sights from a fresh perspective, all while leaving the hectic traffic and huge numbers of people behind. There are some impressive monuments to take in on a cruise, like Torre de Belem and Ponte 25 de Abril, which are only made more enjoyable by sitting back with an aperitif and glass of Portuguese wine in hand on board.
Get your camera at the ready as you’ll be able to snap photos of the equestrian statue representing King Dom Jose I and the Arc de Triomphe at Praca do Comercio (square of commerce); the Ponte 25 de Abril; the stunning façade of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology; Belem Lighthouse and Belém Tower.
Once your river cruise is over, you’ll likely be refreshed and ready to delve a little deeper into some of the fascinating sights you spotted on your journey. There are some fascinating places to explore in depth, to gain a glimpse of their past and also to enjoy some wondrous views of the city from their various vantage points.
Belém Tower is a must-visit medieval landmark – this 16th-century fortification was built during the height of the Portuguese Renaissance and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside Jerónimos Monastery, a popular Gothic attraction in the city. Other top attractions include Castelo de S. Jorge, a Moorish castle and palace ruins on a hilltop with great views over the city, and the concrete monument to maritime explorers – the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, while it would be remiss to visit Lisbon and miss out on hearing traditional Fado singers delighting crowds in Alfama.
From the air
Prepare to be dazzled and take your trip to the next level if you choose to view the sights of Lisbon from the air. If you love to add a dash of adventure to your travels, then book a helicopter or a hot air balloon ride to showcase the best of the area from up high. Private helicopter tours can take you over the Belem Historic Quarter and will likely be 10 very exciting minutes of your life or you can opt for a slightly longer flight (15 minutes) and fly over the Tagus River too.
Hot air balloon rides will allow you a break from the city to enjoy blissful Portuguese scenery as you glide up and around the Coruche area in the countryside with a glass of Champagne in hand. The perfect way to spend half a day relaxing before you hit the capital’s sights once again and one you’ll not forget in a hurry.