Top 7 Things to Do in Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, which is the land of beautiful and melancholic Fado. But Lisbon is far from melancholic. This is a delightful, lively city of cobbled streets and alleyways, ancient ruins, great museums, amazing Portuguese cuisine and wonderful people. It is rich in history and has a Bohemian atmosphere to it.
As for the nightlife, you won’t have to look far, Bairro Alto district is full cafés, restaurants and pubs. And for those who are looking for something more, don’t worry. Lisbon has become a major bachelor party town, so you can only imagine what awaits you when the sun sets. Here is a list of top seven things you can do in Lisbon:
1. Relax in Rossio Square
Rossio Square is the center of everyday lives for Lisbon’s locals. The official title of this square is Pedro IV Square, which has been famous since the medieval ages. Like in many other cities of Europe, this was the place of important gatherings, such as public beheadings, bullfights, political debates, etc. Today it is a great place to peacefully wander around and enjoy people watching. You can even sit on benches protected by the shade of trees and watch the locals play dominos or chess.
2. Take a stroll through Alfama District
The small, heartwarming Alfama District is equivalent to the old town centers of other ancient European capitals. This is the oldest part of the city filled with cobble-stone streets and wonderful ancient buildings. While you are exploring this part of town, you willl see marvelous cathedrals, like the Lisbon Cathedral, and small chapels. Some of the ancient buildings still remain to bring the feeling of rich history.
3. See Torre de Belém
The last sight Vasco da Gama had when starting his big adventure into the vast Atlantic Ocean was Torre de Belem. This beautiful construction is a mix of architectural styles starting from the Mudejar to the Moorish, and from the Gothic to the Romanesque. This landmark has become one of the city’s most known and loved towers. It was built under the patronage of Saint John in the 16th century.
4. Visit Sintra
Although not actually in Lisbon, this a half hour away from town, which every local and the veterans of the capital alike will recommend you visit. This is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was the home to many former Portuguese royalty. This magical town sits in the middle of the mythical Mountains of the Moon, revealing flamboyant mansions, beautiful baroque churches and grand palaces.
5. Explore St. George’s Castle
This one of the greatest historic landmarks Lisbon has to offer. The citadel was built by the Romans about 2,000 years ago. It is still standing tall and proud above the lovely Alfama District. This castle will take you to another time with its mighty towers, encircling dry moat and more of the anti-siege features. If you look closely, you will see beneath the large gate of the citadel the Portuguese royal seal, which represents the strength of the monarchy.
6. Party at Barrio Alto
Barrio Alto is the hot spot for all the lovers of delicious food, good drinks and great nightlife. This is the most visited district by tourists. If you go there in the daytime, you’ll be surprised to see that nothing much is happening. But that is because this district comes to its full glory starting in the evening.
Here you will find a lot of fresco cafes, international restaurants, authentic bakeries, pastelarias and cosmopolitan drinking joints. You can also experience the beautiful and melancholic music of Fado and receive passionate feelings while drinking some red wine. If you are more into craft beer, you can enjoy it in cool Bohemian style bars.
7. Be amazed by the beauty of Tróia
To discover the beautiful glowing sand beaches of Troia, you will have to pass both the Tagus River Estuary and Sado River Estuary. It is about a two-hour journey, but absolutely worth it. This one of the calmest beaches in this part of the country, meaning you won’t be overpowered by the waves that easily.
The beaches have that picture perfect soft yellowish spark created by the shining sun. If you choose to go on a boat tour, you will see the magnificent dolphins swimming freely. Just magical.