Top Attractions in Lisbon
Top Attractions in Lisbon
One of the most charismatic and vibrant cities of Western Europe, Lisbon reflects Portuguese culture which encapsulates the modern culture although preserving its unique heritage and tradition. Having a maritime magic of an European city, it is renowned for its amazing café culture and soulful Fado music. Lisbon is a city that beautifully combines the old world charm and a modern vibrancy to give its visitors the best of both worlds. Crazy nightlife, never ending array of sandy beaches, masterful art, white-bleached limestone buildings, avant-garde Portuguese cuisine and generous people - Lisbon promises all this and more! Thanks to its wonderful waterfront location, it attracts a lot of beach lovers every year. If you are someone who enjoys a relaxed city that exudes classic, old-world charm, Portugal's capital won't disappoint.
Belém Tower, also called the Tower of St Vincent, is unarguably the most iconic symbol as well as an architectural gem of Lisbon. Originally conceived as a lighthouse, it was built between 1514 and 1520 as part of the Tagus estuary defense system and was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1983. You can walk up to this charming little tower adorned with alluring intricate details comprising of African Moorish-styled watchtowers and 1st European stone carving of Rhinoceros.
Also called the Hieronymites Monastery, the Jerónimos Monastery is situated in the Belem district of western Lisbon. This Gothic Manueline-style monastery is highly ornate and attracts a large number of visitors every year. Founded in 1501, it was from here that Vasco da Gama spent his last night before his voyage to the Far East.
Castelo São Jorge:
Perched right atop the tallest of Lisbon's 7 hills, St. George's Castle is a Morrish castle that majestically overlooks the historic city center along with Tagus River and visited by millions of visitors all year round. Having remained the former seat of power for Portugal over 400 years, today, it also houses an archaeological museum and Camera Obscura, a periscope proffering 360-degree panoramic view of the city. Note: Due to the positioning of the castle, it is not suitable for tourists with limited mobility.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos:
Perched on the banks of River Tagus in Lisbon, Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a striking and attractive monument situated right in the heart of the city and a highly photographed attraction. Also, visit a small museum housed here and a viewing platform offering breathtaking views over the Tejo estuary and Belem. Gaze at this 52m tall monument that dominates the shoreline and blends grandeur with finely carved details.
Labeled as the largest salt water aquarium, Lisbon Oceanarium makes for an amazing family-oriented tourist attraction. An abode to over 450 species of animals comprising of shark rays, penguins, and the highlight being 2 delightful sea otters, go through the 4 large tanks that represent 4 major ecosystems found across the world comprising of a massive central tank housing 100 species.
25 April Bridge:
One of Lisbon's most notable landmarks, Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge spans River Tagus at the narrowest point and closely resembles the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Take a photograph here or just admire the architectural beauty of this bridge.
Lisbon Cathedral or the Cathedral of St. Mary Major is the oldest church and the most iconic religious edifice in the city. With 2 walls and battlemented towers, this spiritual abode has a stern appearance and looks more like a medieval fortress. Marvel at the 12th-century Romanesque facade with a central rose window and a large porch. Visitors will definitely appreciate the spectacular Roman, Jewish and Moorish architecture of the building.
Praça do Comércio:
The most imposing among the squares in Lisbon, Praça do Comércio or Commercial Square stand as both a prominent tourist destination as well as a major transport hub. Encircled by traditional kaleidoscopic edifices on 3 sides, get clicked at this square adorned with a magnificent statue of King José I right in the center depicting crushing snakes with its hoofs.
Completed in the 15th century, Carmo Convent and Church is a Portuguese historical, religious building and visited by a large number of visitors. It is a burial site of several members of the Portuguese royal family and is now used as an archaeological museum. A visit to the convent is a reminder of the horrors that Lisbon faced during the earthquake of 1755.
Queluz National Palace:
A beautiful example of late Baroque architecture, Queluz National Palace houses a captivating history and is thronged by numerous visitors. Marvel at the sober facade that camouflages the magnificence and splendor of the interior of the palace. The Palace displays a blend of Baroque, the Rococo, and the Neoclassical architectural designs while the gardens are inspired by French styles. Don't miss out on the major highlight of the Palace, the ceiling of the Ambassadors Room which portrays the Royal Family attending a music session.