Lisbon is home to both stunning Moorish castles and whimsical Manueline architecture, making it a balanced mix of cultures, nodding to the Age of Discoveries when European countries went on to find different trade routes to Asia.
If you’re staying longer than a weekend in the stunning capital of Portgual, taking a day trip to the castles and palaces of Sintra or to the futuristic Parque das Nações is the perfect way to capture some of the Portuguese charms of its landscapes.
Here are 4 of our favorite Lisbon attractions to explore this year:
1. Visit São Jorge Castle
This fortress of Lisbon, perched on a hill above the historic center, transports you to the Middle Ages. It dates from the 11th century, when the city was under Moorish dominion, while the archaeological site suggests that a village was here as early as the 7th century BCE. Head up here for panoramic views from the pine-shaded ramparts — a fantastic site to soak up the city’s breathtaking panoramic views – or a look through the camera obscura for a dose of history at the museum.
2. Walk around Praça do Comércio
Discover one of Lisbon’s most beautiful squares, with its majestic 18th-century colonnades, triumphal arch, trams, and equestrian monument of King José I, down by the river. Check out the Lisbon Story Centre for an inside look at the city’s history from Roman times to the present day — you can bypass the line by pre-booking tickets.
3. Take pictures in Alfama
When the 1755 earthquake shook much of Lisbon, the historic Moorish neighborhood of Alfama remained standing. This is one of Lisbon’s most fascinating neighborhoods, with twisty, cobblestone lanes going past higgledy-piggledy pastel-colored cottages. Melancholic fado (Portuguese folk music) drifts from bars, while inhabitants converse in front of old-fashioned grocery stores and restaurants, with the castle staring down from above and the river stretching out below.
4. Try a Shot of Ginja
Ginja, often known as Ginjinha, is a sour cherry liqueur. It’s served in the form of a shot, with a piece of fruit at the bottom of the glass. However, in other instances, it is served in an edible chocolate cup!
Explore the City of Seven Hills
Lisbon is full of twisting streets and colorful buildings. Its alleys, ceramic tiles, and pastel paints make it a wonderful place to enjoy a summer walk.
Ready to Discover Lisbon?
Explore the capital of Portugal on foot with a local tour guide.
You’ll get to see some of the best spots, from the São Jorge Castle to the streets of Barrio Alto, the famous Rossio Square, and walk past Lisbon Cathedral.
Experience the city at your own pace and book the Free Walking Tour of Lisbon!