Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city and home to the chief port of the country. Although it began as a small settlement on one of the far edges of the globe it quickly earned itself a reputation, and by the 15th century, it was one of the main centers of operations in Portugal. Its harbor is said to be one of the world’s most beautiful, and the city itself is also stunning with colorful houses and lovely greenspaces.
A trip to Lisbon will always be a good idea whether you are traveling for work or for leisure. While you are in town you should take some time to explore the city, which is the perfect combination of modern and traditional. There is an abundance of activities and attractions located around the city center so finding something to do won’t be difficult.
We’ve gathered a list of some of the coolest ways to spend your time in Lisbon, so add some of these activities to your travel itinerary! You will be moving around the city a lot if you want to try all of them, so make your life easier by stowing your suitcases at a Lisbon luggage storage facility.
Explore Lisbon Underground
There are so many things to see in Lisbon, but the fun isn’t only confined to the surface! Underneath the city, you will find a complex network of tunnels that span most of the area beneath the city center. These tunnels are quite impressive, especially when you learn that some of them are nearly 2,000 years old! While you are exploring the tunnels, consider booking a visit to the Loreto Underground Gallery.
Visit the Carmo Convent Ruins
Did you know that one of the most dangerous earthquakes in history happened right here in Lisbon? It was the 1st of November, 1775 when the magnitude 9 earthquake shook the ground and destroyed most of the city. The majority of the town was rebuilt, although the Carmo Convent ruins remain today as a reminder of that deadly day. The Carmo Convent used to be a church with an impressive library of about 5,000 books, but now the remaining structure houses the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Climb the Lisbon Bridge
While you are walking around the city you will probably spot the red suspension bridge which was originally named after Salazar, the dictator. Later on, the name was changed to the 25th of April Bridge in dedication to the 1974 revolution. If you are interested in learning more about the bridge and its construction you can visit the museum which will also let you go inside to see the huge cables that support the bridge up close. While you are here, you definitely have to ride the elevator to the top; the views of the city are incredible!
Spend the Day at the Beach
Lisbon is actually home to some lovely beaches, and getting between them is easy during the summertime if you ride on the Transpraia train! This mini tourist tram goes between a dozen different beaches, beginning at Costa da Caparica and ending at Fonte da Telha. It is always fun to spend a day walking along the sand at the beach, especially when they are all just one tram ride away from each other.
Walk Through the Estufa Fria Greenhouse
Hidden away in Eduardo VII Park is one of the prettiest green spaces in the city. The Estufa Fria greenhouse is filled with lush green plants and beautiful flowers. There is also a pond and a waterfall, and even a cactus garden! It is a nice spot for a relaxing walk or maybe a picnic, so pay them a visit to see what else the greenhouse has to offer.
Admire the Street Art
One thing that you will instantly notice about Lisbon is that there is street art everywhere, and it is amazing to see how the city’s old buildings are given a new life when they are covered in colorful murals and paintings. Some of them are obvious whereas others are more hidden, so you never know when you might come across something incredible painted on the walls. Keep an eye out while you are exploring the city! There are also street art tours offered if you want to learn a little bit more about the artists.
Go to the Lisbon Oceanarium
Lisbon is the proud home of one of the biggest aquariums in the world, and it is one of the places that you just have to visit while you are in the city. The aquatic creatures featured in the aquarium come from 4 different underwater habitats, and there are nearly 8,000 animals in total. The workshops and talks that they host at the Lisbon Oceanarium can teach you a lot about the underwater world and encourage conservation as well.
Ride the Parque das Nações Cable Car
The Parques das Nações was once buzzing with crowds during the Expo ‘98 that was hosted by Lisbon, although today people don’t always think of visiting it. You will find it in the same spot as the Oceanarium so you can stop by both in one day! Here you can walk along the boulevards to admire the architecture, or see it all from above by riding on the 18 meter-high cable car!
Making the Most of Your Vacation in Lisbon
It is hard to not enjoy your time in Lisbon, and there are so many cool things to do while you are here. Although the main tourist attractions are always a good place to start, you can find some other really interesting activities if you just do a little bit of exploring. No matter what you usually like to do, from admiring art and history to learning about the natural world or sightseeing, the city of Lisbon will have something exciting to offer you. Start planning your trip to Portugal today!
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