Essential guide to Lisbon, Portugal
Tuesday, 15 February 2022
If you are heading to Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal on a cruise holiday, then now is the perfect time to learn more about it. In this article, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Lisbon and look and what there is to do whilst in the city.
Where is Lisbon?
Lisbon is located on the Western Iberian Peninsula and sits at the mouth of the River Tagus, opening up into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known as the city of seven hills, as, like Rome, it’s set upon 7 hills – this means you are guaranteed some stellar viewpoints!
Does Lisbon have a beach?
Yes, Lisbon does have some wonderful beaches, although you’ll have to journey slightly out of the city centre to access them. One of the closest and most popular beaches is the Praia de Carcavelos, which is easily accessible from the city centre and a popular spot for residents to visit on a sunny day trip thanks to its water sports and promenade lined with bars and restaurants. Another popular beach nearby is the Costa da Caparica, located on the other side of the Tejo River.
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What to do in Lisbon
One of the most iconic sights in Lisbon is the yellow and white trams that bumble along the streets taking residents and travellers alike from A-Z. However, it’s Tram 28 that the most historic journey, weaving up through popular neighbourhoods and offering great views over the city. Due to the nature of the route, the new trams aren’t able to travel this line and so, you’re sure to be on one of the antiquated models.
São Jorge Castle
Located on one of the city’s seven hills, São Jorge Castle, or Saint George Castle in English, overlooks the city centre and offers a historic sight of the skyline. And, historic it is. Archaeologists have found evidence of fortifications built here dating back to 8th century BC, and you can still see remains dating back to 6th century BC today. As well as offering a historic location, you can also enjoy amazing views over the city from the castle, and that’s why it’s a must-visit.
Elevador de Santa Justa
If you’re scared of heights this is one you may want to skip, but for those who love some excitement (and a stunning view), Elevador de Santa Justa is a great visit and a really unique attraction in the city centre. Standing at 148ft high, the lift connects the city centre with the higher Largo do Carmo and Barrio Alto neighbourhoods and really stands out from the surrounding buildings. Take the lift up and for an even better view take the spiral staircase to the viewing deck to get a unique viewpoint of the city.
Journey to Belém
A historic district of the city which is located to the west of the city centre, there is plenty to enjoy in Belém. Here you can see the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery (together they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as the Age of Discovery monument or take a visit to Pastéis de Belém, the home of Portuguese treat pastel de nata, first created here in 1837.
Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre
A little retail therapy never hurt anyone, and Lisbon is a great place to indulge in some. For everything you’d want under one roof, why not try the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre? It’s only a short taxi ride from the port and has nearly 200 stores and 50 food options – the only limit is how many bags you can carry!
For foodies, the TimeOut Market is a must. Just like the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre, it contains everything you’d need under one roof though, it’s not shops you’ll find but places to eat. With 28 restaurants and 8 bars, as well as a concert hall, you can sample a range of local delicacies and the best dishes on offer in Lisbon, all hand-selected by the team from TimeOut.
Situated in a prominent factory dating back to 1846, Lx Factory is a community hub and business location featuring shops, restaurants and offices, as well as a range of creative events. For lovers of art and culture, the Lx Factory and surrounding area epitomises those things and is like a living, modern day-museum. Although the building itself is historic, the buzz here is electric and modern in feeling and offers a really unique experience to visitors.
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So, whether you are looking to visit Lisbon on a Winter Sun cruise, or are planning ahead for a potential 2023 cruise itinerary, there is plenty on offer here to look forward to. With amazing historic sites, a strong love of culture and the arts and beautiful Mediterranean sunshine, what’s not to enjoy?
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