Lisbon was once considered a fishing village until it became one of Europe’s largest ports and trading centres. This was no coincidence; Lisbon is located at the mouth of the Tagus River, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, Lisbon offers a unique combination of ocean breezes coupled with the sun and sand of the continent. Let’s see in the article below what Lisbon city is well-known for.
Lisbon city is famous for being home to one of the world´s most important religious sites – the Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace (also known as Catedral da Sé or just Católica). In addition to this, many other churches and monasteries can be found around town. Some of these include the Church of St Francis Xavier (São Francisco Xavier), the church of Santa Clara, the church of Santa Maria de Alcobaça, the church of Carmo, and the church of Santos Dumont.
Eating delicious seafood
It would not be wrong to say that eating seafood is a way of life in Lisbon! The Portuguese have imported this tradition of cooking seafood into their cuisine. Many restaurants around the old centre specialize in serving fresh seafood and fish dishes. However, if you want to enjoy some authentic Portuguese food then head over to any seafront restaurant such as those on Rua Augusta or Avenida Infante Dom Henrique. These are places that serve freshly caught seafood straight from the sea. You will find whole crabs, lobsters, shrimp, mussels, clams and oyster bars all along the coast!
Enjoying a unique nightlife
Many people visit Lisbon for its nightlife, which is among the best in Europe. If you like drinking alcohol, visiting nightclubs, dancing and raving, then you are going to love Lisbon. Of course, the city does cater to tourists, so don’t expect to go clubbing without making an effort to get in. Go out to the clubs at night and listen to live music. You might even spot some celebrities here!
Visiting the Jeronimos Monastery
One of the top attractions in Lisbon is the Jeronimos monastery. This was founded by King Manuel I in 1501 and it is dedicated to the patron saint of his wife Dona Filipa de Lencastre. The monastery has been built on several levels, starting from the bottom, up the hill, to ensure that the monks have enough sunlight. It also features cloisters, chapels, courtyards, gardens and terraces.
Walking around the Castle
Another popular tourist destination in Lisbon is the castle. Located atop Penha Hill, the castle was originally constructed by the Moors and later taken over by the Christians who ruled Portugal. It was declared a national monument back in 1937 and today attracts thousands of visitors each year. The view of the surrounding area takes your breath away. Take a walk around the ramparts and discover hidden gems like the Torre de Belém, the oldest building in the country and another fortified tower of Muslim origin.
Lisbon is full of surprises when it comes to shopping. From cheap street markets to designer boutiques, there are heaps of things for shoppers to enjoy. The Baixa area is filled with shops, including Arco do Teles and Mercado Modelo. They host regular flea markets where you can find various items like clothes, accessories, shoes and collectables. For more upscale fashion, try Chiado or the Bairro Alto. Head over to the Alfama area if you want to shop till you drop. You will find lots of stores and malls there.
Dining in local pubs
A great way to experience local culture is by dining in local cafés and restaurants. The best place to start eating is Restauradores Street near Praça dos Restauradores. Here you can sample typical Portuguese tapas like bread, cheese, salted cod, sardines and octopus. Or you can head towards the Ribeira neighbourhood to try some international cuisine. Try Italian, Chinese, Spanish or French food in Lisbon.
Taking a boat trip
No list of what to do in Lisbon would be complete without listing taking a boat ride. The most popular way to spend a day in Lisbon is by spending time on boats while enjoying the city’s views and experiencing the locals’ daily activities. Various operators are offering different tours throughout the day, but we recommend choosing one that serves drinks and snacks.
In conclusion, we hope our travel guide helped you plan your next vacation! We’d love to hear any questions you have about travelling to Lisbon before or during your next adventure.