Relaxed, pretty and colourful; Lisbon is a beautiful location for a long weekend. I’ve had a city break here on my ‘to do’ list for some time and this month got the opportunity to basque in the sunshine and enjoy all the city had to offer. Here are my recommendations for a few days sightseeing in Lisboa, Portugal.
1. Look up and look down! There’s so much beautiful architecture to see above – like here at the Praça do Comércio. Take in the city, not just the view out over the water, it’s so colourful. And look down at the street, the small cobbles and pretty patterns are just as photogenic.
2. Catch a ride on the 28 tram. Everyone is doing it yes, and it is one of the main tourist attractions of Lisbon but don’t avoid it, hop on! Tickets are just a couple of euros each (€2.85) and the whole journey takes around 40 minutes. Try and get on a few stops further back than the main square as it gets very crowded on board, as ideally you need a seat. Keep your head inside the windows though – some of those streets are very narrow!
3. Discover secret gardens. We came across a few little gardens tucked away off the main streets. Both were beautifully tiled in blue and peaceful serene places to relax.
4. Be a proper tourist. Part of the joy of Lisbon is it’s narrow streets and bustling squares. These brightly coloured ‘tuk tuk’s’ are available on every corner.
5. Get in on the ceramics. All handmade in Portugal and in an array of shapes and colours, Lisbon’s tiles and ornaments are a perfect souvenir to take home.
6. Visit the Castelo de São Jorge. Located right up on the hill, it’s oldest parts date from the 6th century. Entry is 8.50€ per person, see details here. Start your walk up around 3:30pm and aim to enter around 4pm after the main hoards and heat of the early afternoon sun. After exploring we enjoyed a glass of wine (4€) from the ‘Wine with a View‘ mini-van and looked over the city as the sun began to go down. A perfect end to the day.
7. Convento do Carmo. It may not be one of the main attractions of the city, but it is definitely a hidden gem. Perfect if multiple entry fees are getting a bit steep – it’s just 3€ per person. Marvel at the ruins and crumbling architecture which was damaged terribly in the 1755 earthquake, and take in the beautiful arches against the blue sky where the roof was never rebuilt.
8. Views from high. There are many ‘miradouro’ (viewpoints) across the city but Miradouro da Senhora do Monte was quiet and beautiful, you can almost see the whole city from up there. To get here, walk from Rua da Graça or Largo da Graça.
9. Lastly, appreciate the colours. Faded and sun bleached, Lisbon makes a great colour palette.