I’m back from my holiday to Lisbon, and it’s been a blast! It was my first time in Portugal and I will definitely be back again (Porto is high on my bucket list). We flew from Amsterdam straight to Lisbon, from where it is only a short ride to the city centre. We stayed at a simple pension, but located perfectly – close to Rossio square. In this blog I’ll share with you how to get around the city and the things we’ve visited. I’ll be back soon with other blogs about food recommendations & excursions (outside of Lisbon).
The great thing about arriving in Lisbon (by plane) is that the airport is very close to the city centre, only 7km. There is a “tourist bus” going into town from the airport but it is a lot easier to take the underground (just make sure to have cash on you as not all machines seem to accept foreign (credit) cards). Once you’re in the city, there is by far one means of transportation that is best to take: your own feet. It’s so nice to wander around town, to view the houses and tiles, and to hike up to one of the many “miradores”.
The tram is probably the most famous transportation in Lisbon. You have several tram lines which feature these cute yellow trams, and they are also stationed at some steep hills. We only took the tram once, on our very last day so we could say we’ve ridden one of them. It’s nice to take one through town, but if you’re crunched for time, there are other things I would first consider doing.
Lisbon’s famous trams.
Easily the best “sightseeing” of Lisbon is just wandering around town and look at the great architecture and get lost in the streets. Honestly, a lot of times that is a highlight for me when I visit these kind of towns that feature a real old character and specific culture to a country. The colourful Azulejos (tiles), which are featured on many of the houses, are one of these culture specific elements – and a beauty to the eye.
If you want to visit specific places the St. George’s Castle is a great place to start. The view from up at the castle is breathtaking, and you can walk all the way around the castle’s walls. Make sure to go early, because by then it’s not as packed with people yet. We were at the castle around 10:00, which was absolutely fine. But by the time we left at noon, there was an incredible long line at the entrance!’
Pink Street is another fun thing to go looking for in Lisbon. As the name says, the street is literally pink! At night there are many bars, but during the day it’s just fun to enjoy the colours (pink street, yellow bridge, and blue houses).
The many miradouros (viewing points) of Lisbon are worth a hike as well! You’ve got so many of them, it’s hard to visit all of them. I guess the best way to go about it is to see to which ones you are close and make a selection of one or two. We’ve went to the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. There are nice restaurants located here (more about that in a next blog) and the view is stunning. One side note: if you walk up to the Miradouro from the West side you go up a very steep and challenging hill (which was kind of fun though as well) but if you go up from the East city, it’s a far more gentle walk 😉
The view from St. George’s Castle.
Two of Lisbon’s many colourful houses.
If you take your time walking around and viewing some of the (historical) places of Lisbon, it takes you up to 2-3 days (depending how many stops you make at the amazing bars and restaurants!). Lisbon is also a great starting place to do some activities a little further away, such as going to the beach or visiting the city Sintra. But I’ll tell you more about these excursions later on.
Have you ever been to Lisbon? What has been your favourite thing to do?