What follows won’t be a complete Lisbon guide, no one can never write a complete guide to any major city on the globe, what we’ll offer however is an idea of a very small part of what it would mean to visit the marvelous capital of Portugal.
The charm and beauty of modern Lisbon is the result of an extremely long and very interesting history, and it’s the links that it maintains with that past which make it such a charming place to see today. The city’s cultural heritage can be seen and felt all throughout the city, from its renovated palaces to its impressive castle and the many magnificent churches, to the wonderfully varied neighborhoods, Lisbon breathes culture.
Lisbon city takes its place alongside a few other capital cities which are built on seven hills and its cobble-stoned pavements and narrow, ancient streets, are full of Art Nouveau cafes and many other hidden or less hidden shops and other places to spend time and money at.
Thanks to its importance in the country and the large amounts of history that it has seen, one can expect Lisbon sightseeing to be quite a complex endeavor, and that is frankly rather true. Alongside the many museums, Lisbon also features many monuments, gardens as well as vantage points, and that’s just a small part of the many historical sights that the place offers, we’re not even mentioning the different city quarters and nightlife because there wouldn’t be enough space in this article for those as well.
As far as museums go, there are a lot to choose from, however there are a couple that you shouldn’t miss, especially if you’re on your first visit, starting with the National Art Museum. The museum’s exhibits are arranged into seven, extraordinarily fine collections focusing on Painting, Drawings, Sculpture, Engraving, Jewelry, Ceramic and Textile and Furniture.
One museum that reflects an artistic expression specific to Portuguese culture, is the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, or National Tile Museum. This is the only museum in Portugal to feature a collection of tiles, starting with the 15th century onward.
As part of those links to its history, Lisbon’s Museu da Marinha – Naval Museum – is an important place in Lisbon, a place that displays a large collection of historical maps, boats, charts, model ships and instruments related to the very long and rich history of the Portuguese Navy and Merchant Navy as well as other ocean-faring activities responsible for many of the Great Discoveries.
Going away from the museums that the city offers, but still maintaining the water theme, one of the major monuments that the city features is the Aqueduct of the Free Waters or Aqueduto das Aguas Livres. This large aqueduct was build in the 18th century and served to supply water to the city, it consists of 109 arches, with the tallest one being sixty-six meters.
One monument that you must not miss on visiting is the Castelo de Sao Jorge, or Saint George’s Castle. It was built in the 5th century by the Visigoths, and then enlarged by the Moors in the 9th century, this is a place where the very early history of the city can be seen and felt, all of these while also offering to its visitors a marvelous panoramic view of the city and the Tagus River that it sits on.
As far as religious buildings go, the Basilica da Estrela was build in the 18th century, in late-Baroque style. This was the first church in the world dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and is one of the city’s most fascinating churches.
Keeping with the religious theme the Jeronimos Monastery is yet another interesting historical monument to not miss; having been built in a combination of late-Baroque and Renaissance styles, back in the 16th century, the Monastery of the present celebrates the country’s Age of Discovery.
Obviously there are so many more things that one can see and do while in Lisbon, we don’t have enough space for them here, it’s suffice to say that thanks to the Lisbon Airport, the city is easily accessible to a plethora of visitors, many Lisbon transfers services being available, even those who are interested instead to visit nearby destinations such as Coimbra or Cascais, in order to take in some varied activities such as Lisbon golf.