Take the time to explore and visit one of the oldest cities in Europe, located on the Iberian Peninsula at the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. Today, Lisbon enjoys great importance in finance, tourism as well as international trade. It is the 7th most visited city in southern Europe and we are going to show you why it is worth a trip for you!
How to get to Lisbon
Getting to Lisbon is usually quite easy – just take the plane to Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport. With over 20 million passengers, it is the biggest in the country and offers many international connections and even Trans-Atlantic routes. However, direct flights from Germany are usually very expensive (we departed in Stuttgart). So, we decided to fly to Porto instead and then take a connection flight with Ryan Air from Porto to Lisbon. Although it takes slightly longer, it´s way cheaper and even gives you the flexibility to do a stop-over in Porto, which also is an incredible city.
Main sights in the center of Lisbon
Lisbon has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural and historical sights. In the city center, the Praça do Comércio should not be missed. With a great arch, an impressive statue, a beer museum (which mainly is a restaurant) and a nice view on the water, the square is perfect for tourists. The architecture of the surrounding buildings should not be missed as well. Not far from the square, several lines of cable cars connect various parts of the city. Probably the most scenic ride with the cable car is up to the hill towards the Castelo de São Jorge. It is a big fortress with an outstanding view of Lisbon. Perfect for a wine with a view. At best check timetables of the cable cars in advance in order to avoid longer waiting times (this is what we experienced).
To get around easier from different parts of the city, consider a metro ticket, which works great, hop on one of the different tourist buses that drive around the city. Although it is a very touristic activity, a ride on such a tourist bus is very informative and comfortable. We recommend, jumping on one bus on the way to the city district Belém, get off and explore the area by foot. Very impressive are the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a spectacular cloister, the Torre de Belém, an ancient tower symbolizing the Portuguese imperium and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a memorial for the famous discoverer of the past. The last sight offers an amazing view on the other side of the river, including the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Christo Rei.
The Ponte 25 de Abril is a bridge, very similar to the famous Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, and the Cristo Rei is a statue very alike to the Christo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. (Link einfügen für Rio Artikel) The view from the city on to the magnificent bridge and the Cristo statue is truly spectacular (especially during sunset, as the sun sets behind the bridge (roughly) from the city center perspective).
Food and bars in Lisbon
As always – try out local food and drinks. Experiencing new dishes and meeting local people makes a trip unforgettable. Enjoy and appreciate the diversity! The best food we had during our trip was – with absolute certainty- at Time Out Market Lisboa. An authentic market hall with several (around 20 maybe) food options to choose from. To be fair, not only local food is offered but rather the best dishes from different countries around the world. All cuisines only serve exquisite food and drinks for affordable and reasonable prices. In this market hall you really struggle with choosing since everything you can find there looks very, very delicious. The tables are also pretty special and uncommon for Germans. Very long tables seating several groups of people create a very communicative atmosphere, perfect for sharing a bottle of Portuguese wine.
After a tasty meal at Time Out Market Lisboa, several bar options are available. Just ask for “Pink street”, which is a street full of bars and clubs. The street literally is painted pink, hence the name. For some great views, check out one of roof top bars. Just google and you will find many great roof top bars with stunning views of the center of Lisbon.
All in all, Lisbon has it all for a perfect weekend trip. Without a rush, the city and it´s vibe can be explored in around 2-3 days.
Markus´ travel tips:
- Try the most eaten type of fish in Portugal Bacalhau. It is the Portuguese word for cod, meaning dried and salted cod.
- Pub crawls are great for connecting with fellow travelers and locals and simultaneously exploring parts of Lisbon!