Lisbon is a large city situated on seven hills; like Rome. It is the capital of Portugal.
It is not possible to write about all the things to see in this city in a single post. In fact, there are lots of things to see in Lisbon.
I have visited this city several times, but I have still to see some things here.
Rossio is one of the main squares in Lisbon. Its official name is "praca Dom Pedro IV". Long ago it was used as cattle market, public execution place, bullfight arena and carnival ground. In the middle of this square a tall column with a statue of king Pedro IV is located. This square is surrounded by the Dona Maria II National Theatre, by various cafes, shops and some restaurants.
Rua das Portas De Santo Antao is a pedestrian street near Rossio where you find a good choice of restaurants, some guesthouses, several shops and a small bar where you can have a glass of ginjinha. This is a drink made by infusing sour cherries in alcohol; adding sugar and other ingredients. Ginjinha is a typical drink in Lisbon, Alcobaca and Obidos. I am sorry but I haven' t any picture of this street.
Confeitaria Nacional is a cafe and a confectionery, but it is also a restaurant. It was founded in the XIX century.
The cafe is on the ground floor. The restaurant is on the first floor.
The restaurant is divided in two areas; one of these is a self service. The other area is a restaurant. There is no need to say that you will spend less if you order your food at the self service area.
At Confeitaria Nacional they usually serve two menus of the day.
Tram n. 28 is a yellow vintage tram. It departs from praca Martin Moniz to the Graca and Alfama districts. Then it heads to the cathedral and the church of Saint Anthony. It carries on to the Baixa (the lower area of the city) and to the districts of Chiado and the Barrio Alto. Its last stop is at Campo Ourique station.
The tram stops near lots of main sights. Its entire route lasts around 45 minutes. You can make use of it as a budget hop-on hop-off bus.
The Santa Justa lift (elevador in Portuguese) was designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and was opened in 1902.
This lift connects Baixa (the lower city) to the Bairro Alto (the upper city) by a passageway. It has two cabins (one to gou up and another to go down) which can house 24 people each.
At the top of this lift there is a platform with a cafe. From here you can enjoy a beautiful landscape over the Rossio, the Tagurs river, the castle and some other areas of the city.
Wiev from the top of the Santa Justa lift.
Another wiev from the top of the lift.
The miradouros are vantage points. These are mostly gardens that are usually located at the highest points of the city. From these you can enjoy beautiful views over the city. There is a cafe at some of them.
Here's a list of some miradouros.
Miradouro das Portas do Sol. From here you can have a good view over the Alfama' s rooftops.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. You will have a great view of the castle for this lookout point.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia. From here you can have views over the Alfama' s rooftops, over the Tagus river and the dome of the National Pantheon.
Miradouro de Santa Catarina. From here you can have a good view over the 28 de Abril bridge.
Leitaria Academica is one of my favourite restaurants in Lisbon.
On a window of this restaurant you can read a small list with the names of the food available that day. Almost every dish includes some vegetables.
Everytime I visited this restaurant the food I had was good and the personnel (I think they are a family) really kind.
Leitaria Academica is a small restaurant, but there are some tables outside; on the Largo do Carmo. This is a nice and large square near the entrance of the Carmo monastery. See the previous two pictures.
I liked very much their bacalau (cod fish) with nata and lasagna with salmon.
Saint Vicente de Fora monastery.
This church (and its monastery) was located outside the city walls. De Fora means "0n the outside". It was dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa; the patron saint of Lisbon.
The construction of the present church started in 1582 and was completed in 1629. It was built on the site of a previous church that had been built around 1147. The monastery was finished in the XVIII century.
There is a very rich collections of azulejos inside the monastery.
Into the monk's old refectory is housed the pantheon of the king and queens of the Braganca dinasty. They ruled from 1670 to 1910.
Alfama is one of Lisbon' s oldest area. It was founded by the Arabs. They named it Al hama could mean springs or bath. It survived the 1755 earthquake. This district stretches between Saint George castle and the banks of the Tagus river.
Have a stroll here and you' ll see some small squares; a maze of narrow streets, various staircases, whitewashed houses, restaurants, cafes and shops. It feels like being in a village inside the city when you are at Alfama.
Belém is a district of Lisbon. It is located six kilometers from the city center. It was the starting point for many discovery voyages. For instance it was from here that Vasco da Gama embarked on his voyage from Portugal to India in 1497.
One of ithe main sights in Belém is the Jeronimos monastery (1502-1551); a huge white building with a magnificient carved portal and a large two-storeys cloister.
The construction of this monastery was commissioned by king Manuel I to commemorate Vasco da Gama' s voyage; to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success and to create a royal pantheon for the Aviz-Beja dinasty.
The monastery was built on the site of a hermitage founded by Henry the Navigator around 1450. They begun to build it in 1502 and it took nearly the entire 16th century to complete it. Its predominant architectural style is Manueline. It was built in stages and designed by three architects. Diogo Boitac designed the lower floor in Manueline style.
The church of the monastery is also the resting place of Vasco Da Gama, Manuel I, his wife Maria and Luis De Camoes.
The naval museum (Museu de Marinha) is a large museum with lots of exibits. These include paintings, lots of scale models of ships from the Age of Discoveries onwards; navigations instruments, maps and other things related to the sea travels. This museum occupies a part of the western wing of the Jerònimos monastery.
What I liked most at this museum were the royal barges. These are large boats used by the Portuguese kings and queens. I also liked very much the cabins of the royal yacht Amàlia; dating from 1900.
A cabin of the royal yacht Amàlia.
Another cabin of the same yacht.
After the visit to the monastery you could have a break at the Antiga Confetaria de Belém. This is a very large cafe-confectionery with several rooms. Some of these are decorated with azulejos (blue tiles).
Here you can have some good custard tarts called pasteis de Belém.
These pastries are served warm and sprinkled with cinnamon and/or sugar (if you like). Their original receipt is kept secret. Only three persons know it. This sweet is believed was created before the 18th century by the nuns at the monastery of Jerònimos.
Antiga Confeitaria de Belém was the first place to sell these tarts since 1837.
The coaches museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches) is also located in Belém. It is housed in a two storeys building that was an old horse riding arena used for training horses and for horse riding exibitions. Here you can see a large collection of horse drawn carriages, chaises and sedan chairs dated from the 17th to the 19th centuries. These belonged to the Portuguese royal family and nobility.
Once you visited the ground floor (it is made of two rooms) you can climb a staircase to the first floor where you can see several portraits of the Braganca dinasty and various other things.
After quite a long walk you arrive to the tower of Belém. It was built between 1515 and 1520. This is the only monument built mostly in Manueline style in Lisbon (some of its decorations date from the renovation of the 1840). It served as a lookout point over the Tagus river and to defend the port of Lisbon. It was used as a fortress, a prison, a lighthouse and also as a telegraph office and a custom post.
Mercado da Ribeira is a large covered market that has been opened since 1892.
On its ground floor there are lots of stalls with fresh produce as fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and other food. There was a good choice of food last time I visited it.
On the ground floor there is also a food court with 35 kiosks where you can sample various food specialities. It occupies a half of this market. Here you can have lunch, a ice cream (see Santini ice creams) or a pastry.
As it is situated opposite Cais do Sodrè train station, a vist to this market is a good place to spend some time if you have to wait for your train.
Coringa is another favourite restaurant of mine. It was very convenient for me because it was just some meters far from my hotel. Address; Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo nº 3B. Metro; Parque.
This restaurant is modern furnished. It has a dining room and some tables outside.
The menu of the day there consists in a meat or fish dish with vegetables. It doesn' t include a drink and a dessert or coffee. It is a budget choice anyway. Their menu a la carte has a good choice of fish and meat dishes.
The Oceanario is more than an aquarium. In fact this structure was set to recreate the five ocean habitats. Here you' ll see various kinds of fishes and other sea creatures.
I liked very much watching at some large groups of fishes swimming; the mantas that seemed to fly and two otters swimming on their back. There are also some penguins there.
The Oceanario is located within the modern area of Parque das Nações that was developed for the World Expo held in Lisbon in 1998.
Lisbon has lot more to offer beside the attractions and the places I wrote about in this post!