I have visited Lisbon while it was in the midst of two very different types of weather – once in gloomy Winter, and once in scorching Summer – and though it looks and feels completely different, the experience has utterly convinced me that it’s a gorgeous city anytime you go see it. While I am personally partial to Porto, I still find Lisbon to be stunningly lovely, not to mention how attractive its proximity to Sintra (a place that I’ll be posting about separately) makes it.
Torre de Belém
The Belém Tower served as both a fortress and as a fort during Europe’s Age of Discoveries in the 16th century. Portuguese explorers would depart from here to establish what would be the first European trade in history with China and India. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Quite close to the Torre de Belém, and another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jerónimos Monastery was built for the Order of Saint Jerome near the Tagus River. It was secularized in 1833 by state decree.
The monastery was built on the site of a previous building, dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém (Bethlehem), where monks of the Order of Christ provided assistance to seafarers in transit.
The construction of the current monastery and church began on January 6th, 1501, and was completed 100 years later.
The MAAT is the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, and though I didn’t have a chance to go in, I did take about a million pictures of it. I mean, look at it.
It has a nice terrace with lovely views over the river and the Ponte 25 de Abril, and also provided us with much-needed shade from the overpowering sun — seriously, I forgot my sunscreen at home and was badly sunburned after standing in line for a few hours to go into the monastery. Don’t be me! Bring sunscreen!
Lx Factory was first occupied by a weaving and textile factory and later by a food processing company and a printing press. Today, it’s the home of a number of restaurants, shops, and art galleries.
Like Porto, Lisbon’s pretty hilly, which makes it easy to find a place from which to view it from above.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Located in the Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon, this viewpoint has pretty stunning views over the Tagus and the surrounding buildings.
(Not Quite) Elevador de Santa Justa
Okay, so you can pay, which is fine, to go up the Santa Justa Lift (~5€) and get really nice views over the Baixa district. Or you can stand on the platform leading up the elevator and get semi-nice views from there, and take your pictures through its cross-wire walls. For free. Your call.
Inspired by the Cristo Rei in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the monument was inaugurated in 1959, though it was conceived in 1940, while Portugal was in the midst of WWII.
6 euro and an elevator ride get you to the top of this 25 meter-tall monument, which is itself not located in Lisbon, but on a hill 133 meters above sea level in Almada, Portugal, on the other side of the Tagus River.
And it is the place to get pictures of the Ponte 25 de Abril.
This picture was actually taken from the base of the monument, so you don’t even have to pay to go up to get these views.