Lisbon has a very temperate Mediterranean climate, one of the nicest climates on the European continent with a lot of sunshine. Lisbon save many fascinating tourist attractions. Lisbon, capital of Portugal, is a beautiful city, rich in history as well as a modern city. Surrounded by seven hills, Lisbon keep narrow cobbled streets and winding road, filled with cafes. The most beautiful sights in Lisbon can be enjoyed from the castle of St George and the terrace roof of the church Sao Vicente. Ancient Lisbon can also be felt through visits to Jeronimos Monastery which is the monastery of the 16th century and the Belem Tower which is also the tomb of Vasco da Gama, the first to discover the world invaders African continent.
Like the old city, in Europe, Lisbon also has museum that holds many ancient and modern works of art. Call it the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, National Coacah Museum, Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, danCarmo Archaeological Museum. If you would like a taste of the modern life, the Bairro Alto is the heart of the city’s nightlife. It is colorful, entertaining and will surely cater to the needs of its visitors whether it is for shopping or other entertainment activities.
Here are top tourist attractions in Lisbon must see:
1. Jerónimos Monastery
It is one of famous landmark in Lisbon, Portugal. The Jeronimos Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery, is a magnificent monument in Lisbon founded in 1501. It is said to be the greatest architecture of Portugal during the Age of Discovery and the perfect exemplar of Manueline architectural design. Jerónimos Monastery in 1983 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém. The design of Jeronimos Monastery is a combination of Gothic, Moorish, and early Renaissance styles. It has elaborate sculptural details and includes maritime motifs. The south portal is the main entrance of the monastic church where the statue of Henry the Navigator is. The tombs of King Manuel I as well as other members of the Portuguese royalty are found here. Some important figures from their history rest here too, like Vasco de Gama and poet Fernando Pessoa.
2. Torre de Belem (Belem Tower)
Belem Tower or Torre de Belem is the icon of Lisbon. Belem tower listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. This tower was originally constructed as a lighthouse and a defensive fortress at the entrance of the River Tagus. Built with Manueline style, This style is also called the Portuguese’s late Gothic architecture. It is mainly about incorporating maritime elements and symbols of discoveries by Vasco de Gama and Pedro Cabral, both legendary voyagers. The whole complex is composed of four-story tower on a hexagonal ground plan very much visible from a distance. Its main façade is facing the sea. The character of the tower is shown particularly in the lower bastion, offshore. The walls have embrasures where visitors could imagine firearms being positioned, ready to fire at the sight of an enemy.
3. Castle of Sao Jorge or St. George Castle
St. George Castle is a Moorish castle in Lisbon. The strongly fortified citadel dates from medieval period of Portuguese history. Saint George Castle or Castle of Sao Jorge has a captivating aura, a structure you can practically see from anywhere in the city. It is located in the highest hill of Lisbon and enjoys a clear view of the river. This was once used as a fortress, but these days, it is home to many families and a famous tourist attractions for the traveller.
4. Sao Roque Church
São Roque is one of the oldest Jesuit churches in the world and the oldest in Portugal. Each of the chapels is a masterpiece of Baroque art but the showpiece is the fourth one on the left, the “world’s most expensive chapel.” Designed in Rome using the most costly materials available, including ivory, agate, porphyry, lapis lazulli, gold and silver. Today this chapel is considered a masterpiece of European art. It contains a number of chapels, most in the Baroque style of the early 17th century. The most notable chapel is the 18th-century Chapel of St. John the Baptist.
5. Monument to the Discoveries
The monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries. The 52 meters (171ft) tall monument, shaped like a ship’s prow, stands at the marina in Belém, the starting point for many of Portugal’s explorers. This is where in 1497 Vasco da Gama embarked on his voyage to India and in 1493 a storm forced Christopher Columbus to anchor here on his way back to Spain after his discovery of the Americas. The monument shows more than 30 statues of people who played an important role in the discoveries.
6. Belém Cultural Centre
Belém Cultural Centre is the largest building with cultural facilities in Portugal. The CCB’s 140,000 m² spaces was initially built to accommodate the European Presidency, but adapted to provide spaces for conferences, exhibitions and artistic venues (such as opera, ballet and symphony concerts), in addition to political and research congresses, high security meeting halls, and a 7,000 m² exhibition area.
7. Ajuda Botanical Gardens
The botanical garden of Ajuda is one of the oldest gardens in Europe and is considered the first in Portugal. The botanical garden of Ajuda is designed as a Baroque garden. The lower, bottom terrace, has an Italianesque layout with a geometric pattern of paths and long hedges of boxwood arranged around flower beds. Plenty of tall trees provide some welcome shade. At the center of the lower level stands a monumental fountain, the Fonte das Quarenta Bicas (Fountain of the Forty Spouts). The 18th century fountain has actually 41 water spouts, disguised as serpents, fish, sea horses. Plenty more statues of frogs, shells and ducks decorate the fountain that is placed at the center of a large basin with water plants. It was built in 1768, during the time of King D. José, with the aim to his grandchildren learning about the various collection of plants (with over 5000 specimen) from Africa, Asia, and America.
8. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum contain a collection of ancient, and some modern art. Gulbenkian Museum houses a magnificent collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian, and European art. It was substantially renovated and modernized in 2001 (many of its masterpieces were on display in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art during renovation), and can’t be missed during a visit to Lisbon. The museum was founded according to Calouste Gulbenkian’s last will, in order to accommodate and display Gulbenkian’s art collection belonging now to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
9. Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto is a central district of the city of Lisbon, Bairro Alto is characterized by orthogonal blocks, sometimes rectangular, with a proportion of two lots wide by six or eight lots in length, with many of the length dimensions accompanying the roads, while the shorter dimensions following the lanes. Its grid of streets is quiet during the day, but is transformed at night into the city’s vibrant nightlife quarter. Behind colorful and graffiti-ridden façades is a variety of traditional and international restaurants, tourist-packed Fado Houses, and alternative shops that stay open until late at night.
Chiado is home to a number of independent shops and services and well known brands such as Hugo Boss, Vista Alegre, Tony & Guy, Benetton, Sisley, Pepe Jeans, Levi’s and Colcci. Some informal brands like Crumpler can also be found. The area is also teeming with cafés, restaurants, bookshops and a dedicated shopping area “Armazéns do Chiado”.
Best time to visit Lisbon is months of May to September, because skies are generally clear and blue with little to no rain, weather is warm, hotel rates are cheaper and there are fewer crowds than in summer.