Main Attractions and Sights in Lisbon

Alfama is Lisbon’s older district, dating back to Moorish times, when it was established as a classy residential area. It was later turned into a working-class neighbourhood, while today tourists come here to walk around scenic cobblestoned alleys and have a taste of tranquil local life.

Save your breath by taking the tram to Sao Jorge Castle and working your way down its southern side.

The castle was initially built by Visigoths, then captured by Moorish and Christians respectively. Come here to enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s lively shopping and entertainment hub. Local youth flocks here by day to shop at hip stores and retro boutiques. By night Bairro Alto’s streets are packed with people from all sorts of urban social groups, who come to party. Punk and metal clubs, reggae bars, hip-hop lives; whatever your preferences, there is a scene for you.

Baixa
Located in downtown Lisbon, Baixa district was planned from scratch after a disastrous earthquake in the middle of 18th century. A great example of urban planning, it is today included in Unesco’s Tentative List. Neoclassical buildings and Art Deco shop facades complement the spacious squares and wide pedestrians. Street artists give daily performances here, while the area’s many lively cafes and restaurants are ideal for a break from sight-seeing.

Balem
Spreading by the city’s waterfront, Balem gathers several of Lisbon’s attractions. The spot from where Portuguese discovery expeditions departed from, Balem features the Discoveries Monument, a huge ship-like structure. The mosaics by the monument show a world map and a compass, while visitors can climb up to the top of the structure to enjoy some fascinating views.

Across Discoveries Monument you will find Jeronimos Monastery, Vasco de Gama’s last retreat before he started his journey and one of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites. Walking by the waterline west of Discoveries Monument, you will come across Belem Tower, Lisbon’s most well-recognised landmark. The city’s second World Heritage Site, the 16th-century white fort is built in Manueline architecture, featuring Moorish watchtowers and Venetian loggias.

A series of interesting museums are also located in Balem district, including the Archeological Museum, Berardo Museum of Modern Art, Coaches Museum, where you can see a collection of fascinating Royal carriages, and Maritime Museum. Next to Coaches Museum, stands Balem Palace, former royal residence and current home the Portuguese President.

Parcue das Nacoes
Parcue das Nacoes is Lisbon’s modern district, featuring futuristic architecture and one of the city’s main transportation hubs. Orient Railway Station is housed under an impressive contemporary building designed by celebrated architect Santiago Calatrava. The area’s major attraction is Oceanarium, one of the world’s largest aquariums. Housing no less than 8,000 marine species, the aquarium also features an artificial rain forest and a tropical coral reef.

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