Awesome places to visit in Lisbon, Portugal

The hilly capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is a coastal city that enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate and a rich cultural landscape – with so many museums, historical monuments, music and arts festivals, and more, there’s plenty you can enjoy in Lisbon, no matter what time of year you visit or what your tastes lie. Here are a few must-sees on your trip to Lisbon:

  1. Visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Museum

If you are an art lover, this is one of the best places to visit in Lisbon

Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

This amazing art gallery and museum located in central Lisbon at Av. de Berna 45A is actually based on the private collection of renowned Armenian-British businessman and art collector, the Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, who founded the museum in 1969.

It boasts a breath-taking collection of Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian, Eastern Islamic, Armenian and Far Eastern art, as well as a great exhibition of 18th century through to modern European art, including sculpture, furniture, jewels and glasswork, all in its permanent collection. This superb museum also has free entry on Sundays, making it an ideal place to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

  1. Go to Lisbon Oceanarium

Photo: Clark Kays

The largest indoor aquarium in Europe, the Oceanario de Lisboa was the centrepiece of the 20th Century’s last World Fair, themed “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future”, this amazing oceanarium helps to promote knowledge and appreciation of the oceans, and aims to preserve them through responsible fishing and environmental practices.

Described as the next best thing to snorkelling without getting wet, this immersive exhibit includes four habitats themed around the North Atlantic, Antarctic, Pacific and Indian oceans, which are cleverly divided by four large acrylic panels between each of the habitats and the central tank. With an astonishing range of creatures from penguins and otters to tropical fish, octopus and sea dragons, this is another wonderful place to visit with all the family.

  1. Visit the Belém Tower

The Torre de Belém, also known as Saint George’s Tower, is a fortified tower situated on the northern bank of the Tagus River in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém. The tower was built in the early 16th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery) due to the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries.

Being just off-shore, the views of the surrounding coastline is impressive, and inside boasts the unique Manueline architecture style, named for King Manuel I. The Manueline style is a Portuguese variant of the high Gothic style found in northern Europe, but with more exuberant decorations and nautical-themed ornaments.

Photo: Rick Capucho

  1. Visit the old town of Alfama

Take a step back in time by visiting Alfama, spreading on the slope between the São Jorge Castle and the Tejo River.

This quaint area is almost a village within the city, made up of winding cobbled streets, tiny squares and whitewashed old houses with wrought-iron balconies. Take a relaxed stroll through the winding streets, sample the traditional local cuisine, and take in some traditional folk music (Fado), played live in local bars. A truly authentic experience.