The first thing we did when we arrived in Lisbon was visit the Praca do Comercio, one of the main squares and tourist stops in the city. It’s a big, open area lined with beautiful buildings and has a fun “guy on a horse” statue, as we like to call them, in the center. The weather was almost too perfect for a sunflower like me, with its sunny skies and mid 70s temperatures. My husband had to run away from the blinding sunlight in the square as I tried to capture a few photos. I was in love with Lisbon at first sight.
Out and About
Wandering was our main activity in Lisbon. Ok, so wandering is our main activity in most places we visit as Arcadiy and I believe that walking around a city is the best way to get to know it. I really enjoyed exploring the architecture of the city, as well as many of the viewpoints.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of San Francisco as we hiked up the hills and caught glimpses of the waterfront. The cable cars and 25 de Abril bridge are also San Francisco-esque.
Street art is clearly a very big part of the culture in Lisbon. Everywhere we went there was some sort of wall mural or installation. They were all amazing.
Azulejos and the National Tile Museum
Street art is only a portion of the art around the city. Portugal is known for its tiles, called azulejos. These tiles cover buildings in Lisbon in the form of siding and murals.
The National Tile Museum in Lisbon has some of the most impressive tile art we’ve ever seen. It also has a lot of interesting information about how the tiles were made and the history of tile production in Portugal.
Visiting the Belem Tower is a bit of an adventure with a lot of waiting in line. We waited in line for tickets, to climb to the top of the tower, to climb down the tower. The system for managing people is a bit of a mess and frustrated both of us (beware if you ever decide to visit) but the views are totally worth it in the end.
My favorite attraction, by far, was the Jeronimos Monastery. It’s a gorgeous former monastery with intricate carvings all over the walls, doorways, etc. The church is free while the monastery itself costs money, but the entrance fee is worth it if you’re at all interested in beautiful old buildings.
We didn’t actually get to walk around the church during our visit due to a wedding that day. Instead, we were able to catch a glimpse of the wedding from afar, as well as watch the wedding party leave the church.
Ok, I lied. The monastery was only my second favorite attraction in Lisbon. The first was Pasteis de Belem, current home of the pastel de nata. I dream about these egg tarts. I ate them before capturing any photos, but they’re reason enough for me to return to Lisbon someday.
You can take a look at the rest of my Lisbon pictures here!