If you're planning a trip to Lisbon, chances are strong that you've probably already compiled an extensive list of must-dos. But, on the off chance that you're struggling to fill some time on your itinerary, we've prepared a list of Lisbon attractions that you won't want to miss.
This ornate and imposing structure on the bank of the Tagus River was erected in the early 16th century as a part of Lisbon's defense system. King John II commissioned the tower to be built out of lioz limestone, ordering the "making of a strong fort" to defend the mouth of the Tagus. The builders apparently took the order quite seriously, as evidenced by the tower's centuries of durability.
In Lisbon, there are plenty of ways to see the sights, but experienced visitors insist that Tram 28 is one of the best. This historic streetcar ascends through the red rooftops and cathedrals of the striking Alfama district, and ends its journey at St. George's Castle.
This is the oldest district in Portugal's capital. During the time of Moorish conquest, this area was all there was to Lisbon. The thoroughfares here are a twisted maze of narrow streets and winding walkways, and visitors insist that the atmosphere of the place is simply magical.
Even if the word "museum" doesn't make you feel excited, you should still pay Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian a visit. Here, you'll find a collection of arts and oddities to dazzle the senses, including rotating exhibitions from some of the world's most renowned creative geniuses. If the sound of music is what moves you, then you'll be happy to know that live music is a frequent occurrence here. There's also a breathtaking garden.
If you're traveling with children or simply fascinated by undersea life, you can't go wrong with a visit to Oceanario de Lisboa. This aquarium is the largest in Europe, so plan on spending a few hours here, and taking your time. From sea birds to fish, crustaceans to otters, this place has it all.
When it first opened at the turn of the 20th century, the Santa Justa Elevator was a steam-powered feat of engineering, designed to allow easy access to Carmo Square from the lower streets of the Baixa. This neo-gothic iron elevator has been kept up through the years, and was later converted to electric power. Despite its age, the Santa Justa Lift still offers one of the most stunning views in the city.
History buffs will love St. George's Castle, a stately and royal citadel overlooking Lisbon's historic center. It's easy to see why this hilltop was of such strategic importance; you can see everything from here. Be sure to check out the Tower of Ulysses, where a periscope gives visitors a sweeping, panoramic view of Lisbon, and the surrounding area.
If you're looking for upscale retail therapy, exquisite local cuisine, and a wealth of theaters, museums, and other cultural landmarks, then Rua Garret is certainly worth a stop. This trendy street is a popular attraction for travelers, so be prepared for sizeable crowds.