Lisbon – metropolis, beaches & fairytale castles

After a few relaxing days at the Algarve, we were looking forward to a little more hustle and bustle in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. We chose a central hotel as our starting point and walked everything on foot, this is the best way to soak up the beauty of the city.

To get an overview, we first walked to the Elevador de Santa Justa. This elevator was built in 1902 and connects the district of Baixa (lower town) with the higher district of Chiado and Bairro Alto (upper town). At the top there is a viewing platform with a fantastic view over Lisbon and the Castelo de São Jorge.

Back on the ground, we strolled towards Praça dos Restauradores, further along Avenida da Liberdade (Lisbon’s answer to the Parisian Champs-Élysées) to Parque Eduardo VII.

Lisbon is rightly called the “City of 7 Hills”. You cover quite a bit of altitude here. To prevent hypoglycaemia, we regularly replenished our reserves in one of the numerous restaurants 😉

The next day we went up high again. Our destination – the Castelo de São Jorge – a historical fortress with a dream view over Lisbon.

On the busy Rue de Augusta, we caught a glimpse of the Arco da Rua Augusta (Triumphal Arch).

Since we enjoyed the advantages of a rental car, we also planned a few excursions in the area around Lisbon. At the top of our list – the Palácio Nacional da Pena in Sintra. The fairytale palace of Pena is one of the most magnificent in the world and is located about 25 km west of Lisbon. In this romantic setting, I felt like a princess in a fairy tale.

Our next destination was the westernmost point of the mainland of the European continent – Cabo da Roca. The wind blew like crazy around our ears, but the view was simply gigantic.

On the way home we made a short stop at one of the most famous landmarks of Lisbon – the Torre de Belém. The Belém Tower was built for protection and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lisbon also has some beaches in the area. We decided to take a trip to Sesimbra, 40 km south of Lisbon.

On the way home we could catch a closer look at the Cristo Rei statue and the Ponte 25 de Abril.

Our last evening in Lisbon had dawned. We strolled through the streets and let the city sink in for the last time.

In my opinion, Lisbon should be given a lot more attention as a European travel destination. This city is very diverse and with the surrounding excursion possibilities you can easily endure a week here.

Our personal opinion about Lisbon:

  • very diverse city
  • great viewpoints
  • a lot of things to see in the area
  • our highlight: Sintras Palácio Nacional da Pena

On the following page you can get a very good overview of Portugal:

Best travel time:

Lisbon is an interesting travel destination all year round. We recommend spring and autumn for sightseeing.

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel SANA Malhoa

More tips & recommendations:

Definitely take a trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca. The easiest way to do this is with a rental car, but there are also plenty of guided day trips available in smaller and larger groups.

We recommend visiting the Belem district in the late afternoon. The Torre de Belem is beautiful at sunset.

Here is our travel route through Portugal, we were on the road for 10 days.

Algarve – Lisbon – Porto

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