Historic Lisbon, Portugal's capital, continues to expand while remaining at the top of the old continent's capitals, winning the most prestigious international tourism awards.
Lisbon offers a unique quality of life among European's capitals. Is it its balanced size? Is it its ideal geographic situation, given that it is only half an hour away from the greatest beaches and other inviting natural settings? Is it the welcoming locals or its unparalleled cuisine? All of that is true, and all of that is well worth the visit. Travelling from within Europe, Lisbon is an excellent choice for a quick getaway, featuring an airport close to the city centre, ideal to get going in the shortest time possible.
The seven hills and beyond: a tourist route
There are many "Lisbons" within Lisbon. You can't possibly get to know all of them in a single visit, but you shouldn't miss its famous seven hills, each with its highlights. Please take the opportunity to get to know some of them while participating in our tournaments, scheduled for September and October 2021.
Start with a bus tour across the city to get an overview. Then proceed downtown Lisbon and take your first walk. Head on over to São Jorge Castle, walking through the historical neighbouring districts of Alfama and Mouraria, which are exciting day and night. Take the opportunity to catch a Fado show, the national song style. In selected Fado houses you can also have a wonderful dinner.
Change hills and climb the unmissable Chiado. Wander through its streets and afterwards, if you have the time, take to the historic Bairro Alto. From there, proceed to the charming Príncipe Real, passing the São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint. Now go down Rua do Século and discover Lisbon's famous elevators, going down the Elevador da Bica. Once there, get to know the entire Largo de São Paulo and Cais do Sodré area and take the pedestrian walkway along the Tagus River to Praça do Comércio.
If you still have the time, head over to Belém to visit the famous Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, the multiple museums or the Belém Cultural Center, home to one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions in the country. While at Belém, don't miss the famous Pastéis de Belém (cream custards), which are worth every minute of waiting in line.
Expanding out the city centre, you'll want to discover the newest area of the city, Parque das Nações, and its modern architecture. Don't forget to visit the Oceanário, the second largest aquarium in Europe and one of the best in the world.
Why stop there? 30 minutes away from Lisbon lies the sunbathed Cascais and, a bit further away, the charming Sintra with all its palaces, monuments and the beauty of the surrounding mountain and the ocean.
Eat your way through Lisbon
Portuguese cuisine is known across the world and it is well worth trying it! There are exciting options in all the areas mentioned above, whether be it traditional food or fusion options that mix the old, the new and the foreign tastes. Between Baixa - the downtown area -, Chiado, Príncipe Real and Cais do Sodré alone there are hundreds of good options. However, keep in mind that due to the COVIID-19 pandemic, there may be scheduling restrictions: an early reservation is advised. Take to Google Maps or foodie-specific guides such as Tripadvisor or Zoomato and check the times, prices, popularity, type of food and other essential issues.
Lisbon is our hometown and we at Move Sport love to show it around! Our tournament packages and sports tours can include city tours and many other activities the city has to offer. There is so much to do and see in Lisbon: the scenic route above is just a taste!
A brief history of Lisbon
With an ancient and rich history, Lisbon grew out from the hill of São Jorge Castle. It was inhabited by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Moors and, in 1147, conquered by D. Afonso Henriques. In 1255, Lisbon became the capital of the kingdom.
The city became a departure point for ships and caravels that discovered new worlds, from Brazil to India, and later a mercantile centre where the spices coming from the Far East were traded. Lisbon has always been a place where distant and different people, cultures and knowledge mixed and presented to Europe.
Given its centuries-old history, the city is a complex mosaic of architectural styles, rich in contrasts. The earthquake on November 1, 1755, followed by a tsunami and fires, destroyed part of it. From the rubble and ashes of the old capital, the new Pombaline Lisbon rose, giving birth to one of the most daring urban concepts of the time, a reconstruction undertaken by the Marquês de Pombal, 1st Minister of King José I.
In the XIX century, the city welcomed an increasing population that left the fields to work in the nascent industries. The city grew beyond its seven hills, gradually bringing together surrounding parishes, such as Ajuda, Estrela, Alcântara or Belém. Later, with the opening of Avenida da Liberdade, the city began to expand towards the north.
After World War I, the empty grids resulting from the new avenues' layout were filled. From the 1930s onwards, under the influence of Duarte Pacheco, President of the Chamber and later Minister of Public Works (1930-43), new neighbourhoods were built, designed by urban planners, with wide streets and homogeneous facades. New neighbourhoods, such as Encarnação, Alvalade, Olivais, and Chelas, were developed according to the principles established in the Athens Charter. This is the time of large freestanding residential blocks separated by green areas, featuring leisure areas with greater sun exposure and better ventilation, following models already tested in other countries.
More recently, Lisbon hosted the Expo'98, the great worldwide far and exhibition. The eastern side of town, previously an industrial area, was rehabilitated: the Parque das Nações was born.
In the last decade, the city has experienced a tourist boom, which has brought it even greater cosmopolitanism.