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Lisbon is a large city in Portugal with a population of more than 505,000. Settled in 1200 BCE, it is one of the oldest cities in the world. In 205 BC, it was occupied by the Romans and was actually dubbed as a city by Julius Caesar. However, it was originally known as Felicitas Julia Olissipo. The city changed hands several times after that, going from the Germanic tribes to the Islamic Moors, who named it al-Usbuma. In 1147, the Christians took over the city, led by Afonso.
An earthquake thought to be a magnitude of 8.5 destroyed most of the city in 1755, but the Prime Minister started rebuilding, nonetheless. After being taken by about a half-dozen more armies, Lisbon finally became a member of the European Union in 1986. Being such an old and frequently troubled city, you can find remnants of the Ancient Roman Empire if you look. The best place to see these would be on a guided tour or at one of the museums.
Located at the mouth of the Tagus River and along the Atlantic coastline, most of Lisbon is waterfront property. There are a plethora of parks and beaches along the coast to enjoy. In fact, according to the locals, some of the best beaches in Portugal are located in Lisbon. Some of the most popular include Praia de Carcavelos, the Praia de Santo Amaro de Oeiras, Praia da Conceição, and Costa da Caparica.
It would be difficult to take a tour of Lisbon while dragging your luggage around. Drop it off with a Bounce affiliate at any one of the convenient locations around the city. We know what it's like to be in an exciting city, ready to explore. We've partnered with businesses all over to keep your bags safe and secure while you enjoy the sights. Don't be tied down. Just get out and explore Lisbon.
Top Things to Do
Be sure to grab your camera and keep it handy while you tour Lisbon. The hills overlooking the Tagus River and the cobbled streets, cathedrals, and ancient ruins are unlike anything you will see anywhere else. The Arco da Rua Augusta is an ornate arch, built in 1875 with amazing views of the city. Another fun place to visit is the Oceanário de Lisboa, which is an aquarium with all sorts of creatures to see.
In one of the oldest cities in the world, you expect to find quite a few museums to preserve and display interesting artifacts found around the area. And you would be right. The city has at least three dozen museums and galleries all over Lisbon, so you can experience some of the past while you are there.
Castelo de São Jorge: This is a stunning castle in the hills built in the 11th century. You can take a guided tour, visit an archaeological site, and check out the city in a unique way with the Camera Obscura. The visitation area has artifacts that date back to the 7th century that were found on-site. You may even get a chance to see a duel or joust between knights in the courtyard. They have a café so you can get something to eat before heading on to your next adventure.
National Museum of Natural History and Science: To see the preserved flora and fauna of Lisbon and Portugal, this large museum has a variety of items to experience. All of the artifacts are over 250 years old and include botany, geology, anthropology, and zoology of the area.
Navy Museum: Also known as Museu de Marinha, see some of the most unique maritime vessels you can imagine here. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of these incredible ships and see the apartments in the royal yachts. You’ll find more than 17,000 items in Jeronimo’s Monastery, such as model ships and wooden figures. There is even a globe, built in 1645 by a famous globe creator, Willem Jansz Blaeu. You never know what you may see when you visit.
Shopping in Lisbon is definitely a unique experience. You can find groceries in buildings that look like castles and everyday items in places that seem like they should be holding antiques. The people in Lisbon take their shopping seriously, and they enjoy beautiful and ancient architecture, so they merge these together in many of the shopping areas.
Embaixada: Have you ever wanted to go shopping in a palace? Well, you can do that in Lisbon right in Embaixada. Designed to stand out in the neighborhood of Principe Real, this domed palace may look like a museum on the outside, but on the inside, it is full of shopping and dining places to enjoy.
A Vida Portuguesa: When this shop opened in 2007, it was immediately one of the most popular shops. It was filled with antiques and locally handmade items. The locals were instantly enthralled, and tourists fell in love with the place as well.
Bertrand: At first, you may think it is just an ordinary bookstore. But then you will notice some of the ancient trim and other attributes, making you think it may be older than you thought. And there is a framed certificate from Guinness World Records naming it as the oldest bookstore in the world. Built in 1732, it has a lot of new releases as well as interesting antiques.
You have to eat while you are in Lisbon, so make sure you know the best places to eat. Of course, that all depends on what kind of food you want. Lisbon has something for every palate and taste.
Ground Burger: This place is known for its burgers as well as its craft beers. Mostly geared toward Americans, they boast their old school American Burgers, but the locals love them too. In fact, Ground Burger has two locations. One is near the coast on Cais do Sodré, and the other is across from the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Modern Collection on Av. António Augusto de Aguiar.
The Botanical Den: Just in case you don’t eat meat, Lisbon has a vegan restaurant just for you. Cozy and casual, this unique shop has a vegan pulled pork sandwich made with jackfruit and burgers made with veggies. They are also known for their cocktail bar with some delicious fruity drinks and other adult beverages.
Alma: Of course, you cannot leave Lisbon without at least trying some local cuisine. Alma is one of the top choices for gourmet Portuguese and Iberian food. From confit suckling pig with corn purée, to salted cod with onion purée, you will not be disappointed. And for dessert, try a chocolate bomb or Madeira Island banana.
Where is the best places to stay and eat while in Lisbon?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Time Out Market Lisboa, Cervejaria Ramiro, and Hard Rock Cafe Lisboa. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Lisbon are Hotel ibis Lisboa Centro Saldanha, VIP Executive Entrecampos Hotel & Conference, and Quinta do Tagus Village. When traveling on a budget, the best hostels in Lisbon are Hostel Avenue Rooms & Suites, Home Lisbon hostel, and Yes! Lisbon Hostel.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Lisbon?
Lisbon offers several scenic parks including Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte, Tropical Botanical Garden, and Edward VII Park.
What public transportation exists within Lisbon?
When flying to Lisbon, you're likely to pass through Lisbon Portela Airport. You're likely to pass through Lisbon-Sete Rios Bus Station, Paragem do Elétrico 28, or Estação Rodoviária de Lisboa-Oriente if arriving by bus and Belém, Rossio, or Restauradores if arriving by train. Popular metro stations like Airport, Baixa-Chiado Metro Station, or Cais do Sodré can be used for transit within Lisbon
What are the best museums and historical attractions in Lisbon?
If you're looking for a good museum in Lisbon, we recommend St. George's Castle, Jerónimos Monastery, and Carmo Convent. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Lisbon's most popular historical attractions including Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, or Carmo Convent and monuments like Jerónimos Monastery, Carmo Convent, or Monument to the Discoveries. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of Carmo Convent, Roman Theatre Ruins, or Edifício na Rua do Arco da Graça, esquina com a Calçada Nova do Colégio.
Where can I store my luggage in Lisbon?
We've partnered with local Lisbon businesses around the city who offer a dedicated storage room or a designated area that's off limits for customers.
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