Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and located in western Portugal. In reality, at very afternoon on our arrival in Lisbon, we sweltered. The Lisbon contour also made us exasperate fast. We went up and down the hilly area before we arrived at our hotel.
Lisbon Airport also known as Humberto delgado airport, is an international airport which is 7 km northeast from the centre of Lisbon.
We did not waste any time. Filling our stomach at the lodge, we started to walk toward several places we noted in a list of things to do in Lisbon Portugal. Though some parts of the old city looked unkempt, Lisbon reveals its charm in many places.
This capital of Portugal has been experiencing a severe decline in population. Many apartment buildings are unoccupied. With about three days of sufficient time in Lisbon, we tried to use most of them.
We walked in two first days and bought a daily ticket for the last active day. On foot, we absorbed more of the beauty, but the number of places we visited was also in the limit. We explored the city centre in our two first days.
Our hotel host, an Indian Muslim family from Mozambique, provided us with a Lisbon city’s map. Lisbon is one of the popular travel destination in Europe.
Best things to do in Lisbon Portugal
Praca do Comerciao and Baixa in Lisbon
We hit Praca do Comerciao, a short distance from our lodge. It’s an open space on the edge of Rio Tejo.
It was also a short walk to Baixa from Praca do Comerciao, the centre part of Lisbon. Baixa is a shopping, residential, and business area. From a height or on a map, Baixa has a unique form. It forms like rows of columns.
The sidewalks, made from ceramics. It was slippery, so we walked slowly. The shopping area is just like others in Europe. Rows of boutiques, galleries, any kind of shops, street vendors, kiosks, and restaurants.
Some restaurants offer expensive seafood such as lobsters and giant crabs. They’re displayed in big aquariums.
From Baixa, we climbed uphill toward Castelo de Sao Jorge. A steep stoned-road. We passed narrow alleys, an older part of Lisbon. From a terrace, we enjoyed the view of Rio Tejo and Lisbon. A wonderful sight.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge was a fort, once mastered by the Muslims. We did not enter the complex. Before long the chilly wind blew and we did not have our thin jacket with us.
So it’s time to get back down to the city centre. We left the lodge early in the morning on the following day.
Rossio and Marques de Pombal
We bought some bread on the way in Baixa, we walked toward Rossio, Marques de Pombal, and uphill until the end of the Parque Eduardo VII.
Rossio is a vast open place at the heart of Lisbon. Almost every public transport such as buses, trams and metros pass through Rossio, surrounded by shops, restaurants, banks, etc.
The pedestrian, plastered and has a wave motive. It is symbolizing the water as an essential element for Lisbon and Portugal in general.
The first plaster mounted since 1849 by the prisoners there. A statue of King Pedro IV stands proudly in front of a tall building.
We bought some more bread to take away. We continued our way to Rossio Eustacio, a train station with charming gates. It is half a circle engraved with some ornaments. From here long, it’s uphill along Avenida da Liberdade.
We walked through the sidewalk under the trees. It’s cool, calm like the time runs slower compared to the busy street just a few meters in the distance. Every few meters, there’s a park bench, a perfect place to relax. We saw some people sleeping.
Parque Eduardo VII
From Marques de Pombal, it was steeper. We crossed the round to Parque Eduardo VII, a park with a name taken from Eduard VII of England who visited Portugal in 1903.
The trees were more sparse at both sides of the park. The air temperature increased dramatically. We walked some minutes only to take a rest many more minutes. I managed to get some sleep on a park bench.
The scene from the highest point of the park was terrific. Some Asian tourists surrounded some street vendors. We just made some pictures, back down to Rossio on a fast walk.
In Rossio station, we used an elevator to climb to Ciado. The ruin of Convento do Camo caught our eyes. It was a charming construction that damaged by a major Lisbon earthquake in 1755 and had never been reconstructed. The pillars looked strong while the roof had collapsed.
That afternoon, we intended to go to Bairro Alto, a district by Chiado. We did not expect that Bairro Alto turned out to be too big to explore on foot.
Not knowing exactly where to go, we found it’s too hard to continue walking with an empty stomach. Found a shopping mall instead, we crafted some fast food. Then spent the rest of the day in the lodge.
Legendary Tram Number 28
We bought a daily public transport ticket the next day. Our main reason was the legendary tram number 28 that passes many tourist attractions and the older part of Lisbon. The tram itself is a century-old—a perfect means to see more of the locals’ life.
We got off at the Basilica da Estrela, and sat down on its park bench. Some boys jogged in a march. Not too long we’re on a tram toward another famous tourist destination, Belem.
Torre de Belem
Our first point was the Torre de Belem. It’s a little long walk from our stop in Belem. But there’s not just us who walk. At the same time, other groups marched in the same direction.
Torre de Belem, the first object to be seen by every ship before entering the port of Lisbon. It greeted every ship that entered the post in 1521, and greeted their world-famous sailors.
This elegant building is a national monument since 1902 and together with the Monastery of Jeronimos designated as a world cultural heritage by Unesco. Torre de Belem is not just a monument building.
It, surrounded by a big shady park, where people can enjoy the view of Rio Tejo. It’s not too crowded.
Padrão dos Descobrimento
Another giant monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos was a short walk from Torre de Belem. Rise as high as 52 meters, and there are 30 statues on both sides of the monument.
They’re essential Portugueses. Heinrich, the Sailor, leads them, holding a vessel in his hand, and looks toward the river. Behind him, among others are Vasco da Gama, Pedro Alvares Cabral, Ferdinand Magellan, Diogo Cao, Bartolomeu Dias, King Manuel I, etc.
It was very humid, and heatstroke. We did not find any shades while there are no trees here.
Plaster behind the monument pictured Portuguese exploration map in the past. We went straight to the monastery Jeronimos complex shortly after recording the map.
Jeronimos church and monastery complex are also including those who survived the big earthquake in 1755. They decorate with crafted ornaments. The entry was free of charge.
But time and heat prevented us from entering. We enjoyed the shady park outside.
Our last afternoon was spent to picture the ancient viaduct near Campolide train station. The historical water channel began to operate from the 18th century until the present time.
Lisbon Central Mosque: Mesquita Central de Lisboa
I looked for some pieces of information about mosques in Lisbon. We were there for four days. Long enough, so we wanted to visit a mosque in the Portuguese capital.
We got further information from a tourist information office in the city centre. Oh, Mesquita de Lisboa? You should go there. It’s beautiful, told the female officer.
She pointed to a place on the map, Praca de Espana, explained that the fastest way is using a metro.
She was so kind, and phoned somebody to provide us with information about particular city buses to get there.
The mosque’s location is not far from the legendary viaducts of Lisbon. Both are in the same city bus direction, and we admired the giant bridge first. We took a bus to Campolide railway station.
I asked a driver who did not speak English, and he explained in Portuguese and his body language. We understood, though. It was some distance from Campolide. We got to pass a bush, crossed a big street from a tunnel.
Soon, we’re on a bus. It’s just two stops. We scanned around, but the mosque was invisible. A woman showed us the direction, pointed to a hill. So we saw a dome and minaret was poking among tall buildings. Well, the location of the only mosque in Lisbon is in a strategic area where renowned Lisbon hotels, offices and apartments are standing.
The struggle to reach the mosque had not finished yet. Lisbon is a hilly city, and we climbed a steep hill toward the mosque. But all the fatigues quickly vanished when we’re in this House of God, only one in Lisbon.
In a city with more than half a million inhabitants.
The building complex looked magnificent from outside. It’s exterior, made of red bricks with green ornaments (domes, gates are green, too). A man was showing the way to the ladies’ prayer room and males’ prayer room.
It, built until 1988, and the interior was well cared. There’s shoe storage. The lamp lighted up automatically when somebody approached the prayer room. I prayed and my body refreshed after a short break here.
This is the only mosque in Lisbon that was our last destination that day. While early in the morning, we must catch a bus back to the airport. Four days were not enough to explore the beautiful city of Lisbon.