You can choose where to go, or you can ask us. Varandas de Lisboa are close to the most of places. If you need, there are many ways to move around.
Rossio Square or Praça do Rossio, officially called Praça de D. Pedro IV, is Lisbon’s nerve centre. The square is situated in the city’s Baixa neighbourhood, on the northern end of Rua Augusta, very close to Restauradores Square.Praça do Rossio is the liveliest area in the capital of Portugal and where many locals and tourists meet up. The square and its surrounding streets are packed with some of the city’s most famous restaurants, bars and shops.The square houses various monuments and landmarks:
Column of Pedro IV – In the centre of Rossio Square sits the Column of Pedro IV of Portugal, known as “the Soldier King”. At the base of the pillar are four female figures that represent the King’s various qualities: Justice, Wisdom, Strength and Moderation.Maria II
National Theatre – The National Theatre D. Maria II was founded in 1842. It replaced the old Estaus Palace, headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition since mid-fifteenth century. On top of the Theatre’s façade is a statue of Gil Vicente, a Portuguese playwright and father of the country’s theatre.
Rossio Railway Station – On the left-hand side of the National Theatre is the Rossio Railway Station, built in 1887. Its façade is striking with an unusual entrance. The trains to Sintra depart from this train station.
Café Nicola – Café Nicola is one of the most famous coffee shops in Lisbon. It has a beautiful art deco façade and was opened over 200 years ago.
Lisbon’s Sé neighbourhood is one of the typical areas of the old quarter of the city. It takes its name from Lisbon’s cathedral, known as “a Sé” . It is set on half of a hill and so most of its streets are very sharply inclined. The buildings are old – some of them are over a hundred years old – and every street is still paved with cobblestones named “calçada portuguesa” which gives it that authentic, typical charm. This is a great neighbourhood to eat, shop and visit as it captures all of Lisbon’s spirit.
Attraction number one here is obviously the Sé. The Cathedral is nearly 1000 years old and it’s the oldest church in the city. There’s a lot of singing throughout Sunday masses if you care to attend and during the summer months it’s common for weddings to take place on Fridays and Saturdays. Other attractions include the Saramago foundation, down by the riverfront – a museum dedicated to the portuguese writer, José Saramago, that won the Nobel award, just a step from Varandas de Lisboa building.
Located on the highest of Lisbon’s seven hills, São Jorge Castle is the city’s most visited tourist site, and perhaps its most impressive one, if not for the building itself at least for its position offering the best views of Lisbon and the River Tejo.
It occupies the site of the former Moorish castle dating from the 10th century. The castle was conquered in 1147 by the crusaders led by Dom Afonso Henriques, the founder and first king to call himself “King of Portugal”. Inside the walls, a metal statue over a cylindrical stone plinth (statue base) pays homage to Portugal’s first king.The site’s main attractions include:
. The viewpoint and a series of gardens filled with Portuguese forest species, such as cork oak, olive, carob, umbrella pine and fruit trees around the Paço da Alcáçova;
. The Castelejo (Upper Castle), built in the 11th century during the Moorish period, corresponding to the castle inner defensive part, strategically located at the top of the hill. It retains eleven towers, a cistern and the Door of Treason, used by secret messengers;
. The periscope inside the Ulysses Tower, a giant camera obscura offering a unique real-time 360-degree angle on Lisbon;
. The archaeological site (access restricted) uncovering three main periods in the history of Lisbon: the first settlements around the 7th century BC, the Moorish period till the 11th century, and the ruins of the Paço da Alcáçova;
The buildings now housing the Permanent Exhibition and Restaurante Casa do Leão as well as the surrounding area offering some evidence of the former Paço da Alcáçova.
Baixa is the most central and renowned neighbourhood in Lisbon. It was completely rebuilt by the Marquis of Pombal after the earthquake that destroyed part of the city in the eighteenth century. The district has large classical avenues flanked by houses covered in tiles, in typical Lisbon style. Baixa is packed with stores and restaurants and is always busy during the day.
This neighbourhood houses the capital’s most emblematic squares and streets. The district starts in Restauradores Square (Praça dos Restauradores), continues up Avenida da Liberdade, through Praça Marquês de Pombal (Marquis of Pombal Square) and from this point forward is considered “Modern Lisbon”.
It brings together some popular spots such as the Santa Justa Elevator and MUDE (Design and Fashion Museum) and, in addition to more traditional outlets, many modern places as well. Shops, restaurants and street entertainers amuse pedestrians in this area, with the added bonus of fabulous views of the Tejo River.
Alfama is one of Lisbon’s most genuine neighborhoods – its architecture presents the unique characteristics of old and colorful buildings that give it a joyful character and tranquility. Strolling through the Alfama district is an invitation to get lost among extremely charming streets and alleys. Easy to get lost in, even easier to find!
Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods and was founded by the Arabs who gave it the name “Al-hama” meaning ‘source of hot water, good water’. You haven’t genuinely experienced Lisbon without getting lost among the paths and charms of the neighborhood that is considered the heart of the city. While walking through the disordered and narrow streets of Alfama, you’ll feel like you’re in a small village, witnessing conversations between neighbors, listening to fado echoing through the stairways and being able to see the Tejo River from another perspective.
The coolest thing about exploring Alfama is feeling the neighborhood’s true spirit and being surprised by the peculiar characteristics of typical buildings with sloping roofs, clothes drying on clotheslines that reinforce the intensity of local colors and the daily life of the residents with their customs.
If the idea is to get to know the most traditional spaces in Alfama, then the calçadinha de Santo Estêvão is obligatory passage, as is a stop to admire the fantastic view from the Santo Estêvão lookout. A sneak peek of the São Vicente de Fora Church, the National Pantheon and the d’elRei Fountain – the first public fountain in Lisbon – are indispensable.
Getting lost in the streets of Alfama is necessary, especially for those who love to be surprised by the typical traits of a culture that has existed for centuries. Rather than describe Alfama, it is best to lose yourself there and enjoy the exceptional feeling of being in and discovering a unique neighborhood. Furthermore, if you’re there in June, have fun at the Sto. António festivities. On June 12th and 13th, Alfama is even more attractive, busy and of course … colorful and cheerful!
Lisbon is situated on the northern banks of the River Tagus (Rio Tejo) and the slow flowing waters of the river helped create Lisbon the magnificent and vibrant city that it is today. The river was the initial factor that established Lisbon as a significant Roman port as the estuary provided protection from the ferocious Atlantic Ocean and from this founding the city has never looked back.
The 14th century heralded in the the Age of Discover that was regarded as the golden age of Portugal. These expeditions originated from the docks that ran the length of western Lisbon and once the colonies were established the wealth of the new lands poured back into Lisbon to fund the extravagance of the era. The Portuguese as a nation are emigrants with communities dotted throughout the world and this characteristic can be traced back to the close connection with the seas and the rivers of which the Tejo is the most important.
You can see our beautiful river at sunset from our balconies, a fantastic experience!
For a different perspective just climb Lisbon hills or take a boat trip! We recommend you to do this tour more at the end of your trip, so you will be able to see not only Lisbon’s skyline but also identify the main monuments!