3 nights in Lisbon: The Program for Sightseeing Junkies 18Nov2015

3 nights in Lisbon: The Program for Sightseeing Junkies

Written byRenata Jirasova18 Nov. 2015

Despite not being Mediterranean city (the entire Portuguese coast is Atlantic), Lisbon enjoys a warm, Mediterranean climate with mild winters and very warm summers. Strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream, among all the European cities, here are the warmest winters on the continent, with average temperatures above +15.2°C (59.4°F) during the day.

Thanks to this fact, Lisbon is the excellent choice for weekend travellers who want to explore beauty of our globe in autumn or winter time and don´t want to suffer from frost.

Where to stay?

The best strategical point, where to stay if you want to explore the most interesting historic sights, is in the city centre  - in the Rossi square or Praça da Figueira (Figueira square), where are tram, buses and metro stations. This perfect position (in Praça da Figueira) is offered e.g. by the smaller hotel with 50 guest rooms, fitness and wellness on the roof called „The Beautique hotels Figuera“. There is a tram station exactly in front of the hotel, where you can go directly to the Belem quarter (approx. 15 min.journey) or opposite way to St. George Castle.

Program for the 1st day:

The Belem Tower, Monument of Discoveries and Jeronymus monastery in the Belem quarter is the best way how to start discovering of Lisbon. All these three monuments is easy to reach from city centre Praca da Fiqueira by tram number 15 (about 15 min. journey).

The Belem Tower is a solid, not too high fortress; impressively beautiful building from outside but also interiors are very interesting. The Tower used to be a prison from the 16-19th century and the former prison rooms are available for a visit in underground. After climbing upstairs you will be awarded by a magnificent view on the River Tagus (Tejo), which meets the Atlantic Ocean, and many buildings such as the red "25 de Abril Bridge" (a copy of a Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco) or you can also see the Discoveries monument.

The ticket to the tower cost 6 EUR but be ready that you will spend a lot of time in a line because the spiral staircase is very narrow so if people go up, others, who wants to go down, have to wait (it is managed by green and red traffic lights like on the street). So if you don´t have enough time don´t go up and look only around. From the Belem Tower you can walk along the cost and comfortably reach the amazingly huge Monument of Discoveries, which commemorates the famous era of Portuguese sailors. At the top of the monument stands Henry the Navigator and behind him another prominent Portuguese, among them sailors, cartographers, artists, scientists and missionaries.The Jerónimos Monastery is just about 10 min. walking from the Monument of Discoveries. The monastery was founded in 1501 by King Manuel I of Portugal as an expression of gratitude for the sucessful voyage of Vasco da Gama to India.

The Jerónimos Monastery is a great monument to the Age of Discovery and a magnificent example of the Gothic-Renaissance Manueline style of architecture. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém, in 1983.

Beside the stunning exterior and interior you can see tombs of King Manuel I. and his wife Maria Aragon, King John III. and his wife Catherine of Habsburg; gravestones of Vasco da Gama (1468-1523) and writer Luís Vaz de Camões (1527-1570).The tombstone of Vasco de Gama, Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

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Program for the 2nd day:

If you stay in some hotel in Praça da Figueira or in Rossi square, in a few minutes of walking you will reach the iron elevator Santa Justa built in neo-gotical style between 1900-1902. From the top floor you can visit Archaeological museum in Convent of Carmo. The view from the top is beautiful but the same or even better view is from the St. George Castle. One adult ticket cost 5 Euro. So if there is too big line for the elevator, don´t wait there. Save your power and time for exploring of the St. George Castle and its surrounding. This is a real „must-see“. The beautiful, romantic area really value to visit.St. George Castle is situated on the top of the highest hill in Lisabon historic centre, above the old Moorish quarter. The Castle is visible from a long way off and it is famous for its beautiful views of the city and surrounding countryside. The oldest parts date from the 6th century when it was fortified by the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors.

When you get through the gateway, you’ll walk through romantic open areas, along artists’ stalls with hand-made souvenirs and cross a drawbridge which leads to the main building.The enjoyable early evening in the St. George (St. Jorge) Castle in Lisbon at the beginning of November

The view on Lisbon from St. George (St. Jorge) Castle walls

If you are in Lisbon you must visit the St. George Castle magnificently standing on the top of the highest hill and surrounding, very pitoresque zig-zag, steep streets. The road up is demanding and long so it is better to save energy and go up either by yellow tram no. 28 or by bus no. 737 from Figuera square (Also you can take a ricksha or taxi, taxi are not expensive) because you will need to be fresh for walking in the huge area of the Castle.When you reach the top of Castle you can walk up to the walls and everywhere you can enjoy a fantastic view on the city with red roofs.

 If you are tired you can sit on the courtyard and have a glass of the great Portuguese wine. Don´t forget to take very comfortable shoes because pavements and aisles in the Castle and around are from stones, there are many holes between the stones so nothing for ladies with heels :-). Absolutely the St. George Castle is the attraction no. 1 in Lisbon!

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Program for the 3rd day:

To visit Lisbon´s Oceanarium is a great idea especially if the weather isn´t good. It is located out of the city centre, in the Parque das Nações, near the metro station Oriente. The fastest way is to go there by taxi (it takes just 15 min. from downtown).The Oceanarium was designed by American architect Peter Chermeyeff and it is one of the world's largest aquariums. There are about 25,000 fish, seabirds, and mammals in an enormous central tank that is the size of four Olympic-sized swimming pools. Visitors can look into it from different levels for close-ups of the various creatures, including different species of sharks. One note:

Tourists who had visited one of the big Oceanariums e.g. in San Francisco (USA) or in Dubai (UAE), where  you can walk through a tunnel and feel to be inside of the ocean, may be somewhat disappointed in Lisbon. The tunnel is missing here. It is a big shame.    

 



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