What to do & Which places to see in Lisbon?
Ahoy mate! Anyone of you familiar with Lisbon? Yes! Lisbon is the Southernmost point of Western Europe. It’s a party place indeed! But, it is a historical place too! A little bit of history won’t harm you, would it? Vasco Da Gama had set sail to find the Indies and he landed up in Goa, India! He had set sail from the Gates of the Fort Belém or known as the Belém Tower in Lisbon. The fort is the starting point for the Atlantic Ocean for the journey to the West or the East. What to do & Which places to see in Lisbon? First thing is to visit the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (a Monument dedicated to the Portugues Conquerors and Sailers who sailed east & west in search of new lands) & Belém Tower & do not forget to try the Belém pastries! They look good and taste good! More places to see coming right up! Get your PUMA sneakers (Like I am wearing on the river/oceanside of Lisbon) ready to walk around the city!
The Tower was built to fortify the city of Lisbon against invaders and also as a checkpoint for ships to and fro from the Atlantic ocean. From the tower, a guard would signal the approval for the incoming ships to disembark and outgoing ships to embark concerning their travels. It is a special monument dedicated to the Portuguese explorers. It is a UNESCO Heritage site since 1983! (FYI, That is the year when India won it’s Cricket World Cup under the captainship of Kapil Dev!).
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
This monument is known as Padrão dos Descobrimentos. This is the Western Side of the Monument. There is an Eastern Side as well (which I didn’t take. It was too sunny!). It celebrates voyages and the discoveries of all Portuguese explorers on their expeditions to India, Orient & West. Trade & setting up colonies was the main reason for their expeditions. It is situated on the banks of the Tagus River.
Western Profile of the Monument
Eastern Profile of the Monument
Tagus River <—-> Atlantic Ocean
Tram Rides in Lisbon (ICONIC)
If you haven’t been on a tram in Lisbon, you are missing out on all the fun!! I had completed three rides in a day with this tram (from pickup to its end). It was fun, though I slept on the way due to jetlag. It takes you in and around Lisbon city.
Also, since it is very hot in Lisbon, do not forget to drink lots of water and fresh orange juice! Orange juice is indeed fresh and not preserved! You can see that all the cafes keep oranges all the time! Let’s take you on the tram and through Lisbon alleys! Recognize the below Steps? Seen it somewhere? Think Think! In some movies?
Praça do Comércio
The square was named Praça do Comércio, the Square of Commerce, to indicate its new function in the economy of Lisbon. The symmetrical buildings of the square were filled with government bureaux regulating customs and port activities.
The centerpiece of the ensemble was the equestrian statue of King José I, inaugurated in 1775 in the center of the square. The bronze statue, the first monumental statue dedicated to a king in Lisbon, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro, Portugal’s foremost sculptor of the time.
Rossio Square – Lisbon Town Square
Praça do Rossio or Rossio Square is the city center of Lisbon. You must admire the architecture around the square including its fountain.
Rossio has played an important role in Lisbon’s history since medieval times. The open area made it once ideal for marketplaces and fairs, military parades, political rallies, bullfighting, and even “autos-de-fé”, the public ritual of punishing heretics during the Portuguese Inquisition.
With the 1755 earthquake, several buildings were destroyed, and the square was converted into the rectangular shape plaza you see today, with a number of buildings occupied by hotels and cafés.
Lisbon City Houses
It is always lovely to trek around the city and especially around Lisbon. Taking the trams and walking up the long steps will help you exercise your body. Taking a tour of the city and keeping up with your fitness ~ two targets with one arrow!
Palácio Nacional da Ajuda
The Palace of Ajuda is a neoclassical monument in the civil parish of Ajuda in the city of Lisbon, central Portugal. Built on the site of a temporary wooden building constructed to house the Royal family after the 1755 earthquake and tsunami, it was originally begun by architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa, who planned a late Baroque-Rococo building. Later, it was entrusted to José da Costa e Silva and Francisco Xavier Fabri, who planned a magnificent building in the modern neoclassical style. (Reference from Palace of Ajuda – Wikipedia)
The Ajuda National Palace is located on a hilltop of the central part of the parish of Ajuda overlooking the historic center of Lisbon and Tagus River, south of the Monsanto Forest Park. Its main access way in the Largo da Ajuda on the eastern side of the property, but it is also transited by the Calçada do Mirante à Ajuda (north) and Rua dos Marcos (west). Although the Palace occupies a block on the heights of Ajuda, its delineated space extends to several gardens and lands around the main building. This includes: the Jardim das Damas (Lady’s Garden) fronting the northern façade of the Palace; the Sala da Fisica (Physics Hall), in the north-eastern corner fronting the Palace; the clock-tower, also known as the Torre do Galo (Rooster’s Tower), isolated in front of the Palace; and the larger Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden), southwest and across the street from the Palace.
Luxurious Myriad Hotel!
Myriad Hotel (a group of Sana Hotels), is one of the Top 5 Hotels in Lisbon. As per TripAdvisor.com, this hotel is rated 4.5/5. 9.3/10 by Booking.com & 4.8/5 by Expedia. The cost of one room is INR 20,000-22,000 per night! Imagine! It is one of the best luxurious hotels in Lisbon, Portugal. I was amazed by the architecture and the ambiance! It looks like the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE.
Myriad Hotel is situated in front of the beautiful riverside (beachside) opposite the Tagus River (slowly opening to the Atlantic Ocean). You have the view of the bridges that takes you across Lisbon City into the Lisbon Greater Area.