Below is a very interesting guest post by Rob James who describes his sight seeing trip to Lisbon – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Sight Seeing In Lisbon
My partner and I decided to make a four day trip to Lisbon this year. We’ve always wanted to explore the Portuguese capital, and decided that it was worth making the trip in early autumn to avoid the summer heat rush. Luckily, we both have similar tastes when it comes to what we do on holiday – most of which involves seeing historical sites, and trying to get around as many sights as possible. Lisbon’s size and the variety of different districts that it provides made it an ideal choice, as we’ve been to most of the major European cities. The chance to enjoy the tail end of the Mediterranean summer didn’t hurt the trip either.
We decided to stay in the Bairro Alto district of the city, which is spread across seven hills, and multiple suburbs and parishes. Relatively central, and packed with narrow streets, bars, restaurants, and shops, Bairro Alto turned out to be excellent for a boutique hotel stay, and gave us a base from which to explore the rest of Lisbon. Getting to Lisbon itself was also fairly straightforward, with flights to Lisbon only taking a few hours from Gatwick.
The first few days of our trip were mostly taken up with trying to hit as many different parts of Lisbon as possible. This included wandering around downtown Baixa, which features some excellent boutique shops. Using the Lisbon Metro, which was cheap and easy to navigate, we also saw the Arabic architecture of Alfama. On our first night, we decided to head down to Rossio Square, which is a virtual centre for the city’s crowds. One night there was probably enough, though. More striking from our perspective was the Lisbon parish of Belem, which is about 6km west of the centre.
It’s rare to see so many excellent monuments in a relatively small area. Our favourites included the Jeronimos Monastery, and the Belem Cultural Centre, which is primarily made up of modern and international art, impressing on us how cosmopolitan much of Lisbon is. Heading back into the central part of Lisbon, we enjoyed a day of museum and landmark spotting. Particularly impressive was St. George’s Castle, located on Lisbon’s highest hill. While we didn’t have time to visit all of the museums we wanted to, the National Museum of Ancient Art, and the somewhat more eclectic Puppet Museum were favourites.
Our last few days of the trip were spent relaxing around Eduardo VII Park and the Jardim Zoologico, where we enjoyed a stroll and a picnic. Mostly though, we wanted to see more of Bairro Alto and the surrounding areas. Most nights of our trip were spent trying different restaurants, and taking food back from the Mercado da Ribeira farmer’s market to cook. For a treat on our last night in Lisbon we visited one of Bairro Alto’s fado restaurants, where traditional guitar music is played as you enjoy your food and wine. We enjoyed Piri chicken and seafood, as well as local red wines. Altogether, Lisbon was ideal for a quick romantic getaway, with plenty to see to keep us wandering about, and places to relax and enjoy dining in the evenings.
Rob James is a well seasoned traveler, and recommends www.cottagesdirect.co.uk, for holidays in the UK. Rob has travelled to many destinations around the world. In his spare time he can be found blogging about his many adventures. His favourite quote is “If you rest, you rust.” – Helen Hayes
All the best,
A freelance writer/photographer and columnist, Carol Ann has traveled extensively throughout Canada, USA, Mexico, Central America and most recently China. She regularly contributes to a variety of online and print magazines. Recent articles can be found in Senior Living, RVwest, Mature Years, Escapees and Elderly Elder. She was a contributing author to the award-winning book RV Travelling Tales – Women’s Journey of the Open Road. Her most memorable trip was backpacking and documenting a three month journey with her children throughout Central America.