Lisbon and Porto
Feel the sun, the sea air and the unique light that play across the 7 hills of Lisbon. Enjoy and be amazed by the incredible natural viewpoints, with their sweeping panoramic vistas of the city’s hidden treasures. Between the hills, wander the traditional Lisbon streets, delve into the historic quarters and, at night, listen to “Fado”, the Lisbon musical form that UNESCO has declared intangible cultural heritage. Explore the riverside, from the modern Park of Nations to the Belém Tower, via the imposing Terreiro do Paço square, the city’s equivalent of a drawing room. Feel the sunset over an Atlantic Ocean that bathes the whole Lisbon region – from Arrábida up to the waves of Ericeira, by way of Cascais and Sintra, with Mafra peeking over the horizon. Feel much more than a city. Keep this guide because, when you leave, you will definitely want to come back.
Cabo da Roca
Visit at sunset for great photo opportunities.
You’ll find a small souvenir store and café on site.
The area around the lighthouse and church is accessible to wheelchair users.
The cathedral is free to enter, but it’s worth paying the small fee to tour the Gothic cloister.
Remember to dress respectfully, as this remains a functioning religious site.
Pena National Palace
Free WiFi is available at several locations on the grounds, including at the main entrance, restaurant, and cafeteria terrace.
Day trips from Lisbon can last anywhere from 5 to 8 hours.
Due to ongoing restoration, not all parts of the palace are always open.
Nearly the entire Pena complex is wheelchair accessible.
St. George’s Castle
Home of Portugal’s mournful fado singing, Lisbon’s 500-hundred-year-old Bairro Alto (this translates as ‘upper district’) sits at the working-class heart of the city, a district of steep, narrow lanes lined with cramped townhouses and jumping with a quirky mix of stores, barbers’ shops, bars, restaurants and late-night clubs.
By day Bairro Alto’s attractions include the Port Wine Institute – the best place to taste and buy port in Lisbon – and it is accessible from the circular route taken by Lisbon’s famous touristy Tram 28. Don’t dismiss a visit to the Jesuit church of São Roque on Largo Trindade Coelho; built at the height of Jesuit power in Portugal in the 16th century, its bland, whitewashed exterior conceals an interior of breath-taking Baroque indulgence. The riot of ceiling paintings, gilded ornamentation and John the Baptist’s chapel, which is studded with mosaics of ivory, gold and silver, has earned it a reputation as the world’s most expensive church. Adjoining is a small art museum but São Roque really steals the thunder here. The nearby miradouro (viewing point) in the shady Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara gives amazing panoramas across Lisbon’s rooftops towards the River Tagus.
By night a different character emerges in the bairro as the tattoo parlors, bars and cafés open although the weekend street party barely gets going before midnight. Music wafts from fado bars behind every graffiti-ed façade – if you want to experience authentic fado, ask a local to recommend a venue as places come and go with amazing rapidity – and edgy Lisboans bar hop from tavern to designer bar in remarkably laid-back high spirits.
The 25th of April Bridge
How To Visit Lisbon
Visit Lisbona it’s easy. There are so many Tuk Tuk (also electric) that can take you to an amazing tour for 50 Euro. If you want to save money you can buy the Lisboa Card (click here) and have free access to Museums, Monuments and Places of Interest. You can have also discounts for restaurants and shops. There is a card for 72/48/24 hours with prices from 19 Euro.
Porto is a fascinating and vibrant city that is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations. The city boasts an extensive history, interesting tourist sights, buzzing nightlife, and outstanding tourist facilities. There is a lot to see and do in Porto, and the city will appeal to a wide range of different visitors.
Porto is a historic and varied city, from the warren of narrow streets that make up the ancient Ribeira district through to the grand plazas of the Avenida dos Aliados. The region is famed for the production of Port, which is still stored and matured in the vast cellars that stretch along the banks of the Douro River.
Porto is 310km to the north of Lisbon, and the journey takes approximately 2.5-3.5 hours by public transport. Driving is the fastest option, but the toll road network is comparatively expensive, and the toll roads use an overly complicated automated system for collecting fees. There is no need to hire a car to travel between Lisbon and Porto as there are excellent public transport services, and the cost of the road tolls is equivalent to the price of the bus or train ticket.
Advice: If renting a car in Portugal, always check with the hire company regarding their process for paying tolls, as fines can be very expensive.
Train travel is much faster than the bus, but it is more expensive. The Alfa Pendular express train takes 2h40min and costs €30.80 (single adult), the Intercidades (intercity) train is 3h10min and costs €24.70, whereas the express coach costs €19.00 but the journey can range from 3h30min to 4h25min.
Torre dos Clerigos
One of the symbols of Porto is the Torre dos Clerigos, the bell tower adjoining the Clerigos Church, a baroque church built between 1732 and 1750. The church was one of the first Baroque churches in Portugal. Its Baroque adornments reflect the city’s seaside way of life, as its façade is carved with shells and garlands.
More iconic than the church however, is its bell tower. Standing at 75 m (245 ft) high, the tower offers an amazing, panoramic view of the city, the Duoro River and the Atlantic coast. Completed in 1763, this granite tower is based upon a Roman Baroque design scheme coupled with an unmistakably Tuscan bell tower design; visitors familiar with Italian architecture will be delighted to see a decidedly Roman Baroque masterpiece towering over a Portuguese port. Once you’ve ascended the 225 steps and reached the top of the sixth floor, the Torre dos Clerigos, you’ll be able to see the whole city.
Inside the church, you’ll enter into the Roman-influenced elliptic nave; in the main chapel, the altarpiece is a beautiful masterwork of polychrome marble, carved by famed sculptor Manuel dos Santos Porto, whose work can be found throughout Porto and Vila Real de Santo António in the Algarve.
The Igreja dos Clérigos, as it is known in Portuguese, was designed by an Italian architect and painter named Nicolau Nasoni, at the behest of the Brotherhood of the Clergy, for whom the church is named. Following his death in 1773, Nasoni was entombed in the church’s crypt, per his personal request.
Set aside an hour or two to explore the cathedral’s façade and remarkable interior.
It is free to visit the cathedral, but an entry ticket is required to visit the cloisters and the small Sacred Art museum.
The cathedral is one of the departure points for the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Spain.
Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
Come hungry; the neighborhood houses some of Porto’s best tascas (traditional restaurants) with spectacular river views.
Bags and large packages must be checked in the museum’s cloakroom.
Video and photography are permitted within the museum, but remember to turn off your flash.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum and grounds.
Most of the museum is wheelchair accessible.
Casa da Música
The legal drinking age of 18 applies for all wine tasting at Porto Calem.
Porto Calem is wheelchair accessible.