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Lisbon Top 10

Pinpointing only ten mandatory places in Lisbon is an enormous task, not to say an impossible one. The Portuguese capital is a city with over 2,500 years of history, during which it was inhabited by people from all over the world, blending cultures, religions and ideas into a unique case of ethnic diversity. The streets of the Pombaline downtown are filled with Europeans, Africans, Asians and Latin-Americans, just as much as the historical neighbourhoods echo the sounds of the traditional fado, the Cape-Verdean mornas, the upbeat Angolan kuduro, Brazilian rhythms or Indian melodies. Lisbon is the city that opened the doors to the world and, consequently, welcomed the world through its doors. Whether we’re talking about monuments, cuisine or urban culture, Lisbon is everybody.

user score
5 /10

1 - St. George's Castle

St. George's Castle is divided into two parts: the citadel and the castelejo. While the castelejo refers to the interior part, with a square plant, crenellated walls and ten towers, the citadel refers to the first interior line of walls. Throughout the centuries, the castle suffered from deep erosion, which led to a reconstruction during the 30's and 40's of the 20th century. In fact, the structure that is visited today is a result of that revamp, which recovered a great part of the walls and rose the towers. St. George's Castle is open every day between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. (9 p.m. from March to October), and regularly hosts shows and exhibits.

user score
7.4 /10

2 - Senhora do Monte viewpoint

From Senhora do Monte, one can watch the Tagus estuary, Graça church, castle of São Jorge and the Mouraria neighbourhood, as well as the pombaline downtown, Carmo's monastery ruins, Monsanto park, the new avenues and other hills of Lisbon. All these points are marked on a tile panel fixed to the balcony, in order to facilitate its identification from that viewpoint. Senhora do Monte viewpoint is integrated in a small garden, filled with leafy trees that provide good shades and some excellent moments of relaxation and dolce far niente.

user score
9 /10

3 - Via Graça

As Via Graça's menu focuses on Portuguese traditional cuisine, expect to find a savory myriad of snacks such as pataniscas de bacalhau (deep fried codfish cake) and veal croquettes. As for main courses, specialties like codfish with corn bread, game pie or roasted lamb really stand out. But save some room for dessert, as you will most certainly want to try the mandatory Belgian chocolate mousse with dried fruits ice-cream, the apple crumble with green apple ice-cream or the house's crème brûlée. Whatever you choice for tonight is, accompany your meal with one of the 3,000 bottles on Via Graça's huge winery.

user score
9.7 /10
From 8

4 - Rua Augusta triumphal arch

In 1815, the six huge stone columns that support the triumphal arch were lifted, but the works were only concluded in 1873. The Romantic style is visible on the statues representing great figures of the Portuguese history: Lusitanian warrior Viriato, discoverer Vasco da Gama, prime-minister marquês de Pombal and military tactical genius Nuno Álvares Pereira. Two reclined figures stand for Tagus and Douro rivers. To reach the top of the arch, visitors must take the elevator to an intermediary chamber with explanatory elements. After a flight of stairs, visitors arrive to the top terrace and its surprising view.

user score
5 /10

5 - Esplanada do Jardim da Estrela

In Esplanada do Jardim da Estrela one can have breakfast, a snack or even lunch or dine lighter and simpler dishes - always with the company of the ducks living on a bucolic lake. The menu lists a wide variety of snacks (pies, croquettes, puff pastry), toasts and quiches. As for pastry, the house bets on tripas de Aveiro (deep fried dough stuffed with a piece of candy), here slightly altered to be stuffed with chocolate or eggs. But there's more for the sweet tooth: chocolate pudding or coffee pies are some of the options. All this can be joined by a natural fruit juice or a beer. But you can simply come over, sit down with a paper and enjoy it over a coffee.

user score
5 /10

6 - Jerónimos Monastery

In Jerónimos Monastery church, divided into three naves naturally illuminated through a set of magnificent stained glass, one can visit Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões tombs. Plus, the remains of the famous poet Fernando Pessoa are laid to rest in the monastery cloister (open from Tuesday to Sunday), whereas historian Alexandre Herculano's tomb can be seen in the chapter room. This church also holds a famous silver tabernacle, offered to the monastery when Portugal reclaimed its independency. Pay close attention to the southern entrance, facing the river: it's the visual center of the monastery and portrays both Santa Maria de Belém and Jesus imagery.

user score
9 /10
From 20

8 - The Days of the Earthquake Tour

The Days of the Earthquake's path then arrives to Lisbon's downtown, an area devastated by the earthquake and later recovered by marquês de Pombal (hence the name pombaline downtown). The group gets to see the architectural innovations imposed by Pombal, such as the straight streets and the construction of wide and luminous spaces, like rua Augusta (and its triumphal arch) or Terreiro do Paço. This central plaza is also the ending point for the tour, surrounded by the old ministerial buildings and with a privileged view over the Tagus River. The tour takes three hours to complete and the use of comfortable shoes and clothes is advised. It takes place every day of the week, twice a day (at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.) and accepts up to 20 people.

user score
8 /10

10 - Archaeological Centre of Rua dos Correeiros

Rua dos Correeiros Archaelogical Centre is in an area that, in ancient times, was nearer the Tagus River. Thus, close to rua Augusta's very own hustle, one can see traces of a Roman factory which worked between the 1st and 4th centuries A.D., as well as a wealthy house with visible traces of a SPA complex and polychromatic tiles. The site also exhibits a collection of everyday objects from the Roman period as well as traces from earlier (Ibero-Punic period) and later times (Visigothic, Islamic, Medieval, Portuguese 15th Century and of the Portuguese Pombaline period). One also gets the chance to see the cage structure, invented during the 18th century to resist earthquakes, like the one which hit Lisbon in 1755.

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