Monthly Archives: January 2015

Castello of São Jorge Lisboa

Two days in Lisbon – Alfama and Bairro Alto – Day 1

Lisbon has an eventful past and a lively modern present. In order not to miss any of the impressive monuments and delicious restaurants, your weekend trip has to be planned well.

Day 1

9:00 – Historic tram ride through Alfama

We start our first day in the district of Alfama. Take the metro to Baixa-Chiado and hop on the traditional tram 28E. The tram is almost an historic site itself and a must-see in Lisbon. You can use your viva viagem card and won’t have to pay for an extra ticket. The ride takes about 40 minutes, but we suggest to get off at the castle Castelo de São Jorge. Of course, you can also decide to take advantage of the cheap tour through the old city of Lisbon at first, to get an overview and later you stop at the castle again.

10:00 – Beautiful view over Lisbon from Castelo de São Jorge

Castello of São Jorge LisboaSt. George’s Castle was built in the 11th century and from its location, on top of the hill, it has witnessed numerous historic events since its edification.
The tram 28 leaves you close to the castle. Explore its surrounding and enjoy the beautiful view over Lisbon and the river Tejo.
Afterwards go down through the small and typical streets of the historic centre to the Igreja de Santo António de Lisboa. Saint Anthony is the most prayed-to saint in the Portuguese capital and the church is said to be built just right at his place of birth. Close, you find two additional sites, the Catedral Sé Patriarcal and the Casa dos Bicos (house of spikes).

12:30 – Explore the Baixa Pombalina district

Plaza de Rossio LisbonFrom the Casa dos Bicos it’s just a 5 min. walk to the Praça do Comércio, one of the famous squares in Lisbon, apart from the Praça da Fugueira and Praça de D. Pedro IV. It’s located inside the Baixa Pombalina, which was completely rebuilt after the big earthquake in 1755. You enter it through the famous Arco da Rua Augusta. In addition, we suggest walking up to the Praça do Rossio.

14:00 – Lunch in the Baixa district

After this intense morning exploring the history of Lisbon, you might want to relax for a bit and have a snack. For economically priced options it’s recommendable to walk to the Baixa district, which is only a 5 min. walk. Here you can find many typical Portuguese restaurants, bars and shops. A great choice for a healthy lunch and a high-quality coffee is Vertigo Café, which is located in Travessa do Carmo. The small café is a cozy place with art deco architecture and just perfect for a small timeout.

16:00 – Visit of the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

After your break we go off to explore a bit more of Lisbon. From the Baixa district walk up to Praça Restauradores. Here you take the Ascensor da Glória, a cable car which operates already since 1914 and brings you to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. It’s a garden from where you’ll enjoy a breathtaking panorama view over Lisbon and the Castelo de São Jorge.
We recommend coming here just before sunset, when the city is colored in different tones of orange. It’s simply a perfect place to take great photos to bring back home.
The route consists only of two stops; get off on the last one. There is no need to buy a new ticket, when you have a day-ticket.

18:00 – Igreja de São Domingos and a taste of Lisbon’s typical liquor

inglesia Sao Domingos LisbonTake the cable car back down to the Praça Restauradores, where you can find the Igreja de São Domingos. The church was reopened after restauration in 1994. The building got almost entirely destroyed after going through two earthquakes and a massive fire in 1959. Inside the church you can still see the fire marks.
Next to the Igreja de São Domingos you’ll find a small place called “A Ginjinha”. Here we suggest you to try the typical cherry liqueur. The liquor itself is delicious, but you can top it with ordering it in a glass made out of chocolate. Yes, chocolate! It’s common to order the drink and enjoy it outside on the streets. And yes, it’s completely legal to consume alcohol in public in Lisbon.

19:00 – Dinner and Bairro Alto

Your first day in Lisbon is coming to an end and if you followed our itinerary, you’ve seen already a lot of the Portuguese capital.
Now it’s time for a traditional Portuguese dinner. Don’t forget to try a port wine with your menu. We recommend you to reserve a table in the small restaurant Cantinho Lusitano. To get there you walk to the bus stop “Largo Trindade Coelho” and take the bus 758. Get off at “Rua da Escola Politécnica and from here it’s only a short walk. On your way you come across some nice bars. You might already see a place you like to visit after your dinner. End the day with a walk through the Bairro Alto, which is famous for its nightlife.