There are just too many things to do in Lisbon and you’ll definitely don’t manage to see all of them in one weekend. So I’m trying to limit them to 10. Here we go…my Top Ten Lisbon spots in random order:
1 – A walk through Alfama
Alfama is the oldest part of Lisbon and it is pretty much a labyrinth of small alleyways from the Tejo up to the hill. It used to be a rough neighborhood, but today it is young, trendy and charming. Take your time and explore Alfama by foot or the historic tramline no. 28. There are several sights on your way such as the castle, Sé cathedral, the Fado Museum or the National Pantheon. Every travel guide recommends Alfama, so do I. You’ve just got to see this part of Lisbon and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.
If you have a wide angle lens, bring it with you. It’s an advantage in these narrow alleyways. For blue skys I always recommend a polarizing filter. See the left image below… You will find plenty of sceneries and go-with-the-flow photos you can capture with your camera.
2 – Portas do Sol
I always take pics of classic and famous postcard spots, too. It might be a bit cheesy for some people or photographers, but I think, these spots are part of a place and there’s nothing wrong in taking great photographs of great spots, right? Portas do Sol is one of them: A platform overviewing Alfama. The best time is before sunset during the blue hour. If you want sharp results, bring your tripod.
3 – Belém by bike
I love to explore a city by bike. I would not recommend you to take the bike for the city centre unless you want to do a workout, but it’s just perfect for a ride along the Tejo until you reach Belém Tower. You will pass the Ponte 25 de Abril, the bridge with quite a similarity to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Maat and some restaurants and chic bars at the Santo Amaro Docks to make a stop and enjoy the break at the waterfront. The Belém Tower or Torre de Belém was part of the defense system and is now UNESCO world heritage.
4 – LX Factory
A huge industrial site which used to be out of service for years has been revitalized and turned into a creative space for fashion, art, communication, architecture, music and much more. Get off the tram #15 at Calvário and enter this popular meeting point for locals and visitors from all over the world. Trendy bars, restaurants and little shops make you hang out there for a while.
5 – The MAAT
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology by the river Tejo is not only a contemporary museum with diverse programs, but a new building with an amazing architecture. For architecture lovers among you it’s one of the not-to-miss spots. Bring your tripod and a ND filter with you so you can take some long exposure shots with people blurred in the foreground or capture the building with the bridge in the background. You can spend hours there, so plan enough time. Click on the gallery below to enlarge the images.
Did you like Lisbon so far? Stay tuned for the next blog post with other 5 top picks and my favorite restaurants.
Find out how you can extend your Lisbon weekend with a beach retreat.