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Lisbon

Culture of Lisbon. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Lisbon City Hall and pillory Lisbon presents a great variety of sights of tourist interest among which one will find as ancient so architectonic constructions of modern art, picturesque squares and parks, established hundreds of years ago. Belem Tower (or the Tower of St Vincent) or Torre de Belem is located on the high hill performing an amazing panoramic view of the city-scapes. The tower was erected in the beginning of the 16th century and served as a light house for sailors but in the beginning of the 19th century the tower was totally destroyed by the Napoleon’s Army. Today the tower is one of the most amazing constructions of the city. The tower is decorated with tracery balconies, unusual elements in form of ship ropes and crenellated walls executed in Arabian style.
Local people are rather hot tempered and thus their behavior may seem rather strange to foreign visitors. Peculiar to city folks deliberateness in everything is often approached by visitors … Open
The most important religious sights of the city is Lisbon Cathedral built in the 12th century. The first ecclesiastical construction was erected on this place as far back as in 6th century. Later the small church was destroyed and a new majestic cathedral was built on its place. In appearance the construction looks more like a fortress than a religious object. Only due to power fortification the cathedral survived unharmed during the massive earthquake of 1755.
Another interesting object of architectonic art in Lisbon is Bikush House which construction was ended in 1523. Its façade is executed in a unique style fronted with tracery stone cut as diamonds. In 1755 the construction was severely harmed with the earthquake with two upper stages totally destroyed. Nowadays the Bikush House hosts an exhibition center in which the art students and amateur artists perform their works. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Lisbon presents to its visitors fantastic Aquarium which is annually visited by thousands of admiring tourists. The Aquarium presents a great variety of sea world inhabitant. Captivating … Open
Speaking of historical sites, St George Castle is worthy of special mentioning. It was built in 1511 by the order of the King Manuel l and long served as the main fortification of the city. Recently the castle was totally renovated and today appears to its visitors in all its glory. Some of the halls of the castle were reequipped and turned to the museum which collection is concentrated on the history of the fortifying construction. Among cultural enlightenment institutions of Lisbon the most remarkable one is the maritime museum – Museu De Marinha – which is placed in one of the halls of Jeronimos Monastery. Among the priceless showpieces collected in the museum there are sailing models, antique astrolabes and ship devices as well as sailing maps and other artifacts related to sailing history.
Parliament - Lisbon The capital of Portugal boasts a countless number of religious attractions, and each one is worth mentioning. Unremarkable at first glance, the shrine of Igreja de São Roque is striking with its interior decoration, as well as peaceful atmosphere. It is noteworthy in that it is the first church in Portugal and the first Jesuit Cathedral in the world. For more than two hundred years, the temple was the main church in the country. Also, this is one of the buildings that survived an earthquake that happened in 1755. The shrine was built at the end of the 16th century according to the design of by Alvares brothers (Afonso and Bartholomew).
1. Setting out to Lisbon you should be surely backed up with a pair of comfortable shoes. The reason is that the city is placed on seven hills that is why hiking through the wind streets is … Open
Another interesting church is built in honor of St. Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon (Igreja de Santo António). Despite its small size, the church is notable for its interior - in particular, stained-glass windows, sculptures, and an altar. It is here that St. Anthony is believed to be born. A crypt is located in this place today. It is also worth exploring a museum dedicated to the above-mentioned saint (Museu António), which is located next to the church. Igreja Santa Catarina striking tourists with its magnificent appearance and rich interior is of great architectural interest. It was built in the 16th century but suffered from the 1755 earthquake and the 1959 fire, after which it was immediately restored.
 Lisbon Another church - Igreja de São Domingos built in 1241 - is interesting for its tragic history: it was here that the Lisbon massacre began in 1506. More than four thousand people were killed after that. Earlier, this church received kings - they were baptized, crowned and married here. But everything has changed after the massacre: from that point on, all things were ruled by the Inquisition that read out sentences in the church. The church has suffered three times: during the earthquakes of 1531 and 1755, as well as during the fire of 1959. Lisbon has some non-standard shrines like Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima, which looks like anything but a church. Besides Christian churches, you can find a Muslim mosque - Mesquita Central de Lisboa. It was built in 1985, due to which it has a rather modern look.
Lisbon offers many attractive non-touristy places, a visit to which will help to understand the culture of local people better and make any vacation much more original. Want to plunge into … Open
In the Portuguese capital, it's possible to climb several viewing platforms offering fantastic views of the city. They are pretty much relevant due to the fact that Lisbon lies on the hills so it's a pleasure to admire it from high up. The best observation points are Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, Miradouro da Graça, and Miradouro de Santa Luzia. A nice attraction that should never be ignored is Livraria Ler Devagar - a bookstore with huge shelves of countless manuscripts. This place can safely be called a paradise for “bookworms”. Here you can also find out about typography in the past.
Lisbon A regular walk in a park can safely be replaced by a walk through Prazeres Cemetery, which is a “city within the city” with its streets and attractions in the form of beautifully decorated tombstones and crypts. Those who still prefer walking in parks will certainly find some beautiful scenic spots in Lisbon - a garden of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Parque Eduardo VII, as well as Jardim Botânico d'Ajuda. The latter is located on the territory of the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, a magnificent building rising on the site of a royal palace destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. The ruined building was erected in the Baroque style, and the present one was completed in 1802 in the Neoclassic style. The building became the permanent residence of the Portuguese monarchs again only in 1861 when the interior was completely restored.
Lisbon is famous for its modern shopping centers, including Armazens do Chiado located on one of the main streets of the historic district. It is attractive for its designer and jewelry … Open
A vivid Portuguese Baroque masterpiece is the Panteão Nacional built in 1682. Many prominent figures of the country such as presidents and writers are buried here today. Formerly, until 1966, the building was a church. The Palácio Chiado dating back to 1781 was once a magnificent palace. Today, it houses a fine restaurant, the dream of any history buff. Sitting here, one can get an idea of how noble parties were organized and things were done here in the old days. One of the most prestigious theaters in Portugal is the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II. Foreign ambassadors had lived here in the 15th century and inquisitors in the 16th century, until the 1836 fire have almost completely destroyed the building. Later, it was decided to build a theater on its site.
Lisbon In addition to the above, the capital of Portugal presents several more good museums, thanks to which acquaintance with local culture and history will be very fruitful. These include the Museu Nacional do Azulejo where you can learn all about the traditional Portuguese Azulejo ceramic tilework and the manufacture of ceramic products. The Museu Nacional de Etnologia will acquaint visitors with the peoples who inhabited the country at one time or another, and the Teatro Romano tells about the ancient Roman times in the history of the city. Of interest to tourists is the Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência that occupies an architecturally beautiful building. Here you can learn a lot of new information about species evolution and scientific inventions.
Discovering the architecture of Lisbon from bird's eye view! Jeronimos Monastery, Castle of Sao Jorge, Santo Antonio Church, Lisbon Oceanarium, Santa Justa Lift, Triumphal Arch, all those monuments are defining the image of Lisbon … Open
In the Museu da Musica, you can find a wonderful collection of musical instruments that have been played in past centuries. Each of them is described to the smallest detail. Another museum - the Reservatorio da Patriarcal - leads tourists into the underground tunnels where the public water supply system was once located. Its building performed its main function until the 1940s. One can’t fail to mention the Museu do Fado introducing its visitors to the traditional music of Portugal and thus understand the multifaceted local culture better. The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is a kind of symbol of Lisbon. This is a must-have regardless of one's attitude to art (it keeps a collection of works of fine and sculptural art).
 Padrao dos Descobrimentos Some other must-visit facilities in the Portuguese capital include the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo that is of special interest to archeology and history buffs, the Museu do Combatente introducing tourists to military equipment and the period of the country's colonial wars, as well as the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga that has gathered an invaluable collection of jewelry, interior items, paintings created in ancient times. Those wishing to find out more about the military history of Portugal will spend exciting hours in the Guarda Nacional Republicana, and fans of mystical places will appreciate the Hospital de Bonecas - its building is nothing but a doll repair workshop. Many of the dolls look pretty creepy. Those who prefer more traditional toys should visit another museum - the Museu da Marioneta where a huge collection of toys is on display.
National Pantheon, Belem Tower, Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora, Lisbon Cathedral, Estrela Basilica, MEO Arena, as well as many others, they all become the world's cultural heritage objects and remain as iconic monuments for Lisbon … Open
The capital of Portugal has modern buildings as well. For example, these are two bridges that have already become symbols of the city - Ponte Vasco da Gama and Ponte 25 de Abril. Until May 2018, the first bridge was considered the longest in Europe, but ceded its place to the Crimean Bridge, while the second is one of the twenty longest suspension bridges in the world. Autodromo Fernanda Pires da Silva that has repeatedly hosted Formula 1 races is of great interest to sports enthusiasts. Connoisseurs of underground and urbanism will be delighted with Village Underground, one of the main attractions of which is the LX Factory. Anyway, this is only a small part of the attractions available in the capital of Portugal. Even a book wouldn't be enough to list them all. Here, tourists can find interesting places at every step.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Lisbon and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Lisbon and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Lisbon: churches, museums and castles

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

» Jeronimos is the monastery founded by Henry the Navigator in 1450. The building of the monastery is a grandiose monument to late-Manueline style of Portuguese architecture.
» The Jeronimos is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site of mankind.
» The monastery is inextricably associated with the Age of Discovery. Vasco da Gama and his companions spent there the night in prayer before sailing towards India.
» King Manuel I and Joao III are buried in the monastery, as well as Vasco da Gama, Camoes and Fernando Pessoa.
» Since 1903 the western wing of the monastery has being housing the National Archaeological Museum.

Castle of Sao Jorge, Lisbon

» The Castle of Sao Jorge is the fortress located on a high hill; it’s visible from almost anywhere in the city.
» The castle has long served as a royal residence until the 16th century, when the Ribeira Palace was built.
» The Castle of Sao Jorge at different times was used as a theater, a prison and an arsenal. The earthquake of 1755 turned the castle in ruins.
» In 1938, active reconstruction of the castle began, in which the medieval wall restored, and the park with monuments to the Great King Afonso I and Manuel I was laid out.
» Today the castle is open for visitors who could climb the tower and enjoy breathtaking view of the city. The castle has interesting multimedia exhibition about the history of Lisbon.

Discoverers Monument, Lisbon

Location on the map:   Facts: » The Discoverers monument is dedicated to the outstanding figures of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.
» The height of the monument is 52 meters.
» The model of the monument was created in 1940, but the latter was opened only in 1960.
» The monument is a caravel of white limestone with the figure of the mastermind of the Portuguese geographical discoveries, Henry the Navigator, on the snout. He is surrounded with 32 other important personalities of the Age of Discovery, including monarchs, explorers, cartographers, artists, scientists and missionaries.
» Everybody can get inside the monument via elevator or climbing a height of 52 meters, where you can admire spectacular views.

Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora, Lisbon

» Sao Vicente de Fora is the monastery founded in 1147 by the first king of Portugal, Afonso I the Great.
» The monastery is dedicated to Vicente of Saragossa, the patron saint of Lisbon, an early Christian martyr.
» The monastery church in its current form was built in 1582-1629 years, while other buildings were completed only in the 18th century.
» All the kings of Braganza Dynasty, except two, are buried in the crypt of the monastery.
» All visitors can climb to the roof terrace and admire the magnificent views at the National Pantheon, Alfama and the Tagus River.

Monastery of Carmelites, Lisbon

Location on the map:   Facts: » The Carmelite Monastery is the medieval Gothic monastery, which was built in 1389-1423 by the Portuguese knight Nuno Alvares Pereira for the Carmelite Order.
» Long ago, the Carmelite Monastery has been the main church of Lisbon; with its dimensions it was second only to the Lisbon cathedral.
» During an earthquake and fire in 1755, the monastery was almost destroyed; only heavy altar pieces have preserved. Reconstruction of the monastery has begun, but in 1834 the work was interrupted.
» As a result, it was decided not to rebuild the ruined church in the future, but just to leave it under the open sky. The arches of the buildings were mostly destroyed; pointed arches support parts of the surviving walls.
» Residential part of the monastery in 1836 was signed off to army, and the remains of the church were moved to the archaeological museum.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Lisbon

Castelo De São Jorge
Where: Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon; Telephone: +351 218 800 620;
Mosteiro Dos Jerónimos
Where: Praça do Império, Belém, Lisbon; Telephone: +351 213 620 034;
Museu Do Azulejo
Where: Rua da Madre de Deus 4, Lisbon; Telephone: +351 218 100 340;
Fundação Gulbenkian
Where: Avenida de Berna 45, Lisbon; Telephone: +351 217 823 000;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Lisbon
♥   Palace 'Palácio da Rosa' , 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palácio de Sant’ana' , 0.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palácio Vila Flor' , 0.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Bemposta Palace' , 0.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palácio Ludovice' , 1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Sotto Mayor Palace' , 1.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'São Bento Palace' , 2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Lisbon and around
♥   Art museum 'Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga' Lisbon, 2.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Museu Calouste Gulbenkian' Lisbon, 2.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Museu Colecção Berardo' Lisbon, 7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Lisbon
♥   Igreja da Memória, Ajuda, 6.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisboa, 6.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Assunção, Funchal, 15.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Sé Catedral de Santa Maria da Graça, Setúbal, 30.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Sé Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Santarém, 69.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Lisbon

Photogallery of cultural heritage of Lisbon

Landmarks of culture on Lisbon map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Lisbon

Culture guide to Lisbon. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Lisbon: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Lisbon. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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