With narrow, winding alleys lined with bleached white limestone walls – and a laid back atmosphere that makes any stranger feel right at home – it’s little wonder that Lisbon has experienced such a surge in popularity as a tourist city. Sitting on seven hills – like so many other famous cities around the world, like Rome and Istanbul – this Portuguese capital regularly surprises newcomers with its pleasant mix of modern attractions and old historic sites. Situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, this port of call is one that you will not want to miss.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
Although Lisbon is often overlooked by people who travel to Europe, it is a city of many charms and is also resplendent with gorgeous scenery and lovely topography. From the towering Cristo Rei that looms over the city, to the Ponte 25 de Abril that spans the mighty Tejo River, Lisbon is a place that you won’t soon forget. Grab a pastéis de nata while here and you will have the makings of one of the best ports of call visits that you will ever experience.
Lisbon is an incredibly scenic city. No matter where your wanderings take you, you are bound to be captivated by the sights and sounds of this pleasant city. There’s truly something for everyone here, including:
Whether you’re working with a limited amount of time, or just want to get a nice overview of what Lisbon is all about, a trip on the city’s Tram 28 will do the trick. This is a cheap way to get a nice tour of many of the prime spots and sights in the city. Winding its way over a lot of hilly terrain, the tram passes by popular gardens, churches and other nice places.
Often compared to the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Lisbons’ Cristo Rei stands over 300 feet tall and is an impressive work of art in its own right. By getting an up close and personal look at the Cristo Rei, you can take an elevator to the top and enjoy some of the best panoramic views of the city.
Ponte 25 de Abril
If you’re from the United States, you should make an effort to cross the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. Interestingly enough, this bridge was designed by the same designer who created San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. It runs over the Tejo River and is a remarkable bridge to see up close.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Proving its mettle as a true European city, Lisbon boasts the Castelo de Sao Jorge, a full fledged castle that offers informative and interesting tours to visitors. The building and its grounds are well worth a visit, but the views of the city are what really make this a special place in the heart of many native Lisbon residents.
The old shopping district of Lisbon – and the one that locals and tourists alike tend to prefer – is the Baixa. If you find yourself in Lisbon while on a cruise and would like to spend a bit of cash, the Baixa is a wonderful place to do so. All of the biggest names in department stores are here, as well as a smattering of smaller, more eclectic shops. Best of all, everything is arranged in a concentrated and compact area, making it quite convenient.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
All over Lisbon, you’ll find street vendors and small shops selling straw handbags. These are very popular Lisbon souvenirs and are well constructed and durable. Painted tiles are another local specialty and can be used decoratively upon returning back home.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you cannot visit Lisbon without trying the pastéis de nata. These local delicacies are served hot directly out of the oven; they are dusted with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon and will absolutely blow your mind with their tastiness. Because they are so popular, they can be found all over the city – especially at pastelarias. Don’t miss out on them; if possible, bring some back to the ship!
When, Where, and How
When To Go
With the heat of the summer – and the rain of the winter – spring is usually the season of choice for those heading over to Lisbon. Indeed, temperatures are quite mild and pleasant between March and May, and rain is kept to a minimum. Keep in mind, though, that the weather is quite amenable most of the year.
Where You’re Docked
The commercial port of Lisbon – which is called the Doca de Alcantara – is a mere two miles from downtown. As such, it is very convenient in terms of allowing cruise ship passengers to get off the ship and see a bit of the capital of Portugal. As a thoroughly modern city, Lisbon has a fine public transportation system – and getting around by foot is fine, too.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
A lot of the most popular cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Lisbon. A few of the major cruise lines that stop in Lisbon are Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. However, there are many other options available in terms of dates, ships, days at sea and in port when it comes to Lisbon.