Explore Lisbon for free and save big time
April 6th, 2017, Posted by travelwith2ofus
What defines a city? It may be the architecture, the people, its economic development or cultural preservation. It's very difficult to find all these at one place. However, Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal has a little of all the qualities that make up a great city. It is also one of the oldest cities in the European Union.
Lisbon went up nine places in the Telegraph Travel Awards to 26th in the category of World's Best Cities in 2016. While it may be one of the most unnoticed cities in Europe, there is a lot of fun waiting for you when you get here. The climate is sunny and the night life is all the rage. Read on to find out things to do in Lisbon without spending a cent, yet taking in all the beauty and splendor of the city.
Go to the ruins of Convento do Carmo
You will have to take on a grueling climb to get to the convent, but it will be all worth it once you get there. The view is breathtaking from the viewpoint- known as the miraduoro, just close by. At the viewpoint you will enjoy a one-of-a kind view of the Old Town and Chiado.
The multi-story car park of Bairro Alto for sunset watching
Lisbon is all about panoramic views; it is a hilly terrain that might need you to move uphill ever so often, but the rewards will totally amaze you. There are plenty of miraduoros or viewpoints and a multi-story car park is ideal for watching the sunset. In this particular case, the park in Bairro Alto is the best option. The parking lot situated at the roof top was converted into a raised garden veranda. Here, you have a 180-degree view of Lisbon.
Ride through the city
Want to explore the city, but walking around doesn't allow you much movement? Bike rides are available to help you cover more miles. Cascais offer bikes for free that you can ride for the whole day and return. The bikes can be picked up from several different places such as the Guia, next to the train station or close to the Casa das Historias Paula Rego. You will of course need some form of identification. Once you have the bike, the city is yours to discover. If you plan to ride a bike in Lisbon, it is best to learn the best available routes to avoid difficult climbs and busier streets.
Walk through the markets
The true value of any city cannot be appreciated just by visiting statues and seeing the terrain. Mingling with the people in their unaltered environment is essentially tasting the gist of the city. Rove around the markets in the far-flung districts of Lisbon and see Lisboetas in the markets, shopping. This is a great opportunity to try out the local products as well as mingle with locals. Some of the markets include Mercado da Ribeira for food, plants, crafts, books and antiques, Feira da Ladra, which is a flea market offering antique items, and the LX Factory Sunday flea market, where you can get food, jewelry, clothes and much more.
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Enjoy some Jazz in the park
The beautiful sunsets of Lisbon wouldn't be complete without some jazz in the park. You will witness crowds slowly growing around the parks on Sundays. That is because they are treated to live jazz performances. One of the most striking settings is the Jardim da Estrela close to the Basilica. It sets the stage for some soothing jazz and you will find a DJ on Fridays too.
Be amazed by the wall under the city
The Dinis Wall was named after the charismatic King Dinis, a Portuguese Monarch who ruled in the late 1200s to the early 1300s. The wall extends for 30 meters and is 800 years old. It remained hidden from modern Portugal until it was discovered during a revamp of the headquarters for the Bank of Portugal. The relics discovered by the wall are now on exhibition at Interpretation Center, the museum where they are kept.
Join the locals in celebration
Lisbon is a lively city with lots of activities throughout the summer months. The festival calendar is packed with exciting events and festivals that will sure get you in touch with the culture and way of life of the city. The most ostentatious of these events is the day of the patron saint of the city, Santo Antonio which runs for two days; 12-13th of June. It is characterized by parties and parades in most of the districts as people pour out in the streets in celebration. In Alfama, with its narrow streets, the affair becomes a street party. People fill the narrow streets and an open-air party ensues. You will enjoy the dancing residents and the food stalls that crowd the streets.
The Thai food festival is also another celebration that involves a lot of food. The event exhibits Thai cuisine with all the traditional delicacies on display. There will be a lot of food and music too.
Go to the beach
With the kind of welcoming sunny climate you find in Portugal, going to the beach is a must-do for every visitor. What's more, the beaches are not too far away from the capital. You can get to the shores by heading to Praia da Torre, Praia de Carcavelos, Cascais or Estoril beaches. They can be reached from a train line that goes from the Tagus and stretches all the way to the Atlantic. As for suffers, there are waves to catch at the Caparica even though this is a high rise resort. However, once you make it through, you will enjoy the big waves and the atmosphere as well.
FREE WINE... YES free!
ViniPortugal is not the easiest place to spot. It is nestled under the arches of the imposing Terreiro do Paco square. What makes ViniPortugal a true find is that they offer visitors wine tastings of their finest regional wines. Three wines are offered to guests to guzzle each month absolutely free. If you happen to be here during the wine tastings, you will get a chance to enjoy the exquisite wines of Portugal and dance the night away to soothing tunes.
Lisbon combines its rich history with a modern touch to everything. A lot of the marvels available for free in the streets can only be savored if you take the time to walk around and see for yourself. Free tours are available and take about two hours. In this time you will have learned a lot more about the city that you could ever read in a journal.
Have you ever visited Lisbon? Let us know what you thought about the city.
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