Sightseeing, a walk around the coast and delicious dishes?
Whenever we travel, we either focus on certain tourist attractions that match our area of interest such as museums, stadiums, and places where movies were made or we try to do as much as we can and rush through the city. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey, despite a bucket list that was checked easily.
The Old Continent is known for being full of historically meaningful places and this is how one usually chooses what to see. Because most tourists go to the same places, it is a good trick to take advantage of the digital era and purchase tickets and make reservations online.
Lisbon is one of those capital cities that never disappoints and we are glad that it became one of the popular locations for business events. People can combine here both educational events and sightseeing, and for those looking for shopping, the market grew so they don’t get bored.
One day in Lisbon? We say: hey, yo, let’s go!
The city of Lisbon lies in the western area of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. For those who live far away from the sea, this is a chance to see the Ocean, take some great pics of the beautiful beaches and rocky cliffs and spend some time on the coast where only the waves can be heard. Oh, it sounds like paradise!
If you’re in for spending some time on a boat, there are boat tours especially designed for ”dolphin watching”. Don’t be worried, these are not just for kids, so you will feel comfortable while waiting along with a bunch of tourists to get a glimpse of the cute creatures loved by everyone. For those who love horses and are looking for a more adventurous tour, you should know where you can do some horse riding on the beach (and this is no joke). Of course, no one forgot about those who are in love with water sports, so they can go kayaking and snorkelling, water activities which can be done in the Arrabida Natural Park. This is a huge regional park, founded in 1976 and the area has almost 70 square miles of land and sea nestled between Setubal Peninsula and Sesimbra. Local guides advise tourists to spend a whole day here as there is plenty to do.
If you are not looking for this type of activity and you are curious to find out more about the history of the city, here are some must-see places. Of course, a guided tour is the easiest way to walk around the city and ask as many questions as you want. Most of the tours will take you to the iconic places everyone wants to see. Chiado is an elegant neighbourhood where everyone meets for coffee, shopping or just a long walk to discover local architecture. Here, one is able to travel back to the ”Belle Epoque” when well-known writers used to go to cafes and write. Fernando Pessoa and Eca de Queiroz are two of the most important figures of those times.
The cosmopolitan ambience comes from the junction of the many different spots around these streets: bookshops, classic theatres, sophisticated restaurants, and international brand stores. It looks like there is something to see for everyone irrespective of their tastes. One of the main attractions here is the gothic ruins of the 14th-century church called Convento do Carmo. The roof collapsed in an earthquake in 1755 and this is why you can walk around the church while looking at the clear sky, a rather poetic and meaningful experience for someone in search of a spiritual experience.
Art lovers will certainly go to the National Museum of Contemporary Art of Chiado where they will be delighted to discover works of both modern and contemporary Portuguese art. Of course, places like Basilica dos Martires and Igreja do Loreto are not to be missed.
Chasing the most beautiful castles around the world? Sao Jorge Castle must be on your list. There is proof that human occupation of the castle dates back to the 8th century BC and since the 12th century, the castle served various purposes- royal palace, military barracks, national archive and now it is a museum.
It may sound awkward but a tram trip is not to be missed in Lisbon, especially through Sao Bento neighbourhood, which is the transition point between the old town and the new areas of the city. Most tourists get there by the number 28 tram which wizzes through Sao Bento district, and then they walk around the former house of the fado diva Amalia Rodrigues, the neoclassical Sao Bento Palace and visit the Igreja de Jesus to admire masterpieces of baroque tile art.
At the end of the day, you can go see the Belem Tower, a fortification tower built during the Portuguese Renaissance, UNESCO-protected. This is where you can get panoramic views of the harbour, take a really nice photo and make a change to your profile.
Tired and hungry?
Of course, some fado live music and delicious local dishes will help you relax and enjoy a wonderful evening in the heart of Portugal. You should try bacalhau, ameijoas a bulhao pato, bifanas, queijo de adeitao or pastel de nata. Obviously, it would be helpful to tell what those mean, but it is better to let you discover some things all by yourself.
If you are coming to EAHP Annual Congress in Lisbon this year, between the 22nd and the 24th of March, you should know that at this point only on-site registration will be accepted. Self-registration kiosks will be available at the venue, for both card and cash payments.