It’s so easy to visit Lisbon, Portugal’s hilly and compact coastal capital and it’s only 45 minutes away from Sesimbra. There’s too much to do everything in one day so planning is essential; however, if that sounds too much like hard work for a holiday why not visit the capital anyway and go with the flow. Its character, history and uniqueness will wow you so you won’t be disappointed.
Perhaps go the Santa Justa Lift in the Baixa district, which is very old and you are rewarded with fantastic 360 views of the city and the ruins of Carmo Church ‘Igreja’ at the top.
Alfama, the ancient Moorish area, has narrow winding streets with traditional fado singers and taverns while the Chiado has the cafes, restaurants and shopping. Sao George Castle, dating back to the Moors, commands a hilltop view of the capital, River Tagus, Ponte 25 Abril and Cristo Rei (Christ the King) Monument.
You can shop, sightsee, sample the local food, culture or historic buildings. The city is compact so easily explored on foot or you can use the No28 Tram which will take you around all the sights. Watch out this is very popular with tourists so can get crowded.
Unfortunately there are pickpockets around, as in all tourist areas, we’ve never seen anything but be warned and be careful. There are the usual sightseeing buses or you can try the electric bikes or be a daredevil and have masses of fun in the tuktuks or jeeps that will take you round the capital.
The top tourist attraction in the 800 year old capital with two million visitors a year is The TimeOut Market, this was the first one opened in 2004 and brings together the best of the city under one roof and includes 3 Michelin star chefs, and has featured on Rick Stein's TV Show, Long Weekends.
If you purchase a Viva Viagem travel card (click here for info), you can travel on the trams, the city Metro system, which takes you to the main shopping malls and trains to Sintra. A day visit to the Palace is a must if you love architecture and gardens.
The Lisbon - Cascais train out along the coast line is only a 30 minute journey and is crammed full of historic sights and monuments including a stop in Estoril which has a great beach and Europe’s largest casino if you have some spare cash and are feeling lucky!