Categories Hotels Portugal Recent Discoveries Travelers' Mini Guide

Portugal: A Guide To Lisbon

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Portugal: A Guide To LisbonLike2


 A Journey in Lisbon

Why Lisbon is so underrated

Lisbon. The land of the 7 hills.

I never quite understood it until I returned back to Lisbon after 15 years and learned to appreciate it more. The colorful, historical and the legendary capital of Portugal is one of the most underrated places on earth and today, the world’s hottest destination.

Lisbon is known as “cidade das sete Colinas” (city of the seven hills). This nickname appeared for the first time in the book of the magnitudes of Lisbon, by friar Nicolau de Oliveira in the seventeenth century. The author wanted to force similarities with Rome, claimed to be also built on seven hillsUpon arriving to the city by boat, he named the seven hills on which Lisbon was edified:

  • São Jorge : Where the castle which bears the name is located.
  • São Vicente : Where the São Vincente de Fora Monastery and the Alfama area are located.
  • Sant’Ana : Between the Martim Moniz square and the Rua Portas de Santo Antão, which contains the São José Hospital.
  • Santo André : The peak of this hill is Largo / Miradouro da Graça.
  • Chagas : At the Largo do Carmo
  • Santa Catarina : In the Bairro Alto, close to Largo Camões
  • São Roque : Also in the Bairro Alto, around the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.

All in which I visited for one week while staying at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon where they promised to show me the magic and light that Lisbon has, that no other city in Europe can ever attain. Here, I learned that being Portuguese is a state of mind, there is a light you only find in Lisbon. It is reflected in the hearts of the people in Portugal.

Crossing the street to catch the nearest TuK Tuk, I’ve had help from Paoulo who guided me on where to view the best sunset with the best Portuguese dessert. Camila who took me on a food tour and felt so proud of being here to introduce me to the typical Portuguese dishes despite me not being so adventurous with my food, she managed to take me around Lisbon for 3 hours by foot. She’s also a photographer by passion and working her way around Lisboa following her heart. Afonso is the owner of a beach shack in Cascais that was built 65 years ago by his parents and now runs it.

Conversation starts easily here, everyone wants to talk to you, everyone has a story to tell. You’re not a tourist, but a guest in their home and they want you to know everything the way they see it and feel it.

Being Portuguese is a state of mind. You will only feel it with their people. I spent my days in Lisboa walking around the little corners and twisted alleyways only to find myself at a view point of the city.

Fado Music pouring out on the streets around 5pm representing the soul of the city. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else. Lisbon’s version of ‘the blues’. You are never lost in Lisbon and you are never far away from the center.

Viewpoints in Lisbon

One the greatest Viewpoints in Lisbon! São Jorge Castle is a Moorish castle occupying a commanding hilltop overlooking the historic centre of the Portuguese city of Lisbon and Tagus River

Located on the rooftop of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, providing breathtaking views of the city and the Tagus River, the Ritz Spa Fitness Centre provides guests with 700 square metres (7,535 square feet) of exclusive facilities.

The view from the room at The Four Seasons Hotel Lisbon. The corners of the streets that lead you to another district

Breakfast at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

View point of Miradouro de Santa Catarina with artists

The Palacio Nacional da Pena is one of the finest tourist attractions of Portugal and exemplifies the 19th century Romanticism style of architecture. One of the most beautiful architecture ever existed in our world.

For the perfect sunset view, enjoy a glass of Portuguese wine from the wine truck in Castelo de San Jorge

Things To Do in Lisbon

Visit Belem Tower Built in the 16th century, the Belem Tower provided protection for the Portuguese capital which was vulnerable to attacks from pirates and neighboring states. Today, the castle represents a key symbol of Lisbon, and serves as a reminder of the former power of the Portuguese on land and at sea. Make sure you visit very early in the morning or at sunset as the queue to get inside the tower could get very long

Castle of the Moors One of the most dramatic and beautiful castles, built during the eighth and ninth centuries, and is one of the oldest preserved fortresses in Portugal. I read once that it reminded a lot of people of the Great Wall of China and it does! The history of the castle is incredible and the views are even more beautiful that stretches to the Atlantic Ocean!

National Palace of Pena I don’t know if there is anything like it! The most famous Palace, location at the peak of the highest hill above the town of Sintra. It’s a monument of national and international importance, and recognized by UNESCO. The story of the Palace of Pena dates back to Middle Ages, when a chapel dedicated to the Lady of Pena was established. This eventually grew into a monastery and then a castle. Also here, make sure you visit early morning to avoid too much crowd then you can head down to the Castle of The Moors

Alfama The oldest district and famous Moorish town with narrow streets and alleys has found itself built in a city within a city. This area is dominated by the Moorish-style castle on top of the hill, which dates back to the 11th century. Make sure you visit the roofs from the Portas do Sol viewpoint, ride the quaint number 28 tram which will cost you €2.90.

Castillo de Sao Jorge – Castelo de Sao Jorge, stands majestically above central Lisbon and was the ancient seat of power for Portugal for over 400 years. This is one of the greatest places to see the city at 360 degrees! The ticket price is €8.50 with children under 10 able to enter for free. You will find little wine trucks/carts inside for a glass of wine at sunset.

The Nightlife of Bairro Alto An excellent place ro experience a night in Lisbon is the district of Bairro Alto. Trendy bars, small clubs and live music venues where the haunting sound of Fado music can be heard wafting out.

View Point: Miradouro de Santa Catarina  A great place to watch the city and to see the prettiest and most unforgettable sunset in the city, with music, conversation and very popular amongst the young generation to watch the sunset and music all around.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara a garden sitting at Bairro Alto,  offers a majestic panorama of the city’s landmarks and attractions, including the 6th Century Castelo de Sao Jorge and the Igreja de Sao Vicente de Fora of the Renaissance period.

Cristo Do Rei Statue  Cristo Rei is one of Lisbon’s most iconic monuments. The statue of Christ stands high above the southern banks of the Tejo Estuary, and depicts Christ with arms raised, blessing the city. Cristo Rei dates from the 1950s and its construction was in reverence for Portugal avoiding the horrors of WW2.

Quinta da Regaleira Visiting the beautiful The Quinta da Regaleira is an easy walk in Sintra and we almost missed it. A decorative 20th century residence that is situated in the town of Sintra. The grand house is split over five floors and has an ornate gothic façade, but the real attraction is to the rear with the enchanting gardens and its secret underground pathways.

Drive to Cascais To the west of Lisbon, you will find a fishing town called Cascais a 20 minute train ride or 30 min drive. There are many beaches to visit in Cascais such as the wild and rugged surfing beaches of Guincho, just north of Cascais and the beach front promenade that connects Cascais to Estoril and make sure you visit the grand 19th century buildings of Cascais. Another beach is Praia da Rainha, Tamariz Beach, Praia Do Abano, Praia De Santa Marta.

Praia De Guincho

One of the greatest surf experience

Praia De Santa Marta - This cove with a small sandy beach is located just behind the Marina in Cascais at the western end of the town.

About Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

This stunning 10 storey building with grand decor interiors house from the 18th-century replica furnishings is situated atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills, the Hotel’s striking vistas over Eduardo VII Park, St. George’s Moorish Castle and the Tagus River provide a dramatic introduction to the diverse personality of the city outside.  There is an incredible collection of modern Portuguese art from tapestries to sculptures and paintings hang throughout the hotel and was told that you can even download an app to learn about the pieces.The terrace has historical terrace views with spacious interiors. The hotel’s location near the main Avenida de Liberdade means easy access around Lisbon. The hotel also provides a range of exciting experiences such as tuk tuk around the capital and even a tour with a vintage moto sidecar! One mind-blowing feature is the 18m pool and the unique rooftop track that has views over the whole of Lisbon! A great family friendly hotel that comes highly recommended and one of the most beautiful Four Seasons Property I have stayed in. 

Rates Doubles rooms from €370 (£260) in low season; rising to €450 (£315) in high. Free Wi-Fi.

Morning Views from Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Liked this article? Click Share below and Save it on Pinterest! 

A Guide To Algarve


For A Personalized Itinerary to Portugal

Email [email protected] 

Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Four Seasons Hotel Website 


Food Guide: Cami +5493541216286


Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

Leave a Reply

Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • I guess my last trip to the Arctic was my last icy adventure for the season. I’ve had 4 since the beginning of the year and despite being a beach girl, I can’t wait to go back! Probably sooner than you think ;) Back in Dubai and summer kicked in already but missing everyone on the #TravelwithTJD team. I’m staying in Dubai for a couple of days to catch up with work then, heading off to an island 🌴. Can you guess where? :)
  • We all crave isolation from time to time to get disconnected from whatever it is that keeps us awake at night. To just go, and say nothing and think nothing that connects you to anything at all. We hope in the end that whatever you love always loves you back. Returning from a ‘letting go’ place such as the wilderness in Finland affects me emotionally and sets me off balance, because my happiness was always about following my heart, so where do you go from here? When you leave a place of reality that is better than your dreams? #TravelwithTJD
  • Things I learned along the way: Anyone that abandons you is teaching you how to stand on your own two feet - anything that annoys you is teaching you patience and anything you can’t control is probably teaching you to let go and not having anyone questioning your loyalty is one of the most freeing feeling in the world... Kinda like how this photo means to me... especially when you learn how quickly people judge others. Being in the wilderness is everything! I’m so in love with Finland 💕 #TravelwithTJD
  • I first came to Ivalo last year, and today, almost a year ago, I’m back here with incredible people who trusted me as I guided them into the wilderness beyond the arctic circle. From huskies to ice fishing to snowmobiling at night as we search for the lights and even tasting arctic cuisine, every single one of them had the adventure in them screaming to come out. Our phones were somewhere in our backpack and not a care in the world of anything but the moment we were in. For the longest time, it felt nice being around people who gets it and who travel to experience new things for their own validation and no one else’s. Would you like to join the next trip?#TravelwithTJD
Pic by @framewithaview
  • When you decide to leave and take that chance out on your own, your road won't be paved in colored tiles and most of the time you will be told by friends and strangers that you won’t be able to last so long or that your nuts and possibly judged on every move that you make. As I moved on with my dreams and my days turned into months then years, I’ve had mixed feelings of happiness and being afraid. As someone who loves their own space and is comfortable on my own, I’ve had times where things didn’t always go my way instantly but I knew it eventually falls into place. I might have fallen flat on my face sometimes, and have underestimated my own capabilities at some moments... but I’m more confident than I was when I first started and what made me even braver, was my willingness to live up to these moments because in the end, it was all worth it. #TravelwithTJD
  • I never felt comfortable having anyone take my photo, I am always the one behind the lens and if not, I always have my tripod with me with my remote control. I’m grateful for @dennisstever to have made me feel so comfortable in front of the camera for this shot. It took us more than 24 hours travel time to reach @wildernesshotelinari on our #TravelwithTJD in partnership with @activeholidayfinland and this is the view from the beautiful aurora cabin. 
Picture by: @dennisstever
  • if I say I’ve got you, it means I’ve got you. Whether it’s at 4pm or 4am, I’ve got you. Whether it’s through the phone or face to face, I’ve got you. Whether its big or small. Whether you’re here or not. If say I got you, then, I got you. 💕 #TravelwithTJD
  • A little midweek overload on carbs and spring vibes with @theitalianwayuae before my trip back beyond the arctic circle ❄️. Happy Wednesday everyone! #TheItalianway
  • When people ask me about one of my favorite deserts in the UAE, it’s right here. The world's largest uninterrupted sand mass, the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) - Have you ever been?
  • A throwback to 3 years ago when I spent a month in Bali. It has changed so much during the years but still, some places remain so beautiful ☁️❤️
  • Have you ever been to Maldives? 🐠
  • I could be staring at the same mountains that loomed over passing Vikings and I’m in love. I’m in love because I chose a life that feels good over a life that looks good. I’ve set goals for myself further than the perfect abs or couple goals on instagram. I might have not climbed mountains but this is my beautiful adventure... And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

#PPSolitude @passionpassport