ONLY 8 MINUTES FROM LISBON’S VIBRANT DOWNTOWN AND 15 MINUTES FROM THE BEACH.
THIS IS EUROPE’S BEST SUMMER HOLIDAY FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE!
Downtown Lisbon is an 18th-century district, completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake which had destroyed most of it. It was Europe’s worst-recorded earthquake but it also led to the continent’s first neoclassical urban planning with the world’s first large-scale earthquake-proof construction.
Its grid was given precise geometric specifications and each street was named after different trades (shoes, gilding, saddlery, gold, and silver).
In the 20th century, most of the buildings were taken over by banks and offices, deserting the area of residents, and with the city expanding up the Avenidas Novas, many are now abandoned or under complicated renovations. Still, the neighborhood oozes atmosphere with stuck-in-a-time-warp shops, Art Nouveau signs, old men yelling out lottery ticket numbers to sell, African immigrants hanging by Rossio, young skate-boarders in Praça da Figueira, flower vendors, street performers, shoe shiners, and glimpses of the waterfront…
Some of the streets are pedestrianized and connect a number of monumental neoclassical squares, from Rossio and its cafés to the waterfront Praça do Comércio overlooked by a triumphal arch, to the attractive Praça do Município.
At the moment there are ambitious renovation plans for the entire district, the biggest since the 18th-century reconstruction, in an effort to have it recognized as a World Heritage Site.
Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)
Lisbon’s most famous landmark stands in the middle of the Tagus River from where it once protected the city in the 16th century.
It’s a beautiful fortress that also served as the departure point for many of the voyages of discovery, and because of its architecture and historical significance, it has been declared a World Heritage Site.
The highlight of a visit is admiring the façade facing the river and the views from its loggias and windows. You’ll see stonework relating to the Age of Discovery, including Our Lady of Safe Homecoming who was believed to protect sailors at sea, as well as a stone rhinoceros which inspired Dürer’s depiction of the animal.
Castle of St. George (Castelo de S. Jorge)
Over a millennium-old and still Lisbon’s most splendid sight: Spectacularly sited on the city’s tallest hill, St. George’s Castle offers a breathtaking view over Lisbon. It was first built in the 6th century, and was occupied by the Romans and Visigoths before it became a Moorish royal residence.
Portugal’s first king captured it in 1147 and it was named after England’s patron saint following the Anglo-Portuguese alliance.
In one of its rooms (where Vasco da Gama was received after his voyage to India) is a collection of archaeological finds from around the castle, while one of the towers holds a periscope projecting images from around the city.
The main attraction however, is walking around the ramparts and enjoying the views in the company of roaming peacocks.
Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
This 16th-century monastery is Lisbon’s must-see marvel, flashing back to the days of the Age of Discovery, when the spices of the East paid for the impressive architecture that has given it the status of World Heritage Site.
Riches from all over the world poured into Lisbon thanks to Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the maritime route to India, and the explorer’s tomb is found in the church, a space filled with carvings of sea motifs.
Coral, sea monsters, and ropes are also represented in the even more magnificent cloisters, which are unlike any other in the world. They are sometimes used as the backdrop for major events, such as the signing of the Lisbon Treaty between all 27 European Union countries in 2007.
This quaint medieval district (once the Moorish and Jewish quarter before it became a fishing community) is the oldest neighborhood in Europe after El Pópulo in Cadiz. It’s like a small village, standing as a time capsule to the years before Lisbon was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, as it remained standing thanks to its rock-solid foundations.
Put away your map and wander aimlessly through its “becos” (alleys) and “largos” (small squares), allowing your senses to be the guides. You’ll see magnificent river views and laundry out to dry from balconies, smell fish being grilled in a corner, hear the sounds of Fado coming out of a restaurant, taste authentic traditional meals, and touch some dazzling tilework. Set in a visually stunning hill that extends to the neighborhood of Graça, this is Lisbon at its most picturesque and the very soul of the city.
Life here continues much as it has for centuries, but walk down towards the river and you’re once again in modern times: old warehouses have been renovated and turned into some of the city’s coolest hotspots, from DeliDelux for brunch to Bica do Sapato for dinner, and Lux for drinks and dancing until sunrise.
Praça do Comércio
It’s Western Europe’s largest royal square (the second largest in the continent after St. Petersburg’s Palace Square), created after the 1755 earthquake. The arcades that surround it were once home to government offices for many years but are now mainly occupied by cafes and restaurants. The most famous of those is Martinho da Arcada, the oldest café in the city and a favorite of poet Fernando Pessoa.
On the north side is a triumphal arch and to the south are two turrets facing the Tagus. This was the noble gateway to Lisbon where heads of state disembarked, and the marble steps of the pier are now usually occupied by tourists who sit admiring the scenery.
At the center of the square is a bronze equestrian statue of King José I unveiled in 1775.
The city’s history is told at the Lisboa Story Centre in the east wing, which also offers cafés that allow you to relax with the river as a backdrop (Can the Can, Populi and Museu da Cerveja). On the opposite side, Aura Lounge andChefe Cordeiro are the highlights.
Surfing in Portugal is a unique experience. No other coast can offer you such a high number of surf spots within a shortest distance. That’s why we usually say that waves in Portugal are always guaranteed. Trust us, you will find waves in every corner.
If you’re travelling to Portugal and NOS Alive, then make sure you check out our magnificient coast.
The best thing about Lisbon is that you can take a day off from surfing and stay in the city or, if you´re up for it, surf in the day, go to NOS Alive in the afternoon and party throughout the night. With a great climate, beautiful nature spots minutes from the centre, and a leisurely feel to the city life, the Lisbon region is sure to please all, at all times of the day and night.
Following the river to the sea and you will see great waves both on the southern and northern part of the region. Around the fishing village of Cascais up North or towards the beautiful coastline of Caparica, there is plenty of surf to please for every type of rider, from beginner to expert.
Torre Beach - Oeiras
Located on the east side of S. Julião da Barra Fortress there is the Tower Beach, which offers a refined and quite friendly atmosphere. With stairs and functional access ramps, wind protected due to its geographical position, it is endowed with pleasant equipment such as terraces and high quality restaurants. Served by a paid car park with capacity for several hundred places, this space ends on the east side of Oeiras Yachting Harbour, space ideal for water sports. Next to the beach it is located the salt water Oceanic Swimming Pool, a reference in the region.
Palácio dos Anjos - Centro Arte Manuel de Brito - Algés
In the late nineteenth century, Policarpo Anjos, a wealthy merchant, ordered the building of a small palace integrated in an estate, next to Algés railway station.
It is designed to serve the romantic garden conception, inserted in a French architectural line preference. Even today preserves much of its palm trees, pepper trees and other exotic trees. From a seaside center of Lisbon bourgeoisie to a dormitory crowded neighborhood, the Anjos Palace and its park changed their image, suffering multiple transformations.
Nowadays, the Palace shelters the Manuel de Brito Art Center. It was the subject of a rehabilitation project worthy of many compliments; awarded with the first prize in the category of Rehabilitation Projects by the Tourism of Portugal in 2009.
The Center is the home of one of the most important collections of Portuguese art in the twentieth century, Manuel de Brito’s collection, which includes artworks of recognized artists such as Almada Negreiros, Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Vieira da Silva, Paula Rego, Júlio pomar, Graça Morais, in a total of about 380 works.
The Center has a regular schedule of temporary exhibitions which aim to promote the collection and a set of related and complementary activities such as guided tour, workshops, concerts, conferences, among others.
Gardens and Palace of the Marquis of Pombal and House of Fishing - Oeiras
It’s construction dates back to the second half of the 18th century and it is a project designed by Carlos Mardel, an Hungarian architect who played a major role in the Pombaline rebuilding of Lisbon.
Being integrated in the Quinta de Cima ou Quinta Grande the Fishing House makes up an axial structure along with the wine cellar and other Palace buildings, standing perpendicularly to this one and to the stream.
This precinct owes its name after the tile panels with fishing work motives that cover a squared room walls as well as to the stucco ornaments also subordinated to the fishing theme that as a matter of fact used to take place at the huge tank on the right side of the house.
Preceding the Fishing House whole there is a pond with an eight point star in the center that represents the Carvalho coat of arms. In this garden rises a standard Pombaline tile covered walls staircase.
Most authors claim that the panels were made at Fábrica do Rato (Royal Earthenware Factory). The Taveira Cascade is the highlight of this set. dedicated to the water’s cult with a rock bottom the water flowed to a lake in front of two pillars.