Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal

Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal
As the capital and largest city of Portugal, Lisbon is the port of entry and travel base for many of the country's visitors. While cities in general offer slim pickings for the outdoors enthusiast, Lisbon is a relatively green city, and boasts a handful of options for long, demanding walks or bike rides under its blue skies and pleasant sunshine. Better still are the area beaches, some of which boast the best surfing conditions in Europe.

Monsanto Park

This is the largest green space inside the city limits of Lisbon. A place of low hills and forests of pine, cork and oak trees, it is criss-crossed by dirt walking paths, paved paths for bikers and walkers, and paved roads for cars. It is also the site for the campground anywhere near the city proper, the Parque Municipal de Campismo. With its views of the city, horse riding center and trails for a jog or a bike ride, the park has some charms for the outdoors enthusiast. While the park is served by multiple bus routes, it is not even remotely close to a metro station.

Estrada Circunvalacao
Praque Florestal de Monsanto
011 (+351) 217623100

Street Tour

Old Lisbon is a hilly place, so a walking tour of the city sights will stretch the legs of even a hardened hiker. Stretched out along the banks of the Tagus, the neighborhoods of Chiado, Barrio Alto, Baixa and Alfama are all right next to each other. An ambitious, intrepid, and fit person armed with a map, water bottle and a sense of direction could swallow the whole thing in one long day. The sights include the Rossio in Baixa; then the medieval Se cathedral, the Castle of Saint George (Sao Jorge), and the winding narrow streets of Alfma (the old Moorish quarter); and finally wind down in the popular, trendy, nightlife-oriented neighborhoods of Chiado and Barrio Alto.

Sports

Lisbon is home to two of Portugal's top three soccer teams: Benfica and Sporting. Both of these teams are prominent enough in the sport to regularly feature in pan-European professional tournaments, so soccer fans would do well to check the schedules and try to catch a game. Portugal also has a bullfighting tradition, although their version of the sport has the reputation of being less bloody than the Spanish version. While wounded during the contest, the bull is never actually killed in the arena. The main arena in the city is Campo Pequeno, which can be found outside a metro stop of the same name.

Benfica
Estadio da Luz
Avenida General Norton Matos
011 (+351) 217210500


Sporting
Estadio Jose Alvalade
Rua Professor de Fonseca
011 (+351) 217516000

Guincho

Getting away from the city center is necessary to get serious about outdoor sports and activity. The closest major outdoors site is Praia do Guincho (Guincho Beach). Nestled between a pair of rocky hills, this wind-swept stretch of sand is one of the best places in Portugal for surfing, windsurfing and para-sailing. By extension, that places it among the best in Europe. However, swimmers should beware as the undertow is powerful and people are drowned in the local waters almost every year. Guincho is located on the edge of Caiscais, which is basically a major suburb of Lisbon. It can be reached by taking the commuter train from Cais do Sodre station in Lisbon to Caiscais, and then catching a bus. The entire trip should take no more than one hour.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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