The inner part of Lisbon is defined by neighborhoods and sites perched on two hills, plus what lay between them. This will make touring the Lisbon sites on foot a strenuous bit of exercise even for a seasoned urban hiker. For the tenderfoot, there are funiculars and street trolley lines that will take most of the bite off of scaling these hills. Facing the Tagus River, on the right-hand heights are the Castle of St. George, the ancient cathedral of the Se and the twisting narrow streets of the former Moorish Quarter of Alfama. On the left-hand heights are the trendy, nightlife neighborhoods of Chiado and Barrio Alto. In between are the plazas and monuments of Baixa and the riverfront. The entire area could be taken in one (very long) day, but it would be better to do it in two and enjoy the sights and sidewalk cafes.
Monsanto is the largest park in Lisbon and virtually the only place within the city one can getaway to a substantial green space. Its fields and forests are woven with walking and biking paths, making it a good choice for a pleasant walk or ride. Some areas offer good views of the city and the Tagus, so a good idea would be to include a picnic lunch into your stroll or ride there. The park also has the only camping facility located anywhere near the Lisbon city center.
Praque Florestal de Monsanto
011 (+351) 217623100
Wine, Cheese and Beach Trip
A good day trip just outside of Lisbon can be had about a 30-minute drive south, in the Natural Park of Arrabida. Centered around Arrabida Mountain of the same name, the area has attractions on both the seaward and landward sides of the peak. On the seaward side is a steep hiking trail leading from the e Convento da Arrabida to the little town of Portinho da Arrabida. This town has a good beach and its sheltered waters are great for snorkeling. On the landward side is another major trail, a campground, several of Portugal's better vineyards and the region where the creamy Azeitao cheese is made. Scuba diving expeditions can be made out of the nearby city of Seisembra.
An interesting twist for nightlife is to visit Lisbon's historic Hot Clube. This little jazz venue has been around since 1948, and is the oldest continually operating jazz club in Portugal. The stories go that the club began with American jazz musicians flying across the Atlantic for tours on the Continent. Many flights in those days would stop in Lisbon, which had the most westward airport in Europe. Since they had to stop in Lisbon, they would also play a gig there, building up the Hot Clube's reputation.
Travessa da Gale 36
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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.