Two days in Lisbon – photostory.

  Lisbon often appears in various lists of “the most beautiful cities in Europe”. Full of enthusiasm, I have spent two days in Lisbon at the beginning of my trip to Portugal. It is a beautiful city indeed… but there is a “but” 🙂

Lisbon makes and amazing first impression – planes while landing fly just over the city and the view from the window is really stunning. Very picturesque location. I would prefer not to land there with bad weather and turbulences – I would panic that not only we will crash, but also poor, innocent people below us will die (yes, yes, I don’t show it, but I have such visions while flying… ;)) But let’s get to the point. I will show you how together with my fiance I have spent my time in Portugal’s capital.

Two days in Lisbon – day one

We spent our first day in Lisbon walking around the main centre. We started with Rua Augusta – one of the main tourist streets in Lisbon, closed for traffic, full of restaurants and bars. It ends with a Triumphal Arch – Arco da Rua Augusta
Two days in Lisbon: Arco da Rua Augusta
After passing the Arch, we arrived to the main square of Lisbon – Praca do Comercio.
Two days in Lisbon: Praca do Comercio
Two days in Lisbon: Praca do Comercio
 From there we went to Sao Jorge Castle. We passed Sé Cathedral, which, together with the yellow tram is the most popular shot from Lisbon.
Two days in Lisbon: Se Cathedral
Very common, traditional views in Portual are buildings covered with azulejos – ceramic tiles often all together creating one mosaic.
Two days in Lisbon: Azulejos
Two days in Lisbon: Azulejos
We didn’t go inside the castle, because we’re not very keen on history. But in the castle surrounding, we discovered something absolutely fantastic! Wine Bar do Castelo. It’s a bar specializing in Portuguese wine.
The staff is very, very competent. They asked us how do we like our wine – red, white, dry, sweet, more fruity or less… And what’s our maximum price for a glass. We got two wines to try. We heard a story about each of them, got to know from which region of Portugal it comes, from what kind of grapes, what’s the difference between them.
The staff can also recommend you the snacks which go well with your chosen wine. Simply amazing!! So professional, the prices are not very low, but definitely not unreasonable. We paid 5 and 6 euros for a glass. And the glasses are quite big 🙂 Why don’t we have such places in Poland…

Anyway, if you like wine, I strongly recommend you to visit this or similar place!Refreshed by the wine (:)) we decided to get lost a little bit. This way we found a nice viewing platform. There’s no way I can tell you where it is exactly, I have no idea…

Two days in Lisbon: Viewing platform
Two days in Lisbon: Viewing platform
We finished our “getting lost” around Carmo square, and while coming back home we had a great view on illuminated castle.
Two days in Lisbon: Carmo square
Two days in Lisbon: Carmo square

Two days in Lisbon – day two

The next day we bought 24-hours ticket for public transport, because we wanted to get to Monument to the Discoveries, The Jerónimos Monastery and Belem Tower. They’re located quite far from the main centre.

It’s not possible to reach them with metro, we had to take the tram or bus from a stop located near Terreiro do Paco metro station. Don’t worry you won’t find the right stop – crowd of waiting people should catch your attention… We hardly managed to move around these people and we simply didn’t have any chances to get on the first tram. We were there in September, I don’t even want to imagine what’s happening there in July and August…

We got on the first bus going in the right direction – again there was not enough space to get on the next tram straight to Belem… We got off as soon as the bus stopped going along the coast, we could reach our destinations on foot from there.

We reached the Jeronimos Monastery (Monasteiro Dos Jeronimos) first. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get inside and visit Vasco da Gama – the king of Senegal was visiting Portugal at the time and the police was waiting for him near the Monastery 🙂

Two days in Lisbon: Jeronimos Monastery
We just could admire the building from distance
Two days in Lisbon: Jeronimos Monastery
Then we went to see the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos). I can honestly say that this is the most beautiful and the most interesting monument I have ever seen. It’s shaped as a caravel on which we can see famous people from the Age of Discoveries, such as Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan or Henry the Navigator. And it’s huge!
Two days in Lisbon: Monument to the Discoveries
Two days in Lisbon: Monument to the Discoveries
Very close to the monument there is the Belem Tower. It used to be a part of Lisbon defense system and an orientation point for sailors coming back home, later it was also a prison. Nowadays, it’s a very popular touristic destination. How popular – may the queue tell you… (remember – it was September…)
Two days in Lisbon: Belem Tower
Next stop of our trip was the famous Lisbon Oceanarium. The ticket for both permanent and temporary exhibitions cost 17 euros (you can get 10% discount if you buy it online here) I liked the Oceanarium, it’s interesting, but I think I read too much of great opinions about it.
I expected something really mind-blowing and it was a mistake, because I left the oceanarium a bit disappointed (and frozen – it’s cold there!). In the middle of the building there is a big, main aquarium which we can see from all perspectives and angles while visiting. We can stand just near the glass and feel like swimming with the fish inside.
Two days in Lisbon: Oceanarium
Two days in Lisbon: Oceanarium
Two days in Lisbon: Oceanarium
 There are also places for a bit more terrestrial animals like penguins and otters.
Two days in Lisbon: Oceanarium
Two days in Lisbon: Oceanarium

At the end of your visit you may see a film about how the Oceanarium was built and how it is maintained. Very interesting part for me. In general, it is worth visiting the Oceanarium, but don’t expect something really extraordinary. I think I should stop reading opinions before going somewhere…:)

In the evening we wanted to go to botanical garden Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa – unfortunately it was closed. Anyway I’m glad we went there – the surrounding is very enjoyable and on our way back we passed another viewing platform – Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara 🙂

Two days in Lisbon: Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara viewing platform

Two days in Lisbon – sum up

Lisbon is a city with beautiful monuments and landmarks, it has a great location. On the other hand, we have noticed that it’s quite neglected. There are numerous buildings which for sure used to be the pride of the city are now wrecks, not renovated, not cleaned, abandoned. It disfigures the city a lot, makes it look much less attractive (unfortunately I don’t have too many pictures to prove it – during the trip I didn’t expect that I’ll be writing about it ever :)).

Our host from Lisbon told us that Portugese law doesn’t allow the owners of these buildings to raise rents. It doesn’t surprise me then that they don’t have neither motivation nor money to take care of their buildings if the people are paying the same amount for 30 years… And the maintenance costs are not the same for sure. It’s a pity, because it very badly affects the way Lisbon looks like during the day.

Despite the neglected buildings, Lisbon looks really lovely, enchanting and magical at nighttime. I think it’s this unique atmosphere of southern European countries – just look at the below picture! Music playing, people outside in the bars, narrow streets… Life could not be any better!! 🙂

Two days in Lisbon: Nightlife

Is it worth going to Lisbon? Yes, but for sure not as the only destination in Portugal. While being in the capital take a trip to Sintra – it may take you to the world from your childhood dreams! Anyway, in Portugal nature is the most beautiful! Let’s take a biking trip in Algarve together or let’s go to Sagres – perfect holiday destination for everybody!

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