Lisbon This Summer
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7 of the Best Things to Do in Lisbon This Summer

by REX

Considered a rival to the modern metropolis of London, the city of Lisbon is jam-packed with history. Whether it’s the impact of Berber pirates, fierce Reconquista knights, Moorish builders, or the Romans, Lisbon has got tons of history wrapped into its many tourist destinations. 

In addition to its history, Lisbon also thrives off of its bohemianism atmosphere, a thriving Fado nightlife, plenty of coffee shops, and even modern art installations such as the latest digital offering at the Berardo Collection Museum.

If you are interested in visiting Lisbon this summer and you are curious about what this wonderful place has to offer, we’ve got a list of the seven best things to do there.

National Tile Museum 

If you are a ceramic aficionado, you will absolutely need to visit the national tile museum. 

Most people are into ceramic – and really, anything that is fired in a kiln – likely know that Portugal is one of the places to go if you’re looking for tiles. 

While this is a museum, it is also one of the institutions that document the history and technologies of tile-making dating back to the influence of the Moors. While there are many tile styles on display here, one of the tile forms featured is the blue-hued azulejos.

Torre de Belém

Another important landmark to visit if you are in Lisbon is the Torre de Belém soaring high near the Lisbon seafront. Since the 16th century, this structure has stood above the Tagus River and includes a fusion of various architectural styles, including the Romanesque, the Moorish, the Mudejar, and the Gothic. 

Its original patron was Saint John, and since then, it has been an important feature of the city, given that it was considered the last item that adventurers like the prodigal Vasco da Gama would see as they sailed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Get all of your travel belongings safely put away in luggage storage in Lisbon and enjoy the historical wonder of Torre de Belém.

St George’s Castle 

If you’re looking for castles while you’re traveling, Lisbon has got one of those as well. 

Considered one of the area’s most visible landmarks, St George’s Castle is located in the old Alfama District and was built by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. 

After the Romans constructed it, the castle was also utilized by the Berbers by the Reconquista knights. 

Today, many still admire the castle along with its crenulated towers, its dry moat and large gate, its anti-siege features, and the Portuguese royal seal, which details Portugal’s monarchic strength.

Monastery of Jerónimos 

Another great place to visit is the Monastery of Jerónimos, which is located near the banks of the Tagus River. 

With its ornate spires and grand carvings, the Monastery of Jerónimos was built to commemorate Portugal’s ‘Age of Exploration, which is considered by historians its most glorious age. 

This building truly represents a blending of various architectural designs (of all the cultures that Lisbon encountered while engaging in exploration) into what is known as the Manueline style. Considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monastery was built using the money from trading in cloves, cumin, and exotic spices.

Lisbon Oceanarium 

In addition to the monastery, many visitors like to check out Lisbon’s Oceanarium, which is designed as a hulking aircraft carrier and is located in the Tagus Estuary. 

The Oceanarium is home to an array of marine life exhibits and allows visitors to get up close and personal to all kinds of sea life, including colorful puffer fish, sharks, moray eels, sea anemones, corals, and even penguins. 

Visitors can even check out the artificial boating lagoon where they can rent a pedalo. 

All in all, the oceanarium is host to over one million visitors per year.

National Museum of Ancient Art 

If you are an art afficionado and interested in visiting the home of Portugal’s national art collection, then you should look no further than the National Museum of Ancient Art. 

This museum has everything from Josefa de Óbidos’ chiaroscuro portraiture, to Nuno Gonçalves’ pious saintly depictions and a range of canvases from between the 16th and 19th centuries. 

Many of the items in the museum’s possession came into public ownership after the Liberal Wars that occurred in the early modern age. 

In addition to the standing exhibitions, this museum also has a series of traveling exhibitions that range in subject matter and include everything from the historical paintings of the Age of Discovery to collections focused on Lisbon in the Renaissance period.

Rossio Square

A final suggestion in terms of the best things to do in Lisbon is to visit Rossio Square – or what has been officially titled Pedro IV Square. This square is considered the heart of the Pombaline Lower Town and is located between the Tagus and Baixa rivers. 

Considered a famous location since the medieval age, this cobbled ground of this square was once where the public witnessed beheadings and bullfighting showdowns. 

Today there is much less activity that happens here – most people visit to take a leisurely walk, relax on the shady benches, watch or participate in local dominos tournaments, take in the beautiful Baroque fountains, or people watch.

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