During my wonderful stay at the Corinthia Hotel in Lisbon, I took full advantage of their world-renowned spa which spans over 3,500 square meters and offers 13 tranquil treatment rooms, a heated indoor swimming pool and more! However, the historic streets of Lisbon were calling my name and I could not help but explore as much as I could during my quick stay. Thanks to the Corinthia and their expert planning services, I was able to experience the best sights in the city. Here are my favorite highlights from my trip!
As historic as Lisbon is, it’s also a very hip and trendy city! If you are looking for an area with cool shops, restaurants, and bars, Principe Real is the neighborhood you want. You will know you’re in the right place once you start seeing upscale and colorful 19th century mansions. I really like the mix of the old and the new here. Along with hip eateries, you will also discover small art galleries, antique shops, and boutiques showcasing local designers.
A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without visiting the Chiado District. This is easily the most elegant, trendy, and charming part of the city. Take your time to stroll past and admire the old shops and theaters which are architecturally stunning and vibrant.
We were lucky to visit one historic shop called Claus Porto. This is a Portuguese beauty and fragrance house that’s been open for over a century.
The “Cafe a Brasileira” is one of the oldest and most famous cafes in Lisbon. It was here during the 19th century where Portugal’s academics and intellectuals could discuss the pressing issues of the day, while struggling artists would sell their paintings.
Outside the Cafe a Brasileira is a statue of Fernando Pessoa, who ironically disliked the cafe and preferred to spend his time in a different café near to Praça do Comércio.
Another notable landmark that you will find nearby is the Santa Justa Lift. This is an elevator located inside a Gothic tower, which provides quick and easy transport between Lisbon’s Baixa and Bairro Alto districts. It is as pretty as it is convenient!
Lisbon is synonymous with the colorful trams that help visitors and locals explore the incredibly steep streets. I love exploring new places on foot as much as the next person, but Lisbon’s hills are no joke and you should definitely allow yourself a break!
Therefore, I’d highly recommend riding on Tram 28 which takes you up to the historic Alfama neighborhood. At the top of the hill, you will discover São Jorge Castle. This Moorish castle and palace remains date back to the 10th century, with the first fortifications rumored to date back to as early as the 2nd century BC! Thanks to its hilltop position, you can admire beautiful views of Lisbon’s historic center and the Tagus River.
Speaking of the Tagus, I suggest heading back down the hill towards the waterfront where you can admire the river up close. Here you will also find Praça do Comércio, a grand square that opens up towards the Tagus River that was built after the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake. It is here you will also find Rua August Arch, a stone, triumphal arch-like historical building that is worth pausing to gaze at. This magnificent arch commemorates the city’s reconstruction after the major earthquake that devastated Lisbon.
Lastly, a visit to the Belém District is a must! Here you will find the Jerónimos Monastery which dates back to the 16th century. This landmark is beautiful both inside and out and I’d highly recommend walking along the riverside nearby to discover impressive monuments such as the Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
If you’re wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, I’d recommend driving west of Lisbon to Cascais. This is one of Portugal’s leading resort destinations and you can come here to enjoy the peaceful seaside. It is only about a 30 minute drive outside of Lisbon but you feel world’s away! Guincho Beach is a particularly beautiful sunset spot that I would highly recommend.
If you continue driving up the coast for about 20 minutes, you will reach Cabo da Roca. This is the westernmost extent of Continental Europe and it offers stunning views of the Atlantic from atop a cliff. Be sure you have your camera ready to take some memorable photos here!
From beautiful beaches to ancient castles, Lisbon truly offers something for everyone to enjoy. I look forward to exploring even more next time, and I know the Corinthia won’t disappoint in creating yet another incredible itinerary!