Regardless of how you will spend your time in Lisbon – strolling through the beautiful old streets with cafes in the modern style or conquering the ocean waves on the famous surfing-spot Dream Coast – in any case, you can make a lot of interesting discoveries and arrange yourself an exciting adventure. That is why you need to hire a car at Lisbon airport and start your journey around the city.
Almost all the buildings in the city are made in the style, which actually characterizes Portugal itself, Manueline. It combines elements of Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance, and exotic motifs.
Initially conceived as a beacon and part of the defensive fortress of the Rastelu Port, the Late Gothic Belém Tower was built in 1515 under Manuel I on a small island on the banks of the Tagus River. The tower was built in honor of the successful expedition of Vasco da Gama to India. From a distance, it looks like a bedside table covered with a white lacy napkin. Despite the gentle appearance, the tower served the city as a fortification and even as a prison. Then, it was used as customs for passing ships.
A gorgeous Monastery of Jerónimos looks like it’s not a stern Catholic monastery, but an oriental palace with patterned walls. It is a symbol of the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries. Here, in the chapel of Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama prayed before sailing to India. Here, under the stone slab, he was buried. The monastery, accordingly, was built in memory of this journey and to the glory of the Virgin Mary, who helped the journey to become successful.
Santa Justa Lift
Elevator-de-Santa Justa is really worth seeing because of its unusual setting. Actually an ordinary city elevator, it can be climbed from the lower floor of the city (Baixa district) to the upper (Bairro Altu). The elevator was built in 1902, so it looks a little archaic. For the first time finding yourself here, you feel as if you got into an old sideboard as it is decorated with wood and mirrors inside. The first couple of years the elevator was transferred to electric motors. And, in 2002 it was recognized as a monument of national importance.
Palais des Pena is rightly recognized as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. The panorama of a medieval castle towering on top of a green hill is the most popular image on the covers of tourist guides of the country. The castle served as the summer residence of the royal family for many centuries. It is interesting that the last queen left all the interior decorations in the castle ranging from furniture to the monarch’s treasury. Now every visitor of the castle museum can feel like a member of the royal family, slowly strolling along the luxurious boudoir and chambers.
Quinta da Regaleira
The Quinta da Regaleira Manor is located on the outskirts of Lisbon. Perhaps, you cannot find more mysterious and romantic place than the ancient estate of the aristocrat Carvalho Monteira all around Portugal. It is not only an amazing elegant palace of white stone, decorated with statues of fantastic animals, but also a chapel and a place of secret caves, connected by disguised moves. There are many arches, labyrinths, branches, and hidden courtyards in the territory of the garden. So, it is better to buy a map.
The architecture of Lisbon is really unique. Each building strikes with its elegance and beauty. Come and see it on your own eyes!