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Lisbon Tram

Travel Tuesdays
This Week's Featured Destination: Lisbon

Are you ready to embark on your dream vacation? I’m thrilled to curate exciting itineraries customized for you, while also providing insider tips and connections that will whisk you away to breathtaking destinations around the world. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Explore Joy Travel’s got you covered. Now let's check out this week's featured destination; Lisbon!

Lisbon Fast Facts

  1. Historic Tram 28: The vintage yellow tram is famous for its scenic route through Lisbon's historic neighborhoods, including Alfama, Graça, and Baixa. Riding Tram 28 is a popular way for tourists to explore the city's narrow and winding streets.

  2. Belém Pastries: Lisbon is renowned for its Pastéis de Belém, also known as Pastéis de Nata, which are delicious custard tarts. The original bakery, Pastéis de Belém, has been making them since 1837 and is a must-visit.

  3. Miradouros (Viewpoints): Lisbon's hilly terrain provides numerous viewpoints, known as miradouros, offering stunning panoramic views of the city. Popular ones include Miradouro da Senhora do Monte and Miradouro de Santa Catarina.

  4. Azulejos: The city's buildings are often adorned with azulejos, traditional Portuguese ceramic tiles. The National Azulejo Museum showcases the history and artistry of these beautiful tiles.

  5. Fado Music: Lisbon is the birthplace of Fado, a melancholic and soulful music genre. Visitors can enjoy live Fado performances in traditional Fado houses, particularly in the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts.

  6. Belém District: This historic district is home to significant landmarks such as the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and the Monument to the Discoveries. It is also where you can enjoy the famous Pastéis de Belém.

  7. LX Factory: A trendy cultural and creative hub located in a former industrial complex. LX Factory features shops, restaurants, bars, and art spaces, making it a vibrant spot for both locals and tourists.

  8. Elevador de Santa Justa: This iconic elevator, designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, offers a unique way to view the city. It connects the lower streets of Baixa with the higher Carmo Square, providing great views from the top.

  9. Lisbon Oceanarium: One of the largest indoor aquariums in Europe, located in the Parque das Nações district. It features an impressive central tank and a variety of marine life, making it a popular family attraction.

  10. Time Out Market: Situated in the historic Mercado da Ribeira, Time Out Market is a food hall featuring a curated selection of Lisbon's best eateries. It’s a great place to sample a variety of local and international cuisines under one roof.

Rooftops

Travel Tips

1. Wear Comfortable Shoes

  • Lisbon is known for its steep hills, cobblestone streets, and narrow alleyways, especially in areas like Alfama and Bairro Alto. Wearing comfortable, sturdy shoes will make exploring the city much easier and more enjoyable.

2. Use Public Transportation

  • Lisbon's public transportation system is efficient and cost-effective. The metro, buses, trams, and funiculars can help you navigate the city with ease. Consider getting a Viva Viagem card, which offers unlimited travel on public transport for a set period.

3. Experience Local Cuisine

  • Don’t miss trying local dishes like bacalhau à brás (salted cod), sardines, and the famous Pastéis de Nata. Visit traditional markets like Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out Market) and local restaurants (tascas) for authentic Portuguese dining experiences.

4. Take Advantage of Free Attractions

  • Many of Lisbon’s attractions are free or have free entry days. For instance, museums often have free entry on the first Sunday of the month. Explore the many free viewpoints (miradouros) for stunning city views, such as Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.

5. Learn a few basic Portuguese Phrases

  • While many people in Lisbon speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture. Simple phrases like "Olá" (Hello), "Por favor" (Please), "Obrigado/Obrigada" (Thank you for men/women), and "Desculpe" (Excuse me) can go a long way in interactions with locals and might even get you a warmer reception.

Feira de Ladra

6 Day Sample Itinerary

Hotel Suggestions:

  1. Lisboa Carmo Hotel: Lisboa Carmo Hotel is a stylish four-star hotel located near the historic Carmo Convent in the vibrant Chiado district. The hotel features elegantly decorated rooms with a blend of contemporary and classic design elements. Its central location provides easy access to Lisbon's main attractions, including Rossio Square and the Santa Justa Lift.

  2. Bairro Alto Hotel: A five-star boutique hotel located in the heart of the vibrant Bairro Alto and Chiado districts. This hotel combines modern luxury with historic charm, offering beautifully decorated rooms and top-notch service. Its rooftop terrace provides stunning views over the city and the Tagus River, making it an ideal spot to relax after a day of exploring.

Day 1: Exploring Central Lisbon

Morning:

  • Baixa and Rossio Square: Start your day in the heart of Lisbon. Explore Rossio Square and the surrounding Baixa district, known for its grand plazas, shops, and cafés.

  • Santa Justa Lift: Take the historic elevator up to the Carmo Convent ruins for a great view of the city.

Afternoon:

  • Alfama District: Wander through the narrow, winding streets of Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon. Visit the Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa) and the Fado Museum.

  • Castelo de São Jorge: Head up to the castle for stunning views of the city and the Tagus River.

Evening:

  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia: Watch the sunset from this beautiful viewpoint in Alfama.

  • Dinner and Fado Music: Enjoy a traditional Portuguese dinner with a Fado performance in one of Alfama’s restaurants.

Day 2: Belém and Western Lisbon

Morning:

  • Belém Tower: Start your day in the historic Belém district by visiting this iconic tower.

  • Jerónimos Monastery: Explore the stunning Manueline architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Afternoon:

  • Pastéis de Belém: Treat yourself to the famous custard tarts at the original Pastéis de Belém bakery.

  • Monument to the Discoveries: Learn about Portugal’s Age of Exploration at this impressive monument.

Evening:

  • Belém Cultural Center: If you’re interested in contemporary art, visit the Berardo Collection Museum.

  • Sunset at the Belém Riverside: Relax by the river and enjoy the sunset views.

 

Day 3: Modern Lisbon and Parks

Morning:

  • Parque das Nações: Visit the modern district built for Expo ’98. Explore the Oceanarium, one of the largest aquariums in Europe.

  • Cable Car Ride: Take a ride along the waterfront for great views of the area.

Afternoon:

  • Gulbenkian Museum: Head to the Avenidas Novas district to visit this museum, which has a diverse collection of art, from ancient to modern.

  • Eduardo VII Park: Stroll through this large park and enjoy the views from the top.

Evening:

  • Avenida da Liberdade: Walk down this grand boulevard lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants. Consider having dinner in one of the many restaurants in this area.

 

Day 4: Day Trip and Local Experiences

Morning:

  • Sintra Day Trip: Take a day trip to the picturesque town of Sintra. Visit the colorful Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, and the mystical Quinta da Regaleira.

Afternoon:

  • Lunch in Sintra: Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many charming restaurants in Sintra.

  • Explore More of Sintra: Depending on your interests, you can visit other sites like Monserrate Palace or take a walk through the historic center.

Evening:

  • Return to Lisbon: Head back to Lisbon in the late afternoon.

  • Dinner in Bairro Alto: End your trip with a lively evening in the Bairro Alto district, known for its vibrant nightlife and diverse dining options.

This itinerary provides a balanced mix of historical sites, cultural experiences, and scenic views, ensuring you experience the best of what Lisbon has to offer.

Skyline at Night

In Other Travel News...

This week's benefit of working with a travel advisor: Local Connections 

I have connections with local guides, tour operators, and hospitality professionals, offering you unique experiences and insider access that you might not find on your own!

Top Travel Headlines
 
  1. Google Flights Trends: Athens has been listed among the top travel destinations for the summer of 2024, reflecting a continuing interest in Greek tourism​ (GTP Headlines)​.

  2. Best Places to Visit in June 2024: Popular destinations include Langkawi, Malaysia; Fiji; the Scottish Highlands; Seattle, USA; and Prague, Czech Republic. These locations offer unique experiences from serene beaches to vibrant festivals​ (Time Out Worldwide)​.

  3. American Airlines Flight Attendants Strike Preparations: Negotiations between American Airlines and its flight attendants, represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), ended without an agreement. This development moves 28,000 flight attendants closer to a potential strike as they seek better compensation after years of bargaining and mediated talks​ (World Airline News)​.

Airplane Wing

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