Are you planning a Portugal cruise vacation with Norwegian Cruise Line? Lisbon is the largest city and capital of Portugal. It's renowned for its colourful and ornate architecture, Fado music, year-round sunny weather, and more. If your Portugal cruise stops in Lisbon, here are some of the top things to do on your day in port.
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Take Tram 28
London has double-decker buses, San Francisco has cable cars, and Lisbon has trams. Tram 28 is one of the most scenic routes in Lisbon, passing by popular attractions and through some of the city's most notable neighborhoods, including Baixa, Graça, Alfama, and Estrela. The tram cars themselves are part of the experience since some of them date back to World War II.
If you want to spend your day exploring Lisbon by tram, consider booking the Hop On - Hop Off experience, which stops at many of the city's main points of interest.
Explore the Romantic Village of Obidos
The village of Obidos is considered by many to be the most romantic village in Portugal. Obidos dates back to the 13th century and sits atop a beautiful hilltop overlooking a valley filled with vineyards. Book a shore excursion to Obidos where you'll embark on a scenic drive through the countryside before arriving at this fairytale village. Not-to-miss sights in Obidos include the 17th-century Parish Church of Santa Maria and the stone-walled medieval castle. Wander down the narrow cobblestone streets to discover more of Obidos' charms.
Go on a 4x4 Adventure in the Sintra Mountains
The primary way to explore the scenic Sintra hills is on a 4x4 adventure. Head off-road for an exciting day in the mountains, passing magnificent views. One of your stops is at a wine lodge, where you can try some local Portuguese wines. You'll also visit Cabo da Roca, Europe's westernmost point, and Fojo da Adraga, which is a natural well dug out of the cliffs.
Enjoy the Views at Alfama
Alfama offers some of the best views in Lisbon. It can be reached by riding Tram 28, taking an uphill walk, or as a stop on one or more Lisbon shore excursions. Alfama's history dates back centuries and involves Roman and Moorish periods. Some say exploring Alfama is the best way to understand Lisbon's soul. Wander through cobblestone streets, checking out traditional Fado clubs, boutiques, and restaurants.
Learn About Portuguese Wine
If you want to learn more about the wine that made Portugal famous, book the Majestic Scenery & Wine excursion. Your tour visits the town of Azeitao, a spot best known for its Moscatel de Setubal. Sample local wines and learn more about production methods when you stop at a wine lodge.
After some wine tasting, guests will drive toward Arrabida National Park, where you can take in some impressive views and learn more about the area.
Ride the Santa Justa Elevator
Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a former student of Gustave Eiffel, designed the neo-Gothic Santa Justa Elevator. It is more than a century old and was previously powered by steam. Some commuters use this as a shortcut to Bairro Alto. Riders will go up in two old-fashioned cabins to the 150-foot-tall vantage point. There are accessible viewpoints elsewhere in the city, but part of the experience is riding the elevator.
Explore the Waterfront Area of Belém
You'll find some of Lisbon's more important historical monuments and museums in Belém. Belém Palace is the official residence of the president of Portugal. Head to the Tagus River to see waterfront attractions, including the Discoveries Monument and the Jeronimos Monastery. The Monastery of St. Jerome is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an excellent example of Portugal's Manueline style of architecture. This ornate style of architecture was named after the ruling king at that time, Manuel I.
If you haven't tried a Portuguese egg tart, Belém is home to one of the most popular cafes, Pasteis de Belém. Grab a pastel de nata and explore the best of Belém.
Explore Lisbon as an Expat
Portugal is a hotspot for people who are wanting to relocate to another country. If you are curious about what makes Lisbon popular with expats, book the Go Local - Expat Experience shore excursion. This tour takes you through some of the most popular expat neighborhoods and to the historic Estrela Basilica and Estrela Gardens.
Queen Maria I ordered the construction of the Estrela Basilica to celebrate her son's birth. Unfortunately, he died two years before completion. After exploring the basilica and gardens, try the local version of espresso known as "bica." Finally, you will take a bus to another popular expat neighbourhood, Principe Real.
Visit the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Tile Museum)
Lisbon is famous for its vibrant ceramic tiles. These "azulejos" adorn buildings throughout the city, especially in Alfama. The National Tile Museum is a great stop to learn more about these beautiful tiles. You'll see tiles of all sizes and colours, with some tiles dating back centuries. Some exhibits are simple with individual tile decorations, while others feature intricate murals painted over multiple tiles.
This list is only some of the exciting attractions and sights awaiting you in Lisbon. With Norwegian, you have multiple Portugal cruises to choose from, including numerous Transatlantic cruise itineraries. Are you still in the cruise vacation planning stages? If so, be sure to sign up for Norwegian's cruise deals. You'll get the latest discounts and specials delivered right to your inbox, perfect for when you're ready to book your Portugal cruise.