An alternative guide to Lisbon

Arco da Rua Augusta, Lisbon
View from Arco da Rua Augusta

Portugal is becoming more and more popular destination and Lisbon is a top-rated place by tourists. The pleasant weather, a mixture of traditional and modern lifestyle, cultural heritage, food and a vast variety of sites attract all types of tourists to Lisbon. Today, this city is so much popular and widely explored, that there is tons of information and itineraries available. I also couldn’t resist myself and reached there this year in February.

Read here about visiting Portugal during offseason.

In this post, I am introducing you to my favorite places and some hidden gems in Lisbon.


Miradouro da Graça

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon
View over Castle

Lisbon is situated on the hilly region and that offers numerous Miradoura or Viewpoints overlooking the city or castle or the river. My favorite one is Miradouro da Graça. The St. George Castle is on the left side, red roofs of houses in front gives the best view of the old Lisbon town. One can even walk up to the castle from here.

How to reach– Tram 28E and get down at Graca. From there walk 4 min.

Stairs in St. George Castle

St George castle is one of the popular destinations in Lisbon. So when you visit the castle, go up to the long fleet of the stairs and admire the uninterrupted views over the city and the river. The Vasco da Game bridge is also spectacular from these steps. This is one of the best Instagramable spots.

How to reach– Inside the castle, walk along the walls and you will reach on the stairs leading outside to one of the structures, what is it called? Like a tower or observation platform, I think.

Arco da Rua Augusta

Arco da Rua Augusta, Lisbon
Arco da Rua Augusta

The popular pedestrian street Rua Augusta reaches the Plaza Commercial and at this junction an arc is present. Go on the top of that Arc by purchasing a ticket for nominal fees. Trust me, this is worth for the views from up there. You can see Santa Justa lift and the St. George Castle on the back and the Tagus River in front. The large open Plaza Commercial is down below. You get a 360-degree view of the city.

Even though you can use Santa Justa for free with the day ticket, I insist you spending few bucks for these amazing views.

If you take photos from the top of this Arco da Rua Augusta, tag us ‘varshastravel360’ on Instagram so that we know you enjoyed my recommendation.

How to reach– The Arc is right at the popular square ‘Plaza commercial’.

Trams 51E

Tram 51, Lisbon
Tram 51E, Lisbon

Tram 28E is much more popular among tourists due to its classical coaches and for its route. This 51E tram is perhaps lesser known but one of its kind experience. It will take you to the uphills to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. There is a small open area for kids to freely roam around and one restaurant as well.

How to reach– ‘Praca dos Restauradores’ is popular place surrounded by museums, hotels, and restaurants. At one end towards Av. da Liberdade, there is this tram 51E.

Elevador da Bica

Elevador da Bica, Lisbon
Elevador da Bica

This is one of the old style elevators/trams in Lisbon. I think, it’s number is 53E but one needs to confirm it. It will take you to Largo Calhariz where one can catch tram 28E- another popular tram route or walk to the viewpoint- Miradouro Santa Catarina.

How to reach– To reach this elevator from the lower side, walk behind the TimeOut market and reach on Rua de S. Paulo. The elevator station is inside an old building and can be easily missed. The entrance is located beside a bus stop at a yellow colored building.


Belem Tower, Belem
Belem Tower

Belem is yet another popular destination which is easily reached from Lisbon. The tourist sites in Belem are all nearby each other along the river Tagus. One can easily spend one day exploring some historic sites like Belem tower, admiring the finest architecture of Monastery and by strolling along the large public garden. The famous pastry shop- Pasteis de Belem is just a perfect place to start and to end the day. I would suggest skipping the entry fee for Belem Tower and instead of that, you can visit Tropical Botanical garden.

How to reach– Get bus number 718 or Tram 15E from Praça da Figueira which go directly to Belem in about half an hour. Get down at Monastery Jeronimos.


Pena Palace, Sintra
Pena Palace, Sintra

As we are talking about day trips from Lisbon, Sintra is undoubtedly the most popular destination as a day trip from Lisbon. Read this to know about An insider guide to one day visit to Sintra from Lisbon. Sintra is spread around a large area on hilly terrain and one cannot visit all these sites in a single day. The above article will help you plan your one day visit wisely.

How to reach– One can reach Sintra by private car or by tourist bus or by public transport. I would prefer train because it’s comfortable, money saving and most convenient option.


Chamines do Palacio- Kantina

This is like a hidden restaurant in the courtyard of Independence Palace near Praca Rossio. It is popular for its authentic Portuguese Cuisine and the typical old style ambiance. Prices are moderate for the quality and the quality of food. Remember, they may not work on some holidays. Therefore check their website or call them before going.

How to reach– The restaurant is just 1 min walk from Praca Rossio.

I hope this alternative guide to Lisbon will make your visit more enjoyable and pocket-friendly. If you know more of such alternative places in Lisbon, comment below, I would also like to know them.

Lisbon Pin 1
Pin it
Lisbon Pin 2
Pin it