This post is part of the series Lisbon
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This post is part of the series Portugal
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Everything with a beginning has its end, so our long weekend in the mesmerizing city of Lisbon… Our “schedule” for the last day thou was fairly tight, as we woke up really early, had our overly reach breakfast at the hotel and headed to “Parque das Nações” (the Park of Nations) – the newest and the most modern neighbourhood of Lisbon. The Park of the Nations used to be an industrial area of Lisbon before being rebuilt for Expo ’98. Nowadays there is a lot to see and do in this part of the city, and some of the most prominent attractions are Oceanário de Lisboa, Telecabine Lisboa, Vasco da Gama Mall (Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama), various best-quality restaurants and bars located along the boardwalk, … or just enjoy the view over Vasco da Gama Bridge, which is also the longest bridge in Europe (12.3 km in total).
Oceanário de Lisboa
There is no doubt, the Lisbon Oceanarium is the most prominent and most visited attraction located in the Park of Nations. The draw is still the largest saltwater Oceanarium in the world and the second largest aquarium in Europe (L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia is number one). Here you can spot 15 000 aquatic animals of more than 450 different species among which several types of sharks, manta rays, penguins, chimaeras, seahorses and other bony fish, sea otters, octopuses, cuttlefish, seagulls, many birds stingrays as well as numerous colourful tropical fish and corals.
The Sea World is divided into four large sections which recreate the four main marine ecosystems: North Atlantic, the tropical coral reefs of Indian Ocean, the Pacific forests of the sea and the Antarctic coastal line. I can only recommend this place as it is regarded as one of the World’s best Aquariums which houses plenty of marine species coming from all World Oceans!
Telecabine Lisboa was our bonus experience after the Lisbon Oceanarium! For only 4 € p.p. you can enjoy the fantastic views across the Tejo River, its promenade and Vasco da Gama Bridge! The ride takes ca 15 minutes and for us, it was definitely a nice experience to watch the thunderstorm coming! Then we headed to Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama where we spent another 2 hours of shopping 😀 … Rain can be expensive sometimes 😉
Almada ~ the Other Site of Tejo River
In the afternoon we managed to visit Almada which is located on the other side of the Tejo River.
How to get there?
Take the commuter ferry from Cais do Sodré Station to Cacilhas ferry terminal (Almada) for only 1,20 € (2,40 € two-way ticket). The ride itself was a great experience enough as the view over Lisbon’s skyline, River Tejo and 25 April Bridge are “Every Photographer’s Dream”!
Almada is not, as many of the tourists used to believe, part of Lisbon. This place is rather a city in a world of its own and if you have enough time for it, there are plenty of attractions to be visited here! Its promenade offers the best opportunity to witness Lisbon’s allure from afar.
The statue Cristo-Rei (take the bus number 101, the bus station is outside Cacilhas ferry terminal) opens his arms to the city of Lisbon. It is the most famous symbol of Almada and it reminds a lot the Christ statue of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Cristo-Rei is more than 100m tall and it was built in the year 1959. You can enjoy the sweeping view from above – the ride to the top of Cristo-Rei will take several seconds and additional 5 €.
Almada has also beautiful beaches, which I promise to “inspect” next time when visiting Lisbon!
The Boardwalk “Al Ribeira da Naus”
Tejo’s Boardwalk “Al Ribeira da Naus” became definitely one of my favourite areas of Lisbon! And when the sun is shining it even becomes the favourite place of locals too! You can walk or cycle, read a book, collect some mussels, watch the ferries crossing the river Tejo, count the waves, visit the open street-art “museum” – I loved it!!!
Christmas Market at Mercado da Baixa
We were lucky to be visiting Lisbon during the pre-Christmas weeks! The streets were very festive and aesthetically decorated. And the Christmas market!!! The street market was full with good-tempered people drinking some Portuguese wine and eating Christmas goodies as cheese, wine, smoked sausages and other gourmet specialities. Perfection! The best thing is that this market opens not only during the pre-Christmas weeks but on every last weekend of each month! For a better experience grab your mug of red wine and discover the hidden treasures of the market!
Elevador de Santa Justa
Another recommendable “free admission” attraction with Lisboa Card is the Elevador de Santa Justa which, surprising for me, is part of Lisbon’s public transport network. The Lift was designed in the 19th century by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, (a student of Gustave Eiffel – the man who conjured the Eiffel Tower) in order to connect the two districts of Lisbon – Baixa and Bairro Alto. The construction of Santa Justa Lift began in the year of 1900 and was finished in 1902.
The iron masterpiece is open for visitor every day between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm. I would rather recommend visiting this gothic attraction in the evening when all city lights are turned on. Without Lisbon Card, the single ticket (up and down) will cost you ca 5.00 € and it will take you to the ruins of Igreja do Carmo church. The 45m journey with the two well-polished wood cabins will take only several minutes. Afterwards, you can enjoy your time at the viewing platform which gives you the opportunity to take some beautiful shots of central Lisbon by night (or day…).
Do you have any tips for getting into the Lisbon Challenge? You can share your experiences or questions in the comments 🙂
Enjoy the day!