January 12, 2016

Top Attractions in Portugal

New Year's Trip to Lisbon & Prague

This trip included traveling to Lisbon together with the Singelresor Group to celebrate New Year; spending a night in Stockholm; and then flying to Prague where I stayed for two nights. I did not make any flight review flying in TAP economy class although I have included reviews of the lounges I was able to visit during this trip.


SAS Gold Lounge, Stockholm Arlanda Airport
SANA Malhoa Hotel, Lisbon
Top Attractions in Portugal
Lounge ANA, Lisbon Airport
Hilton Stockholm Slussen
Hilton Prague
Hilton Prague Old Town
Top Attractions in Czech Republic
Erste Premier Lounge, Prague Airport
SAS Business Class, Prague to Stockholm

Selfie with the flag of Portugal on the northern top of the Edward VII Park

First visit: December 2015
Places visited: Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais
Photography by Arthur Jeciel

Last month, I was able to visit Portugal for the first time together with the Singelresor group. It was a New Year's trip and during our stay, we were able to visit the main attractions in Lisbon as well as the attractions in Sintra and Cascais during our day trips. Here are some of the attractions we visited (together with the ones I personally visited during the group's free time) and which I would highly recommend to my fellow travelers.

Sao Jorge Castle: I visited this castle during our free time and really enjoyed my time there specially the great view of Lisbon. Entrance fee is 8.50 Euro.

Inside the Sao Jorge Castle, make sure you don't miss the "Camera Obscura" which uses an optical system of lenses and mirrors to provide 360 degrees detected views of the city in real time. There could be a long queue during your visit but it's definitely worth it.

Here's the video of a beautiful peacock I saw while visiting the Sao Jorge Castle.

Edward VII Park: The largest park in central Lisbon, this park is named after Britain's Edward VII.

Jeronimo's Monastery: Known for its "Manueline" style facade, it is in this monastery that you will find the mausoleum of Vasco da Gama.

Belem Tower: Built in 1515, the tower is a monument for Portugal's Age of Discovery and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos: This monument which was created by Cottinelli Telmo and sculptor Leopoldo Almeida was erected in 1940.

National Theater: This neoclassical building from the 1840's is located on the northern side of Rossio Square.

Rua das Portas de Santo Antão: A lively pedestrian-only street known for its seafood restaurants. Our group actually had our lunch at Casa do Alentejo which gave us a chance to try the local food.

Alfama: As the oldest district of Lisbon, walking through the residential neighborhood is simply not to be missed.

Sao Vicente de Fora Monastery: Located in the Alfama district, this church was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake.

Museo do Fado: For all Fado lovers, this museum is simply not to be missed.

Figueira Square: Adjacent to Rossio Square, you will find a bronze equestrian statue of King Joao I in the center.

Sta. Justa Elevator or "Elevator of Carmo": This structure with a post-Eiffel iron architecture was built by Raoul de Mesnier de Ponsard.

Comercio Square: Also known as the Terreiro do Paco, or The Palace's Square, this is where the Royal Palace stood for over two centuries before the 1755 earthquake.

Rossio Square: Considered as the liveliest square in Lisbon with 1 baroque fountains on each side and a statue of Dom Pedro IV in the middle, this square is simply not to be missed.

National Palace of Sintra: Let yourself admire the beauty of the castle as you discover the Moorish influence of the craftsmen who built and decorated the Palace.

Moorish Castle: Visiting this castle was not part of our itinerary but when you are in Sintra, I suggest you take a bus to the Moorish Castle. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to visit the nearby Park and Palace of Pena but hopefully next time.

Cabo da Roca: This cape forms the westernmost point of continental Europe.

Cabo da Roca

Boca do Inferno: This is where a rock formation meets the Atlantic waves.

A visit to the beautiful city of Cascais is something you don't want to miss as it is just about 30 kilometers west of Lisbon.

Praca de Espanha

Estufa Fria or Greenhouse: Filled with tropical plants, ponds and varieties of palms and cacti, you simply can't miss it when you visit the Edward VII Park.

Lisbon Aqueduct: Built in 1746, this aqueduct is made up of 109 stone arches.

A visit to Casa Agricola Horacio Simoes: (or any other wine producing company) for some wine tasting.

Cristo Re: Built in 1959, this monument inspired by the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is not to be missed when in Lisbon.

25 de Abril Bridge: Resembling San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, this bridge was completed in 1966.

Saint Anthony de Padua Museum

Saint Anthony Church: Built in 1757, the church is Saint Anthony's birthplace. Make sure you don't miss the crypt where a modern tile panel is placed commemorating the visit of Pope Saint John Paul II to the church in 1982.

Sé De Lisboa or Lisbon Cathedral: This is Lisbon's oldest building. Inside the church's treasury is the casket containing the remains of St. Vincent, the official patron saint of Lisbon.

Roman Theater (Teatro Romano de Lisboa): Built in the 1st century BC by Emperor Augustus, this theater can easily be visited on the way to the Sao Jorge Castle.

Restauradores Square: Commemorating the country's liberation from 60 years of Spanish rule in 1640, this square features a 30-meter high obelisk with two bronze figures depicting Victory and Freedom.

Marquis of Pombal Square: Here you'll find the monument of Marquis of Pombal, the prime minister responsible for the rebuilding of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake.

Watching a FADO show while having dinner. TIP: The popular restaurants are located in the Alfama district.

Taking the public transportation be it a tram, metro, bus or tuktuk.

When in Portugal, you simply can't miss the famous egg tart or "Pastel de Nata" as the locals call them.

Visiting a ginjinha shop and having a glass of this Portuguese liquor.

And if you are in Lisbon during the New Year celebration, make sure you don't miss the fireworks in the city center which you can view from Edward VII Park the way we did.


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