Although the title might sound a tad self-centered and vain, telling you the best spots to get your winning shots on Instagram, will also lead to a great travel guide to Lisbon. As I mentioned in Part I of Lisbon Travel Diaries, this city is trendy and has the best streets to snap amazing photos. Between alleys covered in graffiti; yellow walls, beautiful doors and an incredible coast line, there’s more than enough to see and visit. Keep scrolling to find my personal take on the city’s treasure:
Some might consider the overwhelming vandalised streets of Lisbon as a bad aspect, but I see it as an impressive artistic commentary. There’s a huge underground scene of performing and street arts; definitely hard to miss as it’s simply all over the place. Not sure why there’s so much emphasis on street art in Melbourne or NYC, when you can find it right here in Europe! If you’re like me and enjoy street art, I’d recommend going on the Street Art Tour, where you can not only spot the best art, but are also given an engaging explanation of the relationship between the local art and culture. The one street you can’t miss is Calcada de Gloria, specifically given to artists where they can legally splash the walls with vibrant shapes and colours. It’s simply amazing. Below are my favourite graffiti walls, so strike a pose and show us your best pouts.
Commonly compared to the San Francisco bridge, the Vasca da Gama bridge spans over the Tangus River, connecting Lisbon to the south bank of the coast. This is the longest bridge in Europe. You’ll even be able to spot it from your plane before you land. No matter where you’re in the city, you’ll undoubtedly be able to view the cable-stayed viaduct in all its splendour, and every occasion will be the perfect picture. The closest I got to the bridge was when we ventured to LX Factory, an industrial complex with vintage retailers and restaurants (worth a visit).
I can’t believe I’ve waited for part II to mention Sintra! Without a doubt the most touristic resort town near Lisbon, this place is full of tourist attractions, mostly because of its gorgeous palace and national park. The Palace de Pena is located on the high hills of the Sintra mountains, and you’ll need to get a tuc-tuc ride up from the town itself. I’ve traveled and seen castles throughout the years, but never quite encountered such an impressive and colourful site before. You can get a pass for the palace and garden tour, where you’ll get access to the garden, as well as the interiors and exteriors of the castle.
Bus 28 In Bairro Alto
Surely the biggest tourist attraction in Lisbon are the vintage 28 Bus that have been in action since 1873! Although they’re always packed with tourists, these trams are essential to the city’s layout due to its hills and steep streets. One rule that we’ve been told by locals is: “always let the old lady in first!”. Since I’m somewhat fit and young, I braced the hills and worked out my calves, but I had to get a picture in front of it!
Due to Lisbon’s hilly nature, you’ll find many viewpoints across the city, where you’ll be able to admire different views of Lisbon. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you walk along the streets without a map in order to get lost and encounter the most beautiful spots! There are a few viewpoints we heard about, but others we just happened to stumble upon by chance. The two pictures below are taken from the Santa Catarina viewpoint (Rua de Santa Catarina), and the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (Rua São Pedro de Alcântara). You’ll notice the busy rooftops and bright blue sky.
Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram on your next visit to Lisbon, and let us know if you enjoyed our tips and recommendations!
Images: Aurore Groult