Praça do Comércio

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After 12 days at sea, we arrived in Lisbon early in the morning. Since we couldn’t get into our Airbnb until the afternoon, we waited as long as we could to disembark the ship. Once we were off the ship, we used Luggage Hero to find a place to store our luggage until our Airbnb was ready and then we began our exploration of Lisbon.

When the tourist office opened, we headed inside to buy the Lisboa Card which gave us access to many museums and attractions in the city as well as public transportation. Depending on how long you are planning on using the card, the price ranges from 21-44 Euros per person. We used our cards over the few days we were in the city to visit the Santa Justa Lift, The Lisboa Story Center, Belem Tower, Jeronimo’s Monastery, and the Lisbon Tile Museum. The card also allowed us to get around the city and covered our train ticket to Sintra where it also gave us a discount at Quinta de Regalara. It also would’ve given a discount at Pena Palace in Sintra, but I bought our tickets online in advance in order to get an early entry time, but more on that in another post.

View from the Santa Justa lift

View from the Santa Justa lift

To begin our sightseeing, we headed to Santa Justa Lift, which is an elevator that has turned into a tourist attraction. Lisbon is known as the city of 7 hills and walking up and down them can get tiring. Luckily, there are elevators in several parts of the city to make your walk a little easier. The Santa Justa Lift is the most famous in the city and it was built in 1902 by an apprentice of Gustav Eiffel. There is a long line to ride the elevator up and the observation tower at the top was closed so I can see why a lot of people suggest skipping it, but the view from the top is a great way to take in the scope of the city.

Exhibit in the Lisboa Story CenterAfter our ride in the elevator, we headed to the Lisboa Story Center (left) which is a unique museum that tells the history of Lisbon and how the city played a part in the exploration of the world. The Story Center presents history in a multimedia experience where every visitor has a headset to hear the narration that accompanies the three-dimensional and video elements in each exhibit. Probably one of the most impactful parts of the museum is the earthquake room, where visitors are immersed in the 1755 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the city.

Flaming Portuguese SausageThe highlight of our first day in Lisbon would have to be the food tour we took in the evening. The tour took us around the city center to try some authentic Portuguese food and drinks including Portuguese cheese and port wine, Bifana (delicious pork sandwiches) and beer, pasteis do bacalau (salt cod fritters) with Portuguese wine, Ginjinha (Lisbon’s famous cherry liquor), and a final stop for flaming sausage and more wine (right). The tour was surprisingly affordable and we got to try things that I may not have tried otherwise. If you are looking to get to know Lisbon, I highly recommend this small-group food tour from Viator!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by next week to read about our second day in Lisbon! To read more about this trip, check out Cruising the Atlantic to Portugal and Spain trip report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.