Exploring The City Of Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon - Tower of Belem

When it comes to highlights of my Transatlantic Cruise, I think Lisbon, Portugal would be right at the top. The port call in Lisbon is the first stop on Mainland Europe and is an overnight stop. An overnight port gives you a much better chance to explore the city both by day and night.

With such a port intensive itinerary it has been difficult to have the time to write about and share everything from each port. Lisbon was one of the longer port stays with 27 hours in port.

Lisbon Day 1

I joined with a couple of friends from the cruise ship to explore Lisbon. Besides public transport from the ship to the city centre and a taxi back everything else we explored on foot.

What I loved about Lisbon were the hidden treasures you could find without even looking. The way that walkways naturally framed buildings and courtyards. I know many people just walk past these details, but they can be a nice distraction from time to time.

Lisbon - Courtyard View


As a city Lisbon is just like many others with its fair share of graffiti, that is distasteful and distracting. However, at the same time, there can be graffiti that helps to add to the character of the city. Below is a good example of this, where it appears to be used for promotion in this case. It helps in this case, to turn a dull, drab wall into something intriguing.

Lisbon - Fado Graffiti

The Streets

Looking down many streets in the major cities around the world the view is fairly similar. A mixture of dull and often indistinguishable buildings, they all somewhat resemble each other. The street below might not be the most beautiful street scene you have seen, but it has some feature and interest to it.

Lisbon - Street

Stairs are also a part of life in getting around Lisbon. Although we had found our way up to Castle of São Jorge, there were plenty of stairs heading back down. Even with some areas featuring sloped paths, there are also areas that are just too steep for this.

Lisbon - Stair Case

In Port Over Night

An overnight port call can offer some great benefits, and this afternoon was one of them. Rather than a rush to get back to the ship before it departs, we enjoyed a drink at a cafe. Time to watch the local people and traffic around the main square in the city. Right in the middle of the square is this magnificent fountain.

Lisbon - Main Square Fountain

There is also an opportunity to experience and see the city in the dark by man-made light. Such as seeing the bridge across the Tagus River all lit up in the below picture. A picture which I was able to capture from my cabin on the ship.

Lisbon - Tagus River Bridge by Night

Lisbon Day 2

The second day started out with a walk along the waterfront in the opposite direction from the city of Lisbon. The walk was somewhere around 5 km from where the ship was docked to the Tower of Belem. With many interesting places to stop along the way.

Henry The Navigator Monument

Henry The Navigator was the 3rd child of King John I of Portugal and a very important figure in early Portugal. He was responsible for much of the early development of maritime trade with other continents and exploration of Europe. The monument to Henry The Navigator stands in the direction facing the river much like the bow of a ship.

Lisbon - Monument of Henry The Navigator


While it might be the big monuments that attract most people’s attention, there are some other interesting sites. The next one I came on was the Tagus River Lighthouse. I attempted to find the specific name, but there seems to be mixed information. However, it is still interesting as with more modern navigation techniques; lighthouses are becoming less common.

Lisbon - Tagus River Lighthouse

Public Art

I also discovered the below statue along the waterfront. It appears to be two cows with horns standing side by side. However, I am honestly not sure what they are.

Lisbon - Red Animal Statue

First Aerial Crossing Of The South Atlantic

Another monument along the waterfront is a monument to the first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic. The replica of the seaplane used for the journey sits here on a support. It definitely would have been an extraordinary adventure. You can read more about the voyage on Wikipedia here.

Lisbon - Seaplane of First Atlantic Crossing

The Tower Of Belem

The Tower of Belem was the main goal of the walk today. A small castle built out on a small rocky outcrop in the Tagus River. It is a rather interesting building to explore and a little difficult to get around. Going up and down between levels is via a small single file spiral staircase. But the wait and the climb is rewarding. There is some very interesting architectural features build into the castle as well.

Lisbon - Tower of Belem

Lisbon War Memorial

Another feature not far from the Tower Of Belem is the War Memorial. The memorial is quite plain and does look very beautiful. A white stone has been used rather than the concrete often seen in such constructions. There is also a guard of honour to each side in front of the reflection pool. I would have loved to visit this location at night, but that opportunity is passed as the ship leaves this afternoon.

Lisbon - War Memorial

Goodbye Lisbon

With a little time to spare before heading back to the ship, I joined with some friends for a drink overlooking the river. I caught sight of these vines on the wall of the fort behind the War Memorial.

Lisbon - Fort Wall with vines

Coming back and sharing more about my visit to Lisbon does remind me just how interesting the visit was. But at the same time looking at a map of Lisbon, I barely scratched the surface. There are many more places that I could have visited and explored. But I guess that is the idea of a good city to travel to, that when you leave, there is always more you could have done.

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