Capital of Portugal: 10 Places to Check Out

capital of Portugal
Photo by Vita Marija Murenaite on Unsplash

The capital of Portugal is Lisbon and it was founded in the 8th century. Lisbon is also known as the capital since 1255 and it is also the largest city in Portugal. It is the westernmost and oldest city located in continental Europe.

The majority of the Portuguese people live in urbanized cities than in rural areas. They migrated to the larger cities due to better educational institutions, work opportunities, and healthcare. Portugal was also recognized as a colonial power until the mid-1970s. 

The city is now an important trading center. It is known to have expanded in the last few centuries of the Middle Ages. It is considered one of the most important trading centers between the Mediterranean cities and Northern Europe

1. The Capital of Portugal: Lisbon 

The historical texture of the capital city of Portugal is based on seven bridges and hills. This city is also known to share its land border with Spain to its north and east. The Atlantic Ocean is situated in the south and western parts of the city. It has been a major political, economic and cultural center of Portugal.

Lisbon became the center of a vast empire after Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India. Since then it has been a major political, economic and cultural centre of Portugal. The city is home to about 27% of Portugal’s population. It is also among the European Union’s 11 most populous urban areas.

Lisbon Portela Airport serves over 16 million passengers annually. The motorway network and the high-speed rail system of Alfa Pendular link the main cities of Portugal. The Economy in the capital of Portugal is also the wealthiest. It is also well above the European Union’s GDP per capita average. The economy of Portugal is based primarily on the tertiary sector.

This country’s government is formed by the Prime Minister upon invitation from the President. The Prime Minister appoints a council of ministers who are responsible for their individual ministries.

2. Things to do in the Capital of Portugal: Lisbon 

The capital city of Portugal Lisbon is the commercial, tourism, administrative and cultural center of Portugal. Around 3.64 million tourists visit Lisbon every year.

Let’s explore some best places to visit as a tourist in this country.

2.1 Belém Tower

Belém Tower was built between 1514 and 1520 in a Manueline style by the Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda. It was classified as a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. The height of the tower is 30 meters. However, the Tower is located where the Tagus River (the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula) meets the Atlantic Ocean.

capital of Portugal
Courtesy: Belem Tower

Mariners arrived in or departed Lisbon from Belém’s beach (Praia do Restelo). It was a shelter from the strong Atlantic winds. There are 5 floors with the governor’s hall on the first floor. The king’s hall on the second and the audience hall on the third are used for meetings and feature a fireplace. The chapel is on the fourth, and the terrace is on 5 fifth floor. 

2.2 Sao Jorge Castle

The oldest known fortification at this spot dates from the 2nd century BC. However, some of the remains found here date from as far back as the 6th century BC. It is located on the summit of São Jorge Hill which is the highest in Lisbon.

capital of Portugal
Courtesy- Sao Jorge Castle

The castle is a pleasant walk from downtown. Take bus 737 which departs from Praça da Figueira and ends right by the gate if you want to save your legs. Trams 28 and 12 also pass nearby.

The entrance to the castle is paid for. The ticket price includes free guided tours in English, Spanish and Portuguese that take place several times a day.

2.3 River Tagus

Lisbon is situated on the north side of the River Tagus. The total length of this river is 940 meters. The Tagus also flows northwest through the mountains. It passes Teruel, then north across the Meseta of central Spain. It also passes

Toledo, to form part of the Spanish-Portuguese border. Many dams and reservoirs have been built on the Tagus and its tributaries to generate hydroelectric power and provide water for irrigation.

Water from reservoirs near the river’s headwaters is transferred to the Segura in SE Spain. It is also transferred via pipeline, canal, aqueduct, reservoir, and tunnel when the supply is sufficient. This river has fresh water from the Tagus River that interacts with salt water from the Atlantic Ocean.

2.4 Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology

This museum is in Lisbon, Portugal. In 1866 its governance was transferred to the Trustees of the Indian Museum under Indian Museum Act no. XVII of 1866. The foundation of the present Victorian edifice was laid in 1867 and completed in 1875. 

W.L. Exhibits also tells us stories about how our nation, our communities, and our cultures came to be. It also tells us how it is without them. Those stories could be forgotten as well. It is therefore important to protect our history and culture.

The place is a symbol of scales and ostrich feathers. The national museums are free on Sundays and holidays, until 2 p.m. It remains free for the residents of the national territory.

Lisbon expanded considerably in the last centuries of the Middle Ages and became an important trading center. The main trading centers are between Northern Europe and Mediterranean cities.

2.5 Ajuda National Palace

Ajuda National Palace was once the official residence of the Portuguese royal family. It is an 18th-century palace located in Queluz. Queluz is also a city of the Sintra Municipality located in the Lisbon District.

There was also a time in Portuguese history when the monarchy ended in 1910. Portugal is now a democracy under the leadership of Prime Minister António Acosta. 

Ajuda National Palace is a Neoclassical building with a lavish interior. It was built in 1802 after the devastating earthquake in which the then-royal residence of Ribeira Palace was destroyed.

The place has also been an art museum as well as a venue for official state functions since 1968. It also offers facilities for guided tours.

2.6. Cristo Rei National Sanctuary

The statue of Christ stands high above the southern banks of the Tejo Estuary. It depicts Christ with arms raised blessing the city. Cristo Rei dates from the 1950s. Its construction also represents Portugal’s religious gratitude for avoiding the horrors of World War Two.

Cristo Rei means Christ the King in Portuguese. This statue was built by Franciso Franco de Sousa on the 17th of May 1959 and construction started on 18 December 1949. Its height is 110 meters. It is considered a token of gratefulness to God for having sheltered Portugal during the Second World War. This status is also dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

2.7. Braga Augusta

Braga is a city in the far north of Portugal and is also northeast of Porto. It is also known for its religious heritage and events. 

It is one of the oldest cities and is also over 2,000 years old. Braga is a wonderful tourist destination that combines history and culture without suffering from mass tourism. This city is approx 60% less expensive than New York. The city covers a 183.5 km² area. It also has a resident population of 193,333 inhabitants. 

2.8. Serra da Estrela

Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain range in Continental Portugal. The rugged Estrela Mountains lie between the Tagus and Mondego rivers. It also contains the highest point of mainland Portugal.

Porto: Ribeira district Typical dwellings in the Ribeira district of Porto, Portugal. It is 7,713 feet above sea level. 

2.9. Hieronymites Monastery

King Manuel I decided to order the construction of this huge religious monument in 1502. This magnificent building mirrors the richness of Portuguese discoveries all over the world in the 16th century. The place is located in the Belém historic quarter. 

The history of the capital city of Portugal lies in this monument. The entrance to the church is also free of cost. But the entrance to the galleries and sacristy is not free. Its construction started on 6 January 1501 and opened in 1601. It also took around 100 years to build. 

2.10. Lx Factory

Lx Factory’s historical industrial complex houses an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants. It is located in the beautiful Alcântara quarter.

It is one of the places to discover in the Portuguese capital and there are several reasons to go visit this place. LX stands for Lisbon (Portugal). It is located in the Art Center in Lisbon, Portugal. 

3. Places to Eat in Lisbon 

There are also some amazing restaurants and cafes in Lisbon. You will get everything no matter what cuisine you prefer. The eateries in this place will serve you some of the most mouth-watering food from all over the world. Some places also have a great selection of drinks to choose from. They have everything ranging from soft drinks to cocktails and mocktails in between. 

You will surely find a good place to eat no matter where you go in Lisbon. The staff of the eateries are also very helpful and friendly. There are also some vegan options for people who eat vegan food. You will get everything you love here. 

There are also places for kids that serve less spicy food. You can feed your kids without worrying about the quality of food. They also have choices in various drinks suitable for the kids. 

4. The Capital of Portugal: Final Note

These are also some of the best places to visit in Portugal. There are other amazing things to do as well. Make sure to check everything out and learn about the history of Portugal. 

The rich history of Lisbon is going to blow your mind. Make sure to bring your friends and family along to have a wonderful time. But do not forget to carry some essentials during your trip to Lisbon. Having a water bottle and some dry food items in your bag is advisable. This will help you to travel through the city hassle-free. 


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