TOP 10 What to do in Lisbon

What to do in Lisbon castle belem tower

What to do in Lisbon – Lisbon is an interesting city. In Lisbon you can find interesting attractions and something you can’t miss in Lisbon are all its panoramic viewpoints. Lisbon in fact has been built on several hills and this create many good panoramic viewpoints upon different parts of the city.

Is this your first time in Lisbon Portugal? Do you want to know what to see in Lisbon? No Problem! In this post you find the TOP 10 things to see in Lisbon.

TOP 10 Things to see in Lisbon

This is our list of 10 things to see in Lisbon:

  1. Commerce Square
  2. The museum of the history of Lisbon which is located in the square of commerce
  3. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
  4. Lisbon Castle or Castle of São Jorge
  5. Belem Tower
  6. Lisbon Oceanarium
  7. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
  8. Cableway of the ex Fiera area
  9. Miradouro da Graça
  10. Fado show

Commerce Square

Commerce square is at the top of our list of what to do in Lisbon and what to see. This is in fact the main point of the city. This square was designed and built after the terrible earthquake that devastated the city in 1755.

What to do in Lisbon
What to do in Lisbon – Commerce Square

This historical place has always been an important point for Lisbon. Lisbon has a long history of trading with distant lands. Exotic goods arrived at this point first from Africa and then from Brazil.

The trade and the quantity of goods were so important to the city that at one point the royal residence was even moved from the hill to the vicinity of the ship landing. In this way the king could control the riches that arrived in the city.

All this until the drastic earthquake of 1755 which destroyed the city and which was the starting point for a change of appearance of the city itself.

After an initial disorientation on the part of the population, the projects for the new Lisbon were launched. There were those who wanted to move it to an area not affected by the earthquake, there were those who wanted to rebuild it as it was, but the project that was approved was to destroy in order to rebuild, then rebuild the city with a completely new face, giving the off to the first modern city of Europe.

Lisbon Castle or Castle of São Jorge

The hold city center and the castle is surrounded by city walls. In order to visit the city castle you should enter into this historic area. In order to understand better what we are visiting we want to know sometthing more about Lisbon History.

Lisbon and the Walls

In the 11th and 12th centuries, Lisbon had an urban model, similar to that of other medieval cities located on hilltops and its urban design stilt showed signs of its Roman legacy. With natural defence conditions that allowed surveilling the Tagus and its surrounding area, it had, at the top, the “Alcacova” (citadel) the city’s privileged area with its own wall that included the castle, residential areas for the elites and religious buildings.

The south section of this enclosure, whose shape dates back, at least, to the 17th century, still has two semicircular towers and two gates. The urban centre, which was also walled, grew along the hillside towards the riverside and included the largest mosque, which would later be turned into the Cathedral, housing quarters, a market and the public baths.

With a paramount role in defence, the walls were also a symbol that marked the boundary between the city within the walls and the surrounding area (suburbs), which were predominantly rural.

THE “CERCA VELHA” WALL IN THE URBAN SPACE

Being a structuring and essential element of the city’s defences, the “Cerca Velha” Wall (Old War) underwent successive repairs and changes, many of which were related to the evolution of fortifications and siege methods.

The partial dismantling of this wall resulted from the construction of the Fernandine wall (1373-1375), a defence line that integrated new areas to the east and west of the initial urban core. The old wall was progressively adjusted to the ongoing urban evolution, both due to the city’s reorganisation during the Manueline (1495-1521) and Pombaline periods (after the earthquake of 1755), and to the various needs that occasionally emerge, even today.

The ‘Cerca Velha” Wall is still a living structure, which remains partially integrated or visible in the layout of the current urban fabric. The alignment of the buildings, the main roads or the arches that exist by the riverside, memories of old gates and wickets, are references that still allow us to rediscover the medieval urban landscape today.

The Belem Tower

The Belem Tower: history

King John II (1455-1495) conceived a pioneer plan for the defense of the city of Lisbon. He planned the construction of the Tower of Cascais and the crossing of fire between the Tower of S. Sebastiao on the south bank, and a barge anchored in the middle of the Tagus river. King Manuel I completed this project when he commissioned Francisco de Arrudo to build the Belem Tower between 1514 and 1519.

The Belem Tower loses strategic importance and becomes successively a prison (1589), a customs post (1655), a telegraph station (1810) and a lighthouse (1895). Major restoration works took place in the 19th (1846) and 20th century.

The Belem Tower: The drawbridge

The drawbridge of the Belem Tower, combined with a portcullis and several openings on the entrance ceiling through which projectiles were launched, made access by invaders difficult.

The 5 best panoramic views of Lisbon

  1. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
  2. Lisbon Castle Castle of São Jorge
  3. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
  4. Cableway of the ex Fiera area
  5. Miradouro da Graça

1. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

2. Lisbon Castle: St George Castle viewpoint (Miradouro do Castelo de São Jorge)

3. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

4. Cableway of the ex Fiera area

5. Miradouro da Graça

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TOP 10 What to do in Lisbon

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Where to stay in Amalfi Coast

Best Amalfi Coast Sunset Positano Italy

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast? That’s a good question! Especially because each city of the Amalfi Coast has its own characteristics. All the Amalfi Coast is beautiful but there are a few factors we should consider before making our choise.

The first factor we can consider is the season. The touristic season finishes at the first weekend of November. The result is that after this weekend many hotels and restaurants are closed. Instead most of the shops are opened till the end of the year. The result is that the worst period of the year to go to the Amalfi Coast is between January and March, before the beginning of the new season.

Some Amalfi Coast Towns are more influenced by the tourist season than others. That’s why our choice of where to stay in Amalfi Coast is different in summer and winter.

Let’s now consider our best choice where to stay in Amalfi Coast in summer.

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast in Summer

The best choice in summer is Positano. It has a very beutiful beach and than you can do many things here. It’s full of hotels restaurant and shops. You can easily get to Capri by boat in about half a hour. From Positano you can easily visit the other Amalfi Coast Towns.

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast
Where to stay in Amalfi Coast in Summer: Positano

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Where to stay in Amalfi Coast in Winter

The best choice in winter is Sorrento. This one of the biggest Amalfi Coast Towns and is the one less affected by the tourist seasons. Also in winter you have more chance to find the restaurants, hotel and other attractions opened.

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast 1
Where to stay in Amalfi Coast in Winter: Sorrento

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast without a car

Where to stay in Amalfi Coast without a car? The Amalfi Coast Towns are well connected by public transportations. In this way it isn’t a big problem to get from one city to another by car. Anyway the trasportation times are longer by bus than by car. So it’s much better to stay in one of the city in the middle of the Amalfi Coast. In this way you can it will not take to long visit the Amalfi Coast towns to the left and to the right.

In the Amalfi Coast there are very beautiful hotels far from the city centers. If you don’t have the car is better to stay in an Amalfi Coast town, in the center. In this way you can go to the restaurants, shops on foot and easily find everything you need.

Mountains or sea?

In the Amalfi Coast there are towns located on the see but other on the mountains. Despite the view from the mountains is beautiful it is not confortable chose towns like Ravello that are not directly on the sea.

Every time you would wanted to go somewhere, you have to come down from the mountain to get to the Amalfi Coast main road to than get to your destination.

Much better to stay in Positano where you have everything you need and if you want to go to Ravello or on the mountain for a path you can go… otherwise you can relax on the beach 😉 …

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What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast?

best time to visit amalfi coast

What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast? – The Amalfi Coast is beautiful and I’m sure you want that your trip to Amalfi Coast is very special. That maybe the reason yhy you’re asking the following question: What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast? In this post we’ll give you the answer.

What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast?

What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast? If you can choose when to visit the Amalfi Coast you should go from May to June. This is the time when spring explodes in a profusion of smells and colors and in especially in June the sun is warm enough to enjoy the sea.

What is the best month to visit the Amalfi Coast?

May is the best month for a trip to the Amalfi Coast: perfect temperatures, bright colors and it isn’t too crowded.

Sorrento is very closed to Pompeii. You can arrive in Pompeii in only half an hour by train. Spring is a very good time also to visit Pompeii. In Spring it’s warm but not too hot and you can spend all the day in the ruins without particular problems.

Is August a good time to visit the Amalfi Coast?

It can be but before deciding you should understand how is the Amalfi Coast in Summer. In July and August in fact the Amalfi Coast is very crowded and the weather is very hot. These aren’t the best month for the Amalfi Coast especially if you want to include places such as Herculaneum or Pompeii to your trip. Pompeii needs a full day and it’s very exhausting when it’s too hot.

Anyway there are also good advantages. It’s a very good time to swim. Than public transportation times are extended. In this way you have more time to visit places.

You can see the following example. If you go by boat to Amalfi for a day trip from Positano you have to come back at 6 pm in June but after July you can come back later at 9:30 pm. In fact in the website that ride will be available in summer.

What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast? 2
What is the best time to visit Amalfi Coast? Summer Advantages

Also for Capri there are more ferry boat times available. You can arrive to Capri early and take the best advantage of the full day.

Is October a good time to visit the Amalfi Coast?

Yes it is! The weather is warm and it isn’t too crowded. In October there are still sunny days. There are still boat services available such as the one from Amalfi to the Emerald Grotto or Grotta dello Smeraldo.

You can see a few pictures I took at the end of October.

In october you can dress with only a light jacket and sometime is warm and a T-shirt is enough.

October is also a good month to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Can you swim in Amalfi in October?

You normally can’t swim … but the last few years October was warmer than normal…

The Amalfi Coast in winter

The winter isn’t the best time to visit Amalfi Coast. As we’ve already explained in the post “Amalfi Coast Towns” the touristic season finishes at the first weekend of November. The result is that after this weekend many hotels and restaurants are closed.

If you visit the Amalfi Coast in winter it’s better you stay in Sorrento. It’s one of the biggest Amalfi Coast towns and it’s the town less affected by the touristic seasons. In this way you can have all the services you need and If you want visit the other town during the day.

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