Winter Break in Lisbon – Miradors and Trams   10 comments

After the delights of Yorkshire it was time for more travels. We were headed for our usual dose of winter sun in the Canary Isles but due the vagaries of flight times and costs we choose to fly via Lisbon. May as well spend a couple of days there and have a look around then!

We were staying in the old district of Alfama, a maze of narrow streets and red roofed moorish houses. After a brief look round and fine meal the evening we arrived we set out the next morning for a proper explore.

Lots of small squares with orange trees in the neighbourhood.

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Lisbon has lots of old style trams and this is one of the tours versions at the first square we came to.

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As you’ll see from the many photos, Lisbon is a very hilly city. It has numerous squares and platforms for extensive views across the city called Miradors. We chose to take a look at a few on our first morning to get a feel for the city as it were. These first few photos are taken from the Largo das Portas do Sol and the Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

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Our little flat is just to the left and below the left hand church tower in the photo below.

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One of the regular trams.

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Onwards and upwards to the second view point at Miradouro de Graca. Fine views across the city.

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And onto the final and highest one at Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte.

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Down through some typical narrow Lisbon streets to the plaza at Martin Moniz with its splendid fountains.

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Back to the apartment for some lunch. This is our little block.

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Onwards for more walking down to Lisbon’s most famous square at Placa do Comercio.

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Its a huge open space down by the river which they were clearly preparing for New Year festivities.

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Another Metro trip across town to pick up one of the Funicular railways that plough up the narrow hilly streets. This one is the Ascensor da Gloria.

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In truth this one and its incline had been badly affected by graffiti but it was still fun.

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It took us up to our final viewpoint of the day at Miradouro da Sao Pedro da Alcantara, looking back across the city from the opposite side to where we’d looked out in the morning.

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Lisbon’s trams are somewhat curious in that they are very small, crowded, infrequent and not very clear as to where they go (we did find a map after a couple of days). We hopped on this one hoping it would take us down to the waterfront but it terminated after just one stop!

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A walk down through the city to one of the more odd features the rather grandiose Elevador de Santa Justa.

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There was huge queue to ascend the lift for a fee which is odd as you can walk to the viewing platform at the top for free (we tried to find the top but failed and never got chance to go back). Very impressive to look at from the bottom though.

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We walked through Praca Rossio with its fountains (turned off by the time we got there) and then picked up a tram to take us back to Alfama.

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A quick look inside the Se de Lisboa cathedral.

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A huge building, as much castle as church.

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This is the Igreja de Sao Miguel opposite our flat, viewed from the lounge window before we headed out for a meal and some music.

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And a nighttime view of the flat.

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It was actually raining when we set out which was something of a surprise but it stopped by the time we’d donned jackets. We walked back up to the mirador we visited in the morning for a night view across the city.

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And the cathedral.

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We had another fine meal out this time accompanied by some traditional Portuguese and Lisbon music called Fado. Its a very intense, emotional sort of folk music and whilst its not my sort of thing was very enjoyable and is an essential part of any visit to the city. A very short clip from my phone below.

Fado is normally just a singer and a guitar and this young lady was very talented and had one hell of a voice. It was a contrast to watch her really fill the restaurant with her voice and yet be so quietly spoken when she introduced the songs. It was a great accompaniment to a fine meal and well worth finding a Fado restaurant when you visit regardless of your musical taste.

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A whistle stop tour of the city in a day covering many sights and views and one of the city’s cultural experiences. A great start to a great trip.

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10 responses to “Winter Break in Lisbon – Miradors and Trams

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  1. What a wonderful set of gorgeous photos presenting Lisbon. We have been there may years ago and loved the Place Have You been on Madeira? Hiking is possible there. In the spring when flowers start blooming, then…

    Have a good day!

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  2. Thanks for taking me back to this amazing city. We stayed immediately below the castle but it was a short walk to the Mirador to watch the full moon rise.

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  3. Looks a lovely place. Like the cone Christmas tree. I always think any town or city with hills really adds to the charm. The UK seems to have lost its love affair with graffiti in recent years as you do not see it so much in urban areas but some European cities are awash with it. Funnily enough some of the looking out to sea views remind me of Saltcoats or Ayr, seaside towns here, only minus the orange trees :o)

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    • You like the cone tree? I hated it! Mind you I am turning into the Xmas Grinch as the years progress. I think there i a fine line between Street Art (which I love and saw some wonderful examples on our travels last summer) and mindless graffiti which sadly this was. Its everywhere in Europe, pretty much every unpoliced surface is covered including many of the suburban trains. Blimey, I’m turning into my dad! 🙂
      It is great city though, a little more real and lived in than say Rome or Venice.

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  4. Looks very nice. We shared a taste of the music, but what was the food like? Spicy? On Jersey they serve kebabs on skewers and I was told that it is because of a Portuguese influence.

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    beatingthebounds
    • The food was great, lots of fish and seafood not surprisingly. Sardines is a big thing as is some kind of green cod risotto. We did have some kebab style things which were hung vertically on skewers.

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