The long Avenida da Liberdade, a Parisian-style boulevard, links Lisbon’s historic centre to its main park, Parque Eduardo VII, with Marquês do Pombal Square at the bottom.
A few, often overlooked, attractions can be found around this area scattered over adjoining neigbourhoods.
Follow our guide, and use the map below to locate all the places that are worth visiting.
1. Parque Eduardo VII
Parque Eduardo VII is the largest park in central Lisbon, covering 25 hectares (62 acres). Located on a hill, it has a formal garden design, and offers sweeping views over Praça Marquês do Pombal, Avenida da Liberdade and the River Tejo. The Park is home to the Michelin-Starred Feitoria restaurant. Read More
2. Aqueduto das Águas Livres
Opened in 1748, the Aqueduto das Águas Livres (Free Waters Aqueduct) supplied drinking water to Lisbon until the 1960s. It is possible to walk across a section of the aqueduct, though you may need a head for heights. Read More
3. Mãe d’Água Reservoir
Close to Largo do Rato, Praça das Amoreiras is the finishing point of the Águas Livres aqueduct, where there is a water reservoir. But Mãe d’Água is no ordinary reservoir. Instead, it is a water cathedral whose construction began in 1746 and took 88 years to finish, going through the hands of several architects, the lives of seven kings, the great earthquake of 1755, the French invasion, and the Portuguese civil war.
Inside, the robust pillars, the vaulted ceilings and the large windows house more than 5,500 cubic metres of water. Today, the Mãe d’Água Reservoir is open to visitors, and hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events. There’s also a rooftop terrace offering sweeping views of the city. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm (closed for lunch from 12.30pm to 1.30pm), www.epal.pt
4. Amoreiras Shopping Center
Amoreiras was Lisbon’s first large shopping mall, and an excitement when it opened in 1985. Housed in a complex featuring adventurous pink and blue glass towers, designed by the Portuguese architect Tomás Taveira, the space now shelters numerous cafés, restaurants and shops, including luxury shops, and ten movie theatres. There’s also the Amoreiras 360 viewpoint. For €5, you can take the elevator to the 18th floor observation point for an uninterrupted panoramic view of Lisbon. Open daily, www.amoreiras.com
The Gulbenkian is an unmissable attraction in Lisbon. The Museum’s collection is of the highest quality, and covers an impressive range of periods and areas. For some Portuguese contemporary art, visit the Modern Art Centre. If you have the time, the Gulbenkian gardens are a great place for a picnic. Read More
6. Praça de Touros
Although there’s some opposition to bullfighting in Portugal, many Portuguese still follow the tourada. In Lisbon, bullfights take place at Campo Pequeno’s Praça de Touros, an impressive brick Moorish-style bullring built in 1892. The Portuguese bullfight style does not kill the bull in the ring. Instead, the bull is wrestled to the ground, but in any case injured and slaughtered later. Performances usually take place during the spring and summer months. Beneath the bullring, there is an underground shopping and cinema complex.
7. Jardim Zoológico
Alongside the usual selection of caged animals, Lisbon Zoo offers rides, games and even a cable car, included in the price. Opened in 1884 in another location, the zoo moved to its current park in 1905. Attractions like the children’s farm, a reptile house, free flying birds, and feeding sessions for pelicans are a highlight. There are also daily marine shows featuring dolphins, which are one of the most entertaining and educational experience for kids. To get there, take the metro – blue line has a stop Jardim Zoológico just outside the park. www.zoo.pt