Lisbon: Portugal’s cool, coastal capital city

October 9, 2020
With its vibrant atmosphere and character-filled neighbourhoods, Lisbon is the perfect port of call

One of the most popular cities in Europe, the strategic location of the port of Lisbon means it’s a popular cruise stop and tourist destination. 

Strapped for time? Head to the Oceanarium or Maritime museum, both of which are a stone’s throw from the port.

Those with a few more hours to spare should take advantage of Lisbon’s charming tram, and explore the hilly city like a local.

Port Location

Located on the Tagus river, the Port of Lisbon has four docking locations including the Alcântara Terminal, Santa Apolónia Terminal and Rocha Conde de Obidos.

Passengers can access the city centre on foot relatively easily from each of them. There’s also a new cruise quay, Jardim do Tabaco, with three floors, a terrace with panoramic views and pier capacity for large ships.

Conveniently, the city’s Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour stops right in front of the terminal. 

City Inspiration

Time out market

Located in the Cais do Sodré neighbourhood, this historic market hall houses 26 restaurants, eight bars, shops and a music venue. It’s also home to some of Lisbon’s best known (and longest-running) vendors of meat, fish, fruit and flowers. Busy night and day, it’s a must-visit for experiencing the city’s highlights under one roof.


Situated between the Tagus river and the Sao Jorge Castle, this is Lisbon’s oldest and most Instagrammable district. The steep cobblestone streets, small squares and ancient Medieval terracotta-topped buildings are lively throughout the day. Browse the flea market and jump on a tram then head back after dark to one of the many fado bars. This is the city’s traditional guitar-based music that you’ll hear while wandering the streets.

Belem Tower

Located a 20-minute drive from the cruise terminal, the Belem Tower stands in the picturesque Belem district. It’s one of the city’s most visited landmarks. This giant medieval fortress and Unesco World Heritage site was first built to defend Lisbon and signifies Portugal’s maritime heritage, dating back to the 16th century. View the tower from the waterfront, venture inside to view the Governor’s Hall or King’s Hall, or climb up to the roof terrace.

Good to know

Where to stay

AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado is a boutique bolthole situated in Praca Do Municipio square in downtown Lisbon. With 28 contemporary rooms, the hotel blends traditional Portugese features and craftsmanship. The 18th-century building, once the site of Lisbon’s army arsenal, is bursting at the seams with original features. Hungry? The best of Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine is served up at the onsite Delfina – Cantina Portugesa restaurant. 


Like any world-class city, Lisbon is offers excellent shopping opportunities (the best metro station for retail junkies is Baixa – Chiado). If you’re looking for traditional gifts, head to the Baixa district. The exclusive Chiado area combines fashion and art with avant-garde designer stores. At Príncipe Real, the latest shopping area, you will find small, innovative labels and arty projects. For designer brands including Prada and Burberry, head for Avenida da Liberdade with its cobbled pavements and shaded palm trees.

Food & Drink

Pasteis de nata, Portuguese bacalhau, authentic port… Lisbon is heaven for foodies, especially seafood lovers. In Chiado, visit Alma, which is cosy and inviting and has an open kitchen. Elegant plates include a sea-inspired option and a decadent tasting menu. Reservations are recommended. Pasteis de Belem is a must-visit for Lisbon first-timers – the cafe spawned the first custard tart back in 1837 using a secret technique. For brunch and excellent coffee in Alfama, check out Augusto Lisboa (closed on Wednesdays).

Lisbon: We Say

With great weather, amazing history and fabulous food and drink, this world-class city is a treat day or night. Thankfully it’s also on many cruise line’s radars, and the city is easily accessible from your ship.

So if you haven’t yet visited, make sure your next itinerary features Lisbon – you won’t regret it!

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