The First Steps in the Hilly Capital City of Lisbon, Portugal

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The hilly capital of Lisbon, Portugal is known as one of Europe’s better weekend city breaks. With only four days sightseeing in the capital, we aimed to make the most of our stay here by setting out sightseeing immediately on arrival after our international flight. Lisbon is a terrific city to visit and packed full of terrific sights.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity City Visit: First Steps in the Hilly Capital City of Lisbon, Portugal.

I never usually feel like sightseeing on the day of an overseas arrival. It’s especially worse when you are travelling east and are jet lagged arriving into Europe. Having said that, Lisbon is regarded as one of the better city breaks, so right after we arrived off TAP Portugal Business Class Toronto – Lisbon, we headed out to kill the jet lag.

Navigating to the Metro:

The Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa was in a pretty good neighbourhood and walking to the subway it was a great first impression to the city.

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Riding the Subway:

We took the 1.50 € subway from Saldanha. The subways are always a reflection of the city, and Lisbon was no different. Lisbon’s were punctuated with strange art display amid urban spaces.

Stepping into Baiza District:

We and wandered down through the Baixa district, starting at the Dom Pedro IV Place with its impressive squares. We immediately passed by some of Lisbon’s street cars that climb the fingers of the hills surrounding the valley.

Eventually wandering through the commercial district, which included the most comprehensive sardine stores I’ve ever seen. Sardines appear to be a major export for the Portguese.

A First Look at the Elevator de Santa Justa:

We caught our first glimpse of the Elevator de Santa Justa, a public elevator that was designed by one of Gustaf Effiel’s prodigies.

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Admiring the Impressive Praça do Comércio:

We stopped for quick pizza snack, before we ended up down by the water with the Praça do Comércio. The square is a massive area and was the home of many new arrivals to Europe in its day.

The charm of Lisbon’s street cars are everywhere as the rail lines move throughout the city.

Walking the Corniche Walkway:

We ended up taking a short walk along the waterfront Corniche walkway. What a great way to spend the first day in Europe; the sun was shining, we were out and about getting mostly fresh air in pleasant surroundings. It was sure pretty.

We then came back and headed towards the Elevator de Santa Justa.

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Climbing the Elevator de Santa Justa:

We climbed up the Elevator de Santa Justa. We were able to bypass the main (and probably hour long) elevator line by climbing around the block at the rear and paying 1.50 € to access the platform. We climbed two circular levels of stairs to access the roof top viewing platform. It was a gorgeous summer evening and the views over Biaxa were terrific.

Not looking all to jet lagged surprisingly…

After leaving the Elevator de Santa Justa viewing platform, we wandered through the upper neighbourhood above the Elevator.

We then took the subway back to the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa where we hit up the Executive Club Lounge for a bit. There was only white and red wine on offer, likely due to the fact that there was a pay bar one floor up that was open to the public.

In Summary:

It was otherwise a great first day for our four day Lisbon stopover. The first impressions of the city were terrific and it looked like we would have a lot to explore here. The city contains many attractions along with the charm of it’s street cars.


If you’ve visited Lisbon Portugal, where is the first place you go to after getting off the plane ?

3 Comments on “The First Steps in the Hilly Capital City of Lisbon, Portugal

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