In the Portuguese city of Lisbon, there are many attractions that will take you a few weeks, if not months, if you want to visit all of them. But the charm of this city lies not only in its diversity, but also in the large number of landmarks that one should visit.
Near Lisbon there are beautiful beach resorts overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the charming town of Cascais, Cabo da Roca, the historical castles of Sintra and many other places and stunning landscapes that are famous for their incredible beauty.
Here are some of the main places and attractions to visit near the capital of Portugal:
Belém. Once an important seaport (especially during the Portuguese discoveries), Belém is now host to a large number of museums and historical monuments. Among the most important tourist objectives in the small town are Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) and Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), both built during the 16th century, in the Manueline architectural style, according to the wish of King Manuel I of Portugal. Beside the monastery there are other places worth visiting, such as Planetário (Planetarium) and Museu Marítimo (Maritime Museum), Berardo Museum in Belém Cultural Center and the famous Pastéis de Belém factory, where the famous Portuguese cakes known as Pastéis de Nata are prepared.
Sintra. Sintra is one of the most popular destinations in the vicinity of Lisbon. The picturesque city, just 30 kilometers from the capital of Portugal, is known for the many castles and palaces it houses, for its historic center and, not least, for the amazing Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The most well-known of all the sights of Sintra is the Pena National Palace, perched on the top of a hill quite close to another important castle, the Castle of the Moors. There is also the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira, one of the most enigmatic places in Sintra, where you will find many things related to the Knights Templar, Masonry and Alchemy.
Cascais. Located a short train ride from the center of Lisbon, Cascais, one of the most sought after destinations by both national and international visitors, is the perfect escape from urban bustle, especially if you are looking for large beaches, with fine sand and gold. Tamariz, Rainha and Santa Marta are just a few of the beaches in Cascais, making them ideal for both swimming and surfing. Cascais is also renowned for its gastronomy, offering the best seafood, such as Cataplana, Polvo a Lagareiro Bacalhau com broa and Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato.
Cabo da Roca. The westernmost point of the European continent, considered in Antiquity as the place where “the country ends and the sea begins”, Cabo da Roca is one of the most spectacular locations in the whole of Portugal, being located in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Its vertical rocks rise about 100 meters above sea level, offering breathtaking landscapes. If you visit the place, make sure you dress well because the winds in the area are extremely strong, regardless of the season.
Almada. Almada is a city that is part of the Setubal district, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Tejo River. It is connected to the capital of Portugal by the 25th of April Bridge, which measures 2.27 km long and has a very similar appearance to the more famous Golden Gate in San Francisco. Tourists visit Almada mainly to see more closely Cristo Rei, a replica of the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro. It should also be mentioned that the coastal area of the city, called Costa da Caparica, boasts some of the best beaches in the country.