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Nine extraordinary places you did not know existed in Lisbon

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

We are always saying it: Lisbon has fantastic places to discover, many of them unknown to the public. Let’s take a look at nine extraordinary places.

These are places that, due to their proud and majestic appearance and, in some cases, are secret and well hidden in the middle of the capital, will leave you dazzled the first time you visit them.

1. Park and Palace of Monserrate

Built-in 1856 as a summer residence for Francis Cook, it is one of the most incredible creations of romanticism.

The interior reveals elegant and luxurious spaces, such as the Gallery (corridor that connects the three towers of the palace), the music room, the dining room or the library.

Around the palace, Monserrate Park is home to a remarkable botanical collection of species from all over the world, which blend with the native vegetation over 50 hectares.

The style of the Monserrate Palace, in Sintra, is difficult to define, but the expressions “eclectic” and “Orientalist taste” seem to apply well. There is something from India there, something from the Middle East and many beautiful things. The garden is a journey through the four corners of the world: it has a hot zone with plants from Central America (Mexico Garden), a Valley of Fetuses, a rose garden and a Garden of Japan.

Address: Sintra

2. Tropical Botanical Garden

The Tropical Botanical Garden was founded over a century ago, in 1912.

It is located next to the Jerónimos Monastery and, during all these years, it has already been called Jardim Colonial, Jardim do Ultramar and Jardim Agrícola Tropical.

In its seven hectares, it holds more than 500 species of flora, most of them of tropical or subtropical origin. One of the mandatory stops is, without a doubt, Jardim Macau, where you will be able to find other landscape elements and oriental sculptures.

Adress: Travessa Ferreiros a Belém 41

3. Casa do Alentejo

When you walk in the door and up the stairs, you cannot believe you are suddenly in an Arab courtyard of a Moroccan, the bathrooms look like they came out of an opera house and the vegetation of a tropical country.

The patio of Casa do Alentejo, which used to be Alverca Palace and Casino Majestic, is neo-Arab inspired and a perfect setting for your apocryphal vacation in Marrakesh.

Casa do Alentejo is the real home of the Alentejo region in Lisbon. The building of the former Alverca Palace deserves a visit in itself, thanks to the beautiful decoration with Arabic features.

It hosts book presentations, poetry sessions, exhibitions or other events and has a restaurant with two impressive rooms.

Adress: Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 58

4. Park of Necessidades

This garden is located in the Alcântara area, very close to the National Museum of Ancient Art, the Oriente Museum and the Marionette Museum, close, therefore, to several places of interest.

Right next to it is an 18th-century palace, that is, these lands have already been trodden by monarchs, people who, by themselves, needed a lot of space to think about our destinies.

The garden has plenty of room for many people, and you are still entitled to a fountain, a waterfall, exotic vegetation and all the shade of Lisbon.

Address: Calçada Necessidades

5. Aqueduto das Águas Livres

You may have heard of this aqueduct and the Water Museum that supports it, but did you know that you can take a walk inside the aqueduct itself?

The Aqueduto das Águas Livres was built between 1731 and 1799 and has been classified as a National Monument since 1910. It is considered a remarkable work of hydraulic engineering, considering the height at which it was designed.

This system consists of several sections, the main one being 14 kilometres long.

Address: Calçada da Quintinha 6

6. Paris-inspired Picoas Metro Station

Have you ever noticed that one of the entrances to the Picoas metro has a Parisian feel to it?

The entrance to the Metro Picoas from Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo and Rua Andrade Corvo is just like the one at Cité Station in Paris.

The work was a gift from the French to Lisbon offered in 1995, and it is a replica of the work of the famous Hector Guimard, the great name of Art Noveau, the style so present in Paris.

Address: Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo with Rua Andrade Corvo

7. Sala Thai

It is in Garden Vasco da Gama, in Belém, that this curious building is located, which seems to have stopped here when opening a space-time gap.

Sala Thai was an offer from the Princess of Thailand to celebrate 500 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Since 2012 it is possible to go to Belém to take a selfie with this building.

Address: Rua Vieira Portuense

8. Museum and Church of São Roque

The Church of S. Roque has an austere facade, but its interior is one of the most exuberant in the city: the Chapel of S. João Baptista alone is worth a visit. If you like sacred art, also visit the museum.

Mannerist and Baroque styles dominate the Church of São Roque, one of the rare buildings in Lisbon to survive the 1755 Earthquake, almost without being scratched. In such a way that both the church and the auxiliary residence were given to Santa Casa da Misericórdia, to replace its buildings and church destroyed in the earthquake.

The link remains today, with the church focusing the attention of tourists and beyond.

After all, we are talking about one of the most beautiful in the city, built in the late 16th century, in collaboration with Afonso Álvares and Bartolomeu Álvares.

It was the first church in Portugal of the Companhia de Jesus, a link that remained for two centuries until the expulsion of the Jesuits from the country in the 18th century; it was also one of the first Jesuit churches in the world.

In addition to visiting the space, count on occasional events, namely concerts.

Address: Largo Trindade Coelho

9. Queluz National Palace

With the distances divided, of course, and one caveat: there is already a Versailles in Lisbon, the pastry shop.

The National Palace of Queluz and its gardens are one of the most beautiful and well-preserved homes of the Portuguese royal family, a mixture of styles (Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical).

Adress: Largo Palácio de Queluz, in Queluz

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