Lisbon is currently one of the hotspots of European travel so take a page from the daring explorers that set sail from this magnificent city during the Age of Discovery...

…and be inspired to uncover new adventures in the very home that inspired it all.

Modern-day Lisbon is a gorgeous blend of colourful old quarters, lively squares and cafés, cobblestone streets and chic boutiques and galleries. Major sites include Rossio Square, Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, the Discoveries Monument, Castle of São Jorge and the Santa Justa Elevator – and they are all yours to explore.

Rossio Square, officially known as Praça de Don Pedro IV, is the main hub of Lisbon’s cultural centre and its most popular meeting place – a title it’s held as far back as the 13th century! Two baroque fountains flank the main square which has an 88-foot-tall column of Pedro IV. The prestigious National Theatre of Dona Maria II hosts some of Lisbon’s most exciting shows. Some of the cafés and boutiques date as far back as the 18th century and have their own storied history. The Art Deco-style Café Nicola was a favourite haunt of Portuguese poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage. For a cherry-flavoured taste of Lisbon, head to Ginjinha, where the famed Lisbon spirit (also called Ginjinha) can be imbibed. And don’t forget to take a moment to admire the unique wave impression of Portuguese tiles throughout the square. Portuguese tiles are a unique art form in Portugal and its former colonies like Brazil.

Designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two of the ‘Seven Wonders of Portugal,’ both Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery are must-see landmarks. The iconic Belém Tower, sometimes referred to as the Tower of St. Vincent (he is featured as a sculptured stone motif on its exterior), was built in 1515 and was the first and last glimpse many sailors had of Lisbon before departing (or arriving) for the New World. The nearby monastery was built in 1515 and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline architectural style, with high-arched ceilings, stained glass windows and a beautiful golden limestone cloister – which some consider among the most gorgeous in the world. Ornately carved designs of animals, nautical, religious themes and even sea monsters will wow and amaze.

Across from the Jerónimos Monastery, the Discoveries Monument is a more recent addition, built in 1960. Another icon of discovery, the monument is one of the most popularly photographed sights. Commemorates such notable explorers as Ferdinand Magellan and Pedro Alvares Cabral (he discovered Brazil) and Vasco da Gama (the first European to discover the sea route to India)—along with the era’s important kings, poets, monks, crusaders, cartographers and its one female – Queen Felipa of Lancaster.

The Castle of São Jorge is a Moorish castle overlooking Lisbon’s historical centre. Likely built around the 6th century, this castle was listed as a national monument in 1910 to commemorate its historical importance. Throughout its history, it was fortified by the Romans, Visigoths and Moors before becoming the Royal Palace in the 14th century.

The Santa Justa Elevator is another top destination and is a vertical lift connecting the lower streets of the elegant Baixa district with Carmo Square. It offers stunning panoramic views of the city from the top floor.

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