What are the Most Instagrammable Locations in Lisbon?
Being one of the oldest cities in the World, Lisbon is an ancient, colourful and historic city in Portugal. Built on seven hills, offering extraordinary panoramic views, this city has preserved its ancient charms and neighbourhoods like a vintage photo-album. Its historic districts are packed with beautiful Azulejo tiles, steep cobblestone streets, amazing street art and iconic trams. This photogenic city is full of hidden-gems that your camera will get filled with all rainbow colours within a few minutes. Talking about Lisbon’s most instagrammable spots, not only a few, in fact, this whole city is made for clicking photos. Every corner of this city tells a colourful story of its past, which you would want to capture in your camera. If you’re looking to photograph the most eye-catching locations in Lisbon, then grab your camera, wear comfortable shoes and start walking through the following attractions: –
1: The Lisbon Cathedral
Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa or Sé de Lisboa are the other names of the Lisbon Cathedral. Being classified as a National Monument since 1910, this Roman Catholic Church is considered as the iconic sight of Lisbon. Having survived several earthquakes and been modified numerous times, this cathedral still stands out for its remarkable beauty. The main facade of this building looks like a fortress, with two towers on the edge of the entrance and crenellations over the walls. Located up on a steep hill, this cathedral offers a wonderful sight to admire, especially when the trams are passing by.
Make sure to wait for the Tram 28 (which is the tourist tram that stops at Lisbon’s main attractions) to capture the perfect postcard picture for your Instagram. Beware of the busy traffic on this street during peak hours. It’s recommended that you visit during early morning hours to beat the traffic and to avoid the crowds.
2: Santa Justa Lift
Elevador de Santa Justa or Carmo Lift is located at the end of Rua de Santa Justa, in the civil parish of Santa Justa in central Lisbon. It connects the higher Carmo Square with the lower streets of Baixa. Due to its unique style, located in the busy neighbourhood of Lisbon, this lift has become a tourist attraction since its construction. Among other lifts in the city, this is the only vertical one still in use. Since other similar lifts has been demolished, Santa Justa Lift has become a centre of attraction for thousands of daily visitors, queuing to take a ride to the top.
If you are like myself, and doesn’t want to spend an hour queuing just to take a lift, walk further down the road and take a portrait or a street style capture like the one below.
3: Alfama Neighbourhood
One of the oldest districts of Lisbon is the Alfama, spreading on the slope between the Tejo River and the Sao Jorge Castle. This charming neighbourhood holds several important tourist attractions, however, the main beauty lies in its narrow streets and colourful houses. Back in times, Alfama constituted the whole of the city, which later spread to Baixa neighbourhood. Luckily, the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake sparred this town, therefore, all the breathtaking architecture, narrow streets and historic charm is still preserved in this neighbourhood.
You would want to explore the hidden-gems of this town by getting lost in the narrow streets, taking pictures with its amazing graffiti and colourful tiles. Aim to spend at least an hour walking around this neighbourhood. Beware! Photo opportunities would be at every second step, make sure you’ve enough memory in your camera.
4: Pink Street
You’ve heard it right, Lisbon has an amazing street that is pink in colour. Once considered Lisbon’s Red Light District, Cais do Sodré is situated near the old port along the riverside in central Lisbon. If you’re into sort of things that you would do on Amsterdam’s Red Light District, then this will be your favourite stop in this city. Because we’re looking for most instagramable spots in Lisbon, let’s just stick to photography for now.
Cais do Sodré was renewed to attract tourists and locals who would enjoy traditional music and lively environment. Though you’ll still find many drunks or troublesome people in this area, most of it has changed for the betterment of the society. One good change was to paint Rua oNova do Carvalho pink in colour, so you can’t miss it.
It’s advised that you visit this street during early morning hours, cause most of the bars would be closed and you’ll have all the street to yourself.
5: Rossio Square
Pedro IV Square or Rossio Square, situated in central Lisbon, has been a main square since the Middle Ages. It has been used for public celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now an important meeting place for locals and tourists.
This square offers several shops including street vendors, bars and restaurants. Make sure you spend sometime here to admire its history. Maybe buy flowers from a local vendor, eat an ice-cream or have an espresso while you enjoy the local ambiance.
6: 25 de Abril Bridge
Ponte 25 de Abril or 25th of April Bridge is a breathtaking suspension bridge in Lisbon connecting the city to Almada on the South Bank of the Tagus River. This marvellous engineering achievement often resembles the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, US, mainly cause of the similar colour. Opened on the 6th of August 1966, it is the 32nd largest suspension bridge in the world. It is definitely an amazing sight to admire on your trip to Lisbon.
Use a wide angle lens to capture the full length of this iconic bridge. It’s a perfect spot for jogging, yoga or dog-walking as the scene and fresh air serves the right ambiance for its visitors.
7: Belem Tower
Torre de Belém or the Tower of St Vincent is a situated in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém. Because of its historical significance related to the Portuguese maritime discoveries, it’s considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the early 16th century on a small island in the Tagus River, the tower was considered a part of the defence system. However, the 1755 Lisbon earthquake had redirected the river, which’s why, people often incorrectly state that it was built in the middle of the river and now sits near the shore.
You can buy an individual ticket of €6 to visit this tower. Make sure to visit during early morning hours in order to avoid the lengthy queues and tourist crowds.
8: Praça do Comércio
The Commerce Square or Terreiro do Paço (Palace Yard) is located right at the river bank, which offers magnificent views of the Tagus River. It’s known as the Palace Yard because of the former Royal Ribeira Palace that was destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake.
If you would like to capture a photo with one of the Lisbon’s trams, you’ll often find them parked around this square. You can take all the time you need to capture the perfect instagrammable photo here.
9: Ride a Tram
One of the coolest things you could on your trip to Lisbon is to ride one of it’s trams. Although Tram 28 is what majority would recommend as it stops at most of the tourist attractions, I would recommend to avoid it entirely. It’s a main tourist trap that means you’re more than likely to come across a pick-pocket on that tram. Which is why I recommend to take any tram, except Tram 28.
10: Elevador da Bica
The Bica Funicular or Ascensor da Bica are other names for the Elevador da Bica, which is a railway line located in the civil parish of Misericordia, connecting the Rua de Sao Paulo with the Rua do Loreto. Unlike the mechanical cable, this track is built by electric motors on two cars powered through an overhead wire. The cable connects the two cars together so that they descend and ascend simultaneously, each car acting as a counterweight for the other one.
This track has been built for the daily commuters who would like to go up and down this steep hill. For tourists, this serves the perfect setting to capture amazing rail-track pictures without any rush. Because the trams moves very slowly, you can pose in style for the next cover of Vogue, or maybe just your Instagram.
I hope I have helped you in finding some of the most Instagrammable spots in Lisbon. This city is quite photogenic so you’ll find a photo opportunity at every second corner.
Don’t forget to share your pictures on Instagram using #LaVoyage and stay in touch with me on Instagram @HaseebAyaz
See you at other destinations around the world!