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Lisbon Architecture Tour

With its rich mix of styles and designs, Lisbon is a place of pilgrimage for lovers of fine architecture
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.6 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  History has shaped the capital with a succession of influences, most notably the Moors who occupied the city for more than 400 years. ... more »

Tips:  This is quite a long half-day tour and requires both very comfortable footwear and plenty of free space on the camera's memory card... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Casa dos Bicos

Bordering the Alfama district close to the river in Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, the Casa dos Bicos (House of the Pointed Stones) was constructed at the beginning of the 16th century and is an adaptation of the Early Italian Renaissance style. Now the headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation, the building stands out for the uniqueness of its façade... More

2. Baixa Pombalina

Turning right along Rua da Alfândega you can see the intricately-carved Manueline-style doorway of the Conceição Velha church on your right. Continuing along the road brings you to Praça do Comércio, the heart of the rectangular, geometrically ordered architecture of Lisbon's downtown Baixa district, the layout of which being accredited to one man... More

3. Azulejo Tiles

In Lisbon, visitors cannot help but notice the delightful painted tiles known as azulejos that adorn many of the city's buildings, both outside and in. This attractive architectural accessory was introduced by the Moors who occupied Lisbon for more than 400 years. The word azulejo derives from the Arabic al zulaich (which means shiny stone) and... More

4. Dona Maria II National Theatre

From Praça do Comércio, the walk up Rua Augusta (Lisbon's main shopping street) takes you under the city's impressive triumphal arch. As you near the top of the street, Portugal's grand national theatre building starts to come into view. Named after the daughter of Dom Pedro, Brazil's first ruler, the imposing Neoclassical edifice was built in the... More

5. São Carlos National Theatre

Accessing Rua do Carmo from the south-western corner of Rossio square leads you up to the Chiado district, bypassing the filigree-style Santa Justa elevator on your left, one of the most impressive examples of architectural engineering in southern Europe. Turning right into Rua Garrett at the top and left into Rua Serpa Pinto brings you to... More

6. São Bento Palace

The tour continues through the heart of the Chiado district, one of the oldest and most fascinating parts of Lisbon. The route west from Praça Luís de Camões is a roller coaster of a road, rising and descending and eventually rising again towards São Bento Palace, Portugal's very own Houses of Parliament. Standing on the former site of a 16th... More

7. Estrela Basilica

Continuing west along Calçada da Estrela brings you to the strikingly impressive Basílica da Estrela. Built by Queen Maria I at the end of the 18th century as a token of thanks for bearing a son, this church of shimmering white stone is believed to be the last large-scale Baroque church to have been built in western Europe. Key features are the... More

8. Amoreiras Towers

The walk through Estrela's lovely gardens opposite the basilica picks up the main thread of the tour along Rua da Estrela and into Rua Silva Carvalho, eventually bringing you to the iconic Amoreiras towers. In 1985, architect Tomás Taveira altered the cityscape by unveiling his idea of how a late 20th century building should look. The famous pink,... More

9. Águas Livres Aqueduct

A short walk north of Amoreiras shopping centre along Rua Professor Sousa da Câmara brings you to Calçada da Quintinha and the entrance to the amazing Águas Livres Aqueduct. Built in the 18th century, the entire structure stretches 19 kilometres and comprises 109 arches in total, 14 of which link the city centre with Monsanto Forest across the... More