Hidden deep within the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, the Cork Convent, or Convento dos Capuchos dates from 1560. If you’ve ever wondered about the lifestyle of a 16th-century Franciscan mountain monk in Portugal, this is your big chance. And let’s be honest, of course you have.
Having completed our circuit of the Arrábida National Park, we found ourselves in the small town of Azeitão, known throughout Portugal for its fine wines and cheeses. Here, we would visit a summer palace, which was once home to royalty, and today acts as a small vineyard for the Bacalhôa wine company.
Ever since Lisbon’s Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia (or MAAT) opened its doors in 2016, the museum’s two adjacent buildings have been locked in an eternal struggle for ultimate coolness. In this corner, a former electricity plant, with much of its equipment still intact. And its opponent, a sleek, wave-shaped building of gleaming white panels. I’m not sure which is going to win!
Reconstructed after the 1755 earthquake in accordance with an ultra-rational plan devised by the Marquis de Pombal, Lisbon’s Baixa (or “Lower”) district is a rectilinear grid of streets at the base of the city’s main valley. Many of the shops that were opened during the earliest days of the neighborhood’s rebirth are still in operation. We checked out 22 of these “lojas com historia” (“shops with history”) during a long day spent exploring Baixa.
Hosted in the former Convent of Bernardas in downtown Lisbon, the Museu da Marioneta features a collection of puppets from around the world, with a special focus on Portuguese dolls. This is an excellent excursion if you’re entertaining a kid, but even adults will find plenty to love.
One of Lisbon’s most popular museums is the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, which introduces visitors to the history of Portuguese tiles within the confines of 16th century convent. Tiles feature in just about every one of our pictures of Lisbon, so we were excited to learn more about them.
Connecting the Praça dos Restauradores to the Bairro Alto, the Ascensor da Glória has been in operation since 1885. We took a ride to the top, where we checked out the views from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, one of the most popular viewpoints in the city.
Held on Tuesdays and Saturdays on the sloping hill behind the Monastery of São Vicente da Fora, the Thieves’ Market, or Feira da Ladra, has a history stretching back to the 13th century. Today, we assume that the sellers have cleaned up their act, but the market is still a great place for those looking to make a steal.