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Image / Editorial

5 attractions to avoid in Lisbon

by Nathalie Marquez Courtney
03rd Nov 2019

Travelling to Lisbon? Whether it’s a weekend break or a longer trip, Nathalie Marquez Courtney advises these are the five attractions that are more stress than they’re worth.

What to avoid

The Santa Justa Lift

While the views at the top are impressive, the often hourlong wait to ride in the vintage lift is not. Instead, navigate to Carmo Convent and make your way to the Santa Justa viewing platform on foot. All the pretty views, none of the waiting.

Oceanário de Lisboa on a rainy day

The oceanarium is one of the most kid-friendly attractions in the city, but it turns into a packed, sweaty hell on rainy days when everyone and their mother (and toddler) queue up to get in. Sacrifice a sunny morning instead – it’s worth it.

The number 28 tram

The lines start early around Martim Moniz square for a spot on the number 28, but it’s not a great place to get on, as it’ll be too crowded a ride to enjoy. Either hop on the much less busy 24E, or get over to the other side of the city and embark at the stop near Jardim da Estrela.

Castelo de São Jorge views

If you’re going for the history and culture – great. But if, like many, you’re simply heading to Lisbon’s famous castle for the views, know that you can enjoy equally pretty ones for free at the nearby Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen in Graça.

Streetside tuk-tuks

No trip to Lisbon is complete without being nearly run over by a tuk-tuk. And while they can be fun – and a handy way to navigate the hills – it’s easy to get misled or ripped off if you try to negotiate one on the street. Instead, ask at your hotel for recommendations or pre-book from a reputable company (like Eco Tuk Tours).

Photography by Nathalie Marquez Courtney

This article originally appeared in the June issue of IMAGE Magazine. 

Read more: Child-friendly travels: Visiting Lisbon with the kids

Read more: A Guide to creative, cultural Lisbon

Read more: Child-friendly travels: How to do Florence with the kids