Travel Guide Portugal: Lisbon District
Portugal’s Lisbon district on the country's Atlantic coast not only fascinates with its vibrant capital Lisbon, but also with its historic small villages and picturesque beaches and coastline. Learn more in our blog.
The Lisbon District is a district in Portugal on the west coast of the country. It covers an area of approx. 2800 km2 and is composed of 16 municipalities. As the name already reveals, the district capitol is Portugal’s capitol Lisbon.
A highlight of the Lisbon District is doubtlessly the city of Lisbon itself. Its picturesque narrow streets, beautiful squares, colourful buildings, iconic monuments and a history dating back to the Stone Age attract travellers from all over the world.
But also the charming little villages, green landscapes, sandy beaches and panoramic coastal views that the Lisbon District has to offer surely provide each visitor with unforgettable travel memories.
Lisbon District (Portuguese: Distrito de Lisboa)
On the west coast of central Portugal, on the Atlantic Ocean
approx. 2,800 km²
Best travel time
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September, October)
The capital Lisbon as well as smaller towns such as Óbidos, Ericeira, Sintra and Mafra with their surrounding landscapes and picturesque beaches
Visiting Lisbon District
Location and climate of Lisbon District
Lisbon District is located on the Atlantic coast of central Portugal and consists of traditional Estremadura Province. Its capital is the provincial capital of Lisbon. Lisbon District covers an area of approx. 2,800 km², is divided into 16 municipalities and has a population of just under 3 million people.
The climate of the district is generally rather warm and dry. This is especially true for the interior. Moving further towards the coast, one encounters milder temperatures. Spring is rainier compared to the summer and autumn months. Temperatures range between 12 and 28°C throughout the year, but the fluctuations in coastal areas are less than in the interior of the district due to the influence of the sea.
Flora and fauna in Lisbon District
Nature in Portugal's Lisbon District, like in the rest of the country, is diverse and multi-faceted. Along the coast, picturesque sandy beaches and impressive cliffs await travellers; dolphins and whales can even be spotted in the waters of the Atlantic.
Further inland, hiking enthusiasts may encounter mountainous landscapes dotted with pine and oak forests. Birds in particular are easy to spot in the rugged wilderness, but the green expanses of the district are also home to wild goats, foxes, deer, lynx, badgers and wolves.
Highlights of Lisbon District
As the name suggests, visitors to the district should not miss a visit to the city of Lisbon. The vibrant capital of both the district and the country shines with an incredibly interesting history, a colourful nightlife and a pleasant climate all year round.
The Castelo de São Jorge, the Rua do Ouro and Rua da Prata, the Praça do Comércio, the Avenida Ribeira das Naus, the Rossio, the districts Bairro Alto, Alfama and Belém and much more – Portugal's beautiful capital makes you want to discover. So go ahead and do so!
About 85 km north of Lisbon you will find Óbidos, a small, cosy town that is particularly appealing because of its medieval flair. Enclosed by a high, accessible city wall, there are many churches worth seeing, small alleys and the impressive Castelo de Óbidos castle. You should definitely not miss out on a day trip to this historic town.
The place for surfers! Those who want to enjoy beach holidays and high waves should head for Ericeira. The former fishing village is located around 40 km north of Lisbon and delights with a variety of great beaches: Praia do Norte, Praia dos Pescadores, Praia de Ribeira d'Ilhas or Praia de São Sebastião invite you to relax and enjoy water sports activities.
If you are in the mood for surfing, you should not miss Foz do Lizandro, Coxos and São Lourenço, as they are considered the "place to be" for surfers. All in all, the coastal town offers a great combination of beach and city life, including real surf vibes, a selection of very good accommodation and cosy bars, restaurants and cafés.
An unusual mix of nature and culture awaits visitors to Sintra. The small town is located about 25 km west of Lisbon, nestled in a hilly landscape. In 1995, Sintra and the surrounding Parque Natural de Sintra-Caiscais were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A special highlight is the ensemble of often bizarre and sometimes strikingly “kitschy” villas and castles built over the last centuries by noblemen and wealthy Europeans. The number of buildings worth seeing is enormous and includes the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, the Castelo dos Mouros, the Palácio Nacional da Pena, the Palácio de Monserrate and the Quinta da Regaleira. Sintra's extraordinary cultural landscape is definitely worth a visit!
The Sintra-Cascais Nature Park is also home to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe. Travellers can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the cape and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean on various hiking trails here.
The small town of Mafra is located about 40 km northwest of the Portuguese capital. A special attraction of the town is its imposing palace: Palácio Nacional de Mafra. The huge and extravagant complex houses, among other things, a monastery, a basilica and a library including around 36,000 books. Culture lovers in particular will get their money's worth here. However, the surrounding park and the pretty town centre of Mafra are also worthwhile destinations.
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