Lisbon's attractions are great if you're looking for some sightseeing, and it's viewpoints are perfect for some Instagram worthy photos of your stay. But sometimes a low key day, with a picnic and a stroll is exactly what you need to take a break from the city.
Here's a list of the best of Lisbon's public gardens and parks to reconnect with nature. And if you're traveling with kids, check out the best outdoors activities in Lisbon for kids, as well.
Lisbon’s public gardens and parks
Ladies with parasols and elegant gentleman wearing top hats: it’s easy to picture them walking along this garden when it was created, at the city centre, 174 years ago. Romantic and bourgeois, Jardim da Estrela keeps that everlasting charm with its exotic species (Australian Banyans, Cook Araucarias or Cedrus of Lebanon), mallard ducks that inhabit the ponds, quiet kiosks and even a small library so you can take a book with you and lie on the grass – the best programme that that garden has to offer is only a blanket away.
Every day from 7.00 a.m. to midnight.
What does a lisbonner do when he’s afflicted by the restlessness of wanting something to do to pass the time? He/she goes to Gulbenkian for a walk to clear his/her mind. The green space that involves the art foundation is a labyrinth where we love to get lost: to find the ducks, the turtles, the birds, the sculptures, an outdoor café
or even an artisanal ice cream parlour.
Every day, from sunrise to sunset.
How about a public park like Central Park, do you have one? We do. Actually, we have a park that’s three times the size of that New-York icon – yes, three times. Walking, running, riding a bike or skating, have a picnic, take photographs, drawing or dating are some of the suggestions we have to pass the time in this green field that’s so big that you lose sight of where it begins and where it ends. Start at Alameda Keil do Amaral, visit Mata de Benfica and get to know Moinho do Penedo.
Created at the beginning of the 20th century, it started as a study location for agronomy and veterinary students that there could find tropical and subtropical species of Portuguese colonies. With over 500 species and subspecies, the garden is also the home of several freshwater turtles, herons, and peach fronted parakeets and it’s open to the public. A tip: buy a little box of Pastéis de Belém (the famous house is a 2-minute walk away) before going in.
For years, it was forgotten, but now that it has returned to the memory of every lisbonner it became a part of their routine: families with kids, teenage groups, and couples – they’re all looking for their place in this sort of natural solarium. Here you also have an architectural and historic bonus: it’s possible to find a circular greenhouse built with forged iron, and the remains of a small zoo built for the royal family and also a cactus garden.
From Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; On Saturdays and Sundays it opens at 10 a.m.
The best of Lisbon's outdoors
Looking for ways to keep the kids occupied on your next trip to Lisbon? Whether it’s paying a visit to the animals at the zoo or going for a run through one of the city’s parks, here you’ll find our favourite outdoor activities in Lisbon for kids.