Estrela Basilica is one of Lisbon’s most attractive monuments. This eighteenth century Neo-classical church has two bell towers and imposing masonry work. In the interior, a large quantity of grey, pink and yellow marble was used in the floor and walls, in intricate geometric patterns, one of the most beautiful in European churches. The paintings by Pompeu Botoni and a famous nativity scene made by sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro, with more than 500 figures in cork and Terra Cotta are a major attractions to visitors.
Built by order of Queen Maria I, as a fulfilled promise for giving birth to a son José, the Estrela Basilica is located in a Lisbon’s hill and can be viewed from far away.
Across from Estrela Basilica are the charming Estrela gardens. One of Lisbon’s public gardens, founded in 1852 and it is the second biggest garden. There are exotic plants and trees, a small duck-dotted lake, various marble figures, a playground for children and resting area.
During Sunday summer days the garden is the ideal place for diverse activities such as yoga lessons or Chinese massages and also attracted the modern trends, many young creators offer a miscellaneous display of their latest designs.
Nearby, is possible to visit São Bento Palace – the Portuguese Parliament, Principe Real – a beautiful square with a gorgeous garden that is an extension of Bairro Alto and the Lapa district, the diplomatic quarter with grand embassy buildings and old mansions.
See our suggestions for apartments in Principe Real, accommodation in São Bento and self-catering apartments in Lapa.
The most unique way to explore Lisbon is by its yellow traditional trams. This method of public transport in Portugal has become one of the most appealing attractions in the city. The tram 28, considered a national treasure, takes you on a tour by a selection of old Lisbon’s sights, past historic buildings and traditional housing. Inaugurated in 1914, between Largo Camões and Estrela, the tram 28 route has been successively extended over the years.
View from our Apartment in Lisbon 230 – Chiado
In fact, Tram 28 covers the most picturesque route in Lisbon. It runs from Largo Martim Moniz to Prazeres, via the Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, São Bento and Estrela.
Leaving Martim Moniz, the tram 28 continues through a labyrinth of narrow streets. Discover Mouraria and Alfama and while you are there, go and see the Miradouro da Graça which boasts fantastic views of the city. Continuing the route along Tram 28 will take you to the Royal Pantheon, São Vincente de Fora Church, one of the most imposing and notable religious monuments in the city, and the famous Feira da Ladra. It is held from Tuesday to Saturday and is one of the most popular in Lisbon. The Tram continues its route to Largo Portas do Sol, Miradouro de Santa Luzia with its traditional mosaic and the Sé Cathedral.
28 continues is route to Chiado quarter and Largo Luis de Camões until S. Bento. Running up Lisbon’s hills, the tram 28 arrives to Estrela. Facing the gardens is the Basílica da Estrela, in late baroque and neo-classical style. Taking the streets Domingos Sequeira and Saraiva de Carvalho the tram finally arrives at Campo de Ourique right next to the final resting place of the famous, the Cemitério dos Prazeres (Prazeres Cemetery).
There are many choices amongst the 35 stops of tram 28 for places to get off and discover the Lisbon’s heritage.