Discovering a new place can be done in many different ways. Some people prefer to do plain sight-seeing while others like to enjoy the nature the surroundings have to offer. We’re more supporters of the second type and can’t get enough of mesmerizing parks when traveling.
During our time in Lisbon we had the chance to spend relaxed afternoons and take long walks in the city’s most idyllic parks. Here you’ll find a selection of our favorites.
One of Lisbon’s most enchanting parks is located in Rato. Especially on Sundays the park is visited not only by travelers but also by locals. They come here with their families and children to enjoy a picnic within the idyllic nature. There is also a café where you will find a wide selection of traditional tarts and coffee.
The café is surrounded by a little pond with ducks. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastel de nata on the terrace. Afterwards, take a walk through the park and pay attention to the exotic birds singing in the trees. Estrela is home to redwood trees and cactus you rarely can find within a city.
A charming pavilion is placed in the middle of the park. Sometimes they offer free Salsa classes there. A lot of people use the park for gymnastics, yoga or meditation. No wonder, the whole surroundings create a thoroughly peaceful mood. Once a month, a handicraft market takes place here.
The Calouste Gulbenkian museum is located in the heart of a beautiful park full of arts. There is also a statue of Gulbenkian being supervised by a big stone eagle. The park is not very crowded and can be called a secret spot if you search a quiet place to read, write or just relax. There are isolated, overgrown corners with benches.
Stairs lead below dense foliage with little streams and waterfalls running between rocks. Especially on hot summer days Gulbenkian is an ideal place offering much shade. Unfortunately, the entrances are closed early in the evening and you are not allowed to access the park anymore. This sucks because the park has a very mysterious ambiance at night. Little lights in the ground and floodlight illuminate the scenery and transform the park into a magical garden. However, the park can still be accessed from the side. Just beware of security.
3. Campo Grande
Jardim do Campo Grande is a narrow park between Campo Grande and Entrecampos where you can ride your bike, go for a walk or spend a lazy day reading a book. In the center a pond spreads out with a little island overgrown by palm trees. You can enjoy the view from the terrace of the café.
There is a stone platform next to it which is connected to a bridge crossing the pond. You can also rent one of the boats to paddle in the water. Sometimes you can see arts, such as a pop-art statue of a witch holding two giant boobs. Campo Grande is not a regular park. It’s more of a walk through different types of flora and fauna. Start your walk at Entrecampos and end at Campo Grande close to the Campo Grande stadium.
4. Estufa Fria
Estufa Fria, Lisbon’s only greenhouse, is located in Parque Eduardo VII. Usually, you have to pay entrance, only Sunday mornings you can access it for free. So keep that in mind if you want to spend a Sunday surrounded by pure green nature.
Outside, there is an island with a statue in a pond. Inside, you’ll find a variety of exotic plants that normally could just survive in tropical climate. Apart from the different cactus, ferns and vines, you’ll pass flowstone caves where you can cool yourself down. Stone bridges, stairways and secret angles make Estufa Fria a little adventure park.
5. Tapada das Necessidades
We mentioned Tapada das Necessidades in a blog post about abandoned places in Lisbon. Apart from being an abandoned park it’s furthermore an extensive park with splendid flora and fauna. The abandoned greenhouse with the glass dome is not to miss, as well as the surrounding remnants of a former king’s residency.
6. Parque Eduardo VII
Parque Eduardo VII is one of Lisbon’s most visited parks. The main area is situated opposite of the Marquês de Pombal square. There is a garden created out of square hedges in the middle part of the hill. Right and left, avenues invite to take a long walk or rest on one of the benches.
From the top of the hill you have one of the best views of Lisbon’s riverside. It is embedded between two main hills. On the left you can see the castle. For more information check our post about fountains in Lisbon.
7. Monsanto Forest Park
One of the biggest forest parks of Europe is centered right in Lisbon. The Monsanto Forest Park extends on an area of 10km². It can be called a forest rather than a park. Most of the nature is fenced off but there is an ecological park with different species of plants. You can also find some water holes here. Walk up to the miradouro and enjoy the view above the green plains. The highlight of the park is an abandoned restaurant “Panorâmico”.
8. Bela Vista
Bela Vista is spread over a huge range of hills. It mainly has dry vegetation so that the whole landscape shines yellow-brownish. We would say it has the look of an African desert. Some trees resemble African acacia trees. The park covers a miradouro and walking trails. It’s perfect if you have a dog as there is unlimited space to frolic. Bela Vista is also a venue for concerts.
9. Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações in Oriente involves a whole complex along the riverside overlooking the long white bridge. It starts at the Oceanário with the impressive water bridge and continues to the noble Myriad hotel. You can enjoy a cable car ride over the Tagus river.
When you walk from one end to the other following the promenade you’ll pass different sections of the park. There is a square in front of the big shopping mall “Vasco da Gama” with flags of all the world’s nations.
10. Moscavide Rio Tranção
This lonesome place in Moscavide can be accessed by walking on the Oriente Tagus promenade continuing behind the Ponte Vasco da Gama. As soon as you see the river branching off into the mainland, follow the turn and you’ll find yourself on lush grassland.
This place feels like out of town as it is quiet and rural. Apart from coming here to see the sunset, it’s also an idyllic place to hang around during a sunny day.