The best gardens and parks in Lisbon
Being outdoors has never been so valued. And Lisbon has excellent green spaces to enjoy leisure moments. In recent years, thinking about a more balanced and environmentally friendly city, the municipality was concerned with creating more parks and gardens and preserving the existing ones. Get to know our favorites:
1 – Jardim da Estrela
It is one of the oldest, if not the oldest garden in Lisbon. And also one of the most welcoming. The Jardim da Estrela (Garden of the Star), now officially called Jardim Guerra Junqueiro, started being built in 1842 in the English romantic style, and was inaugurated ten years later, becoming one of the most fashionable places in Lisbon at the time - it even had a lion living in a cage as an attraction. Today it still keeps the majestic green wrought iron gates and the railing, in the same style, that make it an island of peace and quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It is the perfect place to go for a walk, sit and read a book, spread a towel and have a picnic, or take the kids out to play. Be sure to visit the wonderful 19th century bandstand, located by the north gate.
2 – Ribeira das Naus
Where once the newly built caravels went down to the water to discover the oceans, now urban vacationers can enjoy the sun and the fresh air of the Tagus River. Ribeira das Naus, the site of the old shipyards, is now a garden and a river beach, after the requalification works that took place between 2009 and 2014. The old docks of Seca and Caldeirinha, which date back to the time of the Portuguese Discoveries, were replaced by huge grassy spaces, inviting to a stop as soon as the weather allows. It is always a place of many tourists, since it is in the riverside area of Baixa Pombalina, the historic center of the city, but you can also see many locals strolling, dating or jogging. In recent years, the many foreigners living in Lisbon have taught the more beach-prone Lisboners to drop off on the grass and enjoy the city more.
3 – Jardim Calouste Gulbenkian
There is no better garden for dating. The Calouste Gulbenkian Garden is full of hidden spaces among the vegetation, benches and stone paths, flower beds, lakes and - of course - plenty of grass to spread out on. The marvelous garden of this arts foundation was created in 1956 by by testament of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a philanthropist of Armenian origin who lived in Lisbon. Besides the garden, which is a reference for Portuguese landscape architecture, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has a a museum, which houses the founder's private collection and a collection of modern and contemporary art; an orchestra and choir; an art library and archive; and a scientific research institute. So, going to this garden is to visit several points of interest at the same time. And it gets off the city center tourist routes. Even though we are talking about one of the most important cultural spaces in the city, it easily escapes the mainstream and less attentive tourists. mainstream menos atentosLocated very close to the El Corte Inglés department stores, this green oasis in the city is usually enjoyed during lunchtime by many people who study or work nearby, and at the weekend it is full of local families with children. But it never loses its quiet atmosphere.
4 – Jardim do Príncipe Real
The biggest attraction of this garden, located in Lisbon's trendiest neighborhood, is a 150-year-old tree with a crown over 26 meters in diameter. It is worth going to sit in the shade of this historic cypress or cedar tree, whose branches, given its width, are supported by an iron structure. The Jardim do Príncipe Real is officially called Jardim França Borges, in honor of the journalist and republican writer of the late 19th century. The garden itself is also from this period, of English romantic inspiration and one of the oldest in Lisbon, along with the Jardim da Estrela and the Botanical Garden. Currently, the Príncipe Real Garden is a cozy and pleasant green space, surrounded by beautiful palaces, and includes a drinks kiosk, a café with esplanade, a children's playground, fabulous trees and benches and tables for social games or picnics. It is also worth mentioning the existence, underground, of the Patriarcal Water Reservoir, which is currently part of the Water Museum and hosts visits and shows. The garden regularly sponsors craft fairs and organic produce markets.
5 – Jardim Botânico de Lisboa
O Jardim Botânico de Lisboa é um pequeno bosque, com uma área equivalente a cerca de cinco campos de futebol, situado entre a Avenida da Liberdade e o Jardim do Príncipe Real. Ou seja, está mesmo no coração da cidade . O Jardim Botânico de Lisboa está integrado no Museu Nacional da História Natural e da Ciência e é um jardim científico que foi projetado em meados do século XIX para complemento moderno e útil do ensino e investigação da botânica. Portanto, não faltam espécies botânicas, vindas de todos os continentes, neste jardim que é um oásis de silêncio e tranquilidade numa das zonas mais movimentadas da cidade. O jardim é particularmente rico em espécies tropicais originárias da Nova Zelândia, Austrália, China, Japão e América do Sul, o que atesta a amenidade do clima de Lisboa e as peculiaridades dos microclimas criados neste espaço. O Jardim Botânico de Lisboa, que esteve fechado entre 2016 e 2018 para obras, faz parte da Rota Europeia dos Jardins Históricos, iniciativa do Concelho da Europa, e tem visitas guiadas para quem quiser ficar a perceber mais de botânica.
6 – Estufa Fria e Parque Eduardo VII
The Estufa Fria is located inside the Parque Eduardo VII and, for this reason, we have chosen to refer to them together. They are, however, distinct spaces. The Estufa Fria is, as its name indicates, a greenhouse garden that houses plants from all over the world and does not use any heating system. The wooden slats that cover it protect the plants from excessively cold or hot temperatures. To walk around this space is to observe the variety of species and different environments created, among narrow stone paths, small lakes, and caves. Inaugurated in 1933, the Estufa Fria was built in the same place where a basalt quarry used to be, and where a water spring was later discovered. Leaving the Estufa Fria, you then have the extensive grassed area of the Parque Eduardo VII, where you can stretch out to rest or have a picnic. You can also go to the belvedere at the top of the park to enjoy the panoramic view over the river and the historic city center.
Texto publicado a 13 de abril de 2021
Some photos from our gallery were kindly provided by: Lisbon Lux