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Lisbon Summer Bike Tour

Blog Lisbon Summer Bike Tour
With Velo-city just around the corner this summer it’s the perfect time to plan a trip around Lisbon by bike. A combination of world-class cultural monuments, cuisine and newly developed cycling infrastructure make the bicycle the perfect partner with which to take in all the Portuguese capital has to offer.
Cycling in Lisbon has come a long way in only a short time. The impressive advancements made by Câmara Municipal de Lisboa towards creating a more cycle-friendly city mean that now there is no better way to visit the beautiful sights of the Portuguese capital than by bike! With Velo-city 2021 Lisboa scheduled for 6-9 September, why not also take some time to experience the city’s impressive plethora of monuments, history, art and unique tastes?

Luckily for us cyclists, most of Lisbon’s incredible waterfront along the Tagus River is easily accessible by bike, which makes the iconic Torre de Belém an ideal spot from which to start your pedal-powered sightseeing tour! The tower itself formed a part of a defensive network along the banks of the Tagus River and was built in the Manueline style with incredible vaulted inside.

Less than two minutes down the cycle path, you’ll also find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a towering monument built to honour the intrepid Portuguese sailors who set across the waves. Make sure to snap a photo with the impressive modern Vasco da Gama suspension bridge as a backdrop! You might even be able to spot Vasco da Gama among the figures carved in stone. There is also an impressive map of the Age of Discovery located just behind the monument, revealing the extent to which Portuguese sailors traversed the globe!

Not far from this spot lies the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a colossal monastery built at the height of Portuguese power and symbolic of the level of international influence and trade that once emanated from Lisbon. Having worked up an appetite, why not try the iconic Pastel de nata at the nearby Pastéis de Belém, the original bakery of this national treat first created over 150 years ago. Lock up your bike and head inside for some authentic atmosphere, and don’t forget to add the cinnamon!

Once you have recharged with a coffee and pastry, it’s time to explore the narrow winding (and sometimes very steep!) streets of the Alfama district. There is plenty to see here, so don’t be afraid to get lost as you encounter street art, tascas (bars) with live Fado music and local Ginjinha to try around every corner. It might be tricky to cycle some parts, so be prepared to push your bike up some of the more narrow streets. If you are particularly fit, into history, or eager for an incredible view, then there is St.George's castle at the top of the hill that makes for a worthwhile visit.

If steep streets aren’t your thing, or you’ve had enough history for one day, then be sure to check out the Lx Factory and Pink Street on your way there for the best cafes and bars the city has to offer, as well as street art aplenty. In fact, these two spots are not far from best place the most important stop of the day – lunchtime.

Portugal has incredible food, and you are unlikely to find any better than what is available to you in the capital, Lisbon. The best place to visit for a bite whilst on your tour has to be the Mercado da Ribeira. Here you will find delicious pastel de Bacalhau, Queijada de Sintra and fantastic local wines. It is said that the Portuguese know how to cook cod in a thousand different ways, so be sure to try at least one Bacalhau dish during your stay!

Finally, since you’ve got two wheels, it would be a great idea to end your tour with a panoramic view of the city. There are a few options for this, but by bike, it’s probably best to head out to a favourite spot amongst the locals for an unrivalled view, the Panorâmico de Monsanto. 

There’s simply too much to do in Lisbon in just one day, but in the unlikely case that the weather turns against you, or the heat prove to be too much, then be sure to check out one of the many dynamic museums that the city has to offer.
  • MAAT
  • Museu do Oriente
  • Museu do Fado
  • Museu da Marioneta
  • Museu do Dinheiro
  • Museu Nacional dos Coches.

We hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Lisbon, and we look forward to welcoming you to Velo-city 2021 this September! We can assure you that we will comply with all COVID–19 safety measures. Find out more here.
Interested by this topic? Make sure to attend the following Velo-city 2021 sessions:
  • Plenary 3 “Changing gears towards a greener economy and sustainable tourism”
  • 6.1. “The route to cycle tourism success”

Check out the whole programme here: Programme – Velo-city 2021 Lisboa
Register to the conference getting your digital ticket here: Tickets – Velo-city 2021 Lisboa
By Ben Luoma
27th of August, 2021