Independent Lisbon: Art, Architecture & Vibrant Culture

Discover Lisbon’s multicultural roots as you delve into its history on independent excursions to churches, art galleries, World Heritage Sites, botanical gardens and so much more.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23269RJ
8 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The city of Lisbon is a city of immigrants and blended cultures, with Roman heritage and Arab roots. On independent explorations, weave through the maze of narrow streets, winding alleyways and historic neighborhoods in this vibrant city, from the medieval castle of São Jorge high on the hilltop to lovely Alfama, spread over the southeastern slope of the hill. Get a taste of the rich culture as you enjoy a bounty of fresh seafood or sip a cup of bicas (espresso) at a corner café. With expert-led field trips and plenty of time to venture out on your own, become a true Lisbon local as you immerse yourself in all this city full of color and culture.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore a masterpiece of the Manueline Style architecture at the Jerónimos Church and discover the final resting place of Portugal's King Manuel.
  • Experience the Gulbenkian Foundation, one of the most comprehensive private art collections in Portugal.
  • Learn about the distinctly medieval and oriental influences of the Monserrate Palace and Park in Sintra.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook
by Clara De MacEdo Vitorino
A handy pocket phrasebook for Portuguese basics, covering pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Lisbon, War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945
by Neill Lochery
This well-researched chronicle of intrigue and espionage uncovers the backstage role Lisbon played in WWII as the conflict raged around neutral Portugal.
A Small Death in Lisbon
by Robert Wilson
Set in Lisbon in 1941 and 1999, this award-winning mystery intertwines a present day murder, some unsavory arms production, and smuggling in Nazi Germany. Please note, there are some graphic passages dealing with the horrors of war and concentration camps.
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
by Jose Saramago
Expertly evoking the melancholy (known as "saudade" by the Portuguese) of Lisbon's ports and hotels, Saramago builds his plot around the premise that characters -- like the poet Fernando Pessoa's Ricardo Reis -- live on nine months after their author's death.
Wallpaper* City Guide Lisbon 2018
by Phaidon
One of the best guidebooks offered, Wallpaper* City Guides are compiled by the magazine’s travel experts, who actually live in the city, and provide up-to-the-minute information and insider checklists for all you need to know and explore.
Lisbon Street Map
by Michelin Travel Publications
A superb resource for exploring Lisbon, this laminated map (1:17,000) is clear, fully indexed and features travel recommendations from Michelin's Green Guide.
Lisbon, A Cultural and Literary Companion
by Paul Buck
One in the excellent series, both a walking guide and history of the city.
The Portuguese: A Modern History
by Barry Hatton
Combining history and personal anecdotes, journalist Barry Hatton blends historical analysis with an intimate portrait of the unique people and country within his adopted home.
Night Train to Lisbon
by Pascal Mercier
Obsessed with a book, Raimund Gegorius abandons his old life and travels to Lisbon in search of the truth about writer Amadeu de Prado.

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