Posted on October 8, 2015
10 idyllic parks in Lisbon – Lisbon’s most beautiful city parks and gardens
One of Lisbon’s most enchanting parks is located in Rato, one of Lisbon’s districts. Especially on Sundays the park is visited not only by travellers 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 can find a wide selection of traditional tarts and coffee. There is a little pond with ducks around the café. When you sit on the terrace you are surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere. Take a walk through the park and pay attention to the exotic birds sitting in the trees. Estrela is home to redwood trees and cactuses you rarely can find anywhere else in a city. In the middle of the park there is a charming pavilion that looks like a remnant from another time. Sometimes they offer free Salsa classes there. A lot of people come to the park for doing gymnastics, yoga or meditation as the whole surroundings spread a peaceful mood. Once a month, a handicraft market takes place there.
The Calouste Gulbenkian museum is located within a beautiful park full of arts. There is also a statue of Gulbenkian sitting in front of a big stone eagle. The park is not very crowded and can be described as a secret spot if you search a quiet place to read, write or just relax. There are isolated, overgrown places with benches to sit on. Stairs lead below dense foliage with little streams and waterfalls running between rocks. Especially on hot summer days Gulbenkian is an ideal place with 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 different ambiance at night. Little lights in the ground and floodlight illuminate the scenery and transform the park into a magical garden. 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 lying. In the middle of the park there is a pond around 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 leading over 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 passage through different parts of flora and fauna. The best is to walk all the passage starting at Entrecampos and ending 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, just on Sunday morning you can access it for free. So keep that in mind if you want to spend a Sunday morning 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 could just survive in tropical climate. Apart from the different cactuses, ferns and vines, there are flowstone caves where you can cool yourself down. Stone bridges, stairways and secret angles make Estufa Fria a little adventure.
5. Tapada das Necessidades
I mentioned Tapada das Necessidades in a blog post about abandoned places in Lisbon. Apart from being an abandoned park it’s furthermore a big 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 a big park. The main part is situated opposite of the Marquês de Pombal square. There is a garden created out of square hedges in the middle of the hill. Right and left there are avenues where you can take a seat on a bench. From the top of the hill you have one of the best views of the riverside. It is embedded between two main hills. On the left you can see the castle. For more information check my blogpost.
7. Monsanto Forest Park
One of the biggest forest parks of Europe can be found in Lisbon. The Monsanto Forest Park extends an area of 10km². It’s rather a forest than a park. Most of the nature is fenced off but there is an ecological park with different kinds of plants. You can also find some water spots. 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 appears yellow-brownish. I would say it has the look of an African desert. Some trees look like African acacia trees. The park has 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 is a whole complex along the riverside overlooking the long white bridge. It reaches from the area close to the Oceanário with the huge waterfall that looks like it’s running along an invisible wall to the noble Myriad hotel. You can take a cable car over the water. When you walk from one end to the other following the promenade you’ll pass different parks hidden behind the promenade wall. Read more in my blogpost. There is a square in front of the big shopping mall “Vasco da Gama” with flags of 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 a the river branching off into the land, follow the turn and you’ll find yourself on lush grassland. This place feels like out of town as it is quiet. Apart from coming here to see the sunset, it’s also an idyllic place to hang around during a sunny day.