Lisbon’s Estrela district is home to a number of attractions you’ll want to visit on any trip to the city. Top of the list is the basilica (Basílica da Estrela) pictured above which sits on the busy E28 tram route. The huge dome and striking towers which dominate the building’s architecture can be seen from miles away as the basilica is sited on a hill. Inside one of the striking features is the pink and yellow marble which is used on the floors and walls. It felt airy and welcoming inside. The next site you’ll want to visit in Estrela is directly across the road.
Jardim da Estrela is a large, attractive park with nicely maintained gardens, wide walkways and a decent sized pond. The park is gated and the gates are locked at midnight and open again at 7am the following morning. The park is known for its range of exotic plants and for the green bandstand which is well used. This is a place for the city’s inhabitants to relax and enjoy the greenery and it’s well worth seeing. Other notable landmarks in Estrela include the Portuguese parliament (pictured below), the Museum of the Orient and the official residence of the Prime Minister.
We liked Estrela as it felt like it had an identity all of its own. It’s a cosmopolitan area and is home to many international embassies. There are a number of ways to visit if you’re staying elsewhere in Lisbon. Most popular is the E28 tram route which takes in most of the major sights. It is however a very busy route and getting a tram seat is sometimes a challenge unless you get on right at the start of the route. Our preference would be to take the Ascensor da Bica funicular (pictured below) to Calçada do Combro/Rua do Loreto. Then take a left and follow the road along the tram route. There are shops and cafes along the way before you see the parliament building.
LOCATION & MAP
This map shows the location of Estrela Basilica which we consider to be the heart of the district. Most of Lisbon’s hotels are in the more central areas and as such you might need to use public transport to get here. We’d recommend hoping on tram E28. Purchase a Viva Viagem card and load it with ‘zapping’ credit to get the best price on the tram, but you can also just purchase a ticket on board if you’re happy to pay more. You only need to zap once on entry. You can also get there by using the Hop On, Hop Off Yellow Bus Tour.