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History of Lisbon, Portugal

Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal History

In creating our Lisbon Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we dug into the city’s history so as to properly contextualize our tour. It is important for us. At most of the 30 stops along the tour, we explain the history of a site, monument, or person. This allows us to fully show you their significance.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and is located on the Atlantic coast. It is a city with several hills.

History of Lisbon

Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal HistoryLisbon traces its history to 1200 BC with the presence of a Phoenician trading post. Its name was Olissipo.

The Roman Empire took control of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), around 200 BC and kept it until 409 AD. There were already 30,000 inhabitants in 200 BC., Lisbon was a Christian city at the time.

Then, the gothic and barbarian empires and kingdoms conquered and ruled the area, one after the another until in 711 when Berber and Arab Muslims conquered the region.

Norway briefly controlled Lisbon in 1108 during their crusade to the holy lands. The Almoravids, another Berber Muslim dynasty, commonly known as the Moors (Moors) regained control from 1111 until 1147.

In 1147, Knights of the crusade led by Afonso I reconquered Lisbon and brought it back under Christian control. The population at that time is 154,000. Mosques were either destroyed or converted into churches. The Arabic that had been spoken here for 400 years disappeared quickly.

During the age of discovery, Lisbon launched several expeditions of naval exploration. Among its explorers is notably Vasco da Gama (1460-1469), 1st Tale of Vidigueira, first European to go to India by sea in 1498, bypassing by the southern tip Africa. The exchange agreement with India, as well as the numerous trading posts established in Asia (Indian Ocean) and Brazil, made Portugal very rich, very quickly.

But, little by little, the French, British, and Dutch chipped away at Portugal’s trade dominance. During a succession crisis, Portugal lost its independence and fell under the Habsburg-Spanish rule in 1580 for 60 years. Their ensuing war for restoration lasted between 1640 and 1668.

Napoleon Bonaparte, in turn, invaded Portugal at the beginning of the 19th century, forcing Queen Maria I and Prince Regent John VI (Joao VI) to flee to Brazil for a few years.

Portugal became a republic in 1908, but fell under the dictatorial regime of Estado Novo, Salazarism, between 1926 and 1974. The Carnation Revolution let to the 3rd republic that endures to this day.

Scavenger Hunt

Our scavenger hunt is a self-guided walking tour of the see you can do on your smartphone. Over 3 hours, it’ll take you to all the significant sites, teach you some history, and challenge you with puzzles and various questions.

Find out more about our Lisbon Tourist Scavenger Hunt on the info page.

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Things to do in Belém – Lisbon

things to do in Belém, Lisbon

Are you looking for things to do in the Belém district of Lisbon? This Scavenger Hunt takes you on a self-guided walking tour, with challenges through the heart of the city.

See all the sights while having fun and learning some history! You will walk from the Tower of Belém to the National Coach Museum while also seeing the Jeronimos Monastery, Monument to discoveries and more while taking on various challenges. Our Lisbon Belém Tourist Scavenger Hunt was developed and tested in August 2019.

You will start your adventure in front of the Tower of Belém. Follow the instructions on your smartphone to solve challenges and get instructions to your next destination. The challenges are varied in difficulty and types to keep you entertained. They’re good for all ages.

You should plan a good 3 hours for this activity, wear comfortable shoes and be certain your phone is fully charged. As well, you’ll need a data plan as WiFi will not be enough. Further, a street map and bottled water could come in handy.

things to do in Belém, Lisbon

Things to do in Belém? See the sites!

Over your 3-hour adventure through the city, you will see:

  • Tower of Belém
  • National Coach Museum
  • Jeronimos Monastery
  • Monument to discoveries
  • Vasco da Gama Garden
  • Afonso de Albuquerque Park
  • National Palace of Belém
  • Praço do Império Garden
  • Marinha Museum
  • Lisbon Planetarium
  • Belém Community Center
  • Popular art museum
  • And more

Scavenger Hunt

Our scavenger hunt is a self-guided walking tour of the see you can do on your smartphone. Over 3 hours, it’ll take you to all the significant sites, teach you some history, and challenge you with puzzles and various questions. You’ll never walk more than 5 minutes between stops. Take as long, or as little, as you wish as you’re in control of your page on this adventure. Above all, we hope you have fun!

Learn more about the Lisbon Belém Tourist Scavenger Hunt on our description page.

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Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal History

Looking for something to do in Lisbon? This Scavenger Hunt takes you on a self-guided walking tour, with challenges through the heart of the city.

It will take you from Praça do Comércio to Rossio Square, through Carmo Convent and Praça do Restauradores. You will have to complete challenges at every step. Each will indicate your next destination along with a bit of local history and trivia. Our Lisbon Tourist Scavenger Hunt was developed and tested in the summer of 2019.

You will start your adventure in Praça do Comércio near the Tagus river and Augusta Arch. Follow the instructions on your smartphone to solve challenges, and get instructions to your next destination. The challenges are varied in difficulty and types to keep you entertained. They’re good for all ages.

You should plan a good 3 hours for this activity, wear comfortable shoes and be certain your phone is fully charged. As well, you’ll need a data plan as WiFi will not be enough. Further, a street map and bottled water could come in handy.

Things to do in Lisbon? See the sites!

Things to do in Rotterdam, Netherlands Things to do in Maastricht, Netherlands HistoryThings to do in Lisbon, Portugal HistoryOver your 3-hour adventure through the city, you will see:

  • Arco da Rua Augusta
  • Money Museum
  • Terreiro do Paço
  • City Hall
  • Carmo Convent
  • Santa Justa Lift
  • National Sport Museum
  • Maria II National Theatre
  • Rossio Square
  • Praça do Restauradores
  • Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcântara
  • Praça do Comércio
  • Many Unesco World Heritage Sites

Scavenger Hunt

Our scavenger hunt is a self-guided walking tour you can do on your smartphone. Over 3 hours, it’ll take you to all the significant sites, teach you some history, and challenge you with puzzles and various questions. You’ll never walk more than 5 minutes between stops. Take as long, or as little, as you wish as you’re in control of your page on this adventure. Above all, we hope you have fun!

Learn more about the Lisbon Tourist Scavenger Hunt on our description page.