A Lisbon Adventure with your Dog. Pet-friendly hotels of Lisbon
Lisbon is the perfect city for pedestrian adventures with your canine friend. Travellers from all around the world come here to seek inspiration, a sense of tranquility, instilled by century-old streets and monuments, or simply just to get lost amongst calm sea-side strolls and majestic parks.
Lisbon is a true treasure trove for the avid photographer. Your imagination will be your limit, as the city has a calendar-cover worthy picture hiding around every corner, be it beautiful windows with flowers, steep streets and panoramic views, cute and well-groomed balconies, sun-burnt roof tiles, world-renown trams or cathedral spires.
To help you navigate through the incalculable landmarks and locations, we have constructed a short dog-friendly tour guide of Lisbon.
Dog-friendly Places of Lisbon: A Tourist Landmark Guide
Lisbon is located in the exact spot where the Tagus River (Rio Tejo in Portuguese) flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Over the centuries, this coastal city became remarkably wealthy and diverse.
We recommend that you start your journey from the most ancient and historical part of the city - the Alfama district. This tourist-favorite neighborhood is packed with architectural landmarks, beautiful narrow winding streets, small cafes radiating the smell of exquisite coffee and authentic Portuguese bars playing remorseful fado (a traditional type of Portuguese music, traditionally played by one singer and a guitar). The central square of Alfama doubles up as a viewpoint and a historic landmark, making it doubly compelling to visit.
Once you have taken in your fair share of small cobbled streets, the next point of interest worth visiting is the Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George’s Castle), which is widely considered to be the most treasured architectural landmark of Lisbon. This monumental structure greets its guests with a calm and shady courtyard, dotted with a wide assortment of medieval cannons and a mesmerizing panoramic view of the red-tiled rooftops of Lisbon and the majestic Tagus River.
Not far off from Castelo de São Jorge you will find the Lisbon Cathedral, a famous symbol of the Portuguese capital. The cathedral is built around two twin bell towers that can be seen practically from any location in the city, standing out from the wide assortment of ancient mansions of the Portuguese nobility. The main cathedral of the city was the witness of practically the whole history of Lisbon. Initially constructed as a Roman temple in the 4th century AD, the building transitioned into a Visigothic church, then a Moorish temple, and finally, after the reconquest of the city by the crusades of King Alfonso Henriques, the cathedral gained its semi-current appearance in the 13th century. The prolonged changes in ownership placed their mark on the building, with the cathedral featuring examples of the roman, barocco, rocco, neoclassical and gothic architectural styles. The actual full name of the building is Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa or Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Mary Major, which can understandably be a mouthful for even the native speakers, so the residents of Lisbon shortened it, and now simply refer to it as “Sé”. If you brought your canine friend with you, we recommend taking a walk around the exterior of the Lisbon Cathedral, where you will find several gargoyles, menacingly glaring at you from behind the sweet orange trees.
Continue your adventure by walking straight down the seawall until you hit a large square - the Praça do Comércio.
This large harbor-facing plaza is also one of the most important historical landmarks of Lisbon. The massive city square is surrounded by elegant 18th century mansions and houses. In the center of Praça do Comércio you will spot a rider on a horse (King José I) and a massive triumphal arch, built in the late 19th century.
One you have taken in the grandiosity of the Praça do Comércio, we recommend you visit the main pedestrian and commercial trade street of Lisbon - the Rua Augusta. This street starts right from the Praça do Comércio and is shielded on both sides by cozy cafes, boutiques and ancient manors, paved with ornate mozaic and is typically the main staging area for various artists and musicians. Perhaps the main historical landmark of the street is the Rua Augusta Arch, a massive triumphal arch adorned with statues of various historic and symbolic figures, built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction after the apocalyptic 1755 earthquake that nearly completely leveled and destroyed Lisbon and its surrounding areas.
Our next tourist stop is the Belém Tower, which marks the spot that used to be an island on the Tagus River.
Built in the very early 16th century, the tower was built in the era of great historic and geographic discoveries, with the aim of protecting the harbor of Lisbon from any water-borne threats. Officially named the Tower of Saint Vincent, this bastion houses 17 cannons, making it a formidable obstacle for any hostile ship attempting entry into the Lisbon harbor. The exterior of the Belém Tower that faces the river features a large statue of Virgem da Boa Viagem (Virgin of Safe Homecoming), symbolically protecting ship crews embarking on a long voyage. The Tower of Saint Vincent belongs to one of the seven wonders of Portugal and is definitely worth the trip there with your pup, giving you hours of breathtaking exploration and appreciation of the various sculptures and scenic views.
Not far from the Belém Tower, you will find a gigantic monument to the various explorers of Portugal. Officially named the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of Discoveries), the structure resembles a ship sail, standing on the shores of the Rio Tejo, perhaps the spot where numerous naval explorer expeditions were launched from.
Initially, the monument was planned to be a memorial for Infante (Prince) Henry the Navigator, the man who inspired Portugal to look to the ocean in search of great discoveries. The project was later enlarged to include various other historic figures of great significance that played a pivotal part in Portugal becoming one of the dominating maritime powers.
The Portuguese are proud of their seafaring heritage, and as such, erected a great deal of monuments commemorating their naval discoveries or victories. The next landmark we recommend checking out is the majestic Ponte Vasco da Gama (Bridge of Vasco da Gama).
Built in 1998 in an attempt to alleviate some of the city's traffic problems, the bridge is an engineering marvel, belonging to many lists of the greatest engineering structures of the 20th century. Spanning almost 17 kilometers across the Tagus River, the construction of the bridge was so complex, that the engineers had to account for the curvature of the Earth during their project!
While walking the streets of Lisbon, you may notice the Santuário de Cristo Rei (Sanctuary of Christ the King). This 82 meter tall column holds an exact replica (albeit a slightly shorter one) of the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue from Rio de Janeiro. The monument was built in 1959 as a symbol of appreciation to the citizens of Lisbon, cherishing the fact that the country was not touched during World War 2. Looking at the statue, you cannot shake the imagery of Christ holding his hands out towards Lisbon, seemingly hugging and protecting the city.
If you get tired from all the city exploration, the Jardim da Cerca da Graça is a great park to relax and recuperate your energy. Spanning almost two hectares, the park was closed to the public for centuries, finally opening its doors in 2015, becoming the second largest public park of Lisbon. Located between the Mouraria (Moorish) District and the Graça District, the park features several gorgeous viewpoints that give a great vantage point overlooking the city and the Castelo de São Jorge, as well as many cozy spots for a picnic, a fruit garden and perhaps one of the most quiet cafes (with a terrace) in the city!
It is almost impossible to take in all of the tourist landmarks and extraordinary locations of Lisbon in one go, especially given the fact that every new city will require days of meticulous study and exploration. To make sure you are comfortable while exploring Lisbon, we have compiled a list of the best dog-friendly accommodations and hotels to make a home-base for further forays into Lisbon.
Hotel Ibis Styles Lisboa Centro Liberdade NE (✪✪✪)
This hotel is located roughly five minutes walking distance from a subway station and only thirty minutes from the city center. A selling point of the Hotel Ibis is its proximity to a popular tourist street of Lisbon - the Freedom Avenue.
Every morning the hotel serves breakfast, which includes all of the staples of a nutritious start to the day - cereals, sliced meats, fruit salads, yogurts and some baked goodies.
The hotel front desk works 24/7.
If you decide to stay at this hotel with your dog, there will be an additional surcharge of €15 per night.
Ramada by Wyndham Lisbon (✪✪✪✪)
This four star hotel opens with a bang, giving its patrons a breathtaking view of Lisbon and the Rio Tejo. Making the Ramada even better is the fact that the hotel is located a brisk ten minute walk from the seawall and the Park of Nations.
The dog-friendly suites of Ramada Lisbon are decorated with wooden furniture and cooled by air conditioning. The floor is lined with ornate carpets, upping the comfiness up by a significant margin. The rooms also come with a mini-bar, satellite television and a spacious bathroom, and some higher-trim suites come with a living room. All rooms will have a comfortable bed, a closet to hang your belongings, a safe for valuables and a fridge, while the bathrooms will all have a blowdryer and most of the hygienic necessities.
The Ramada Lisbon has a restaurant that serves traditional Mediterranean dishes for lunch and dinner, while having a buffet-style breakfast with teas, coffees, sliced meats, yogurts and fruits.
If you decide to stay at this hotel with your dog, make sure that your canine friend’s weight does not exceed 15 kilograms and there will be an additional surcharge of €20 per night, but the hotel will provide your pup with a food and water bowl.
Hotel Lisboa Plaza, a Lisbon Heritage Collection (✪✪✪✪)
This dog-friendly hotel is located not too far from the city center, right beside Freedom Avenue.
All suites of the Lisboa Plaza are decorated in a traditional Portuguese style and include free Wi-Fi, a TV and remarkably comfortable beds.
The Lisboa Plaza has its own bistro, which serves a buffet-style breakfast and some light dishes throughout the day. The hotel also includes a bar, which features a wide array of delicious refreshments and drinks. If you ever feel snacky, the hotel main hall always has fresh fruits for you to grab.
The hotel features a comfortable lounge area where you can pick yourself up a free cup of coffee or tea to sip on while surfing through the web on hotel-provided computers. These come extremely handy in a pinch when you need to print out a map or a pass, or just check out the news. If you take a walk up the hotel stairs towards the terrace, you will be greeted by a magnificent view of Lisbon.
For the fitness gurus out there, the hotel also includes a very well maintained fitness center.
There is some very good news for people who may wish to stay at the Lisboa Plaza with their pet, as there will be absolutely no additional charges and the hotel will provide your canine friend with food and water bowls.
Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade (✪✪✪✪✪)
This dog-friendly hotel is located on the main street of Lisbon - Avenida da Liberdade, right across the street from the Avenida subway station, with close proximity to many historic and tourist districts and landmarks.
The Sofitel Lisbon features a restaurant, a library and a modern gym.
Rooms are decorated with modern furniture and design, accented with live flowers and plants. Some amenities include a large LCD TV, a mini bar and an excellent bathroom hygienic kit.
The Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade has its own restaurant that serves excellent traditional Portuguese specials with many things to choose from in the menu, including many breakfast dishes, so rest assured, you will not go hungry.
If you plan on staying at this hotel with your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the weight of the dog may not exceed 8 kilograms and you are permitted to bring only one pet per suite. Secondly, there is an additional surcharge of €35 per night, as well as a daily €35 deposit, refundable should your pet not damage anything. The hotel will provide pet food and water bowls.
Lisbon is full of mysteries and adventures. The city is mysterious and elusive, drawing you in with its deep millenia-old history, taunting you to explore and unravel its story. While in Lisbon, you can discover new places, take in the atmosphere, partake in the local cuisine and experience every facet of your personal experience.
Visit Lisbon with your canine friend - this place will baffle you with its charm!