Lisbon is known as a sunny city and one of the things that most make it unique is not just being the European capital with the most sunshine hours per year but also the fact that’s it’s the only one where the sun sets in the ocean.
So more than a place where you can get a tan in an urban or cultural capital environment, Lisbon is also a place for romantic moments watching the sun rise and set.
The best spot to see the first glimpse of the Earth’s closest star in Lisbon is the Portas do Sol (“Gateway of the Sun”) terrace. Depending on the time of the year, you’ll either see it rise from behind the dome of the National Pantheon or further to the right reflecting on the water. You’ll obviously have to wake up early for that and although this part of the city only has a couple of hotels, there are plenty of apartments. This terrace is right outside the castle, so you may also consider staying at Solar do Castelo which is within its walls.
For the sunset you have more options. You may either choose the ramparts of the castle for the sight of the last rays flooding the city, or you may sit at the wharf Cais das Colunas which is the river side of Comercio Square. There you’ll see the sun set behind the 25 de Abril Bridge, but to see it plunge onto the horizon you have to head to the district of Belem. The perfect sunset spot is the river’s edge behind the Tower of Belem, which is seen in silhouette (pictured below) on the eastern side, and with a golden hue on the other side during the last minutes of sunlight. Although you won’t get city views on this spot, this is as close as you get to seeing the sun hide on the Atlantic.
Those who want to see it from their bedroom should consider a stay at the Altis Belem Hotel just a few feet from the tower.
A spot for a drink as the sun goes down in this part of town is the “À Margem” café, found between the tower and the Discoveries Monument.