The best parks and gardens in Lisbon

In the midst of the stress and chaos of a capital city, there are green spaces where you can walk with friends and family and unwind a little.

In this article we'll tell you which parks and gardens you should visit and which don't even look like they're in a city centre.

Torel Garden

The requalification of the Torel Garden, on Santana Hill, has finally been completed, after many changes. Promoted by the Santo António Parish Council, the intervention was planned by landscape architect Raquel Alho, who designed spaces for users to sit on the grass, surrounded by beds of maçarocos (wood pride) and aromatic plants such as lavender or verbena. In the project, which was based on the idea of a "garden of love", the benches were restored and on each of them you can read poetry by names such as Ary dos Santos, Fernando Pessoa or lyricist João Monge (author of "Os Loucos de Lisboa"). The artificial lake on the upper level is clear and fresh and in the centre the female sculpture has once again erected a luminous lamp. The outdoor gym at Jardim do Torel is also freshly painted and at the other end you'll find a small iron gazebo where you can read or just sit and enjoy the view over the city.

Lisbon Botanical Garden

The Lisbon Botanical Garden is part of the National Museum of Natural History and Science (MUHNAC) and has a huge diversity of species. The garden has more than 140 years of history and underwent some structural work in 2018, such as recovering the paving of all the paths and the railings that reveal observation points for the botanical collections. The Garden also got an amphitheatre, ready to host summer shows, and new benches planted along the paths. It's a beautiful spot for a photo shoot in a tropical-urban setting.

Caixa Garden

Next to the offices of Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), on Avenida João XXI, the Caixa Garden has opened to the public. It's a very fresh green space, thanks to the jets of water that come out of the artificial lakes, made up of various rest areas that follow an artistic route through the sculptures in the space, right next to Culturgest. The improvements made to the pre-existing garden, designed by architect Caldeira Cabral, included the creation of safe and accessible conditions for new visitors, particularly those with reduced mobility. Circulation is via a footpath linking the upper area to the east with the lower area to the west, areas connected by a staircase. However, in order to give the whole population unhindered access to the western part of the garden, another access has been created from João XXI. Seating areas have also been created in the upper part of the garden, the lighting has been reinforced and signposts have been put up with timetables and the main points of interest. Along the way, you can see sculptures and other art objects up close, such as the bronze sculpture of two statues in the North Garden Pond, called "Secreta Mensagem" (1989), by the sculptor Lagoa Henriques.

Estrela Garden

It's "the" garden. Planted in the heart of Lisbon, perfect for going outside in. It was designed 174 years ago with the careful asymmetry of tropical gardens. It has half a dozen grassy clearings that call for picnics and afternoons with a book; a fleet of benches flanking the public walkway, which is also one of the best running circuits in the city. Supporting it are two kiosk terraces.

Gulbenkian Gardens

These are probably Lisbon's most iconic gardens, designed by landscape architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles. They're the ideal place to take a walk with the kids or to do nothing at all, to stretch out on the grass. The Gulbenkian Gardens are also popular at lunchtime. There are hidden spaces among the trees, ponds, stone paths, turtles with a reputation for biting and birds that never end.

The Jupiter Lisboa Hotel is located just a few minutes from the Gulbenkian Gardens and is an excellent choice for a weekend getaway with exhibitions, dance shows or concerts. Discover this and other points of interest in Lisbon.

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