Posted Mar 24, 2011
If you're a fan of both history and architecture, there's really nothing that compares to a European cruise. One of the cities that caters specifically to these types of travelers is Lisbon, Portugal, where a variety of shore excursions will transport you back in time to a bygone era.
The absolute must-see site in Lisbon is Jeronimos Monastery, which has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This massive monastery was built in the 15th century, and you'll easily be able to spend all day exploring it and the nearby Belem Tower. The building is a beautiful example of the late-Gothic architecture style. While Jeronimos is impressive enough from the outside, it really pays to explore the interior and see the two-story cloisters where the monks lived. Also inside are several tombs, including various Portuguese kings and queens as well as famed explorer Vasco de Gama.
If you'd like to stay inside the city, you'll have the chance to view the Alfama Quarter, which is the oldest part of Lisbon, and Baixa, the business district. Those who want a slightly longer trip can instead travel to the nearby fishing village of Cascais and the mountain resort of Sintra.
Alternatively, you can book a European shore excursion to the holy site of Fatima, although the landmark's distance from the main city means you'll likely be missing out on the other attractions.