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10 Cool Things to do in Almada When You Travel from Lisbon by Ferry

Explore Almada: Top things to do when traveling from Lisbon by ferry. Discover street art, viewpoints, and fresh seafood on a day trip from Lisbon.

Have you been to Lisbon and wondered what you'd find in the shadow of O Cristo Rei, the large status of Jesus not dissimilar to the one you'd find in Rio de Janeiro

Have you driven across Ponte 25 de Abril (April the 25th Bridge) and wondered what you'd find if you take a detour from the highway?

This is where you'll find Almada on the Setúbal Peninsula. Did you know that you can visit Almada from Lisbon by Ferry? In this post, we'll explore some fun things to do in Almada on a day trip from Lisbon by boat.

Ferry on the Tagus River traveling from Lisbon to Cacilhas

Getting from Lisbon to Almada by Ferry

Ferries leave from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas (adjacent to Almada) about every 20 minutes. A one way ride on the ferry costs just €1.30 so transportation on this Lisbon day out will cost you just €2.60 to cross the Tagus River and come back again.

Cais do Sodre is served by the Green Line of the Lisbon Metro and is located right across the street from popular TimeOut Market, one of my favorite food halls in Europe.

Yellow plastic seats on the Lisbon Ferry to Almada

How long does it take to get from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas? The ride across the river takes less than 10 minutes. The ferry itself looked a little worse for wear. It was definitely seaworthy although I did make a note of where the life preservers were just in case.

Things to do in Almada

Once you have arrived at the ferry terminal in Cacilhas, it's time to explore all the fun things to do in Almada. Let's deep dive into how we spent our day.

1. Check out Farol de Cacilhas

Farol de Cacilhas is hard to miss as you exit the ferry terminal. This bright red lighthouse was built in 1886 as a navigational aid during times of intense fog. 

I can see why the lighthouse was necessary. It was quite foggy on the Tagus River when we took the ferry across from Lisbon. 

Farol de Cacilhas - a bright red 19th century lighthouse in Almada

From the lighthouse, you can look out across the river toward the Lisbon skyline and also along the coast of the Setúbal Peninsula.

2. Tour Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória

From Farol de Cacilhas we could see a tall ship that looked like something from the age of exploration. Make your way to Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória. For €5.00 per adult, you can board the ship and have a look around. 

Things to do in Almada: Exterior of Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória

We learned that the Dom Fernando Il e Glória was the last sail powered warship to serve in the Portuguese Navy. The frigate was the final man of war on the India Run, a military route that ran from Portugal to its former colony on the Indian subcontinent for more than three centuries. Dom Fernando Il e Glória was built in the Royal Navy Shipyards in Damão on India's west coast.

Ship's wheel of Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória in Almada

Contructed of high quality Indian teak, she was launched in 1843 and then towed to Goa to set the masts and fit out the rigging.

The Frigate was named "D. Fernando II e Glória" in honor of D. Fernando Saxe Coburgo-Gotha, husband of Queen Maria II of Portugal.

A series of red canons lined up beside Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória in Almada Portugal

The ship sailed over 100,000 nautical miles (about 5 circumnavigations of the globe) over the course of 30 years. She boasted 44 guns and was manned by between 145 - 379 men.

Sadly, the ship was damaged by fire in 1963 and was stuck in the Tagus River until 1992. Dom Fernando II e Glória was restored in the Aveiro and then returned to Lisbon where she was opened to tourists in 1998, just in time for the World Expo in Lisbon. 

The ship was fascinating to explore both above and below decks. There are a number of small placards with English explanations. 

Mannequins operating a canon aboard Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória

You can scan a QR code for more information on Izi.travel (the site that I used for my self-guided tour of Centennial Park in Sydney, Australia), but the audio for this tour is only available in Portuguese. 

If you stand on your tip-toes on deck, you'll get a nice view of Lisbon.
Sailcloth in the foreground with sailboat on the Tagus River and view of Lisbon in the distance

🔎 SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT Looking for other day trip or weekend break ideas from Lisbon? Why not discover things to do in Obidos, the Medieval, walled town just an hour outside of Lisbon. Feeling ambitious? Why not explore things to do in Aveiro which is known as the Venice of Portugal? Aveiro is about 2.5 hours from Lisbon and is a great weekend break destination. You could also plan a visit to Queluz Palace near Sintra. Prefer to stick to the riverside? Why not take a walk along Carcavelos Beach.

3. Learn about Barracuda Submarine

Next to Frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória, you'll find Portugal's Barracude Submarine S164.

The Barracuda is the second of four subs in the Albacora Class sailing for the Portuguese Navy. Barracuda was built in Nantes and was the last of these submarines to be decommissioned after about 42 years of active service.

Barracuda submarine in dry dock in Almada

Barracuda was manned by up to 65 people. There was only space for 35 beds so crew members took turns sleeping in shifts. With a 54 men crew, Barracuda occasionally had around 65 persons on board, including trainees and marines and divers' special forces. 

Barracuda's missions involved patrolling national waters, deploying special forces, gathering intel, and other national and international exercises. Barracuda was at sea for for more than 3000 days and was submerged for more than 60% of the time she was at sea. 

Side view of Barracuda S164 submarine in Almada

The submarine was not open for visitors at the time of our visit, but it's worth stopping by to see the size of the craft and learn more about its history. 

4. Seafood for Lunch at Farol

There are many cafes and restaurants near the Cacilhas ferry terminal. Many have outdoor seating and seem to appeal to tourists. 

We opted for lunch at Farol. The restaurant was buzzing with locals sitting down for Sunday lunch and we were delighted to snag a table in the back room with views over the water where we could see the incoming and departing ferries.

Collage of 6 pictures with a confetti background featuring seafood dishes and the interior of Farol restaurant in Almada

Beware that the portions are quite large at Farol. We started with a couvert of bread and cheese washed down with half a bottle of vinho verde. 

We followed that with arroz de polvo (octopus rice) and fried espada (aka scabbardfish which we were first introduced to on our weekend in Madeira). The espada was served with rice and beans.

We paid a total of €36.00 for lunch for 2 people.

5. Street Art and Views on the Tagus River

After lunch, walk along the river. You'll find crumbling facades covered in stunning street art on the land side and fishermen hanging out waiting to haul in their catch on the stone piers along the river. 

Collage of street art along the Tagus River in Almada PortugalView from above of the path along the Tagus River in Almada Portugal

We also discovered that this river walk leads directly to Ponte Final, the waterside restaurant featured in the TV series Better feed Phil. We didn't realize how close we were to this iconic place! 

We noticed a sign advertising river taxis to this area for €5-10. Perhaps next time we'll splurge on a private ferry across so that we can experience the hype of Ponte Final for ourselves.

View of the Tagus River, Ponte Final Restaurant, April the 25th Bridge and the Elevador in Almada

Even if you don't stop to eat at Ponte Final, the path leads right through the restaurant's seating area so you'll have a chance to enjoy the views and take some photos.

6. Take a Free Ride on Elevador Panorâmico da Boca do Vento

It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the Cacilhas ferry terminal along the river, past Ponte Final to panoramic elevator to Elevador Panorâmico da Boca do Vento. Velha Almada (Old Almada) is located a considerable distance above the river. 

While there are stairs that will get you from the river to the town itself, I recommend taking the free elevator if the queues aren't too long. Note: the elevator says there is a limit of 5 people and 450 kg so each run is relatively limited in how many people can go. 

Top of Elevador Panorâmico da Boca do Vento and Tagus River in the background

Make sure someone has pressed the button to call the lift. We wait for about 5 minutes before the people in front of us realized they'd never called the elevator!

From the top of the elevador, you'll find sweeping views over the Tagus River, O Cristo Rei, and the 25th of April Bridge. 

7. Go on a Detour to see o Cristo Rei

Speaking of O Cristo Rei... from the top of the elevador, it's about a 30 minute walk to the statue and scenic viewpoint. We went to see the Christ the King status as part of an organized Setúbal wine tour, so we opted to skip this scenic detour this time.

8. Views from Almada's Jardim do Castelo

We walked from the Elevador to Velha Almada and followed the handy signs toward jardim do castelo. We discovered a great viewpoint with seats hewn into the stone. Jardim do castelo seems like it would be an ideal spot to watch the sunset. 

View of O Cristo Rei and Ponte 25 de Abril from Jardim do Castelo in Almada

From here, you can see the quintessential views over Christ the King and Lisbon's "Golden Gate Bridge" as well as views over the city of Lisbon. 

Have a seat, take a break and steep in the cool breezes before continuing to explore more things to do in Almada.

9. Take a Photowalk Through Cacilhas on Rua Cândido dos Reis

Finish your day exploring Almada with a photowalk through Old Almada and onto Rua Cândido dos Reis. Rua Cândido dos Reis is labeled as an area undergoing active urban regeneration.

Art Deco theatre in Almada Portugal

Along this scenic street, you'll find the Almada tourism office, a sky blue church, and plenty of tiled buildings featuring cafes and restaurants. 

Church with a baby blue facade in Cacilhas Portugal

Grab a drink, stop by the tourism office, and take some pictures. This is a great way to spend a little time while you wait for the next ferry to take you back to Lisbon.

10. Enjoy the Views from Almada to Lisbon on the Ferry

What is the absolute best thing to do on a day out in Almada? Enjoy the views from Almada to Lisbon on the ferry. We found that the river was quite foggy in the morning and we couldn't see much on our journey from Lisbon to Cacilhas. It was much sunnier on our late afternoon return. 

Lisbon ferry parked at Cacilhas and bathed in fog

The sky had cleared to reveal beautiful views of the April the 25th Bridge and Christ the King statue. In addition, there was golden light streaming across Lisbon's historic skyline. 

View of Praça do Comércio through the window of the Lisbon Ferry

The windows on the ferry were quite dirty, but the upstairs windows do open up. Pro-tip: sit on the left side of the ferry in the direction of travel to ensure you have the chance to take some pictures of Lisbon's Praça do Comércio bathed in golden afternoon light.

Is Almada Worth Visiting?

So what is the verdict? Is Almada worth visiting? I think Almada is worth visiting for the ferry ride alone. 

Pay less than €3 for the round trip on the ferry. Treat yourself to a pleasant walk along the river and scenic views. Almada is definitely worth visiting if you like seafood. Almada is a must for photographers. 

Town Hall bathed in sunlight at the end of a quiet commercial street in Almada Portugal

There are a number of hotel options on Almada which makes the city an economical alternative for visitors to Lisbon on a budget.

When is a Good Time to Visit Almada?

When is the best time to visit Almada? We took the ferry from Lisbon to Cacilhas in mid-March which seemed to be an ideal time. The sun was shining and it was warm but not hot in the sun. 

Path near the ferry terminal in Cacilhas with old buildings on one side and the ferry parked on the river on the other side

I brought a jacket and my Driibe DAKOTA 3 in 1 Convertible Bag. I was able to quickly shed and carry my jacket when the sun came out and add a layer when the sun went behind a cloud.

View of the author from behind. She is wearing a Driibe backpack with her jacket tucked into the rear slot. A bright red lighthouse is in the distance
Note: I received a complimentary DAKOTA 3 in 1 bag from Driibe so I could test their product on my travels. 

Almada was bustling on a Sunday afternoon in March, but not overly crowded (mostly locals and not tourists). 

I can imagine it would be very hot to take the ferry from Lisbon to Almada in the summer (it's unclear if the old ships are air-conditioned. My hunch is that they are not). We've found that Lisbon in November, December, January, and even into February can be quite cold and rainy.

While Almada seems like an ideal day trip from Lisbon in Spring, I suspect this ferry trip would also be an excellent option if you are planning a trip to Lisbon in October.

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Collage of Pictures and Text: Lisbon to Almada for a Day: How to take the FerryCollage of pictures and text: "Things to Do in Almada Portugal"

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 10 Cool Things to do in Almada When You Travel from Lisbon by Ferry
10 Cool Things to do in Almada When You Travel from Lisbon by Ferry
Explore Almada: Top things to do when traveling from Lisbon by ferry. Discover street art, viewpoints, and fresh seafood on a day trip from Lisbon.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog