Here is what you need to know about Parque das Nações – the modern neighborhood in Lisbon that is popular with business travelers and families visiting the city.
For adults, Parque das Nações offers rooftop bars such as Babylon 360° and the Skybar at the Tivoli Hotel, as well as Lisbon’s casino.
In Parque das Nações, you will find some of the best contemporary architecture that Lisbon has to offer. Once a gritty industrial zone, the neighborhood was redesigned and rebuilt for the 1998 World Fair Expo, an event that coincided with the anniversary of Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India in 1498.
The neighborhood celebrates Vasco da Gama’s legacy and Portugal’s role as an explorer of the oceans.
Many of the buildings in the neighborhood take their inspiration from ships. The Vasco da Gama Tower resembles a ship’s mast and crow’s nest. The Torre São Gabriel and Torre São Rafael buildings were named after Vasco da Gama’s ships and resemble large sails.
Where is Parque das Nações?
Parque das Nações is located in northeast Lisbon, 8km northeast of the central Baixa neighborhood. On the northern boundary of the neighborhood is the Vasco da Gama Bridge – the second longest bridge in Europe. For more information about the Vasco da Gama Bridge, see my article A guide to Lisbon’s most famous bridges
Map: Gazilion, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
How to get to Parque das Nações
Bus 728 stops at Oriente Station and continues on to Baixa and the Belém neighborhood.
You can use the Viva Viagem transit card or the Lisboa Card to ride Lisbon’s metros and buses.
One of the coolest buildings in Lisbon, the modernist Gare do Oriente train station was built by award-winning Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The project is famous for its glass and steel roof.
Highlights of Parque das Nações
Vasco da Gama Shopping Center
Across the street from the Oriente Station transportation hub is Lisbon’s largest shopping mall – the Vasco da Gama shopping center. One of Lisbon’s best malls, it includes a food court, a movie theater, a supermarket, and all kinds of specialty stores. For more information, see my Where to shop in Lisbon? Lisbon’s best malls and shopping
Oceanário de Lisboa
The Oceanario de Lisboa is the second largest oceanarium in Europe.
Esplanada D Carlos , Parque das Nações
GPS: 38.763761006958056, -9.0937415
T: 351 218 917 000
Hours: Summer 10 am – 7 pm, Winter 10 am – 6 pm
You can buy tickets online at https://www.oceanario.pt/visita/bilhete
The Lisbon Oceanarium is even open on Christmas Day. See what else there is to do in Lisbon on Christmas Day. Christmas in Lisbon: A quick guide
Telecabine de Lisboa
Telecabine Lisboa (Lisbon Gondola Lift) right next door to the Oceanarium at the Passeio de Neptuno South Station, or the Passeio de Tágides North Station.
Adult tickets are 7.50€ one way, 9.50€ round-trip. Children 3 – 12 are 5.50€ one way, 6.50€ round-trip. You can also buy a discounted combination ticket for the aquarium and telecabine at this link: https://www.telecabinelisboa.pt/epages/2060-120119.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/2060-120119/Categories/Bilhetes
The Vasco da Gama Tower
Portugal’s tallest building is also found in Parque das Naçoes. The tower’s viewing platform and bar – Babylon 360°, with its panoramic views of the region just reopened to the public in 2023. Learn more in my article Vasco da Gama Tower – Lisbon’s newest viewpoint is now open
Iberian Lynx Statue (Lince Ibérico) by Bordallo II
Portugues plastic-artist Bordallo II’s Iberian Lynx (Lince Ibérico) is located behind the Vasco da Gama Shopping Mall. He created the piece out of found and repurposed plastic. The cats’ paws, for example, were once green trash bins.
Nearby you will find a partially shaded riverwalk with charming water features and plenty of outdoor art, such as the Homem-Sol sculpture.
For more information on the many street-art projects in Lisbon, read my Where to see street art in Lisbon
Pavlihão do Conhecimento – Ciência Viva
Largo José Mariano Gago,1
GPS: 38.76241762207293, -9.095925647680428
A hands-on science museum for children with interactive exhibits and a variety of scientific topics under one roof.
There is lots of playing and experimenting going on at the Knowledge Pavilion and Center of Living Science.
Hours from June 1 until August 30, Monday – Friday 10am until 6pm. Weekends and holidays 10am until 1pm.
After August 30, same hours but closed on Mondays.
Recommended that you schedule your visit in advance. Adult tickets 10€, children 3 – 11 are 7€, ages 12 – 17 are 8€, and seniors are 7€.
Official site: https://www.pavconhecimento.pt/en/
Rossio dos Olivais
GPS: 38.7685358, -9.0940320
Altice Arena is Lisbon’s largest concert venue. A sampling of what kind of entertainment you could find at Altice Arena includes Madonna, Cirque de Soleil, Depeche Mode, Monster Trucks, the Lisbon Film Orchestra, Hans Zimmer, and the Dave Mathews Band.
Official site: https://arena.altice.pt
If you are looking for a more intimate music venue, take a look at my article Where to see live music in Lisbon
Alameda das Océanos, 45
GPS: (38.7646908, -9.0965922)
Lisbon’s only casino is located in Parque das Nações. This glass-fronted, waterfront casino complex regularly offers live-music, art exhibitions, blackjack, roulette, and of course slot machines. Must be 18 or over to enter. The casino is a smoke-free environment.
Map of Parque das Nações major sites
Lodging in Parque das Nações
Myriad by Sana
Cais das Naus, Lote 2.21.01
Famous for having one of the best spas in Lisbon, the Sayana Wellness Spa, the riverside Myriad by Sana offers 5-star luxury. At the top of the hotel, guests can also enjoy the Michelin Star restaurant – Fifty Seconds.
Guests can also enjoy the lobby bar and terrace, indoor pool, and fitness center.
Myriad by Sana’s three large conference rooms are linked to the hotel by an arial-bridge. The hotel, with its sail-like shape is famous for its contemporary design both inside and out. Guests have fantastic views of the Tejo river and Parque das Nações neighborhood.
Hotel Tivoli Oriente
Avenida Dom Joāo II, 27
Tivoli Oriente offers an indoor pool with a hot tub, and fitness center and spa.
The Tivoli Sky Bar has great panoramic views of the city and river.
A superior double or twin bedroom, 161 sq. feet, starts at 182€ per night.
Meliá Lisboa Oriente
Avenida Dom João II, 1900
A four-star hotel with excellent location near Oriente Station, Vasco da Gama Mall, and the Lisbon Exhibition and Congress Center.
Meliá Lisboa also has five large meeting rooms, four of which have natural light and can accommodate up to 100 people.
The hotel offers private indoor parking, a gym and massages, and early or late checkout.
What else do you need to know about Parque das Nações?
Parque das Nações is a great neighborhood for business travelers. Many of the conventions and conferences are held in this neighborhood.
Parque das Nações is also a great neighborhood for families visiting Lisbon, as there are a lot of great activities in the neighborhood for children. Much of the area is carless, and there is plenty of green space. Kids will enjoy the Jardins da Água with its waterfalls and water volcanoes, and the Jardim da Música interactive play-area.
That said, Parque das Nações is not the most central neighborhood in the city, and it is not close to the most popular historic sites. For a comparison of the different neighborhoods in Lisbon, read my Best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon