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Things to do in Lisbon

Things to do in  Lisbon

Welcome to Lisbon

Drenched in sunshine, history, and old-world charm, Portugal's sophisticated, friendly capital makes a perfect introduction to Western Europe. The City of Seven Hills is best absorbed via electric bike or walking tour, taking in the views from elevated miradouros (lookout points), and visiting architectural highlights such as Lisbon Cathedral; the historical neighborhoods of Alfama, Chiado, and Baixa; the Belem Tower; and the Monastery of St. Jerome. To see a lot in a short time—and eat well along the way—hop on a Segway for a guided tasting tour. Your guide will lead you to the best pastels de nata (custard tarts) in the city, along with other local specialties. If one of the many versions of Portuguese bacalhau (dried, salted cod fish) doesn't win your heart, Lisbon offers a great variety of fresh seafood and a burgeoning international restaurant scene. Be sure to sample some Portuguese wines, which range from Vinho Verde, a light, refreshing white, to port, the country's signature fortified wine. Book a romantic sunset cruise on the Tagus River, and don't miss the chance to experience a beloved musical tradition with dinner and a show at a local fado club. Popular day trips from Lisbon include UNESCO-listed Sintra, a former royal retreat topped by a pastel-colored confection of a castle, and the resort village of Cascais. Lisbon's central location makes for easy access to Northern Portugal's Douro Valley and Porto, or to the seaside resorts of the Algarve.

Top 10 attractions in Lisbon


Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

Portugal's caravels sailed off to conquer the great unknown from Belém, and today this leafy riverside precinct is a giant monument to the nation's Age of Discoveries. Belém Tower, or Torre de Belém, the much-photographed symbol of Portugal's maritime glory, is a stone fortress on the bank of the river Tagus dating from 1514 - 19. You can climb the tower, and look into the dungeons from when it was a military prison. UNESCO have listed it as a World Heritage Site.The imposing limestone Monument to the Discoveries, also facing the river nearby, is shaped like a caravel and features key players from the era. If you have time, look around the Centro Cultural de Belém, one of Lisbon's main cultural venues, which houses the Museu do Design, a collection of 20th century mind-bogglers.More


Once a hotspot destination for Portuguese royalty, Sintra is offers beautiful greenery, gorgeous mountains and amazing neo-Gothic structures. In Sintra there are a number of places to experience the culture from the Museum of Modern Art, to the exotic villa and the Palacio de Monderrate. Then at Quinta da Regaleira and its Palace you can see the best architecture of the Gothic era with gargoyles, towers and amazing stone facades. Also be sure to make your way up to the 10th-century Castle of the Moors, where you can walk along the castle walls and take in the great scenery and the castle's impressive history.More

Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)

Still known locally as Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square) thanks to its being the former location of Lisbon’s Royal Palace until its destruction in the great earthquake of 1755, Praça do Comércio was completely rebuilt in the late 18th century and is today an elegant square hugging the banks of the River Tagus. Thanks to the vision of Portuguese architect Eugénio dos Santos, this vast square was built in a sweeping ‘U’ shape and is full of ornate arches and overblown civic buildings. It is dominated by a massive equestrian statue of King Jose I, while sights around the square include Lisbon’s historic Café Martinho da Arcada, dating right back to 1782 and famous for its coffees, pastries and ports. Lisbon’s main tourist information office is on the north side of the arcaded square, which is largely lined with outdoor restaurants. Along the riverbanks great marble steps lead down to the Tagus and historically formed the main entry to the city.More

25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril)

This massive suspension bridge is an icon of Lisbon, connecting the city to the Almada area over the narrowest section of the River Tagus. Its color, size and structure draw close comparison to the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, California, but the bridge was actually more structurally modeled to the Bay Bridge, also in the San Francisco Bay Area. The 25th of April Bridge was completed in 1966 and was at the time named for the dictator Salazar. It was renamed following his displacement, with its new name given by the revolution that began on April 25. There are levels for both cars and trains, but unlike the Golden Gate Bridge, there is no passage for pedestrians. The bridge has the longest main span in Continental Europe and the world’s deepest bridge foundation. Riding across presents one of the best aerial views of Lisbon.More


Wander down (to save your legs) through Alfama's steep, narrow, cobble stoned streets and catch a glimpse of the more traditional side of Lisbon before it too is gentrified. Linger in a backstreet cafe along the way and experience some local bonhomie without the tourist gloss. Early morning is the best time to catch a more traditional scene, when women sell fresh fish from their doorways. For a real rough-and-tumble atmosphere, visit during the Festas dos Santos Populares in June. As far back as the 5th century, the Alfama was inhabited by the Visigoths, and remnants of a Visigothic town wall remain. But it was the Moors who gave the district its shape and atmosphere. In Moorish times this was an upper-class residential area. After earthquakes brought down many of its mansions (and post-Moorish churches) it reverted to a working-class, fisher folk quarter. It was one of the few districts to ride out the 1755 earthquake.More

Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

Along the northern bank of the Tagus River lies this large stone monument celebrating Portugal’s Age of Discovery and sitting on the location that ships bound for Asia used to depart from in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was constructed for the Portuguese World Fair in 1940, inaugurated in 1960 upon the anniversary of Henry the Navigator’s death, and has been a Cultural Center of Discovery since 1985. The monument depicts 33 sculpted historical figures including explorers, monarchs, artists and missionaries, all led by Henry the Navigator at the front. The figures are spread along both sides of a ship, intentionally looking forward and facing the sea. Outside of viewing the monument itself, there is a large marble wind rose embedded in the pavement containing a world map that illustrates the locations of Portugal’s various explorations. There is also a museum with exhibition rooms in the monument, with panoramic views of Lisbon and the Tagus River from its rooftop.More


In Fatima you will find the Basilica, the House of Our Lady Dolours and the Chapel of Apparitions. Four million pilgrims make the journey each year to see the exact spot, where 70,000 people witnessed the Virgin Mary miraculously appear. Now marked with a statue of Our Lady, there is also accommodation for up to 250 pilgrims in the House of Our Lady of Carmel and a monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.More

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca is considered by some as one of the most, if not the best, scenic coastal walks in Europe. Located on the westernmost point of mainland Portugal, it therefore acts as continental Europe and the Eurasian landmass’ westernmost point as well. Because of its outstanding natural beauty and historical significance, Cabo da Roca is part of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, one of 13 natural parks in Portugal. Tourists flock to the area to see the rugged Atlantic coast and its dramatic cliffs overlooking sandy beaches a dizzying 100 meters below. But there is more than meets the eye at these rocky precipices; the white-washed lighthouse, possibly one of the most photographed landmarks in Portugal, was part of a defensive line built in the 16th century as part of a fort that guarded the approach to the Portuguese capital.More

Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)

Vasco da Gama's discovery of a sea route to India inspired the glorious Monastery of St. Jerome or Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an architectural exuberance that trumpets 'navigational triumph.' Work began around 1501, following a Gothic design by architect Diogo de Boitaca, considered a Manueline originator. After his death in 1517, building resumed with a Renaissance flavor under Spaniard João de Castilho and, later, with classical overtones under Diogo de Torralva and Jérome de Rouen (Jerónimo de Ruão). The monastery was completed in 1541, a riverside masterpiece - the waters have since receded. The monastery was populated with monks of the Order of St. Jerome, whose spiritual job for about four centuries was to give comfort and guidance to sailors - and to pray for the king's soul. When the order was dissolved in 1833 the monastery was used as a school and orphanage until about 1940.More

Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

The ocher-colored, imposing St George’s Castle is an iconic landmark standing high in Alfama with views over Lisbon and the Tagus waterfront from its turreted, fortified walls. With only a few Moorish wall fragments dating from the sixth century still remaining, the castle we see now was redeveloped over the centuries following King Afonso Henriques’ re-conquest of Lisbon in 1147. There’s enough to see at the castle to keep everyone happy for several hours. Walks around the ramparts provide far-reaching views of the city below. As much of the medieval castle was given over to housing troops and resisting siege, the fortified ramparts were dotted with defense towers. Now only 11 of the original 18 are still standing and most interesting among these is the Torre de Ulísses (Tower of Ulysses) as it contains a gigantic periscope offering visitors a 360° view of Lisbon.More

Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Riding the Lisbon Tramway

Riding the Lisbon Tramway

Recent reviews from experiences in Lisbon

Mario Diniz is a great guide
Bethan_J, Sep 2020
Private Tuk Tuk City Tour of Lisbon - 1:30h Tour
It’s a great trip choice if you want to see Lisbon in a short space of time.
Patient Guide
Chantal_Z, Sep 2020
Excellent Sintra and Pena Palace, Small-Group Tour from Lisbon
Sintra is stunning and this is a good quick tour to see if you want to go back to certain places.
Sintra Majik Tours provide a professional and enjoyable day you will not forget
Carol_H, Sep 2020
Private Tour: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon
Because of the fire hazard we were not able to visit Pena Palace, but Francisco made our time in Sintra interesting with a tour of the National Palace and a stop for coffee and a tasty pastry that Sintra was know for.
Great tour
Polly_S, Sep 2020
Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
A good chance to see a lot of Portugal in a short amount of time.
Excellent tour
Hannah_F, Aug 2020
Bike Tours Lisbon - Center of Lisbon to Belém
Would definitely recommend it as something to do in Lisbon with kids or without - it’s a great way to orient yourself in the city
First day Lisbon, great introduction
Ronald_S, Aug 2020
Private Tuk Tuk City Tour of Lisbon - 1:30h Tour
In conclusion, very corona friendly and a great way to get to see Lisbon!
Day trip
Laurie_B, Apr 2020
Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
The guide was great and it was very nice to be able to see the sights and not worry about driving.
Must do in Lisbon
Fan_Z, Mar 2020
From Lisbon: Óbidos, Nazaré, Batalha & Fátima
She gave good advice on what to do for the rest of our time in Lisbon.
All day trip
Judy, Mar 2020
Lisbon Full-Day Small Group City Tour with River crossing by Ferry
Nice way to see Lisbon.
Charles_S, Mar 2020
Sergio was very knowledgeable of the history and English was good.
Best introduction to Lisbon
Danny_B, Mar 2020
Best of Lisbon Guided Walking Tour
Our guide Danni was so interesting & funny and told us so much about the areas of Lisbon she loves with personal insights and recommendations on places to visit and bars and restaurants.
Awesome day!
Gwen, Mar 2020
Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
He gave us really good suggestions for what to do in our spots as well as back in Lisbon.
Perfect for a long layover
Brad_S, Feb 2020
Private Driver around Lisbon - Customizable Tour
We met at the airport when I arrived and he drove to the key sites with perfect English descriptions of the sites and history and dropped me back at the airport in plenty of time to catch the next flight.
Highly Recommend!
Gretchen_P, Feb 2020
Lisbon All-in-One Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Tram Tour with River Cruise
What a great way to see the city!
Tracy_F, Feb 2020
Arrabida and Sesimbra Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon with Wine Tasting
The trip was fantastic best trip we went on and we went on a few Lisbon and area is beautiful and our guide made sure he took us to see spectacular views.
Amazing experience, amazing Driver (Luis)
Julia_F, Feb 2020
Lisbon Airport Transfer
To top it off, he played great music in the car and had awesome tips about things to do around Lisbon.
2.5 hrs well spent
Paul_S, Feb 2020
Lisbon Hills Electric Bike Guided Tour
A brilliant way to see the beautiful Lisbon taking you to places we would never of seen on foot.
Walking tour of Lisbon
Paul_M, Feb 2020
Best of Lisbon Guided Walking Tour
Sebastiao Braga was a great tour guide who spoke excellent English, he was very informative and entertaining and had a great historical knowledge of Lisbon.
Novice Surfers...will definitely do it again!
dmcardle277, Feb 2020
Lisbon Surf Experience
This was a great way to see another side of the city.
Patrick was great
ahrens, Feb 2020
Lisbon: 1-Hour City Tour on a Private Tuk
It was very scenic and the perfect way to see Lisbon.

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