Lisbon boasts three UNESCO World Heritage sites—a maritime-inspired Gothic monastery, a 16th-century landmark tower on the Tagus River, and (on the tentative list) the historic Pombaline District. Here’s how to see them all on your trip to Lisbon.
Jerónimos Monastery (Hieronymites Monastery)
With foundations dating back to the late 15th century, the Jerónimos Monastery sits at the entrance to the port of Lisbon. Built to honor the memory of Prince Henry the Navigator, the Monastery of St. Jerome (the patron saint of seafarers) features rich maritime carvings and motifs throughout its stunning cloisters.
How to Visit: Jump in a GPS-guided GoCar to see Lisbon's top sights, including the Jerónimos Monastery.
Francisco de Arruda erected the famous Belém Tower in 1514 to commemorate Vasco da Gama's expedition. Dedicated to St. Vincent, the patron saint of Lisbon, the Manueline structure stands near the north bank of the Tagus River and offers visitors who climb its steep, narrow steps stellar views across the river and over the city beyond.
How to Visit: Include Belém Tower as a stop on a customized private sightseeing tour.
Lisbon Baixa (Pombaline Lower Town)
Lisbon Baixa is the city's lower town, an area occupied for the past 2,000 years. It was a major Portuguese trading center between the 15th and 18th centuries and was the seat of the Iberian court when Portugal and Spain were briefly united. Rebuilt after a 1755 earthquake, Lisbon Baixa today teems with restaurants, shops, and cafes stretching from Praça do Comércio to the Rossio.
How to Visit: Pedal through the streets and historic squares of Lisbon Baixa on a bike tour.