Best places to visit in Lisbon: top attractions you don't want to miss

Enjoy the best of Lisbon with this guide to its must-see places. From art treasures to historic landmarks, here are 20 of the best places to visit.

The Portuguese capital is brimming with heritage and boasts a picture-postcard skyline of domed churches and terracotta rooftops. Get ahead of your trip to Lisbon with our guide to the best places to visit, whether you're seeking out culture or hunting masterpieces at its brilliant art museums and galleries.

Of course, you’ll find all the must-see landmarks in Lisbon here, like Jerónimos Monastery and the spellbinding Igreja de Sao Roque, but there are also a few hidden gems to uncover during your trip. Traveling with kids? Family-friendly attractions in Lisbon are included too, like the fascination Oceanarium. However you like to spend your time, you’re sure to find more than a few things to add to your itinerary with this list of Lisbon’s best places to visit.

Best places in Lisbon for history

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1. Jerónimos Monastery

Architecture lovers should beeline straight for Jeronimos Monastery. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1495 as a symbol, not just of God, but of Portugal's seafaring glory. Gilded gold, ornate cloisters, and twining leaves transport you back over centuries.

Highlights:

Learn all about the explorers that built Lisbon's wealth with a Jerónimos Monastery ticket. Don'y forget to visit the tomb of Vasco da Gama inside the entrance of Santa Maria Church.

Address and opening hours:

Praca do Império 1400-206 Lisboa. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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2. Ascend the towering Castelo de Sao Jorge

Perched atop one of the hills in Alfama, St George's Castle is among the most iconic places in Lisbon. Its museum, impressive battlements, and archeological treasures make the castle a rewarding experience for history lovers. You can learn the castle's stories from the Iron Age and admire the soaring panoramic views of the city and riverfront setting.

Highlights:

Book the St George's Castle tour for access to the Camera Obscura periscope and towering 360-degree city views.

Address and opening hours:

R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa. Open daily 9:00 AM-9:00 PM.

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3. Aqueduto das Aguas Livres

The enormous Aguas Livres aqueduct was built in the 18th century along the breathtaking Alcantara Valley. The tower soars 65 meters above the city, showcasing impressive Italianate architecture and soaring views. You can also visit the water reservoir, Mae d'Agua das Amoreiras, a solid bunker-like building with gothic flourishes.

Highlights:

Go on a Cristo Rei, Belém, Aqueduct, and LxFactory tour and walk the entire length of the water system. Note the 35 soaring arches that cross over the valley.

Address and opening hours:

CC da Quintinha 6, 1070-225 Lisboa. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 AM-5:30 PM.

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4. Alfama

Alfama is the Lisbon of postcards. Its narrow, hilly streets unveil cozy cafes and colorful shopfronts lined with iconic blue tiles. Trace Lisbon's Moorish past through neighborhood highlights like Feira de Ladra and Lisbon Cathedral.

Highlights:

Get an insider's look at Alfama with the Best of Lisbon walking tour. Stop at quaint shops, traditional Fado clubs, and cozy restaurants after your tour.

Address and opening hours:

Alfama district

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5. Igreja de Sao Roque

Igreja de Sao Roque is one of Lisbon's most beautiful churches. Its plain, 16th-century exterior belies the incredible riches found inside. Gold, marble, alabaster, and amethyst glitter on entry like a treasure chest.

Highlights:

You can discover the Igreja de Sao Roque on a history, stories and lifestyle walking tour. Extravagant carvings found across the eight chapels make the interior a decorative rival to Mosteiro dos Jeronimo's stone carvings.

Address and opening hours:

Largo Trindade Coelho, 1200-470 Lisboa. Meeting points vary.

Best places in Lisbon for art

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6. LX Factory

Get to know Lisbon's cutting-edge creative scene at LX Factory. This working studio and gallery houses unique design-led arts and crafts stores, contemporary dining stalls, and cozy cafes. This place is a must-visit for art-conscious travelers looking for Lisbon's modern side.

Highlights:

Enrich your visitor experience at LX Factory as part of the Urban Art Tour. There's plenty of opportunity to peruse the specialty shops for a memento or gift.

Address and opening hours:

R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa. Open daily 9:00 AM-10:30 PM.

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7. Ancient Art Museum

This impressive collection of Middle Age art is located in a stunning 17th-century palace. Important works include the 15th-century St. Vincent Panels, one of the finest group portraits in European art history. Not confined to Portuguese artifacts, the collection spans historic European, Asian, and American pieces.

Highlights:

Book the Ancient Art Museum guided tour to check out the Panels of St. Vincent, the first known collective portrait in Western art.

Address and opening hours:

R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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8. Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology

This fabulous museum has become Lisbon's premiere modern art space. Its stunning, oval-shaped design plays with light, shadow, and water, providing the perfect place for forward-looking artworks. Marvel at the international exhibitions and its mind-boggling innovations.

Highlights:

Explore the stunning exhibitions with a science and tech focus at the museum, which is easily reached on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. You can also enjoy the uninterrupted views of the city's south bank and the river while enjoying a drink at the cafe.

Address and opening hours:

Av. Brasilia, 1300-598 Lisboa. Open Wednesday-Monday 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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9. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

This astounding museum houses one of the world's greatest private collections. The product of one collector, Calouste Gulbenkian, you'll discover everything from Manet to Monet and Rembrandt. These works are complemented by a tranquil, sculpture-studded garden setting.

Highlights:

Skip the line by booking a Calouste Gulbenkian Museum entry ticket in advance. Some outstanding pieces include 11 Roman medallions and 17th-century Turkish and Persian carpets.

Address and opening hours:

Av. de Berna 45A, 1067-001 Lisboa. Open Wednesday-Monday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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10. Parque das Nações

Parque das Nações was the site of Expo '98. Since then, Lisbon turned this area into a glittering monument of urban regeneration. Public sculptures, graffiti, and architectural wonders line this waterfront area, offering a street-side view of Lisbon's art scene.

Highlights:

Discover iconic street art with the Parque das Nações walking tour. You'll discover eye-catching works produced when Parque das Nações hosted the Festival Muro Lx street art festival.

Address and opening hours:

Meeting point: Parque das Nações, 1990-233 Lisboa.

Best places in Lisbon for families

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11. Belem Tower

This iconic 16th-century fairy-tale fort is sure to entice any budding knights and maidens. Climb the narrow, winding staircase up to the top as a family and discover one of Lisbon's very best views. The historic interiors are also home to an astonishing Renaissance art collection.

Highlights:

Book the Belem Tower entry with audio tour and spend the afternoon climbing the steep spiral staircases. Entice your kids with fun facts as you go.

Address and opening hours:

Av. Brasilia, 1400-038 Lisboa. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 AM-5:30 PM.

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12. Sintra

If you love day trips, organize a family day out in Sintra. The small town is nestled in the foothills of the rugged Serra de Sintra, a 40-minute rail journey from the city center. Marvel at the rolling landscape of leafy woodlands and mysterious mansions.

Highlights:

Spend the day enjoying the historic old town as part of the Sintra and Pena Palace full-day tour. It includes entry to the fabulous Pena Palace which affords stunning views across the Sintra wilderness.

Address and opening hours:

2710-405 Sintra, Portugal.

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13. St. Justa Elevator

There's something exciting and slightly hair-raising about this street lift from 1902. Kids will love taking this antique form of public transport that was designed by Raoul Mesnier di Ponsard, the very same architect behind the Eiffel Tower.

Highlights:

The lift connects Baixa with the Largo do Carmo in the trendy Bairro Alto neighborhood. Get access to the lift, as well as many other top attractions, with the 24, 48, or 72-hour Lisbon Card.

Address and opening hours:

R. do Ouro, 1150-060 Lisboa. Open daily 7:00 AM-10:45 PM.

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14. Panoramic of Monsanto

Want to enjoy a view of the entire city from a different perspective? Spend the day at the Panoramic of Monsanto, a favorite place for locals. The viewpoint was once a nightclub, restaurant, and bingo hall and has become a magnet for street art. Why not take a picnic with you?

Highlights:

Looking for a viewpoint with the best views of Lisbon? Visit the Panoramic of Monsanto for 360-degree views of the city.

Address and opening hours:

Estr. da Bela Vista, Lisboa. Open daily 9:00 AM-5:30 PM.

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15. Lisbon Oceanarium.

Lisbon Oceanarium is one of Europe's best aquariums thanks to its novel wrap-around tanks containing some 8000 unique marine creatures. Waddling penguins, charming otters, and other kid favorites can be found in this impressive complex.

Highlights:

With an Oceanarium entry ticket, you and your kids will love spotting animals and ecosystems across Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Antarctic ocean exhibits.

Address and opening hours:

Esplanada Dom Carlos, 1990-005 Lisboa. Open daily 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

Best places in Lisbon for culture

16. Mercado da Ribeira

Combine historic wonder with mouth-watering cuisine at the 19th-century Mercado da Ribeira. One of the city's best-loved food markets, this beautifully-restored building houses restaurants, shops, and live music venues. Take time out of your busy schedule and relax with some superb Portuguese food.

Highlights:

Experience the culture of Portugal in a light and airy atmosphere as you sample the delicious cuisine in the restaurants. Get a curated selection of treats with the local market, food, and culture walking tour.

Address and opening hours:

Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal. Open daily 10:00 AM-12:00 AM.

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17. Portas do Sol

The Portas do Sol Terrace is a must-visit scenic spot, so get your camera ready. It overlooks Lisbon's famed terracotta rooftops and the bustling side streets of Alfama. Settle in to unwind after a long day of exploring. The bar at the lookout serves drinks, and you can dance around the Sao Vicente de Fora statue.

Highlights:

Head to this terrace as part of the Old Alfama and Baixa Chiado Quarters walking tour for an insider's perspective of the region.

Address and opening hours:

Rua Sao de Tome, 84A, Lisbon, 1100-563. Open daily 24/7.

18. Bairro Alto

Start your night in the Bairro Alto district by visiting dozens of trendy bars, artisan cafes, and live music venues. During weekends, the late-night festivities spill onto the street, making the district one big party. Get ready to join the drinking games and dancing throughout the night.

Highlights:

Book a food walking tour with drinks for an expert guide to this hip area. This is an excellent introduction to Lisbon's vibrant and traditional tipples.

Address and opening hours:

R. Nova do Carvalho, 1200-019 Lisboa.

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19. Clube de Fado

If you've never listened to fado music, you're in for a treat. The lone female singer, accompanied by classical guitar, creates a haunting and emotional performance. Stop by Clube de Fado, an intimate live music venue located next to Se de Lisboa.

Highlights:

In the old district of Alfama, you'll hear fado music wafting through the air from the local bars and restaurants. Enjoy a delicious traditional meal while listening to fado singers perform in Clube de Fado.

Address and opening hours:

R. de Sao Joao da Praca 94, 1100-521 Lisboa. Open daily 7:30 PM-1:00 AM.

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20. Luz Stadium

If you're a fan of football culture, head behind the scenes at the home of S.L. Benfica. First opened in 2003, the stadium has been voted the most beautiful stadium in Europe and hosted several UEFA Champions League finals. 

Highlights:

On the Luz Stadium tour, you'll get a guided tour through stalls, press rooms, and across the field.  You'll also gain access to the SL Benfica Museum, where you can view historic kits and learn about Portugal's star players.

Address and opening hours:

Av. Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, 1500-313 Lisboa. Tour dates vary, operating 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

FAQs

How many days should I spend in Lisbon?

Three days are sufficient to explore Portugal's capital and enjoy its characterful districts. You can explore the historical and cultural attractions, experience the nightlife, and go on unique city tours.

What is the best time of year to visit Lisbon?

Lisbon enjoys warm weather year-round, making it suitable to visit anytime. The best time to visit Portugal's capital is in spring when it is in glorious bloom. While there are tourist crowds, you can still explore the sights at your own pace. If you want a quiet vacation, visit the capital in August when it is blissfully quiet.

How do I get around Lisbon?

Lisbon has a convenient, budget-friendly public transportation system. You have many options for traveling around the city, from trams to buses and subway trains. A ferry is also available for crossing the river.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Lisbon?

Baixa and Rossion are must-visit neighborhoods for the top landmarks in the city. If you want to experience Lisbon's nightlife, the Bairro Alto neighborhood has a bohemian vibe and is full of cool, trendy bars.

What are the best places to go shopping in Lisbon?

If you're looking for an elegant shopping street, stroll along Avenida da Liberdade, with its luxury brands. Nearby, Principe Real mixes souvenirs with designer clothes and antiques, or find hand-made pottery and tile panels at Solar Antiques.