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Things to do in

Lisbon

One of Europe’s oldest cities filled with beautiful tiles, historic buildings, and lively culture.

Our most recommended things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

Lisbon: Daytime/Sunset/Night City Sailboat Tour with Drinks

2. Lisbon: Daytime/Sunset/Night City Sailboat Tour with Drinks

Embark on an unforgettable 2-hour Lisbon city cruise on the Tagus River with a live commentary from the crew. Discover the city’s beautiful waterfront scenery on a sailboat while admiring numerous historical monuments and iconic landmarks along the way.  Be greeted by your skipper, who will help you settle comfortably into the sailing boat at the loading pier. Toast with a welcome drink and set off to discover Lisbon's waterways, first passing the triumphant Monument to the Discoveries. Glide under the grandiose 25 of April Bridge and look up to catch a glimpse of the Cristo-Rei Statue looking out onto the waters. As you take in the stunning sights of buildings, bridges, and ships, listen to the crew tell you some curiosities and fun facts about the places you are passing by.  Continue aboard your Lisbon boat tour to the historical city center, where you will get incredible views of Commerce Square, Basilica da Estrela, and the emblematic Castle of Sao Jorge, sitting atop Lisbon's highest peak.  To round off your Lisbon cruise, catch an up-close glimpse of the unique serpentine-like architecture of the MAAT Museum and the iconic Belém Tower. If you have chosen the relevant option, you will also experience the city lit up at golden hour, followed by a beautiful sunset.

Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

3. Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

Unlock the city of Lisbon with the flexible Lisbon Card. Enjoy unlimited travel on city transport, and free admission to 39 museums, historic buildings, and more. Benefit from discounts at a vast range of attractions, vouchers for different shops, and a handy guide that explains how to use the card. After exchanging your GetYourGuide voucher for the magnetic card, the Lisbon Card immediately provides 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour access to the public transport system. Eligible on the Carris metro, buses, trams, and cable railways, it also works on CP trains between Cais do Sodré and Cascais, and trains between Oriente, Rossio, and Sintra.   Skip the lines to enter Jerónimos Monastery, and climb the Belem Tower. Enjoy free access to the National Tile Museum, the National Coach Museum, and others. Admire stunning palaces, including the Mafra National Palace and the Ajuda National Palace. Ride the famous Santa Justa Lift, and much more—all with one card. The Libson Card provides free entry to the following attractions: • Jerónimos Monastery / Monasterio de los Jerónimos• Pilar7 Bridge Experience / Experiencia Pilar 7 • LISBOA Story Centre• National Tile Museum / Museo Nacional del Azulejo   • National Coach Museum / Museo Nacional de Carruajes  • National Ancient Art Museum / Museo Nacional de Arte Antigua• Sintra Mitos e Lendas• Santa Justa Elevator / Ascensor de Santa Justa• Mafra National Palace / Palacio Nacional de Mafra• CARRIS• METRO• CP-Comboios de Portugal• FERTAGUS• National Pantheon / Panteón Nacional• Ajuda National Palace / Palacio Nacional de Ajuda• Chiado Museum - National Museum of Contemporary Art / Museo del Chiado Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporânea• National Ethnology Museum / Museo Nacional de Etnología      • National Costume Museum / Museo Nacional del Traje     • National Museum of Theatre and Dance / Museo Nacional del Teatro y de Danza  • National Archaeology Museum / Museo Nacional de Arqueología• National Music Museum Music / Museo Nacional de la Música• Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves Museum-Residence / Casa-Museo Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves• Republican National Guard Museum / Museo de la Guardia Nacional Republicana• Ceramics Museum - Sacavém / Museo de la Cerámica - Sacavém• Air Museum / Museo del Aire• Batalha Monastery / Monasterio de Batalha • Alcobaça Monastery / Monasterio de Alcobaça• Tomar Convent of Christ / Convento de Cristo - Tomar• Museum of Neo Realism - Vila Franca de Xira / Museo del Neo Realismo - Vila Franca de Xira• Museum of the work Michel Giacometti / Museo del Trabajo Michel Giacometti• Casa da Cerca - Museum of Contemporary Art - Almada / Casa da Cerca - Museu de Arte Contemporanea - Almada• Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Mareantes - Sesimbra / Capilla del Espíritu Santo de los Mareantes - Sesimbra• Museum of Setúbal - Municipal Gallery / Museo de Setúbal - Galería Municipal• Rua Augusta Arch / Arco da Rua Augusta• Greenhouse / Invernadero Frío• Maritime Museum of Sesimbra / Museo Marítimo de Sesimbra• Museum Tesouro Real• CIRES – Roaz Interpretive Center of the Sado Estuary / CIRES - Centro Interpretativo del Roaz del Estuario del Sado• Royal Treasure Museum / Museu do Tesouro Real 

From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

4. From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

Embark on a trip back in time on this day trip from Lisbon as you explore the luxurious estate of Quinta da Regaleira, the royal residence of Pena Palace, and the historic landmarks of the town of Sintra. Stop to relax in the seaside town of Cascais. Meet your guide at Plaza Don Pedro IV in Lisbon and drive off to your first stop. Tour the gardens and palace of Quinta da Regaleira, a Romantic construction surrounded by lakes, grottoes, and fountains. Head over to Pena Palace, just a few kilometers away. Discover the ancient castle, which was one of the favorite residences of the royal family throughout the 19th century. Walk thorugh the fairytale-style building and learn about its facinating history. Have free time to stroll through Sintra and purchase lunch if you're feeling hungry. Get recommendations on what to see and eat in the area. Afterwards, begin a guided tour of the main landmarks of Sintra, and hear about local secrets and stories.  Finally, visit the quaint village of Cascais which is linked to the Portuguese royalty that once summered here. Walk along beautiful beaches, mansions, museums, and photogenic streets. Return to Lisbon at the end of your day trip.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

5. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

From Lisbon: Fatima, Obidos, Batalha and Nazaré Group Tour

6. From Lisbon: Fatima, Obidos, Batalha and Nazaré Group Tour

Embark on a full-day tour of Fatima, Obidos, Batalha, and Nazaré from Lisbon. See the shrine of Fatima, explore the seaside resort of Nazaré, and enjoy liqueur tasting in Obidos. Benefit from pickup in Lisbon city center, and then take a scenic drive to the shrine of Fatima. Learn more about the important Catholic pilgrimage site before going to the Gothic convent at Batalha. Admire the Manueline style of architecture typical of Portugal in the 16th century, and then enjoy a delicious lunch of regional food. Next, visit the beautiful seaside resort of Nazaré, popular with surfers and water sports fans. See the statue of the black Virgin Mary by Saint Joseph and look at the colorful fishing boats on the sandy beach from the top of the rock. Try some of the sweet cherry liqueur known as ginja in the medieval village of Obidos, and soak up the fairytale atmosphere of the cobbled paths and small medieval houses. Browse the handicraft stores along narrow streets, and then journey back to Lisbon through the lovely landscapes of central Portugal.

Lisbon: Tagus River Sailboat City Cruise

7. Lisbon: Tagus River Sailboat City Cruise

Get on board and get ready for a unique experience. Get ready to see Lisbon in a magical way. For two hours, be dazzled by the excitement of the main monuments of the city of Lisbon. Finally, enjoy the fantastic sunset under the Atlantic Ocean, a moment you will definitely want to photograph. Choose from either a shared or private guided experience and learn more about the city. With background music and a refreshing drink, these two hours will seem like 5 minutes.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

8. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and your loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by a tour guide, visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, step into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

Lisbon: Tagus River Sunset Cruise with Welcome Drink

9. Lisbon: Tagus River Sunset Cruise with Welcome Drink

Embark on an unforgettable evening boat cruise along the Tagus river and experience the best views of Lisbon's sights in the Portuguese evening sun. Climb aboard a pleasurable sunset cruise and enjoy time on the water. Sip a refreshing welcome drink during the sunset tour. Enjoy a peaceful evening along the beautiful shoreline accompanied by pleasant music. Experience the barrier-free panorama vessel where you can sit under the open sky or cover up if you prefer. If required, the roof will be closed, or we will set up the on-demand sun awning so that you can still enjoy the nice breeze. Enjoy the magical views of the city as the modern vessel has a 360-degree window view. Experience the impressive panorama overview from every seat on the boat. Feel the soothing breeze and take in the stunning architecture of the floodlit city at sunset.

Lisbon: Belém Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus 24 Hours

10. Lisbon: Belém Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus 24 Hours

Explore the romantic avenues, old Moorish quarters, and Gothic monuments of Lisbon on a hop-on hop-off bus sightseeing bus tour. Have the freedom to stop at iconic locations like the Torre de Belém fortress or the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT). View tourist hotspots where most of Lisbon's monuments may be found by hopping aboard an open-topped, double-decker bus. Feel the breeze off the Tagus blowing through your hair as you travel along the leafy avenues from the old town center to historic Belem. Take in unobstructed views of museums, such as the Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, the Tile Museum, and the Ancient Art Museum. Have the freedom to disembark and visit sights at your leisure. Gain free access to Carris Public Transport tramcars as well as discounts in select museums and monuments. Choose to check out some of Lisbon’s marvelous shopping centers or listen to music in a trendy Bairro Alto bar. Stops are located throughout the city as follows: 01 Praça da Figueira/ Figueira Square 02 Restauradores 03 Marquês de Pombal 04 Av. José Malhoa Sul 05 Jardim Zoológico / Zoo 06 Praça de Espanha / Gulbenkian 07 El Corte Inglês 08 Parque Eduardo VII 09 Amoreiras Shopping 10 Basílica da Estrela 11 Torre de Belém 12 Padrão dos Descobrimentos 13 MAAT 14 Docas (Terminal Cruzeiros / Cruise Terminal) 15 Cais do Sodré 16 Rua do Comércio17 Praça da Figueira/ Figueira Square

Frequently asked questions about Lisbon

What top attractions are a must-see in Lisbon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Lisbon?

The best day trips and excursions from Lisbon are:

Ericeira

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Lisbon

Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. On her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Lisbon.

What should I do on my first trip to Lisbon?

One of the nicest places to visit in Lisbon is the historic Alfama district, with its labyrinth of narrow streets, traditional architecture, and very cozy, local atmosphere. Here, you will also find some of the best viewpoints of Lisbon and lots of local restaurants where you can enjoy Fado performances in the evenings. Other must-sees include the area around Praça do Comércio, Elevador de Santa Justa, and the historic Belém district with the beautiful 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery.

What are some hidden gems to see in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a hilly city, with countless viewpoints offering amazing views. Some of the nicest lesser-known viewpoints include Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara and Miradouro Santa Catarina. Another really nice local area is LX Factory, a former industrial complex that has become one of the coolest places in the city. Nowadays, it's a bustling place with cool street art, artsy shops, cozy cafes and restaurants.

How much time should I spend in Lisbon?

While you can see some of the main landmarks of Lisbon in a day, ideally, you plan at least 3 days in the city: one day for the city center, another day for the Belém area and to get a bit off the beaten path, and the third day for a visit to nearby Sintra, which is a must-see in Portugal.

What food is Lisbon known for?

No visit to Lisbon would be complete without tasting Pastel de Nata, a traditional Portuguese custard tart. One of the best places to try this delicacy is Fabrica de Pastéis de Belém that's been baking traditional cakes since 1837. They use a secret recipe that was originally created by the monks of the Jeornimos Monastery, just next door to the bakery.

What is the best way to get around Lisbon?

The best way to explore Lisbon is by a combination of walking, tram (be sure to ride the iconic tram 28), or taxi, which is surprisingly affordable and very convenient when you have to cover bigger distances in this hilly city.

What are the best months to visit Lisbon?

Lisbon can be visited the whole year round, but for the most pleasant weather and not too many crowds, visit in April-May or in September-October. Avoid the warmest summer months, when it’s often much too hot to truly enjoy everything that this beautiful city has to offer.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

One of the best places for food in Lisbon is the Time Out Market. It's a food hall with more than 20 restaurants, featuring various cuisines from all over the world, including the best traditional Portuguese dishes. In addition, there are also several bars, shops and a high-end music venue here. LX Factory is another great place for food, with lots of unique restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Lisbon?

One of the best neighborhoods to stay for sightseeing in Lisbon is the area around Rossio Square. It’s centrally located and you can easily walk to the most popular attractions and popular areas in the city center. There are lots of restaurants and nice hotels for various budgets here. In addition, this area has good public transport connections, making it really easy to explore Lisbon and its surroundings.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Lisbon?

If you are visiting Lisbon with kids, don't miss the Lisbon Oceanarium. This is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, with hundreds of different species of sea creatures. It's very impressive and fascinating for adults and children alike. Another nice thing to do is taking a sailing cruise on the Tagus River. It's a nice and relaxing way to see more of the city without having to walk much - perfect for families.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon

Want to discover all there is to do in Lisbon? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lisbon

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 66,337 reviews

Would highly recommend. We spent all four hours in the older parts of the city, which gave time to spend inside exhibitions or linger at a spot. Our guide, Joanna, was very interactive. She wanted to know what we had already seen and tailored our time accordingly.

Had a great time. Luckily we had our tour guide just to ourselves due to a slow tourism time plus it being an English tour. She was very informative and a pleasure to spend time with. Highly recommend this tour!

This experience was for sure worth it! Maria made sure we experienced everything with minimal wait times! She also provided an endless amount of facts about Sintra and Lisbon! Couldn’t recommend it enough :)

The most beautifull scenerys from beginning to start. The palace has a rich history and an amazing view as wel as the view of the ocean on your way to Cascais. I would defenitely recommed

Wonderful day with Iain! He is a gracious driver/guide who makes every effort to cater to your specific requests--and in his beautiful car! Highly recommend!