Top 10 things to do in Lisbon
Portugal's capital city offers an unpretentious culture coupled with a splendid, historic cityscape. As one of Europe's oldest cities, it's also one of the most fascinating to explore! Here are some top tips to get you started.
1. Jeronimos Monastery
The magnificent Jeronimos Monastery near the shoreline of Belém was once home to the Hieronymite monks – Catholic hermits whose primary role it was to pray for the King's soul!
2. Bairro Alto
The loosely translated Upper Neighborhood is Lisbon's most historically opulent quarter. Bairro Alto is a great place to wander, its preserved romantic ambiance boasts some of the city's top attractions!
3. Lisbon Cathedral
Built in 1147 and subsequently developed over time, the Lisbon Cathedral is a bold mix of architectural styles, yet maintains the imposing authority of its Medieval incarnation.
4. Rossio Square
Once the scene of celebrations, bullfights, executions, and uprisings, Lisbon's historic Rossio Square is the meeting point of choice for locals and tourists alike.
The city's oldest district can be found between the São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River. Alfama is the place to be for Lisbon's best restaurants and Fado bars!
6. Tagus River
Whether cycling along its bank or cruising its waters, be sure to explore Lisbon's pulse. Tagus River's estuary is a haven for fish, crustaceans, and birds, including flamingos!
7. Commerce Square
Called Praça do Comércio in Portuguese, this vast town square is also known as Palace Square (Terreiro do Paço). The Royal Palace stood here before being flattened by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake!
8. Belém Tower
Not only did his 16th-century harbor fortress defend the municipality of Lisbon from coastal attack, but Belém Tower was also crucial to Portugal's role in the era's Age of Discovery!
9. Chiado Square
Chiado's subsequent recovery after a devastating fire in 1988 has made it perhaps the wealthiest corner of the city. It's now Lisbon's most famous shopping district!
10. Santa Justa Lift
With the advent of electric power, Lisbon built two elevators to improve access between its hilly streets. This peculiar feat of engineering is a true relic!
Planning Your Visit
Best time to visit?
Lisbon is lucky enough to have the warmest winters in Europe without the disadvantage of suffering from intense summer heat. Nevertheless, the subtropic coastal climate is prone to sudden bursts of rain even on its clearest days, so be warned! Going in late spring or early autumn generally means cheaper hotel prices and more manageable crowds.
How to get from Lisbon airport to the city?
Though Lisbon is cheap by the standards of most European capitals, getting one of the cabs waiting outside the airport can be expensive. If you're traveling somewhere central without much luggage, it's undoubtedly cheaper and easier to take the metro. It should only take about 25 minutes to the city center.
Good to know
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+00:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Spring or autumn
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
Absolutely worth it. Beautiful sunset cruise with wine continually topped up, snacks, blankets provided, knowledgeable and pleasant staff and proper covid safety measures. We got a restaurant recommendation that we followed up on and it was totally great. Thanks again!
Ebike ride was a really fun way to see Lisbon, especially good for getting around quickly and traversing the many hills. Simon was a good tour guide telling us all the relevant history and showing us the many highlights. Would recommend the tour!
The sunset cruise was amazing. Would recommend doing! The guides were super informative and gave us a little history about some monuments we passed. They also gave us great food recommendations! Very nice tour
It is an incredible and productive journey. Maria is an excellent guider with great patience and passions. I learnt a lot of Portugal history from her.
Excellent organization, very interesting excursion. We really enjoyed. Will definitely take this tour again. I recommend to everyone.