Lisbon, the charming capital of Portugal, is a city that has it all.
From its historic castles to colorful neighborhoods, every inch of this city tells a story. And don’t even get us started on the mouth-watering custard tarts! Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, or just looking for Instagram-worthy spots, Lisbon has something for everyone.
In this article, we’re going to take you on a journey to explore the best tourist attractions in Lisbon.
So buckle up and get ready for a wild ride!
Make sure to stop by the Belem Tower, a 16th-century tower built to keep invaders at bay during the Age of Discovery.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts four floors, a connected bastion, and a stunning statue of Our Lady of Safe Homecoming. Don’t forget to climb to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the river. It’s no wonder Belem Tower is considered one of the most important examples of Portuguese Manueline architecture.
The Jeronimos Monastery is among the best attractions to see when visiting Lisbon. Built in the 16th century, it showcases the stunning Manueline architecture that Portugal is famous for. Its exterior is simply gorgeous with intricate stonework, plaited arches, and many other details that will leave you awestruck.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monastery is a must-visit destination that houses the tombs of numerous Portuguese explorers, including the legendary Vasco da Gama. Visitors can explore the monastery, including its impressive cloisters and church, and discover the fascinating history of the explorers who embarked on daring expeditions from Lisbon. So don’t forget to include the Jeronimos Monastery in your itinerary when you head to the Belem district!
Sao Jorge Castle
Also known as St. George’s Castle, Sao Jorge Castle is a medieval building that was a royal castle by the 1500s. It was built when Lisbon was under Moorish rule. The castle was then restored, and it survives till today. There is also an archaeological museum inside the building. Visitors come to the castle to enjoy the panoramic view of the city in their Lisbon sightseeing.
It’s located in the Alfama District, at the top of a hill.
Elevador de Santa Justa
One of the popular things to do in Lisbon Portugal is to see the Santa Justa Elevator. It began to operate in 1902, and it has a Gothic Revival style designed by Raul Mésnier. You can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view when you climb to the top. You can also enjoy the view by using a staircase as well.
Rossio Square is one of the popular places in downtown Lisbon. It’s one of the popular areas for gatherings. There are several cafes and bars to enjoy with family and friends here. The National Theater is also located in Rossio Square, on the northern side.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Many visitors include the Gulbenkian Museum on their Lisbon things-to-do list. Calouste Gulbenkian was a philanthropist and businessman who lived in the 20th century. He was was also one of the wealthiest people at that time.
Gulbenkian established a foundation for the promotion of arts, where you can see art collections from worldwide. A museum was also built next to the foundation. Each piece in this museum is quite valuable and outstanding. You can find Egyptian antiquities or paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens in the museum. Besides these, Greco-Roman medallions, Persian carpets, and other unique pieces are available here.
Other Notable Attractions in Lisbon
There are almost countless options for what to do in Lisbon Portugal. Let’s look at some of the ‘honorable mention’ attractions to see in Lisbon below.
Rua Augusta Arch
The arch was once used to welcome people who arrive here by boat. Today, it offers visitors to climb up to the top and enjoy the best views of Lisbon. It has been open to the public since 2013.
At the top of the structure, you see Glory crowning Genius and Valour. On the left and right sides, you see sculptures of the Marquis of Pombal, Vasco da Gama, Viriato, and Nuno Álvares Pereira.
Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)
Walking around Commerce Square is one of the common activities in tourists’ Lisbon visit. Its collonades date back to the 18th century, and Rua Augusta Arch is also located in this square. The trams and the statue of King José I are other famous elements of this area.
There’s also the Lisbon Story Center located in the square. Here, you can learn more about the city’s history through audio guides. You can also go to Vini Portugal to taste wines as well. Besides these, various shops, hotels, and restaurants are available in the area.
The Fado Museum
Fado is the traditional music genre in Portugal. In the Fado Museum, you can explore the origins of this music by audioguides as well. You can also discover famous guitar players and fado singers in Portugal. There’s also a restaurant and a shop in the museum as well. You can find traditional food in the restaurant. The museum is located in the Alfama district.
Let’s now take a look at what to do in Lisbon.
Activities To Do in Lisbon
Lisbon downtown offers various activities for both residents and tourists. It has a lively nightlife as well as restaurants with delicious food. You can taste the delicious pastel de Natas or walk around the cobbled streets. Riding trams and tasting wines are other popular things to do in Portugal Lisbon.
Boat rides on the Tagus River
One of the exciting things to do in Lisbon is to hop on a boat ride. There are various boat tours offered in the city. They usually take between 1-2 hours, and some include snacks and drinks as well.
Boat rides are one of the best ways to enjoy the monuments and views of the city from the river. Some of them even offer free access to some trams and funiculars and the Santa Justa Elevator.
Many boat tour operators offer cruises that take you past the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and the 25 de Abril Bridge.
One can’t think of Lisbon apart from the nostalgic trams. Especially Tram 28 is the most popular Lisbon must-see. The tram goes through the steep roads of Lisbon and the Alfama district. It takes off from Graça and ends the ride at Estrela Basilica. Riding a tram is a good way to see various monuments and views from where you sit. It’s also a great way to see the city and learn about its history.
The Food Scene & Wine Tasting
If you’re looking to experience the vibrant food and drink culture of Lisbon, you won’t be disappointed. From mouth-watering seafood dishes like the traditional salt cod, bacalhau, to the famous port wine from the Douro Valley, there is plenty to indulge in.
Visitors can take a food and wine tour to explore the local cuisine and taste the best Portuguese dishes and wines. For a casual experience, check out the Time Out Market Lisbon. This massive food hall offers an array of Portuguese cuisine, and there’s even live music to keep you entertained. The market houses over 20 restaurants, bars, and shops, so you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
For a more elevated experience, book a table at Loco, a one-Michelin-starred restaurant that serves great dishes and drinks. On the other hand, Martinho da Arcada, which has been serving customers since 1782, is the oldest restaurant in Lisbon. It started as a drinks bar, and now it is a great place to enjoy traditional Portuguese food.
No trip to Lisbon is complete without indulging in the famous pastel de nata at Pasteis de Belem. Established in the 19th century, this place has kept its recipe a secret and still makes one of the best pastries in Lisbon.
If you’re in the mood for drinks, visit Bairro Alto, a lively area with a range of cafes, restaurants, and nightlife spots. Wine lovers can also take tours to the best wineries for wine tasting and even visit places like Quinta da Boa Esperança to learn more about the wine culture in Portugal.
You can find both big brands and flea markets and small shops to buy traditional items in Lisbon. When you visit Lisbon, you’ll see some buildings or houses ornate with Portuguese tiles on the outside. Known as “azulejos” in Portuguese, the tiles are traditional items of the country. If you want to buy some, you can visit Cortiço & Netos to find many ceramic tile designs.
If you want to shop for some of the big brands, you can go to Chiado, Baixa, and the nearby area. You’ll find streets filled with high-end brands.
Find the popular shopping streets below as a Lisbon tourist:
- Rua do Carmo
- Rua Garrett
- Rua Augusta
- Avenida da Liberdade, and
- Rua da Escola Politécnica & Rua Dom Pedro V.
While some of them provide big brands, others sell antique items or designer clothes.
Markets also have an essential place in Lisbon. You can find various items in these markets including food, sea dishes, vegetables, wines, or antiques. Find some of the best markets in Lisbon below:
- Feira da Ladra: The oldest flea market in Lisbon. Open every Tuesday and Saturday morning.
- Praça da Figueira: You can find Portuguese products like cheese and wine in this outdoor market. It’s open each month on the last weekend.
- Príncipe Real Garden: You can find organic products here. Open each Saturday.
- Lx Rural: It’s a farmers’ market at Lx Factory. It sells fresh products like vegetables, honey, fruit, and bread every Sunday.
- Mercado da Ribeira: It sells fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and cheese.
So, Why Wait? Visit Lisbon!
With its charming cobblestone streets, stunning architecture, and delicious food scene, Lisbon is undoubtedly a city that you won’t want to miss. From the historic Belem Tower to the breathtaking views of Castelo de São Jorge, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore the best of what Lisbon has to offer!
Where is Lisbon?
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. You can find the city located along the Atlantic Ocean and Tagus River on the map of Lisbon.
What are the best Lisbon Portugal things to do?
If you wonder what to see in Lisbon, you can visit the popular museums and streets in the old town of Lisbon. Besides these things to see in Lisbon, you can try traditional food and wine as well.
What are Lisbon’s tourist attractions?
Lisbon tourism provides many places for tourists to spend and enjoy their time. Some of these attractions are the Belem Tower, tram rides, and several museums in the city.
What are the most popular tourist attractions in Lisbon?
Belem Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, São Jorge Castle, Rossio Square, and Lisbon Oceanarium.
What is the best time to visit Lisbon?
The best time to visit Lisbon is from March to May or from September to November when temperatures are mild and there are fewer tourists.
How do I get around Lisbon?
Lisbon has a good public transport system that includes buses, trams, and trains. You can also walk or take taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber.
Are there any free attractions in Lisbon?
Yes, there are several free attractions in Lisbon, including the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Praça do Comércio, and the LX Factory.
What is the most famous pastry in Lisbon?
Pastel de Nata, a creamy custard tart in a crispy pastry shell, is the most famous pastry in Lisbon.