Top 10 Things to Do in Lisbon

Top 10 Things to Do in Lisbon

Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, is a perfect destination if you are looking for picturesque streets, quirky cafés and charming neighborhoods. This lively city has preserved its main monuments and districts so you’ll feel its historical legacy is perfectly balanced with the trendy, contemporary vibes of high-street fashion stores and modern buildings. If you are thinking about visiting this unmatched place, read our guide and discover the top 10 things to do in Lisbon! 

1.Belém Tower Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Tower of Belém is a true icon of Portugal’s past. This 16th-century fortification, ornate with crosses of the Order of Christ and naturalistic elements, served once as a point of embarkation for Portuguese explorers. That is why it is considered a symbol of Europe’s Age of Discoveries, the period when overseas exploration emerged as a powerful factor in European culture. You can’t miss it on your trip to the Portuguese capital.

2.Alfama and Mouraria districts These are the two oldest neighbourhoods of the city, considered the birthplaces of Fado. As they survived the great earthquake of 1755 almost intact, a walk around them feels like a genuine “back to the past'' experience. They are known thanks to their lively nightlife and cool bars. Here you will also find some of the best viewpoints in Lisbon: we especially recommend visiting Miradouro das Portas do Sol, from where you will get panoramic city views of traditional Alfama houses with red roofs & churches. If you want to learn more about their past and legends we strongly recommend you to join a Free Walking Tour in the area. You will discover a lot more thanks to the planned itinerary and a knowledgeable guide. It is one of the best things to do in Lisbon.

3.Pastéis de Belém Bakery Perhaps the most iconic sweet in the country, pastéis de Belém are delicate custard tarts that are normally topped with cinnamon. These treats are made by hand in the bakery of the same name following an ancient recipe used at the Jeronimos Monastery. We don’t know if it is because of the traditional method, the secret recipe or the ingredients, but it is impossible to have only one! Make sure to stop at this bakery to enjoy some of these delicious sweets. You can try other Portuguese specialties like the marmelada. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the place to be. 



4.São Jorge Castle Since the 12th century, this castle has served as a royal palace and military emplacement amongst others, but it is now a national monument. It is a historic landmark where you can learn about the patrimony and history of the city in the museum that it houses. The complex consists of the castle itself, ancient buildings, gardens and a terraced square with an incredible view of the city. As the site is quite extensive, you will need to spend some time here to explore it properly, so make sure to take it into account when planning your itinerary around Lisbon. 

5.Tram 28 Considered as one of the best ways to explore the old city, tram number 28 goes from Martim Moniz to Campo de Ourique, passing through the districts of Graça, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela. The complete ride takes about one hour, and it has become a very popular tourist attraction. Two of the most famous places you can see from this tram are Lisbon’s Cathedral or Sé, and Portas do Sol, a public square with a lovely view of the Alfama district. 

6.Praça do Comércio had to be completely remodeled after the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Nowadays, this magnificent plaza is surrounded by characteristic yellow Pombaline-style buildings, and its entrance is impressive thanks to the Arco da Rua Augusta. The unique triumphal arch was built almost a century after the square was finished, and it links the plaza to the busy Rua Augusta, a boulevard full of shops, cafés and restaurants. It is a great place to spend an afternoon shopping, looking for souvenirs or just sipping a coffee and enjoying the lively atmosphere.


Things to do in Lisbon


7.Jeronimos Monastery As a 16th century architecture masterpiece, the Monastery of Jeronimos is listed as a World Heritage Site. Considered a symbol of Portugal’s wealth during the Age of Discoveries, this religious building was designed to commemorate the return of Vasco da Gama from India. King Manuel I ordered the construction of this monastery on the same site where the Portuguese explorer and his crew prayed for the last time before departing. Vasco da Gama’s tomb was placed inside, and other important Portuguese figures such as King Manuel and King Sebastião rest here too. Its ornate walls and elaborate interiors fascinate visitors, and it attracts hundreds of travelers every year. 

8.Feira da Ladra is Lisbon’s most popular open-air market. Here you can find toys, vintage clothes, old furniture and second-hand books. Perhaps the best souvenir you can buy here is an azulejo, the blue and white tiles that decorate iconic monuments in many Portuguese cities. It is open every Tuesday and Saturday from 9:00 in the morning, so make sure to come and look for the best treasure around hundreds of stalls. It is one of the best things to do in Lisbon.

9.Fronteira Palace Maybe Lisbon’s best-kept secret, Fronteira Palace is located northwest of the city center. This 17th century palace was once the residence of the Fronteira family, and nowadays it houses a museum. Its ornate interiors make it a beautiful visit, but the most popular place is its garden. This historical garden was carefully designed and decorated with tiles representing the different arts as well as mythological figures. The dramatic fountains and sculptures that can be seen here will make you feel like a member of the royal family. Make sure that you take your camera with you and make the most of all the instagrammable spots here. 

10.National Azulejo Museum Dedicated to the azulejo, the traditional tilework of Portugal, this museum is one of the most important in the country due to the singularity of its collection. Here you can learn more about this unique decorative element and discover its history from the 15th century to the present. It is a great way to find more about this Portuguese tradition!


If you want to learn more about Porto, and other charming destinations from all over the world, make sure to check out our website. You can read travel tips, find the activities that you like the most and book them online!
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