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Things to do in Lisbon

Things to do in  Lisbon

Welcome to Lisbon

Drenched in sunshine, history, and old-world charm, Portugal's sophisticated, friendly capital makes a perfect introduction to Western Europe. The City of Seven Hills is best absorbed via electric bike or walking tour, taking in the views from elevated miradouros (lookout points), and visiting architectural highlights such as Lisbon Cathedral; the historical neighborhoods of Alfama, Chiado, and Baixa; the Belem Tower; and the Monastery of St. Jerome. To see a lot in a short time—and eat well along the way—hop on a Segway for a guided tasting tour. Your guide will lead you to the best pastels de nata (custard tarts) in the city, along with other local specialties. If one of the many versions of Portuguese bacalhau (dried, salted cod fish) doesn't win your heart, Lisbon offers a great variety of fresh seafood and a burgeoning international restaurant scene. Be sure to sample some Portuguese wines, which range from Vinho Verde, a light, refreshing white, to port, the country's signature fortified wine. Book a romantic sunset cruise on the Tagus River, and don't miss the chance to experience a beloved musical tradition with dinner and a show at a local fado club. Popular day trips from Lisbon include UNESCO-listed Sintra, a former royal retreat topped by a pastel-colored confection of a castle, and the resort village of Cascais. Lisbon's central location makes for easy access to Northern Portugal's Douro Valley and Porto, or to the seaside resorts of the Algarve.

Top 15 things to do in Lisbon

#1
Sintra

Sintra

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Once a hot spot destination for Portuguese royalty—Lord Byron called it a “glorious Eden”—Sintra is widely acclaimed as one of Portugal's most beautiful destinations, full of gardens, tiled villas, colorful palaces, and neo-Gothic structures, all surrounded by verdant hills rolling toward the Atlantic Ocean.More
#2
Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

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A mighty medieval fortress perched on the banks of the Tagus River, Belem Tower is one of Lisbon’s most visited landmarks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos), it’s a lasting symbol of Portugal’s maritime heritage, dating back to the early 16th century.More
#3
Alfama

Alfama

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Sprawling down the southern slopes of Lisbon, Alfama is the capital’s oldest and most picturesque district with steep cobblestone lanes and a sea of terracotta roofs. Head there in the day to take in the sights, browse the flea market, and ride the historic tram, then come back after dark to soak up the atmosphere at the many fado bars.More
#4
Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)

Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)

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Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio) was home to Lisbon’s Royal Palace until a 1755 earthquake brought it to the ground. The palace now stands elsewhere, and the square has been restored with ornate arches, grandiose civic buildings, and an equestrian statue of King Jose I. Marble steps lead from Praça do Comércio down to the River Tagus.More
#5
Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

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Since the 11th century, St. George’s Castle (Castelo de São Jorge) has stood tall in the Lisbon skyline, viewable from almost every point in the city. The Moorish castle overlooks various districts and offers some of the best panoramas of the city. Even if you have only a few hours, the former fortress offers plenty for you to do.More
#6
Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)

Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)

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UNESCO World Heritage–listed Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) is one of Lisbon’s most elaborate buildings. Inspired by Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India, King Manuel I commissioned the edifice in the 1500s to thank the Virgin Mary for a successful journey. For 400 years, the monastery’s monks gave guidance and comfort to sailors.More
#7
Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

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Cabo da Roca, just north of Lisbon, is known for its dramatic views and scenic cliff-top walking path. The westernmost point in continental Europe and once believed by Europeans to be the edge of the world, today it is home to a defensive lighthouse that was built in the 16th century and serves as a haven for local birdlife.More
#8
Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

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Erected in 1960, this giant white monument stands at the edge of the Tagus River, and depicts a caravel—a ship commonly used by Portugal’s 15th-century explorers—about to set sail. Aboard the ship is 32 sculptures of leading figures from Portugal’s seafaring heyday, including Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, and Ferdinand Magellan.More
#9
Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena)

Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena)

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The crown jewel of UNESCO-listed Sintra, Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena) never fails to inspire. The fanciful red and yellow palace is an exotic mix of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish, and Renaissance elements, commissioned by King Ferdinand II and completed in 1854 on a hilltop high above Sintra.More
#10
25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril)

25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril)

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One of Lisbon’s most famous landmarks is the massive, red suspension 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril) which bears a close resemblance to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Originally named the Salazar Bridge, it was renamed after the Carnation Revolution to bring down the tyrannical regime that began on April 25, 1974.More
#11
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte)

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte)

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From its hilltop perch above Lisbon’s Graça neighborhood, the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte) lookout offers panoramic views across Portugal’s capital city, including a clear vista of the hilltop Castle of St. George (Castelo de São Jorge). The vista point is named for the church whose yard it’s located in: Our Lady of the Hill.More
#12
Fátima

Fátima

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Fátima is one of the most important shrines to the Virgin Mary in the world, as three shepherd children are said to have stated that Mary appeared to them. The last event, on Oct. 13, 1917, is known as the Miracle of the Sun and was attended by upwards of 40,000 people. A marble pillar with a statue of Our Lady marks the exact spot in the Chapel of Apparitions, and millions of pilgrims make the journey to see it yearly.More
#13
National Pantheon of Santa Engracia (Santa Egracia Panteao Nacional Lisbon)

National Pantheon of Santa Engracia (Santa Egracia Panteao Nacional Lisbon)

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Originally built in the 17th century as the Church of Santa Engracia, the National Pantheon (Santa Egracia Panteao Nacional Lisbon) is now the burial place of many notable Portuguese personages, such as fado superstar Amália Rodrigues. The massive white structure is omnipresent throughout Lisbon’s Alfama district, and its interiors feature beautiful Italian marble.More
#14
Chiado

Chiado

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Located in the heart of Lisbon, Chiado is a quieter area nestled between Bairro Alto and downtown Baixa Pombalina. The eclectic neighborhood, known for its bustling streets and art nouveau buildings, is filled with some of Lisbon’s best cafes and restaurants. Come discover why this area is both culturally and historically significant.More
#15
Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)

Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)

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Lisbon Cathedral dates back to 1150 when it was built to celebrate the defeat of the Moors. Although the Romanesque building suffered earthquake damage over the years, it’s been carefully restored. Visitors can see excavated Roman ruins, the font where St. Anthony of Padua was christened, and relics of Lisbon’s patron saint, St. Vincent.More

Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Riding the Lisbon Tramway

Riding the Lisbon Tramway

Top activities in Lisbon

Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
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Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
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Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk
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Sunset Sailing Tour in Lisbon on a Luxury Sailing Yacht
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Lisbon 2 Hour Historical Private Guide Tuk Tuk Tour
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The 10 Tastings of Lisbon With Locals: Private Food Tour
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Lisbon Traditional Boats - Sunset Cruise
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Sintra and Cascais Small Group Tour from Lisbon
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Berlenga Island Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Lisbon

star-4
Be careful using Tuk Tuk.
Annaliza_P, Aug 2022
Tuk Tuk Lisbon Guided tour!
The tour was amazing very nice to see the Lisbon in the early night time.
star-5
We had a great time on this tour. Our tour guide, Fernando, was great and really made it fun for the whole family.
Anthony_G, Aug 2022
2 Hr City Tuk Tuk Tour of Lisbon
The best way to see Lisbon.
star-5
You won’t be disappointed
Nuno_M, Aug 2022
Divine Fátima Full Day Private Tour
We got to see the home for the kids left we got to see the church we got to see an amazing Portuguese restaurant, I would definitely recommend this tour in fact if we come back to Lisbon we will do it again.
star-5
Great way to see the city
Renee_D, Aug 2022
3 Hr City Tuk Tuk Tour of Lisbon
Great way to see the city!
star-5
First time Tuk Tuk
maknavyrn, Aug 2022
Lisbon: 1.5-Hours Old Town and City Center Tour on a Private Guided Tuk
I was able to see areas of the city that I definitely could explore on my own.
star-5
Thank you for a really memorable cruise!
Katie_N, Aug 2022
Lisbon Sailing Day Cruise with wine & snacks
We had a small sailing boat all to ourselves - which was really relaxing and a great way to see some of the Lisbon sights.
star-5
We loved the sailing...
Laura_B, Aug 2022
Lisbon Sailing Tour on a Luxury Sailing Yacht
We loved the sailing tour, it’s a fantastic way to see Lisbon from a different perspective and the tour is not crowded so you feel like you’re on your own private yacht!
star-5
My favorite place in...
Luisa_S, Aug 2022
Admission to the Jerónimos Monastery Ticket & Self-Guided Tours in Lisbon
There are many things to see and visit.
star-5
An amazing way to see Lisbon
Criona_N, Aug 2022
Lisbon Bike Tour: Downtown Lisbon to Belém
A fabulous way to see this beautiful city.
star-5
Fun
LATOYA_E, Aug 2022
90min Amphibious Sightseeing Tour in Lisbon
I was the only English speaking person but it was fine.
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Lisbon Love 💜
Rebecca_C, Aug 2022
Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
We wanted to see as much of Lisbon in two days and the two bus trips we did were perfect for that!
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Segway In Lisbon
timoty_m, Aug 2022
Alfama: the Birthplace of Fado 1.5 Hour Segway Tour
It was a great way to see the beautiful city of Lisbon.
star-5
Not to be missed
Roni_J, Aug 2022
True 4Hour/Half day TukTuk Tour of Lisbon. A Remarkable Overview. Leave town as a Local
We saw everything we needed to see in just a few hours.
star-5
Nuno the tourist guide...
marwah_a, Aug 2022
Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
Nuno the tourist guide was amazing he answered all of our questions and even gave more tips about the Lisbon best attractions.
star-5
Great tour of Sintra and surrounding areas!
Hunter_R, Jul 2022
Sintra Small-Group Tour from Lisbon with Cabo da Roca and Cascais
Daniel with The Cooltours did an amazing job taking us from place to place and making sure we had enough time at each destination but also made sure we were able to see all the destinations.
star-5
Great way to see the city with a great guide!
Laura_H, Jul 2022
True 4Hour/Half day TukTuk Tour of Lisbon. A Remarkable Overview. Leave town as a Local
What a great way to see the city of Lisbon!
star-5
Amazing experience
Marcella_M, Jul 2022
Lisbon Traditional Boats - Sunset Cruise
So romantic, great way to see Lisbon from day to night.
star-5
Very Good
BK_B, Jul 2022
Lisbon Half Day Private Tour
We got to see all the important landmarks in Lisbon.
star-5
Great guides! Beautiful sights!
Lyle_S, Jul 2022
Catamaran Sunset Sailing
Nice way to see Lisbon.
star-5
Memorable experience!
Stephanie_W, Jul 2022
Lisbon Traditional Boats - Sunset Cruise
Memorable experience which gives you the opportunity to see Lisbon from a different perspective.
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All about Lisbon

When to visit

Come June, the city of Lisbon is transformed by a carnival atmosphere for Festas de Lisboa, a 2-month-long celebration of Portuguese culture, food, art, and music. For a slightly sleepier time without summer’s peak prices and crowds, early fall boasts still-warm weather and cheaper hotel rates.

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
WEST (UTC +1)
Country Code
+351
Language(s)
Portuguese

A local’s pocket guide to Lisbon

Sérgio Montelobo

Originally from Coimbra, Sérgio has been based in Lisbon for years. When he's not exploring locally, he's trying to see as much of the world as possible with his family.

The first thing you should do in Lisbon is...

get a Lisboa Viva card—you’ll need it for all public transportation.

A perfect Saturday in Lisbon...

starts with getting the tram to Graça for the flea market, followed by brunch at the Decadente and a walking tour of Baixa and Chiado. Finish with dinner and drinks in the Príncipe Real neighborhood.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). Go to Pastéis de Belém for the best ones in the city.

To discover the "real" Lisbon...

go to Campo de Ourique, which is probably the best place to live in Lisbon and where you'll find amazing craft shops, parks, and restaurants.

For the best view of the city...

head to the Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcantara to see the skyline and the river, then take the elevator down to Avenida da Liberdade for a closer look.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that Fado is the only Portuguese music.

People Also Ask

What is Lisbon best known for?

The Portuguese capital of Lisbon is best known for being the birthplace of fado music. The nostalgic, and often mournful, music genre can be traced back to the 1820s. It’s thought to have originated in the historic Alfama neighborhood, where you can still find fado bars today.

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What are the 3 things that make Lisbon special?

Portuguese food is one of the standout features of Lisbon, especially due to the affordable price points. And you can’t walk through the City of Seven Hills without being charmed by the colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. Finally, the year-round sun makes this European capital a desirable place to be.

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How many days should I spend in Lisbon?

For a comprehensive overview of Lisbon, spend about five days in the region. The first two should be spent exploring the main areas of the city—Bairro Alto, Baixa, Alfama, and Graça—followed by a day at the Park of Nations. Visit the Sintra and Cascais areas with your remaining time.

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Is Lisbon good for nightlife?

Yes. Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife that is easily accessible to tourists. Visit some of the city’s clubs—notably LuxFragil—or enjoy a relaxed evening at a local bar. For those looking for a bit of Portuguese culture, a stop at a fado club in Aflama is a must-do.

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What do locals do in Lisbon?

Most locals attend gallery openings or wander the many city parks with their families. Food plays a huge part in Portuguese culture, so you can find many locals enjoying meals at tascas, or local taverns. Lisboetas are also very active, spending time exercising along the Tagus River.

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Is Lisbon expensive?

No. Relative to other European capitals, Lisbon is affordable. A meal at a local tavern usually costs less than €10 and often includes wine or beer. Activities tend to be reasonably priced, with most museums costing a few euros or completely free on certain days of the month.

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