Are you coming to Lisbon soon? Here are the 18 best things that we recommend you doing/trying in Lisbon!
Lisbon is one of the best cities in Europe for tourists. It’s a great destination for a weekend escape or to just have some fun holidays in Portugal! Lisbon has so much to offer and you will be amazed by this city.
Having said that, if you’re coming to Lisbon for the first time or even if you are revisiting, here we recommend you the 18 best things you can do in Lisbon!
1. Visit the Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)
The Belém Tower is a symbol of Lisbon, you can’t visit the capital and not see this historic monument, it’s a sin! Located in the mouth of the Tagus river, it was built between 1514 and 1520 as part of the Lisbon’s defense system, now it’s just an old cute tower that you should not miss out on!
2. Visit the resting place of Vasco Da Gama and Luís de Camões
Right on the other side of the Belém Tower sits another beauty – the Jerónimos Monastery. It’s the symbol of Portugal’s power and wealth during the glorious Age of Discovery. It was built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was then built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Now it’s the resting place for Vasco Da Gama and Luís de Camões, the author of the “The Lusiads”.
3. Don’t forget about the viewpoints
Lisbon has some of the most amazing viewpoints (“miradouros” in Portuguese). We recommend you going to one of the following viewpoints: Miradouro da Graça, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte and don’t forget about Cristo Rei!
4. Go to a local bakery
Lisbon is packed with local, traditional and historical bakeries. The most famous one is the Pasteis de Belém right by the Belém Tower, however, there are lots of different ones that are just as good!
5. Try some Ginjinha!
Ginja is a typical Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur that originated in Lisbon. One shot usually costs 1 euro and you can also have it with a cherry or a chocolate wafer, which makes the experience even better. The most popular place to try it is “A Ginjinha” but in most places like cafes and restaurants, you can also have it.
6. Ride the Tram 28
The number 28 Lisbon tram connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique, and passes through the popular tourist districts of Graça, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela. It’s a great way to understand the geography of the city and avoiding the painful uphill walks while having lots of fun!
7. Visit Rossio
Rossio Square is where Lisbon’s local life ticks over each day. The square if officially called “Square of D.Pedro IV” and it is the liveliest place in the capital and where many locals and tourists meet up. The square and its surrounding streets are packed with some of the city’s most famous restaurants, bars, and shops. Here you’ll have a great time and might end up meeting some locals and have an awesome and relaxing time!
8. Wander around Alfama
Alfama is a Lisbon’s historic neighborhood that survived the 1755 catastrophic earthquake. Here all you have to do is wander around the old tiny streets of the very old town of Lisbon and just see how the locals are living there and enjoying their lovely lives!
9. Take a day trip to Sintra and see the Pena Palace
From Lisbon, you can have a half an hour trip to Sintra and see the Pena Palace, Castle of Moors and the Quinta de Regaleira. You will be truly amazed by the beauty that this village has to offer.
We recommend you the Lisbon-Sintra-Cabo da Roca Tour if you’re aiming to visit the most beautiful places of Portugal
10. Have a trip to Fátima and Nazaré
If you have some extra days to spend in Portugal, don’t just stay in Lisbon, get out and enjoy what Portugal has to offer – a lot! Take a trip 75 km north of Lisbon and you’ll meet Nazaré, the world’s capital of giant waves and the top surfers’ destination. Here you can enjoy one of the most beautiful ocean views and you can also have a luxury seafood dish for just 15 euros! Next, you can head to our hometown Fátima and meet the place where Our Lady of Rosary appeared. In that same place now stands the great Sanctuary of Fátima. Millions of pilgrims and tourists come to visit this calming town and you should too!
We recommend you the TOP Tour Lisbon-Fátima if you’re aiming to visit Lisbon and Sanctuary of Fátima as well as Monastery of Batalha and Alcobaça and the greatest beach of Portugal Nazaré
11. Have a meal in Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto is known for its lively nightlife and for the amazing food places. Having said that, go to the Bairro Alto neighborhood and try out some Portuguese dishes, after that, have a drink of some ginjinha and then party all night with the locals, you’re going to love it!
12. See the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries)
Back in the glory days of Portugal was a whole empire scattered throughout the entire planet. Places like Angola, Moçambique, Brazil, Macao, Goa and many more were part of the Portuguese Empire and Portugal was also the first country to start the journeys of the discoveries outside of Europe. That’s why this Monument was built in 1960, to appreciate the beautiful history of this amazing country and if you’re coming to Lisbon you have to see this
13. Climb the Cristo Rei Monument to get the royal views of Lisbon
On the other side of the Tagus River, connected by the 25 de Abril Bridge, is the Sanctuary of Cristo Rei. It was built in 1959 to thank Jesus for the fact that Portugal hadn’t joined the second world war. From there you can look at Lisbon from a distance and enjoy one of the greatest viewpoints!
14. Go to St. George Castle
Standing above the famous Alfama district, St. Geroge Castel or “Castelo de São Jorge” in Portuguese is a great landmark but also one of the great viewpoints of Lisbon. The actual name derives from the devotion of the Castle to Saint George, patron saint of knights and crusades, made by the order of D. João I in the 14th century. The first fortresses were built by the Romans more than 2000 years ago, since then it served various roles until 1940 when some parts of the castle had to be rebuilt and it was turned into a national monument and museum
15. You must see the Praça do Comércio
It is an obvious one but you must, must, must see the Praça do Comércio with the statue of King Jose I in the center. It is the most important squares of Lisbon and it was built by Marquês de Pombal after the 1755 earthquake. Thousands of trades happened in here and that’s why it was named “Praça do Comercio” meaning “The Square of Commerce”. Don’t forget your sunblock when you’ll be wandering around the square!
We have a 1 Day Sightseeing Tour in Lisbon + Transfer to Fátima (click here)
16. Sé de Lisboa – The Oldest Cathedral of Lisbon
Go to the Sé de Lisboa and see the oldest cathedral of Lisbon! It was built right after the conquest of the city from the Moors by the first King of Portugal D.Afonso Henriques! It was unfortunately partly destroyed during the 1755 earthquake but it was then rebuilt and you can still see the medieval architecture till this day!
17. See the Parque Eduardo VII
This magical park was once called “Parque da Liberdade” meaning “Park of Freedom” but after the visiting of King Edward VII in 1902 from the United Kingdom, the name was changed to reaffirm the alliance between the two countries. Here you can see the monument to the 25th April Revolution and the giant Portuguese Flag proudly waving.
18. Listen to some Fado
Everyone who comes to Lisbon and listens to some Fado will recommend you do the same. Fado is Lisbon’s traditional music genre that can be traced back to the 1820s, characterized by the slow and melancholic rhythm and was recently added to the Unesco’s list of World’s Intangible Heritage. It’s one of the best and fun things to do in Lisbon at night.
So you’ve read about 18 things to in Lisbon and now you want to hop on a travel tour? Here are our recommended tours:
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