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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 10 attractions 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
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#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

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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Sunset Boat Tour in Lisbon

Sunset Boat Tour in Lisbon

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Lisbon Small-Group Portuguese Food and Wine Tour
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Lisbon 2 Hour Historical Private Guide Tuk Tuk Tour
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Lisbon Half Day Private Tour
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Lisbon Half Day Private Tour

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Lisbon Traditional Boats - Sunset Cruise
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Sintra Full-Day Private Tour - A Journey through Wonderland
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Small groups to Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré and Óbidos
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The 10 Tastings of Lisbon With Locals: Private Food Tour
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2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
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Things to do in Lisbon this...

Recent reviews from experiences in Lisbon

star-5
2.5 hours of fun cycling through centra Lisbon
Eddie_H, May 2022
Lisbon Hills Electric Bike Guided Tour
Fun way to see Lisbon and get an understanding of its history and key attractions.
star-5
Amazing!
Anonymous, May 2022
Sintra Small-Group Tour from Lisbon with Cabo da Roca and Cascais
Miguel was amazing even recommending things to do in Lisbon.
star-5
Excellent
Kimcrowe5, May 2022
Lisbon 2 Hour Historical Private Guide Tuk Tuk Tour
Very knowledgeable guide Good tour of historical locations Relaxing way to see Lisbon and and avoid walking up hills
star-5
Excellent tour guide
Matt_N, May 2022
Lisbon: 1-Hour City Tour on a Private Tuk
We got some great tips for what to do on the rest of our holiday and saw the main sights
star-5
Got to see all we wanted...
Chris_W, May 2022
Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk
Got to see all we wanted to get a better understanding of the layout of lisbon.
star-5
Romantic sunset cruise
Angie_D, May 2022
Catamaran Sunset Sailing
It’s nice to see a different side of Lisbon
star-5
Excellent trip
Emma_F, May 2022
Best Sunset Catamaran - with Music
Wonderful trip, great way to see Lisbon and relax for a few hours with lovely drinks and crew.
star-5
Fantastic experience
Emily_M, May 2022
Lisbon Bike Tour: Downtown Lisbon to Belém
great way to see Lisbon and to experience some of the culture.
star-5
Educational and interesting
Sherry_H, May 2022
Lisbon Half Day Private Tour
Diago had a great knowledge of Portugals history and made sure we saw what we wanted to see in Lisbon and Belem.
star-5
This is a must do
Laura_B, May 2022
GoCar Historic Lisbon Experience 1h to 7h!
Amazing way to see and experience Lisbon.
star-5
Excellent value for money and fun.
Peter_W, May 2022
Lisbon Traditional Boats - Guided Sightseeing Cruise
Would definitely recommend to anyone wishing to see Lisbon from the River:
star-5
Great 2 hour tour of the city!
Sarah_T, May 2022
2 Hr City Tuk Tuk Tour of Lisbon
Great guide, he gave us a taste of this the city, will definitely be returning to see more, thank you
star-5
Best way to see Lisbon from River Tagus
Kristen_D, May 2022
2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
Beautiful way to see the city of Lisbon while enjoying a serene sunset.
star-5
Great!
Sherri_M, May 2022
Best of Lisbon Guided Walking Tour
We were able to see so much and learn secret hidden ways to navigate the many hills.
star-5
Awesome Experience!
Amanda_T, May 2022
Lisbon Sailing Tour on a Luxury Sailing Yacht
It was a great way to see Lisbon and get a guided tour as well.
star-5
Amazing Lisbon guide!
James_E, May 2022
True 4Hour/Half day TukTuk Tour of Lisbon. A Remarkable Overview. Leave town as a Local
For Lisbon, a Tuktuk is the best way to see the city!
star-5
Great way to see Lisbon!
Kathy_B, May 2022
Lisbon: 1-Hour City Tour on a Private Tuk
It was a wonderful tour and a great way to see Lisbon and figure out what to go back to!
star-5
Wonderful Tour
Kenneth_N, May 2022
Lisbon Full-Day Small Group City Tour with River Crossing by Ferry
He spoke excellent English and had a great sense of humor.
star-5
A great way to see Lisbon! Karim our guide was very knowledgeable. He let us set the pace and stopped when and where for
Evelyn_B, May 2022
True 4Hour/Half day TukTuk Tour of Lisbon. A Remarkable Overview. Leave town as a Local
A great way to see Lisbon!
star-5
See it all at your own pace
alison_p, May 2022
Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk
Excellent way to see lots of Lisbon and to learn about its history.

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
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