Lisbon is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. The city is a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, with something to offer for every kind of traveller. From historic landmarks to trendy neighbourhoods and everything in between, Lisbon has incredible things to see and do. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing with you the top things to do in Lisbon, guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase something I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps keep my website up and running and is very appreciated. Thank you for your support! You can read my full disclosure policy here.
In This Post
18 Best Things To Do In Lisbon:
1. Check Out Belem Tower:
If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Belem Tower. This impressive fortress was built in the early 16th century to defend the city from incoming attacks and has since become a symbol of Portugal’s maritime history and exploration. From its intricate architecture to the breathtaking views of the Tagus River, there’s something truly captivating about this place.
You can also climb to the top of the tower and look out over the river, or explore the exhibits inside to learn more about the tower’s history. It’s the perfect spot to take some stunning photos and immerse yourself in the culture and history of this vibrant city.
2. Grab A bargain At Feira Da Ladra:
If you’re after a unique shopping experience, look no further than the Feira da Ladra open every Tuesday and Saturday. Known as the “Thieves Market,” this open-air bazaar is filled with vendors selling everything from antiques to second-hand clothing, making it the perfect place for bargain hunters and vintage enthusiasts alike.
Be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds and brush up on your haggling skills to get the best deals. Take a stroll through the market while enjoying some traditional Portuguese treats, and soak in the bustling atmosphere of this historical and cultural centre. With its eclectic mix of items and vibrant energy, Feira da Ladra is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Lisbon.
3. Enjoy An Evening At Time Out Market:
If you’re looking for an unforgettable evening in Lisbon, Time Out Market should be top of your list. This vibrant market is the perfect place to experience the authentic flavours of Portugal, with a huge variety of food stalls serving up everything from mouth-watering seafood to delicious desserts.
You can enjoy a glass of wine with friends, savouring the buzzing atmosphere and live music. The market is housed in a beautiful historic building that has been impressively restored, making this not only a place to eat but also an attraction. With so much on offer, you’ll be able to taste your way around Lisbon and discover new flavours that will have you coming back to Time Out Market again and again.
4. Stroll Around LX Factory:
Located in the charming district of Alcântara, LX Factory in Lisbon is a hub of creativity and culture, and a must-visit destination. This former industrial complex was transformed into a dynamic space where art, design, fashion, and gastronomy coexist. As you stroll around this bustling place, you will encounter fascinating street art, vintage shops, quirky bookstores, and cosy cafes. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or an inspiring spot to work, LX Factory has got you covered.
5. Ride The 28 tram:
One experience you simply cannot miss in Lisbon is riding the legendary 28 tram. It’s an iconic symbol of the city and a fantastic way to take in its sights and sounds. The tram passes through some of Lisbon’s most historic and picturesque neighbourhoods, including Graça, Alfama, and Baixa. Along the way, you’ll get stunning views of colourful tile buildings, narrow streets full of life, and stunning hilltop vistas!
Tip: Ride the tram early or late in the day to avoid the crowds!
6. Eat Pastel De Nata:
One local delicacy you can’t miss out on is the delicious pastel de nata. These little custard tarts are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and absolutely heavenly.
Pastel de nata are all over Lisbon, but some spots do them better. Our top pick is Manteigaria, a small bakery with a big reputation, located right in the heart of the city. They make their pastel de nata fresh every day, and you’ll often see a long line of locals and tourists waiting for a taste. Trust us, the wait is worth it! Grab a pastel de nata, find a spot in one of Lisbon’s beautiful plazas, and savour the sweet bliss.
7. Visit Panteao Nacional:
One of my favourite places to visit in Lisbon was the Panteao Nacional! This impressive monument in the Aflama district was originally built as a church in the 17th century, but later underwent several transformations and was eventually turned into a national pantheon in the 20th century.
Besides its historical and architectural significance, Panteao Nacional is where Portugal’s most notable figures are laid to rest. Inside, you’ll also find gorgeous Baroque architecture, incredible artwork, and breathtaking views of the city. It’s the perfect place to learn about Portugal’s rich history and culture while experiencing one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks.
8. See The Jeronimos Monastery:
For those seeking an immersive experience in Portuguese history and culture, visiting the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon is a must.!
This stunning 16th-century monastery is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, boasting impressive Gothic architecture that is sure to leave any visitor in awe. The intricate details on each column, arch, and wall are a testament to the mastery of the architects and artists who built it. But the beauty of this structure goes beyond its physical appearance.
The Jeronimos Monastery holds significant cultural and historical value to the people of Portugal, as it stands as a symbol of the golden age of Portuguese exploration during the Discoveries. Walking through the halls and cloisters of the monastery, one can truly appreciate the rich heritage and legacy that it embodies. So take some time to learn about the history and marvel at the beauty of this incredible monument; your trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without it.
Tip: Buy tickets in advance and get there early! Even in April when I last visited there were huge queues by mid-morning!
9. Check Out The Museums:
With its long history and vibrant arts scene, it’s no surprise that Lisbon is home to a plethora of museums. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art, ancient history or science, there’s something to cater to all tastes and interests.
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) offers a unique blend of all three, while the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum will transport you to another time with its vast collection of decorative arts, paintings and sculptures. And let’s not forget about the Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, where you can learn all about the wonders of nature and the universe. The best part? These museums are all situated within easy reach of one another, so you can hop from one to the other without having to worry about travel.
10. Experience The Heights Of Pillar 7:
If you’re looking for a truly unique and breathtaking view in Lisbon, look no further than Pillar 7 on the Vasco da Gama Bridge. This unique attraction gives you the chance to climb to the top of one of Lisbon’s tallest bridges and take in breathtaking views. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
From this vantage point, you can soak up the breathtaking skyline, with the city’s red roofs stretching out before you as the river winds its way below. It’s a remarkable spot to catch the city at its best, with the sound of the water lapping and the wind blowing gently in your face. And the best part? It’s not a view most tourists know about, so you’ll have a peaceful moment to yourself to take it all in. If you’re in Lisbon, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience.
11. Visit The Castelo De Sao Jorge:
Lisbon is filled with cultural gems, but none are quite as impressive as the Castelo de Sao Jorge. This ancient castle dates back to the 11th century and towers over the city, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city and Tagus River.
Visitors can spend hours exploring this historic landmark, immersing themselves in the rich history of Portugal and the colourful past of Lisbon. Stroll through the castle’s lush gardens, snap a picture with the resident peacocks, and be transported back in time with medieval architecture. Whether you’re a history buff, a seasoned traveller, or simply in search of a captivating cultural experience, the Castelo de Sao Jorge is an absolute must-see when visiting Lisbon.
12. Get Lost In The Aflama District:
Step into the vibrant Aflama District in Lisbon, and experience a blend of historical charm and contemporary culture. Aflama, once known as the Moorish quarter, is now a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.
This colourful neighbourhood is famous for its narrow, winding streets, brightly painted houses, and stunning views of the Tagus River. The area is bustling with quirky shops, art galleries, traditional restaurants, and trendy bars. Enjoy the chance to savour the mouthwatering grilled sardines, a local delicacy, while watching the sunset. With its lively ambience and unique character, Aflama offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you enchanted.
13. Check Out The National Tile Museum:
If you find yourself roaming around the streets of Lisbon, don’t forget to visit the National Tile Museum, a true hidden gem. This museum is housed in a beautifully restored former convent and is dedicated entirely to showcasing the art and history of tiles.
From the colourful, ornate designs of the 16th century to the contemporary works of today’s artists, visitors to the National Tile Museum can get a full and fascinating picture of Portugal’s tile industry and its role in the country’s cultural heritage. Don’t forget to look up when you enter the lobby, as the stunning blue and white tiles will have you marvelling at their beauty before you even begin the tour. With its welcoming atmosphere, this museum is a must-visit for anyone in Lisbon, tile enthusiast or not.
Tip: Don’t leave before seeing the chapel, it’s the highlight of the museum, simply stunning!
14. Climb The Padrao dos Descobrimentos:
As the sun sets over the city of Lisbon, the Padrao dos Descobrimentos offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area that is truly breathtaking. This historical monument is a must-visit for anyone exploring the city, and the climb to the top is worth every step (you can also take a lift) As you make your way up the spiral staircase, take the time to learn about the history of the monument and the incredible explorers that it celebrates.
Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the Tagus River and its famous bridge. It’s the perfect spot to take in the beauty of the city and reflect on the incredible achievements of those who came before us.
15. People Watch At Comercio Square:
Comercio Square in Lisbon is a true feast for the eyes. If you’re a people-watcher like me, you’ll be in heaven. The hustle and bustle of this historic square is a true reflection of Lisbon life. You’ll see locals going about their day-to-day routine, tourists snapping photos of the impressive Arco da Rua Augusta, and families enjoying an outdoor meal or ice cream. It’s a real melting pot of cultures and the perfect place to sit back and absorb the atmosphere. So, grab a coffee or a glass of Vinho Verde and let the people-watching begin!
16. Take A Ride On The Santa Justa Lift:
If you’re looking for a unique view of Lisbon, a ride on the Santa Justa Lift is an absolute must. This iconic landmark may have been designed primarily for transportation, but it’s also become an attraction in its own right.
The beautifully crafted iron structure provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city from above. Plus, it’s a great way to skip the steep hills and stairs that come with exploring Lisbon on foot. Whether a local or a tourist, the Santa Justa Elevator is a fun and unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss.
Tip: If you want to skip the queues but still experience the lift, walk up the steps behind the lift, take in the views then get the lift back down, that way you likely have no queue and maybe have the lift to yourself.
17. Take In The Views From The Cristo Rei Monument:
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of Lisbon, look no further than a trip across the river to visit the Cristo Rei monument. This towering statue of Jesus Christ offers breathtaking views of the city and the Tagus River, making it the perfect place for anyone looking to combine sightseeing with a spiritual experience.
You can reach Cristo Rei by taking the ferry across the river or crossing the bridge by bus. Once there, you can explore the statue and its surrounding area, which includes a chapel, a gift shop, and a restaurant. Whether you’re a devout Christian or simply looking for a unique experience, visiting Cristo Rei will surely leave you feeling inspired and refreshed.
18. Get Lost In The City:
Lisbon, the city of seven hills with mesmerizing neighbourhoods and winding streets, has something to offer every traveller. The city’s authentic charm lies in its architecture, culture, and lively atmosphere.
You can explore the city’s narrow alleys, cobbled streets and enjoy the colourful buildings while taking a stroll. Getting lost in the city is not bad; it’s an adventure that will lead to beautiful surprises. From historic sites like Castelo de São Jorge to picturesque neighbourhoods like Alfama, Lisbon has so much to see. Take your time, walk at your own pace, and let the city reveal its secrets to you.
Where To Stay In Lisbon?
Whatever your budget there is an abundance of hotels, guest houses and hostels in Lisbon.
For budget travellers there are plenty of hostels to choose from, I recommend the LX Hostel situated in the heart of the LX Factory, where you’ll find an abundance of shops, cafes and bars as well as easy transport links to other areas of the city. The hostel has very friendly staff, a rooftop bar, a great kitchen and pod-like dorms offering extra privacy. The included breakfast is also one of the best I’ve had in a hostel!! Prices start around £20 a night depending on the time of year.
If you have never stayed in a hostel before then check out my hostel guide for newbies for more information on whether hostel stays are for you. They are not for everyone but I find the low cost gives me more money to spend on activities and attractions.
For booking accommodation I recommend using Booking.com. This website offers the best-priced accommodation catering for all budgets and styles. Just pop in your requirements and it will give you a list of available accommodation. Perfect for picking out the best hostels, B&B or even some luxury escapes.Booking.com
How To Get Around Lisbon?
Whether you’re visiting Lisbon for the first time or you’re a seasoned traveller, getting around the city can sometimes be a little overwhelming. But don’t worry, navigating Lisbon’s many narrow streets and steep hills is easier than you might think.
One of the best ways to explore the city is by foot. Lisbon is a city best seen at a leisurely pace, and walking gives you the chance to take in all the details, from the colourful tiles on the buildings to the delicious smell of fresh pastries filtering out of nearby bakeries. Just make sure you have comfy shoes!
Alternatively, the city has a great public transport system consisting of buses, trams, and a metro, all of which are easy to use and perfect for getting around quickly. One of the great things about Lisbon is that you only need to buy one travel card, for seasonal visitors you need to purchase a non-refundable Viva Viagem card, which costs €0.50.
Once you have your card, you just need to top it up with credit and zap your way around the city. Alternatively, you can top up with a fixed number of single tickets or a 24-hour unlimited pass. Once you have your Viva Viagem pass you are free to use it on the bus, tram, metro, train and ferries. You can buy the card easily at the airport, metro, train and ferry stations in person or via automated ticket machines.
For a real taste of local life, why not hop on an electric tuk-tuk and let one of Lisbon’s friendly drivers show you around the city’s most famous sights? With so many fantastic options on offer, exploring Lisbon has never been easier or more fun!
Read more: How To Navigate Lisbon Public Transport!
Lisbon is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history and culture, food and drink, fashion and design, or just exploring new places, Lisbon has it all. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, this city is full of wonders waiting to be discovered. We hope this guide has inspired you to add some of these top things to do in Lisbon to your itinerary and make the most of your trip.
Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content coming in the next few weeks so make sure you pop back to catch up!