Lisbon
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Top attractions in Lisbon

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Top 10 things to do in Lisbon

Portugal's capital city offers an unpretentious culture coupled with a splendid, historic cityscape. As one of Europe's oldest cities, it's also one of the most fascinating to explore! Here are some top tips to get you started.

Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery

The magnificent Jeronimos Monastery near the shoreline of Belém was once home to the Hieronymite monks – Catholic hermits whose primary role it was to pray for the King's soul!

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto

The loosely translated Upper Neighborhood is Lisbon's most historically opulent quarter. Bairro Alto is a great place to wander, its preserved romantic ambiance boasts some of the city's top attractions!

Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral

Built in 1147 and subsequently developed over time, the Lisbon Cathedral is a bold mix of architectural styles, yet maintains the imposing authority of its Medieval incarnation.

Rossio Square

Rossio Square

Once the scene of celebrations, bullfights, executions, and uprisings, Lisbon's historic Rossio Square is the meeting point of choice for locals and tourists alike.

Alfama

Alfama

The city's oldest district can be found between the São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River. Alfama is the place to be for Lisbon's best restaurants and Fado bars!

Tagus River

Tagus River

Whether cycling along its bank or cruising its waters, be sure to explore Lisbon's pulse. Tagus River's estuary is a haven for fish, crustaceans, and birds, including flamingos!

Commerce Square

Commerce Square

Called Praça do Comércio in Portuguese, this vast town square is also known as Palace Square (Terreiro do Paço). The Royal Palace stood here before being flattened by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake!

Belém Tower

Belém Tower

Not only did his 16th-century harbor fortress defend the municipality of Lisbon from coastal attack, but Belém Tower was also crucial to Portugal's role in the era's Age of Discovery!

Chiado Square
Photo: PortoBay Hotels & Resorts@ flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Chiado Square

Chiado's subsequent recovery after a devastating fire in 1988 has made it perhaps the wealthiest corner of the city. It's now Lisbon's most famous shopping district!

Santa Justa Lift

Santa Justa Lift

With the advent of electric power, Lisbon built two elevators to improve access between its hilly streets. This peculiar feat of engineering is a true relic!

Planning Your Lisbon Visit

Best time to visit?

Lisbon is lucky enough to have the warmest winters in Europe without the disadvantage of suffering from intense summer heat. Nevertheless, the subtropic coastal climate is prone to sudden bursts of rain even on its clearest days, so be warned! Going in late spring or early autumn generally means cheaper hotel prices and more manageable crowds.

How many days?

The heart of Lisbon makes a great choice for a long weekend, but many of its top attractions lie within the city's greater subregion. Top day trips include Belém, Sintra, Fátima, and Cascais, with many more besides. Each will need at least an entire day to see, if not two.

How to get from Lisbon airport to the city?

Though Lisbon is cheap by the standards of most European capitals, getting one of the cabs waiting outside the airport can be expensive. If you're traveling somewhere central without much luggage, it's undoubtedly cheaper and easier to take the metro. It should only take about 25 minutes to the city center.

Good to know

  • Language
    Portuguese
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +351
  • Best time to visit
    Spring or autumn

Things to Do in Lisbon

Top Attractions in Lisbon

Cities in Portugal

Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon

Want to discover all there is to do in Lisbon? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lisbon

Well organized trip with friendly staff our toddler loved!

We had booked another sunset cruise with a different provider and they called us an hour before scheduled departure to cancel because of the weather. It was a calm, perfect summer evening so it was clear the other provider was making an excuse for an under oiled trip. I scrambled to find another provider and could not have made a better choice than terra Incognita. The catamaran was beautiful, the boat had plenty of room to stretch out and the staff could not have been more charismatic and hospitable. A perfect way to end our weekend in Lisbon before pushing off the the Azores.

Excellent reliable company. especial thanks to Joao.

We had a last minute request to change our trip date due to a technical problem with the boat. However Joao was very flexible and accommodating to our needs and we managed to still do the trip to see the dolphins. Joao was very friendly and he was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Portugal and the dolphins and we had a very enjoyable day. Thank you so much, we really appreciated you making arrangements to fit us in during our time in Lisbon .

Dolphin Watching Day Tour from Lisbon Reviewed by Devina, 07/16/2019

The tour was phenomenal. The guides were personal and informative.

The experience was a perfect way to spend an evening in Lisbon, Portugal. It was incredible to see the city from that angle and even better to learn more about the history. It never felt rushed and we were able to enjoy the beautiful views and wine completely comfortably. The rest of the group was also very nice and we all enjoyed the evening. Highly recommend!

Sunset Cruise in the Tagus River Reviewed by Anonymous, 07/14/2019

Amazing place- glad we didn't have to wait in the ticket line!

Pena Palace and Sintra are so different from almost any other European palace or castle or mansion. The colorfulness and whimsy, along with the incredible details make it worth a visit, even with crowds and heat and uphill walking. GYG tickets helped a lot because the ticket line would have been very long!

Pena Palace & Park Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket Reviewed by Dante, 07/12/2019

History lesson, sightseeing and art experience in one

This tour lets you see the city from a new perspective. We learned so much about street art, Lisbon and it's culture in just a few hours with our guide who was passionate, friendly and in touch with his audience. Loved that it was a small group. Would go again, if only to see what's new.

Lisbon: Street Art Tour Reviewed by Marianne, 07/16/2019