Top attractions 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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'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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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- Best time to visit
- Spring or autumn
Things to Do in Lisbon
Top Attractions in Lisbon
Cities in Portugal
Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon
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What people are saying about Lisbon
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.
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 .
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!
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!
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.