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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- Spring or autumn
Things to Do in Lisbon
Top Attractions in Lisbon
Cities in Portugal
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What people are saying about Lisbon
Highly recommend if you have only a few hours to spare on your trip to Lisbon! Marisa, our guide was extraordinary and the trip was amazing. Though a bus tour, our group was a comfortable size and not overwhelming at all. Sintra was breathtaking. We visited Palacio Nacional de Sintra, the only extant medieval palace in Portugal. The drive through Sintra was stunning, and the vistas along the coastline were spectacular. We visited Boca do Inferno, Cabo da Roca (westernmost point in Europe), and the lovely seaside resort of Cascais. The experience I gained on this tour was an key reason I booked my return trip back to Portugal within 6 weeks of returning home! HIGHLY recommend this tour and returning to spend more time in stunning Sintra and Cascais!
My co-workers and I are grateful to have had Gonçalo. It was our first time to Portugal (traveled from the States). He was fun and very knowledgeable and knew so much about the history of Lisbon that we were engaged to continue to learn and see more (even on the hot day). We had the best experience of Lisbon (and Portugal) because of his kindness and his welcoming attitude. When traveling, it is nice to experience the food, the culture, but most importantly, the best part is connecting with the people, so Gonçalo we cannot thank you enough. We already have plans to return to Portugal and hopefully schedule another tour with Gonçalo. We wish you the best! Good luck with school, you have a bright future ahead!
Booked this tour for myself, my sister and our 80-year-old mum who walks with a cane. Apart from a very minor mixup regarding pickup location, we had a fantastic day. Nuno was so attentive and stopped whenever we asked him to and gave excellent commentary throughout the trip. There was a forest fire alert on the day of tour which meant we couldn’t drive up to see the palaces in Sintra, but Nuno took us to see loads of beaches and other fascinating places instead - this more than made up for the disappointment of missing the palaces. Highly recommend this activity.
This experience made my solo trip memorable. The tour was great and our tour guide Andre was the best. He made sure everything was organized, safe and sound. He was extremely generous and patience with everything. He was passionate with what he does. He deserves a promotion!!!
I would recommend that another small vineyard be included with the first one we visited. The Foseca wine was not tasty and although the vineyard was interesting they were too busy. The rest of the day was very nice. Margaret Cozine