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.
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+00:00)
- Country Code
- 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
Having a private and extremely knowledgeable guide was definitely the way to cover Sintra and Cascais. I can’t say enough about our guide who was called John. He was one in a million. If you are considering a similar trip ask for him. His luxury Peugeot van made travelling in style. He taught us so much we would have had no way of knowing otherwise. He took exceptional care of my elderly mother. He was totally professional in every way possible. He spent time asking us at the beginning of the day about our preferences, how we wanted to spend the day, what our major interests were etc. And totally customized the tour accordingly. We couldn’t have been happier. Thank you so much John! Jane Lennon from Canada.
We didn’t know what to expect but what we got was a stellar walking tour through parts of Porto which featured excellent vistas, interesting history provided by our absolutely terrific and knowledgeable guide, Ciara, and a visit to the Livraria Lello, the bookstore space which was apparently a favorite location for JK Rowling who taught English in Porto in the early 1990s when she was writing the first book of Harry Potter—and you can see the influence of the bookstore! Great tour by a great guide!
The queues get massive almost immediately. Parking is challenging but fine if early. The palace is unbelievable - one of the most stunning places I have visited. Be prepared for loads of walking up and down hills if you want to see the gardens. Worth every euro - brilliant place to visit.
A well-planned and informative tour led by an excellent guide, Andre who was friendly, accommodating and clearly very knowledgeable about the local history. Do well organised that we avoided the crazy queues in Pena Palace. Lovely small group which was great. Highly recommend.
A group of 6 women, one who hadn’t rode a bike since she was 12 and Xavier made us feel so relaxed and comfortable. The tour was very informative and the electric bikes made the hills so easy! We had a great time and Xavier was absolutely the best guide! Highly recommend.