Planning what to see and what sights to visit in Lisbon? Check out our 32 tips for the best things to do in Lisbon + map.
- How to save in Lisbon?
- Best Things to do in Lisbon – Map
- Best Things to do in Lisbon: Top places to see
- 1. Monastery of the Jerónimos (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos)
- 2. Tower of Belém (Torre de Belém)
- 3. Monument to the Discoverers (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)
- 4. Patisserie Pastéis de Belém
- 5. National Carriage Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches)
- 6. Bridge 25th April (Ponte 25 de Abril)
- 7. Statue of Jesus Christ (Santuário de Cristo Rei)
- 8. Basílica da Estrela
- 9. Bairro Alto
- 10. Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho)
- 11. The Bica cable car (Ascensor da Bica)
- 12. Time Out Market and Ribeira Market
- 13. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
- 14. Church of Sao Roque (Igreja de São Roque)
- 15. Convento do Carmo Monastery and Archaeological Museum
- 16. Elevator Santa Justa (Elevador de Santa Justa)
- 17. Rossio Square (Praça Dom Pedro IV)
- 18. Arc de Triomphe (Arco da Rua Augusta)
- 19. Praça do Comércio
- 20. Alfama
- 21. Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)
- 22. Castle of St. George (Castelo de S. Jorge)
- 23. Tram 28
- 24. Miradouro de Santa Luzia
- 25. Church and Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora (Igreja de São Vicente de Fora)
- 26. National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional)
- 27. Miradouro da Graça
- 28. National Museum of Decorative Tiles (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)
- 29. Parque das Nações
- 30. Oceanárium Lisbon (Oceanário de Lisboa)
- 31. Miradouro Parque Eduardo VII
- 32. Tajo River and boating
- Where to stay in Lisbon?
- Tips before visiting Lisbon
- More information about Lisbon and the surrounding area
- Lisbon FAQs
Lisbon is a city of light that will entertain you with its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It has a multicultural touch and the best scones with yolk cream Pastéis de Nata.
Even though it is not right by the sea and there are no bathing beaches, you will feel like you are on a sunny riviera by the sea thanks to the Tajo River.
It winds along the banks to the local promenade, where you can sit on the steps and enjoy the view of the iconic Bridge 25th April with a statue of Jesus Christ above it.
Lisbon is bursting with colour. It’s fun and colourful. Houses are decorated with tiles of different shapes, colours, motifs.
And if you admire street art, you will find it here. Yes, there are plenty of places in Lisbon (like in any major city) where doodling in the streets cannot be considered art.
At the same time, there is real street art, which the city itself supports. The best street art can be found in the Bairro Alto, Alfama and Graça districts.
HOTELS IN LISBON 😴
How to save in Lisbon?
In Lisbon you can save very well thanks to Lisbon Tourist Card .
With it you get free unlimited transport in Lisbon (metro, trams including tram 28, lifts and cable cars), train travel to Sintra and Cascais, access to 28 sites in and around Lisbon (Jeronimos Monastery, Belém Tower, National Pantheon, National Carriage Museum and more) and discounts of up to 50 % on other sites.
The card is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours. Once purchased online, you will receive a voucher which you can exchange at the tourist information in Lisbon for Lisbon Card .
Tourist information is located right at the airport and they also give you a guidebook detailing wherever your card is valid. The card is activated from the first use (you have up to one year to activate the card).
The prices for everyone over 16 years of age are as follows: 22 € for 24 hours, 37 € for 48 hours and 46 € for 72 hours. Prices for children 4-15 years old are lower: 15 € for 24 hours, 21 € for 48 hours and 26 € for 72 hours.
Read our detailed review of the Lisbon Card.
Best Things to do in Lisbon – Map
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of Lisbon. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the guide of things to do in Lisbon. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.
Best Things to do in Lisbon: Top places to see
1. Monastery of the Jerónimos (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos)
Jeronymite Monastery Considered a masterpiece of Portuguese architecture, it is one of the most beautiful monuments in Lisbon. It is located in the Belém district outside the centre of Lisbon.
The monastery is built in a Manueline style that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. It comes from Portugal during the reign of King Manuel I and combines late Gothic with Renaissance or Moorish style. Thanks to this, it also deserved to be inscribed on the UNESCO list of monuments.
The official name of the monastery is Santa Marie de Belém, but it is more often called the Jeronymite Monastery because it was dedicated to the monks of the Order of St. Jerome.
The monastery has many intricate details. The inner garden is surrounded by porticoes with arches, each arch being completely different.
Adjacent to the monastery is a magnificent church, where you can see the tomb of the sailor Vasco da Gama or Portugal’s most famous poet, Luís de Camões. Admission to the church is free.
There are separate entrances for the monastery and the church. There are 3 queues – for the church, for tickets to the monastery and for the security check to the monastery.
Tickets to the monastery can be bought online or at vending machines, which usually allow payment by card.
I recommend buying tickets in advance to avoid the ticket queue at the venue. Just show your tickets on your mobile phone at the door.
Admission: admission to the monastery is 10 € and 5 € reduced (students, seniors over 65), children under 12 are free; admission to the church is free for all / Buy the ticket to the monastery here.
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, free entry with Lisboa Card
Opening hours: closed on Mondays; other days opening hours are as follows: in summer 9:30-18:00, ticket sales until 17:00 and last entry at 17:30; in winter 10:00-17:30, ticket sales until 16:30 and last entry at 17:00
How to get there: the easiest way to get to the Jeronymite Monastery is to take tram 15 from the main station in the centre of Cais to Sodré. Get off at the Mosteiro Jerónimos stop.
HOW TO GET THROUGH THE LINE AT THE JERONYMITE MONASTERY: The Jeronymite Monastery is one of the top 10 places in Lisbon and the queues are really long. Plus, you’re standing in the sun on the side of the road. One way to skip the queue is buy a ticket in advance .
So you don’t have to queue for a ticket and go straight to the security line. You show the ticket on your mobile and you’re good to go. Another option is to arrive as early as possible in the morning or later in the afternoon before closing time to avoid the biggest crowds.
2. Tower of Belém (Torre de Belém)
When visiting Lisbon, you can’t miss one of the most famous monuments that is intrinsically linked to the city’s history – The Tower of Belém . It is just a short walk from the Jeronymite Monastery.
The Belém Tower is another example of the Manueline style in Lisbon. It is an iconic monument that, together with the Jeronymite Monastery, is on the UNESCO list.
The Belem Tower stands at the mouth of the Tajo River. In the past, its function was to defend the city from attack, but it served longer as a state prison, lighthouse, customs port or telegraph office.
The Belem Tower consists of a bastion and a 30 m high tower. It has 4 floors, which are connected by a narrow staircase. Access up and down is controlled by traffic lights. At the bottom of the tower there are several cannons pointing out of the window. You can read more about the history of the town on each floor.
As part of the tower tour, you will be taken to the tower observation deck where you can see up to the statue of Christ above Bridge 25th April.
The Belém Tower is reached by a 3 km long promenade from the centre of the city, starting from Bridge 25th April. Here you can sit on one of the park benches or have a bite to eat and enjoy the view of the Belém Tower with the Tajo River flowing into the Atlantic Ocean a short distance away. There are toilets.
Admission: entrance to the Belém Tower is 6 € and 3 € reduced (students, seniors over 65 years), children under 12 years are free / Buy the ticket to the Belém Tower here.
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, free entry with Lisboa Card.
Opening hours: closed on Mondays; other days opening hours are as follows: in summer 9:30-18:00, ticket sales until 17:00 and last entry at 17:30; in winter 10:00-17:30, ticket sales until 16:30 and last entry at 17:00
How to get there: tram 15 from Cais Central Station to Sodré – stop Largo Da Princesa
HOW TO SKIP THE LINES TO THE BELEM TOWER: The Belém Tower is another place in Lisbon where the queues get really long because the number of people inside is corrected. You can buy tickets in advance.
The fewest people are here first thing in the morning for opening hours or then in the late afternoon. Also, check on the spot that you are in the right queue if you have bought your tickets in advance.
If you continue past the Belém Tower, after a while you will reach the Military Museum, in front of which stands the impressive Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultramar.
It was built in honour of Portuguese soldiers who died overseas. All their names are written on the wall behind him. A sad and powerful place. There’s also a guard that guards the eternal flame.
Book your tickets for the most popular sights in Lisbon and skip the line:
3. Monument to the Discoverers (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)
We move just a little further away from the Belém Tower – along the river towards the centre. Directly opposite the Jeronymite Monastery is the Monument of the Discoverers.
A relatively new monument, they were built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, who was a great supporter of sea travel.
The monument was originally built in 1940 for the Portuguese Exhibition, then dismantled and reassembled in more durable materials 20 years later.
The Monument to the Explorers is shaped like a ship with its bow pointing towards the Atlantic. It is dominated by a statue of Henry the Navigator in front and 33 other statues behind it, representing other important personalities connected with Portuguese maritime discoveries in the 15th-16th century. century – from sailors, cartographers, mathematicians to poets.
The building is 53 metres high, which makes it taller than the Belém Tower, so the views from here are a bit better – of the Tajo River, the Jeronymite Monastery and the Belém district. You can go up and down by lift. Inside, you can see the exhibitions.
The place is widely visited. There is a large square and a small harbour around, so the amount of visitors spreads out into the space.
But it’s not just any square. If you look on the ground, you will see a large mosaic with a wind rose inside which is a map of the world. The map shows all the journeys and discoveries ever made by the Portuguese.
Admission: 10 €, youth 13-25 years 5 €, seniors over 65 years and disabled 8,50 €, children under 12 years free
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, with the Lisboa Card the entrance fee is 8,30 €.
Opening hours: march-september 10:00-19:00 (last entry 18:30), october-february 10:00-18:00 (last entry 17:30)
How to get there: tram 15 from the main station Cais to Sodré – stop Mosteiro Jerónimos, from the monastery you can reach the monument via the underpass
4. Patisserie Pastéis de Belém
Isn’t it time for something good? As Petya would say – there is always time for something good :). And in Lisbon, that’s never a problem. Their custard tarts Pastéis de Nata are delicious.
A short walk from the Jeronymite Monastery is the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop and bakery. Right by the tram station. You can tell by the line that snakes all the way out. Resp. 2 queues – one for those who just want to buy something good to go and the other queue for those who want to have a coffee inside. But the queues pass quickly and it is worth waiting.
Pastéis de Belém are Belém cookies, and at first glance they are the same as the Pastéis de Nata you can buy anywhere else in Lisbon and Portugal. The Pastéis de Belém have a secret recipe, which makes them a little sweeter and creamier. You can have them with icing sugar or cinnamon and preferably warm. Warm is best.
One Pastéis de Belém costs about 1,20 € and I definitely recommend buying several of them. It is said that 20,000 cookies are baked here every day.
The patisserie is spacious and housed in beautiful premises. It is open daily 8:00-21:00. There is a park just behind the pastry shop if you would like to eat your cookies outside.
Hotel tip: Empire Lisbon Hotel is one of the best hotels in Lisbon – a modern but cosy hotel located halfway between the airport and the historic centre.
5. National Carriage Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches)
In the National Carriage Museum you can see royal carriages from the 16th to the 19th century. It’s a really rich collection, with more than 70 carriages and stretchers of different sizes and types. Some of them are rather simple and others are overdecorated.
Everything is carefully marked and you can read the story behind each carriage.
The museum is divided into two buildings, which are only across the road from each other – tickets are valid for both locations. The new modern building houses most of the collection. There is a small collection in the old equestrian hall, but the rooms are beautiful and historic.
Admission: 8 €, 50 % discount for students and seniors over 65, children under 12 are free
Part of the Lisboa Card: yes, with the Lisboa Card, entry is free.
Opening hours: new building Tuesday-Sunday (last entry 17:30; closed Monday); old building Wednesday-Monday 10:00-18:00 (last entry 17:30; closed Tuesday)
How to get there: tram 15 – stop Belém
6. Bridge 25th April (Ponte 25 de Abril)
Following the promenade around the Tajo River, we get from the Belém district to Bridge 25th April. From the promenade you will have the best view of the bridge.
The Ponte 25 de Abril connects the cities of Lisbon and Almada and is like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Interestingly, both bridges were built by the same company.
Bridge 25th April is over 2 km long, has 6 lanes and the lower level is with the railway. It is not for pedestrians.
The bridge was opened in 1966 and was originally named after the dictator Salazar. 25. 4. In 1974, a revolution took place in Portugal and democracy was restored. Thus the name of the bridge was symbolically changed to Ponde 25 de Abril.
7. Statue of Jesus Christ (Santuário de Cristo Rei)
The statue of Jesus Christ is located over the bridge 25th April in Almada, but it is intrinsically linked to Lisbon. It is as if she is holding a protective hand over Lisbon, towards which she is facing. You don’t have to be a Christian to feel the atmosphere.
The statue of Jesus Christ is inspired by one of the 7 new wonders of the world – the statue of Christ the Saviour in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is 28 m high and has a base of 75 m, unlike the statue of Christ the Saviour, which is 38 m high but has a base of “only” 8 m.
There is a church at the foot of the statue and an elevator leads up to a wide viewing platform directly below the statue, where there is a gift shop and a chapel. From the lift you still have to climb the narrow stairs.
The viewpoint offers one of the best views of Lisbon and the 25 April Bridge. If you don’t want to go up, that’s fine. You can also enjoy the view of the bridge and the surrounding area from below. There is an olive grove with benches and parking.
Admission: 8 €, children 8-12 years 3 €
Part of the Lisbon Card:No
- 1. 7. -14. 7. 9:30-18:45
- 15.7. – 31. 8. 9:30-19:30
- 1. 9. -20. 9. 9:30-18:45
- 21. 9. – 30. 6. 9:30-18:00
How to get there: by ferry from Cais do Sodré in central Lisbon to Cacilhas – the ferry runs every few minutes and takes 10 minutes. The price for the ferry is 1,40 €. It has beautiful views of Lisbon and the 25 April Bridge.
As soon as you get off the ferry, you will see the bus station a short distance away, where you will board bus 3001, which will take you to the Cristo Rei statue.
8. Basílica da Estrela
Basílica da Estrela is a distinctive Baroque church from the 18th century on a hill in the Estrela district. It has 2 bell towers and a large dome, between which a large terrace extends. Guests can step out onto the terrace and enjoy views of the city.
Inside, the basilica is decorated with marble in several shades from green to pink. In addition, there is a large nativity scene with more than 500 figures made of cork and terracotta.
Just opposite the basilica is a park with benches, a pond and greenhouses.
Admission: entrance to the church is free; 2 € for a tour of the crib; 4 € for admission to the rooftop observation deck
Part of the Lisbon Card: No
Opening hours: 10:30-19:30
How to get there: tram 25 or 28 – stop Estrela
9. Bairro Alto
Where to go for a drink tonight? Definitely the Bairro Alto district, famous for its bars and restaurants. It’s a bohemian neighbourhood with steep streets that are lined with Portuguese Fado music in the evening.
Fado is a slow and melancholic music in which everyday problems are sung. Fado literally means “fate”. It is so valuable that it is listed as a UNESCO Intangible Heritage Site. Lisbon even has its own museum where you can learn more about the history of Fado.
Fancy something good? Go to the Manteigaria pastry shop on the corner of the bustling Praça Luís de Camões. They have an excellent Pastéis de Nata that they make right in front of you. It is open until midnight. Another branch can be found right on Rua Augusta by the Arc de Triomphe.
10. Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho)
If you’re looking for an unusual place for a nice photo, visit Rua Nova do Carvalho. It is painted pink and decorated with colourful umbrellas on top.
There’s no one here early in the morning, but in the morning it fills up and in the evening it’s liveliest thanks to the bars and restaurants.
11. The Bica cable car (Ascensor da Bica)
The Bica cable car (Elevador da Bica) is exactly the place that appears in many photographs of Lisbon. The yellow tram in the steep Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, with which crowds of tourists take photos here.
It’s probably the most photographed carriage in Lisbon. Originally it was a cable car, which was later electrified and became a tramway.
The cable car is in normal operation and helps to overcome the steep slope to the Bairro Alto district. The entrance is through a yellow building with the sign Ascensor da Bica.
The price for 2 rides is 3,80 € and is payable at the driver’s desk. With a Lisbon card or a public transport day ticket, you get free travel.
The cable car departs every 15 minutes from Monday to Friday from 7:00-21:00 and on Sundays from 9:00-21:00. The yellow and coloured car alternate here.
TIP: Head to Elevador da Bica early in the morning. The lines are the smallest and the light is the best if you want to take some pictures.
12. Time Out Market and Ribeira Market
Time Out Market is a large indoor market where you can go to eat and buy fresh ingredients. It has a great location as it is directly opposite Cais do Sodré Central Station and just a few minutes from Praça do Comércio.
Inside there is a market and a restaurant with seating that fills up quickly. It can be a headache at times, but it’s a nice, casual place to go for a meal. In addition, you can choose from a variety of cuisines, from seafood to burgers and Asian cuisine.
Open Sunday-Thursday 10:00-24:00 and Friday-Saturday 10:00-01:00.
13. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
Miradouro is a popular viewpoint found in the hills of Lisbon. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is one of the most famous.
The lookout consists of a two-storey terrace with a fountain, a smaller park with benches and a view of the city centre.
There are also refreshments upstairs, and sometimes there are events such as a food festival or market. In the evening you can see the beautifully lit Castelo de S. Jorge.
How to get in: Tram 24 runs to the viewpoint – stop Elevador da Glória. You can also take the Glória cable car up from Praça dos Restauradores Square, which saves you a significant uphill climb.
The cable car costs 3,80 € or is included with the Lisbon Card, or you can use the Lisbon Card. as part of a day ticket for public transport. It’s a popular attraction and photo spot.
14. Church of Sao Roque (Igreja de São Roque)
The Sao Roque Church is just 2 minutes from the viewpoint. The oldest Jesuit church in Portugal and one of the first in the world. Don’t be put off by the inconspicuous white exterior. Inside, it is so beautifully decorated that it may be the most beautiful church in Lisbon.
The Sao Roque Church has a wooden painted ceiling and Baroque chapels that are richly decorated in gold. The local chapel is said to be the most expensive chapel in the world.
The church is open daily from 9:30-17:00 and admission is free. There is also an art museum, which is open until 18:00 and admission is 2,50 €.
15. Convento do Carmo Monastery and Archaeological Museum
The mysterious Convento do Carmo Monastery, an archaeological museum, is just a 5-minute walk from Sao Roque Church or the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint. This is a place you might not expect to find in the centre of Lisbon.
The Convento do Carmo is not one of the most famous monuments in Lisbon, but it is certainly one of the most interesting. The roof of the monastery collapsed during the great Portuguese earthquake of 1755. The perimeter walls and large Gothic arches with columns remain.
An amazing historical place with a special atmosphere. In the archaeological museum you can see the findings from the earthquake site, two small mummies and an Egyptian sarcophagus.
Admission: 5 €, for students and seniors over 65 years 4 €, children under 14 free
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, with the Lisboa Card the entrance fee is 4 €.
Opening hours: closed Sunday, Monday-Saturday 10:00-19:00
How to get in: The monastery lies just 5 minutes from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, so if you don’t want to pedal uphill, this is a good option to get here. The most popular option is the Santa Justa elevator. However, long queues (up to an hour) often form here.
You can also walk from the elevator – you walk past the elevator and around the block of houses on the left or right. It’s about 10 minutes to the small Largo do Carmo square, where the entrance to the Convento do Carmo monastery is.
16. Elevator Santa Justa (Elevador de Santa Justa)
Santa Justa’s historic metal elevator is one of the most beautiful elevators you can ride. And probably the most popular attraction in Lisbon, with queues of up to an hour.
The industrial building was designed by Raul Mesnier de Pondard, a pupil of Gustave Eiffel, in a neo-Gothic style with many details. The 45-metre high elevator connects the Baixa and Chiado districts and is more than 100 years old.
The Santa Justa elevator takes you up 5 floors. From there you can continue on into the district or stop at the 360° viewpoint for a fee of 1,50 €. The view from here is beautiful as you are just above the red roofs of Lisbon’s houses. A spiral staircase leads from the lift to the viewpoint.
Admission: 5,30 € per ride or free with a day ticket for public transport, or free with a day ticket for public transport. free with the Lisbon Card.
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, the lift is free with Lisboa Card .
Opening hours: May-September 7:00-23:00, October-April 7:00-21:00
How to get in: The elevator is located on Rua do Ouro in the city centre, a short walk from Rossio Square.
HOW TO SKIP THE LINES FOR SANTA JUSTA ELEVATOR: Like everywhere in Lisbon, arrive early in the morning when it’s least crowded. If you see queues when you arrive, you can walk up (just walk past the lift and around the block of houses and then up the hill – about a 10 minute walk).
At the top you can visit the Carmo Monastery and then take the lift down – there are no queues down there. With Lisbon card you’ll skip the checkout line.
17. Rossio Square (Praça Dom Pedro IV)
Praça Dom Pedro IV, or Rossio Square, is famous for its cobblestones with undulating patterns, fountains and cafés, from where you can observe the bustle of the lively square.
In the centre stands a statue of the Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro IV, who was for a time King of Portugal. Rossio Square is the site of historic uprisings, celebrations and executions.
While you’re here, go to A Ginjinha Bar. It’s an unassuming bar to the right of the National Museum, towards the San Domingo Church.
Here you can enjoy the typical Portuguese liqueur Ginjinha, which is made from Morello cherries. It is sweet and strong at the same time. They pour you a shot to the rim, so there’s also a sink to wash your hands if you spill a little liquor.
Ginjinha is served with cherry for 1,40 € or without cherry for 1,20 €. Sometimes it is even served in a chocolate glass. It’s a popular custom in Lisbon – have a drink or two and move on.
To the left of the National Theatre is the beautiful Rossio train station.
18. Arc de Triomphe (Arco da Rua Augusta)
From Rossio Square and the Santa Justa elevator, it is just a few minutes to the Arc de Triomphe, which connects Rua Augusta to Praça do Comércio. Rua Augusta is the most important street in Lisbon. Something like Oxford Street in London or Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
It’s not as flashy, but it’s full of tourists and lined with shops. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for pickpockets (like everywhere in central Lisbon).
Also look on the ground where you will see beautiful black and white mosaics. Typical of Lisbon. There is even a special school of paving in the city.
And go for the excellent Pastéis de Nata here in Manteigaria Pastry Shop . Pastéis de Belém are supposedly the best, but I think they have a lot of competition here.
The triumphal arch is pure white and perfectly set among the surrounding yellow houses. It has a clock on the inside and is decorated with statues on the other side. Not many people know that you can also go up the Arc de Triomphe (using the lift and staircase).
It only costs a few pennies and the views are definitely worth it. Along the way, learn more about the history of the Arc de Triomphe and see the clock mechanism up close.
Entrance fee: 3,50 € / Click here for tickets
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, free entry with Lisboa Card .
Opening hours: 10:00-19:00
Hotel tip: Hotel do Chiado is a four-star hotel with spectacular views, located right in the city centre, a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe and the Santa Justa elevator.
19. Praça do Comércio
Praça do Comércio is one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon. It is beautiful, spacious and open directly to the river. You can stroll around the long promenade or sit by the water and enjoy the view of the 25 April Bridge.
It’s an amazing spot for a sunset. There are gradual steps where the locals sunbathe (or on the grass) in the summer. No swimming.
The square is lined with beautiful buildings and in the middle stands a 14-metre high bronze statue of King Joseph I of Portugal, the first cast statue in Portugal. It is also the oldest public statue dedicated to a living person. The statue was built on the site of the old royal palace, which was destroyed along with the Baixa district around it in the great earthquake of 1755.
The whole neighbourhood was rebuilt after the earthquake and the streets are perfectly geometrically arranged. In stark contrast to the neighbouring Alfama district.
TIP: Praça do Comércio is very touristy. I recommend going for a meal outside the square. Typical Portuguese cuisine is served in the Santa Rita and Velha Gaiteira restaurants. And at local prices. Both can be found a few minutes from the square towards the Sé Cathedral. Or try the Portuguese Bufana sandwich (thin pork slices in a bun with sauce) at As Bifanas do Afonso.
The Alfama district can be imagined as an intricate labyrinth of narrow streets, where you constantly climb and descend uphill. It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods, having miraculously survived the earthquake of 1775.
It is also one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Lisbon, with some of the most beautiful sights including Lisbon Cathedral and St. George.
21. Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)
Lisbon Cathedral with its 2 bell towers is one of the most beautiful sights in the Alfama district. Lisbon Cathedral is known locally as Sé for short.
This is the oldest church in Lisbon, which has been reconstructed several times over the centuries due to three earthquakes, so there is a mixture of styles. The Romanesque style is the basis, but you will also see elements of Gothic and Baroque.
Although it may seem austere compared to some of the ornate churches in Lisbon, this is what sets it apart from the rest. Inside you can see the treasury and enjoy the view. The historic tram line 28 runs directly in front of the Sé Cathedral.
Admission: 5 €, for children 7-12 years 3 €
Part of the Lisbon Card: No
Opening hours: closed Sundays, Mon-Tues 9:30-19:00, Wed 10:00-18:00, Thu-Fri 9:30-19:00, Sat 10:00-18:00
How to get in: Lisbon Cathedral can be reached from the centre in a few minutes or by trams 12 and 28 – stop Sé.
22. Castle of St. George (Castelo de S. Jorge)
We arrive at Lisbon’s most popular landmark, St. George’s Castle, or Castelo de S. Jorge, which dominates the Alfama district with its 11 towers.
It stands among tall trees on a hill and can be seen from many places and vantage points in Lisbon.
Castle of St. George was built by the Moors in 11th century and served as a royal residence for centuries. The tour of the castle includes a museum with an archaeological site.
The Castelo de S. Jorge has a beautiful view of Lisbon. Especially at sunset.
Admission: 15 €, reduced admission 7,50 € for children 13-25 years, seniors over 65 years and disabled 12,50 €; for guided tours extra 4 € / Buy the ticket here.
Part of the Lisbon Card: No
Opening hours: March-October 9:00-21:00, November-February 9:00-19:00
How to get there: Trams 12 and 28 stop near St George’s Castle, or bus 737, which leaves from Praça da Figueira, stops right at the castle gates. From the centre, you can also reach the castle by free lifts – the first one is on Rua dos Fanqueiros – building no. 178.
Exit the elevator and take a left, where you will see a turn to the pingo doce shop around the corner. Through the shop, you will then get to the second elevator that will take you up to the castle. I recommend using the lifts from the centre as you will be up much faster than the tram.
How to get from the airport to the centre of Lisbon: The easiest option is the metro, which takes you to the centre in 20 minutes. Buses also leave from the airport to take you to other parts of Lisbon. In both cases, to use Lisbon transport you need to buy a Viva Viagem magnetic card for 0,50 €, which you preload – the ticket costs 1,45 €. The other option is the Lisbon Card, which gives you unlimited transport in Lisbon, including travel from the airport.
23. Tram 28
Tram 28 is iconic in Lisbon. Its route will take you around the most beautiful places in Lisbon that are worth visiting. You can even get into narrow streets and some buildings are right at your fingertips.
The route takes 40 minutes one way, but you can get on at any stop in the city. Thanks to tram 28, you’ll get a good overview of what’s where in Lisbon. Tram 12 is also a popular line.
The streetcars here used to be called Americanos. They were brought from America in the 19th century. century. The yellow tram was made in England.
How to skip the lines for tram 28: The queues for tram 28 are famous. Most people wait for the tram at the outlying stops of Martim Monizo and Campo de Ourique. For this reason, it is better to take the tram at one of the other stops.
The busiest times are from 10 a.m. through noon and then in the afternoon when locals return from work. On the other hand, the best time to go sightseeing is early in the morning, when other tourists have not yet hit the streets.
24. Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Miradouro de Santa Luzia is the most popular sight in Lisbon. The views of the Alfama district are magnificent.
At the viewpoint, you can have a snack, listen to live music or enjoy the view itself, which is decorated with beautiful blue tiles.
The Miradouro de Santa Luzia viewpoint can be reached by tram 28 – stop Miradouro Sta. Luzia or by elevator (free entry with Lisbon card or public transport day ticket).
If you go to the other side of the tram, you will soon reach a second viewpoint with a beautiful view – Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
25. Church and Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora (Igreja de São Vicente de Fora)
The Church and Convent of Sao Vicente de Fora is another hidden treasure in Lisbon’s historic centre worth visiting. It is an Augustinian monastery that houses works of art and the tombs of the rulers of the Braganza dynasty.
The monastery can be beautifully seen from Miradouro das Portas do Sol (see photo above – the monastery is on the left on the hill).
The whole complex, together with the church, is in excellent condition, with beautiful amphitheatres and blue tile decoration. You can climb up to the towers on the large terrace and enjoy views of the Alfama district and the Tajo River panorama in the background.
If you’re planning what to do in Lisbon without the lines of tourists, the monastery is one of the best options.
Admission: entrance to the monastery with a view for 5 €, reduced admission 3 € for children 12-25 years and seniors over 65 years; extra 2 € for guided tours; free entrance to the church
Part of the Lisbon Card:No
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (last entry 17:00), closed Mondays in low season
How to get in: Tram 28 or buses 734 and 797 – station Voz Operário
26. National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional)
A short walk from the Sao Vicente de Fora Monastery is the National Pantheon or Church of St. Engracia, which is inspired by the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome.
Since its beginning in 17th century was a mausoleum with the tombs of famous Portuguese personalities. The Pantheon is an imposing structure with a huge dome that literally towers over the other houses in the Alfama district. It has an open rooftop with a view that offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
Inside, it is beautifully decorated in Baroque style and is said to be the first Baroque monument in Portugal.
Admission: 4 € and 2 € reduced
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, free with Lisboa Card
Opening hours: closed Monday, Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
How to get there: tram 28 – stop Voz Operário
27. Miradouro da Graça
We have another prospect. You can never have enough of those in Lisbon, because the views here are worth it.
The Miradouro da Graça is located next to the former Convento da Graça Monastery, which is free to enter. Today the monastery serves as a museum and has beautiful tile decoration.
Miradouro da Graça can be reached by tram 28, which stops a short walk away at Graça Station. The bus stop is only a 2-minute walk away.
The other option is to climb the steep stairs from the other side. There are refreshments right at the viewpoint and sometimes there is live music.
The even more famous Miradouro da Senhora do Monte viewpoint is just a 10-minute walk away.
28. National Museum of Decorative Tiles (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)
What is more typical of Lisbon than the trams and decorative tiles called Azulejo? There is even a National Museum of Decorative Tiles in Lisbon, where you can learn everything from history to the present day.
Inside is a tall panel showing the skyline of Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake, which reached magnitude 8.4. It is housed in a magnificent 16th-century monastery outside the historic centre.
The monastery includes a garden and a chapel decorated with gold. You can grab a bite to eat at the café. The place is not so popular, but it is definitely worth it.
Admission: 5 €, for seniors over 65 years 2,50 €
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, free entry with Lisboa Card .
Opening hours: closed Monday, Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00
How to get in: At Praça do Comércio or Praça dos Restauradores you can take the 759 bus to the museum – stop Ponte Xabregas.
29. Parque das Nações
We leave the historical part of Lisbon and move to the modern district in the north-east of Lisbon, which was built in connection with Expo ’98.
Exactly 500 years after Vasco da Gama discovered the Cape of Good Hope on his first voyage to India. Thus began the glorious era when Portugal became a maritime power.
The Parque das Nações stretches along the banks of the Tajo River and is a perfect contrast to the old part of Lisbon.
Parque das Nações houses an oceanarium, a science museum and the Torre Vasco da Gama, which is shaped like a sailing ship. At the top of Torre Vasco da Gama is a viewing platform with a Michelin-starred restaurant, but this is accessible by reservation to the restaurant or to the hotel, which is also located here.
The promenade also offers a great view of the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which at 12 km long is the second longest bridge in Europe after the Crimean Bridge.
A cable car runs over the promenade from the oceanarium towards the bridge, offering views of the entire futuristic area around. Tickets for the cable car can be purchased in advance.
30. Oceanárium Lisbon (Oceanário de Lisboa)
The Oceanarium in Lisbon is one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe. The Oceanarium’s main goal is to promote ocean conservation and sustainability.
It is located on the banks of the Tajo River in a modern building that seems to float on water. You can reach it by a footbridge.
Inside you will see sharks, rays, penguins, jellyfish, large manta rays and schooling fish that are rarely seen in aquariums. The centrepiece is a central two-storey aquarium with a large 5 million litre ocean sunflower.
The central aquarium is then complemented by other aquariums and tanks with different habitats – there are temperate, tropical and cold waters. There is also a restaurant and a gift shop.
Admission: 25 €, 15 € for children 3-12 years, 17 € over 65 years / Click here for tickets .
Part of the Lisbon Card: yes, 15 % discount with the Lisbon Card.
Opening hours: 10:00-20:00 (last entry 10:00-19:00)
How to get in: The Oceanarium is most easily accessible by the Red Metro Line. I recommend getting off at the Oriente station, which is beautiful in itself. The Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre is directly opposite the station.
HOW TO SKIP THE LINE FOR THE OCEANARIUM: The Oceanarium in Lisbon is so popular that queues can form early in the morning after opening. The best way to avoid them is buy tickets in advance and show up at opening time.
31. Miradouro Parque Eduardo VII
Miradouro Parque Eduardo VII is the central park of Lisbon. Upstairs there is a terrace overlooking the city. The park also includes a greenhouse with exotic plants, ponds and sculptures. On the other side is a pavilion covered with blue tiles.
The park can be reached by the blue metro line, which you can take right in the city centre, just off the Arc de Triomphe or at Rossio Square. Get off at Parque station.
32. Tajo River and boating
Boating on the Tagus River is a fun way to experience Lisbon from a different perspective.
You’ll ride along the banks of the Belém district to the city centre, so you’ll see places like the Belém Tower, the Sailors’ Monument, Praça do Comércio and pass under the iconic 25th of April Bridge with the statue of Jesus Christ above.
The most beautiful views are at sunset cruise.
Where to stay in Lisbon?
- Lux Lisboa Park : Luxury hotel at Parque Eduardo VII with rooftop pool, seating area and spectacular views
- Hotel do Chiado : Four star hotel with spectacular views in the city centre and a short walk from the metro
- Empire Lisbon Hotel : A modern but cosy hotel located halfway between the airport and the historic centre.
- Hotel Convento do Salvador : Newly decorated hotel in the historic centre in the Alfama district, a short walk from the tram stop
- SANA Reno Hotel : Three-star cosy hotel with rooftop pool and good metro access
- Chalet D’Ávila Guest House : B&B strategically located opposite a metro stop, with shared kitchen and great value for money
- Star inn Lisbon Airport A modern hotel within walking distance of the airport, ideal for late arrivals or early departures
HOTEL IN LISBON 😴
Tips before visiting Lisbon
- The currency of Lisbon is the euro. Not everywhere accepts cards, so be sure to bring cash.
- Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, but English is also spoken here. Especially in Lisbon, this is not a problem.
- Lisbon is hilly and not easy to get around on foot. With Lisbon card you have unlimited transport included in the price, including cable cars. You can also reach more distant neighbourhoods and places such as Belém and the Oceanarium. Or head to the famous town Sintra or by the sea in Cascais. Pena Palace is one of the most popular excursions from Lisbon. There’s just a line forming, so it’s better to order tickets in advance .
- Wear comfortable shoes. They’ll come in handy here. And be careful in the rain – the pavement is slippery.
- Watch out for drug dealers. They’re not dangerous, but don’t be surprised that someone might be offering you drugs in Lisbon. This is mainly the area around Praça do Comércio and at night in the Bairro Alto district.
- As in any big city, the same applies here – beware of pickpockets. You’ll even see signs around town warning you about them.
- When planning your itinerary, take into account that some sights are closed on Mondays and generally close early. In Lisbon, it’s best to start exploring early in the morning.
- What to bring back from Lisbon as a souvenir? Definitely sardines, which come in different coloured tins. Sardines are everywhere and it’s one of the most typical things for Lisbon.
- Restaurants automatically include a service charge. Tipping is not compulsory but is appreciated if you were satisfied with the service.
- For Airbnb, make sure it is indeed a local accommodation and not just a form of business. This is because rents are going up, so locals can’t afford to live in the centre. But this is generally a problem in all tourist areas and some cities (e.g. Barcelona ) are already starting to introduce restrictions against Airbnb.
- With Lisbon card you get free entry to 26 venues and discounts to other venues in Lisbon, unlimited transport around the city including lifts and cable cars and trains to Sintra and Cascais. The card can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hours. Valid from the first entry to the first monument or the first public transport ride. Find out more about the Lisbon Card in our detailed review .
More information about Lisbon and the surrounding area
LISABON: Find out how to save with the Lisbon Card in this detailed review.
SINTRA: If you’re planning a day trip to Sintra, get our tips for getting to Sintra from Lisbon. In the next article we share tips on what to do in Sintra and recommendations for visiting Pena Palace.
These were our 32 tips for what to see in Lisbon. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!
Some of the most beautiful places in Lisbon include the Jeronymite Monastery, the Tower of Belém, the Alfama district with Lisbon Cathedral and St George’s Castle, and the iconic 25th of April Red Bridge with the statue of Jesus above. But Lisbon has plenty of other beautiful sights and attractions to visit.
In 2 days you’ll see the best of Lisbon, but the best way is to visit Lisbon for 3-4 days and take a trip to the nearby cities of Sintra or Cascais.
Lisbon is made up of 7 hills, which give you plenty of vantage points to see the city and the Tagus River in the palm of your hand. These sights are called Miradouro and are one of the most popular places to see in Lisbon. Tips on the best prospects, including photos, can be found in the article.