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Things to do in Lisbon

Things to do in  Lisbon

Welcome to Lisbon

Drenched in sunshine, history, and old-world charm, Portugal's sophisticated, friendly capital makes a perfect introduction to Western Europe. The City of Seven Hills is best absorbed via electric bike or walking tour, taking in the views from elevated miradouros (lookout points), and visiting architectural highlights such as Lisbon Cathedral; the historical neighborhoods of Alfama, Chiado, and Baixa; the Belem Tower; and the Monastery of St. Jerome. To see a lot in a short time—and eat well along the way—hop on a Segway for a guided tasting tour. Your guide will lead you to the best pastels de nata (custard tarts) in the city, along with other local specialties. If one of the many versions of Portuguese bacalhau (dried, salted cod fish) doesn't win your heart, Lisbon offers a great variety of fresh seafood and a burgeoning international restaurant scene. Be sure to sample some Portuguese wines, which range from Vinho Verde, a light, refreshing white, to port, the country's signature fortified wine. Book a romantic sunset cruise on the Tagus River, and don't miss the chance to experience a beloved musical tradition with dinner and a show at a local fado club. Popular day trips from Lisbon include UNESCO-listed Sintra, a former royal retreat topped by a pastel-colored confection of a castle, and the resort village of Cascais. Lisbon's central location makes for easy access to Northern Portugal's Douro Valley and Porto, or to the seaside resorts of the Algarve.

Top 10 attractions in Lisbon

#1
Sintra

Sintra

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Once a hot spot destination for Portuguese royalty—Lord Byron called it a “glorious Eden”—Sintra is widely acclaimed as one of Portugal's most beautiful destinations, full of gardens, tiled villas, colorful palaces, and neo-Gothic structures, all surrounded by verdant hills rolling toward the Atlantic Ocean.More
#2
Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

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A mighty medieval fortress perched on the banks of the Tagus River, Belem Tower is one of Lisbon’s most visited landmarks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos), it’s a lasting symbol of Portugal’s maritime heritage, dating back to the early 16th century.More
#3
Alfama

Alfama

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Sprawling down the southern slopes of Lisbon, Alfama is the capital’s oldest and most picturesque district with steep cobblestone lanes and a sea of terracotta roofs. Head there in the day to take in the sights, browse the flea market, and ride the historic tram, then come back after dark to soak up the atmosphere at the many fado bars.More
#4
Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

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Since the 11th century, St. George’s Castle (Castelo de São Jorge) has stood tall in the Lisbon skyline, viewable from almost every point in the city. The Moorish castle overlooks various districts and offers some of the best panoramas of the city. Even if you have only a few hours, the former fortress offers plenty for you to do.More
#5
Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)

Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)

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Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio) was home to Lisbon’s Royal Palace until a 1755 earthquake brought it to the ground. The palace now stands elsewhere, and the square has been restored with ornate arches, grandiose civic buildings, and an equestrian statue of King Jose I. Marble steps lead from Praça do Comércio down to the River Tagus.More
#6
25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril)

25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril)

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One of Lisbon’s most famous landmarks is the massive, red suspension 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril) which bears a close resemblance to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Originally named the Salazar Bridge, it was renamed after the Carnation Revolution to bring down the tyrannical regime that began on April 25, 1974.More
#7
Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)

Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)

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UNESCO World Heritage–listed Monastery of St. Jerome (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) is one of Lisbon’s most elaborate buildings. Inspired by Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India, King Manuel I commissioned the edifice in the 1500s to thank the Virgin Mary for a successful journey. For 400 years, the monastery’s monks gave guidance and comfort to sailors.More
#8
Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

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Cabo da Roca, just north of Lisbon, is known for its dramatic views and scenic cliff-top walking path. The westernmost point in continental Europe and once believed by Europeans to be the edge of the world, today it is home to a defensive lighthouse that was built in the 16th century and serves as a haven for local birdlife.More
#9
Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena)

Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena)

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The crown jewel of UNESCO-listed Sintra, Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena) never fails to inspire. The fanciful red and yellow palace is an exotic mix of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish, and Renaissance elements, commissioned by King Ferdinand II and completed in 1854 on a hilltop high above Sintra.More
#10
Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

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Along the northern bank of the Tagus River lies this large stone monument celebrating Portugal’s Age of Discovery and sitting on the location that ships bound for Asia used to depart from in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was constructed for the Portuguese World Fair in 1940, inaugurated in 1960 upon the anniversary of Henry the Navigator’s death, and has been a Cultural Center of Discovery since 1985. The monument depicts 33 sculpted historical figures including explorers, monarchs, artists and missionaries, all led by Henry the Navigator at the front. The figures are spread along both sides of a ship, intentionally looking forward and facing the sea.Outside of viewing the monument itself, there is a large marble wind rose embedded in the pavement containing a world map that illustrates the locations of Portugal’s various explorations. There is also a museum with exhibition rooms in the monument, with panoramic views of Lisbon and the Tagus River from its rooftop.More

Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Riding the Lisbon Tramway

Riding the Lisbon Tramway

Top activities in Lisbon

Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
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Lisbon Half Day Private Tour

Lisbon Half Day Private Tour

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155
From
$97.66
Sintra Private Tour Half Day

Sintra Private Tour Half Day

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65
From
$106.28
Small group tour to Sintra, Pena Palace, Regaleira, Cabo da Roca and Cascais
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Sintra Small-Group Tour from Lisbon with Cabo da Roca and Cascais
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2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
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Catamaran Sunset Sailing

Catamaran Sunset Sailing

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$40.21

Recent reviews from experiences in Lisbon

star-5
1/2 Day Fatima with Tiego was great.
Douglas_N, Dec 2021
Fátima Half-Day Semi-Private Tour
Got to see everything and attend Mass.
star-5
Great way to experience Sintra & Cascais!
herndonhouse, Dec 2021
Sintra Small Group Tour from Lisbon
It was nice to see the coast & Cabo da Roca.
star-5
Great Overview of Lisbon
Adam_H, Nov 2021
Best of Lisbon Private Walking Tour
Sara was wonderful - was on time and spoke perfect English.
star-5
Lisbon in a day!
michaellaryle, Nov 2021
Lisbon City Tour - Full day Tour
We were able to see so much of Lisbon in a single day.
star-5
Absolutely amazing...
Namonda_M, Nov 2021
Small group tour to Sintra, Pena Palace, Regaleira, Cabo da Roca and Cascais
Well worth it especially if you want to see a lot of Lisbon in a small amount of time :)
star-5
Extremely interesting history
Christa_P, Nov 2021
Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk
We got to see so much of Lisbon in our three hour tour
star-4
Great Day Beyond Lisbon
Michael_R, Nov 2021
Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
While I was the only English speaker on my trip (due to demand), Rui did a great job to toggle between languages to keep everyone engaged.
star-5
Lovely way to see Lisbon
Siobhan_M, Nov 2021
2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
Such a lovely way to see and learn more about Lisbon.
star-5
What a great way to spend our day!
Stefano_G, Nov 2021
Lisbon - Private Wine Tasting Tour to the Setubal Wine Region
After the tour he kindly advised on afternoon and next day activities we could do while in Lisbon and also took us to a food market for a late lunch.
star-5
Great tour with excellent guide.
Laura_B, Nov 2021
Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk
Often bumpy ride but got to see all of Lisbon.
star-5
I love Lisbon!
Elizabeth_O, Nov 2021
Lisbon: 1-Hour City Tour on a Private Tuk
Awesome way to see Lisbon!
star-5
Best tour
alomercy, Oct 2021
Lisbon Full-Day Small Group City Tour with River Crossing by Ferry
He should be on page 1 of viator things to do in Lisbon.
star-5
We had a fun tour of the...
Robert_B, Oct 2021
Lisbon: 2-Hour Follow the 28 Tram Tour on a Private Eco Tuk Tuk
It was nice to see the sites in the hands of a professional from Lisbon who knows so much about the city.
star-5
Great Value
Camillo_B, Oct 2021
Lisbon Half Day Private Tour
got to see the best parts of Lisbon……it’s easy to understand where to go and what to do now that we’ve seen the city!!
star-5
Perfect way to see Lisbon
Dotti_S, Oct 2021
Lisbon Hills Electric Bike Guided Tour
Doing a bike tour was the perfect way to see the city.
star-5
Lovely Lisbon Sunset
Deirdre_D, Oct 2021
Book with us and get a great discount. Sunset Lisbon Aboard a Classic 60s Boat | Welcome Drink
Lovely way to see the sights and beauty of a Lisbon sunset.
star-5
Lovely boat trip
Louise_K, Oct 2021
Lisbon Traditional Boats - Express Cruise - 45min
Lovely boat trip on a beautiful boat crew were very friendly nice and relaxing nice way to see Lisbon
star-5
Great way to spend the day
Shayla_S, Oct 2021
Arrabida and Sesimbra Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon with Wine Tasting
I got to see areas outside of Lisbon that I would not have seen otherwise.
star-5
Informative and thorough
Morgan_D, Oct 2021
Lisbon and Sintra Private Tour
From our tour of the Pena Palace to lunch in Sintra and driving all over Lisbon to see the different neighborhoods and attractions.
star-5
Great Company to Book
Robert_T, Oct 2021
Sintra Small Group Tour from Lisbon
so his English wast of notch

All about Lisbon

When to visit

Come June, the city of Lisbon is transformed by a carnival atmosphere for Festas de Lisboa, a 2-month-long celebration of Portuguese culture, food, art, and music. For a slightly sleepier time without summer’s peak prices and crowds, early fall boasts still-warm weather and cheaper hotel rates.

A local’s pocket guide to Lisbon

Sérgio Montelobo

Originally from Coimbra, Sérgio has been based in Lisbon for years. When he's not exploring locally, he's trying to see as much of the world as possible with his family.

The first thing you should do in Lisbon is...

get a Lisboa Viva card—you’ll need it for all public transportation.

A perfect Saturday in Lisbon...

starts with getting the tram to Graça for the flea market, followed by brunch at the Decadente and a walking tour of Baixa and Chiado. Finish with dinner and drinks in the Príncipe Real neighborhood.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). Go to Pastéis de Belém for the best ones in the city.

To discover the "real" Lisbon...

go to Campo de Ourique, which is probably the best place to live in Lisbon and where you'll find amazing craft shops, parks, and restaurants.

For the best view of the city...

head to the Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcantara to see the skyline and the river, then take the elevator down to Avenida da Liberdade for a closer look.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that Fado is the only Portuguese music.

Frequently Asked Questions
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