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Best Things To Do in Lisbon

Lisbon is probably best known for its colonialist history, ornate architecture and tradition of Fado music. But some of its best features are in the everyday – spectacular hilltop vistas in Alfama or at St. George's Castle, pleasant year-round weather and friendly locals. To enjoy these, bring some comfortable footwear and a pocket map of the public transit system, or just hop on Tram 28 to see it all. Plan on spending a half-day to a full day exploring the waterfront neighborhood of Belém, or maybe plan a daytrip to the palace-heavy Sintra, located 20 miles northwest of Lisbon.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated May 24, 2018

  • #1
    Things to do in Lisbon
    View all Photos
    #1 in Lisbon
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    San Franciscohas its cable cars,Londonhas its red double-decker buses and Lisbon has its trams. Tram 28, which extends from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, in particular takes riders on a tourist-friendly route. Not only does it pass through some of the city's most notable neighborhoods including Graça, Baixa and Bairro Alto, but it

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  • #2
    Alfama
    View all Photos
    Alfama
    free
    #2 in Lisbon
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Some tourists choose to take Tram 28through the Alfama neighborhood because it's so hilly, but whether you choose to burn some calories or contend with the tram crowds, a visit to the picturesque Alfama is a must. With a history that dates back to the Moors, Alfama is characterized by narrow,

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Belem
    View all Photos
    Belem
    free
    #3 in Lisbon
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The waterfront Belém is a historic neighborhood that houses some of Lisbon's most important monuments, museums and one very popular Portuguese tart place, the Pasteis de Belém. Here you'll find the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, the Discoveries Monument, the Belém Palace (the official residence of Portugal's president), the Coleção Berardo Museum as well as a number of scenic gardens. As the

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Santa Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa)
    View all Photos
    #4 in Lisbon
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    For some sweeping views of Lisbon – particularly St. George's Castle, Rossio Square and the Baixa neighborhood – you might want to take a ride on the Elevador de Santa Justa. Designed by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard (a former student of Gustave Eiffel – creator of the Eiffel tower), this neo-Gothic elevator is more than

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  • #5
    Sintra
    View all Photos
    Sintra
    free
    #5 in Lisbon
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located about 20 miles northwest of central Lisbon, Sintra's praises have been sung in literature by the likes of British poet Lord Byron and Portuguese poet Luis Vaz de Camões; Byron described it as a "glorious Eden." A veritable heaven on earth, the small city's rolling hills are clad with

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)
    View all Photos
    #6 in Lisbon
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of the most notable aspects of Lisbon's alluring architecture is its vibrant ceramic tiles. You might find these Portuguese tiles, or azulejos, adorned on buildings during a walk about town (especially in Alfama), in gift shops (or at the Feira da Ladra), or within the walls of othertop city attractions, including some

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  • #7
    St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)
    View all Photos
    #7 in Lisbon
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Castelo de São Jorge, or St. George's Castle, is perched atop Lisbon's highest hill in Alfama, offering both excellent history and views of the city. The castle served as a fortification for the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors, who turned it into a royal palace before it was eventually taken by

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  • #8
    Torre de Belem and Monument to the Discoveries
    View all Photos
    #8 in Lisbon
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    What looks to be an idyllic mini castle seamlessly floating on the Tagus riverfront was originally a fort that served to protect Lisbon's port in the 16th century. It served as a departure point for explorers looking to travel the world during the Age of Discoveries. Today, the Manueline structure

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Cascais
    View all Photos
    #9 in Lisbon
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The seaside town of Cascais (kush-kaish) is a 45-minute train ride west of Lisbon's Cais do Sodré station (the green line). Once a fishing village, Cascais became a popular respite for the rich and royal in the 1900s. Today, Europeans of all kinds flock to this beachy city for some low-cost fun

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  • #10
    Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)
    View all Photos
    #10 in Lisbon
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Less than 50 years old, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum hangs a world-renowned collection of art. The late Calouste Gulbenkian, a former oil tycoon and distinguished art collector, amassed 6,000 works of art in his lifetime, donating it all to Portugal upon his death. The diverse selection on display includes art of all

    ...Read More »
  • #11
    Monastery of St Jerome
    View all Photos
    #11 in Lisbon
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, also known as the Monastery of St. Jerome or the Jerónimos Monastery, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Lisbon's Belém district. Exemplifying Portugal's Manueline style – a highly ornate style of architecture named after the king of the time (Manuel I) – the monastery was built during

    ...Read More »
  • #12
    Oceanarium (Oceanario de Lisboa)
    View all Photos
    #12 in Lisbon
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Oceanário de Lisboa is not just an aquarium, but considering its size, a world in and of itself. The Oceanarium, as it's also often referred to, is Portugal's largest indoor aquarium, holding more than one million gallons of seawater supporting the lives of 8,000 sea creatures. Four permanent exhibits represent different habitats

    ...Read More »
  • #13
    Feira da Ladra
    View all Photos
    #13 in Lisbon
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're searching for a unique souvenir to take back home, you might want to try your luck at the Feira da Ladra flea market. Located in theAlfamadistrict and spread out across Campo de Santa Clara, the contents of Feira da Ladra can be trash or treasure, depending on what kind

    ...Read More »
  • Taste of Lisboa Food Tours
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Lisbon ByBoat
    View all Photos
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Ajuda National Palace
    View all Photos
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

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