20 Best things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

by Ranjit

Lisbon (Lisboa) is a coastal city and the capital of Portugal with a population of 500,000 approximately. It is well-known in the world for its colonialist history. Also, Lisbon is a beautiful, vibrant, and lively city with over 3 million visitors every year.

Lisbon, is also known for one of the most affordable capitals with a world-class lifestyle.

Info :

How many days do you need to explore Berlin : a stay of 3 days, 2 nights is recommended.

Language spoken in Amsterdam : Portuguese.

Do locals speak English: People in the tourist industry speak English very well. There won’t be any trouble as long as you are a traveler in Lisbon.

Currency used : Euros ( € )

Here is a complete list of top-rated the best things to do while traveling in Lisbon. So, make sure you don’t miss out anything from the list below.

1. Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

Belém Tower is one of the most famous landmarks of Lisbon. It was built between 1514 and 1519 during the time of the Portuguese Renaissance using limestone in Manueline style. It stands in the middle of the Tagus River and served as a point of embarkation for the Portuguese explorers to start with their expeditions of discovery.

Experts often portray Belém Tower as a symbol of Europe’s Age of Discoveries. The inside of the Tower has 5 floors.

Belém Tower

2. Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos Descobrimentos is the most photographed monument is Lisbon. Is is located on the northern bank of Tagus River, where the ships departed to explore and trade with India and the eastern parts. You can find the statues of Portuguese explorers arranged in Eastern Profile and the western profile. One of them is Vasco Da Gama, who was the first European to reach Indian by sea.

Western profile of Portuguese explorers’ statues
Padrão dos Descobrimentos

3. Praça do Comércio (Arco da Rua Augusta)

Praça do Comércio meaning Commerce square in English is the most important public squares in Lisbon. It is commonly known as Terreiro do Paço (Palace Yard).

As it was the location of “Royal Ribeira Palace”. But an earthquake in 1755 destroyed the palace completely. And the place was remodeled to construct currently seen arch (Arco da Rua Augusta).

Praça do Comércio
Arco da Rua Augusta

4. Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa)

Santa Justa Lift (also called as Carmo lift) is one of the best things to do to experience the aerial view of Lisbon. It was opened in 1899 and the only remaining vertical lift in the city.

The engineers in Lisbon back then presented the idea of this vertical lift to solve the problem of connecting the lower streets of the Baixa neighborhood and the higher Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square).

Price : It costs 6 euros for a day pass to use the subways, trams, buses, funiculars, and all the lifts including Santa Justa Lift.

5. Castelo de S. Jorge (São Jorge Castle)

St. George’s Castle (in English) is unquestionably an iconic landmark in Lisbon. It was built around the time of 1st century BC, which makes it one of the oldest in Portugal.

The castle is located in the center of Lisbon on a hill named São Jorge. São Jorge Castle is the highest point of Lisbon, Hence the best spot in the city to enjoy the panoramic scenery and aerial views of Lisbon.

Price : It costs  €10 (euros) to visit the castles for an adult, and €5 for a person aged between 13 and 25 years. Free entry for kids under 13 years.

Castelo de S. Jorge on the hill
View from top of Castelo de S. Jorge : Source

6. Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery also known as the Hieronymites Monastery is the perfect example of Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture. The monastery divides into two sections for visitors as cloister and church.

The construction of the Monastery and church began in 1501 and took 100 years to finish. Originally ,King Manuel funded the whole construction with money obtained from a 5 percent tax on commerce from Africa and the East. That was about 70 kilograms of gold per year.

Price: It costs €10 (euros) to explore the cloister and free entry into the church.

Jerónimos Monastery
Church of Jerónimos Monastery

7. Ponte 25 de Abril

 Ponte 25 de Abril (25th April Bridge) is the 40th largest suspension bridge in the world with 2,277 meters of total length. It is located on the Tagus River, connecting the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the other bank of River. 25th April Bridge is often compared with the Golden Bridge in San Francisco, USA for its resemblance.

It was originally named Ponte Salazar (Salazar bridge). In honor of Portuguese Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar, who constructed the bridge. Then the bridge was renamed to 25 de Abril, which was the date of the Carnation Revolution.

Ponte 25 de Abril

8. National Sanctuary of Christ the King (Cristo Rei)

The Sanctuary of Christ the King is a statue dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus Christ. It is located in Almada on the other end of the 25th April Bridge from Lisbon. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The total height of the monument is 110 meters, where the statue itself is about 28 meters tall. There is an observation deck at the base of the statue at 82 meters from the ground level. And it offers a breath0-taking view of Lisbon and the Tagus river along with 25th April Bridge.

National Sanctuary of Christ the King

9. Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the oldest in Lisbon. It was built in 1147 and survived many earthquakes. Ever since, It has been restored, modified and renovated a several times.

The cathedral is easily accessible by tram, and a must-visit stop for the history and architecture that it preserves.

Price: It costs 4 euros to access everything such as choir and even a museum inside the cathedral.

Lisbon Cathedral with classic tramway : Source

10. Ride on Tram 28

Riding on this old-fashioned vintage tram line 28 is a must in Lisbon while you travel in the city. The best part of taking this tram is it connects the most popular neighborhoods in the city such as Graca, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela.

So make sure you don’t miss out exploring Lisbon streets riding this yellow-beauty. It costs  €3(euros) for single journey ticket. The best way is to buy a day pass that costs  €6.40 and grants you access all types of transport in town.

Tram 28, Lisbon

11. Wander the streets of Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is the central district of Lisbon, which is filled with colorful houses and narrow streets. The word “Bairro Alto” literally translates to Upper District.

This area is the perfect example of how people imagine Lisbon city would look like. The streets are full of places to try local cuisine. And yeah, do not forget to take the Funicular ride wandering around the streets.

Streets of Bairro Alto

12. Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Personally, Chilling out at Miradouro de Santa Luzia is my favorite thing in all Lisbon. Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a romantic terrace by the Church Santa Luzia, located in Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon.

The terrace offers you a great deal of the magnificent panoramic views over the Alfama streets and Tagus River. This is a great place for photo-shoots, if you’re looking for an Instagram-able location in Lisbon.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia: Source
Source

13. Oceanário de Lisboa (Lisbon Oceanarium)

The Lisbon Oceanarium is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe, located the Parque das Nações(Park of the Nations). The park is famous for running the World Exposition on the theme of “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future”.

The Oceanarium lets you go under water as deep as 7 meters to explore over 16,000 sea-lives of 450 species.

Price : It costs €19 (euros) for admission per person between 13 – 64 years old. And €10 for kids between 4 – 12 years.

Long Exposure at Dusk : Source
Under Water at Oceanário de Lisboa

14. Carmo Convent

The Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Convento da Ordem do Carmo in Portuguese) is a former Catholic Convent. Its construction began in 1389 by D. Nuno Álvares Pereira. But a massive earthquake occurred in 1755 torn in down and left us in ruins.

The Gothic architectured Carmo Church is an archaeological museum preserving the Portuguese passion for architecture in the form of remains.

Price: The entry to Carmo Convent Museum costs5 (euros) for an adult and free entry for kids under 14 years.

Remains of Carmo Convent

15. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is the highest point in Graça neighborhood of Lisbon. Besides the best panoramic views, It has the calmest atmosphere to observe the city landscape.

You can point out the major landmarks of Lisbon, standing at the peak of Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. From the center of Lisbon, Tram 28E takes you to R.Graça stop which is about 4 minutes walk away from its peak point.

Panoramic View from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte : Source

16. Parque Eduardo VII

Eduardo VII Park is a public park, located by the Avenida da Liberdade boulevard central, which is famous for being one of the most expensive shopping streets in Europe. The Park is named after Eduardo VII, who was king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain in honor of his visit to Portugal in 1902 to strengthen the relations.

Top of the park marked as Miradouro (observation deck) offers a stunning view of Lisbon and Tagus River when you look downwards.

Parque Eduardo VII after Sunset

17. National Pantheon

The National Pantheon of Lisbon was in the 17th century as a church called as “Church of Santa Engrácia”. Then, In 1916 the First Portuguese Republic converted it into a National Pantheon. It is considered well-known for having important Portuguese personalities buried inside the monument.

This baroque styled monument is worth visiting for the beauty of architecture it preserves. And it cost an entry price of €4 (euros) and also has a terrace to look over the city.

National Pantheon over the roofs of Lisbon houses : Source

18. Museu Nacional do Azulejo

The National Museum of the Azulejo is often known as the National Tile Museum. It exhibits a marvelous collection of traditional tilework of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire.

The museum features Azulejos (Glazed blue ceramic tiles) from the second half of the 15th century to the present day in chronological order. Besides tiles, it includes ceramics, porcelain, and faience from the 19th to the 20th century.

Price: The entry into the museum costs €5 (euros) for a normal price. You can also buy a pass for 15 that gives you free entry to the National Tile Museum, National Ancient Art Museum, and National Pantheon.

National Tile Museum Inside

19. National Coach Museum

The national Coach Museum located in the Belém district of Lisbon has the finest collection of historical Carriages (Chariots) in the world.

The collection in the museum gives you an idea of the development of carriages over time between 16th and 19th centuries, featuring the carriages made in Italy, Portugal, France, Spain, Austria and England.

Price : The normal entry price is €4 (euros).

National Coach Museum : Source

20. Queluz National Palace

The National Palace of Queluz is a stunningly beautiful palace located in the Queluz area of Sintra town, which is around 13 km away from Lisbon. This is the last of Rocorro or Late Baroque styled buildings in Europe. It is quite famous for hiding the mad queen Dom Maria I from public view.

The spacious interior with lush decorations makes you admire the Portuguese culture for classical ideas of architecture during the Renaissance. The exterior of the palace speaks for itself with perfectly designed facades, gardens, front and back yards.

Price: The entry to both the palace and gardens costs €8.50 at a normal price per an adult.

Queluz National Palace : Source
Interior of Queluz National Palace : Source

Have you already been to Lisbon ?

What was the best thing of your trip ?

I would love to know your experience about Lisbon or Portugal.

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