The 10 Best Things To Do In Lisbon

best things to do in Lisbon

Once thought to be the farthest edge of the known world, Lisbon the beautiful capital of Portugal is one of the most colorful and charismatic cities in Europe. Renowned for its mild climate all year round and good food, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained. In this blog post, we will explore the best things to do and places to stay in Lisbon.

Just like Paris, Rome, or Budapest, Lisbon is a great European city break destination.

Lisbon enjoys daily service from several budget airlines, including options for affordable flights from the U.S. Beyond the city’s inherent beauty, what truly captivates visitors is its charming atmosphere. The locals extend a warm welcome, ensuring you feel right at home.

Excited for your next adventure? Consider Lisbon—it promises an unforgettable experience.

How to get from Lisbon Airport to the City of Lisbon

The Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) is the main international gateway to Portugal. Getting to the City of Lisbon from the airport is simple, just follow the instructions below.

From Lisbon Airport to the City Centre by Bus

Lisbon Aerobus is the best way to reach the city from the airport. Buses are conveniently located outside Terminal 1, with a free shuttle service available from Terminal 2. Two lines are available: Line 1 for the historic center and Line 2 for other key locations. Buses run every twenty minutes from 07:30 to 19:00 and every twenty-five minutes from 19:00 to 22:45, including on public holidays.

From Lisbon Airport to the City Centre by Metro

A metro station is conveniently located on the right side of the arrival hall at Terminal 1. To ride the metro or buses in Lisbon, you’ll need the Viva Viagem Card, available for purchase. It’s essential for city travel unless you opt for the Lisboa Card, which also covers tourist attractions.

The subway operates from 6:30 am to 1 am, offering a swift and economical route to the city. However, depending on your destination, you may need to transfer trains. If you’re traveling with heavy luggage, consider other transportation options for convenience.

From Lisbon Airport to the City Centre by Taxi

Private transfers offer the quickest and most comfortable travel option. Taxi rides start from €20, taking roughly 20 minutes to your destination. Additional charges may apply for luggage and time of day. Pre-booking your taxi online is advisable for convenience, transparent pricing, and to avoid potential scams.

Must do in Lisbon: The 10 Best Things to Do in Lisbon

Lisbon, among the oldest cities in Western Europe, thrived during the Portuguese discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries, also known as “The Age of Discovery.” Now a modern metropolis, it offers vibrant nightlife, welcoming hospitality, and exquisite cuisine. With a plethora of attractions, there’s no shortage of entertainment in Lisbon. Here, we’ve curated the top 10 best things to in Lisbon.

1. Torre de Belém

The Belém Tower is possibly the most iconic landmark of Lisbon, due to its role in defending Portugal’s coast during the Age of Discoveries. The tower is a beautiful fusion of Moorish, Gothic, and Romanesque architecture, and it lies near the mouth of the River Tagus in the historical neighbourhood of Belém. Climb the spiral staircase to the tower terrace to the tower terrace to enjoy amazing views.

We recommend visiting the Belém Tower as part of the Free Walking Tour of Belém or the Belém Boat Tour.

best things to do in Lisbon

2. Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Situated in Belém’s historic neighborhood, this colossal monument, erected in 1960, pays homage to the Golden Age of Discovery. Resembling the prow of a caravel—the vessel used by Portuguese explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries—it stands as a symbol of their quest for new lands. Adorning both sides are sculptures of illustrious figures including Vasco da Gama, Henry the Navigator, and Pedro Álvares Cabral. Visitors can ascend to the top via an elevator for panoramic views.

We recommend visiting Padrão dos Descobrimentos as part of the Free Walking Tour of Belém or the Lisbon Sailing Tour.

best things to in Lisbon

3. Castelo de São Jorge

Perched atop Lisbon’s highest hill with commanding views of the city and the Tagus River, St. Jorge Castle is a striking monumental complex. Its origins date back to the 10th and 11th centuries, yet archaeological findings reveal earlier civilizations, including Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, and Muslims. A must-visit attraction for all ages, the complex includes a museum showcasing Lisbon’s history, the Tower of Ulysses, and a Camera Obscura offering a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city through a periscope.

best things to do in Lisbon
saint jorge castle lisbon

4. Lisbon Oceanarium

The Lisbon Oceanarium stands as one of the world’s premier and most expansive aquariums, devoted to celebrating the world’s oceans. It boasts a diverse collection of over 450 species, organized into four main oceanic ecosystems: the North Atlantic Rocky Coast, the Tropical Coral Reef, the Pacific Kelp Forests, and the Antarctic Coastal Lines. Beyond its captivating displays, the Oceanarium offers educational programs aimed at raising awareness about marine life and environmental issues. It’s an engaging and enlightening destination that shouldn’t be overlooked.

5. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Situated in Lisbon’s Belém neighborhood near the riverfront, this monastery stands as one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. Commissioned by King Manuel I in 1502 to commemorate significant maritime expeditions, including Vasco da Gama’s return from India, it holds the status of a National Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery showcases remarkable Manueline architecture, characterized by its intricate stonework depicting maritime themes fused with Gothic and Renaissance influences. Within the Santa Maria church, visitors can find the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Click here to book tickets

things to do in lisbon

6. Day trip to Sintra

If time permits, a day trip to the beautiful town of Sintra should not be missed out. Sintra is a picturesque town, located 40 minutes by train from Lisbon, that boasts majestic palaces, ancient castles, and amazing scenery. Lose yourself between the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, the historic centre, the Castelo dos Mouros and the Palácio Nacional de la Pena.

Among the various organized tours, we recommend the Day Trip to Sintra and Cascais + Palacio da Pena

sintra best things to do in Lisbon
sintra day trip from Lisbon

7. Bairro Alto

In addition to its rich history, vibrant art scene, and delectable cuisine, Lisbon is renowned for its nightlife. Bairro Alto, a district with a fascinating history, was once home to Lisbon’s aristocracy until an earthquake reshaped its landscape. Today, its narrow streets and cozy squares make it a bustling nightlife hub. Beyond its lively clubs and parties, Bairro Alto offers authentic bakeries, breweries, art galleries, boutiques, and workshops, making it a must-visit destination both day and night.

We recommend visiting Bairro Alto as part of the Lisbon Lifestyle Tour or the Free Walking Tour of Bairro Alto & Chiado

8. Alfama

Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, has preserved its timeless charm for centuries with its narrow cobblestone streets, arches, and historic staircases leading to quaint squares. Once considered the city’s poorer area and believed by some to be the birthplace of Fado music, Alfama offers plenty of Tascas (traditional restaurants) featuring live Fado performances for entertainment. Beyond its musical heritage, Alfama boasts breathtaking scenic views and iconic landmarks like Sé Cathedral and Santa Engrácia Church. Exploring Alfama is a must-do experience, even for visitors not staying in the neighborhood.

We recommend visiting Alfama as part of the E-Bike Tour or the Free Fado Tour of Lisbon

alfama lisbon

9. Pastéis de Nata

The world-famous  Pastéis de Nata – puff pastry with creamy custard tarts is a must-try in Lisbon. They go well on all occasions; for breakfast, with afternoon tea, after dinner…there is always a moment to indulge in these sweets. The Pastéis de Nata are widely popular and can be easily found in cafes. However, since you are in Lisbon, you should pay a visit to the Pastéis de Belém bakery, located in the homonymous Belém district.

Are you into baking? Then why not try the Pastéis de Nata Workshop: a two-hour workshop that will teach you how to make Lisbon’s top sweets.

10. Praça do Comércio

The historic centre of Lisbon located in the Baixa district is probably the first thing you’ll see once in town. Baxia is made of several historic squares, including the marvellous Praça do Comércio. This square once hosted the Ribeira Royal Palace until a massive earthquake in 1755 destroyed parts of Lisbon, including this area. The Marquis de Pombal was in charge to rebuild the whole area – which now stands as the Baixa. Praça do Comércio was given this name as it was thought to be used for commercial and governmental purposes. The whole historic quarter of Baixa is hands down worth a visit during your stay in Lisbon. 

We recommend visiting Praça do Comércio as part of the Lisbon Walking Tour.

best things to do in lisbon next trip loading

Here are our 10 Best Things to Do in Lisbon. We hope it will help you plan your next trip to Lisbon!

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The Best Districts to Stay in Lisbon

Looking for suitable accommodation can be overwhelming. We could find a nice place to stay in Lisbon for you and your travel companions as part of the new services that we offer on our website.

In our blog, we’ve stressed the importance of choosing accommodation and location wisely based on our needs. For a quick city break, central lodging near transportation hubs is ideal. However, if you’re road-tripping, priorities change.

Lisbon presents unique considerations. Spread across hills, it’s crucial to balance accessibility. While Baixa is central, key attractions may be elsewhere. Some hotels inflate prices for prime locations, though neighboring districts offer better value.

Which Lisbon district is best for you? Let’s explore together.

Bairro Alto

During our Lisbon trip, we opted for Bairro Alto, known as the “high district.” This residential area offers charming apartments and reasonably priced hotels. While quiet by day, it transforms into a lively hub at night, drawing locals and tourists alike. Seeking proximity to major attractions and a comfortable apartment, we found Bairro Alto to be an excellent choice. While nighttime noise is a consideration, staying slightly off the main thoroughfare can provide a quieter experience amidst the vibrant atmosphere.


Find out the best places to stay in Bairro Alto


Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest quarter, is a picturesque neighborhood characterized by its steep, winding cobblestone streets and tightly packed houses, resembling an old village within the city. Here, you can immerse yourself in Fado music and visit iconic landmarks like the National Pantheon, St. George’s Castle, Sé Cathedral, and Santa Engrácia Church, all while enjoying breathtaking views of the city. However, staying in Alfama does come with challenges, notably limited public transportation options. Apart from tram #28 and public elevators, getting around may require walking or taking taxis. Despite this, Alfama offers a unique opportunity to experience Lisbon’s ancient charm, so it’s worth considering when planning your stay.

Find out the best places to stay in Alfama


Baixa and Chiado, two neighboring districts at the heart of Lisbon, are often considered as one. Baixa boasts impressive neoclassical buildings primarily serving as offices, alongside top attractions like Praça Marques de Pombal, Praça Dos Restauradores, Rossio, Arco do Rua Augusta, and Praça do Comércio.

Chiado, nestled between Baixa and Bairro Alto, offers a livelier atmosphere. It’s known for its upscale vibe, featuring luxury stores, charming cafes, fine restaurants, theaters, bookstores, and art galleries. Together, these districts form a vibrant core of Lisbon’s cultural and commercial scene.

Find out the best places to stay in Baixa/Chiado


Although not as centrally located, Belém is undeniably one of Lisbon’s most enchanting and historically significant districts. It’s home to some of the city’s most iconic attractions, commemorating the Age of Discovery, including the Belém Tower, the Monument of Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), and the Jerónimos Monastery.

Find out the best places to stay in Belem

Príncipe Real

Príncipe Real, situated north of Baixa, is a chic and upscale district renowned for its designer boutiques, concept stores, and high-end shopping. Culinary enthusiasts will delight in its array of tempting dining options, while culture seekers can explore the Jardim Botanico and the Science and Natural History Museum. The tranquil Príncipe Real gardens offer a serene escape from the city crowds.

With a plethora of activities to enjoy, Príncipe Real provides ample entertainment for days on end. Conveniently located within walking distance of Bairro Alto and well-connected by public transportation, it offers both accessibility and sophistication for visitors.

Find out the best places to stay in Principe Real


If you find yourself with limited time in Lisbon or your flight departs in the evening, consider utilizing Radical Storage for bag storage. With multiple locations across the city, Radical Storage offers a convenient solution for storing your luggage. Simply book your storage location for your chosen day and time, then drop off your bags upon arrival.

We’ve found storing our bags with Radical Storage particularly convenient when we’ve had only a day to spend in the city and didn’t need to stay overnight. It’s a hassle-free way to explore Lisbon without being weighed down by luggage.

So this is the end of this blog post about the best things to do and places to stay in Lisbon. Have you already been to Lisbon? What is your favourite thing about Lisbon? Let us know in the comments below.

Do you like city breaks? Read our articles on Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Naples, Paris, Edinburgh, Rome, Budapest, Dubrovnik, and Barcelona !

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