If you plan to visit Lisbon, you will surely be enchanted by its elegant architecture among charming streets full of history. Easy to be explored, there are many things to do in Lisbon that are unmissable and must be in your itinerary. Looking for what to do in Lisbon? Check out 10 experiences to make your trip even more unforgettable.
Things to do in Lisbon
Explore Belém neighbourhood and eat Pastéis de Nata
Belém holds the history of Portuguese navigation, it was from here that the fleets of Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral left for the new seas. Within the most emblematic buildings of the neighbourhood, there are the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, both listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and elected one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
Now, another must thing to do in Lisbon, more specifically at Belém neighbourhood, is to eat the Pastéis de Nata, which there are called by their original name, Pastéis de Belém.
Visit the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
Still in the Belém neighbourhood, be sure to visit the MAAT, which attracts tourists from all over the world due to its unique design and rich collection. The Museum is divided into three major areas: Art; Technology and Architecture. An interesting experience that addresses different views between the ancient and the modern.
Stroll in the Castle of São Jorge and Alfama neighbourhood
The São Jorge Castle is a national monument that lies within the walls of the Alcáçova. Home to several peoples throughout history, the castle area is located at the highest point of Alfama and one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon.
In Alfama, walk through the alleys of the region and enjoy the beautiful view, up and down through small stairs and slopes.
Go to uptown Lisbon with Santa Justa Lift
The Santa Justa Lift was inaugurated in 1902 to facilitate the access of the lower part of the city (Bairro da Baixa) to the uptown area (Bairro Alto). The upper tower rises 45 meters from the ground and from the top you have a fascinating view of Lisbon. Today, in addition to its function as transport, the lift is one of the main tourist attractions in Lisbon and therefore you may find a long queue.
The lift is a mode of public transport and therefore included in the Lisboa Card tourist card and also in the +24 hour Viva Card transport ticket.
Enjoy a night with Fado
Fado is a traditional musical style from Portugal. If you’re looking for things to do in Lisbon, seeing a Fado show is one of the most cultural experiences you can have in the city. The main Fado houses are located in Alfama and Bairro Alto. Do your research well before you go, because the quality and price vary widely, some houses charge tickets, others a minimum consumption per table.
Tip: Fado places are not always the best option to eat, you could have some dinner before and watch a Fado concert afterwards. The Casa do Fado, allows you to enter the bar and watch the performances after 22:30.
Eat at Time Out Market
Near Cais do Sodré station you will find the Time Out Market located in Mercado da Ribeira. The Time Out Market is the result of revitalization and curatorial work carried out in 2014 by the gastronomic guide Time Out. The project brought together chefs from several restaurants in Lisbon who received 4 to 5 stars by the magazine’s critics, and today they meet at Mercado da Ribeira to serve the public affordable portions with very high quality.
Meet the Lx-Factory
The LX-Factory is in the Alcântara neighbourhood, where you will find shops, bars, cafes, coworking, restaurants and craft houses. At weekends it is common to have art exhibitions, musical performances and other artistic expressions.
The area became the artistic representation of Lisbon, and came to be called an ‘island of creativity’.
Visit street fairs and market
Lisbon is full of street fairs and markets. For those looking for typical Portuguese products, we recommend the Mercado da Baixa, which takes place on the last weekend of the month at Praça da Figueira. Now, if you are looking for handicrafts and antiques, you will be enchanted by the Feira da Ladra that takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays at Campo de Santa Clara, São Vicente.
See Lisbon from the top
Lisbon is one of the European cities with the highest number of viewpoints, called miradouro in Portugal. Go to the viewpoints of Lisbon and see the city from another angle.
- Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte – the highest point in Lisbon that provides a look at the historic centre;
- Miradouro das Portas do Sol – a classic view, located between Castelo São Jorge and Alfama;
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – next to Bairro Alto and a beautiful garden, you can visit it by going up the Glória sidewalk or with the Glória lift;
- Miradouro de Santa Justa – for those who decided not to use the Santa Justa lift elevator, give this viewpoint a chance.
In Parque das Nações there is also the Lisbon Teleférico (Cable Car), a great opportunity to see the city of Lisbon from a completely different angle. Around Parque das Nações you can still visit some shops, restaurants and several bars.
Day trip to Sintra
Sintra is a small town near Lisbon that you can visit during the day with a round trip. The place has a beautiful and well maintained historic centre, as well as palaces and beautiful castles. The best way to visit is by train, travelling for 40 minutes.
There, look for spots like the Mouros Castle, the Pena National Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and finally, the National Palace of Sintra that was built in 1383 and used by the Portuguese Royal Family until the end of the Monarchy.
Featured Image © Vesela Vaclavikova