Top Things To Do In Lisbon
Lisbon is the popular, colourful and vibrant capital city of Portugal. It is the perfect city break to explore cobbled streets with their beautiful architecture, visit the historic sites and experience the delicious food and amazing nightlife.We had a 3-day stop here on our trip around Portugal and absolutely loved it and will definitely be planning another trip back! Here’s our top things to do in Lisbon that we would recommend adding to your travel itenerary.
Praça do Comércio
Praça do Comércio is Lisbon’s main square. It is a beautiful square to walk around surrounded by yellow buildings on each side. Once you’ve finished take a walk through Rua Augusta arch leading into central Lisbon. Here you will find one of the main shopping streets full of café’s, restaurants and shops to explore.
Elevador de Santa Justa
The Santa Justa lift was previously a main part of the transport network in Lisbon but today is one of it’s main tourist attractions. Getting a ride up to the top of the lift gives you amazing views out over Lisbon from the viewing platform, not to mention you get to view the beautiful architecture of the lift up close.
In the summer months the queues can get pretty long so it’s best to ride early or late. The lift is open from 07:30-23:00 in the summer and until 21:00 in the winter.
Previously used to defend the city, this waterfront tower is one of Lisbon’s most iconic attractions. The tower has 5 floors with a terrace at the top.
Unfortunately the inside of the tower was closed when we were there so we didn’t get to explore inside so instead we went to the lovely café nearby called Confeitaria Nacional Belém. It overlooks both the water and the tower and we would definitely recommend it for a coffee stop and of course to try one of Portugal’s famous Pastel de Nata.
Day Trip to Sintra
One of our favourite things we did whilst in Lisbon was take a day trip to Sintra to see the castles and palaces. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site it really is like being in a fairytale!
Only 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon it’s easy to get to by car or train and then you hop on various buses to take you up to the magical hills. Marvel at the colourful Pena Palace, explore the medieval ruins of Moorish Castle and admire the romantic architecture of Monserrate Palace.
A must-do for anybody travelling to Lisbon, which I’m sure most people that have been to visit Sintra would agree!
Castelo de Sao Jorge
sitting on top of the Sao Jorge hill, in the Alfama district, is this 11th century castle. You can spend time admiring the architecture and exploring the eleven towers, walk around the castle walls and explore the ruins and gardens. It’s definitely worth a visit later in the evening to watch the sunset over Lisbon from the viewing platform.
Once you’ve finished exploring Sao Jorge castle, wonder downhill to explore the cobbled streets of the Alfama District, One of Lisbon’s oldest areas. Get lost in the winding maze of narrow streets lined with old houses, shops and cafe’s. One of the best ways to explore is to hop on the famous tram 28 which makes its way through the ancient district streets and saves you having to walk up all the hills!
Whilst exploring the Alfama district, head to Lisbon Cathedral. This 12th Century Roman Catholic Cathedral is the oldest church in Lisbon. Over the years it has suffered damage through various earthquakes and has been renovated giving it a blend of architectural styles.
The famous Rua Nova do Carvalho, more well known as Pink Street. Previously the red-light district of Lisbon now turned into a popular destination lined with bars and clubs. Although we have to admit it is not the most glamorous of streets in the daytime, if you’re looking for where the nightlife is this is the definitely to place to go!
After, make sure you head round the corner to the Time-Out Market to discover all the different food stalls and grab yourself some delicious food!
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Near to Bélem Tower, along the bank of the River Tagus, is the monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos. The statue Depicts the bow of the ship with Henry the Navigator alongside Portugals great explorers and important figures in the ‘Age of Discoveries.’ Well worth a visit and climb up to the viewing platform at the top to get amazing views of the Tagus Estuary.
Try the Local Cuisine
Lisbon has so many different restaurants and places to eat you’re spoilt for choice! During our time in Lisbon we found one of our favourite restaurants: Invicta Madragoa.
This cosy little restaurant has amazing food and they are really welcoming. We would highly recommend visiting and trying the freshly caught seafood from that day.