A prime destination for budget trips and one of Europe best tourist destination, the capital city of Portugal is great for an authentic and fun trip. Beautiful open-air spots, impressive architecture, best Pasteis de Nata, but also terrific wine and vineyards. Discover with us what to do in Lisbon for a quick stay with your friends, family or on your own! But be assured, if you plan on a long stay, you’ll find plenty to do in Lisbon.
Traveling to Lisbon – Things to know before you go
Capital city of Portugal, you’ll find it very easy to reach Lisbon and travel around.
How to get to Lisbon
By plane: from international departures, you’ll find direct flights to Lisbon International Airport, located 7km away from the city center.
By train: if you already are in Portugal or land in another city in the country, you can reach Lisbon by train. From Porto, it’ll be a 3-hour direct train trip. If you are traveling from Spain, you can find train trips from Madrid to Lisbon, they last 10 hours.
Getting around Lisbon
Once you are in Lisbon, you can travel around thanks to different options!
Lisbon, Portugal, is one of these cities you love so much thanks to easy transportation means. From metro lines, tram, taxi and easy accessibility by foot, you’ll love how it’s easy to get around Lisbon.
- Bring comfortable shoes: if you plan on walking around Lisbon, you’ll be thankful to wear comfortable shoes! Lisbon is pedestrian-friendly, but quite hilly – so visiting Lisbon mainly by foot can be challenging for some.
- Taxi: don’t worry about riding with a taxi a lot, taxi rides in Lisbon are quite cheap. In fact, it’s considered as the best way to visit Lisbon if you don’t feel like walking and climbing a lot.
If you’d like to discover the surroundings of Lisbon without minding about bus and trains schedule, find out more on car rentals in Lisbon.
Where to stay in Lisbon
The best district to consider booking hotels in Lisbon is the Baixa district and its surroundings. It is actually very easy to get around Lisbon and quickly be next to important spots – unlike other large cities where you need to settle in the city-center to have most facilities close by. Find hotels in Baixa Lisbon district.
If you want to settle somewhere else in Lisbon, find your perfect accommodation!
What to do in Lisbon? Top 10 things to see & do
Lisbon offers a long list of fun things to do – here a top 10 of the unmissable! Whether you stay for a couple of days or longer, make sure to tick most of these musts on your checklist. In any case, you will probably want to come back to better discover Lisbon, from an insider’s point of view.
1.Tower of Belém
Without a doubt, the Tower of Belém is the first sight you want to see in Lisbon. Most popular building of the city, the Torre Bélem is a testimony of the fusion of several architecture styles: Mudejar, Moorish, Gothic and Romanesque. This massive and splendid landmark will keep you speechless for some time.
2. Elevador Santa Justa
A very unusual construction, Elevador Sant Just is an outdoor cast-iron elevator, that connects to streets: Baixa with Largo do Carmo. Other than being a practical element of the city, it’s also a great attraction and viewpoint! During the high tourist season, the queue at the bottom can be a little long. The trick to win some time and still appreciate this atypical attraction, is to walk up to Largo do Carmo and directly access the top deck for an incredible panorama.
3. Parça de Comércio
The central square of Lisbon is simply fantastic. Surrounded by sublime buildings, the parça opens up on the sea and offers the most beautiful scenic view.
4. Stroll along the streets of Old Lisbon – Alfama District
Considered as the most typical part of Lisbon, Alfama Disctrict is the oldest one of Lisboa. A panel of cobblestone streets, cutes chapels and welcoming squares embellished with typical orange trees. Strolling along these charming narrowed streets feels like discovering a little village inside the city. You’ll come across the Sé Cathedral and National Tile Museums – must-see places!
5. Padrao dos Descobrimentos
On the shore to the Tagus Estuary, this remarkable architecture in beige stone is a testimony of Portuguese exploration back in the Age of Discovery. Find this exceptional masterpiece close to Santa Maria de Belém, where you will meet Vasco de Gama and Prince Henry the Navogator.
6. Ride on tram lines
While you’ll notice Lisbon is meandered by tram lines to offer alternatives to climbing, you must ride on them at least a few times. The most iconic tram-line ride is 28, but it’s rather a touristic attraction than a true must. You will probably spend quite some time queuing to get on it, while there are more interesting spots to in Lisbon. Nevertheless, if you want to go for it, Tram 28 will take to a beautiful little trip through Lisbon – from the hills of Graça, Escolas Gerai to the area next to Etrela Basilica.
7. Taste excellent Portuguese specialties at TimeOut Market
There is no better place than TimeOut in Lisbon to have a complete idea of what Portuguese food is about. This amazing food court brings together tens of stalls that offer different specialties, local and home-made of course. If you want a little Brazilian dancing and terrific Portuguese ambiance, make sure to go there the first Friday of the month at 10pm, you won’t regret it!
8. Eat many Pasteis de Nata
World-famous Portuguese dessert, these small egg tarts are all over Lisbon – cafés and bakeries are never short of Pasteis de Nata. If you like them, have a coupe each time you see some! In Lisbon, they taste differently because they are authentic – the best place to have Pasteis de Nata is next to Pasteis de Belém, where the secret recipe is recreated every day to the delight of tourists and locals!
9. Day trip to Sintra
Only ha half hour away from Lisboa, the delightful city of Sintra is well worth a day visit if you stay in Lisbon for more than a couple of days. On the menu: forests, mountains, wonderful palaces and sublime gardens. The city of Sintra is part of these areas you really should detour for, because you will not regret the area’s beauty.
10. Experience Lisbon night life
If you want live the complete Lisboa experience, spending a couple of evenings out is a must! But remember, in Portugal, you eat late at night. So, you start getting out late too – don’t expect cheerful atmosphere before midnight, when most people get out and the streets suddenly fill up. You’ll be driven by Lisbon’s charm through all kinds of live music concerts and dance floors in bars and streets – especially around the labyrinth of Bairro Alto.
Great Wine experiences near Lisbon
The Lisbon wine region is ones of the most famous wine regions in Portugal. Not far from the city, you can visit top wineries like the estate of Quinta do Monte d’Oiro. Known since the 19th century, this renowned Portuguese winery benefits from a privileged terroir to create fresh, elegant and balanced wines. The winegrowers are more than happy to open their doors to you and share their story through tastings, visits and countryside picnics. There is no best way to enjoy Lisbon wines than at a Lisbon winery!
If you want to visit Portugal vineyards and discover wonders about Portuguese wines, there is nothing simpler! Portugal’s whole coastline is bordered by vineyards, and train-lines, which means you can visit the country’s main wine-regions all by train.
Enjoy your stay in Lisbon, Portugal!
FAQ & Useful resources
Is Lisbon worth visiting?
Lisbon is a great destination for a trip to Portugal. In fact, it’s one of the liveliest city in south Europe and offers a long list of great things to do – not to mention all the events and parades during the summer. Lisbon is well worth visiting!
Is Lisbon a walkable city?
While Lisbon is a very walkable city, be aware that it is also very hilly – the city is made of endless stairs. As a result, you may prefer traveling around Lisbon y public transportation!
Is Lisbon expensive?
In Lisbon, you’ll find many free attractions, starting with all the beautiful outdoor sights you can visit. Portugal’s capital offers great quality in food, accommodations and nightlife for very reasonable prices – which make it on of the best European city for lower-budget trips.
What food is Lisbon famous for?
The most famous food that comes from Lisbon is the dessert Pasteis de Nata. Also, you can find these delicious traditional dishes: Bifana sandwiches, Bacalhau, Sardhinas, Caldo Verde, Piri Chicken, chouriço, Alhieira and many more.
What is the best month to visit Lisbon?
The peak season is from the month of May to August. If you want to avoid crowds, its best to visit Lisbon out of this season. As an alternative, the best months to visit Lisbon are March/April an October November, when the weather is still quite nice and the city less touristy – perfect to enjoy its beautiful sights at best.
How long should a stay in Lisbon last?
The best amount of time for a stay in Lisbon is 3 days. You will have enough time to visit the city and enjoy all of its special spots without rushing too much.