best tourist attractions in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of those cities where you can spend literally hours getting lost amongst its cobbled streets, colorful houses, and neighborhood hills where old buildings show off gorgeous tiles and cracks adding character.

With a sense of untouched magic in the air, this vibrant capital is the perfect amalgamation of European-cool with its trendy bars, fusion-style eateries (including Michelin awardees), and quaint boutiques down every alleyway. There are so many incredible things to do in Lisbon.

Adding this to the fact that it’s one of the oldest cities in the entire world; its historical, architectural, and cultural facets are tenfold, not to mention awe-inspiring.

Dedicate an entire day (or three) just to explore its emblematic buildings, landmarks, and monuments, wandering amidst stunning architecture and dozens of World UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Visit antiquated palaces in a variety of design styles, scope centuries-old castles and grand old manors, dive into the country’s history amongst the plethora of unique museums, become acquainted with traditional Portuguese art and enjoy a ride through the city on old-school trams or cable cars swooping over the Tagus River.

With endless options on the table, here are 50 of the best tourist attractions in Lisbon for a culturally enriching holiday!

1 – São Jorge Castle

São Jorge Castle, Lisbon

Rising over the city of Lisbon, you can see the striking antiquated São Jorge Castle perched on the hillside from dozens of areas around the capital.

A National Monument; it’s one of the most important surviving Portuguese structures, detailing the country’s multi-faceted past from its changing reigns to crusades and even a time before most civilizations sprung up.

(The hill on which it is built dates back to the Celtics, and was utilized by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and the Moors.)

Although it’s referred to as the castle, there is no real evidence that points to an actual castle ever being built here, instead, the grounds were part of a major fortification system, built around a former Islamic settlement.

It wasn’t until the 10th century that the current fort walls were erected, and succeeding this, Afonso III was the first to use the grounds as his residence.

A century later, King Denis I converted the steed into a lavish palace, known as the Royal Palace of the Alcáçova. Over the centuries, the walls were made higher and bolder.

Meander through the castle during one of the Alfama District tours in Lisbon, visiting its gateways, towers, the Place-of-Arms and Praça Nova squares, the Barbican, and moat, as well as the abandoned royal palace in the center of the monument.

There are guided tours available provided by the castle (including themed expeditions), providing insightful descriptions of its history and archeology, as well as workshops to join.

2 – The Cathedral of Saint Mary Major

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Major, Lisbon

So much more than just a religious place of worship, the Lisbon Cathedral is one of the top sites to investigate for a glimpse into historical architecture, facts, and even artworks — there’s a good reason it’s an official National Monument.

Constructed in 1147, the building has undergone numerous style changes since its first inception, from its original Romanesque design to Gothic additives, Mannerist elements were attached, and then finally finished in its current Neo-Romanesque appearance.

Chronicle its history inside the Treasury of the Cathedral of Lisbon, and the museum focuses on art and religious articles from the 16th to the 19th century. There are three main rooms to examine: Relics and Reliquaries, The Liturgical Year, and the Chapter Room.

There are more treasures to implore inside the Cathedral. Climb to the top of the Choir Loft and admire the stunning stained glass windows; check out the Gothic-style Deambulatory and the Radiant Chapels; marvel over a collection of Renaissance paintings at the Chapel of Bartholomew Joanes; and the transept still contains original Romanesque vaults.

3 – Belém Tower

Belém Tower, Lisbon

The lone-standing Belem Tower on the north bank of the Tagus River is another one of Lisbon’s historically prized possessions, dating to the 16th century.

Built between 1514 and 1519, the defense structure is a prime example of the Manueline architectural style, often referred to as ‘Portuguese late Gothic’ and so it’s no surprise it’s marked a World UNESCO Heritage Site (since 1983).

Made from limestone, the four-story tower rises 30 meters into the sky and the structure was erected as part of the capital’s fortification system. It was purposefully assembled on this site at the river mouth, as back in the day, this is one point where travelers would enter and exit the city.

Also known as the Tower of St. Vincent (named after Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of Lisbon), the medieval stronghold comprises four stories; the Governor’s Room, Kings’ Room, Audience Room, and the Chapel.

Take a tour inside Belém Tower, visiting the former dungeons (converted artillery depots). Following a narrow staircase, explore each room. There is a rooftop terrace as well, and keep an eye open for the rhino gargoyle!

4 – Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Seriously, you’re spoiled for choice in this city when it comes to gawking over gorgeous construction, most of which is centuries old. Housing crypts to some of Portugal’s most prized explorers, pioneers, and poets (such as Vasco da Gama, Luis de Camões, and King Sebastião), the Jeronimos Monastery is an important one to Lisbon.

A paragon of Manueline-style architecture; the abbey (also called the Monastery of Jerónimos) epitomizes this flamboyant 16th-century Portuguese movement — popular until about 1520 CE.

Built in 1502, the site was chosen by King Manuel and Vasco da Gama stayed here on his last night in Portugal before journeying off to India. The monks of the Order of Saint Jerome lived here until the 19th century.

Have your breath taken away by the incredible design … Surrounding the center courtyard are corridors opened up by beautiful curving archways intricately carved in hyper detail. Look up at the ceiling inside the church and marvel over the geometric compositions.

Outside the monastery is the Praça do Império Garden with its manicured hedges, four ponds, and a fountain in the middle, and is a lovely area to wander through afterward.

5 – National Pantheon

National Pantheon, Lisbon

Another important landmark where many tombs of the country’s rich and famous are kept, this time, the National Pantheon is where to scope typical Portuguese Baroque architecture.

It wasn’t until 1916 that this National Monument became known as the “Pantheon” and its renowned white dome was only added to the building 50 years after its renaming.

Prior to this, the all-white basilica — which was never officially ever initiated as a formal place of worship — was known as the Church of Saint Engratia.

Renamed but never fully reformed, you can investigate its original features dating to the 17th century (the first church structure shot up in the 16th century, but the church was totally rebuilt a century later).

Inside, enjoy viewing its grand spaces… Find the Baroque-style Galilee sculpture by the forecourt (a space often reserved for private events and shows), and admire its marble-centric floors and walls. Entering the church, look for the coat of arms of Portugal in the clasp of two angels.

6 – Santa Justa Lift

Santa Justa Lift, Lisbon

Without sugarcoating anything, be prepared to walk the hills of Lisbon town! One way to help provide ease of access was by creating the Santa Justa Lift, also known as the “Carmo Lift” in the Baixa district.

Originally created as a means of transport for city dwellers in 1902, the 45-meter-tall iron elevator was purposefully positioned to link the downtown area with the Chiado district (sitting above Baixa on sloped streets).

How to ride the lift today? Now more of a landmark and tourist attraction, head to Rossio Square to journey from the bottom to the top, hopping inside one of two wooden cabins. If you’re already up top and want to ride the lift back down, it takes off from Largo do Carmo.

(Built to fit only 29 people maximum per ride, don’t be surprised if there’s a queue.)

Jousting above the city streets, enjoy the views of the heart of downtown, sweeping over the waterfront too.

Around the bottom entrance are plenty of branded department stores, like Zara and Mango, for a round of shopping afterward as well as loads of local cafes.

7 – Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

Unlike many of the other museums and galleries in Lisbon, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum was designed and built just to house the British-Armenian art collector’s personal acquisitions — of which Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian acquired more than 6,000 items.

Born in Istanbul, the businessman and avid art connoisseur arrived in Lisbon circa 1942 where he remained until his passing in 1955. Traveling the world extensively, his collections reflected his global exploits, obtaining most of his pieces along the way.

Notable artists whose work you can see at Calouste Gulbenkian include art by Monet, Degas, Rubens, Van Dyck, Renoir, Boucher, Manet, and Guardi, among others.

Marvel over ancient Greek coins, an Assyrian low-relief dating to 859 BCE, Chinese porcelain, sculptural works of the Renaissance, 18th-century French tapestries, manuscripts from the 12th century, and jewels and glass pieces from the master René Jules Lalique.

The galleries inside the museum are divided into categories, displaying around 1,000 artworks at a time. These include Egyptian Art, Greco-Roman Art, Mesopotamia Art, Eastern Islamic Art, Armenian Art, Far Eastern Art, Paintings, Decorative Arts Sculpture, Art of the Book, and work by René Lalique.

8 – Boat tour on the Tagus River

Tagus River, Lisbon

A pivotal key to the Portuguese Golden Age, a port entrance welcoming travelers, explorers, and immigrants from around the world and forming a natural protection against the Atlantic Ocean; the Tagus River is emblematic of Lisbon.

Stretching on for 1,007 kilometers, a whopping 275 of this runs through Portugal, and the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula starts flowing from Spain, emptying into the Portuguese capital.

The city is located on the river’s northern bank, with the 25 de Abril Bridge connecting the inner city to the opposite side of Rio Tagus (as it’s known in Portuguese).

There are many different ways to explore the Tagus River and appreciate its value, from hop-on-hop-off boats to biking along its riverfront.

For the most authentic experience, join a boating excursion, taking in the sights of Lisbon from out on the water. Veer underneath the suspension bridge, and admire landmarks like the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and the Cristo Rei statue. There are also special sunset sails for a romantic touch.

9 – Rua Augusta Arch

Rua Augusta Arch, Lisbon

It’s hard to miss the Rua Augusta Arch if you’re spending a lot of time in tourist-central Baixa, straddling the waterfront, and just down the way from the Santa Justa Lift.

The easiest way to reach the national landmark is by ambling down Rua Augusta pedestrian street after a round of shopping (closed off to vehicles, there are dozens of cafes, local restaurants, touristy boutiques, and curio-kiosks along here).

From Rua Augusta street, enter underneath Arco da Rua Augusta’s 11-meter-high ornamental arch, where various statues of different historical figures like Vasco da Gama are displayed on its columns.

Dating to the 19th century, the structure was erected to symbolize Portugal’s triumph and rebuild after a disastrous earthquake in 1755 and was built by 1875. Numerous creatives worked on the monument, from its primary structure to the statues decorating the archway.

Visitors can actually explore the tippy-top of the Rua Augusta Arch via an elevator, leading to a small room underneath the Rua Augusta Arch Clock (added to the structure in 1941). Here, learn more about its history, and the views over the city and the river from this viewpoint are sublime.

In the summertime, a pretty light show is projected onto the arch, illuminating the landmark at night.

10 – Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comércio, Lisbon

Walk in the footsteps where Portuguese royals once courted down at Praça do Comércio (known as the Terreiro do Paço, i.e. the Royal Yard) during the 16th century — part of the site of the former Royal Palace centuries ago.

Completely destroyed by the Great 1755 Earthquake as well, the grounds were reformed into a public square, in a somewhat pompous move, for welcoming voyagers into the city. Opening up onto the Tagus, for the longest time this point was used as the main port entrance to welcome ships entering the city, especially kings and Heads of State.

Located right in front of the Rua Augusta Arch, the pretty public square houses a bounty of riverfront cafes, restaurants, shops, and museums (including the interactive Lisbon Story Centre and the Museu da Cerveja beer museum and restaurant).

Pop into Lisbon’s oldest cafe, Martinho da Arcada, established in 1782; admire the 18th-century buildings around here; check out the grand statue of José I erected in 1755; and chill out on the marble steps of Cais das Colunas for sunset.

11 – Hop on hop off bus tour

hop on hop off bus tour in Lisbon

All aboard the yellow double-decker hop-on-hop-off bus in Lisbon, cruising around the city all day to major places of interest, from the Belém Tower to Marquês de Pombal Square, Centro Vasco da Gama, the National Tile Museum, Ajuda National Palace, the Time Out Market, and many other hotspots.

With the freedom at your fingertips to jump on and off the bus as many times as you please at any of its designated bus stops, first choose what type of pass you’d prefer.

Offered as a 24-hour, 48, 72, and even 98-hour ticket, there are various routes that the hop-on hop-off bus follows as well — so ensure you enquire about this part prior.

For example, the Red Line explores the Belém area (some stops include the National Museum of Ancient Art and the Monument to the Discoveries), the Blue Line starts around the Oriente Station (stops include the Lisbon Oceanarium and Casino Lisboa) and the Green line focuses on the places around the São Jorge Castle.

Both the Orange and Yellow Lines travel around the Cascais district stopping by outer city locales like Jerónimos Monastery, Praia do Guincho and Carcavelos beach, and the town of Estoril.

Tickets also include free access to the Santa Justa Lift, the city funiculars, and the trams.

12 – Monument to the Discoveries

Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon

There are loads to learn about Lisbon’s rich past by simply investigating the monuments and landmarks littered around the city. The best part is it’s free to do so, like a history lesson that costs you nothing.

Commorerating the life of Prince Henry the Navigator (the first to scout out Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde during his expeditions), the Monument to the Discoveries first shot up in 1940 just in time for the Portuguese World Exhibition and was constructed from ephemeral materials such as wood and plaster.

Standing opposite the Jerónimos Monastery, the 56-meter-tall structure was originally designed by sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida, but 20 years later Padrão dos Descobrimentos underwent a refurbishment to strengthen its infrastructure.

Now boasting concrete and rose-tinted Leiria stone masonry; an exhibition hall and auditorium were added, as well as easy-to-access viewpoints — follow a short flight of steps to a viewing platform in the middle of the monument.

Representing the bow of a ship, on either side are two ramps decorated with 32 of Portugal’s most symbolic soldiers, navigators, artists, cartographers, colonizers, and missionaries.

13 – Viewpoints

viewpoints in Lisbon

There’s no denying this fact; you’re treated with choices when it comes to epic viewpoints in a city like Lisbon, and thanks to its hilly positioning, the vistas are plentiful and from all avenues around town.

Overseeing pastel-colored buildings, the Tagus River, and the Alfama district, the Miradouro de Santa Luzia viewpoint is situated next door to the Santa Luzia church. This terrace is especially pretty at nighttime and favored by couples.

Another cute spot for panoramas of historic Alfama is from Miradouro das Portas do Sol.  With the river directly in front, expect all the hues of blue.

Spot the castle and the 25 de Abril Bridge over the Tagus from Miradouro da Graça in the Graça area, and from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (one of the highest points in Lisbon) you can also observe the São Jorge Castle and the Igreja e Convento da Graça.

At the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara square look over to the left to scope the Castelo de São Jorge on the hillside, and there is a lovely little fountain in the middle adding touches of romanticism.

Overlooking Baixa and Avenida da Liberdade, the 18th-century Torel Garden was once part of a private mansion, opening to the public in the 60s.

14 – Church of Our Lady of Grace

Church of Our Lady of Grace, Lisbon

You don’t need to be a theologian to appreciate the Church of Our Lady of Grace, as fascinatingly, the convent was never used as a formal place of public worship within its 700-something years of existence!

Today, it stands as a gallery and museum space, hosting temporary exhibitions within its grand Baroque-style walls, and speaking of design styles, it’s a treat to explore the architectural front — a mixture of Mannerist and Rococo architecture.

Another structure unable to make it through the 1755 Quake, its initial 13th-century framework has been refurbished twice since. Containing 15 chapels, the convent grounds once belonged to the monks of the Order of Saint Augustine.

Built on the steepest hill in Lisbon, next door to the church is the Augusto Gil Garden boasting views of the famous Castle.

Fun fact: During Easter time, the convent’s cross with Jesus Christ on it is flagged down and carried through the capital’s streets (remember, Portugal is strongly Catholic).

15 – King Pedro IV Square

King Pedro IV Square, Lisbon

Amongst the influx of city squares to chill out at, the King Pedro IV Square is one of the busiest, right in the heart of Baixa, and thanks to its positioning, is frequented daily by hundreds of tourists and locals walking through.

Established during the 13th century, Rossio Square (as it’s known, but also goes by Praça do Rossio and Piazza Pedro IV), there is a monument here, the ‘Column of Pedro IV,’ erected in 1870, and a fountain in front of it.

Surrounding the square are dozens of authentic Portuguese restaurants and cafes, and the famous Café Nicola (established in 1779 by an Italian gentleman) is here too.

First called “Botequim do Nicola” back then, the cafe changed to its current name in 1929. Its iconic art-deco façade has drawn in crowds for decades, especially artists and writers.

Other noteworthy points of interest near Piazza Pedro IV include the D. Maria II National Theatre (founded in 1842) and the 19th-century Rossio Railway Station. Dating to the year 1887, the station is still in use.

16 – Tram 28

Tram 28, Lisbon

Constituting hundreds of (utterly picturesque) cobbled alleyways, what’s one of the best ways to journey through the narrow hard-to-reach streets of Lisbon? Even when it seems impossible, the iconic (and super historic) Tram 28 can make it through — specifically designed to fit these compact roads.

In operation since the early 1900s, once upon a time, the trolley bus system was the city’s main mode of transport, and the first yellow electric cart began chugging through Lisbon in 1901.

Originally boasting a 148-kilometer-long tram line, the Tram Line 28 was introduced in 1914 and it has been running ever since!

Today, there are around 50 of the yellow carts still in use, and the Tram 28 follows a seven-kilometer route through Graca, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela, starting at Martim Moniz Square and ending in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood.

The ride totals nearly two hours, moving at speeds of 50 kilometers per hour, and is one of the most authentic ways to explore the evolutionary capital.

17 – Pastéis de Belém

Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon

If there’s one quintessential Portuguese food you just have to try, it’s got to be a pastel de nata — a deliciously creamy, hot egg custard pastry tart, and when it’s done right, it is the perfect balance of sweetness.

Stop everything you’re doing and head directly to Pastéis de Belém, we repeat…

Serving locals since 1837, you best believe that these are the best in the business, after all, this very confectionery shop is the originator of the sweet treat.

Here’s how it all began: There was once a sugar cane refinery built next door to the Jeronimos Monastery in Belém with a small shop operating out of it. When the monastery was shut down, a monk from the abbey decided to bake up these particular pastries to sell for an income for the Hieronymites Monastery (as it’s also known).

He called them “Pastéis de Belém” and after much success from local buyers, the refinery’s outer buildings began baking the pastries full-time.

Sticking to this secret recipe ever since, there’s nothing quite like savoring a bite of the OG pastel.

18 – Bica Funicular

Bica Funicular, Lisbon

Known as the Bica Funicular, the Elevador da Bica, and the Ascensor da Bica, don’t confuse this mustard yellow mode of transport with the city trams, and this guy has been driving through the streets of Lisbon for decades before the trams began.

Another alternative for climbing the hills of Lisbon, the Bica began operations in 1892 wielding a water counterbalance system to get the cart up and down the elevated roads. Then progressing to steam power four years later, it turned electric in 1924 and has maintained this way since.

Running daily, there are two ways to board the Bica — now, the funicular only drives between Largo do Calhariz and Rua de São Paulo streets, propelling its way up Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo. There are only two funiculars, each moving in opposite directions.

You can catch the ride from the bottom to the top, or vice versa, lapping up the charming scenery that the Bica area has to offer. The road is lined with old-school buildings and quaint shop fronts and gives you a real sense of Lisbon a century ago.

19 – Luís de Camões Square

Luís de Camões Square, Lisbon

If you’re in need of some creative inspiration, perhaps a gander at one of Portugal’s greatest poets (Luís Vaz de Camões) will give you the motivation you need.

Cast in bronzed form, a four-meter-tall statue depicts the author poised proudly on a pedestal nearly eight meters high. He clutches a copy of his poem, The Lusiads. Surrounding the main figurine are a collection of smaller statues, each one a prominent head of Portuguese culture or literature during the Age of Discoveries.

The statue is located within Luís de Camões Square (also known as Praça de Luís de Camões) where it has stood since 1867. Before it became a public square, the space housed a grand palace and so the area around here is an attractive one.

Situated in vibey Chiado, this plaza oversees Igreja da Encarnação (dating to the 17th century) and Igreja do Loreto (built in 1518) churches.

If not this master, then maybe taking a seat next to another acclaimed writer, Fernando Pessoa sitting down at a table next to an empty chair will spark your creativity. This statue is found in front of the famous A Brasileira cafe where the poet used to idle away his days. The cafe is right by Luís de Camões Square.

20 – National Coach Museum

National Coach Museum, Lisbon

From royal riding school to a 20th-century museum, the National Coach Museum is interesting, insightful, and educational.

Housing one of the most extensive collections of antiquated horse-drawn carriages from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, when the exhibition space first opened in 1905, it became the world’s very first museum dedicated to these vintage coaches.

Comprising personal collections used by different royals (including coaches, berlins, and cabriolets), the museum grew over time, and in 1911, it changed titles to the National Coach Museum.

Growing in success, by 1944, the exhibition space had to be extended once more, and then yet again in 2015, this time round, moving to an entirely new building location.

Featuring permanent and temporary exhibits, meander through the main hall where the carriages are on full display, and there is a workshop here too that restores the carts to their former glory.

Apart from its main collections, there are also other equestrian-related items to view like riding uniforms and harnesses.

21 – Sintra

Sintra, Portugal

Feel worlds away in magical Sintra, a fairytale-looking land that has lured kings, queens, writers, and artists for centuries, from author Hans Christian Andersen to composer Richard Strauss to poet Lord Byron.

In the 21st century, a swarm of celebs have stayed at the famous Hotel Tivoli Palácio de Seteais in Sintra including Johnny Depp, Madonna, Mick Jagger, and Brad Pitt. The once Neoclassic grand palace turned 5-star hotel isn’t the only royal abode, with four others to explore plus many other lavish buildings and landmarks.

Seen from far and wide, the colorful Pena Palace designed in primary yellows and reds was built on the top of a hill overseeing the town below and is utterly mesmerizing. A great example of Romanticism, appreciate its architecture and enjoy a walk through its forested Parque da Pena. The Monserrate Palace is also another triumph of this style to explore.

Swapping styles, take a tour of the Rococo-influenced Queluz Palace built between 1747 to 1789 where members of the monarch lived during the 18th century.

In the heart of Sintra’s town is Portugal’s oldest-surviving palace, the National Palace of Sintra. Its earliest foundations date to the 12th century and it boasts a mix of architectural styles; Gothic, Manueline, Moorish, and Mudéjar.

Unlike the rest, the Castle of the Moors is a castle, not a palace, occupied by the Moors during the 8th century.

Plastered across advertisements of the town, the 16th-century Quinta da Regaleira draws in crowds with its spiral staircase covered in mossy greens, romantic gardens, and medieval turret.

See also: Pena Palace Sintra tickets price – complete guide

22 – Sanctuary of Christ the King

Sanctuary of Christ the King, Lisbon

Whether you’re driving back into Lisbon from the beachside or peering over the Tagus River, the 110-meter-tall Sanctuary of Christ the King towers over the city.

If the statue seems familiar, that’s because it was inspired by Brazil’s ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in Rio de Janeiro when the then-Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira traveled to the country’s capital back in 1934.

25 years later, Portugal’s very own rendition was erected, a symbol of the country’s strong Catholic faith.

Called the Santuário de Cristo Rei in Portuguese, the monument took 10 years to build, with the first foundations laid down in 1949.

Inaugurated by Pope John XXIII, the monument forms part of a complex of buildings centered around the shrine and religion. There is a reception hall to welcome visitors, a hall dedicated to the Pope containing oil paintings and religious relics, the Our Lady of Peace Chapel, and the Pavilion of the Rosary, among others.

Its most special feature? An elevator transports visitors up the Sanctuary of Christ the King, and from here, the vistas stretch out for roughly 20 kilometers over Lisboa.

23 – Casa dos Bicos

Casa dos Bicos, Lisbon

It’s pretty hard to miss the Casa dos Bicos when traversing through the Alfama district — simply look out for the building front, with a façade decorated in a series of cemented spikey molds sticking out of the walls.

(Its name literally translates to “House of the Spikes/Beaks.”)

Home to a branch of the Museum of Lisbon networks, as well as the José Saramago Foundation, it’s a fabulous way to expose yourself to Lisbon’s 16th-century architecture and interestingly, it was one of the buildings that made it out of the Great Lisbon Earthquake.

Built as a residential home around 1522, count the 1,225 diamond-shaped stones out front and then head inside to the archaeological center on the ground floor. This space highlights excavated ruins dug up in 2010 spanning centuries, some of which are more than 2,000 years old!

The upper floors are dedicated to the José Saramago Foundation where Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese writer José Saramago’s personal library is kept.

24 – Palace of Ajuda

Palace of Ajuda, Lisbon

After the 1755 Earthquake destroyed much of the city and its ancient buildings in its aftermath, it was decided to build a new palace for the royal family away from the river and up on the hill in Ajuda above the Belém area.

Construction began in 1795 but was abruptly stopped when the royal family fled Portugal for Brazil. This resulted in an incomplete estate which was eventually converted into a public museum.

During a visit to the palace, roam through its lavish rooms and hallways dripping in artwork — from paintings to sculptures — and age-old antique furnishings. Some of the rooms to check out include the Throne Room, the Banquet Room, the Audience Room, and the King João IV Room.

In 2021, additional upgrades were made to the western wing, giving it a modernized feel. Inside this three-leveled Royal Treasure Museum, the crown jewels are on display!

Not to miss either; the Ajuda Botanical Gardens is opposite the palace. The country’s first botanical garden dates to 1768.

25 – Oceanário de Lisboa

Oceanário de Lisboa

The ocean has always been an integral part of this city, from its port-centric endeavors back in the day to its pretty coastline home to beach bars and restaurants in the 21st century.

Designed and built incorporating 5 million liters of seawater, the Oceanário de Lisboa is one of the biggest indoor aquariums in Europe.

Categorized into four marine habitats that magnify the animals’ original, go and show our magnificent marine creatures some love. The space comprises two main buildings; the Edifício dos Oceanos (Oceans Building) and the newer Edifício do Mar (Sea Building) and both are connected by a forecourt.

Within the forecourt area are educational exhibitions and other learning materials all related to Deep Blue. There are also temporary exhibitions hosted at the aquarium, with guided and specialized kids’ tours available.

From fish to amphibians, mammals, invertebrates, and water birds, there are loads to see here. Wave hello to cute penguins and sea otters, spot the unique crocodile newt, gasp over the blacktip reef shark in the flesh, and be dazzled by starfish and the dancing aggregating anemone.

26 – Vasco da Gama Tower

Vasco da Gama Tower, Lisbon

Instead of climbing the hills to take in the views of Lisbon, make your way to the Vasco da Gama Tower and fly 145 meters into the sky for 360-degree vistas of the city, the Tagus River, and the famed Vasco da Gama Bridge — the second longest bridge in all of Europe!

Constructed as a soaring skyscraper back in 1998, guests can ride to the top of the tower in 55 seconds via an elevator. At the top is an observation deck-meets-bar; BABYLON 360º.

Order a cocktail inspired by the spice trade and at each window here, you can scan a unique QR code to learn more about Lisbon’s important landmarks and the country’s vast history.

Above the observation deck, it gets even better on the dining front. Located at the top of the tower is the one-star Michelin restaurant, Fifty Seconds.

Right near Torre Vasco da Gama, you can catch a cable car ride between the tower area and the Oceanário de Lisboa, and the structure now forms part of the fancy 5-star Myriad Hotel.

27 – Centro Cultural de Belém

Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon

If it’s not your first time in Lisbon, it’s well worth knowing that the former Berardo Collection Museum of modern art officially shut its doors for good in January 2023.

In its place, the brand new Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) opened in its place, however, the center still hosts a permanent collection of art from the 20th century titled the ‘Berardo Collection.’

The gallery is housed on the second floor, flaunting over 1,000 works by some of the Masters, from Picasso to Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, the list goes on and on!

It covers art styles such as Cubism, Surrealism, and Dadaism. Temporary exhibitions are held here, showcasing modern-day artists.

Apart from the art, the CCB center boasts concert halls and an auditorium where performances are held like musical concerts, shows, and plays. There is also a dedicated Reading Room (on the ground floor) for literary enthusiasts, as well as a handful of on-site restaurants, cafes, and shops.

28 – Lisbon Zoo

Lisbon Zoo

Established in 1884, if you’re an animal advocate you’ll be delighted to know that the Lisbon Zoo prides itself on being much more than a typical “zoo” and works at lengths on the animal conservation front!

Undergoing complete renovations and upgrades to provide a clean and safe space for creatures big and small, there are over 2,000 furry, scaled and feathered friends that call the zoo home. The park even has its own Veterinary Hospital, deemed one of the best in Europe.

Spaced according to the different animals’ natural habitats; mammals, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates are separated into various environments.

These zones include Dolphin Bay, Pelicans, the Enchanted Forest, Reptile House, Temple of the Primates, Iberian lynx Grove, Valley of the Tigers, Savana MEO, and the Children’s Farm.

A super cool attraction here is the zoo’s cable car and the 20-minute ride soars above the park grounds and animals!

29 – 25 de Abril Bridge

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

Introducing the longest suspension bridge in Europe and the world’s 46th longest suspension bridge; it’s the 25 de Abril Bridge spanning 2,277 meters from the city of Lisbon, over the Tagus River, and connecting the capital center to the Almada municipality on the coast side.

Made up of two levels, the upper part is where motor vehicles drive over, and underneath is a double-track railway.

Erected between 1962 and 1966, the overpass was originally named the Salazar Bridge, but its name changed on 25 April 1974 — hence its current title.

Constituting six lanes on the upper level, it sort of sounds like you’re on a Formula 1 track as you transit from one side to the other (which you’ll need to do if you’re on your way to the beach).

As you cross over, the Tagus River greets you on either side and if the bridge looks familiar it’s because it was designed by the same engineers behind the San Francisco Bridge. Also red in color, the two look strikingly similar.

30 – Lisboa Story Centre

Lisboa Story Centre

Walking through the Rua Augusta Arch and onto Praça do Comércio, you’ll come across the Lisboa Story Centre — as the name implies, this is a venue that’s dedicated to the telling and recapturing of the history of Lisbon, done so in an interactive way.

The center is divided into six spaces and five of these exhibition areas are located on the ground floor, with the sixth on the first floor.

Areas one through five are set up in chronological order, designed as an immersive experience that transports visitors through time, from earliest civilizations to modern Lisboa.

Area 1 is all about ‘Myths and Realities’; Area 2 explores ‘Lisbon: Global City’; Area 3 focuses on ‘November 1, 1755, All-Saints’ Day’; Area 4 is titled ‘The Vision of Pombal’ and Area 5 centers on ‘The Square: Politics and Pleasure.

The final exhibition space displays a virtual scale model of the city, detailing its architectural developments over the centuries as well as some of the most important historical city events.

It takes roughly one hour to get through the entire “storybook” yet the time flies by as you’re immersed by digital illustrations and projections, simulators, and virtual animation. All in all, there are 17 chapters of Lisbon’s history that you’ll cover during the experience.

31 – National Tile Museum

National Tile Museum, Lisbon

Pretty, embellished, and decorative … One of Lisbon’s most captivating facets is its colorful patterned tiles decorating most of the buildings around the city. If you’re into aesthetics, it will capture your attention immediately — and these mosaics make eye-catching photo backdrops!

It all began after the Lisbon Earthquake in 1755. As an alternative to rebuilding much of the city and adorning it in artworks and fancy facades, the iconic blue and white Portuguese azulejo tiles were employed, and voila, the rest is history.

Dating long before that to the 13th century, learn interesting facts like this and more at the National Tile Museum, including the origins and evolution of the artwork.

Set up inside an age-old convent, Madre de Deus Convent, dating to 1509, have a gander over the tiles in person and be amazed by the variations between the centuries (the oldest collection is from the 1400s).

When the church itself was built, it was adorned with these tiles, and so its features also form part of the Museu Nacional do Azulejo’s collections.

It’s one of the most unique and authentic museums to see, deeming it one of the best tourist attractions in Lisbon.

32 – Carmo Convent

Carmo Convent, Lisbon

Architecture aficionados; the Neo-Gothic Carmo Convent is really intriguing all thanks to the grandeur of its size as well as its unfinished naves opening up towards the heavens.

A popular space to hold events, for example, weddings, the entire structure is beautiful in an ancient kind of way and its abandoned constructions give it an artsy vibe.

Erected in 1389 on a hill sitting opposite the São Jorge Castle, the original church was mostly destroyed in the Lisbon Earthquake. Formerly one of the grandest convents, it was decided to rebuild the church following the 1755 event in its new Neo-Gothic style.

Reconstruction was halted in 1834 and it was then decided not to continue, hence the incomplete naves.

Today, Carmo Convent houses the Carmo Archaeological Museum and is home to the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists. When the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo was first established, it focused on gathering pieces of archeology, including architecture and fragments of Portuguese monuments.

Adding to this over the years, now there are more excavated items to explore such as a collection of Roman epigraphy and a collection of pre-Columbian ceramics and mummies.

33 – Time Out Market Lisboa

Time Out Market Lisboa

Consider yourself an avid traveler? Chances are you’ve heard of Time Out, a global media and hospitality company established in 1968. Covering all things culture and social across countries, its very own Time Out Market Lisboa was created in 2014, and presented by Time Out Portugal.

Designed as a massive modern gourmet foodie market featuring some of the city’s top restaurants, bars, and shops, the space in which it is set up has always been a marketplace, originally home to the 19th-century Mercado da Ribeira Nova.

Spotlighting 26 restaurants, eight bars, and over 10 stores over two levels, it’s a feast for the senses. There is also a small section of the market where vendors sell fresh produce and flowers.

Acting as a food-centric locale, there is even a cookery academy inside the food hall led by top chefs. Discover cooking classes, workshops, live demonstrations, and special kids’ programs.

34 – Telecabine Lisbon

Telecabine Lisbon

Gliding over the Tagus River, with views of the capital city and iconic landmarks in plain sight — from the Vasco da Gama Bridge to the Parque das Nações area — a ride on the Telecabine Lisbon is not to be missed!

Dangling 30 meters high in the sky, enjoy an eight to 12-minute journey on the city’s Nations Park Gondola Lift, veering from one side to the next via a 1,230-meter-long cable line.

The South terminal is situated next door to the Lisbon Oceanarium (on Passeio de Neptuno), and the North terminal is next to the Vasco da Gama Tower and the Telecabine ticket offices are located here.

Traveling at speeds of four meters per second, the gondolas can fit a maximum of eight passengers per carrier, perfect for large groups.

Sights to look out for during the ride include the Pavilhão de Portugal (Pavilion of Portugal), the Sao Gabriel and Sao Rafael towers, and the Altice Arena.

35 – Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras Reservoir

Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras Reservoir, Lisbon

Established between 1746 and 1748, entering the mystical Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras Reservoir is quite magical, to say the least, granting the same feeling as if walking into ancient Roman baths.

The 18th-century reservoir is located at the end of the Águas Livres Aqueduct (in Praça das Amoreiras) and was built to help carry the water flowing in and out of the aqueduct into the city of Lisbon. Although this is no longer its function, the site is quite special.

Ornately designed (by Hungarian architect Carlos Mardel), the reservoir complex accommodates a 7.5-meter-deep water tank and multiple fountains. The inside was envisioned similarly to that of a church hall, with water spouting from the mouth of a dolphin in the center.

Its vaulted cupola ceiling is supported by four columns, and these columns form the foundations steadying a terrace. From here, enjoy gorgeous views over the capital.

36 – Eduardo VII Park

Eduardo VII Park, Lisbon

Grab a book, pack a picnic, and give your weary feet a rest at the biggest park in central Lisbon, i.e. the Eduardo VII Park.

Differentiating its green space from the rest, the park is actually built on a slope — no surprises there from hilly Lisbon — and runs downhill, with its bottom boundary in front of the Marquis of Pombal Square.

Opening to the public circa 1949, it has an interesting makeup with manicured symmetrical box hedging zig-zagging down the bank. From the top, lap up the views of the city center from an elevated perspective.

Key features are the park’s two estufas, one which is a hothouse containing exotic plants and the second (the Estufa Fria greenhouse) houses tropical species, palm trees, cacti, and a few ponds.

In honor of Portuguese athlete and Olympic Games hero, Carlos Lopes, a sports pavilion was brought into the grounds in 1929 (on the eastern side) and concerts and other events are held here.

Here in June? Check out the annual book fair conducted inside Eduardo VII Park.

37 – Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT)

Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, Lisbon

From specialized guided tours (either focusing on aspects of architecture, art, technology, and ecology) to science or robotics workshops to ever-changing exhibitions on display; there are loads to see, do, and investigate at the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT).

As its name suggests, the MAAT is dedicated to all things art, architecture, and technology, shining a light on contemporary visual art, new media, and science. Adding to its general ambiance is also the museum’s location — built inside of a repurposed power station from the year 1908.

Utilizing both indoor and outdoor space, this large museum is set up between two buildings, both harboring its exhibitions, events, and talks.

There are two permanent installations to discover: the ‘Central Tejo’ sculpture by artist  Pedro Cabrita Reis (found at the pier beside the power station building) and the ‘Placed on Either Side of the Light’ piece, created by artist Lawrence Weiner in 1999.

To find the MAAT, head down to the riverfront in Belém where the complex was constructed, sitting on the waterside.

38 – Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Ciência Viva

Pavilhão do Conhecimento Ciência Viva, Lisbon

Moms and dads listen up; if you’re traveling to Lisbon with the little ones, they will absolutely love Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Ciência Viva — a super cool science center with tons of interactive features to get involved in, shows and exhibitions.

The building in which the Ciência Viva Science Center is located is at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento dos Mares (The Pavilion of Knowledge of the Seas).

(This geometrically-shaped modern-looking building was erected specifically for the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition where the theme was “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future.” After the World Fair, the pavilion was kept open and the center was renamed to simply the ‘Pavilion of Knowledge.’)

Today, there are plenty of cool immersive spaces to explore within.

Divided into ‘Tinkering’ and ‘Maker,’ see what your hands can create at the Dóing: Enlarged Workshop. Deep dive into five thematic areas at The Explore exhibition containing 40 interactive modules.

Other areas to discover include ‘Tcharan! Circus of Science Experience’; the Fishanario; Water – An Unfiltered Exhibition; and the Hit And Run Exhibits where you can ride a flying bike or sit in a shrinking chair!

 39 – Fronteira Palace

Fronteira Palace, Lisbon

As pretty as a peach; the ornate Fronteira Palace is super romantic and a perfect option for those looking for the best tourist attractions in Lisbon for couples.

What makes it stand out apart from its architecture? Number one is its gorgeous gardens and number two, the grounds contain the biggest collection of 17th-century azulejos, i.e. traditional Portuguese tiles.

Modeled in 1670 by one of Portugal’s noble families, the manor has remained pretty much unchanged and in fact, Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira is still the residence of the original Mascarenhas family. Therefore, the palace is a living museum.

As captivating as the interiors are, its majestic garden is a heart-stealer featuring ponds, sculptures, fountains, manicured hedges, and panels of azulejos decorating the grounds. Points of interest around here include the Knights Lake, Kings Gallery, its five fountains, the Venus Garden and Casa do Fresco (the garden grotto).

Now a National Monument, there are two tours available. One ventures through the manor house, and the other focuses on a tour of the gardens.

40 – Águas Livres Aqueduct

Águas Livres Aqueduct, Lisbon

Here’s one for our engineers and anyone fascinated by the world of hydraulics; the Águas Livres Aqueduct dates as far back as 1731! It’s crazy cool to see how these artificial waterway systems were constructed in the 18th century and designed in a Baroque style…

Erected between 1731 and 1799, the conduit initially collected and transported water to the capital city which passed through five municipalities: Amadora, Lisbon, Odivelas, Oeiras, and Sintra, stretching 58 kilometers long.

The Main Aqueduct begins at Sintra’s Mãe de Água Velha (known as the Old Reservoir) and runs for 14 kilometers until it reaches the end reservoir, Mãe de Água das Amoreiras.

As one of the last grand classical Roman aqueducts to be constructed, one of the most impressive features of this National Monument (garnering this status in 1910) is the section in the Alcântara Valley where the pointed arches were designed in different sizes.

The Water Museum of Lisbon offers tours of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, specifically this part of the Alcântara Valley.

41 – Fado Museum

Fado Museum, Lisbon

Did you know that a ‘fado’ refers to a Portuguese “sad” song and the melody is usually led by traditional mandolins or guitars?

Keep an eye open for the pink-pastel exterior building entrance of the Fado Museum and get more clued up on all things surrounding the genre — musicians will really appreciate this one!

Established in 1998, this museum uncovers the history of fado, originating on the streets of Lisbon, and shines a light on the music, from artists to instruments.

On display are endless posters, music scores, instruments, performance uniforms, photograms, trophies, licenses, contracts, pictures, and more, all once belonging to musicians, composers, instrument manufacturers, scholars, researchers, and authors.

Its permanent exhibition pays an ode to fado, chronicling its inception from the 19th century through to modern times. There is also a collection of fine art where the subject matter has been fado, for example, “O Fado” by José Malhoa (created in 1910).

The museum also hosts temporary displays, guided tours, classes, and workshops, like learning how to play the Portuguese guitar.

42 – São Bento Palace

São Bento Palace, Lisbon

A former monastery turned House of Parliament building; São Bento Palace is a fine work of Neoclassical architecture, from its grandiose columns to the pediment to the four sophisticated statues on pedestals at its entrance, symbolic of Portugal’s ‘Prudence,’ ‘Strength,’ ‘Justice’ and ‘Temperance.’

Inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, the Portuguese Parliament was first constructed as a convent in 1598 belonging to the monks of the Benedictine Order. Yet it wasn’t until it was reconstituted to the seat of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic in 1834 that it underwent its makeover, converting to its all-white exterior.

Admire the building from the outside, or when there are temporary art exhibitions hosted inside you’ll have the chance to cherish the interiors. Free guided tours (by appointment only) are available on the last Saturday of every month.

During these tours, you’ll be shown the garden and have the opportunity to squizz out the Prime Minister’s official residence, but the mansion is closed off inside to the public.

43 – Tropical Botanical Garden

Tropical Botanical Garden, Lisbon

Take some time out in nature and enjoy being swarmed by forests of greenery at the Tropical Botanical Garden.

From gigantic Ficus macrophylla (also known as Australian banyan) to spikey Norfolk Island pine trees to Chinese Eucommia ulmoides (used for herbal medicine) and Ginkgo biloba; there are over 600 plant species growing inside the five-hectare park.

Most of the trees and plants originate from tropical and subtropical regions around the world, with certain rare kinds kept here too, and there are a few greenhouses to walk through.

Open to the public since 1906, the area where the garden is now set up once belonged to the Portuguese nobility of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. There are still remnants of buildings from these eras located within the park, as well as marble sculptures.

For example, keep your eyes peeled for the hidden Casa do Fresco, dating to the 17th century as well as the Calheta Palace from the 1600s.

When Jardim Botanico Tropical (as it’s called in Portuguese) was initially established, it was designed to focus on agriculture in Portugal’s colonies primarily Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Macau, São Tomé, East Timor, and Guinea-Bissau. It was originally titled the ‘Colonial Garden.’

44 – Restauradores Square

Restauradores Square, Lisbon

For those travelers with limited time in Lisbon but are still dead set on investigating plenty of iconic landmarks and monuments, a great place to start exploring is Restauradores Square.

Playing a special part in the country’s history, the plaza was established in celebration of the end of the Iberian Union in Portugal (lasting from 1580 to 1640).

In the heart of the Praça dos Restauradores is a striking white obelisk, and two bronze statues are placed on either side of the 30-meter-tall monument, symbolizing Victory and Freedom from the Iberian Union.

Other dazzling points of interest include the Foz Palace timelined to the 18th and mid-19th centuries with its interiors inspired by the Palace of Versailles in Paris. It even has its own Mirror Room and every so often, guided tours inside are available.

With its Art Deco pink façade, don’t miss the Eden Cinema either and the teatro opened in 1931. No longer a theater, an aparthotel occupies the building.

Located in Baixa, Restauradores Square is in a prime position with plenty of things to do and see around the square, and dozens of cafes and local eateries on the streetsides, including Lisbon’s Hard Rock Cafe.

45 – Navy Museum and Navy Planetarium

Navy Museum, Lisbon

As we’ve established, Lisbon’s harbor (and the ocean) has always played a major role and holds much importance over the city.

There are two museums in particular that seriously hone in on the country’s exploits and navigations out at sea, housed in separate buildings next to one another by the Jeronimos Monastery.

From nautical instruments and charts to real sailing boats, scaled-down models of ships, artillery employed on war vessels, and everyday items used on the Merchant Marine; there’s a whole sea of maritime-related artifacts, relics, and life-size vessels to observe at the Navy Museum.

Among its collection of 23,000 pieces, 17,000 of these are found inside the west wing of the Monastery, including an actual wooden figurine of Archangel Raphael from Vasco da Gama’s travels to India as well as model ships from the Age of Discovery — the Maritime Museum (as it’s also known) is spread between two buildings.

Founded in 1962, there are permanent exhibitions set up in the west wing of Jeronimos Monastery and inside the Pavilhão Das Galeotas building where once-used galley boats, rowing vessels, seaplanes, and more are showcased.

The Navy Planetarium opened up in 1965 and has been modified a few times since to keep up with modern technologies.

It features 32-star projectors for sightseeing the Milky Way, the constellations and nebulae; an observatory; a library, and a gallery that often hosts themed exhibits.

46 – Avenida da Liberdade

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon

Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Gucci, Cartier, Prada, and Burberry … Lisbon’s upmarket and stylish Avenida da Liberdade is lined with some of the biggest exclusive designers on either side of its tree-filled center strip.

Inspired by Paris’ Champs Elysees, the 1.1-kilometer-long boulevard runs downhill, from the Marquis of Pombal Square toward the Baixa district, ending at Restauradores Square.

With its cobbled pavements and main promenade dotted with tall trees providing shade, park benches, and cute kiosks selling coffee, drinks, and snacks; it remains a super affluent area (dozens of luxury hotels, fancy restaurants, and upscale townhouses surround the avenue).

Considered one of the “chicest streets in Lisboa” there are many fabulous restaurants and bars in the area too. Top spots include Cervejaria Liberdade, JNcQUOI Asia and JNcQUOI Avenida, SEEN by Olivier, Red Frog Speakeasy, Fábrica Coffee Roasters, and Sítio Valverde.

During public holidays, the streets surrounding Avenida Da Liberdade are closed off to traffic and the avenue becomes a thoroughfare bustling with locals and tourists. Weekends also see a small flea market set up on the patterned strip.

47 – Rua Nova do Carvalho

Rua Nova do Carvalho, Lisbon

Trendily transforming the city’s former “Red Light District,” once you reach a road that’s pink in color instead of the usual black tar, you’re now entering Rua Nova do Carvalho — Lisbon’s nightlife hotspot!

Littered with ambient bars and a few clubs that guarantee a party, the Cais do Sodré neighborhood now heaves with tourists searching to extend their socializing into the early hours of the morning.

Nicknamed ‘Pink Street’ (for obvious reasons), some of the bars and clubs to grab a drink from or show off your dance moves are Pink Wine Point, 4 Caravelas, Espumantaria do Cais, Sol e Pesca, Menina e Moça Livraria-Bar and Musicbox.

Other areas closeby to Rua Nova do Carvalho that has a bustling nightlife include the bars along Rua da Boavista (check out Social B) and the Bairro Alto neighborhood.

48 – LX Factory

LxFactory, Lisbon

Accommodating over 50 restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques; foodies and shopaholics you’ll love LxFactory.

Headed up in one of the city’s industrial areas in a converted factory complex, the entire set has a real urban-cool atmosphere. Home to businesses in the fashion, advertising, multimedia, architecture, music, and art industries, events are often held here relative to these cultural fields, such as the biannual Open Day event.

Established in 2008, the unique services that the complex offers include a photography studio, a pole dancing studio for a fitness workout, and massage therapies.

Mouth-watering eateries to wine and dine include Matchamama (a fusion of Peruvian and Asian cuisine), Taberna 1300, Messe Pizzaria, the LX Brewery, Landeau Chocolate, and Ni Michi for a taste of the Amazon.

On the shopping-end; pop into Etnik Spring, Brandz, Petit Love, Kare Design, and the Art Studio Lisbon By Jo Seixas & Grebism.

49 – Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto, Lisbon

When you think about Lisbon, the Bairro Alto neighborhood is the epitome of all the reasons why people fall head over heels for Portugal’s capital, boasting all the iconic scenes you dream about seeing …

Rows of colorful houses lined on cobbled streets, vintage funiculars chugging up the hills, street art plastering the walls, quaint vistas of local living, and kooky bars; this bohemian-inspired district is everything.

Home to a splurge of hostels and affordable accommodation, the streets are abuzz with travelers from all walks of life, but when the tourists go out to explore the city during the day, the area quietens down … until dusk falls that is.

Then, when the stars come out to play so do the masses in search of a night out on the town.

Points of interest to check out surrounding Lisboa’s first-ever planned district (its gridded streets were set in 1513) are the Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, Igreja de Santa Catarina and Igreja de São Roque churches, Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo street and its Bica Funicular and the Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara.

50 – Fado shows

fado show in Lisbon

Now that you’re clued up on Fado after a visit to the Fado Museum, marvel over these traditional performances in person at a live Fado show!

Although the songs are considered quite melancholic, the meaning behind the compositions is centered on nostalgia, hope, and national pride.

Sticking to its authentic ways, these shows usually take place in a traditional and intimate Portuguese bar, and last between one to two hours, depending on where you’re watching.

Comprising both a female and male singer on vocals, the concert is accompanied by musos stringing a Portuguese and classical guitar.

Certain fado shows pay tribute to the famous fadista musician, Amália Rodrigues (who helped raise the music to popularity), whilst other musicians sing their own original tunes.

For something extra special (ideal for couples) book a fado and dinner show.

How to get to Lisbon?

Flying into Lisbon? There is only one major international airport to arrive at; the Humberto Delgado Airport.

Eliminate some of the extra travel stresses by pre-booking airport transfers for when you touch down in the Portuguese capital city. By organizing your transport prior to arrival, all you have to worry about is collecting your luggage and dealing with passport control (if applicable).

Waiting for you with a sign holding your name on it is your private driver. Be whisked away in comfort and style in a private vehicle, arriving at your accommodation in no time.

Where to stay in Lisbon?

Add the cherry to your Lisbon trip by staying at some of the best hotels the city has to offer.

If you’re all about those fancy old-school, regal hotel vibes, check into the 5-star TURIM Boulevard Hotel, favored for its top-notch welcoming staff, fantastic breakfast, and location.

Modern and close to the Jeronimos Monastery, Wine & Books Lisboa Hotel is for all the trendsetters.

Boasting stylish rooms with lovely interiors and a gorgeous rooftop pool, book a night (or five) at Browns Avenue Hotel (also a 5-star accommodation).

Inspired by the beauties of the past, The Vintage Hotel & Spa is a beautiful 5-star stay offering super plush rooms as well as equipped with an indoor swimming pool.

Contemporary and decked in interesting art, expect the highest of standards from Sublime Lisboa.

The grounds and gardens of the 5-star Pestana Palace Lisboa Hotel are breathtaking, but it’s no surprise as the building is also a National Monument.

Another 5-star one to add to the list; EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel is a great one for families.

Visiting Lisbon on a budget?

There’s nothing wrong with saving a few extra euros here and there — it just means more spending cash for shopping and eating out!

Consider one of the free walking tours in Lisbon, and there are plenty to choose from depending on what suits you best.

Pick an expedition that focuses on the history of the city, or opt for specialized endeavors that traverse around specific districts like Alfama, Belém, or even Sintra. Most walking tours last between two and three hours.

The Lisbon card is another alternative where you can purchase a 24, 48, or 72-hour pass granting you free access to 39 museums, landmarks, attractions, and even tram rides.

Where to go next?

What’s next up on your Portugal agenda? There are many other fun and unusual things to do in Lisbon for an extended holiday in the capital, or, opt to explore outside the city.

Situated three hours from Lisbon is the second-largest city in the country, and there are dozens of interesting things to do in Porto. Visit the famous Ribeira district, cruise down the UNESCO-recognised Douro River, enjoy a wine tour and tasting, or party the night away.

A little closer to Lisbon (just over two hours away); visiting botanical gardens, beautiful libraries, science museums, and antiquated towns are just some of the things to do in Coimbra.

Say hello to the Algarve in Portimão, a sleepy authentic coastal town 2.5 hours outside of Lisboa. Top things to do in Portimão include sampling local traditional foods from the area, exploring the Benagil Caves via boat tours, and idling away your time with endless beach days.

Also along the Algarve, Faro is both a haven for cultural and nature-filled expeditions and is two hours and 40 minutes from Lisbon.

Multi-day trips are great options for those with minimal time in Portugal, ranging from two to five-day adventures. Travel around the Algarve, or keep it closer to home and veer off around Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Óbidos, Nazaré, and Fátima, for example.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re into architecture, are a history fanatic, an art aficionado, or the type that loves learning and experiencing new things, these 50 best tourist attractions in Lisbon are not to be missed.

Is it not your first time in Lisboa? If you’ve visited before, what were your favorite sites to see or the landmarks that fascinated you the most? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments, we love to hear back from our readers.

Happy travels!

“I live to travel, and travel to live.” With gypsy blood running through her veins, Shannon is a freelance travel writer who has lived on five continents and counting, and is endlessly inspired by new cultures, countries and landscapes. Inscribing words onto paper, since she could talk, she lives and breathes delicious words and stories. Hailing from sunny South Africa, she has an affinity for Southeast Asia and all things spiritual, and is also a qualified Reiki practitioner. When not with her head buried in storytelling (or books) or watching sunrises in new lands, you’ll find her in the kitchen or with a paintbrush in hand. Shannon has written for major travel publications such as TripCanvas.