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15 Incredible Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Looking for the best things to do in Lisbon, Portugal? Here are 15 incredible things to do in Lisbon.

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There’s no shortage of things to do in Lisbon, Portugal. With its charming cobblestone streets, incredible foodie scene, and gorgeous architecture, you can’t help but fall in love with this beautiful European city.

Things To Do In Lisbon, Portugal

1. Wander Through The Main Square

Lisbon’s main square, Praca do Comercio, is a great jumping off point for exploring the city.

The square itself is beautiful and features the Arco da Rua Augusta, or the “Door to Lisbon”.

Surrounding the square are streets filled with restaurants, cafes, and shopping.

2. Visit The Belem Tower

The Belem Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the Tagus river.

This castle-like structure is actually a former prison. You can tour the inside of the tower or just admire it from a seat along the river.

We didn’t get a chance to visit the tower up close but it’s on the top of my list for my next visit to Portugal!

Helpful info: the Belem tower is closed every Monday.

3. Pink Street

Pink Street is one of the most picture-perfect areas in Lisbon. This gorgeous street was actually once a seedy red light district.

Now, it’s home to many bars, cafes, and clubs and is one of the top areas for nightlife in Lisbon.

The street is very quiet during the day so it’s a great spot to snap a midday Instagram photo.

4. Ride the Tram

A must-do in Lisbon, riding the iconic yellow trams is a fun way to get around the city.

Tram 28 is the most popular route and it takes you to many tourist destinations around Lisbon.

Because this is one of the top things to do in Lisbon, I recommend riding early in the morning to avoid crowds. A single tram ticket costs 3EUR ($3.50).

5. LX Factory

LX factory is a trendy art and culture hub under the Ponte 23 de Abril bridge in Lisbon.

This little market was once an industrial site and it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy looking at local art.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit LX factory on our trip but I’ve heard it’s definitely one of the must-see things to do in Lisbon.

6. Eat Incredible Food

Lisbon is home to an incredible foodie scene. You’ll find everything from fresh seafood, mouthwatering pastries, vegan/vegetarian food, and unique local dishes.

Eating out in Lisbon is also fairly reasonable. Expect to pay $7-9 for local Portuguese cuisine and $10-15 for international dishes.

Looking for more foodie experiences? Join a food tour!

7. Ride the Santa Justa Lift

The Santa Justa Lift is an elevator that was built in 1902 to help residents travel from lower Lisbon to the upper neighborhoods. Riding this lift is one of the top things to do in Lisbon.

Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy the observation deck which gives you stunning views over the rooftops.

The elevator costs 5.15EUR ($6.10) roundtrip and runs every day from 7am-10pm.

8. Admire All The Tiles

One of the first things you’ll notice about Lisbon (aside from the insane hills) is that the whole city is covered in tiles!

One of our favorite things to do in Lisbon was just to walk around the streets and find beautiful buildings covered in tiles.

If you’re looking for an indoor activity, the Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo) is a quick 15-minute ride from the city center.

9. Explore Alfama

the streets of Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal buildings
streets of Lisbon Portugal

Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, and one of the prettiest in my opinion.

The Alfama neighborhood is comprised of narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and cute bars and cafes.

This is also where you’ll find the majority of those iconic yellow trams climbing up the narrow hills.

10. Try a Pasteis de Nata

You can’t go to Portugal without trying a Pasteis de Nata. These delicious custard tarts are a local delicacy.

You can find them at bakeries all over the city (and even at the airport McDonalds) but not all of them are created equally! The top rated place to get them are Pasteis de Belem and Manteigaria.

11. Enjoy The View From A Miradouro

Lisbon viewpoint

One perk in a city as hilly as Lisbon is that there are plenty of stunning viewpoints in the city. These Miradouros are all over the city and offer iconic views over the red rooftops.

My friend Lauren put together a good list of the Best Miradouros in Lisbon.

My favorite viewpoint was the Miradouro de Santa Luzia. There’s a gorgeous tiled patio with incredible views of the riverfront.

12. Eat at the Time Out Market

The Time Out Market is basically a super high-end food hall. The market offers a huge selection of food and drinks.

I love visiting indoor markets and food halls when I travel with other people because it lets everyone get what they want and you can still eat together under one roof.

There are also shows and events at the Time Out Market so be sure to check their website before you go.

Time Out Market is open Monday-Sunday 10am-11pm.

13. Walk Along The Riverfront

Lisbon waterfront

Lisbon has a beautiful riverfront to walk along. There are also tons of cute bars and restaurants to relax at while enjoying the river.

One really interesting spot is the Quiosque Ribeira das Naus. It’s an outdoor lounge area with music, drinks, and outdoor seating.

If you’re looking for delicious food with a view of the river, Pizzeria Casanova has wood-fired pizza and a beautiful riverside terrace.

14. Visit the Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon cathedral: one of the top things to do

The Lisbon Cathedral (also called the Sé) is the oldest church in the city. It was built in 1147 and is one of the top landmarks in the city.

You can enter the main cathedral for free but I didn’t think the interior was anything too special.

The area surrounding the cathedral is beautiful and buzzing with TukTuks, street vendors, and little shops.

The Cathedral is open Monday-Sunday 9am to 7pm.

15. Take a Day Trip to Sintra

Sintra castle near Lisbon, Portugal
Sintra Castle, Portugal
Sintra castle near Lisbon

While Sintra isn’t technically in Lisbon, a short train ride will take you to this UNESCO Cultural Landscape.

The top attraction in Sintra is the Pena Palace.

This colorful castle gets CROWDED so I highly recommend visiting as early in the morning as possible. The palace is open from 9:30am-7pm in the summer and 10am-6pm daily in winter.

The entry fee to the Parque de Pena is 14EUR and this includes the surrounding gardens.

It’s definitely worth it to purchase tickets to explore the inside. The whole palace grounds are absolutely gorgeous.

How To Get Around Lisbon

By foot: Walking around is one of the best ways to take in the charming city streets. Just be aware that the hills in Lisbon are no joke! Your buns will be on fire.

Taxi/Uber: Like most big cities, Lisbon has Taxis and Uber for convenient transportation options. I’ve never utilized either of these services but I’ve heard Uber is much cheaper than taxi rides in Lisbon.

Public Transport: Public transport in Lisbon is cheap and efficient. You can take the bus, tram, and metro all over the city.

Where To Stay In Lisbon

The best places to stay in Lisbon are the neighborhoods in the charming old town.

My favorites are Barrio Alto and Alfama. Some other great neighborhoods are Principe Real, Baixa, and Santa Caterina.

Here are some top recommended hotels in Lisbon:

Here are some top recommended hostels in Lisbon:

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15 amazing things to do in Lisbon, Portugal
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