15 Top Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Europe, Portugal, Travel, Travel Bucket Lists

Welcome to a city where the old and new blend into harmony. Get ready to be captivated by the fairytale-like antique buildings, cobblestone streets, and breathtaking viewpoints. The enticing rhythm of fado music beckons you to leap into an unforgettable voyage. Let’s look into the 15 best things to do in Lisbon and get ready to fall in love with this centuries-old European gem. 

Best Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal – Summary

  1. See Ajuda National Palace
  2. Stop by Lisbon Cathedral
  3. Hop on Tram 28
  4. Explore the Historical Belem
  5. Wander Around Praca do Comerico
  6. Get a Glimpse of the Past at Sao Jorge Castle
  7. Visit the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology
  8. Hang Out at the Trendy LX Factory
  9. Have a Cup of Coffee in Cafe Brasileira
  10. See the Unique Convento do Carmo 
  11. Catch the Sunset from Porta do Sol
  12. Stay for a Fado Performance
  13. Try Authentic Pasteis de Nata
  14. Go for a Food Tour
  15. Relax at Estufa Fria

See Ajuda National Palace 

Lisbon houses a lineup of intricate palaces that await to be explored. One of the must-see in Lisbon is Ajuda National Palace. Dating back to the 19th century, Ajuda National Palace boasts magnificent neoclassical architecture. The white-tinted castle looks dazzling from the outside, but wait until you wander around inside. Find royal chambers adorned with sumptuous furniture, ranging from silk-covered chairs to gold-casted chandeliers. Moreover, the palace-turned-museum tells you about the everyday life of the once-reigning Dom Luis I. Seeing the National Palace is one of the top things to do in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Stop by Lisbon Cathedral

things to do in Lisbon Portugal

Standing in the heart of Lisbon’s historical hotspot, Lisbon Cathedral becomes the center of attention. The cathedral has a distinctive facade, looking different from other majestic Renaissance-styled churches in Europe. Built out of earth-toned bricks, the cathedral has stood for 800 years. It defied natural occurrences such as the devastating earthquake in 1755, making it an icon of Lisbon. 

Lisbon Cathedral plays an important role in Catholicism in Lisbon. It is the baptism site of St. Anthony, a famous saint in Portugal. Aside from that, the cathedral welcomes travelers to visit. Enjoy the impressive interiors of the church, which include elegant cloisters, beautiful stained-glass windows, and balconies overlooking the glimmering sea. Therefore, stopping by the Lisbon Cathedral is one of the best things to do in Lisbon. 

Hop on Tram 28 

things to do in Lisbon Portugal Tram 28

No Lisbon itinerary will be complete without getting on the antique, striking yellow tram. This transportation mode will take you traveling back in time. Find yourself sitting in a centuries-old tram, moving slowly and a bit shaky to the timeless neighborhoods of Lisbon. Thus, the well-loved route is Tram 28. It moves hill up to the Alfama area, which is one of Lisbon’s iconic historical hotspots. The Tram takes you closer to some of the city’s top attractions, such as the St.George’s Castle and Lisbon Cathedral. It only costs you €3 for a single ride or nothing if you buy a 24-hour public transport ticket. Additionally, the tram operates from 6 AM to 10.30 PM. Therefore, hopping on Tram 28 is one of the top things to do in Lisbon, Portugal. 

 For more information, visit the Lisbon transportation website.

Explore the Historical Belem

things to do in Lisbon Portugal

Tucked on the banks of the Tagus River, Belem is charming and picturesque. The area takes you traveling back in time with its series of magnificent historical buildings. Belem dates back as old as the 13th century, witnessing the former Manuel dynasty of Portugal. It is lined with grey-colored buildings, adorned with intricately carved pillars and towers. The picturesque scene looks better with the sun-kissed banks and glimmering Tagus River. 

It houses some of Lisbon’s most iconic structures. Stop by the famous Belem Tower, which stands proudly on the river banks. The chess piece-like tower is an unmissable spot to see when you are visiting Belem. Besides that, make sure to see the showstopping Jeronimos Monastery. The intricate monastery with its magnificent cloisters has an irresistible charm. Therefore, exploring Belem is one of the best things to do in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Wander Around Praca do Comerico

Praca do Comerico Lisbon Portugal

Wandering around this stunning plaza in Lisbon makes you feel like you are visiting an open-air museum. Centuries-old buildings with pastel colors and distinctive architecture surround the enormous square. A glistening statue of Dom Jose I marks the center. Ancient ferry terminals stand on the sun-soaked promenades. Therefore, Praca do Comerico tells a tale beyond time. It is one of the best places to visit in Lisbon. 

Get a Glimpse of the Past at Sao Jorge Castle 

Sao Jorge Castle

Tucked at the top of Lisbon’s mighty hill, Sao Jorge Castle stuns with its impressive facade. The fortified castle keeps a record of the Visigoths and Portuguese royalty. It was built in the mid-11th century and became the residence of Dom Alfonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king. You can imagine how sumptuous it is to live in the picturesque castle. The fortresses and balconies of Sao Jorge Castle overlook the miniature-like Lisbon, with its gaudy rooftops and colorful structures. Also, spot the sparkling Tagus River from the castle. 

Visit the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) 

things to do in Lisbon Portugal

Quirky and futuristic – the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) is an eye-candy of Lisbon. It features a uniquely shaped building covered in white ceramic tiles. The waterfront location makes the museum as magnetic as ever. However, the exhibition and collection of the museum are the real deal. MAAT houses extraordinary Portuguese contemporary art pieces, ranging from pop art paintings to wood sculptures. Besides that, it also showcases the development of energy and technology in Portugal. Visiting this museum will surely enrich your horizons, as it is one of the top things to do in Lisbon. 

For more information about the tickets and opening hours of MAAT, check out their website here.

Hang Out at the Trendy LX Factory 

things to do in Lisbon LX Factory

Who could have thought an antique textile factory is now the trendiest spot in town? Well, LX Factory proves that! The area resembles a neighborhood with independent boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Cobblestone streets take you around the area. Colorful and quirky murals make the spot look more trendy and interesting. Thus, it is a great place to hang out with your travel buddies and enjoy some drinks at any time of the day. Visiting LX Factory is one of the top things to do in Lisbon, Portugal.

Have a Cup of Coffee in Cafe A Brasileira

Cafe A Brasileira Lisbon Portugal
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This coffee shop is unlike any other coffee shop in Lisbon. Dating back to 1905, Cafe A Brasileira was a well-loved spot for poets, politicians, and intellectuals. It displays an elegant interior with a checkered floor, an Art Deco backdrop, and sumptuous black wood furniture. The coffee shop gained popularity in the 19th century for using high-quality Brazilian coffee. Now, it is a popular tourist attraction for its title as the oldest coffee shop in Lisbon. Cafe A Brasileira crafts a modern menu and classic treats such as egg tarts and pastries. So, order a cup of espresso and have an enjoyable time in this legendary cafe. 

See the Unique Convento do Carmo 

Get ready to be captivated by the unbelievable structure of Convento do Carmo. The curve-edge pillars strike the skies, shaping an incomplete chamber where you can enter and explore. The Gothic cathedral keeps a record of the devastating earthquake in 1755. It was destroyed by the phenomenon and the reconstruction was never completed. For that reason, Convento do Camo displays an enticing yet shuddering beauty. Besides that, you can visit the  neighboring museum that features artifacts, tombs, and mummies. It is one of the top things to do in Lisbon.

If you are planning to travel to Lisbon, we have something great for you! Sit back and relax as you join amazing trips hosted by passionate travelers from all over the world. Other than that, you will go on a trip with like-minded travel buddies and have lots of fun. Whether you want to discover the historical sites in Lisbon or spend a relaxing vacation in the Azores, we have it all for you!

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