Lisbon has established itself as a haven for families and couples looking to escape to it’s warm climate, as well as a cultural hotspot for young travellers, looking to enjoy the party atmosphere, beautiful scenery and architecture. Here we have listed the top 12 best things to do in Lisbon, for all visitors visiting this magnificent coastal city in Portugal.
Activity 1: Belém Tower and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Both the Belém Tower and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos are symbols of Portugal’s Age of Discovery. The monastery was built in 1501 and the tower in 1515 and both are an example of the popular Portugese Manueline style. You can enjoy great views of Belém from the terrace on the top floor of the tower and the architecture in St. Jeromes is spectacular, especially the gargoyles in St.Jeromes chapel. If you are visiting on the first Sunday of the month, you can avail of free admission. Don’t forget to try the famous Belém Custard Cups while you are there.
- Fee: €6 with a 50% discount for children over 12, families and OAPs. Under 12s are free.
- Location: Avenida Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Activity 2) Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte
If you want a panoramic view of all Lisbon has to offer, look no further than Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. Translated as ‘Our Lady of the Hill Viewpoint’, it is the highest point in the city and reportedly, one of the most romantic also. It is easily accessible from Alfama by taking the number 28 tram and there is a good bit of walking involved, but it is well worth the trek.
- Fee: Free
- Location: Ciencia Viva, Lisbon
Activity 3) Oceanário de Lisboa
Another very popular Lisbon attraction, catering for over one million visitors annually, the Oceanário de Lisboa is an impressive aquarium that houses all kinds of sea life as well as running conservation programmes and educational programmes. Very popular with children and adults alike, it is a fun way to spend a couple of hours. Top tip, while you are there, take a trip on the cable car located about 50 meters from the front door for some spectacular coastal views.
- Fee: Adults €14, Children 4-12 and OAPs €9, Families €36
- Location: Parque das Nações, at the south end of Doca dos Olivais
Activity 4) Alfama
The colourful streets of Alfama are located on the east side of the city and it is Lisbon’s oldest district. You can take a tram through it for a quick glimpse, but if you would like a feel of old style Lisbon, wander through the narrow streets and soak up the atmosphere. If you visit at night you will hear the romantic Fado coming from the many small bars and restaurants, the perfect place for couples.
- Fee: free
- Location: East Lisbon
Activity 5) St. George’s Castle
Open 365 days of the year, there is no excuse for not paying this historical treasure a visit. Whether you would like to explore the history of Lisbon at the museum, browse the archaeological site of a Moorish village or see 360 degree views of Lisbon in real-time through an optical system of lenses, there is something to interest travellers of all ages.
- Fee: Adults €8, Families €20, Concessions €5
- Location: Castelo de S. Jorge 1100º 129 Lisboa
This is a day trip not to be missed. You will be brought to the National Palace in Sintra, to the scenic Pena Park, the Roca Cape cliffs and much more. This tour is ideal for anyone who wants to see a full snapshot of Lisbon in one day and the tour takes the hassle out of changing locations, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the attractions.
- Fee: €59
- Location: In front of the Hard Rock Café, 2 Avenida Liberdade, 1250-144 Lisbon
Activity 7) Lisbon Essential Tour: History, Stories & Lifestyle
This tour gets rave reviews online with travellers from all walks of life. It brings you to the historical Bairro Alto, one of the most well kept parts of Lisbon, where you can visit the lively bars and restaurants. The oldest district in Portugal, Alfama, is included on the tour(see below for more details on this), as is a fantastic tram ride and spectacular views from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara.
- Fee: €15
- Location: Café A Brasileira, Rua Garret 120, Largo do Chiado, Lisbon
Activity 8) Ajuda National Palace
A treasure for all palace lovers, the Ajuda National Palace has two floors open to the public with both guided and audio tours. With the original furniture, paintings and rugs, the palace is opulent and as impressive as Versailles. The Ajuda National Palace is one of the rare museums in Lisbon that opens on a Monday, so it can be busy on that day. If you are visiting Belem Tower, you can get a taxi from there to the palace for just €4.
- Fee: Adults €5 Children €2.50
- Location:Largo da Ajuda 1349-021
Activity 9) Fatima, Obidos and the Atlantic Coast Day Tour
A very popular choice for a guided tour, this day trip will bring you to one of the most famous religious sites in the world, the Sanctuary of Fatima. This group of Roman Catholic buildings house one of the famous Marian Shrines. The trip also includes a visit to the Batalha Monastery to see the stained glass art and a highlight of the tour is the Ginja liquor served in chocolate cups, it needs to be tasted to be believed!
- Fee: Adult €69
- Location: North of Alfama
Activity 10) Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
One of the most popular Lisbon Bus Tours, this Hop-On Hop-Off will bring you to explore various city squares such as Praça do Município, Praça do Comércio, and Praça do Rossio and show you the hotspots at the Alcantara docks. You can explore at your own pace and it’s a great way to soak up the culture of Lisbon. The tour also brings you to various tourist destinations such as cathedrals, monasteries and beautiful gardens such as Jardim da Astrela.
- Fee: €18
- Location: Lisbon central
Activity 11) Berado Museum
The Berado Museum is a quiet haven among the hustle and bustle of Belém. With works of art by famous artists such as Picasso and Warhol, this museum will impress any one with even a passing interest in contemporary art. After you explore the magnificent art make sure to visit the terrace bar on the third floor where you can relax and take in the views of the Belem Tower and more.
- Fee: Free
- Location: Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa
Activity 12) Pavihão do Conhecimento.
If you are travelling with children or teenagers, the Pavihão do Conhecimento should definitely be on your to-do list. Set in a spectacular building, this interactive science museum is informative and fun for all the family. Learn how tornadoes and rainbows are formed at their interactive displays, try out the virtual reality section or join in with some of the museum games. This museum is located about half an hour from central Lisbon, but it is definitely worth the trip and you should allow for several hours here as there is so much to do and see, you wont want to rush.
- Fee: Adult €8, 6-17yrs €5, 3-5yrs €4, OAPS €5
- Location: In front of the Hard Rock Café. Avenida Liberdade 21250-147 Lisboa
As European cities go, Lisbon is very affordable and with such a wide selection of sights and activities, you are sure to find something to suit your interests. The city is compact so it is easy to explore and whether you are looking for contemporary art, historical buildings, beautiful architecture, delicious food, or just for some new experiences, you will find all that and more in Lisbon. Now that know what the Top 12 best things to do in Lisbon, it’s time to Book the things to do in the city, making sure that your tickets and seats are reserved for your arrival.