Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and might not be an obvious choice for a city break. Don’t miss out though because there’s loads to experience and the place is simply beautiful. It’s crammed with history, has a friendly feel and is a must for anyone who loves vintage trams. Here are our recommendations of what to see…

WHAT TO DO IN LISBON

Lisbon Tram in Comercio Square

Ride A Vintage Tram – Lisbon’s famous hills have been tackled by the vintage Remodelado trams for the last 80 years and they’re still doing it today. Modern trams simply can’t get round the bends and up the steep inclines, which has made the old trams here both a necessity and a great tourist attraction. There are lots of routes you can take but many people opt for the busy E28, which is the most scenic.
Lisbon Trams: Read More, Suggested Routes & Cheapest Tickets…

St George's Castle in Lisbon

St George’s Castle (Castelo de São Jorge) – High on Lisbon’s tallest hill sits a stunning castle complex surrounded by picturesque winding streets. There’s been a castle here since the 12 Century and we enjoyed walking the walls and exploring the site. You’ll also find tremendous, panoramic views of Lisbon from up here.
St George’s Castle: Read More, Ticket Prices, Hours & Map…

Tower of Belem in Lisbon - Exterior

Tower of Belém – This beautiful tower sits on the Tagus river bank and was originally built to defend the city back in 1520. Now it’s one of Lisbon’s most visited tourist attractions. You can see inside and climb the stone staircases, but it’s always busy and although we’d definitely recommend seeing the tower, it’s not worth waiting hours waiting to get in.
Tower of Belém: Read More, Tickets, Hours & Map…

Lisbon Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery – One of Lisbon’s UNESCO world heritage sites in the district of Belém. Again there are large queues to get in, but you’ll be treated to a stunning ornate cloister. Next door, the church of Santa Maria has an unusual interior. Legendary explorer Vasco da Gama spent his last night here before setting sail for the Far East and his tomb is in the church.
Jerónimos Monastery: Read More, Tickets, Hours & Map…

Lisbon Elevador de Santa Justa

Santa Justa Lift – Lisbon is packed with steep inclines and over the years different ways of tackling them were introduced. There are the trams of course, a number of funiculars and also this incredibly attractive lift. Elevador de Santa Justa takes you up from ground level to the streets above and you can feel the history when you ride it. There’s also viewing platform from the top which offers pleasant views over central Lisbon.
Santa Justa Lift: Cheapest Tickets, Hours & Map…

Lisbon Carmo Convent Arches

Carmo Convent – At the top of the Santa Justa lift is a former convent which is now an archaeology museum. It was destroyed by an earthquake and resulting fire before being partially re-constructed. As such, when you visit, it is part ruin, but has an amazing story to tell and lots of artefacts to see.
Carmo Convent Museum: Read More, Opening Times, Tickets & Map…

Lisbon Praca do Comercio wide

Praça do Comércio – This is Lisbon’s best public square and it’s busy day and night. It sits on the river’s edge and people gather at sunset to watch the sun go down. During the day, it’s packed with locals and tourists and it’s surrounded with eateries. The central archway offers another one of Lisbon’s elevated viewing points and the whole square has a lovely, friendly atmosphere.
Praça do Comércio: Read More, What To See & Map…

Rossio – The heat of this district is Praca dom Pedro IV, a busy square which is a thoroughfare of people marching to wherever they’re going mixed with tourists taking photos. There are two notable points here. The first is that the paving is exceptional. This kind of mosaic pavement is common around Lisbon and it’s like a work of art all on its own. The other notable thing here is the National Theatre which dominates one end of the square. Many of Lisbon’s highlights are within easy reach of this square.
Rossio: What To See, Pictures & Location Map…

Lisbon-Cathedral-Towers

Lisbon Cathedral – There are many churches in Lisbon and you couldn’t really visit them all but if you have to choose one, choose this one. The Sé de Lisboa Cathedral was built in 1147 and despite earthquakes it stands today thanks to its solid construction. Inside and out it’s lovely. Admission is free, but you may wish to pay to see the gorgeous cloister.
(Coming Soon) Lisbon Cathedral: Read More, Hours, Pictures & Map….

Lisbon Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos Descobrimentos – This curious monument, dedicated to Portuguese explorers, in the Belem district is also a lookout viewing platform. You may wish to simply marvel at the sculptures on the sides, but if you choose to take the elevator to the top, the view of this part of Lisbon is second to none. Much better than the nearby Tower of Belem.
(Coming Soon) Padrão dos Descobrimentos: Read More, Ticket Prices, Hours & Map…

Lisbon gardens in Alfama

Alfama District – This is the Old Town of Lisbon and it consists of pretty cobbled streets, tiny shops, attractive viewing areas and lots of steep hills. There’s so much to see here including the castle and the cathedral. It’s the most attractive part of the city, but it is very busy and you’ll need to plan your visit to avoid the biggest crowds.
(Coming Soon) Lisbon Alfama District: What To See, Pictures & Map…

Gardens in Belem, Lisbon

Belém District – This historic district of Lisbon borders the river and is home to some of the most important sights like the Jerónimos Monastery and Tower of Belem. It’s the location of the Botanical Gardens, a rather nice palace, the military museum and once of the finest pastelarias in Lisbon serving the city’s favourite delicacy, the Pasteis de Nata custard tart. Also look out for a funky modern building which houses the Art, Architecture & Technology Museum.
(Coming Soon) Lisbon Belém District: Read More, Pictures & Map

Estrela Basilica, Lisbon

Estrela District – A much quieter district of Lisbon which isn’t crammed with tourists but still has many interesting sights to see. Not least, the beautiful Basilica and the Estrela gardens across the road. Go by vintage tram for a scenic trip to Estrela.
(Coming Soon) Lisbon Estrela District: Read More, What To See, Pictures & Map…

Parque Eduardo VII park, Lisbon

Parque Eduardo VII – At the top of Avenida da Liberdade sits a lovely formal park consisting of a central grassed area with decorative box hedges, leading to a viewing area. When you reach the top take a good look at the view down to the river. There is also play area and further gardens to enjoy.
(Coming Soon) Parque Eduardo VII – Read More, Directions, Pictures & Map…

Avenida da Liberdade – This is one of central Lisbon’s longest and busiest streets and it’s packed with shops on both sides. Look out for many of the big names here, but also spend some time walk the paved areas and admiring the hand-crafted patterns. The main public square at the bottom of the road (pictured above) is always bustling with activity.
(Coming Soon) Avenida da Liberdade: Read More, What To See, Pictures & Map…

OUR TOP TIP IN LISBON

Statue of Christo Rei, Lisbon

The Statue of Christ The King – Inspired by the huge statue in Rio de Janeiro, a priest made it his mission to erect something similar in Lisbon. The resulting figure looms over the city from the opposite side of the river. It’s a bit of a trek to get here, but it’s well worth it to see the gardens and the view from the top.
(Coming Soon) Lisbon Christ The King Statue: Directions, Read More, Pictures & Map…

MORE THINGS TO DO IN LISBON

RECOMMENDED HOTEL

Bedroom at O Artista Suites, Lisbon

We stayed at the 4* O Artista Boutique Suites which are in a great location just behind the National Theatre and within walking distance of most of the major sights. The hotel has recently opened and has been designed to the highest standard inside. The decor was stunning and we had a lovely kitchenette in our family room. Overall, we were really impressed with the whole place – excellent service and quality accommodation. You won’t be disappointed if you choose to stay here, but do check out the reviews here:
O Artista Boutique Suites: Latest Prices & Reviews…

GETTING AROUND LISBON

Lisbon is full of hills and although you can walk around most the the city quite easily if you’re fit and healthy, there will probably be times when you will want to use public transport. We used the busses, the trams, the ferries and the underground and you can board all of them with a Viva Viagem card. This card also gives you the cheapest fares – much cheaper than buying on the tram or bus from the driver or ticket machines. You can get a Viva Viagem card from any metro station and top it up with cash. All you do then is present the card on entry for whatever you are using. Do not present the card when you get off, unless a barrier asks you to. It’s simple, cheap and effective.

To get to and from the airport, you can take the Airportbus or the metro, but we’d recommend hoping in a taxi. The airport is so close to the city that you’ll be at most central hotels for around 15 to 20 Euros (2019 prices)

MORE ON LISBON

Visit Lisbon – Official website
Lisbon’s Best Hotel Deals – We recommend Hotels.com
More Things To Do In Lisbon