Top attractions in Lisbon
Portugal's capital city offers an unpretentious culture coupled with a splendid, historic cityscape. As one of Europe's oldest cities, it's also one of the most fascinating to explore! Here are some top tips to get you started.
The magnificent Jeronimos Monastery near the shoreline of Belém was once home to the Hieronymite monks – Catholic hermits whose primary role it was to pray for the King's soul!
The loosely translated Upper Neighborhood is Lisbon's most historically opulent quarter. Bairro Alto is a great place to wander, its preserved romantic ambiance boasts some of the city's top attractions!
Built in 1147 and subsequently developed over time, the Lisbon Cathedral is a bold mix of architectural styles, yet maintains the imposing authority of its Medieval incarnation.
Once the scene of celebrations, bullfights, executions, and uprisings, Lisbon's historic Rossio Square is the meeting point of choice for locals and tourists alike.
The city's oldest district can be found between the São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River. Alfama is the place to be for Lisbon's best restaurants and Fado bars!
Whether cycling along its bank or cruising its waters, be sure to explore Lisbon's pulse. Tagus River's estuary is a haven for fish, crustaceans, and birds, including flamingos!
Called Praça do Comércio in Portuguese, this vast town square is also known as Palace Square (Terreiro do Paço). The Royal Palace stood here before being flattened by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake!
Not only did his 16th-century harbor fortress defend the municipality of Lisbon from coastal attack, but Belém Tower was also crucial to Portugal's role in the era's Age of Discovery!
Chiado's subsequent recovery after a devastating fire in 1988 has made it perhaps the wealthiest corner of the city. It's now Lisbon's most famous shopping district!
With the advent of electric power, Lisbon built two elevators to improve access between its hilly streets. This peculiar feat of engineering is a true relic!
Lisbon is lucky enough to have the warmest winters in Europe without the disadvantage of suffering from intense summer heat. Nevertheless, the subtropic coastal climate is prone to sudden bursts of rain even on its clearest days, so be warned! Going in late spring or early autumn generally means cheaper hotel prices and more manageable crowds.
The heart of Lisbon makes a great choice for a long weekend, but many of its top attractions lie within the city's greater subregion. Top day trips include Belém, Sintra, Fátima, and Cascais, with many more besides. Each will need at least an entire day to see, if not two.
Though Lisbon is cheap by the standards of most European capitals, getting one of the cabs waiting outside the airport can be expensive. If you're traveling somewhere central without much luggage, it's undoubtedly cheaper and easier to take the metro. It should only take about 25 minutes to the city center.
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- Spring or autumn
Things to Do in Lisbon
Top Attractions in Lisbon
Cities in Portugal
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What people are saying about Lisbon
We spent a full day with Francisco on a tour from Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril. Because we wanted to see 3 palaces - Pena, Regaleiro and Moors - along with Hells Mouth & Cabo da Roca, Francisco picked us up at 8:30AM from our hotel. He knew the best way to plan our day in order to see all we wanted, even though this was an ambitious schedule. Fransicso was an excellent driver, and knew the tricks to find parking at each location. Because of this we had time to visit all the places we wanted. His advice for each visit and knowledge of all the locations made the day so much more interesting than if we had visited alone. Fransisco was full of information on Portugal, history and current events and answered all our questions. On top of that, he was such a really nice person, very considerate and respectful. We couldn't have enjoyed the day more. So glad he was our guide. It was a long and busy day, but worth it and it remains one of the highlights of our trip to Porfugal.
So we arrived 5min prior to begin and many people were still standing outside of the boat. Departure was about 30min later which was a bit long in my opinion. The best time to do this party is probably in june/july. We went in mid october and the sun was already gone when we left the harbour. The sunset would have been a lot nicer on the river instead of inside the harbour. The music was for 70% of the time really good (relaxing chill/party house music). During the last hour it was very mainstream and not really our taste anymore. The drinks were alright. A bit small for the longdrinks but it was ok. They had a burger station where you could get some food. The burgers were really good bit it tool us about 25min until we finally got our burgers. Like many other people wrote: there are just 2 toilets and you have to wait about 15min because there was always a queue. So a few negagive things but in total we enjoyed it and the „sightseeing“ part was really nice.
It was fascinating what we saw during the tour. Sintra is beautiful small town with narrow streets and nice shops. Castles are beautiful, especially Quinta de Regaleira with all its surrounding. Capo da Roca is magic, you can see the power of the ocean, and beautiful lighthouse. Cascais is nice Mediterranian town. All in all this tour is a must if you are in Portugal or Lisbon. The only thing that I didn't like is that it was said that the tour will be in English, but the gentleman who was our guide was a driver at same time, speaking in Italian (because a couple from Italy) and English (for the rest of us, five people). The gentleman, that was our guide, is a great guy, but it is not possible to be fully dedicated to tourists if you are thinking where to park a mini-van, to get out of a traffic jam or so. Additionaly, we could hear more about places we visited if the tour was in one language, as it was stated in the reservation.
In general tour is very good, driver/guide is very friendly, kind and sympatic young Manuel. We would extend time we spend in Sintra old town in exchange for not so necessary photo opportunity of Pena palace. Quinta de Regaleria is a true jewel of Sintra and we highly recommend it.
This was a great trip combining interesting Portuguese history with beautiful coastline and excellent food at recommended restaurant in Sintra and ice cream in Cascais!