Best Things to Do in Lisbon
Updated: Jan 19
Lisboa oh Lisboa! Such a beautiful and vibrant city! Had the chance to visit it a few times and every I go I have more fun!
After visiting almost all the key points in town, this list of the best places to visit in Lisbon will help you make the most of the days you spend in the Portuguese capital, without missing out on anything important. Known as the city of the seven hills or of light, this city has become one of our favorites thanks to its charming neighborhoods such as Alfama, monuments and historic buildings, incredible viewpoints and lively taverns where you can listen to fado as well as a fantastic gastronomy in which dishes as exquisite as the bacalhau com natas and the delicious Bélem cakes that are a symbol of the city stand out.
To enjoy all these experiences, I advise you to invest a minimum of two days and if you have more time, you can visit some of the jewels in the surroundings, such as the fairytale palaces of Sintra or Cascais.
Plaza del Comercio, the first thing to do in Lisbon
The first thing to do in Lisbon is to visit the Plaza del Comercio , also known as Terreiro do Paço. It is indisputably one of the most prominent symbols of Lisbon and a meeting point for Lisbon people. In the center is the Statue of José I , whose favorite, the Marquis of Pombal, projected the reconstruction of the Baixa after the 1755 earthquake.
Castle of Saint George
From the Portas do Sol viewpoint you can walk or take tram 28 to the Castle of São Jorge, located on the highest hill in Lisbon, in the picturesque neighborhood of El Castelo. After walking through the few streets of this neighborhood you can enter this 5th century castle, built by the Visigoths and enlarged by the Arabs, to enjoy excellent views of the city and the Tagus from a terrace that houses several ancient cannons. Before going down to the Alfama neighborhood, I advise you to go in less than 10 minutes on foot to the Graça or Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen viewpoint, located next to the Graça church and, depending on the time of year, watch the sunset while having something in its large terrace.
The next stop on the route through Lisbon will be the Lisbon Cathedral, the most important and oldest religious building in the city. This 12th-century temple, which has survived several earthquakes, impresses with a sober Romanesque-style exterior with two towers as bell towers, while the interior is a mixture of different architectural styles, in which a Gothic chapel with several tombs stands out. from the 14th century, a beautiful cloister and the Treasure Room, which keeps valuable objects such as jewels, manuscripts and relics.
Santa Justa Elevator
From the cathedral you can walk down to the neighborhood of La Baixa, and then go up with the iconic Elevador de Santa Justa to Chiado and Barrio Alto, two of the neighborhoods to visit in Lisbon with the most atmosphere . This elevator, declared a National Monument and the only vertical elevator in the city, is located on Calle Santa Justa and is 45 meters high, which allows it to have privileged views of the center, both during the day and at night.
The Santa Justa Elevator will leave you in Chiado, the most bohemian neighborhood to see in Lisbon, located between La Baixa and Barrio Alto. In addition to bringing together artists and musicians from the city, this neighborhood concentrates historic cafes such as Café a Brasileira, which has a statue of Pessoa on the terrace, and small original shops such as Luvaria Ulisses, which sells handmade gloves, and bookstores such as the Livraria Bertrand, considered the oldest in the world. After strolling quietly along the commercial Rua Garrett, you can go to the Convento do Carmo, which, even though it is in ruins and has the sky as its roof, as a result of the 1755 earthquake, retains all its magic and also houses the Archaeological Museum.
Separated from Chiado by the beautiful Plaza Luís de Camoes, Barrio Alto is one of the perfect places to go out for dinner or drinks, thanks to its lively nightlife and its good range of restaurants. In addition to a large number of original bars such as the Pavilhão Chinês (curious decoration), the Music Box (good live music), or the Noobai Café (impressive views), you have restaurants of all styles and pockets such as Tasca Mastai or the Duque Restaurant, as well as good places to listen to fado. If you are interested in this song you can book a concert from this page . After enjoying the atmosphere in the Rua do Norte and Rua da Atalaia streets, you can go to the San Pedro de Alcántara viewpoint, to have one of the most complete views of all of Lisbon with the São Jorge Castle in the background.
Choose your favorite viewpoint of Alfama
If there is something that makes Alfama especially stand out, it is for its incredible viewpoints , which have become an essential visit for all tourists visiting Lisbon. The most famous, the Mirador de Santa Lucía combines incredible views with a “very Portuguese tile” walkway. However, don't panic because you have a lot to choose from: the Mirador del Castillo de San Jorge, the Mirador de Nuestra de Monte, the Mirador de Gracia...
Very close to the Tagus River, you will find Rua Nova do Carvalho, known as the Pink street of Lisbon . It is a small street full of bars with the ground painted pink and various umbrellas floating in the sky that has become very popular on social networks, although we did not like it too much.
Lx Factory, a hipster area to see in Lisbon
I highly recommend you stop at Lx Factory, a curious market located on the remains of an old factory, which the younger generations have turned into a very charming trendy place. There you will find a lot of restaurants, decoration shops, second-hand clothes... all at affordable prices. Do not miss the Ler Devagar bookstore, a super modern place where you can find all kinds of books, sit down to read for a while and even have a drink in its bar. ⏰ Lx factory opens every day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. I recommend you go from 8 pm to dinner or to have an aperitif before dinner.
Hope this list is helpful and you will use it for your upcoming trip to Lisbon. As always, if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments section, while I recommend that you subscribe to my newsletter and continue reading more of my articles. Until next time!