The Best Things to do in Lisbon
Looking to visit Lisbon? From the city’s warm Iberian sunshine to old town charm, discover the best things to do in Lisbon with our useful guide on exploring Portugal’s capital city.
Things to do in Alfama
Sightseeing in Lisbon is best done on foot, or by jumping on and off the city’s extensive tram network. Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood; with its winding streets and alleys, it’s the perfect area to explore at your own leisure. Here, you can discover the remains of the old city walls, and hidden squares, and people watch from its alfresco cafes.
Don’t miss Lisbon Cathedral – also called the Sé or Santa Maria Maior – which is one of the main churches in the city. The entrance fee for the Cathedral’s Gothic cloister is €2.50, while access to the Cathedral is free.
Whilst you’re in the Alfama district, make sure you visit the Castelo de São Jorge (St. George’s Castle) too. This castle sits on top of the tallest hill in the city; it offers amazing views over the Baixa district and the Tagus river, and is one of the most visible landmarks in the historic centre of Lisbon.
Not too far from Castelo de São Jorge, you can hop on one of the historic yellow trams. From Martim Moniz, take the Tram 28; it will take you past many main points of interest in Lisbon (and help you avoid some hills!). Tram 28 runs all the way to Campo de Ourique. The trams get very packed, so it’s worth attempting to catch them before 11am, especially in the summer, to avoid the crowds.
Getting to Alfama from easyHotel Lisbon:
The Martim Moniz tram stop is a 20-minute walk from easyHotel Lisbon. From here you can wander through Alfama, or catch the tram through Alfama and see the main sights. There are also buses that you can catch in the direction of Alfama.
Things to do in Belém
Belém is one of the most famous neighbourhoods in Lisbon, and it’s worth spending at least half day there during your trip. A popular tourist attraction is the Torre de Belém (Belém tower), which stands watch over the Tagus river.
Constructed in the 16th century, this fortified tower was first built to defend the city. It demonstrates a fusion of architectural styles: Mudejar, Moorish, Gothic and Romanesque. Head up the tower to enjoy spectacular, unspoiled views of the Tagus river. Tickets cost €6.
While you’re there, it’s hard to miss the Jerónimos Monastery: a UNESCO World Heritage Site close to the banks of the Tagus river. It was built to mark Portugal’s ‘Age of Exploration,’ and inside lies the tomb of the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama.
If you’re a foodie, then Lisbon has lots of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. Head to the world-famous Pastéis de Belém bakery to sample one of their delicious pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). 20,000 pastéis de nata are made every day here. You’ll get to enjoy these delicious treats fresh out of the oven, in the large tea rooms covered in white and blue azulejos (Portuguese ceramic tiles). The secret recipe was first created by the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery, and is still being used today!
Getting to Belém from easyHotel Lisbon:
You can catch the 723 bus from Marques de Pombal (a 5-minute walk from easyHotel Lisbon) all the way to Belém, which will take you about 50 minutes. Alternatively, head down to Cais Sodre, and hop on the 706 bus; you can then catch the tram 15E towards Belém. This journey will also take about 50 minutes. There are other buses and trains running from Cais Sodre towards Belém.
Must-visit Museums in Lisbon
National Tile Museum
Lisbon architecture is famous for its beautiful, traditional Portuguese tiles that decorate many of the buildings. Spend a couple of hours at the National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)to discover the fascinating history of these iconic tiles. This museum traces the important history of tile making and its technologies, since the Moors first brought it to Iberia. The famous ceramic works and azulejos gave Portugal its reputation for craftsmanship in ceramics.
Getting to the National Tile Museum:
Catch the 706 bus and get off at Cruz da Pedra, which will take around 20 minutes. You can then walk to the museum in under 10 minutes.
National Museum of Ancient Art
If you’d like to see an art exhibition during your trip, head over to Lisbon’s National Museum of Ancient Art – the home of Portugal’s prestigious national art collection. Here you will find temporary and permanent collections.
Getting to the National Museum of Ancient Art:
Catch the 727 bus from Marques de Pombal (a 5-minute walk from easyHotel Lisbon), and exit at Rua das Janelas Verdes. The museum is a 2-minute walk away from the bus stop. The journey will take 30 minutes. Though there are other bus options which require a slightly longer walk, the journey will still take about 30 minutes.
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
Overlooking the riverfront in the historic district of Belém lies Lisbon’s newest cultural hub. The MAAT is an international institution combining the study of contemporary art with architecture and technology. Explore the relationship between art and technology with year-round exhibitions whilst marveling at the modern-tiled exterior of this impressive building.
Getting to the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT):
Both the 714 bus and 15 tram depart from Praça da Figueira towards Belém. Alternatively, take the Cascais line to get to Belém Station on the train.
With its hillsides, beautiful architecture and, of course, the river Tagus, there’s no shortage of breath-taking scenery in Lisbon. There are plenty of viewpoints or ‘miradoures’ around the city, offering some of the best views in Lisbon.
Panoramico de Monsanto is Lisbon’s latest popular viewpoint – yet it’s almost 50 years old. It has a colourful history, and has operated as a luxury restaurant, a bingo hall, and a nightclub in the past. Now, this architectural UFO by Chaves de Costa has become a popular viewpoint, offering a 360-degree view of the city.
If you fancy a bite to eat whilst taking in stunning views of Lisbon, then head to Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara, which has an open-air café. It’s a popular meeting spot that tends to get busy in the evening.
Absorb the beauty of Lisbon like a local and head to Miradouro do Monte Agudo, which offers a unique perspective of the city. This rarely explored area is unknown to most tourists, offering a calm and serene viewing experience away from the crowds.
Fancy a drink to accompany the view? Then head to Park. This sprawling rooftop bar is located on top of a multistorey car park close to Bairro Alto, and provides a great vantage point over the city. With affordable drinks, DJs and truly Instagrammable views, it’s a must-visit hotspot.
Alternatively, you can head over to the river Tagus and go up the 80m high viewing platform of Cristo Rei. Situated on the other side of the river in Almada, this monument overlooks the city of Lisbon, and was based on the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Nightlife in Lisbon
If you ask anyone where to go for a night out in Lisbon, they’re sure to tell you about Bairro Alto. In this district, you’ll find lots of bars which spill out onto the small, hilly streets. Although the area is fairly quiet in the daytime, Bairro Alto is one of the city’s liveliest places to visit in the evening.
Located near Bairro Alto, Pink Street is another popular area to enjoy the nightlife of Lisbon. You can’t miss it – it’s quite literally a pink street! This iconic street is one of the top places to visit in Lisbon if you’re are looking for a fun night out.
If you’re looking for something a little different, look out for Fado music bars. This traditional style of folk music is performed nightly in many bars across Lisbon, and it’s a must-see if you want an authentic taste of the city’s culture. Fado is very expressive and can be melancholy in nature, with lyrics related to a feeling of loss or longing.
Mercado da Ribeira
Mercado da Ribeira became a Lisbon landmark back in the 1890s, when it first opened at Cais do Sodre. It’s now home to the Time Out Market; an open, airy food court with a variety of food stalls – you’ll be spoilt for choice! From street food to fine dining, there’s something for everyone here.
Getting to Mercado da Ribeira:
Take the 706 bus to Cais do Sodre; the market is opposite the station. You can also catch the tram from Marques de Pombal metro station (5 minutes away from easyHotel Lisbon) and catch the Blue ‘Azul’ line. Get off at Baixa-Chiado, and walk between to Time Out Market from here.
For an unforgettable city break, Lisbon is a must-see. Make sure to book a comfy night’s stay at easyHotel Lisbon to be close to the city centre and its many attractions.