9 must-see and must-do things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon is known for its old history and amazing architecture. The main attractions of Lisbon are quite near, so it’s possible to get around them on your own in a few days. You can visit observation platforms (miradors), a couple of museums, and various old buildings. Lisbon is very sunny and safe. That makes it a perfect place for tourists.

Known as the city of the seven hills or the city 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 and fantastic gastronomy in which exquisite dishes such as bacalhau com natas and the delicious Bélem cakes that are a symbol of the city stand out.

Lisbon offers many ways to travel around the picturesque narrow streets. Private tuk-tuks, boats, and catamarans will show you some of the best views, monuments, and delicious Portuguese cuisine. 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 anything important:

1.- St. George’s Castle

St. Georges Castle Lisbon

Beautiful medieval St. George’s castle is the most impressive one due to its views of River Tejo. It is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula (1038 km). There is also a monument to the first king Afonso, who holds a shield and a sword in his hands.

The castle was rebuilt many times, the last time it was restored in the 20th century. Internal attractions include gardens, Castelejo (Upper Castle), the periscope, the archaeological site, and some other buildings. The castle hosts excellent multimedia exhibitions every day. Projected images on the walls tell of the historical events of the city, such as the return of Vasco da Gama, earthquake simulation, the fall of the Karmo Church, and much more.

You can walk there on foot, by tram or take a taxi. Remember that you’ll have to go up the hill so it’s better to take comfortable shoes. If you are not a fan of walking on foot, take a tour or excursion in Lisbon and see top attractions in one day.

2.- Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon oceanarium is one of the largest in the world and a “residence” for more than 25 thousand marine inhabitants. It has two floors and marine species from the oceans. Both kids and parents will love this attraction. Most of the inhabitants of the aquarium are fish like tuna, groupers, mackerel, giant rays, sharks, and exotic fish of coral reefs.

It’s a great way to encourage people to find out more about marine life and support conservation projects. They have a team of qualified biologists to ensure the quality of exhibitions. It is open from 09:00 to 18:00 every day. The entrance fee is different (starting from €10). Typically, people spend two hours a day. Try to avoid visiting the oceanarium in the summer season and at the weekends because it’s very busy.

3.- Don Pedro IV Square

Don Pedro IV Square

Don Pedro IV Square (Rossio Square) is located in the historic district of Lisbon, named after the 28th King of Portugal and the first Emperor of Brazil. The area is paved with a mosaic of black and white cobblestones. Rossio is famous for its baroque fountains and impressive architecture.

In medieval times, it was a place for military parades, bullfighting, marketplaces, etc. In 1755, some buildings were destroyed by the earthquake. In the nineteenth century, cafes in Rossio were famous places among intellectuals and writers. Today many people cross the square every day visiting shops, restaurants, and other famous places.

4.- National Coach Museum

National Coach Museum

National Coach Museum is another place for sightseeing in Lisbon. It has collections of royal coaches. The collection of the Lisbon Carriage Museum is unparalleled in terms of the uniqueness of the exhibits. Dozens of vintage carriages, decorated with gilding, velvet, and leather – you can’t even believe that this is a real vehicle that was once used.

The idea to create a carriage museum in Lisbon belonged to the last queen of Portugal, Donna Amelia. The Picadeiro Real, a former royal arena, was chosen to demonstrate the collection, which in itself was a worthy exhibit. The museum’s collection covers the period from the 16th to the 20th century. The exhibits are displayed in chronological order so that visitors can take a “time travel” and follow how the “carriage fashion” has changed, technical solutions have been improved.

The oldest exhibit in the museum’s collection belonged to the Spanish king, who seized power in Portugal and annexed it to Spain.

5.- Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery is one of the seven wonders of Portugal (UNESCO monument). The wealth and scope of this place reflect the heyday of the Portuguese Empire, a time of geographical discoveries. You can spend hours looking at the intricate decor of the Jeronimos Monastery.

A 300-meter facade of gray-yellow stone is decorated with openwork carvings, high windows in intricate frames, and turrets with spiers. Particular attention is drawn to the southern portal of the church of Santa Maria de Belem. Above the massive wooden doors, you can see a sculptural composition depicting saints and kings, a real work of art made by the architect Joan de Castillo. No less impressive is the main entrance to the church with the figures of King Manuel I, Queen Mary, and their patron saints.

After the church, it also is worth visiting the former residential part of the monastery. The most interesting thing is the cloister or courtyard. There is a garden with a fountain in the center, and a two-story gallery, one of the most beautiful in the world.

6.- Market Square (Terreiro do Paco)

The largest square Terreiro do Paco is a symbol of the city. It was reconstructed after the great earthquake in 1755. Nowadays, the square serves mainly as a pleasant place for walks along the river in the afternoon. You can take a boat trip to see a very beautiful view of the square.

7.- Listen to fado


Whether you like this style of music or not, Lisbon will surprise you with a traditional fado performance. Be sure to take the opportunity to listen during one of the walks along the streets of Alfama, Mouraria, or Madragoa. This is what amateur fado is like: when they want to sing, they sing to guitar accompaniment. It is often associated with pubs and restaurants. People sing about everyday life and the difficult time that we face all the time.

8.- Belen Tower

Belen Tower

Belen Tower is a fort in the southern part of Lisbon. This four-story building of the 16th century is a vivid example of Portuguese Renaissance architecture. The tower was repeatedly restored and completed, so today there is little left of the original building. In 1983, it received the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main entrance has direct access to the interior of the bastion, which houses the tower’s artillery. On the outer side of the lower bastion, there are loopholes for 17 guns in the walls. It is believed that the tower was also built in honor of the discovery of the sea route to India by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama.

9.- Feel the atmosphere of narrow streets

Feel the atmosphere of narrow streets

Do you like hiking? Then you should definitely just walk along the amazing Portuguese streets, feel the sultry spirit of this unusual country. The city has many hills so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. There are also colorful trams, which cross those famous narrow streets including the famous Alfama district. The transport pass is only €6.30 for all buses, metro, and trams in Lisbon. It is valid for 24 hours.

If you’re more into art, enjoy the Lisbon Art Tour. Those walls add extra charm to old city architecture. Here are some of the most colorful neighborhoods: Bairro Alto, Alfama, Alcântara, and Lisbon Metro. It’s a free tour, so there is no fixed price. You offer the amount of money depending on the level of your satisfaction.

Find the best sightseeing tours here to have an unforgettable experience. During this tour, you will make a real trip to the Middle Ages and visit ancient monasteries, museums, taste local food and drinks. There are so many interesting places and things to see and do. You will always feel the lack of time for everything that you would like to do.

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