Lisbon is one of the most vibrant European cities and offers visitors a rich cultural experience. With its historic streets, stunning architecture, mouth-watering cuisine, and long coastline, Lisbon is a city that has something to offer to everyone. Whether you’re visiting for a short stay or planning an extended trip, you’ll never run out of things to do. Here are 21 of the best things to do in Lisbon that should be on your to-do list.
Explore the Belem Tower
This monument symbolizes Portugal’s Age of Discovery and is a must-visit. It was an ancient fortress that protected Lisbon from invasions.
Walk the historic streets of Alfama
This historic neighbourhood is the oldest in Lisbon and offers a unique glimpse into the city’s past. Alfama is an Arabic name, and it means “hot fountains”. The name was given by the moors in Portugal.
Enjoy a Fado show
Fado is a traditional style of Portuguese music and is considered an integral part of Lisbon’s culture. There’s no better place to listen to Fado than in Lisbon. If you walk after midnight on the streets of Alfama you might hear Fado guitar sounds from far away.
Visit the Jerónimos Monastery
This stunning monastery is a prime example of Portuguese Gothic architecture. There you can find a lot of the Portuguese past. The embalmed corpse of Luís de Camões can be seen there.
Take a stroll through the Botanical Garden
This peaceful garden is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including exotic species from around the world.
Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium
This is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe and offers a fascinating insight into the underwater world. Located at the neighbourhood of Parque das Nações, full of nice restaurants and bars by the river. You can rent a boat house for your staying using Airbnb!
Explore the National Tile Museum
This museum showcases the history and art of Portuguese tiles, known as azulejos. You can arrive at Museu do Azulejo by the Metro Santa Apolónia and a 20 minutes walk or by bus (718, 728 or 742). You can buy tiles and many other precious antiques at Feira da Ladra, the Lisbon flea market.
Visit the São Jorge Castle
This historic castle offers stunning city views and is a great place to learn about Lisbon’s rich history. The moors had a very important role in Portugal and you can get to know more about the Islamic population that lived in Portugal for 700 years by visiting São Jorge Castle.
Take a scenic tram ride
Trams are a quintessential part of Lisbon’s transport system and offer a unique way to explore the city. The famous 28 Lisbon tram ride can’t be off your to-do list when visiting Lisbon. The ride tram crosses the city from east to west!
Visit the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
This museum showcases the finest collection of Portuguese art, including works by many famous artists.
Enjoy the food and drink scene
Lisbon has a thriving food and drink scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars. After Lisbon became the world’s preferred destination, the number of great restaurants from all over the world multiplied.
Visit the Lisbon Zoo
This zoo is home to a wide range of species and offers a fun day out for the whole family.
Walk along the Tagus River
The Tagus River offers stunning city views and is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you are looking for a costless experience, check out the best things to do in Lisbon for free.
Visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
This museum showcases an extensive collection of art and artefacts worldwide.
Explore the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda
This beautiful palace is a prime example of Portuguese Neo-Classical architecture. The Ajuda’s national Palace is located nearby the LX factory, a recent and modern conglomerate of art galleries, restaurants and the modern culture of Lisbon.
Visit the Padrão dos Descobrimentos
This monument honours the Portuguese explorers who discovered new lands during the Age of Discovery. Some historians and people from countries colonized by Portugal in the past, named Brazil, Angola, Moçambique and others, debate the offensive and imponent aspects of this monument knowing that millions of deaths of older populations were caused by the invasion at that time.
Take a ferry ride to the nearby beaches
Lisbon is close to some of Portugal’s best beaches, and a ferry ride is a great way to enjoy the coast. The closest beaches are Carcavelos, Cascais and Costa da Caparica, with a very extended coast.
Visit the Museum of Music
This museum showcases the history of Portuguese music and offers a fascinating insight into the country’s cultural heritage.
Take a food tour
Lisbon is famous for its cuisine, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the city’s finest dishes. Lisbon cuisine is rich in several kinds of Fish, octopuses and other kinds of seafood, pork meat and chouriços.
Visit the National Museum of Natural History
This museum offers a fascinating insight into the natural world and is a great place for families to learn about the environment.
Take a surf lesson in Lisbon
Lisbon is located close to some of the best surf spots in Portugal, and taking a lesson is a fun way to enjoy the beach lifestyle close to Lisbon. Costa da Caparica is the best place to surf in Lisbon, it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes by uber, train or bus and it’s the most popular destination for surfers in Lisbon.