Among the most sought-after things to do in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital city that rivals London as a modern metropolis, are exploring its historical attractions and experiencing its iconic nightlife. From Romans and Berbers to Moors and Reconquista Knights, Lisbon has been witness to the reign of varied groups, which is reflected in its architecture and heritage. Modernity here is best seen at night when the Fado joints and Bairro Alto’s coffee shops come to life. Explore the beauty of Torre de Belem, St George’s Castle, Monastery of Jeronimos, and Basilica da Estrela as you explore museums and the intriguing nearby town of Sintra.
Among the most popular things to do in Lisbon is to visit the Torre de Belem. Renowned as one of the city’s most iconic structures, the Tower dates back to the sixteenth century. Located on the banks of Lisbon’s Tagus River and overlooking the seafront of Lisbon quays, the tower is a blend of architectural styles that range from Mudejar and Moorish to Gothic and Romanesque. A stunning vision, the Torre de Belem is the last sight sailors see before drifting off on the Atlantic.
Skipping a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra would mean missing out on one of the most popular things to do in Lisbon. Located a half-hour drive away from the Portuguese capital city, Sintra is home to the Moorish Castle and numerous historical attractions like baroque churches, grand palaces of Portuguese royals, and stunning old-world mansions. Sintra lies in the foothills and is surrounded by lush forests and the Atlantic, which further enhance the beauty of this unmissable city.
One of the best things to do in Lisbon is to explore the reason why Portugal is renowned across the world for its tiles at the National Tile Museum. An art introduced in the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors; the highlight of Portuguese tile-making is the blue azulejos that made the nation the master of the craft. Learn the history of ceramics, and the technologies involved, and witness the stunning designs of azulejos at Lisbon’s famous National Tile Museum.
Located right in the historic city centre is St George’s Castle, which is one of the most visited attractions of the city and visiting it is among the best things to do in Lisbon. Constructed by the Romans more than two millennia ago, the Castle is located in old Alfama and has seen several additions by later rules like the Berbers and Reconquista knights. With strong palisades, a peripheral dry moat, crenulated towers, and numerous fortifications, the Castle is a reminder of the nation’s glorious monarchic past.
Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monastery of Jeronimos is among the best things to do in Lisbon. A glorious remnant of Portugal’s Age of Exploration, the Monastery stands on the banks of the city’s Tagus River and was constructed from the profits of Portuguese international trade in spices. Inspired by the numerous cultures witnessed by Portuguese explorers, the architecture is in the Manueline style, with intricately-carved spires and carvings adorning the huge landmark.
Among the most sought-after things to do in Lisbon is exploring the blue waters of Tagus Estuary and its residents at the Lisbon Oceanarium. Designed like an aircraft carrier, the Oceanarium has innumerable marine life exhibits that attract more than a million visitors annually. Meet adorable penguins, intriguing moray eels, vibrant sea anemones and corals, giant sharks, and stunning puffer fish, among other marine creatures. There is also an artificial lagoon for boating where visitors can rent pedalos and enjoy the scenery.
The National Museum of Ancient Art houses the precious art collection of Portugal and exploring it is among the top things to do in Lisbon. The artworks date back to the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries and show styles from the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. From saintly depictions of Nuno Goncalves to Josefa de Obidos’ chiaroscuro portraits, visitors can also witness travelling exhibitions at the Museum.
The best things to do in Lisbon include a ride on its iconic trams that rattle throughout the city, and there’s none more popular among tourists than the Tram 28. Boasting a route that covers most of Lisbon’s magnificent castles, palaces, and historical structures, Tram 28 has taken riders to the old Alfama district for ages. Witness the stunning sights of Graca’s hills, the alleys of Escolas Gerais, and Estrela Basilica’s domes as you take this old-world ride through the Portuguese capital city.
One of the most beautiful things to do in Lisbon is to explore the Basilica da Estrela as you hop off from Tram 28. A stunning church and convent, the Basilica is among the most visited locations in Lisbon and is a symbol of Late Baroque architecture. The domes and sky-high spires are its most defining characteristics, along with whitewashed facades. As you enter the structure, be awed by the colourful stone inlays and witness the tomb of Portugal’s Queen Mary I.
What are the best things to do in Lisbon?
The best things to do in Lisbon are exploring its historical landmarks and museums like St George’s Castle and the National Museum of Ancient Art, relishing local delicacies at the numerous eateries in the city, and witnessing its epic nightlife along with enjoying Fado music.
Are 3 days enough in Lisbon?
Three days is an ideal period to explore Lisbon. If planned well, tourists can cover all the major historical attractions during the day and indulge in the city’s nightlife during the evenings. Enjoy the local food as you hop around the various attractions, thus completing a fulfilling tour of Lisbon.
What are the best attractions to see in Lisbon?
Is Lisbon Portugal worth visiting?
Yes, Lisbon Portugal is among the top European cities that you must have on your travel bucket list. A city with numerous historical and modern attractions, Lisbon is known for its food and nightlife and friendly locals. With stunning views to witness all over the city, Lisbon does not need a lot of time for exploration, making it an easy yet attractive European destination.
What is Lisbon famous for?
The Portuguese capital city of Lisbon is renowned in tourism circles for its colonialist history, stunning architecture that reflects its ever-changing past, and its iconic tradition of Fado music. Its hilltop views, attractive nightlife, pleasant climatic conditions, and friendly locals, also play an important role in enhancing Lisbon’s popularity among tourists.
If you're planning a trip to Portugal, don't miss the chance to visit the stunning Palacio de Pena, located in the picturesque town of Sintra. This colorful and eclectic palace is a must-see attraction, known for its unique blend of architectural styles and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.