The Best Things to Do in Lisbon
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
A beautiful, historic city, Lisbon is ripe for exploration. Go back in time at landmarks like the Jerónimos Monastery, or simply stroll the steep, narrow streets of old neighborhoods, following the sounds of fado down cobblestoned alleyways.
Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Few buildings in Lisbon command as much attention as this 16th-century masterpiece, which stretches across the Belém landscape like an endless exclamation point to Portugal’s Age of Discovery greatness. The UNESCO-listed monastery is...
Rua Senhora Saúde 6B, 1100-390 Lisboa, Portugal
The city’s iconic wood-paneled Tram 28 rambles along a 4.3-mile route from Campo de Ourique to Praça Martim Moniz, navigating tight turns and steep inclines as it passes some of Lisbon’s most endearing attractions. Originally...
R. dos Correeiros 21, 1100-061 Lisboa, Portugal
Evidence of the city's Roman past is everywhere in Lisbon, but much of it is buried under modern buildings. Beneath a Millennium BCP bank on Rua dos Correeiros in Baixa, for example, you’ll find tiers of ruins—from the Iron and...
Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal
In 1755, Lisbon was all but devoured by an earthquake so strong that it still ranks as one of the most destructive in recorded history. One of the few structures to survive somewhat intact was the Carmo Convent—an impressive feat,...
Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Once located in Sintra, this astonishing 20th-and-21st-century-art collection now wonderfully serves as the main attraction at the massive Centro Cultural de Belém. Showcasing 70 artistic styles across more than 900 works, it comes courtesy...
R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal
Azulejos (glazed tiles) are a ubiquitous decoration throughout Portugal. They cover the facades and interiors of many houses in Lisbon, and are even used as historical markers. The Museu Nacional do Azulejo, located in a 16th-century convent,...
Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon’s newest attraction, the MAAT stands proud along the waterfront in Belém. The vision of U.K.-based architect Amanda Levete, the museum takes interactivity to a whole new level, encouraging visitors to walk on its roof and snap...
R. Augusto Rosa 42, 1100-059 Lisboa, Portugal
Neither the haunting quality nor the importance of this poignant museum can be understated. Housed in the former preferred prison of the Portuguese dictatorship, the museum chronicles the oppression, disappearances, coercion, censorship, torture,...
R. de São Pedro de Alcântara, 1200-470 Lisboa, Portugal
The São Pedro de Alcântara lookout may not be Lisbon’s highest viewpoint—that honor goes to the Nossa Senhora do Monte lookout—but it’s certainly its most romantic, offering panoramas of the city’s...
Largo São Domingos, 1150-320 Lisboa, Portugal
Another Lisbon survivor, the baroque Church of São Domingos not only stood its ground during the 1755 earthquake, but also endured a bloody anti-Semitic massacre in 1506 and a devastating fire in 1959. The gorgeous cathedral,...
Praça do Comércio, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal
Located right on the river, Lisbon’s massive main square is home to a plethora of gorgeous 18th-century architecture, all built after the devastating 1755 earthquake. Its canary-yellow facades and mosaic-like cobblestones come together to...
Calçada da Quintinha 6, 1070-225 Lisboa, Portugal
A national monument, Lisbon’s massive aqueduct was a remarkable feat of hydraulic engineering when it was built between 1731 and 1799 to supply the city with water. Spanning some 36 miles, it boasts 109 stone arches, the most dramatic...
Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, 1100-139 Lisboa, Portugal
Located in the Alfama district, the world-class Museu do Fado details Portugal’s soulful national music with exhibits, audiovisuals, and more. Marvel at the photographic panel of Portuguese musicians dominating the entrance, then listen to...
Av. de Berna 45A, 1067-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian’s heroic collection of Eastern and Western art is nearly incomparable in Europe. Hidden away in a complex inside leafy Gulbenkian Park, the museum is a chronological treasure trove of epic art that spans...
Lisboa 1100-341, 1100-393 Buenos Aires
This is the place to visit if you are looking for a multicultural neighborhood that is getting better and safer every day that passes. Near Mouraria, once a degraded neighborhood, you will find Martim Moniz’s Square—full of life, with many kiosks...
R. do Diário de Notícias 39, 1200-141 Lisboa, Portugal
This place is mandatory, especially if you want to hear some fado. Here you can listen to Fado Vadio (sung by nonprofessionals) on Mondays and Wednesdays, hear consecrated artists and potential stars, or hear a regular who just feels like singing...
R. do Vigário, 1100-502 Lisboa, Portugal
To get to know the neighborhood and its daily life, nothing beats a stroll through Alfama's streets. It is the oldest and one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon. Here you might see two women chatting at the window (well, screaming) while...
1200-445 Lisbon, Portugal
On August 25, 1988, tragedy fell upon Lisbon: A huge fire turned Chiado to ruins, destroying 18 secular buildings. However, Chiado has come back to become the most elegant and trendy neighborhood in Lisbon. Fortunately, some buildings from the...
R. São Tomé, 1100-563 Lisboa, Portugal
Santa Luzia offers you a panoramic view over Alfama, where you can make out the Alfama labyrinth. From here, you can see Santa Engrácia Dome (also known as National Pantheon), Santo Estevão Church, and the two white towers from São Miguel Church....
Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa, Portugal
In the 20th century, the Church of Santa Engrácia was converted into the national pantheon, in which important Portuguese personalities are buried. The first stone of the present building was placed in 1682; it was the first baroque-style building...
Rua das Olarias, 35 - Santa Maria Maior, 1100-378 Lisboa, Portugal
Tuk tuks are a handy mode of transportation for touring Lisbon, particularly in light of the city's steep hills and staircases. The motorized rickshaws navigate their way through narrow streets and alleys to historic sites, stopping at...
Praça do Príncipe Real 1, 1250-095 Lisboa, Portugal
Kiosks seem to be everywhere in Lisbon, but especially in public parks like the Jardim do Príncipe Real and others. A throwback to the 19th century when they sold magazines, newspapers, tobacco, snacks and refreshments, these stands peddle...
R. Augusta 2, 1100-053 Lisboa, Portugal
Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Back in 1992, Portugal hosted the Presidency of the European Union, which was the reason for building this center that nowadays holds conferences and professional meetings. It is also a cultural center, with three rooms of different sizes equipped...
R. do Ouro, 1150-060 Lisboa, Portugal
The Santa Justa lift and its adjacent platform offer direct sight lines into downtown Lisbon. You can look down at Rua Áurea as it bustles with locals and tourists alike, observe residents of nearby apartments reading or enjoying a chat out on...
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