The Best Things to Do in Lisbon in 2024

A few hours’ drive from any European capital, Lisbon is a well-connected, multicultural city. Furthermore, there’s so much to see and do that it’s challenging to find enough time to explore it all at your leisure. Here, we’ve chosen a few activities that you really must try while visiting the Portuguese capital.

1. Castle of São Jorge and Alfama

The Castle of São Jorge stands as a historic landmark atop Lisbon’s highest point, offering panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of the castle while strolling through the charming Alfama neighborhood, known for its narrow streets and traditional atmosphere.

2. Fado Music Experience

Indulge in the soulful melodies of Fado, Portugal’s iconic music genre while enjoying dinner by candlelight. Whether listening to professional performances or stumbling upon impromptu sessions in neighborhoods like Alfama or Mouraria, experiencing fado is a quintessential part of Lisbon’s cultural heritage.

3. Terreiro do Paço

As one of Lisbon’s largest squares, Terreiro do Paço is a symbol of the city’s resilience after the devastating earthquake of 1755. Today, it offers a scenic waterfront promenade perfect for leisurely walks and picturesque boat rides along the river.

4. Santa Justa Elevator

Designed by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, the Santa Justa Elevator provides unparalleled views of Lisbon’s historic downtown district. This architectural marvel offers a unique way to ascend to the city’s elevated viewpoints while admiring its intricate ironwork.

5. Tram Ride Through Historic Neighborhoods

Hop on one of Lisbon’s iconic trams for a nostalgic journey through the city’s historic neighborhoods. The rattling of the trams on their tracks and the charming architecture make for a memorable sightseeing experience. While tram no. 28 is the most famous, other routes offer equally enchanting rides.

6. Jerónimos Monastery and Tower of Belém

Explore two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that showcase Lisbon’s rich maritime history and architectural grandeur. The Jerónimos Monastery and Tower of Belém are exquisite examples of Manueline-style architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and symbols of Portugal’s Age of Discovery.

7. Indulge in Pastel de Belém

Sample Portugal’s beloved pastry, the pastel de Belém, whose recipe remains a closely guarded secret. These delectable custard tarts are a culinary delight not to be missed, best enjoyed alongside a cup of coffee at one of Lisbon’s charming cafes.

8. Oceanarium at Parque das Nações

Discover the diverse marine life from around the world at the Oceanarium, one of Europe’s largest aquariums. Located in the revitalized Parque das Nações, this attraction offers a captivating journey through various ocean ecosystems and conservation efforts.

9. National Tile Museum and Coach Museum

Immerse yourself in Portugal’s artistic and cultural heritage at these two unique museums. The National Tile Museum showcases the country’s rich history of tile-making, while the Coach Museum houses an unparalleled collection of ornate carriages from the 18th century.

10. Nightlife in Bairro Alto

Experience Lisbon’s vibrant nightlife scene in the lively district of Bairro Alto. After a day of exploring, unwind with dinner at one of the area’s trendy restaurants before immersing yourself in the energetic atmosphere of its bars and clubs.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, Lisbon offers a plethora of attractions that cater to every traveler’s interests. From historic landmarks to culinary delights and lively nightlife, exploring the Portuguese capital is an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impression.

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