Lisbon Travel Guide: 15 Top Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal🇵🇹
Lisbon is Portugal's coastal capital city, it is honestly one of my favourite cities to visit. Lisbon became very popular in recent years, and the reason for that are its authentic trams, its beautiful architecture, and its charming streets. A 3 days trip to Lisbon would be good enough to explore the city, you can of course stay more than that but 3 would be the minimum number of days to be able to explore the city of Lisbon.
Check 10 Top Things to Know Before Traveling to Portugal + Cultural Do’s & Don’ts
How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
Here’s why you should choose iVisa:
Speed and Simplicity - Easy, traveler-friendly application process. Simple and much less complicated than dealing with foreign governments.
Get Approved - All documents are reviewed by a team of immigration experts. Their staff is well-trained and offers years of experience.
Secure and Safe - World-class data centres and state-of-the-art security. Your credit card information will never be exposed to any government websites!
Awesome support - Their customer support is ready to help 24/7. They want you to enjoy your travels and avoid the stress of getting a visa!
How to Get to Lisbon
Direct flights to Lisbon are available from all over Europe, Lisbon’s International Airport is easy to reach from all over the world, so you won’t struggle to find flights.
Check Why You Should Visit Portugal: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Portugal
If you are looking for an easy, quick, and reliable way to reach Lisbon by plane, train, or bus, then Omio is your best option! Omio are my favourite app/website to move around Europe, and they have been changing the world of travel by empowering customers to go on journeys that move them. Their pioneering and practical platform helps travellers worldwide explore Europe, the United States and Canada via train, bus, flight and ferry. Choosing them means saving time and money while loving the journey you’re on.
Omio is a unique platform on which users can book travel tickets by comparing trains, buses, and flights in Europe on one search. Compare and book tickets for trains, buses, and flights in Europe, the US, and Canada with multiple search filters and time estimates.
All your travel options in one place, with more than 1,000 trusted travel partners across trains, buses, flights, ferries, and airport transfers, so that you can focus on the journey.
Here’s why you should choose Omio:
Support on your journey
Tickets on your phone
COVID-19 travel info
Updates & reminders
If you are looking for an easy, quick and reliable way to get from the airport to your accommodation, then Welcome Pickups are the best way to arrive in Lisbon! Welcome Pickups are the safest way to travel as they provide airport and port transfer, sightseeing rides, and in-city rides. Welcome Pickups are one of the best, most trustworthy and convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your airport transfer based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot.
Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travellers such as:
Local english-speaking drivers
Flat, pre-paid fee
Flight monitoring for delays
24/7 customer support
Here’s why you should choose Welcome Pickups:
20 minute gap between transfers - After each ride, their drivers have 20 minutes to clean the car and ventilate the cabin.
Contactless ride - You can request to have zero contact with the driver during the transfer with just one click.
Regular Car Sanitisation - They provide hand sanitisers and hand wipes for all their travellers and drivers.
How to Move Around Lisbon
When it comes to getting around Lisbon, public transportation such as the bus, the metro, and the train are available all over Lisbon, you can get a reusable paper VivaViagem card at a station and then top it up for every trip and it can be used through the entire city. It is also better to get a transportation when going uphill and then walk downhill to enjoy the city. Uber and Taxify are also a great option and not expensive, but public transportation is cheaper. Scooters are also available through apps such as Lime, Tier, or Wind and they are a quick way to get around the city, but you have to be 18 or older to use them.
Check 5 Top Places to Visit in Portugal
Best Time to Visit Lisbon
The best times to travel Lisbon would be between September and November, or March and May. During these two periods the weather is nice and cool, and it is going to be less crowded compared to other times. High seasons months are July and August, which means the streets are much more crowded than usual and the accommodation prices are higher as well. If you are a fan of festival, then June is the month for you. June is the month of festivals in Lisbon so it would be a perfect time to visit.
Check Why You Should Visit Lisbon: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lisbon, Portugal
Accommodation in Lisbon
The best neighbourhoods to stay in are Barrio Alto and Alfama when it comes to the old town, or Baixa and Chiado when it comes to the centre. The old town is quieter the entire day in comparison to the centre but is more hilly.
Check Lisbon Travel Guide: The Best 3 Days Travel Itinerary
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Lisbon
Organi Chiado (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, Mediterranean)
Yallah Lisboa (Vegan friendly, Middle Eastern cuisine)
Focaccia In Giro (Vegan friendly, Italian cuisine)
Scoop 'N Dough (Vegan friendly, American & International, best doughnuts & ice cream)
Eight The Health Lounge (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, European)
Check Lisbon Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Lisbon, Portugal - A Complete 1 Day Itinerary
15 Top Things to do in Lisbon
1. Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift)
The Santa Justa Lift which is also called Carmo Lift, is a lift in the historic center of Lisbon that is located at the end of Rua de Santa Justa. This lift connects the lower streets of the Baixa neighbourhood and the higher Largo do Carmo. It was built back in 1902 and it has saved the residents of Lisbon a hard climb uphill, and its design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. It is a must see when in Lisbon and it open at 7:00 am. This should take you about 30 minutes, depending on how busy it is.
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2. Praça do Comércio (Comércio Square) & Arco da Rua Augusta (Rua Augusta Arch)
Praça do Comércio is Lisbon's harbour-facing and main square, it is also the largest square in Lisbon. Arco da Rua Augusta is the "Door to Lisbon" which is opposite to the river, this arc leads to the center of Lisbon as well as the shopping boulevard. It takes 5 minute to walk from Santa Justa Lift to Praça do Comércio. This should take you less than 30 minutes to explore.
3. Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral)
This is the oldest and most important church in Lisbon, it can be found in Alfama. This should be a must when visiting Lisbon, especially when wandering around the Alfama area. This should take you about 15 minutes.
4. Rua Nova do Carvalho (Pink Street)
The famous Pink Street is located in Rua Nova do Carvalho in the neighbourhood of Cais do Sodre, this used to be Lisbon's Red Light District. The colours as well the new cafes and bars were introduced back in 2011 to give it a new life. It is a very crowded area since it is famous and a lot of people want to take pictures there, so getting early there would be great to avoid the crowd. This should take you about 15 minutes.
Check Why You Should Visit Sintra: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Sintra, Portugal
5. Tram 28
You can easily walk from the Pink Street to the tram 28 stop, this iconic yellow tram dates back to 1930. A single ticket to the tram costs 3€. This should take you between 15 and 30 minutes.
Check Why You Should Visit Cascais: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Cascais, Portugal
6. Distrito de Alfama (Alfama District)
Alfama is one of Lisbon's oldest areas, in this area you can find a lot of colourful houses, cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture. You would probably find that this is the most beautiful part of the city where the old trams are rolling through the narrow streets. This should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on how much time you have and how long you want to explore.
Check Cascais Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Cascais, Portugal - A Complete 1 Day Itinerary
7. Miradouros (Sunset from a Viewpoint)
Miradouros in Portuguese means Viewpoints, the Alfama area has a lot of viewpoints but the two most famous ones are Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia, and they are really close to each other. This should take you between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Check Sintra & Cascais Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Sintra & Cascais, Portugal - A Complete 1 Day Itinerary
8. Castelo de S. Jorge (Saint George’s Castle)
The Castle of S. Jorge is located in the Alfama area as well, and it offers a 360 view of Lisbon as it is located on the highest hill. This should take you about 2 hours.
Check Portugal Travel Guide: The Ultimate 1-Week Travel Itinerary
9. Torre de Belém (Belém Tower)
The Belém Tower a former defence mechanism and later a prison surrounded by water dating back to 1519. You can see the tower from the inside as well for the top, so know that there will be a queue in order to enter. This should take you about 45 minutes.
10. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery)
The Jerónimos Monastery is near the Tagus river in the parish of Belém, it was before a place for sailors to pray before they set out on the seas. This should take you between 2 and 3 hours.
11. LX Factory
This historical industrial complex houses an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants, it is hidden under the Ponte 25 de Abril. This should take you between 30 and 45 minutes.
12. Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out Market)
For dinner you can come to Time Out Market which is a food hall located in the Mercado da Ribeira at Cais do Sodré. This should take you between 1-2 hours, depending how much time you have and how long you want to stay to enjoy your food.
13. Basílica da Estrela (The Estrela Basilica)
The Estrela Basilica; also called the Royal Basilica and Convent of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a minor basilica and ancient carmelite convent in Lisbon, it can be seen from far away from many points all over Lisbon. It has a white facade with two bell towers, and it was built in the second half of the 18th century in order to fulfil a vow by Queen Maria I after she gave birth to a son and heir. This should take you less than 15 minutes.
Check Sintra Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Sintra, Portugal - A Complete 1 Day Itinerary
14. Day Trip to Sintra
Sintra is a resort town located in the foothills of Sintra Mountains, it is close to Lisbon. Sintra's architecture and palaces are beautiful, and it is so easy to get there from Lisbon. You can take the train from Lisbon's Rossio station to Sintra early in the morning, it is ideal to reach Sintra between 9:30 and 10:00 am. Pena Palace opens at 9:30 and it is usually crowded so it would be perfect to make it there early in the day. Spending most of the day in Sintra and then going back to Lisbon in the afternoon is ideal.
Check Sintra Travel Guide: 7 Top Things to do in Sintra, Portugal
15. Day Trip to Cascais
Cascais is another resort town beside Sintra, it is known for its sandy beaches and busy marina, it is also Lisbon's wealthy people's weekend getaway. The streets are empty in the morning so you can enjoy a walk, you can visit Cascais in a separate day or you can go there the same day as Sintra. You can take the train from Lisbon same as Sintra. You can enjoy a few hours by the beach in Cascais, in comparison to Lisbon, Cascais has soft sand beaches, but be aware that the water from the Atlantic is cold so it's not going to be a relaxing swim.
Check Cascais Travel Guide: 8 Top Things to do in Cascais, Portugal