There are many places to visit in Lisbon, also known as the city of the seven hills, the fado or the pastries of Bélem and also one of our favorites in Europe. Easily accessible from Spain, either by car or with low cost flight companies, it is a perfect destination to spend a weekend or more days, where you can include a trip to Sintra and Cascais. Something that you cannot stop doing and that will allow you to get to know the city better is getting lost in the neighborhoods of Bélem, Chiado, La Baixa, Barrio Alto and Alfama, where you can find some of the most incredible viewpoints in the city and many charming corners .
We’ve made a selection of what we think are the top 10 must-see places in Lisbon, based on our 4-day Lisbon getaway. Let’s start!
1. Lisbon viewpoints
Next to it you will also find the viewpoint of Santa Luzia, with less beautiful views, but with a small garden full of tiles, which we are sure will surprise and delight you.
The Mirador da Graça, next to the Graça church, also has magnificent panoramic views of almost all of Lisbon and is perfect for watching the sunset while having a beer on its terrace. Taking the Elevador da Glória you will reach another of the best viewpoints in Lisbon, the Mirador de San Pedro de Alcántara, with views of the Castillo de San Jorge and the entire city center.
Our last recommendation, regarding the viewpoints of Lisbon, is to go up to the Elevador de Santa Justa. This 45-meter elevator connects the La Baixa neighborhoods with the Barrio Alto, and has beautiful views of the center, which we recommend not to miss.
Santa Justa Lift Hours: every day from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. From November to April it closes at 10:00 p.m.
2. Alfama neighborhood
In the La Alfama neighborhood, with its steep and labyrinthine cobbled streets, you will find the true essence of Lisbon. Located between the Castillo de San Jorge and the banks of the Tagus River, the best way to get around it is to go down in an S-shape, forgetting about the map, as this will do you little good.
Its characteristic iron balconies with clothes hanging, its squares and local shops with a decadent air, make it one of the essential places to visit in Lisbon.
It also has good home-cooked restaurants and taverns where you can eat cod while listening to fado, in which the bad moments of life are expressed through singing.
3. Jeronimos Monastery and Bélem Pastry
Taking tram 15 or booking this boat tour in the Commerce Square, to visit the Jerónimos Monastery in the Bélem neighborhood, is one of the best things to see and do in Lisbon. The monastery, a World Heritage Site, is one of the most essential places to visit in Lisbon and the church and especially its cloister are its most outstanding places.
After the visit or before it is an obligation to go to the Pastry or Pastéis de Belém, which since 1837 has baked the pastéis de Belém according to a secret recipe. After a while of waiting in a large dining room they will bring you some delicious cakes, fresh from the oven, which are the best we have tried in Lisbon.
It may be interesting to learn more about the history of the neighborhood and the monastery by booking this tour with a guide in English or this tour of Belém.
If you don’t want to take a guided tour, you can save yourself the lines by reserving this quick access ticket.
Monastery Hours: every day from 10:00 to 17:30. From May to September they close at 18:30. Closed on Mondays, January 1, May 1 and December 25. Entry included in the Lisbon Card.
4. Lisbon Cathedral
The Cathedral known as the Sé de Lisboa from the 12th century, is the most important and oldest religious building in the city. It has survived several earthquakes and its interior is a mixture of different architectural styles, in which its cloister and treasure stand out.
It can be very interesting, especially if it is your first trip to the city, book a visit with a guide in Spanish or this free tour of Lisbon. Free! In which, in addition to the cathedral, you can visit many of the most interesting places in Lisbon. while enjoying its history and anecdotes.
Visiting hours: every day from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
5. Chiado and the Convento do Carmo, one of the best places to visit in Lisbon
Between the neighborhoods of La Baixa and the Barrio Alto is the most bohemian neighborhood in Lisbon, the Chiado. With several historic cafes such as Café a Brasileira, original stores like Luvaria Ulisses, which sells handmade gloves, and bookstores like Livraria Bertrand, considered the oldest in the world, this is a neighborhood to explore with ease.
It has several buildings with incredible tile facades and museums, which make it a cultural neighborhood, which we assure you, you will not regret knowing.
Our favorite place is the Convento do Carmo, which is currently in ruins, where you can see the sky as a roof, as a result of the earthquake of 1755.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. From June to September they close at 7:00 p.m. Sunday closed.
Taking the historic 28 yellow wooden tram and touring a large part of the city to the São Jorge Castle is one of the best experiences you can have in Lisbon. You can take a good snapshot, at the moment the tram passes in front of the Lisbon Cathedral, a postcard that you can see in many places in the city.
Another of the most modern and used trams is number 15 that will take you to the Barrio de Bélem, another of the neighborhoods that you cannot miss.
Each trip costs almost 3 euros, so it is profitable to buy the Lisboa Card if you plan to take it repeatedly.
Hours depend on the line, but are usually from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
7. Barrio Alto
With the Santa Justa Elevator you will reach the Barrio Alto, ideal for dining out or having a drink. The neighborhood is home to a large number of venues, pubs, clubs and restaurants of all styles and budgets, as well as good places to listen to fado. It also has a bohemian atmosphere starting with Plaza Luís de Camões and spectacular views from the San Pedro de Alcántara viewpoint.
Some of its best places are the Pavilhão Chinês (a bar with a curious decoration), Music Box, with good live music or the Noobai Café, with stunning views.
8. Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries
The Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries in the Belém neighborhood are two other essential places to visit in Lisbon. The Torre de Bélem, a World Heritage Site, on the banks of the Tagus River was built in the 16th century as a fortress to protect the entrance to the port and we have to say that, at least for us, it is prettier on the outside than on the inside.
Next to the tower is the Monument to the Discoveries of 1960, which was erected to commemorate 500 years of the death of Enrique the Navigator, one of the great discoverers of Portugal. The monument is huge, 52 meters high in the shape of a skull. We recommend going up to the top by elevator to enjoy the views and see the Rosa de los Vientos, a beautiful mosaic at the foot of the monument.
Tower hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. From May to September they close at 6:30 p.m. Closed Monday. Entry included in the Lisbon Card.
Hours of the monument: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. From March to September they close at 7:00 p.m. Closed Monday.
9. Commerce Square
You will arrive at the square crossing the Arc de Triomphe, where you can go up to the terrace to have a unique view of the square and see right in the center the bronze statue of José I.
Other places of interest in Lisbon are Plaza del Rossio and Plaza Marqués de Pombal.
10. Castle of San Jorge
On the highest hill in Lisbon stands the São Jorge Castle, our last recommendation of the best places to visit in Lisbon. Among its 11 towers, the one at Ulises stands out, where you can see a 360º panoramic view of the city thanks to the Da Vinci periscope.
The 5th century castle is quite large and you can wander among gardens and defense buildings, although the most impressive are the views of the city from the canyon area. It is also worth a tour of the small neighborhood of El Castelo.
Visiting hours: every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. From November to February they close at 6:00 p.m.