Lisbon Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Best Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal
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Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and it is among Europe’s most stunning cosmopolitan cities. It is considered to be a modern metropolis to rival London and there are many tourist attractions which are waiting for you to explore them. There are many things to do in Lisbon as the city is blessed with historic monuments, world-class museums, you will have so many places to explore.

Best Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal
Best Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Top 15 things to do in Lisbon

Go sightseeing at the Torre de Belem

Torre de Belem
Torre de Belem
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This is one of the landmarks in Lisbon that you must not miss while you are in Lisbon. This tower soars high above the seafront of the Lisbon quays and it is a fusion of architectural styles like Mudejar, Moorish, Gothic, and Romanesque. The tower was built on the mouth of Tagus River back in the 16th century. You will marvel at this tower which is built to protect the port and this is where many explorers start their journey into the new world, you will also get a panoramic view of the waterfront from the top of this tower.

Visit Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Visiting this 16th-century monastery is one of the top things to do in Lisbon and this is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has huge historical and cultural significance. The monastery was built to honor Vasco de Gama’s epic 1498 voyage to India and it is located close to the riverfront in Belem neighborhood. Some of the highlights of this attraction are the southern portal and the stunning and quiet Manueline cloister. You will also get to see Vasco da Gama’s tomb which is just at the entrance of Santa Maria church.

Go people watching at Santa Justa Elevator

Santa Justa Elevator in Lisbon
Santa Justa Elevator in Lisbon

Although this elevator is not as iconic as the Eiffel Tower in Paris it gives Lisbon an identity and this is the perfect chance to see Lisbon in a new dimension. The elevator is found in the Baixa area of Lisbon, this lift gets very busy in the morning and afternoon with people waiting to go on a ride on this beautiful elevator. You should try to come early to avoid the crowd and you will get to see how the city comes to life which is a mesmerizing sight not to be missed.

Visit Oceanario de Lisboa

Lisbon Oceanarium photo by Alvesgaspar via Wikipedia CC
Lisbon Oceanarium photo by Alvesgaspar via Wikipedia CC

This is among Europe’s finest aquariums and also among the largest in the world. This family-friendly aquarium is located in an area called Parque das Nacoes and you will get to see a wide array of fish and marine animals and different species of birds. The highlight of the aquarium is that it comprises four separate habitats where you will get to see different land- and seascapes and they are Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Antarctic Oceans. Some of the species that you will see are rays, sunfish, sharks, sea dragon, clownfish and so on.

Explore Alfama District

Alfama District in Lisbon
Alfama District in Lisbon

This is a place that you must visit while in Lisbon and it is among the oldest parts of the city although it was just outside of the city walls originally some 700 years ago. One of the best things to do here is just to stroll around the winding streets and alleys and you can also visit the great cathedrals, the remains of the old city walls, and there are plenty of cafes that you can go people watching.

Go sightseeing at Igreja do Carmo

Igreja do Carmo by Otourly via Wikipedia CC
Igreja do Carmo by Otourly via Wikipedia CC

This is a ruin of the Carmo Church and one of the historical monuments in Lisbon and it was constructed between 1389 and 1423 with an exclusive gothic design. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Lisbon as you will get to explore the ruin which stands after an earthquake which causes the destruction of its structure. One of the highlights of this attraction is the Museu Arqueologico do Carmo found in the chancel and you will get to see exhibits like a Roman tomb, and Visigoth pillar.

Go on a day trip to Sintra

Sintra Castle in Portugal
Sintra Castle in Portugal

This is one of the places that you must go while in Lisbon and it is located over half an hour away from Lisbon by car. You can set a day aside for you to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is high up among the mythical Mountains of the Moon and you will get to see and enjoy the sights of historical castles and palaces which sit elegantly on the hills which is the former Portuguese kings and queens and you will also get to see churches and colorful mansions in this town.

See the sunset at Miradouro da Graca

Miradouro da Graca
Miradouro da Graca

Lisbon has a lot of hilly nature that has little terraces locally called Miradouros across the city that you can go and relax. One of the iconic Miradouro is the Miradouro da Graca where you will get a magnificent view across Lisbon and even the castle. It is best to come here in the evening and just sit back and relax while you watch the stunning sunset goes down.

Go on a ride on Tram 28

Tram in Lisbon
Tram in Lisbon

Lisbon is popular for its historic and rattling tram lines and one of the iconic lines is the Tram 28 which goes from the cobbled roads into the old Alfama district. The journey is going to start below the palm-spotted hills which weaves toward the hair-pins alleys of Escolas Gerais and you will then stop under the magnificent domes of the Estrela Basilica. You can also do people watching from the windows and also get to discover decades of history as you go through the majestic palaces and castles which is along the way.

Visit Nucleo Arqueologico

This is an archaeological museum which is located on and under Rua Augusta on Baixa district. This museum is built around excavations which reveals the remains of Iron Age and Roman fish preserving tanks which found by a building team that wants to construct a new bank on it. You can go on a free, pre-booked guided tour which starts on the ground floor where you will see sections of the excavated basement and then downstairs where you will get to see various collections in the subterranean galleries.

Go and explore the plazas and squares of the city

Plaza in Lisbon Portugal
Plaza in Lisbon Portugal

There are many little squares and plazas in Lisbon that you can explore which are homes to various independent bars and cafes. One of the best experience to do in Lisbon is to do as locals do and just go for a little drink in the evening before you go for food. This is the best way that you can enjoy the city’s rhythm.

Try out a Pastel de Nata

Egg Tart / Pastel de Nata
Egg Tart / Pastel de Nata

One of the best thing that you can do while in Lisbon is to try out the delicious tarts and your visit will not be complete without doing this. Go over to Pasteis de Belem to try out some of the best and fresh tarts that you can easily get in the city.

Enjoy the Mercado da Ribeira

Time Out Market in Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal by Joseolgon via Wikipedia CC
Time Out Market in Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal by Joseolgon via Wikipedia CC

This is the most famous food market in Lisbon and it is divided into two parts. The downstairs part is where you will get local fruit and vegetable sellers with succulent legumes and fruits every morning of the week and you should try to come here in the morning for early deals. You can also go upstairs section which is filled with modern and quirky food stalls and eateries where you will get to taste local specialties like custard tarts, francesinha sandwich and many more.

Ride the waves at Caxias

Caxias Surfing
Caxias Surfing

If you are the adventurous type, head down to the waters where the Tagus Estuary meet with the Atlantic Ocean and have fun. This can be found at the west of Lisbon central and this is hotspots where waves ride retreat on weekends. You can also go on surfing lesson even if you are a beginner that is searching to escape the city for its beaches.

Learn from the past at Lisboa Story Center

If you are done wandering the stunning districts of the Bairro Alto and old Alfama then it is time to learn about the history of the sights. If you want to learn this, the best place to do so is the Lisboa Story center and you can come here for free if you have Lisbon city card and you will get to learn of the earliest years of Portugal’s capital from here. You can visit the special sections which are dedicated to the Age of Exploration and the great seafarers that leave the city and the highlight of the center are the mesmerizing piece on the earthquake of 1755.

Activities in Lisbon Portugal
Activities in Lisbon Portugal

There are many landmarks and historical sites in Lisbon that you can visit and you can also go on day trips to enjoy this city better, you will have so much fun coming to this city.

Lisbon Travel and Tour PackagesLisbon Travel and Tour Packages

Do you have other recommended fun and interesting things to do in Lisbon? Please feel free to share by posting a comment below.

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