Lisbon is a beautiful, charming city, bursting with history and tradition. From the picturesque winding streets, and ancient ruins, to the modern street art, and architecture, this city has something to offer all travelers! Below we have compiled the top things to see, and do during your visit to Lisbon!
Listen to Fado Music
Fado is typical Portuguese folk music that can be traced back to the 1820s in Lisbon. The word itself means destiny or fate, and the music tends to be quite melancholy, and expressive in nature. This type of music is marked by vocals, and accompanied by a Portuguese 12 string guitar. Fado is typically found in the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon, where you can enjoy a delicious meal while listening to the beautiful music.
Jeronimos Monastary & Tower of Belém
Head over to Belém, a neighborhood in western Lisbon, for some history, architecture, and seaside monuments. One of the main attractions in this area is the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a 15th century monastery built to commemorate Vasco de Gama. Although the monastery itself has an entrance fee, the adjacent Gothic chapel is free to enter.
Further down the road, you will find the Torre de Belém. The impressive tower is a symbol of wartime Lisbon, and dates back to the early 16th century. Tower of Belém stands out over the mouth of the Tejo River, guarding the entrance to the city’s harbor.
As an added treat, make sure to stop by the bakery, Pasteis de Belém for a famous pasteis de nata (or three). The small custard dessert is a must try when visiting Portugal!
Time Out Food Market
The Time Out Food Market is probably unlike any food market that you’ve been to before! The modern concept was designed in 2014 by the Time Out Lisbon team. The one of a kind market consists of 24 restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen shops, and a high-end music venue. Whether you want to check out the unique design, have a glass of wine with friends, or try some of the delicious local cuisine, the Time Out Market should be a definite stop whilst in Lisbon.
Lisbon is the city built on seven hills, and Bairro Alto is no exception! However, don’t let the steep hills of this famous quarter intimidate you. This lively neighborhood is known for its nightlife. In the twentieth century, it was the hub where most artists and journalists would meet in the evenings. Today, Bairro Alto is still full of restaurants, bars, and pubs, making it a great place to go out at night, and well worth the climb!
Check out the Many Miradouros
The result of all the steep hills, is the abundance of spectacular viewpoints! From Miradouro de Santa Catarina, to Elevador de Santa Justa, and Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, there are an endless number to chose from. Watch the sunset, while you enjoy a glass of wine and marvel at the colorful terracotta rooftops in the distance.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
The castle, visible from almost every street in Lisbon, dates back to the ninth century. The Moorish ruins sit in Alfama, Lisbon’s most ancient neighborhood. A visit inside guarantees some of the best views of Lisbon. The castle is open daily from 9am-9pm, but make sure you arrive early if this is on the itinerary, because the queue gets quite long after 11am.
Try the Ginja
Ginja, is a Portuguese liqueur made with ginja berries (sour cherries), alcohol, and sugar. The liqueur is served in the form of a shot, with a cherry at the bottom of the glass. It is a favorite for many Portuguese locals, and a typical drink in Lisbon, Alcobaça, and Óbidos. Some local shops even serve the liqueur in a chocolate shot glass, which you can eat afterwards!
Day Trips to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
In case you have any free time in your Lisbon itinerary, a day trip to Sintra is a must! The aristocratic hillside town situated west of Lisbon, is famous for it’s fairytale palaces, botanical gardens, and endless acres of woods. Getting to Sintra couldn’t be easier! There is a train that departs the Rossio station in Lisbon every 20 minutes, and the journey takes about 40 minutes.
If you are craving a quick trip to the beach, Cascais and Estoril are the perfect day trips from Lisbon! These neighboring fishing towns are situated on one of the most beautiful coastlines in Portugal. Both are easily accessible from Lisbon, and offer some of the best beaches in the area. From the Cais do Sodre station in Lisbon, the coastal train to Cascais and Estoril departs every 20 minutes, and the ride also takes about 40 minutes.
If you’d like to visit Portugal, pack your bags, study up on the amazing country and join us on one of our fully planned adventures! From the gorgeous cities and breathtaking coastlines to amazing history, culture and delicious cuisine, we love Portugal and we want you to as well! So come explore Portugal this year, and experience all it has to offer! Before you go make sure to check out our Porto bucket list!