Things to do in
Lisbon

One of Europe’s oldest cities filled with beautiful tiles, historic buildings, and lively culture.

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Our most recommended things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned minivan, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

2. Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

Unlock the city of Lisbon with the flexible Lisbon Card. Enjoy unlimited travel on city transport, and free admission to 39 museums, historic buildings, and more. Benefit from discounts at a vast range of attractions, vouchers for different shops, and a handy guide that explains how to use the card. After exchanging your GetYourGuide voucher for the magnetic card, the Lisbon Card immediately provides 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour access to the public transport system. Eligible on the Carris metro, buses, trams, and cable railways, it also works on CP trains between Cais do Sodré and Cascais, and trains between Oriente, Rossio, and Sintra.   Skip the lines to enter Jerónimos Monastery, and climb the Belem Tower. Enjoy free access to the National Tile Museum, the National Coach Museum, and others. Admire stunning palaces, including the Mafra National Palace and the Ajuda National Palace. Ride the famous Santa Justa Lift, and much more—all with one card. The Libson Card provides free entry to the following attractions: • Jerónimos Monastery / Monasterio de los Jerónimos• Pilar7 Bridge Experience / Experiencia Pilar 7 • LISBOA Story Centre• National Tile Museum / Museo Nacional del Azulejo   • National Coach Museum / Museo Nacional de Carruajes  • National Ancient Art Museum / Museo Nacional de Arte Antigua• Sintra Mitos e Lendas• Santa Justa Elevator / Ascensor de Santa Justa• Mafra National Palace / Palacio Nacional de Mafra• CARRIS• METRO• CP-Comboios de Portugal• FERTAGUS• National Pantheon / Panteón Nacional• Ajuda National Palace / Palacio Nacional de Ajuda• Chiado Museum - National Museum of Contemporary Art / Museo del Chiado Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporânea• National Ethnology Museum / Museo Nacional de Etnología      • National Costume Museum / Museo Nacional del Traje     • National Museum of Theatre and Dance / Museo Nacional del Teatro y de Danza  • National Archaeology Museum / Museo Nacional de Arqueología• National Music Museum Music / Museo Nacional de la Música• Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves Museum-Residence / Casa-Museo Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves• Republican National Guard Museum / Museo de la Guardia Nacional Republicana• Ceramics Museum - Sacavém / Museo de la Cerámica - Sacavém• Air Museum / Museo del Aire• Batalha Monastery / Monasterio de Batalha • Alcobaça Monastery / Monasterio de Alcobaça• Tomar Convent of Christ / Convento de Cristo - Tomar• Museum of Neo Realism - Vila Franca de Xira / Museo del Neo Realismo - Vila Franca de Xira• Museum of the work Michel Giacometti / Museo del Trabajo Michel Giacometti• Casa da Cerca - Museum of Contemporary Art - Almada / Casa da Cerca - Museu de Arte Contemporanea - Almada• Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Mareantes - Sesimbra / Capilla del Espíritu Santo de los Mareantes - Sesimbra• Museum of Setúbal - Municipal Gallery / Museo de Setúbal - Galería Municipal• Rua Augusta Arch / Arco da Rua Augusta• Greenhouse / Invernadero Frío• Maritime Museum of Sesimbra / Museo Marítimo de Sesimbra• Museum Tesouro Real• CIRES – Roaz Interpretive Center of the Sado Estuary / CIRES - Centro Interpretativo del Roaz del Estuario del Sado

Lisbon: Tagus River Sunset Cruise with Wine & Snacks

3. Lisbon: Tagus River Sunset Cruise with Wine & Snacks

Embark on an unforgettable evening boat cruise along the Tagus river and experience the best views of Lisbon's sights in the Portuguese evening sun. Climb aboard a pleasurable sunset cruise and enjoy time on the water. Taste the delicious set of snacks and sip on some refreshing wine during the sunset tour. Enjoy a peaceful evening along the beautiful shoreline accompanied by pleasant music. Experience the barrier-free panorama vessel where you can sit under the open sky or cover up if you prefer. If required, the roof will be closed, or we will set up the on-demand sun awning so that you can still enjoy the nice breeze. Enjoy the magical views of the city as the modern vessel has a 360-degree window view. Experience the impressive panorama overview from every seat on the boat. Feel the soothing breeze and take in the stunning architecture of the floodlit city at sunset.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

4. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

Lisbon: Daytime/Sunset/Night City Sailboat Tour with Drinks

5. Lisbon: Daytime/Sunset/Night City Sailboat Tour with Drinks

Embark on an unforgettable 2-hour Lisbon city cruise on the Tagus River with a live commentary from the crew. Discover the city’s beautiful waterfront scenery on a sailboat while admiring numerous historical monuments and iconic landmarks along the way.  Be greeted by your skipper, who will help you settle comfortably into the sailing boat at the loading pier. Toast with a welcome drink and set off to discover Lisbon's waterways, first passing the triumphant Monument to the Discoveries. Glide under the grandiose 25 of April Bridge and look up to catch a glimpse of the Cristo-Rei Statue looking out onto the waters. As you take in the stunning sights of buildings, bridges, and ships, listen to the crew tell you some curiosities and fun facts about the places you are passing by.  Continue aboard your Lisbon boat tour to the historical city center, where you will get incredible views of Commerce Square, Basilica da Estrela, and the emblematic Castle of Sao Jorge, sitting atop Lisbon's highest peak.  To round off your Lisbon cruise, catch an up-close glimpse of the unique serpentine-like architecture of the MAAT Museum and the iconic Belém Tower. If you have chosen the relevant option, you will also experience the city lit up at golden hour, followed by a beautiful sunset.

Lisbon: Sailing Tour on the Tagus River

6. Lisbon: Sailing Tour on the Tagus River

Discover Lisbon from a boat as you set sail on the Tagus river. See the most famous landmarks of the city and enjoy a relaxing time on the water. Board your sailboat at the Doca do Bom Sucesso Marina. Sail down the Tagus river and pass by the Monument of Discoveries underneath the 25 de Abril Bridge. Continue onto the river Tejo and admire Lisbon's many different architectural styles. On the journey back to the marina you’ll pass by the Christ the King statue on the south bank, as well as the Belem Tower monument. If you’ve selected the sunset option you’ll have the chance to witness the sunset over the Lisbon skyline – a romantic view perfect for couples. You can choose to help the crew sail the boat (no experience necessary), or simply relax on deck.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

7. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by an enthusiastic and dedicated tour guide, you will visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, feel like you're stepping into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

Lisbon Essential Tour: History, Stories & Lifestyle

8. Lisbon Essential Tour: History, Stories & Lifestyle

Discover one of Europe's most captivating and picturesque capitals, built on a series of hills and offering panoramic views from countless spots. You’ll explore the city for with a knowledgeable local guide who will make sure that you have an interesting and fun experience. Your tour begins in the 5-centuries-old Bairro Alto, where you’ll learn about the evolution of the city. After the earthquake of 1755 this space attracted families from the Baixa and Bairro districts, who began the process of renewal. Pass through the garden of São Pedro de Alcântara and enjoy stunning views of the Baixa and the south bank of the Tagus River. Visit the church and museum of San Roque, built by the Jesuits. San Roque was one of the first Jesuit churches in Portugal and in fact, one of the first worldwide. The church has an austere façade, but an interior that features gilding, tiles, and paintings that make it a wonderful museum of Mannerist and Baroque style. Heading down the hill, you’ll come to the Carmo convent and church, fine examples of the city’s Gothic architecture. This is a site of historical importance as it was here that the Carnation Revolution began in 1974, putting an end to nearly 5 decades of dictatorship. A little further on, you’ll arrive at the Santa Justa elevator, an imposing monument built in the Gothic Revival style, that provides one of the best viewpoints in the city. You’ll see a number of attractions in Baixa, in the heart of the city. After a short break, you’ll take a ride on the tram, going up from the castle to the Portas do Sol. At the Portas do Sol you’ll see the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, the National Pantheon, and the Alfama district that spans several narrow streets to the River Tagus. Alfama is one of the oldest and most traditional neighborhoods of Lisbon, known for its fado houses, and the popular festivals of saints, particularly St. Anthony. The tour ends at Lisbon Cathedral, built in 1150, 3 years after the city was taken back from the Moors. Over time it has been subject to various architectural changes, becoming a mixture of different styles.

From Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak Tour with Lunch

9. From Lisbon: Arrábida Natural Park Kayak Tour with Lunch

Leave the city behind for a day and journey to one of the city's best-kept secrets of Lisbon. Kayak along the Arrábida Natural Park coastline. Prepare your kayaks and other equipment on arrival and begin your journey to a wild and undiscovered beach. Reconnect with the natural world at the coastal Nature Park of Arrábida, situated between Sesimbra, Setúbal, Palmela and the sea.  Paddle or snorkel in the sea, or relax and enjoy a picnic on Praia dos Galapinhos, named the best beach in Europe in the 2017 European Best Destinations award. Get breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs and emerald-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Return to Lisbon, amazed that paradise was only 40 minutes away!   

Lisbon: Private Transfer Between Airport and City Center

10. Lisbon: Private Transfer Between Airport and City Center

This 1-way, 45-minute private transfer between the Lisbon airport and your city hotel is priced for services in the car (1-4 oax) or Van (1-8 pax), the price depends on the type of vehicle you choose. You’ll find the service the most economical and convenient way to get to and from the Lisbon airport. Book the service and be assured that you’re in safe and reliable hands. The largest transfer company operating from the Lisbon airport has a reputation for getting clients to their destination on time and in comfort. Whatever your schedule, a transfer can be arranged to meet your requirements. You’ll be met on arrival at the airport by your driver who will be holding a sign with your name on it. You’ll be shown to the vehicle and soon be on the way to your destination. In addition to this service, the operator also offers first-class chauffeured transportation available during your stay in Lisbon. Vehicles for all types of occasions are available, on an hourly, daily, weekly, or evenly monthly basis. You must consider that if you have more than one bag per passenger, or if you carry, for example, golf bags, or bikes, or any luggage oversized, you should consider booking this service in a Van.

Frequently asked questions about Lisbon

What top attractions are a must-see in Lisbon?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Lisbon

Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. On her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Lisbon.

What should I do on my first trip to Lisbon?

One of the nicest places to visit in Lisbon is the historic Alfama district, with its labyrinth of narrow streets, traditional architecture, and very cozy, local atmosphere. Here, you will also find some of the best viewpoints of Lisbon and lots of local restaurants where you can enjoy Fado performances in the evenings. Other must-sees include the area around Praça do Comércio, Elevador de Santa Justa, and the historic Belém district with the beautiful 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery.

What are some hidden gems to see in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a hilly city, with countless viewpoints offering amazing views. Some of the nicest lesser-known viewpoints include Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara and Miradouro Santa Catarina. Another really nice local area is LX Factory, a former industrial complex that has become one of the coolest places in the city. Nowadays, it's a bustling place with cool street art, artsy shops, cozy cafes and restaurants.

How much time should I spend in Lisbon?

While you can see some of the main landmarks of Lisbon in a day, ideally, you plan at least 3 days in the city: one day for the city center, another day for the Belém area and to get a bit off the beaten path, and the third day for a visit to nearby Sintra, which is a must-see in Portugal.

What food is Lisbon known for?

No visit to Lisbon would be complete without tasting Pastel de Nata, a traditional Portuguese custard tart. One of the best places to try this delicacy is Fabrica de Pastéis de Belém that's been baking traditional cakes since 1837. They use a secret recipe that was originally created by the monks of the Jeornimos Monastery, just next door to the bakery.

What is the best way to get around Lisbon?

The best way to explore Lisbon is by a combination of walking, tram (be sure to ride the iconic tram 28), or taxi, which is surprisingly affordable and very convenient when you have to cover bigger distances in this hilly city.

What are the best months to visit Lisbon?

Lisbon can be visited the whole year round, but for the most pleasant weather and not too many crowds, visit in April-May or in September-October. Avoid the warmest summer months, when it’s often much too hot to truly enjoy everything that this beautiful city has to offer.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

One of the best places for food in Lisbon is the Time Out Market. It's a food hall with more than 20 restaurants, featuring various cuisines from all over the world, including the best traditional Portuguese dishes. In addition, there are also several bars, shops and a high-end music venue here. LX Factory is another great place for food, with lots of unique restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Lisbon?

One of the best neighborhoods to stay for sightseeing in Lisbon is the area around Rossio Square. It’s centrally located and you can easily walk to the most popular attractions and popular areas in the city center. There are lots of restaurants and nice hotels for various budgets here. In addition, this area has good public transport connections, making it really easy to explore Lisbon and its surroundings.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Lisbon?

If you are visiting Lisbon with kids, don't miss the Lisbon Oceanarium. This is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, with hundreds of different species of sea creatures. It's very impressive and fascinating for adults and children alike. Another nice thing to do is taking a sailing cruise on the Tagus River. It's a nice and relaxing way to see more of the city without having to walk much - perfect for families.

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    Lisbon is lucky enough to have the warmest winters in Europe without the disadvantage of suffering from intense summer heat. Nevertheless, the subtropic coastal climate is prone to sudden bursts of rain even on its clearest days, so be warned! Going in late spring or early autumn generally means cheaper hotel prices and more manageable crowds.

  • How many days?

    The heart of Lisbon makes a great choice for a long weekend, but many of its top attractions lie within the city's greater subregion. Top day trips include Belém, Sintra, Fátima, and Cascais, with many more besides. Each will need at least an entire day to see, if not two.

  • How to get from Lisbon airport to the city?

    Though Lisbon is cheap by the standards of most European capitals, getting one of the cabs waiting outside the airport can be expensive. If you're traveling somewhere central without much luggage, it's undoubtedly cheaper and easier to take the metro. It should only take about 25 minutes to the city center.

Good to know

  • Language
    Portuguese
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +351
  • Best time to visit
    Spring or autumn

Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon

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What people are saying about Lisbon

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 66,043 reviews

This is a great tour as it concentrates on Sintra rather than trying to fit more into the day and making it rushed. Pickup and drop off was straight forward. Our guide Mathew was excellent and extremely knowledgeable on the area and history. He knew all the short cuts to improve our experience at the palaces. We had lunch at one of his recommended tapas bars Tascantiga which was excellent. Would highly recommend this tour.

André was a great guide who made this tour very exciting and fun. I had some issues with my phone at the Peña Palace but he tried his best to ensure that it was resolved. Thank you for a memorable experience!

Great tour with our tour guide Luis. Liked that we were a small group and our tour guide changed the sequence of our trip to get the most of our time and skipping the long queues.

Our tour and guide Daniel was great! We had an excellent time with good food, drinks and lovely people. It was really a fun experience we would recommend it to anyone.

Do check the weather forecast before booking, it makes a difference!