The best things to do in Lisbon
For a weekend or a long vacation, the Portuguese capital has something to offer. Lisbon will offer you the charm of a vibrant city without the hustle and bustle of other European capitals. Gothic cathedrals, monasteries, majestic castles, and museums will be some of your activities. But, walking through the narrow and colorful streets of Lisbon will please you the most. So, what are the main activities to do in Lisbon? To better organize your day, we prepared a list of the best things you should absolutely try in Lisbon.
Lisbon has become the capital of street art. The city is a real open-air museum. Here the streets highlight our reality in a vivid and contradictory way. The street art has developed starting from 2008 when the municipality gave special places to the artists. We don’t speak about graffiti anymore, because street art has become a real artwork. There are dozens of international artists that embellish the hidden corners of Lisbon with their art. Some of the famous international artists that embellished the city are Bordalo II, Vhils, etc. The street artwork doesn’t last forever. The works degrade over time and are replaced frequently. Where you can find the most amazing street art in Lisbon? In fact, there are hundreds of artworks in Lisbon. But, some of the famous ones are the following: Alfama district where you will find a lot of masterpieces like the mural called “Cavaleiros da Posta Real”. Chiado square hides the artwork called “Utopia 63”. Mouraria neighborhood has a lot to show especially with its car parks covered in artwork. Belem district also has amazing street art to be discovered. For example, Bordalo II gives trash a second life. He creates masterpieces out of nothing. His specialization is three-dimensional animals.
Benfica Stadium is an absolute must when you visit Portugal. It doesn’t matter if you admire football or hate it. Benfica is one of the top football clubs in Portugal. Portuguese people worship football. It’s not by chance that this stadium is nicknamed “Catedral” or “Cathedral” in English. Benfica Stadium has a capacity of more than 64,000 seats. The stadium is the biggest one in Portugal. It hosted a couple of important events like the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.
Where is the Benfica Stadium situated?
Benfica Stadium is located on the Eusebio de Silva Ferreira avenue. To get there, the fastest way is to take the metro. You should take the Blue line to the Colégio Militar/Luz station. The station is a couple of minutes away from the stadium.
What can you expect from your visit to Benfica Stadium?
There are a couple of things to see during the visit. The first thing is the stadium itself. The second thing is the Benfica stadium museum which highlights all the trophies gained by the club. Or, you can visit both of them during a combo tour. Besides presenting the trophies of Benfica club, the museum gives some highlights of the history of Portugal.
Belem is a charming district located in the western part of Lisbon. The majority of the most iconic tourist attractions are located in this district. This district is completely different from the other parts of the capital. Belem is rich in parks, historical monuments, museums, etc. It’s the best place to hide from the city center of Lisbon. Here are the best things you can visit in Belem district. Torra de Belem which is the most photographed monument of the district Degustation of Pastel, local dessert, in the Fabrica Pasteis Padrao dos Descobrimentos which is a huge memorial in the memory of 15th-century Portuguese explorers The problem of Belem is in its popularity. The district is largely visited during summertime. The best time of the day to experience the district is early morning or late afternoon.
Berlengas islands belong to the Berlenga natural reserve. They are located 10 km from Peniche, a traditional fishing village in Portugal. Consider that there are daily excursions organized from Lisbon to this archipelago. Even if the Berlengas islands are mostly desertic, there are however a lot of things to see and do. Outdoor activities like bird watching, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking are mostly practiced. Besides sports activities, you can have cultural tours as well.
Here are the most important cultural getaways you should include in your tour.
- The Sao Joao Baptista fort
- The Farol Duque de Braganca
- The Praia do Carreiro do Mosteiro beach
Fado is a popular genre of music in Portugal. It is related to social issues like the daily hardships people go through. There are 2 major types of fado music. The first type is largely spread in Lisbon. Since its first years, fado has become popular among sailors and prostitutes. Portuguese artists performed mostly in cafes and pubs. The second type is Coimbra fado which is sung in city squares and on the streets. The main difference between these two types of fado is that Lisbon fado is performed among work-class Portuguese people. On the contrary, the Coimbra fado is mainly performed for privileged and high-class people.
The best places and restaurants to watch fado show:
- A Severa - Since its opening in 1955, the restaurant pays tribute to Maria Severa, who was a famous fado singer. Besides its traditional fado interior, the restaurant serves Portuguese and international dishes. Being open in the 20th century, the restaurant still preserves its traditional image. Address: 51 str. das Gaveas, Lisbon Tasca de Chico - It’s a great place to discover traditional Portuguese dishes like grilled sausages. Address: 39 str. Diario de Noticias, Lisbon
- Hard Rock Cafe Lisbon Hard Rock Cafe is not just a simple cafe to take snacks or drinks. It’s been a phenomenon since its launch and was spread all over the world. It resembles good food, vibrant atmosphere, and love for the music. Hard Rock Cafe is all about entertainment. Even if the menu is dominated by American style dishes, you can also find some regional dishes as well. If you’re done with the cultural side of Lisbon, dive into a young and dynamic atmosphere. In order to have priority access to the cafe, you can book a skip-the-line ticket. Address: 2 avenue de la Liberdade, Lisbon
Trip to Sintra
Located 28 km north-west to Lisbon, Sintra is a charming city located in the Serra de Sintra hills. The hills hide extraordinary palaces and ruins of an old castle. Thanks to historical monuments, trips to Sintra are considered as the best 1-day tours from Lisbon. What are the main attractions to see in Sintra? Palacio Nacional de Pena - This is one of Europe’s most beautiful palaces. It’s exterior is painted in vivid colors. The interior has been restored to gain back its look in 1910. Castelo dos Mouros - an old ruined castle that gives magnificent views to the region. The reason why there are a lot of castles in Sintra is mostly historical. Due to its soft climate, the region attracted the nobility of Portugal. This is why they built secondary residences. How to get to Sintra? It’s really easy to get to Sintra from Lisbon. There are two regular train lines. The first one departs from Rossio station. The second one departs from Estacao de Oriente. The ride lasts between 40 and 47 minutes. And there are 3 trains per hour departing from Lisbon.
In ancient times, Alfama was a place associated with poverty and dirt. Today, it has become one of the most charismatic districts of Lisbon. You can easily get lost in its narrow streets and walkways. At every corner of this district, you can see amazing squares, stylish cafes, independent boutiques, and panoramic views. Another way to discover the district is to get on board of the historical Tram 28. But the tramway is very popular among tourists and locals. It’s really hard to find a free seat.
Tagus river has always played an important communication role. It has linked naval commercial links in the region. If you have visited San Francisco, you will probably find some similarities between the bridges of San Francisco and Lisbon. There are several ways to experience the Tagus river. Firstly, you can book a boat or cruise tour along the river. Then, you can enjoy the fresh breeze of the Tagus river in a nearby cafe with an outdoor terrace. For sunset views, we recommend the Darwin cafe. There is a luxury restaurant on the top floor which serves mesmerizing food and views.