Things to do in Lisbon

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

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 vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

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

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

3. 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• Royal Treasure Museum / Museu do Tesouro Real  The Libson Card also provides discounts on the following attractions:• Dom Fernando II e Glória ship – 20% discount• Biester Palace (Sintra) – 10% discount• Video mapping (Immersivus Lisboa – O Cubo) – 15% discount• SEOTours – 15% discount• Setubal Alive – 10% discount

Lisbon: Tagus River New Year's River Boat Cruise

4. Lisbon: Tagus River New Year's River Boat Cruise

Hop onboard the Principe da Beira ship. Cruise the beautiful Tagus River between Belém Tower and Alfama. Watch the magnificent fireworks at Terreiro do Paço. Toast the new year as you sip on sparkling wine. Start the new year in luxury and style. Come to the meeting point. Embark on your cruise as you sit back on your luxury ship. Count down to the new year surrounded by the explosion of colorful fireworks at Terreiro do Paço. Sip on sparkling wine as you view 2 different fireworks shows, with 1 on each margin of the river. Celebrate outside on the ship. Escape from the wind by going inside. Regain your energy if you feel tired by sitting down when the celebrations are over.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

5. 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: Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon Exhibition

6. Lisbon: Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon Exhibition

Learn about one of the most influential artists of all time with this clever multimedia production. Historical photographs and original movies will guide you through different sounds and environments, reproducing moments in the life of Frida Kahlo, and showing the story behind the icon. This experience is divided into two distinct stages. In the first, walk by several artistic installations, experience virtual reality, and create your own customized Frida model. In the second, immerse yourself in a 360º audiovisual show displaying some of the most unique moments from the artist’s personal life. You'll walk away fascinated by the life of Frida Kahlo, whose rebellious spirit and talent still inspire women of all ages due to her strength and unique personality.

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 your 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 a tour guide, 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, step 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: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

8. Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

Get entrance tickets to Jerónimos monastery, a national monument classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and located near the city of Lisbon. Learn about how King Manuel I commissioned the monastery in 1496 to honor the Infante for his devotion to Our Lady and faith in St. Jerome. Once inside, marvel at the Manueline or Portuguese Late Gothic architecture. Discover how the monastery of St. Mary of Belém was donated to the monks of the Order of St. Jerome. For this reason, it is commonly known as the Jerónimos Monastery. In 1833, when the order was dissolved, the monastery was used as a school and orphanage until 1940. In the 19th century, the church became the monument for local heroes and poets such as Luís de Camões and Vasco da Gama. Come and discover what is not simply a notable work of architecture, but also an important part of Portuguese identity and culture.

Lisbon: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

9. Lisbon: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

See all of Lisbon on an excursion that gives you the freedom to plan your own itinerary with this full-day hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour that covers four separate routes. With regular stops all along the way, you are in complete control. Hop on and off whenever and wherever, and visit as many sights, gardens, or shopping boulevards as you like. You can also take advantage of onboard audio guides in 16 languages. Belém Line (Red Line): Stop 1 - Marquês de Pombal square Stop 2 - Restauradores Stop 3 – Rua do Comercio Stop 4 – Mercado da Ribeira Stop 5 – Museu dos Coches Stop 6 – Palacio da Ajuda Stop 7 – Mosteiro dos Jeronimos Stop 8 – Torre de Belém Stop 9 – Padrão dos Descobrimentos Stop 10 – MAAT Stop 11 – Docas Stop 12 – Estrela Stop 13 – Amoreiras Stop 14 – El Corte Inglés Stop 15 – Top of Park Eduard VII Stop 16 – Marquês of Pombal square Oriente Line (Blue Line): Stop 1 - Marquês de Pombal Stop 2 - Restauradores Stop 3 - Rua do Comercio Stop 4 - Casa dos Bicos Stop 5 - Cais Sul e Sueste Stop 6 - Terminal de Cruzeiros Stop 7 - Estação de Stª Apolonia Stop 8 - Museu do Azulejo Stop 9 - Oceanário Stop 10 - Casino Lisboa Stop 11 - C. C. Vasco da Gama Stop 12 - Torre Vasco da Gama Stop 13 - Gare do Oriente Stop 14 - Torre do Tombo Stop 15 - Zoo Stop 16 - Mesquita Stop 17 - El Corte Inglês Stop 18 - Alto do Parque Ed. VII Stop 19 - Marquês de Pombal Castle Line (Green Line): Stop 1 - Praça Marquês de Pombal Stop 2 - Casa Museu Amália Rodrigues Stop 3 - Miradouro S. Pedro De Alcântara Stop 4 - Cais do Sodré Stop 5 - Rua do Comércio Stop 6 – South and Southest Pier Stop 7 - Museu do Fado Stop 8 - Martim Moniz Stop 09 - Portas do Sol [Castelo S. Jorge] Stop 10 - Restauradores Stop 11 - Parque Euduarco VII Cascais Line (Orange: Lisboa - Cascais): 1 - Marquês de Pombal2 - Jerónimos3 - Carcavelos (Rua do Gurué)4 - Estoril (Posto de Turismo)5 - Cascais (Hotel Baía)6 - Guincho (Parque de Campismo Orbitur) *7 - Guincho (Rest. Porto Sta. Maria) *8 - Guincho (Forte dos Oitavos) *9 - Cascais (Boca do Inferno)10 - Cascais (Casa das Histórias - Paula Rego) Cascais Line (Yellow: Cascais - Lisboa): 1 - Cascais (Casa das Histórias - Paula Rego)2 - Cascais (Hotel Baía)3 - Estoril4 - Carcavelos (Rua do Gurué)5 - Jerónimos6 - Marquês de Pombal

Lisbon: Saint George's Castle Entry & Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Lisbon: Saint George's Castle Entry & Self-Guided Audio Tour

Experience St.George Castle at your own pace with a skip-the-line e-ticket and a fascinating self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your instructions by email, download the app, the entrance tickets, and the audio tour on your phone, prior to your visit, and travel back in time to experience the glory of one of Lisbon’s main attractions, the magnificent St. George Castle. Put on your headphones and discover the breathtaking Arco do Castelo, the Castle’s entrance, and the Castle’s breathtaking monuments and treasures through the power of storytelling and learn historical information and uncommon stories and anecdotes for this spectacular attraction of Lisbon. Tour’s content is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tour can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into one of Lisbon’s main and most well-known attractions, the Castle of St. George and relate to your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Frequently asked questions about Lisbon

What top attractions are a must-see in Lisbon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Lisbon?

The best day trips and excursions from Lisbon are:

Sintra

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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon

Want to discover all there is to do in Lisbon? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lisbon

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 79,401 reviews

Stunning tour a MUST do for anyone visiting Lisbon! Our two captains were absolutely amazing! Incredibly tentative, friendly and knowledgeable about the history of Lisbon and the sites! The boat was luxurious and since we had a group of 8 the tour was private which was amazing. Between ensuring our glasses were never empty, we were warm and entertained it was amazing, highlight of our trip!

The trip is worth the day. The path towards the castle is bit long but once your there it is just amazing. Word of advice pre-book your ticket always .. otherwise the que is very long

Ricardo was such a gift!! He was knowledgable, personable and best of all really funny, which made travel to and from places super enjoyable!

Maria is an amazing guide, engaging and informative. loved every moment we spent on the walking tour. thank you, Maria. ...

Alex, our guide, was amazing and very informative, I enjoyed it a lot