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Are you looking for the most epic things to do in Lisbon?

This guide is for you!

I’m Mel, a travel blogger from London, and Lisbon is hands-down one of my favourite European destinations.

This character-packed city is bursting with colour, culture, texture, and amazing food… and it’s not too expensive either! I’ve been to Lisbon more than four times, and each time is better than the last.

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, there are so many amazing things to do in Lisbon.

So in this post, I’ve rounded up my top 15 most epic things to do in Lisbon. Let’s get into it!

Best Things To Do In Lisbon 2024

brunette woman in gold-orange dress sits in a tiled courtyard of white arches and blue detail

1. Visit the National Azulejo Museum (Tile Museum)

I love me a good tile, and one of the best things to do in Lisbon is get a newfound appreciate for the art of azulejos!

Azulejos are the colourful glazed tiles that adorn many buildings in Lisbon. If you’re interested in the traditional art of tile-making, then the National Azulejo Museum is a must-visit. Located in the Madre de Deus Convent, the museum has a vast and unique collection of azulejos dating back to the 15th century.

At the museum you can learn about the history and techniques of this art form – the term “azulejo” derives from the Arabic word “azzelij” (“little polished stone”). Not only is it fascinating to learn about the history and significance of these tiles, which feature heavily in Portuguese architecture, but the museum itself is housed in a former convent. The building itself is beautiful, full of arched ceilings, intricate tilework and elegant courtyards – a great place to shoot photos if you’re a photographer or content creator.

Oh, and there’s a pretty museum café that serves pastries, sandwiches and fresh orange juice – perfect for a bite before heading back into the city!

Best Tours in Lisbon for the National Azulejo Museum:

2. Try Pasteis de Nata in Belem

No trip to Lisbon is complete without trying the famous “Pasteis de Nata” or “Pastel de Nata”, a traditional Portuguese custard tart with a crispy pastry crust!

Portuguese desserts generally are known for their rich flavours and indulgent textures, and Pasteis de Nata is the most popular of all. While you can find custard tarts all over the city, the best place to try them is at Pastéis de Belém.

This bakery has been making pastel de nata since 1837 and is considered by many to be the best pastel de nata in Lisbon.

You can enjoy your pastel de nata with a cup of coffee or tea on their beautiful outdoor patio – the café itself is intricately decorated with azulejos (tiles) and has lots of other pastries to try.

Also, although Pastéis de Belém is the most famous spot for pastel de nata, there are plenty of other bakeries in the area that serve these.

Best Pastel De Nata and Portuguese Dessert Tours in Lisbon:

3. Go on a Portuguese Foodie Tour around Lisbon

On that note, since Lisbon is known for its delicious food and drink, one of the best ways to experience it all is by going on a guided foodie tour!

There are several options available, from walking tours of local markets and restaurants to wine and cheese tastings. You’ll get to try amazing traditional dishes and drinks while learning about the history and culture behind them.

Best Portuguese Food and Wine Tours in Lisbon:

Best Portuguese Restaurants To Book in Lisbon:

If you’re more keen for a wine-and-dine introduction to Portuguese food, then check out some of the best restaurants in Lisbon – you may need to book a table well in advance of your visit though! Some of Lisbon’s top-rated restaurants include:

4. Explore the iconic Pink Street (Rua Nova do Carvalho)

Rua Nova do Carvalho, known as Pink Street, is a vibrant Instagram-worthy walking street located in Cais do Sodré.

Paved with pink cobblestones, with a colourful backdrop of quirky buildings and street art, Pink Street is one of Lisbon’s most popular photography spots. Bring a wide-angle lens to capture the entire street and a portrait lens to capture the street performers and locals.

Pink Street is packed with bars and restaurants that come alive at night – so double back in the evening for a lively nightlife vibe once you’ve done all your sightseeing!

Best Pink Street Tours in Lisbon:

5. Explore Bairro Alto by Day and Bar-Hop by Night

Bairro Alto is one of Lisbon’s most lively neighbourhoods, known for its colourful buildings, buzzing nightlife, trendy restaurants, and unique boutique shops. During the day, stroll its narrow streets, admire its character, and browse the shops.

At night, when the neighborhood comes alive, Bairro Alto is the place to be. Lined with bars and clubs, locals and tourists alike, the night time atmosphere at Bairro Alto is electric.

The best way to experience the nightlife in Bairro Alto is to bar hop, trying different drinks and soaking up the lively ambiance. Popular local spots include “Pavilhão Chinês,” (“Chinese Pavilion”) a quirky bar filled with vintage toys and games, and “The Gin House,” which serves an extensive list of gin cocktails.

Don’t miss out on the traditional Portuguese drink “ginjinha,” a sweet cherry liquor, which is often served in shot glasses made of chocolate. They’re touristy, but they’re very more-ish!

Best Pub Crawl Tours in Lisbon:

6. Catch a live Fado show

Fado is a traditional Portuguese music genre from the early 19th century, known for mournful melodies and soulful lyrics. Going to a Fado show in Lisbon is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Portuguese music culture.

If you’re in Lisbon, catch a Fado show at any of the following places:

  • Clube de Fado (a super famous small club in the historic Alfama neighborhood),
  • Casa de Linhares (a charming restaurant in Bairro Alto neighborhood where you can eat delicious local food while listening to talented Fado singers),
  • O Faia (an elegant and historic Bairro Alto restaurant serving up Portuguese cuisine and hosting Fado shows since 1947), or
  • Adega Machado (a renowned Fado house in Chiado, popular for tourists and locals alike since the 1930s).

7. Take a day trip to Sintra

While Lisbon is a fantastic city in its own right, it’s also surrounded by beautiful countryside and historic towns.

One of the best things to do in Lisbon is to go on a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site just a short train ride from Lisbon.

This picturesque town is known for its colourful Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena) and enchanting gardens. With amazing restaurants and views to boot, Sintra is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, and nature.

 

8. Catch sunset on the Tagus River

A Tagus River cruise is a great way to see Lisbon from a different perspective and take in the city’s stunning architecture and natural beauty.

There are plenty of options for Tagus River cruises including Carristur and Lisbon by Boat.

Best River Cruise Tours in Lisbon:

 

9. Visit the Belém Tower and Explore the Riverside on Wheels

Located in the Belém neighborhood, the Belém Tower is a beautiful 16th-century fortress that once protected the city from invaders.

Today, it’s one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks and a must-visit for anyone interested in history or architecture.

Take a tour of the tower to learn more about its fascinating past and enjoy stunning views over the Tagus River.

I’d also highly recommend renting an electric scooter or bicycle and taking in the sights of the city on wheels – way more fun than walking! If renting a scooter, try to download those apps in advance on wifi at your hotel or accommodation so you don’t burn through roaming data outside. Some of the apps include Tier or Uber (Lime).

10. Have a beach day or learn to surf at Costa da Caparica

Whilst the Algarve is known for beaches, Lisbon is actually home to some beautiful stretches of sand. Just a short train ride from the city centre, you can find yourself on the Atlantic coast, with stunning views and crystal clear water.

Some of the best beaches near Lisbon include “Praia do Guincho,” which is popular with surfers, and “Costa da Caparica,” a long stretch of sand with plenty of bars and restaurants.

We took an Uber to Costa de Caparica, which cost around 14 euros across the bridge from my Airbnb in Alfama, and we had a lovely meal and wine by the sea as the sun went down. Remember to bring your own beach towels!

11. Try local Portuguese dishes and seafood specialties

Lisbon has a fantastic culinary scene, with plenty of traditional dishes to sample. Some must-try dishes include “bacalhau,” a salt cod dish which is a staple of Portuguese cuisine, “cozido,” a meat and vegetable stew, and “sardinhas assadas,” grilled sardines that are a summer favourite. For the full experience, head to a “tasca,” a traditional Portuguese tavern, where you can try these dishes in a lively, authentic setting.

Portugal is a country with a very strong seafood tradition, and Lisbon is no exception. One of the most famous seafood dishes in Lisbon is “arroz de marisco,” a seafood rice stew made with clams, mussels, shrimp, and other fresh seafood. For a delicious and authentic arroz de marisco, head to Cervejaria Ramiro, a popular seafood restaurant that has been serving up delicious dishes since 1956. You can also try other seafood specialties like grilled octopus, garlic shrimp, and crab. As mentioned above, why not treat yourself to a foodie tour?

12. Have a picnic at the 25 de Abril Bridge

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to watch the sunset in Lisbon, head to the 25 de Abril Bridge for a picnic with a view.

This suspension bridge – – which was actually inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco – spans the Tagus River and offers breathtaking views of Lisbon.

Pack a basket of Portuguese cheeses, bread, and wine, and enjoy the sunset somewhere overlooking this lovely installation. In my opinion, the 25 de Abril Bridge is the best place to watch sunset in Lisbon.

13. Explore LX Factory, Lisbon’s Creative Mini-City

LX Factory is a vibrant creative hub in Lisbon, home to art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes.

The industrial buildings have been transformed into a trendy space where you can discover local designers and artists, try delicious food, and relax with a coffee or a cocktail.

I’d recommend seeing the iconic Ler Devager bookstore if you like reading – and taking a snap since it’s a bonafide Instagram spot!

15. Take a ride on Lisbon’s iconic Tram 28

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Lisbon is riding the iconic Tram 28. This vintage yellow tram winds its way through the narrow streets of Lisbon, taking you up and past some of the city’s most historic, picturesque neighbourhoods.

Hop on at one of the stops along the way and enjoy a leisurely ride through the heart of the city, tram-style!

These cute yellow trams make for great photo opportunities too.

Check out this all-in-one tour: Lisbon All-in-One Hop On and Off Bus and Tram Tour with River Cruise

15. Visit the Alfama neighbourhood

You can’t leave Lisbon without exploring the charming streets of Alfama. This historic area is home to narrow, winding streets, colourful houses, and stunning views over the city.

Take a stroll through the neighbourhood, stopping to admire the churches, fountains, and viewpoints along the way.

Don’t miss the “Miradouro de Santa Luzia,” a beautiful terrace with panoramic views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. I really recommend heading to this viewpoint either at sunrise or sunset, so you can see all of Lisbon’s lovely red rooftops bathed in a golden hour glow. Inspiring stuff!

If you’re a photographer, I’d recommend using a zoom lens when you’re up there, so you can capture close-up details as well as wide angles.

(My favourite travel lens is the Sony 24-70mm!)

If you’re keen to explore travel photography, check out My Recommended Travel Photography Gear

The Best Things To Do In Lisbon: A Roundup

There’s so many incredible things to do in Lisbon – and those are some of my favourite activities in Lisbon to guarantee you get a flavour of the city’s character during your trip.

Whether you’re visiting for a few days or a few weeks, these 15 things to do in Lisbon will give you a taste of everything this beautiful city has to offer.

From exploring historic landmarks and iconic neighbourhoods to having a delicious morning coffee in a local café, you’ll soon be living the good life in Lisbon!

Now why not check out the Best Beaches in the Algarve, if you’re heading to Portugal?

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.

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