Things to do in Lisbon
Castle of São Jorge - View of the castle from Martim Moniz

On this page you'll find tips and recommendations on things to do and see in Lisbon. It was written to coincide with the release of my Field Trips Guide to the city and should work as bonus material for those who already own a copy. If you haven't purchased one yet, then this webpage should still offer a concise list of things to see and do while visiting the city. If you do wish to purchase a copy you can order one online here.


Padrão dos Descobrimentos - Lisbon's Monument to the Discoveries on the banks of the Tagus

Note — Each of the categories below are colour-coded and their locations are marked on a map at the bottom of the page.

Monuments & Attractions


A Belém Tower
A trip to see the Torre de Belém comes highly recommended. This 16th-century fortified tower stands impressively on the banks of the Tagus. [wiki / map / related blog post]

B Castle of São Jorge
This imposing landmark sits on a hilltop overlooking the historic centre of the city. Strongly fortified, it is a Moorish castle which dates back as far as the medieval period. Today it is a popular tourist attraction.
[wiki / map]

C Christ the King statue
Inspired by Rio's Christ the Redeemer, Cristo-Rei looks out over the city from the Almada Municipality. It was completed in 1969 and symbolizes the country's gratitude for being spared the effects of World War II.
[wiki / map]

D Jerónimos Monastery
The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is an impressive monastery located in the parish of Belém. Started in 1501 and completed 100 years later, the Monastery is a leading example of the Portuguese Manueline-style of architecture.
[wiki / map / related blog post]

E Monument to the Discoveries
Built in Belém in 1960, the Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a large monument which celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries.
[wiki / map / related blog post]


Tram - One of the city's iconic yellow trams

Museums


A Electricity Museum
Lisbon's Museu da Electricidade is a cultural centre and exhibition space housed in a converted power station. Found on the banks of the Tagus, it is well worth a trip, even just to see the building!
[website / map / related blog posts]

B Gulbenkian Museum
The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is a museum that houses the collection of Calouste Gulbenkian. Containing oriental, classical and European art, the museum is situated in a beautiful garden in the centre of the city.
[website / map]

C MUDE Design & Fashion Museum
Internationally considered to be one of the most important design collections in the world, the Museu do Design e da Moda is currently located on Rua Augusta in a fantastic building which was formally a bank.
[website / map / related blog post]

D Museum of the Orient
The Museu do Oriente houses a collection of Asian artifacts collected during Portual's exploration of the East. If you're interested in the Orient, then this is certainly the place to come!
[website / map]

E National Tile Museum
Lisbon has a rich history of 'azulejo' (beautiful handpainted, tin-glazed, ceramic tiles). The Museu Nacional do Azulejo is a national museum dedicated to celebrating their craft.
[website / map]


Café Fábulas - Chiado, Lisbon

Eating Out


A Confeitaria Nacional
Founded in 1829, this café has a large selection of cakes and pastries as well as the best hot chocolate in town!
[website / map]

B Fábulas
Housed in the basement of an 18th century building, Café Fábulas in Chiado has a great selection of food and a wonderful atmosphere.
[website / map]

C Ginginha do Carmo
Ginjinha is a popular Portuguese liqueur. Every tourist should aim to taste it while visiting and the Ginginha do Carmo is a perfect place to do so.
[website / map]

D Pastéis de Belém
A pastel de nata is a delicious Portuguese egg tart. Pastéis de Belém does the best in town, and every trip to Belém warrants a visit to this bakery.
[website / map]

E Santini Chiado
If, like me, you're a big fan of ice-cream, then Santini Chiado really is the best place to come. Producing ice-cream since 1949, Santini claim that they make the finest in the world - they might just be right!
[website / map]


Street Signs - Plastic signage on the streets of Alfama

Shops


A A Vida Portuguesa
Established in 2004, this shop celebrates traditional Portuguese brands. A walk through their stock is like traveling back in time and Avida Portuguesa is the perfect place to come to pick up unique gifts and quality Portuguese souvenirs.
[website / map / related blog post]

B Bertrand Livreiros
Despite now being a nationwide book-chain, the original bookshop on Rua Garrett hasn't changed location since 1773. Here you will find a great selection of books, magazines, travel guides and maps.
[website / map]

C Fabrica Features
One of a handful of European shops set up by the Fabrica design studio, Lisbon's branch features a small gallery space as well as a shop which stocks a number of great products including ceramics, books and jewellery.
[website / map / related blog post]

D Fnac
While Fnac may be an international chain, I still have to recommend it simply for its fantastic selection of CDs, films, books and games. You could spend a whole day simply browsing there!
[website / map]

E Re-searcher Gallery & Bookshop
As an agency, Re-searcher represents a number of Portuguese illustrators; as a shop they have a wonderful gallery space and a fantastic collection of books and prints for sale.
[website / map / related blog post]


LX Factory - A “Creative Island” in the Middle of Lisbon

Hangouts


A Cinema São Jorge
Built in 1950, this cinema mixes boutique film programming with cultural festivals. If you can't find an English-language screening, still make sure to check out their excellent pizza which is served upstairs in the cafe.
[website / map]

B Clara Clara Kiosk
One of my favourite things to do in the city is to enjoy a drink and a snack at a city kiosk. Lisbon has plenty to choose from but my personal favourite might just be Clara Clara near the Feira da Ladra fleamarket.
[website / map / related blog post]

C LX Factory
Described as a "creative island", LX Factory is home to a number of studios, restaurants, shops and cafes. This former factory space is one of the main creative hubs of the city and a cool spot to hangout at.
[website / map / related blog post]

D Miradouro do Monte Agudo
Being the "City of Seven Hills", Lisbon is home to countless viewing spots. During my time in the city I lived near the Miradouro do Monte Agudo which is home to the wonderful Café Esplanada. It's the perfect place to watch the sun set and enjoy a glass of wine.
[website / map]

E Portuguese Cinematheque
This Museum of Cinema archives the history of cinema and also holds daily screenings of classic films. It has a great cafe and a small bookshop. It's the perfect place for any aspiring cinephile.
[website / map]


Praia do Guincho - Guincho Beach, 5 km from the town of Cascais

Day Trips


A Almada
Located less then 4 km away from Lisbon, Almada can be found just across the Tagus. It is worth visiting simply to travel on the local ferry which offers great views of both the city and the river.
[wiki / map]

B Cascais
This small coastal town is a former fishing village and a popular vacation spot for both the Portuguese and tourists. It has got a number of small beaches and a selection of restaurants and attractions.
[wiki / map]

C Costa da Caparica
If you're looking for a beach, then the Costa da Caparica might be worth checking out. It's the largest contiguous beach in Portugal, with an expanse of nearly 30 km.
[wiki / map]

D Praia do Guincho
Located 5 km north-west of Cascais, the Praia do Guincho is a great beach for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. It also famously featured in the pre-title sequence of the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
[website / map]

E Sintra
This small historic town is well worth visiting during any trip to Lisbon. Home to the Sintra-Cascais Nature Park, it is also holds a number of important historic sites including the Castelo dos Mouros, the Pena National Palace and the Sintra National Palace.
[wiki / map]

Map


You can find the places mentioned above on this map. Each label is colour coded and all you need to do is click the marker to read some information about each spot. You can also view the map on Google Maps here.



Note — This online guide was written in 2013. At the time of writing all effort was made for the information listed to be correct. Unfortunately I cannot guarantee its accuracy as time passes as some shops may close or locations change. Please double-check all information before planning your trip.

Field Trips Lisbon

Buy the guide


If you have enjoyed my recommendations and want to find out more about Lisbon then please consider buying my guide. Inspired by six months spent living in Lisbon, it's a travel book unlike any other. Filled with unique illustrations and packed-full of tips, recommendations and trivia about the city, it offers you everything you need to have a fantastic time in the city. You can order a copy of it here.



What a Carve Up!
Lisbon Travel Guide
Time Flies
Family Activity Packs
Selected Illustrations
View all