Things to do in Lisbon

Thanks to the number of great attractions in Lisbon, spending at least a couple of days here is recommended. When you're not doing some Lisbon sightseeing, heading off to nearby points of interest, such as the town of Sintra, can keep you busy for hours on end. Between the Lisbon tourist attractions and the other attractions that can be found within the general region, you might just need a few weeks to take it all in. Lisbon is lively both day and night, so the fun doesn't have to stop once the sun goes down, and the friendly people help to make it one of the more pleasurable European capitals to visit.

Torre de Belem

Of all the attractions in Lisbon, none is more renowned than the Torre de Belem, or Tower of Belem. Found in the city's Belem district, this sixteenth-century structure is one of the best examples of the Manueline architectural style. The Manueline style of architecture is also referred to as the Portuguese late Gothic style, and it is quite ornate. You can visit the Torre de Belem on your own or you can hire a guide, and it's a beautiful structure to admire both day and night.

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, or Jeronimos Monastery, is one of the other top attractions in Lisbon, and you can find it near the Tower of Belem. Like the nearby tower, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos is one of the best examples of the Manueline style, and while the outside is impressive enough, you'll do well to take a look inside. Stonework of a high quality abounds in the interior of this beautiful monastery, and the main chapel is bound to take your breath away. Among the other highlights here is the tomb of Vasco da Gama, who was one of Portugal's greatest explorers. Don't forget to check out the Church of Santa Maria during your visit to Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. The church's main entrance is spectacularly ornate and worth the visit alone.


One of the top things to do in Lisbon is visit one or more of the city's great museums. While most of the major museums in the Portuguese capital can be found in the Belem district, there are a couple that you won't want to miss in Lisbon proper. These museums include the Gulbenkian Center for Arts and Culture and the National Art Gallery. Art enthusiasts will do well to visit these museums, and they are also bound to enjoy a stop at the Tile Museum. Other Lisbon museums that deserve a nod include the National Coach Museum, which is one of the most visited attractions in Lisbon, and the Maritime Museum, which is one of the best of its kind in all of Europe.


Lisbon sightseeing is a joy, and there are an array of available tours that you can add to the itinerary when looking for things to do. The Lisbon tours can last just a few hours or the better part of a day, and they can include more than just the Lisbon attractions if you're interested in exploring the general area. Heading to nearby Sintra for a look at some of its historical attractions is something that you can include on your Lisbon tour itinerary, and wine enthusiasts can always look to visit a nearby wine region. There are Lisbon tours to fit all kinds of tastes and preferences, so finding one that's ideal for you shouldn't be hard. In addition to booking guided tours of the area, you can also rent a car and enjoy your own private Lisbon day trips.


Shopping is one of the more enjoyable things to do in Lisbon, thanks to the variety of shops that can be found all over the city. While shops abound wherever you go in Lisbon, the major area for shoppers is the city's Baixa area. Rua Aurea, Rua da Prata, and Rua Augusta are the main shopping avenues in Baixa. The Chiado district is another top place to do some Lisbon shopping, especially if you're looking for upscale shops. As is true of Portugal shopping in general, Lisbon shopping can see you loading up on some exotic handicrafts, which have it all over your more standard souvenirs.


There are tons of restaurants in Lisbon, and a bunch of them are relatively new, which gives testament to the city's growing prowess on the international dining scene. Fresh seafood is on the menu at many Lisbon restaurants, and you can even try some cuisine from some of the country's former colonial outposts, such as Brazil and Mozambique. Both Portugal food and international cuisine is on offer at the various Lisbon restaurants, and there are dining options to suit all budgets, which only makes Lisbon dining all the more approachable. In addition to visiting the local restaurants, you might also pick up some supplies at a market or store and head to one of the city's many public parks for a picnic.


Dining out is just one of the possible things to do in Lisbon once the sun goes down. If you like your nightlife a little more active, you can always head to a club for some drinks and dancing. If dancing isn't your thing, there are plenty of bars around town that don't have dance floors. Be sure to take in at least one show at a fado club during your Lisbon visit. Fado is a highly revered art form in Portugal, and there is no better place in the country to listen to these Portuguese "Songs of Sorrow" than Lisbon. You can find most of the authentic Lisbon fado clubs in the Bairro Alto neighborhood, which is the city's top neighborhood for nightlife in general. For help finding things to do in Lisbon at night, you can always pick up a weekly entertainment magazine at any number of newsstands.


Lisbon lies on the western coast of Portugal, and as such, it is close to a lot of good beaches. The nearby town of Sintra has some good beaches that you can visit when the weather is warm, and you'll also do well to head to the Costa da Caparica. The Costa da Caparica hotels, like most of the Portugal hotels, are busiest in the summer months, as summertime is the peak beach season. You're not limited to Sintra and the Costa da Caparica if you want to enjoy some beach time during your Lisbon getaway. Portugal is relatively small, and there is a lot of coastline to explore, so you're encouraged to go beach hunting.


When you need a break from Lisbon sightseeing, you can always hit one of the area golf courses. Golf has grown in popularity in Portugal in recent years, and there are some very good courses near Lisbon on the Costa do Sol and the Estoril Coast. One of the best courses in the area is the Atlantic Golf Course, which is part of the attractive Penha Longa Hotel Spa & Golf Resort.


Fishing is another thing that you can do when you're not taking in the many wonderful attractions in Lisbon. For those who really like to fish, heading south of Lisbon is a good idea, as this is where Sesimbra can be found. In this fishing village, you can pay one of the local fishermen to get a spot on the boat. The fees can usually be negotiated, and it's sure to make for one interesting fishing experience.

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