Top 20 places to see in Lisbon
Self-explanatory, enchanting and falling in love at first sight – that’s all about it, about Lisbon. Tourists from all over the world come here for unforgettable vacations and vivid impressions. We will tell you about the most interesting places in Lisbon, which you must see to guarantee this experience.
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1. the Belém Tower
In Lisbon, you simply cannot pass by this marvel on the Tagus River. Erected in honor of Vasco da Gama’s legendary expedition to the Indies, the Belém Tower is today a favorite spot of Lisbon citizens and tourists and a great choice if you want to admire the river.
- Address: Santa Maria de Belem, Cais da Princesa, 1400, Lisbon.
- How to get there: by bus (nos. 727, 729, 714, 28 and 751), streetcar 15 or by metro (Belem station).
- Opening hours: October-May from 10:00 to 17:30 and May-September from 10:00 to 18:30. The tower is closed to the public on Mondays and on January 1, May 1, June 13, Easter Sunday and December 25.
- Price of admission: €6.
2. St. George’s Castle
The “cradle of the city” as the locals affectionately call the old castle of St. George. According to historical data, the fortress on this site existed since the V century BC. The fortification of the Visigoths, the royal palace, prison and arsenal – the history of the castle does not leave anyone indifferent.
- Address: The castle is located in Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo
- Getting there: Take the Metro to the nearest station Rossio, bus lines 12E and 734 to Largo do Terreirinho, Sao Tome, Martim Moniz.
- Opening hours: The castle is open to tourists from 09:00 to 18:00 from November 1 to February 28, and from 09:00 to 21:00 from March 1 to October 31.
- Prices of tickets : €8.50, for students (under 25), seniors and disabled people €5, family ticket (2 adults + 2 children under 18) €20.
3. The Kellusz Palace
Do you want to see how the Portuguese monarchs and court nobility lived? Visit the Queluz palace on the outskirts of Lisbon. Its interiors are literally filled with works of art – paintings, statues, and more. And after you’ve seen enough of the palace’s sumptuous apartments and halls, take a stroll in the park surrounding the residence.
- How to get there: by train or by bus. Take the first one and get off at the Queluz, Belas or Monte Abraao stations and walk 15 minutes. If you go second, get off at Queluz or Caminhos stations and walk a short distance.
- Ticket price : €9.50 (€8.50 for senior citizens, €7.50 for children under 18).
- Opening hours : from 09:00 to 19:00.
4. Museum of Ancient Art
Learn about the history of Portugal in color by visiting the Museum of Ancient Art. Apart from the usual paintings (Bosch, Dürer, Velázquez) there is a good collection of gold and silver objects by Portuguese and foreign masters, and many objects from India, China, Persia and Japan.
- Address: The museum is located in Rua Janelas Verdes.
- Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
- Ticket prices: €6 (€3 for pensioners and students), free admission for children up to 12 years old. Free entrance to the museum every first Sunday of the month.
5. Basilica da Estrela
“The Basilica of the Star” (so its name is translated) is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon. Built in Baroque and Neo-Gothic style, this snow-white beauty impresses with its openwork, as if floating architecture, and from the terrace that encircles the central dome and bell towers, you have a magnificent view of the city.
- Address : The Basilica is located on Praca da Estrela, 1200-667
- Opening hours : Monday to Sunday, 07:30 to 20:00.
- Entrance is free.
6. City Museum
If time does not permit you to know the highlights of the Portuguese capital and you really want to, the Lisbon City Museum is your go-to place! The collection spans the Palaeolithic to the present day and is arranged so that different parts of it are dedicated to the highlights of the region.
- Address : the museum is in Campo Grande, 245.
- The best way to get there: take the Metro (Campo Grande station, green and yellow line).
- Opening hours : Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 to 13:00 / 14:00 to 18:00.
- Ticket prices : €2.
7. Maritime Museum
Lisbon would not be Lisbon if it were not for the sea. The sea (or more precisely the ocean) played a big role in the history of Lisbon so you need to take some time and visit the Maritime Museum of Lisbon. It will be interesting for everyone! There are about 17 thousand items in the museum collection: naval uniforms, maps, globes and, of course, models of ships (some of them life-size).
- Address: The museum is located at 1400-206, Praca do Imperio.
- Opening hours : every day from 10:00 to 18:00.
- Ticket prices : €5 (full) and €2.50 (children).
8. Calouste Gulbenkian Art Museum
It is a rare case when a private collection gives way to the most “cool” state museums. Based on the collection of the richest oil tycoon, the museum is a real treasure house. Paintings by world-renowned masters (Rembrandt, Rubens, van Dyck, Gainsborough, Renoir, Monet), ancient artifacts from Egypt and Mesopotamia, old jewelry, which is more than a hundred or even a thousand years – everyone can find something here to watch for hours.
- Address: The museum is located in Avenue de Berna, 45a. Get there by metro (St.Sebastian/Spain Square station).
- Every day from 10:00 to 18:00 (second Monday off).
- Ticket price: €5.
9. Puppet Museum
If you get tired of the abundance of art treasures, Lisbon’s Puppet Museum is the only one in the country dedicated to puppets and marionette theater. This is a place to transport you back to your childhood! Puppets from different countries and eras – Vietnamese, Portuguese, Thai, Indian and even African – are all on display here under the same roof.
Some exhibits “entertained” the public in the Middle Ages. And after seeing the collection you can make your own doll in the circle that is open to visitors, or learn how to operate a ready-made puppet.
- Address: The museum is located in Rua Esperanca, 146.
- Opening hours : Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00 / 14:00 to 18:00. Weekends: Monday, January 1st, May 1st, December 25th and 31st.
- Tickets cost: €7.50, €5 (children, seniors and students) and €13 (family, 2 adults + 2 children).
10. Museum of Costume and Fashion
To immerse yourself in the life of the Portuguese (and not only them) of different eras, you should go to the Museum of Costume and Fashion. What’s that got to do with it, you might ask? It has to do with the fact that it not only has an impressive collection of clothing (for men, women and children), but also home textiles, household items, accessories and more that made up people’s lives centuries ago.
Wonderful XVII-XVIII century dresses embroidered with gold, dresses and suits of the XX century, children’s clothes and toys – you can wander in the halls of the museum endlessly! You can finish your tour in the botanical park around the museum.
- The address of the museum is: Lisboa, Lumiar, Largo Julio de Castilho.
- Getting there: Take the metro (Lumiar station, yellow line).
- Opening hours: museum and park open Tuesday mornings from 14:00 to 18:00, Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
- Tickets cost €4 (museum) and €3 (park). Total (park+museum) €6.
11. azulejo museum
First of all, let’s be clear: azulejo is a painted and glazed earthenware tile (a kind of glazed tiles). It is a traditional decorative material in Portugal and Spain, and came there from the Arab countries. Today, for example, azulejo decorates the palace of the President of Portugal and the exhibition hall of the Carriage Museum. Well, the museum is worth visiting at least because it simply has no analogues – except for Portugal and Spain, azulejo is produced nowhere else.
You can wander here endlessly, looking at the bizarre paintings on tiles of different ages (the oldest is from the XV century) and learn how they are made and painted.
- Museum address : Rua da Madre de Deus, 4
- Getting there: Take Metro Santa Apolonia or bus lines 718, 742 and 794.
- Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
- Ticket price : €5.
12. Church of Santa Engracia
A beautiful view from the first sight: the white Baroque building with its dome domed by the terracotta roofs and the blue of the sky. The church is famous for the fact that it was built for nearly 300 years, and even with interruptions, the domes of the towers are not finished even today. Its main feature is the marvelous view from the observation deck of the dome.
- Address : Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471
- Ticket price : €3.
13. The Mafra Palace
Another Lisbon gem is the Mafra Palace. It is in the suburbs but well worth the time. The palace is the largest in the country (just kidding, its area is equal to the area of ten soccer fields!), but not only the size of the building attracts tourists. The magnificent interiors of the former royal residence, the elegant appearance of the palace and of course – the famous bell towers with a hundred bells.
- Address of the palace : Mafra, Terreiro Dom Joao V
- Opening hours: 09:00 to 18:00 (Tuesdays are closed).
- Ticket price : €6.
14. Quinta da Regaleira palace and park complex
This estate with its quaint palace and park is also on the outskirts of Lisbon. But it’s well worth the trip. This magical castle (there’s no other way to put it!) was built by its owner, the millionaire Antonio Monteiro, in 1910. The building is Gothic and Renaissance, surrounded by a lush garden with intricate paths, and at its center is the mysterious Well of Dedication.
- Opening hours: November to January from 10:00 to 17:00, February, March and October from 10:00 to 18:00, April to September from 10:00 to 19:00.
- Tickets cost €6 (adults), €3 (children 9-14 years old), €4 (pupils over 15 and retired). Children up to 8 years old free of charge.
15. Lisbon Zoo
Whether you are travelling with children or on your own, the City Zoo is a must-see in Lisbon. One of the oldest and largest zoos in Europe will delight you with the variety of animals and the leisure park with the pleasant coolness of the shady alleys.
- Address of the zoo : Praca Marechal Humberto Delgado.
- Opening hours : 10:00 to 20:00 (March 21 to September 20) and 10:00 to 18:00 (September 21 to March 20).
- Tickets cost: €19.50 (adult), €14 (children, 3-11 years), €15.50 (pension) and €17.50 (group). Children under 3 years old are free to enter.
16. Carriage Museum
Do you want to visit the royal “carriage house” of the XVII-XIX centuries? Then the Carriage Museum is exactly what you need. The museum exhibits a variety of carriages from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. Gilded and jeweled gala carriages, but also modest everyday carriages, child’s faytones and pleasure coaches – one can endlessly contemplate this magnificence! A guided tour of the museum, Belém: The Two Dawns of Lisbon, will teach you more about the museum.
- Address of the museum : Avenida da India, 136
- Getting there : Take buses 28, 714, 727, 729, 751, Metro (Belem station) or Tram 15 to get to the museum.
- Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
- Ticket costs : €6.
17. Sé Cathedral.
Also known as Maria Major de Lisboa. This temple is remarkable not only for the fact that it is the oldest in the city, but also for the fact that it stands on the remains of former religious buildings – a Roman temple, later rebuilt into a church and then replaced by a mosque, which stood here until the XIII century.
It is worth visiting this amazing place because the cathedral is a true incarnation of the history of the city.
- The address is Largo Santo António da Sé, 1100-585. The Cathedral is open from 09:00 to 19:00 (Sunday at 20:00).
- Entrance: free, but you’ll have to pay €2.50 to visit the Gothic Courtyard.
- Getting there: take buses #12E, 28E, 737 to the bus stop Se and Limoeiro.
18. Bridge of April 25th
One of the twenty longest suspension bridges in the world connects Lisbon and Almada. The view from the shore is spectacular and if you want a view from the water take bus number 753 at the Marquês de Pombal Square for a breeze ride over the bridge. You can also take bus number 712 to the bridge (stop Doca de Alcantara).
For information! There is a fee of €1.40 for cars driving on the bridge in Lisbon.
19. Rossio Square
The best place to see Lisbon in the evening and at night is Rossio Square.
One of the main squares in the capital has a fabulous view in the light of lanterns: with a wave pattern, lined with two tone cobblestones, with magnificent bronze fountains, Rossio Square has its own unique atmosphere.
20. Gloria Funicular
Feel like a native Lisbonian of the twentieth century by taking the historic Gloria cable car. The funny yellow streetcar (which has been running regularly since 1885!) takes you slowly from Resdoradures square to the center of the city while you admire the streets of Lisbon behind the window.
The ticket costs €1.25 (Zapping) and €3.60 (for 2 rides, purchased from the driver).
Hint: the cable car only makes two stops – at the beginning of the route and at the end, at the top of the hill, where you have a beautiful view of the city.
To love Lisbon: the 20 most interesting places
A sincere love for Lisbon unites people of all ages, incomes, political views and faiths. Learn about the most popular attractions in the Portuguese capital and the places where tourists rarely go. Walk the streets of the great city with love!
I fell in love with Lisbon long before my trip to Portugal. It happened in my youth, after reading Remarque’s great novel “A Night in Lisbon”.
The westernmost capital of Europe stands at the very edge of a vast continent and beckons travelers. Over the rocky Cape of Rock the land ends, and begins boundless expanses of the Atlantic Ocean. The ancient city hides more than one layer of history. After the disasters of 1755, it was rebuilt by the Marquis de Pombal.
I invite you on a trip to the sights of Lisbon! See palaces and great temples, picturesque balconies and bright tiled roofs, admire the colorful azulejos on the walls of the houses and hear the original Portuguese language.
Aguas Libres Aqueduct
Considered to be Lisbon’s landmark, the massive aqueduct was built in the first half of the 18th century by order of King Juan V. The structure of 30 arches is no longer used for its intended purpose. Today there are guided tours for tourists around the Lisbon aqueduct. Admission costs 3€.
The Aguas Libres Aqueduct. Photo: mruiandre / unsplash.com.
The castle of St. George
In the heart of old Lisbon rises a majestic castle with battlements and narrow loopholes. The fortification on the hill dates back to Roman times. Arab builders built the Alcázar fortress here in the 8th century and over the centuries it was rebuilt and adapted by Portuguese monarchs.
Inside is one of the most visited museums in Lisbon. See the impressive collection of medieval cannons, climb the fortress wall and walk around the perimeter of the castle. From the top you have a magnificent view of the city’s tiled roofs. Standing above Lisbon it is easy to imagine yourself as a soldier on guard in an ancient fortress! Admission is 8,5€.
Popular excursions in Lisbon:
Palacio de Queluz
Do you want to see how the Portuguese kings and court nobility lived and entertained? Twelve kilometers from Lisbon you’ll find a luxurious palace complex, similar to the French Versailles. For centuries it has been the summer residence of the Portuguese monarchs.
Feel like a true king! Wander through the lavishly furnished halls, sit in the park gazebos and listen to a live music concert! Admission is 10€.
A fortified bastion on the Tagus River built in the early 16th century welcoming all sailors returning from faraway lands. The majestic tower is one of the top attractions in Lisbon and is considered one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders.
Tourists come to the island to admire the exotic Manuelino architecture and the vastness of the Tagus, to see the original rhinoceros sculptures, casemates and ancient cannons. Admission to the Belém Tower costs 6€.
Belém Tower. Photo: alexpaganelli / unsplash.com.
Residents of the city call the ancient cathedral “Se,” from the Latin Sedis Patriarchalis, meaning “patriarchal.” Two thousand years ago a Roman temple stood here. The Gothic cathedral is shaped like a Latin cross and the two bell towers rise so high that they are visible from any part of Lisbon.
Inside, there are layers of archaeological excavations and fragments of the ancient city street. Note the stone statues of saints and ancient sarcophagi! Admission to the cathedral is free.
Santa Giusta Elevator
The old elevator in the center of Lisbon was built in 1902 by Raul Mesnier, a student of the famous Gustave Eiffel. The openwork steel construction lifts passengers up to 32 m and the open-air viewing platform is 45 m high.
Ascent and descent costs 5€, and for those who have a daily pass for the city – 1.3€. There are usually many people who want to go up in the elevator, so there is often a queue at the entrance.
The Santa Giusta elevator. Photo: julie_soul / unsplash.com.
When planning a self-guided trip around Lisbon, don’t miss the city’s most colorful and memorable neighborhood! In 1755, Portugal was hit by a massive earthquake that completely destroyed the Lower Town. The Portuguese didn’t give up and under the leadership of the Marquis de Pombal rebuilt the streets of Baixa.
What’s interesting about the area? The beautiful Comércio, Figueiro and Rossio squares, the Arc de Triomphe, monuments to Portuguese kings, and museums. The atmosphere in Baixa is philosophical. After a walk around the Lower Town one understands that any catastrophes are not fatal. If you make an effort and the world around you can become even more beautiful!
The spacious Praça do Comércio opens the entrance to the Lower Town. One of the most picturesque squares in Europe is home to the royal palace, library, Arc de Triomphe and a large equestrian statue of Portugal’s King José I. Tourists come to the Market Square to dine at Lisbon’s oldest restaurant, the Martinho da Arcada, stroll along the beautiful facades, take photos of the King’s monument and the 25 April Bridge.
Statue of King José I. Photo: Nicolas Vollmer / wikimedia.org / CC BY 2.0.
Augusta Street starts from the Plaza de la Comércio and leads away from the river. A colorful and cozy street akin to Barcelona’s Rambla or New York’s Broadway. A place that easily reveals the secrets of ordinary city life.
Come in the evening to enjoy the soft light from the windows of the houses and the bright illuminations of the small cafes. Something to buy on Augusta is not advised! The prices here are very high.
Rare funiculars are not just a form of transport but an important part of history and a popular attraction in Lisbon. The oldest funicular has been in operation since 1884, the Gloria since 1885 and the Bica since 1892. The small, tram-like, neat cabins are a crush on all tourists! A one-way fare on the Lisbon transport card is 1.3€.
The funicular Bica ascends a narrow street in the old part of the city. It was opened on July 28, 1892. Photo: unsplash.com / @vali_s.
There are several dozen museums in the city, but the collection that is dedicated to the sea is what tourists love most. Portugal has been called the land of ships for centuries, so the maritime museum in Lisbon dates back to the 19th century. It keeps more than 15 thousand items – sailing ships, caravels, boats, compasses, maps and things of famous sailors. Admission costs 6.5 €, free for children under 12 years.
Lisbon has many steep streets, but the most original – Escadinhas de São Cristóvão – is located in the historic center of the city. The pedestrian street consists of steps, and the facades of the buildings are decorated with beautiful graffiti on the theme of national Fado music.
Monument to the Discoverers
Portuguese sailors played an enormous role in the exploration of the Old and New World. A striking monument to the discoverers, 52 meters high, stands on the banks of the broad Tagus. On the sides of the improvised ship can be seen 64 figures of outstanding seafarers and scientists. A tribute to all those who devoted their lives to the sea and the search for new lands!
There is an observation deck on top, which offers a wonderful view over the main sights of Lisbon. Admission costs 2,5€.
Monument to the Discoverers. Photo: portuguesegravity / unsplash.com.
Portugal’s National Pantheon
To honor the great Portuguese, go to the ancient temple of Santa Engracia. Presidents of the country, literary figures, the famous soccer player Eusébio da Silva Ferreira and the famous Fado singer Amália Rodrigues all rest beneath the vaults of the Baroque church. Admission to the pantheon costs 4€.
The Gothic monastery can be easily reached in 15 minutes from the Tagus promenade. The ancient 16th century monastery is one of the most visited attractions in Lisbon. The monastery suffered no visible damage from the earthquake, so architecture lovers can admire the original facades. In the monastery there are the tombs of the great navigator Vasco da Gama and King of Portugal Manuel I. Entrance to the territory costs 10 €.
The Jerónimos Monastery (Jerónimos) was built after Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India. This was the site of the chapel where the navigator and his crew prayed before departure. Photo: unsplash.com / @amandayeung.
Church of St. Roch.
One of the oldest Jesuit temples in the world looks quite modest, but the interiors won’t disappoint! Gilding, colored tiles, marble… Especially impressive is the sumptuous Baroque decoration of the church chapels. The sacred art museum is located in the next building, the entrance costs 2,5 €.
Casa do Alentejo
In the heart of Lisbon hides a real gem, a beautiful 17th century palace that now houses a restaurant and tavern. The building impresses with stunning interiors, sumptuous halls, a library and Arabic-style decorations. All this splendor is available for free!
If you are in Lisbon with children go to one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Big cats, monkeys, antelopes, hippos and other animals from all over the world are kept here.
Have a picnic in the shade of the trees, visit the house of reptiles and a dolphin show. No one leaves here without bright emotions and impressions! Adult ticket costs 22€, children from 3 to 11 €14.50.
At the zoo in Lisbon. Photo: sinvalbmx / unsplash.com.
Café A Brasileira
It’s impossible to imagine the Portuguese capital without coffee! All tourists try to stop by the authentic cafe. Locals meet here and lovers meet here. Antique interiors and lively bar counter give a special atmosphere of colonial Portugal. Breathe in the aroma of strong coffee and you will feel that the way to India was opened only yesterday!
Statue of Christ
The 28-metre high monument rises on an 82-metre pedestal near the 25th April bridge. The idea for the statue in Lisbon came after the famous Christ Monument in Rio de Janeiro. In 1949, the Portuguese laid the first stone, and 10 years later the inauguration took place, which was attended by 300 thousand people.
The Art Deco statue has a small souvenir shop, two chapels, and an elevator that takes you up to the observation deck. Get a breath of fresh air and take spectacular photos of old Lisbon!
Statue of Christ. Photo: motoki / unsplash.com.
Non-trivial attractions in Lisbon
Parque São Pedro de Alcântara . A small, well-kept park on a hill is one of the best viewpoints in the city.
Mafra Palace . If you want luxury and splendor, go to the suburbs of Lisbon, to the largest palace in Portugal. There are 1,200 rooms in the building, and about a hundred bells hanging from the high towers.
Quinta da Regaleira Palace and Park . A palace and park complex built in 1910 with money from millionaire Antonio Monteiro. Entrance costs 6€.
Mercado da Ribeira market . Lisbon’s colorful landmark appeals to fans of modern design and informal socializing. The first floor of the renovated market has several dozen restaurants and cafes, while the second floor hosts concerts and festivals.
Basilica da Estrela . One of Lisbon’s most beautiful churches is located in the western part of the city. Entrance is free.
São Vicente de Fora Monastery . For lovers of architecture, it’s hard to miss a wonderful example of late Renaissance architecture. Stop by the monastery’s temple and admire the magnificent Baroque altar and beautiful sculptures!
National Museum of Azulejo . A unique collection of painted ceramic tiles. See the panels “Panorama of Lisbon” and “Wedding of the Chickens”! A ticket costs 5€.
Tiny bookstore . Book lovers will be pleased to find themselves on Escadinhas de São Cristóvão, 18. The store is so small that it barely holds shelves of books and a smiling salesman.
Street Art Gallery . If you’re partial to street art, take a stroll along the Galeria de Arte Urbana. The drawings on one of the hospital’s walls stretch for nearly a kilometer.
Quinta da Regaleira Palace. Photo: agathadepine / unsplash.com.
What to see in Lisbon in 1 day
An itinerary for a one-day walk around Lisbon is worth including:
- St. George’s Castle
- Market Square
- Gloria funicular railway
- Parque de S. Pedro de Alcântara
- Church of St. Roch
- Monument to the Discoverers
- Belém Tower.
What to see in Lisbon in 2 days
To the sights you saw on the first day, add:
- Santa Justa Elevator.
- Maritime Museum.
- Cable car Bica
- National Azulejo Museum
- Mercado da Ribeira market
- National Pantheon of Portugal.
Check out this beautifully poetic video about Lisbon – it captures the atmosphere of the city very well. You can tell it’s an artist and not a narcissistic youtuber.