The Ultimate Guide To Lisbon: 101 Things To Do In Portugal’s Capital
I have said it before, and I will say it again: Lisbon is the most underrated city in Europe. The capital of Portugal won my heart after I reluctantly visited in 2012 with friends. I wasn’t expecting much, but what I discovered was a soulful city with unique street art, interesting neighborhoods, a vibrant nightlife, and a fascinating history to discover.
Three visits later and I still can’t get enough of Lisbon. In this post, I’m breaking down 101 things to do in Lisbon; it’s a complete travel guide for visitors, whether you’re visiting for the first, third time, or tenth time.
- Marisqueira Uma
Marisqueira Uma is a small seafood restaurant with only one item on the menu. Yes, just one. The specialty? Seafood rice. These guys do seafood rice well. You get a large pot of rice with shrimp, crab, mussels, served in a tasty broth. Note that this place is cash only and the seafood rice serves two people. There’s always a line so be sure to get there before it opens at noon.
- Time Out Market Lisbon
The Time Out Market is a food court located within the Mercado de Ribeira in the Cais do Sodre neighborhood. At first glance, it may seem like a tourist trap. The prices are higher than usual for Lisbon, and the place is always crowded with tourists. It’s next to impossible to find a seat! That said, I made several stops here and think it’s worth a visit. There are over 20 restaurants and a great variety of delicious Portuguese food.
- Casa da India
Don’t be misled by the name. Casa da India is not an Indian restaurant. It’s a traditional Portuguese restaurant that serves great seafood and meats. With a bar area, it’s great for solo diners. The codfish and clams are especially good.
- Petisqueria Estela da Baixa
This restaurant, located just down the street from Praca do Comercio, the main square in the city, was recommended to me by the owner of a nail salon I went to. So off I went. I loved the seafood rice! This is a hole-in-the-wall place run by a couple so I guess that the food is as close to Portuguese home cooking as it gets.
- Alfama Cellar
This restaurant/wine bar is a great spot for dinner. Some of their specialties include Portuguese lamb stew, oxtail, and cod. Their meat and cheese platter is a delicious starter if you’re super hungry.
- Cais ao Mar
Cais ao Mar is one of the best spots for oysters in Lisbon! It serves a great assortment of seafood, such as clams, snails, prawns, and shrimp. This place is a little on the pricey side but worth a trip.
- Restaurante Rio Coura
This is one of the most affordable seafood restaurants in Lisbon. They serve the typical specialties – such as seafood rice, clams, and octopus – at budget-friendly prices. Note that it’s a cash-only establishment.
- O Bacalhoeiro
This seafood restaurant in the Alfama neighborhood specializes in bacalhau al horno (grilled cod) and polvo (octopus). But the real winners here are the desserts – caramel mousse and flan. This is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant without many seats so there may be a wait.
- Churrasqueira da Paz
This tiny restaurant, whose name translates to the “grill of peace,” specializes in roasted chicken. Tucked away in a little corner in Bairro Alto, it’s easy to miss. This hole-in-the-wall is dirt cheap and frequented by locals, which is always a good sign.
- Sr. Lisboa
This quaint little spot serves small plates, or tapas, packed with huge flavor. Some of the must-try items on the menu include Chimichurri octopus, squid ink risotto with mussels, and baby pig. There are also vegan/vegetarian options, and the place is cash only.
- Sal Grosso
This is another hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves incredibly delicious Portuguese food. You may want to make a reservation because it gets packed easily. Some of the top items on the menu are oxtail braised in wine, stir-fried pork, and codfish.
- Floresta do Salitre
Floresta do Salistre is a true local favorite. At this family restaurant, you’ll find popular seafood and meat plates, like grilled salmon, fried steak, and Portuguese swordfish. The prices are quite cheap, with plates costing between 9.50 EUR – 17.50 EUR each.
- Restaurante Alprende
This is the ultimate restaurant in Lisbon for seafood lovers. Located in Alfama, it serves everything from seafood rice to clams to shrimp soup to crab to sardines. You can also order a seafood platter to get an assortment of all the seafood on the menu. The place gets packed so you might want to make a reservation.
- Restaurante Farol de Santa Luzia
Also located in the Alfama District, Restaurante Farol de Santa Luzia is a traditional Portuguese restaurant that serves great seafood and meat dishes. It is located next to Castelo de Sao Jorge so it’s the perfect place to stop after exploring the castle. One of the must-try items on the menu is Cataplana, a rich seafood stew.
- Flor dos Arcos
We’re not quite done with the Alfama District yet. It’s packed with great restaurants, and another one of them is Flor dos Arcos. This is a small and super cheap seafood restaurant that serves amazing cod, sardines, and garlic shrimp. The sangria is also quite good.
- Gato Pardo
If you’re looking to explore the areas outside of Central Lisbon, then Gato Pardo may be up your alley. Located in the northern Graca neighborhood, this restaurant has some great, traditional Portuguese food, like grilled seabass and octopus salad.
- Cruzes Credo
Cruzes Credo serves a unique interpretation of Portuguese cuisine. The menu is truly special, with dishes like Codfish served with chickpea puree and sausage. There’s also the classic tuna served with polenta and vegetables. The flavors are divine, and the prices are reasonable.
- Floresta da Cidade
This is a traditional Portuguese spot in the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Some of the specialties here are grilled pork loin with sheep’s cheese and octopus rice. It’s a busy restaurant in one of the liveliest neighborhoods of Lisbon.
- Pasteis de Belem
The most famous bakery in Lisbon is a must-stop on your food tour. Pasteis de Belem has been serving its famous pasteis de nata, egg tarts, and other delicious pastries since 1837. Here’s the deal: the main attraction, egg tarts, are not mind-blowing. But I feel like trying the legendary pasteis de nata here is just something you need to tick off your Lisbon bucket list. I like the meat pies a lot though; they are worth writing home about.
The interior of the bakery is huge and has a nice ambiance. This is a great place to go to lunch with a friend. Note that’s a top tourist attraction so be prepared for some long lines.
- Fabrica da Nata
A less touristy alternative to Pasteis de Belem, Fabrica da Nata serves egg tarts for 1 EUR each. You can also try other pastries like croquettes, quiche, pasteis de bacalhau (cod pastry). The interior decor is also charming and luxurious.
- Fabrica Lisboa
Fabrica Lisboa is a coffee shop in the Baixa neighborhood that serves the best warm, butter croissants. They also serve a lunch platter that comes with eggs, salmon, cheese, prosciutto, salad, avocado, and an assortment of fruits. Delicious!
Audrey’s is a Portuguese-style breakfast/brunch spot located in the lobby of the Santiago de Alfama hotel. Their specialties include fish soup, salmon ceviche, grilled shrimp, and gambas ao alho (prawns in olive oil). There’s outdoor seating with great views of the Alfama neighborhood.
- Juicy Lisboa
With a beautiful, nature-inspired atmosphere, Juicy Lisboa is a great place to have a healthy lunch. This vegetarian cafe serves earth bowls, vegan wraps, soups, and many gluten-free dishes.
- Brunch Cafe
Brunch Cafe is a small, indie-inspired spot that’s a great place to grab breakfast. They serve delicious omelets, pancakes, croissants, eggs, as well as mimosas. The atmosphere is cozy and the waiters are incredibly friendly.
- Fauna & Flora
Fauna & Flora is a trendy brunch spot that serves Acai bowls, avocado toast, juices, and other typical brunch items, but with a Portuguese twist. There’s usually a wait so it’s best to go a weekday morning.
Brooklyn is a super affordable breakfast spot located close to the University of Lisbon’s Botanical Garden. Here, you can get a full breakfast meal consisting of orange juice, bread, scrambled eggs, and fruit for just 5 EUR! This place gives you great value for your money.
- Dear Breakfast
Located in Bairro Alto, this breakfast spot serves breakfast staples, like eggs benedict, freshly squeezed orange juice, and green smoothies. You can also find unique creations like salted pancakes and pink lattes. The atmosphere is trendy with a touch of sophistication. The food is simply amazing! This is easily one of the best breakfast spots in Lisbon.
- Pois Cafe
Pois Cafe is an Austrian cafe located towards the entrance of the Alfama District. Here, you’ll find breakfast/brunch staples like meat and cheese platters and bagels as well as Austrian sandwiches and drinks. It’s a taste of Austria in the heart of Lisbon.
- Royale Cafe
Royal Cafe is a modern Mediterranean restaurant in the Chiado neighborhood. This place serves the best octopus I’ve eaten in my life. It’s perfectly grilled and seasoned. This restaurant is a great spot for dinner with a friend. There’s an outdoor sitting area with a garden that creates a cozy atmosphere.
- Pistola y Corazon
This Mexican restaurant is located down the street from Outsite Lisbon, where I stayed during one of my visits. People at the house recommended it so off I went. Coming from Los Angeles, I was skeptical but this place was a pleasant surprise. I loved the fish tacos and the Cochinita Pibil.
If you’re looking for a break from Portuguese seafood and egg tarts, then you might consider Casanostra in Bairro Alto. This Italian restaurant serves delicious plates of pasta at super affordable prices. The squid ink pasta with shrimp and the black truffle pasta are highly recommended.
Noobai is a Mediterranean Cafe in Bairro Alto with epic views of the Tagus River, known locally as the Rio Tejo. This is a great place to watch the sunset over a drink and some good food. The stuffed cheese bread is a must!
- Da Vinci
Da Vinci is an Italian restaurant that serves amazing pizza, pasta, and lasagna. There’s even a picture of the owner with Cristiano Ronaldo so this place is quite famous. It’s in a touristy area, which may make it appear like a tourist trap, but the food is good and the prices are reasonable. I would recommend the Gnocchi Verde Mare and the Pizza Venezia.
- Paginas Tantas
Paginas Tantas is a bar with great happy hour deals and live music. There are typically bands playing jazz and blues in the main stage area next to the seats. I love the ambiance here; it’s a relaxing place to spend an evening, sipping drinks and listening to the sweet sounds of jazz.
- Pensao Amor
This bar/lounge in the Chiado neighborhood, located just above Lisbon’s famous Pink Street, has a seedy past. It used to be a brothel before being turned into a bar. There’s an upstairs area with paintings of Burlesque dancers and adult-themed crafts. It’s an interesting place for those interested in a non-typical bar. The drinks are decent, too.
- Entretanto Rooftop Bar
I love a nice rooftop bar, and Entretanto is one of the best in Lisbon. The drinks and food on the expensive side, but if you’re like breathtaking panoramic views, you won’t be disappointed. You can see the Alfama neighborhood, including the Sao Gorge Castle, in the distance. To get to the bar, head to Hotel Chiado and take the elevator to the rooftop.
- Crafty Corner
Crafty Corner is a bar with a rustic interior and a large selection of craft beers on tap. You can order 5, 10, or more different varieties of beer for yourself or for sharing. There are also cheese platters, hamburgers, and other foods to nibble on. This one-in-the-wall bar is a must-stop if you want a quieter place to spend the evening.
- A Ginjinha
Ginja, a cherry liquor made with fermented cherries, brandy, and cinnamon, is one of Portugal’s signature alcoholic beverages. You can find this drink in tons of bars across Lisbon, but A Ginjinha is possibly the best place to try it. You can order yours with or without real cherries, or try both.
This little bar in Alfama has an array of unique cocktail creations, like the Rubbing Stonehenge – a mix of sake, matcha, and ice cream. This is not your typical bar. They even put a floating rubber duck in some drinks.
This speakeasy bar in Bairro Alto is one of the coolest in Lisbon. First, you have to ring a bell to get into the place. Then you’re ushered into a dimly-lit, 20s inspired lounge. The drink menu is extensive and there are also snacks to munch on.
- Sky Bar
Sky Bar is the mother of all rooftop bars in Lisbon. This is the place to watch the sunset of Lisbon and admire the beautiful skyline. The drinks are on the pricey side but delicious. This bar is worth a stop just for the views.
- The Old Pharmacy
The Old Pharmacy is a wine bar in Bairro Alto that has a great selection of wines and cheese boards. I’m not even a big fan of wine but I still loved my experience here. The staff knows everything to know about wine so I learned something. And Portuguese port wine is divine!
- Baco Alto
If you’re looking for another amazing wine-tasting experience, head to Baco Alto, also in Bairro Alto. This bar has a selection of Portuguese wines at an affordable price. You can get a glass of port wine for just 2.50 EUR. You can also order a delicious assortment of meats and cheeses to go with your wine.
- Cargo 111
Located on one Rua do Norte, one of the liveliest streets in Bairro Alto, Cargo 111 has quite a bit of competition. But this little bar is on a league of its own. The drinks are affordable and great, the staff is wonderful, and the ambiance is relaxing. What more could you ask for?
Food Tours and Pub Crawls
The following tours are from Get Your Guide, my go-to company for tours in Europe. I’ve been on many Get Your Guide tours and love how engaging and informative they are. I always leave with a new perspective and tons of notes on my phone. All tours are conducted by a knowledgeable local guide. They also come with a flexible refund policy: you can cancel 24 hours before the tour.
- Lisbon: Gourmet Walking Tour and Tastings
If you’re looking for a taste of traditional Portuguese food in the heart of Lisbon, then sign up for this 3-hour gourmet food walking tour. The tour includes a chance to try Portuguese codfish cake and taste Portugal’s signature port wine. You’ll also get a taste of Bifana (pork sandwich), Sao Jorge cheese, and Ginjinha, the classic Portuguese cherry liquor. A live tour guide will walk you to restaurants and bars while giving you an inside scoop on Portugal’s rich culinary traditions.
- Lisbon: 4 Hour Walking Tour with Food and Drink Tastings
This 4-hour walking tour gives you an in-depth look into Portugal’s history, culture, and culinary traditions. You’ll explore the districts of Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Bica, tasting cheese, seafood, pastries, and wine. The tour also includes a ferry ride across the Tagus River.
- Lisbon Private Food Tour: 10 Tastings
During this 3-hour private food tour, you’ll get 8 tastings of traditional Portuguese food and two tastings of classic Portuguese drinks. The tour starts with a tour of the Alfama’s stunning viewpoints. Then your guide will take you to restaurants and bars, where you will taste dishes like sausages, gizzards, egg tarts, sardines, and more.
- Lisbon Food Walking Tour with Market Visit
Through this walking tour, you’ll experience Lisbon’s food markets and try local delicacies. You’ll visit the biggest market in Lisbon, the Mercado de Ribeira. You’ll also visit traditional shops, where you’ll try Pasteis de Nata (egg tarts), Ginjinha (cherry liquor) and Bifana (pork sandwich). The tour guide will show you around Lisbon’s Downtown area along the tour.
- Lisbon: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour
Craving Portuguese food from mom-and-pop restaurants and bars? The 3-hour secret food tour will take you through the Mouraria District of Lisbon – a culturally diverse area that used to be a Moorish ghetto – to try the most authentic Portuguese food. As you explore the area, you’ll try cured meats, cheeses, and petiscos – or Portuguese tapas. You’ll also enjoy Port wine and eat egg tarts.
- Lisbon: Brave Foodies Tapas Challenge Tour
If you’ve tried typical Portuguese dishes, like codfish, seafood rice, and octopus, and you’re wondering what else there is to try, then the Brave Foodies Tour is for you. It’s called the Brave Foodies tour for a reason. You’ll try some of the weirdest dishes Portugal has to offer, like liver, chicken feet, and bloody rice. If you survive, you’ll receive a Brave Foodie diploma.
- Lisbon: Pub and VIP Club Crawl
This 5-hour pub crawl takes you to Lisbon’s best pubs and clubs, where you can skip the long lines. You’ll also meet people from all over the world while enjoying beer and sangria at an open bar. This is Lisbon’s biggest pub crawl.
- Lisbon 4-Hour Pub Crawl
If 5 hours is too long for you, then maybe you could try this 4-hour pub crawl with VIP entrance at one of Lisbon’s top clubs. The local guides will take you to the city’s top bars in the Bairro Alto neighborhood, Lisbon’s go-to area for nightlife.
Explore the culture
- Torre de Belem
The Belem Tower is right next to the Monument To the Discoveries. Like the Jeronimos Monastery, it was also built in the Manueline style of architecture. Its original purpose was to protect the city from foreign invaders.
Getting to Belem: Belem isn’t connected to the rest of Lisbon by metro so you’ll have to take tram 15 or tram 127 from Praca de Comercio. Get off at Belem. The tram costs 2.90 EUR each way.
- Jenoronimos Monastery
Right down the street from Pasteis de Belem, you’ll find the glorious Jeronimos Monastery. This is a 15th-century monastery that’s a well-preserved example of Manueline architecture. It’s also the final resting place of Vasco de Gama, the first Portuguese explorer to sail to India.
- Sao Jorge Castle
The Sao Jorge Castle is a Moorish castle dating back to x. Located at the heart of the Alfama neighborhood, it’s a great place to learn about Lisbon’s history as well as take in the most epic views of the city. There are peacocks roaming the lower grounds of the castle, which are charming to watch. You can climb to the top of the castle and tour the entire structure. An entrance ticket for the castle is 10 EUR.
- Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral is the oldest and most important church in Lisbon. This 12th-century cathedral, built in the Gothic and Baroque style, has been the site of many important weddings and baptisms among Portugal’s elite. Entry into the cathedral is free.
- Igreja do Carmo
When you visit Lisbon, you’ll hear about the 1755 earthquake that devastated the city. Igreja do Carmo, or Carmo Church, is one of the ruins from the earthquake. Located in the Bairro Alto neighborhood, the church lost its roof and parts of its exterior during the earthquake. You can explore the interior with a 4 EUR admission ticket.
- Praca do Comercio
Praça do Comércio is the largest square in the city that overlooks the riverfront. It’s also the heart of the city. With its bright yellow walls, this place provides a stunning backdrop for photos! Often, you’ll see performances by musicians and dancers in the square. I’ve seen everything from African dancers to concert pianists perform here.
- Monument to the Discoveries
The Monument to the Discoverers was opened in 1960 as a tribute to the Portuguese age of discovery. Shaped like a ship, the monument has sculptures of the almost three dozen Portuguese explorers on each side. For 3 EUR, you can climb to the top (or take the elevator) to view the entire area for up to 45 minutes.
- Basilica da Estrela
Basilica da Estrela isn’t as famous as other churches in Lisbon, but it is equally beautiful. The ornately-decorated interior is just glorious, with an expansive sculpture of the Nativity Scene. The best part is that you can take the stairs up to the roof for 4 EUR and take in panoramic views of the Belem neighborhood and the city. It’s truly stunning!
- Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (the Museum of Ancient Art) is Portugal’s national art museum, much like El Prado in Madrid. It’s home to one of the largest art collections in the world, with an array of paintings, furniture, sculptures, and more. You could spend hours here just strolling through the ornate exhibitions. Tickets are 6 EUR.
Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia (MAAT) is a museum dedicated to art, architecture, and technology. This is one of the newer museums in Lisbon. It consists of two museums – one for art and architecture and another for technology (mainly energy-related). You can see both museums for 9 EUR or one for 5 EUR.
- Museu Coleção Berardo
Museu Coleção Berardo is a contemporary art museum in the Belem district and one of the most visited in Lisbon. There is a breadth of exhibits on modern art, including Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol, that is expertly curated. Tickets are 5 EUR.
- Museu do Fado
Fado is a traditional form of song and performance that is deeply rooted in Lisbon’s culture. The Museum of Fado celebrates the tradition of Fado with exhibits about the history, style, and evolution of the art form. You can use an audio guide virtual tour to get an introduction to the history and significance of Fado. Tickets are 5 EUR.
- Museu do Oriente
The Oriente Museum is dedicated to Asian art, specifically China, India, Japan, Macau, and East Timor. There are displays of photos and artifacts, sculptures, ceramics, and costumes from Asia across two floors. Some exhibitions are dimly lit, creating a mysterious atmosphere.
- Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Museu Nacional do Azulejo (the National Tile Museum) is an art museum dedicated to traditional Portuguese tilework. This museum is filled with beautiful artistry and history, with a range of tiles ranging from Moorish styles to more contemporary works. Although the location is a little far from the center, I think this museum is worth a visit.
Experience the spirit of Fado
- Duque da Rua
Duque da Rua is a local hotspot where you’ll find some of the most authentic Fado performances in Lisbon. The singers are local amateurs with captivating voices. This is a great alternative to some of the more staged performances from professionals. You can also grab cheap tapas while you watch the performances. There’s no cover charge and you don’t have to buy a drink like some other places. Be sure to get there before 8 pm to find a good seat.
- Tasco do Chico
Located in Bairro Alto, Tasco do Chico is a popular Fado venue. It’s best to reserve ahead of time as this place gets packed. The show starts at 7 pm. There is a minimum payment of 10 EUR per person if you want to sit at a table. On the menu, you’ll find mainly small bites like cheese and cold cuts so don’t go here hungry. The energy of the place is great.
- Maria da Mouraria
With only 24 seats, Maria da Mouraria is a small spot so it’s a good idea to make a reservation. It’s also cash only. Here, you can enjoy a nice seafood dinner while enjoying the sounds of Fado. For 45 EUR, you can get an appetizer, a main entree, and the house wine.
Timpanas is a small, cozy restaurant where you can experience the magic of Fado over a traditional Portuguese dinner. The prices on the menu are higher than normal (30 EUR and up for an entree), but the intimate atmosphere and great performances make up for it.
- Mascote de Atalaia
For 25 EUR, you can get a 3-course meal and a night of amazing music. Mascota de Atalaia is the smallest of the Fado venues on this list, with only 8 tables. That means you should make a reservation. You can go the day before and make your reservation in person.
Embaixada is a shopping mall that used to be a palace. As you can imagine, it’s luxurious! The shops themselves are nothing to write home about. You’ll find some trendy boutiques with cute pieces. Some are on the pricey side. The real reason to go here is for the shopping experience.
- Sapataria do Carmo
Looking for high quality, hand-made shoes? Then head to Sapataria do Carmo, one of the oldest shoe stores in Lisbon. Located in Chiado, this store has been around since 1904. It sells locally-made men and women’s shoes with beautiful craftsmanship.
- A Vida Portuguesa
A Vida Portuguesa is a one-stop-shop for Portuguese products, from soap and ceramic bowls to sardines and olive oil. This is a great place to shop for souvenirs. You’ll find a variety of high-quality artisan products at an affordable price.
- Centro Vasco da Gama
Centro Vasco da Gama is a large shopping mall located next to the Oriente Train Station. Here, you’ll find stores like Zara, Mango, and tons of other fashion brands. You’ll also find a large supermarket if you want to do a bit of grocery shopping.
- 39A Concept Store
A boutique clothing store meets an art gallery. That’s what you find at the 39A Concept Store, where the walls are covered in art installations. You’ll find nice women’s clothes here, although they are on the pricier side. A typical dress will set you back around 100 euros. You can always just browse the murals and art installations if you’re not looking to splurge.
- Under the Cover
If you’re a book lover, then head to Under the Cover, a bookstore where you’ll find a range of printed magazines, travel guides, books, and artworks. These works are from around the globe, but most of them are in English.
- A Arte da Terra
Located just behind the Se Cathedral, A Arte da Terra is a handicraft store where you’ll find unique crafts, pottery, textiles, paintings, and more. This is a great place if you’re looking for original items to take home from Portugal. The store itself is just beautiful and the prices are affordable for the most part. The items here are things you won’t find in other souvenir shops.
- The Lisbon Shop
The Lisbon Shop is the official store of the Lisbon Tourism Association. This store has possibly the largest selection of souvenirs anywhere in Lisbon. Here, you’ll find everything from postcards to magnets to clothes. You get a 10% discount with the Lisbon Card.
- Capitão Lisboa
Capitão Lisboa is a gift shop located next to the Baixa-Chiado metro stop that has tons of original products with a touch of humor. You’ll find gifts like ‘cocktail socks,’ a pair of ombre socks stuffed in a tequila sunrise bottle and mittens that say ‘horny for food.’ This place is not for prudes.
Lisbonlovers is a souvenir shop dedicated to all things Lisbon. Here, you’ll find typical gift items like aprons, t-shirts, toys, bags, and magnets. Go here to get your ‘I Love Lisbon’ shirt before heading home.
- Parque Eduardo VII
This sprawling park is located in the northern part of Lisbon. It’s a calm, quiet place to take a stroll, with wide walkways and perfectly-manicured maze. Climb to the top of the park for incredible views of the city. The climb is a bit strenuous but worth it.
- Jardim Amalia Rodriques
Jardim Amalia Rodriques is a small, laid-back park located just north of Parque Eduardo VII. Dedicated to the famous fado singer, Amalia Rodrigues, it’s a quiet oasis with a pond and a restaurant. The high altitude means you’ll get panoramic views of Lisbon.
- Garden of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
This is one of the most beautiful gardens in Lisbon. It truly personifies tranquility. Here, you can listen to the sounds of birds chirping and water cascading down the springs. There is a no noise policy which makes the environment calm and relaxing. The garden is a part of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, a cultural center that promotes the arts.
- Principe Real Garden
This is a small, dreamy park in the center of Lisbon next to the Principe Real Square. There benches under large trees, which provide the perfect shade and calm for some respite. On Saturdays, there is an organic market onsite, where you can get fresh produce.
- Jardim de Estrela
Located across the street from Basilica da Estrela, this beautiful park is a popular spot for locals and another great place to relax after some sightseeing. It’s also conveniently in front of the stop for Tram 28. There are two coffee shops on the grounds, and occasionally you’ll find a fair taking place.
- Parque Florestal de Monsanto
Parque de Monsanto a 2,500-acre protected forest with hiking trails, hills, meadowlands, ponds, and out of this world scenery. The nature is wild and unkempt, a stark contrast from the carefully manicured city streets.
Although it’s still within the city of Lisbon, it’s located farther out than other parks – about a 20-minute drive northwest. This is the place to go if you truly want to escape the urban crowds and immersed in nature. While they are buses that can take you from Lisbon to this park, the best way to visit is to take an Uber. The buses are infrequent.
- Jardim de Torel
High up in the north of Lisbon, Jardim de Torel offers a unique view of the city. It’s a small, secluded park where you’ll find more locals than tourists. Below the park, you’ll find Banana Cafe, which serves some incredible sangria.
- Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
The Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is one of a handful of viewpoints around Lisbon. What sets it apart is that it’s the highest viewpoint in Lisbon and offers the most epic panoramic view of the city. You could sit there, relax, and take in the glorious views. Getting here requires walking up a steep hill. The other option would be to take a tuk-tuk service. They are everywhere in Lisbon these days.
Enjoy the nightlife
Lounge is a night club in Bairro Alto, the nightlife hotspot in Lisbon. It is located right next the Elevador de Bica, the elevator that connects Cais do Sodre to Bairro Alto. This is a great place to go to have drinks and dance to electronic music. It’s open until 4 am.
- Black Tie Club
The Black Tie Club has been around for 35 years and is a popular fixture in the Lisbon clubbing scene. As the name suggests, it’s a classy sort of environment although the dress code is casual. This is the sort of place where you can go alone, meet lots of cool people, and have a good time.
Plateau is an old school club that plays hits from the 80s and 90s. The ambiance is electrifying and will almost certainly put you in a good mood. The club is open until 6 am. Also, Wednesday is ladies’ night, which means free drinks. Note that smoking is allowed so the air might not be so pleasant. If you have a sensitive nose, this might not be the right place for you.
- Metropolis Club
Located up the street from Parque Edoardo VII and the Black Tie Club, the Metropolis Club is a fun spot to dance to pop music. It has themed nights when the DJ plays music from the 80s and 90s. This place can get quite crowded but the atmosphere is fun.
- CINCO Lounge
CINCO Lounge is a spacious, relaxing place to spend the night if you’re not looking to dance. You can sit on the cushy sofas, sip cocktails, and strike up a conversation with a new acquaintance. The cocktails here are one-of-a-kind, and the atmosphere is cozy.
This Cais do Sodre club is the place to go for Latin music. MusicBox located on Lisbon’s famous Pink Street. You can dance to the sounds of cumbia and reggaeton until 6 am in the morning. The DJ also throws in some afrobeat.
Ministerium, located in Baixa-Chiado, occupies a building that used to house the Ministry of Finance. Hence the name. This government building-turned-club plays mostly techno and electronic music. The club overlooks Praca do Comercio, Lisbon’s main square. Due to its central location, it’s usually packed.
Take a day trip
Ericeira is a small, beach town about 1.5 hours north of Lisbon. It’s mainly known as one of the best destinations in Europe for surfing. But this town, which doesn’t have a single foreign restaurant chain, is a great place to go for fresh seafood. It’s a perfect escape from the crowds in Lisbon. The locals are hospitable, and the main beach, Praca do Pescadores, is a relaxing place to spend a few hours.
I could write pages about the wonders of Sintra, but you won’t quite comprehend how amazing this place is until you visit. Located just a one hour train ride from Lisbon, Sintra sits on the Portuguese Riviera surrounded by the Sintra Mountains. It’s famous for the 19th-century architecture at its center, Vila de Sintra. You’ll find extravagant palaces, castles, villas, gardens, and out-of-this-world views. The most impressive of them all is the Pena Palace, an extravagant, multi-colored castle perched on top of the Sintra mountains.
- Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is a cape on the southernmost tip of mainland Europe, where you’ll find a lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic ocean. This backdrop is great for photos. I should warn you that this area is extremely windy! I mean there are powerful winds that can knock you down. Be cautious, and wear sturdy shoes.
Cascais is a small, coastal town less than 20 miles west of Lisbon. This town is an idyllic getaway if you’re looking for white-sand beaches to lounge on for hours. It’s a popular tourist destination, especially for the wealthy. Still, you don’t need a ton of money to enjoy your visit here, You can simply relax on the beach, explore the shops, and try the seafood.
Obidos is a picturesque town in the Oeste region of Portugal, about a 3-hour drive from Lisbon. Here, you’ll find white houses with yellow borders at the bottom lined with thickets of violet flowers. It’s an explosion of color. Obidos used to be a well-kept secret, but tourists are heading there in droves nowadays. If you want to make a trip here, starting early is a must as the trip is long.
Travel Resources I Love
Travel WiFi Pocket WIFI Device – With portable WiFi, you can say goodbye to ridiculous roaming charges and SIM cards for good. I’ve been using the Tep Wireless Pocket WIFI device, called a Teppy, for a while and love the peace of mind it gives me. The Teppy provides 3G-4G WiFi for at least 6 hours and works in 100+ countries. In my experience, it lasts 9 hours. It also works in a variety of landscapes and terrains. I even filmed a Facebook Live from a boat in the Atlantic Ocean using my Teppy. I can also use Google Maps, request an Uber, call my mom, and do tons of other things I couldn’t do before. Quick tip: turn off the device when you’re not using it so that the battery can last longer. Use code SOMTOSEEKS to get 10% off your order.
Booking.com – Booking.com is my go-to website for booking discounted accommodations around the world. What I love most about Booking.com is the variety of properties you can find, from luxury apartments to treehouses to university housing. It’s hard to beat the insanely low prices. The website also has a flexible cancellation policy, which is great if things come up or you change your mind.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner.com is my go-to website to search for flights. It’s hard to beat the prices! I’ve snagged a $24 direct flight to Milan, a $30 flight to Berlin, a $400 roundtrip ticket to Colombia, and a $500 roundtrip ticket to Japan. I’ve been using Skyscanner since I studied abroad in Spain back in 2012. I check the website along with the Hopper app to determine the best time to buy tickets.
For more travel product recommendations, check out my travel essentials page.
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