Top attractions to explore in Lisbon, Portugal

Praca do Comercio, Lisbon | Julie's World

Lisbon, the stunning capital city of Portugal is different than any other European cities you may have visited due to all the cultural influences brought over by different civilizations during the past millennia. I will come back with a more detailed article on my accommodation and the lovely things I enjoyed there. Other options can be found on Booking 😉

Until then, here is a selection of the things you should not miss if you decide to visit the Portuguese capital:

Start with the colorful Alfama district, the oldest section of Lisbon, with narrow streets leading from the Tagus River up the hill to the Lisbon castle, which has an important history for early Portugal and the battlements offer panoramic views over central Lisbon. Alfama is also the site of Sé Cathedral, the mighty and imposing cathedral of Lisbon, the National Pantheon and Saint Anthony’s Church.

Panorama from Sao Jorge Castle | Julie's World
Panorama seen from Sao Jorge Castle, Lisbon

For a picturesque view of the district take the historical Tram 28 through Alfama to Baixa district, the heart of Lisbon and its magnificent plazas.

Historic Tram 28 | Lisbon | Julie's World
Historic Tram 28, Alfama

The best attraction of the Baixa district is the wonderful view from the top of the Arco da Rua Augusta. This magnificent arch connects the Rua Augusta Street with the Praça do Comércio (Commercial Square), which is the largest of Lisbon’s mighty plazas that is positioned on the edge of the Tagus estuary. Here  traders would sell their foreign wares and financiers would fund perilous expeditions to the far reaches of the known world.

King Manuel I & Arco da Rua Augusta | Lisbon | Julie's World
King Manuel I & Arco da Rua Augusta in Praça do Comércio, Lisbon

From Praça do Comércio take the number 15 tram to travel to Belem, a picturesque district to the west of Lisbon, which is the location of many of the capital’s most notable and important tourist attractions:

  • Belem Tower, impressive defense fort which once guarded the entrance to the Tagus River;
  • Jerónimos Monastery, an outstanding example of late-Gothic Manueline architecture;

    Inside court of Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon | Julie's World
    Inside court of Jeronimos Monastery
  • The Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument on the edge of the river which depicts famous explorers and is shaped symbolically like the prow of a ship.

    Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lisbon | Julie's World
    Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belem district
  • No visit to Belem is complete without eating a Pastel de Nata in the Casa Pasteis De Belem, the original home of this unique Portuguese cake.

    Pastel de Nata | Julie's World
    Pastel de Nata, Belem

Futhermore, visit the Parque das Nações (Park of the Nations) which runs along the bank of the river for 5km and is made up of open green spaces interspersed with public art and structures. The park is the site of the Lisbon Oceanarium (especially recommended for  kids), Knowledge Pavilion, CC Vasco da Gama, Marina Park of Nations and the cable car.

Telecabine Lisbon | Julie's World
Telecabine Lisboa

Lisbon offers a rich and varied history, lively nightlife, unique cuisine, and pleasant year-round weather, but some of its best features are the spectacular hilltop vistas, cobbled lanes, centuries-old houses, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and famous landmarks. See some more activities on Viator.

Bonus tip: Plan a day trip for exploring the outskirts of the city – Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Boca do Inferno, they are definitely worth it. I will write another post on my trip to the end of the world soon 😉

Boca do Inferno, Cascais | Julie's World
Boca do Inferno, Cascais

P.S. This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to buy something by using any of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep this website free and fun. Thank you!Top Attraction in Lisbon | Julie's World

13 thoughts on “Top attractions to explore in Lisbon, Portugal”

  1. It was great to see your photos. We’ve been to Lisbon several times, but escorted by an expat friend, so I’m sadly lacking in pictures! I’ve only seen the Explorers from the water, so it was good to see them close up and from another angle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely LOVE Lisbon -especially the Alfama district. I wish I had spent more time there but I took a whole day to go to Sintra-which was super touristy and I wish I hadn’t done, or if I had done, wish I had booked a Withlocals guide and gotten away from where you can go on buses/trains with the crowds.

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  3. Portugal is one of my favourite countries in Europe, and Lisbon is an incredible city. One of my favourite things to do was to walk and get lost in the city. The food is cheap, and the locals are friendly. What more can you ask for!

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  4. Beautiful photos! We were just there last month and ate way too many egg tarts from Pasteis De Belem. One thing I loved about Lisbon was all the amazing view points!

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  5. I love the old beauty. I have always been a fan of yellow on buildings and one of your pictures really caught my eye with it. The monastery and Belem district look incredible. Would love to see in person.

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  6. Just said yesterday: I need to go to Lisbon! I never thought about Portugal, but in these last months I read so much about Lisbon and I convinced to visit. I look for a cultural place with history and reading your post it looks like I found it!

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  7. Portugal and Spain are on my trip list. I feel like the two could go hand in hand for a great trip. I’ll take coasts and castles any day 🙂 The panoramic shot is spectacular!

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