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Hey! We are two Michiganders with adventurous souls looking to explore the beauties and wonders of this spectacular world. Our mission is to provide you with budget-friendly itineraries that inspire and encourage you to get outside, eat delicious foods, and enjoy high-quality brews. Ultimately, there are three key ingredients to any amazing trip: 

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Lisbon, Portugal: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

Updated: Jun 12

Fun Fact

Lisbon is one of Europe's oldest capitals, second only to Athens. Lisbon also holds a unique charm with its blue tiles, or azulejos, which adorn the city's streets, buildings, and monuments.

Table of Contents









What you should not miss in Lisbon

1. Vintage Tram 28

Winding through the narrow streets of Lisbon are numerous tram cars, however, the most famous is Tram 28 which takes you on the ideal tour of Lisbon and to many of the top spots. Ride Tram 28 in the direction towards Martim Moniz to wind up steep hills and stop at astonishing 'miradouros' or viewpoints (one of the top things to do in Lisbon).

While you can certainly take a tour of Lisbon by foot, riding this vintage tram is an iconic experience. Go first thing in the morning to avoid the large crowds, especially to acquire a desirable window seat.

Route & Tickets

The 32-Stop Route can be found here. Tickets purchased on the tram are €3 per journey. However, we recommend purchasing the €6.60 (2022 pricing) ticket which allows you to ride the Carris Metro, buses, and funiculars for 24-hours from the first validation. These tickets can be purchased at any Lisbon metro stations.


2. Miradouro da Graça

This astonishing viewpoint is only a few minutes walk from the Graca transit stop on the Tram 28. Miradouro da Graca was our favorite viewpoint in Lisbon. Arriving here prior to 9am allowed us to have this viewpoint completely to ourselves. We sat on a nearby bench, ate a morning snack, and enjoyed the best view of Lisbon we saw throughout our time in the city.

J&L Tip: If you only plan to ride one journey on Tram 28, make it to the Graca transit stop. This is one of the highest points in Lisbon and many of the nearby attractions can easily be accessed by walking downhill rather than uphill - travel smarter not harder :)

While at Miradouro da Graca, be sure to stop by Jardim da Graca, a beautiful square among the colorful houses featuring a large fountain and tiled steps. Around the corner you will also find some eye-catching street art, displayed along a narrow passageway.

3. Alfama District

The Alfama district is one of the oldest areas in Lisbon, with steep streets, 'miradouros' (lookouts), and local artisans selling their crafts. Head here early morning to take in its beauty without the crowds, or near sunset for breathtaking views of Castelo de S. Jorge.


Miradouro de Santa Luzia

One of our favorite 'miradouros' (lookouts) in the Alfama district is Santa Luzia. The viewpoint is lined with azulejos (blue tiles) and greenery-lined terraces. Arriving prior to 9am will allow you to experience this viewpoint almost completely to yourself.

J&L Tip: If you are one who enjoys watching a good sunrise, this east-facing 'miradouro', as well as, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, would be ideal spots!

top things to do in lisbon portugal

Se de Lisboa

Hours: 10am - 6pm [Closed Sundays]

The Lisbon cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings of the Alfama district. With construction on this church beginning in the 12th century, Se de Lisboa is considered the oldest church in the current Portuguese capital. Entry into the cathedral includes admission to the upper balcony, the Treasury Museum, as well as, a tour of the churches naves and ambulatory.

Admission: €5 / Adult

4. Castel de S. Jorge

Hours: 9am - 9pm

Castel de S. Jorge is an 11th century Moorish fortification. Included in your admission price is a guided tour, which happens three times daily at 10:30am, 1pm, and 4pm.

The views from Castel de S. Jorge are nothing short of spectacular. For the best photo spot at Castel de S. Jorge, climb the Ulysses Tower and you will be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the city. You may also consider visiting Castel de S. Jorge late afternoon for minimal crowds and the chance to watch the sunset from this picturesque viewpoint.

Admission: €10 / Adult (purchase your tickets here)

5. Day Trip to Belem

Belém is a former royal residence, known for its 16th century architecture and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among Belém's famous building and monuments are the Belém Tower, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, and Jerónimos Monestary. Belém is an easy half-day or full-day trip from Lisbon city center and is easily accessible via a 30 minute tram ride on the 15E.

Also Read: Our Day Trip Guide to Belem

6. Museu Nacional do Azulejo

Hours: Tue - Sun from 10:00am - 6:00pm

This museum is housed in a 16th century monastery and holds a variety of azulejos (Portuguese blue tiles) from early Ottoman geometry to ornate altars. The chapel inside the museum is worth a visit in itself, with carved wood, paintings, and tile panels decorating the Madre de Deus church. You can reach the National Tile Museum via the 210 Carris Bus, departing from Pç. Comércio and arriving at Igreja Madre Deus.

Admission: €5 / Adult


7. Barrio Alto

This neighborhood in Lisbon is filled with century-old houses covered in street art. During the day, wander the cobble-stoned streets to delicious eateries, 'miradouros' (lookouts), and churches. At night, watch this neighborhood come to life with quirky pubs and Portuguese traditional fado music filling the streets (a top experience in Lisbon).

J&L Tip: Tasca do Chico is your best bet for "free fado", meaning there is no cover charge or minimum order required. Make reservations at least a day in advance (it gets packed) and bring cash. Fado music starts at 9pm.

8. Santa Justa Lift

Hours: 7:00am - 10:45pm

This cast-iron elevator sits in the heart of Lisbon and was built in the early 20th century to connect the lower streets to Carmo Square. Today, you can ride the elevator to the top for panoramic views of the city and surrounding waters.

Did you Know? Purchasing the €6.60 / Person 24-Hour Access (2022 pricing) public transportation card with CARRIS gets you free entry to Santa Justa Lift as well!

9. Praca do Comercio

This main center square in Lisbon is hard to miss. Praca do Comercio is the center hub for transportation throughout Lisbon. It also hosts events in the wide open square and offers the ideal spot to walk along the Tagus River.

Do Not Miss! The Arco da Rua Augusta was completed in the 19th century and towers over Praca do Comercio.

10. Day Trip to Sintra

Sintra is a romantic village located on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal. Take a stroll down the charming streets, wonder through the whimsical palaces, or even hike one of the majestic, wooded trails that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Getting to Sintra is a quick and easy journey from Lisbon, making it the perfect day-trip from Portugal's capital city.

Also Read: Sintra Day Trip from Lisbon Travel Guide

More Time?


What food is famous in Lisbon?

1. Lisbon's Best Market

Time Out Market is a large food-court in the heart of Lisbon, offering a variety of different cuisines that will satisfy everyone's pallets. Sample the many options at the long communal tables and grab a tasty beverage at the center bar.

Tip: Time Out Market gets very crowded. Avoid the crowds and visit outside peak meal times.


2. Lisbon Indulgences

Arguably the most famous dessert in Lisbon is the pastel de nata, which is a Portuguese custard tart. Other pastries you should try include the Croissant brioche (mix between a French croissant and Brioche bun), pastel de feijão (sweet bean tarts), quijada (pastries made of cheese), and salame de chocolate (a sweet treat pairing perfectly with expresso).

See our top recommendations below:

  • Nannarella - gelato and sorbet

  • Pasteis de Belem - Lisbon's best pastel de nata (day trip from Lisbon)

  • Confeitaria Nacional - serving a variety of Portuguese pastries

  • Manteigaria - pastel de nata in the heart of Lisbon

  • Queijaria Cheese Shop - sample over 60 homemade cheeses from small regional producers, paired with wine or craft beer

  • Salamaria - serving a variety of salame de chocolate in the hip LX Factory district

  • Landeau Chocolate - their decadent chocolate cake is truly the best in town, so popular, they typically run out daily

Tip: All of the above recommendations are pinned to our complimentary Lisbon travel map. Get yours here!


3. Lisbon Coffee

Looking for morning coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up? Lisbon's thriving coffee scene will not disappoint. With a variety of options throughout this colorful capital city, we have highlighted our top recommendations below:

  • Fabrica Coffee Roasters - single-origin arabica beans

  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab - Danish café and bakery

  • Bettina Corallo - free chocolate samples with 1 euro espresso!

Also Read: 2 Week Italy Travel Itinerary

4. Portuguese Food

You cannot leave Lisbon without sampling the food native to the region. Popular Portuguese foods are salted cod, grilled sardines, beef sandwiches (prego) and pork sandwiches (bifana).

  • Nova Pombalina - affordable pork sandwiches (bifana)

  • Ze da Mouraria - excellent place to try codfish

  • Pateo 13 - barbequed seafood and meats

  • Sol e Pesca - order tins of sardines in this old tackle shop



Does Lisbon have craft beer?

1. Quimera Brewpub

This brewery serves 12 beers on tap in a medieval setting including a Belgian Blonde Ale, American Dark Lager, and a few experimental brews. If you are getting hungry for dinner, Quimera also serves NY deli-style sandwiches made with beer-braised meats, as well as, homemade burgers.

Also Read: Belem Day Trip from Lisbon


2. 8a Graca

Offering specular views and tasty craft brews, 8a Graca is a microbrewery on the northeast side of Lisbon. Enjoy a beverage from their 10 taps while gazing upon the Castelo de S. Jorge and colorful buildings of Lisbon.

Also Read: Florence Italy Complete Guide

3. Cerveteca Lisboa

This craft beer bar on the west side of town offers 14 rotating taps focusing on northern European artisanal brews and numerous local microbreweries. Cerveteca Lisboa is a one-stop-shop for tasting Lisbon's local craft beers.

Sample a flight at the bar or grab some cans to enjoy in a nearby park

3. A Ginjinha

This tiny Ginjinha bar serves Lisbon's famous cherry liqueur (Ginjinha) for roughly 2 euro per shot. This original Portuguese cherry liqueur is made from sour cherries and is worth a try. Take part in this local tradition, sample a shot of Ginjinha, and continue on your way.

Ask for Ginjinha served in an edible chocolate cup for an extra sweet finish

Planning Your Trip

How many days in Lisbon do you need?

In order to complete our suggested activities, we recommend spending at least three full days in Lisbon. If you want to add a day trip to the Porto, Cascais, or Aldeia do Meco beaches, you may consider adding 1-2 more days.

J&L Recommended: 3-5 Full Days


What month is the best to visit Portugal?

To take advantage of the pleasant weather while experiencing a minimal amount of tourists, the best time to visit Lisbon is on the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-November.

J&L Recommended: April - May & September - November

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Where is the best area to stay in Lisbon?

We lodged near Castelo de S. Jorge, which allowed for affordable lodging in a central location. The trade-off is stairs, as the Alfama neighborhood is an elevated part of the city. Should you prefer less elevation, the ideal neighborhood to stay in would be Baixa, although lodging may be more expensive in this central location.

Sandra's Apartment was in the perfect location to explore Lisbon while being tucked away off the main street enough to enjoy a peaceful night sleep. Her apartment was clean, filled with thoughtful touches, and overlooked a stunning view of Lisbon.

J&L Recommended Location: Sandra's Apartment

Use the search box below to select your travel dates and find a great deal on hotels in Lisbon.

Getting Around Lisbon

What is the best way to get around in Lisbon?

Getting around Lisbon is quick and easy. You can purchase single-trip tickets on the tram/bus/metro for €1.5, however, we recommend purchasing a 24-Hour CARRIS/Metro ticket for €6.60 (2022 pricing), which will allow you unlimited journeys on all CARRIS public transportation throughout Lisbon within 24 hours from its first use. These 24-hour tickets can be purchased in any metro station throughout Lisbon.

J&L Recommended: Use Rome2Rio or Google Maps to select your route in real-time.


How do you get to Lisbon from the Airport?

From the Lisbon airport [LIS], take the metro red line [Vm] towards São Sebastião and get off at the Alameda stop (9 stops). Switch metro lines to the green line [Vd] towards Cais do Sodré and get off at Martim Moniz (4 stops). Metro tickets can be purchased at the kiosks for €1.50 (2022 pricing) per journey.

J&L Recommended: Study Lisbon's metro map here

Looking for affordable International Data?

Want to avoid roaming charges and $10/day international data fees? Airalo allows you to download an eSIM to your phone and activate while in Portugal for a very affordable price. We bought 3 GB of data which was valid for 30 days from activation for only $7 (2022 pricing). It worked great throughout our entire trip and was very easy to install. Airalo offers eSIMs all around the world and we can validate that it works with ease in multiple European countries.

Get $3 off with code NBV8668 by signing up here!

Happy Adventuring!


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Travel Planning Resources

Below are the resources we use to plan all of our trips, find great deals, and pack our bags with affordable gear. We received a small kickback whenever you purchase something through a link on our site. But rest assured, there is no additional cost to you. In fact, in some cases you even get a greater discount for shopping through NBV! A Win, Win!