Top 10 things to do in Lisbon
Lisbon in Portugal may not be as popular as Barcelona, Paris or even Rome, but it is a beautiful rustic destination waiting to be explored, and a wonderful entry point to the rest of Portugal.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the fascinating capital city of Portugal, a country known for its ceramics, wines, beaches and friendly smiles – and one of my favourite destinations! Built on seven hills with beautiful views and with it’s amazing affordable shopping and world-class beaches nearby, it’s no surprise that Lisbon was nominated as one of the best European cities to visit for a short stay in 2019.
If you’re visiting Portugal soon, these are my 10 top recommendations for Lisbon.
- Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium. Ranked the third best in the world, it is very interactive, and a great day out for the kids and adults alike. Walking among the tanks and feeling like the aquatic species are looking at you instead you at them is a great delight.
- After the Aquarium, continue your journey through Parque das Nacoes and visit the child-friendly exhibits at the Knowledge Pavilion. From there, stroll to the trendy waterfront restaurants for lunch end your day with a ride on the Telecabine Lisboa cable car overlooking the beautiful Tagus River.
- If you are in Lisbon on the second or fourth Sunday of the month, there is a large flea market called Feira de Sao Pedro, where you can find many antiques and handicrafts for sale. Go early!
- A visit to the suburb of Bairro de Belem is highly recommended. Visit the Jeronimos Monastery, constructed in 1501. Within 10 minutes from the Monastery you can also visit the famous Tower of Belem. This tower served as an embarkation and disembarkation point for the Portuguese explorers.
- Foodies, you must visit the Time Out Market Lisbon! Here you can find a variety of restaurants, some food courts, bars and even a nightclub. This Market was voted the 2nd best place to visit in Lisbon within only eight months of its opening.
- If you are a seafarer, why not take in the view of Lisbon on a 2-hour sailing trip from Belem, all the while enjoying a glass of amazing Portuguese wine? This is a unique way to see the Ponte 25 de Abril, the famous bridge which very much resembles the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
- If you dare to drive on the opposite side of the road, hiring a car for a day or two is a great idea. It allows you to get out of the CBD a little and explore neighbouring areas in and around Lisbon. Take a scenic drive to Sintra and the Pena Palace, which looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale! A visit to the quaint fishing village Sesimbra is also recommended, and the steep walk up to the amazing castle is really worth the effort.
- The Lisbon area is surrounded by four very different coastlines. From the wild surfing beaches of Guincho and Ericeira to the soft golden sands and turquoise waters of the Serra da Arrabida.
- For romance, I recommend dinner at one of Lisbon’s popular restaurants situated in Alfama, to enjoy some local cuisine while listening to the haunting sounds of Fado, a unique and beautiful singing style only known in Portugal. If dinner and music isn’t your thing, head to the top of Elevador da Santa Justa and watch the sunset from the viewpoint. Beautiful Lisbon shines bright after sunset, and you can take an amazing selfie with the wonderful castle in the background to add to your memories!
- For a relaxing way to see some of Lisbon’s more popular suburbs, take the Tram 28. This is a classic tram ride on a yellow tram through some of the older areas in Lisbon. Sit back and try imagining what the yesteryears where like in Lisbon!
Lisbon is just beautiful. I can’t wait until I get to go back to my second home for the food, music, shopping and more memories to be made. If Lisbon sounds like it is for you, get in touch to book a holiday to Portugal you’ll remember for many years to come.
Written by Tanya Cardona