30 Best Things to do in Lisbon

By David Bolaños on Jun 07, 2022

When planning a getaway to Lisbon Portugal, the gorgeous hot weather and historic landmarks are what probably spring to mind. While that might be reason enough to visit, there’s actually so much more hidden around this incredibly special city.

A mix of Spanish-style religious tradition, Latin dance and African influences, Lisbon offers a unique cultural experience that travelers are unlikely to find anywhere else in the world. With over six million tourists every year, a visit to Portugal’s capital should be at the top of your list.

In Lisbon, the summer months of June, July and August are the hottest, but will also be the busiest. We recommend visiting Lisbon in April and May or September in order to make the most of the good weather without as many crowds. In this blog, we’ll discuss aspects of the cuisine, sights and landmarks, activities and more to help adventurers plan their trip around the best things to do in Lisbon.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Sao Jorge Castle
  • 2. Tagus Estuary River
  • 3. Museu da Cerveja
  • 4. E-bike tour to Arrabida
  • 5. Ponte 25 de Abril
  • 6. Cascais beach
  • 7. Belem Tower
  • 8. Lisboa Market
  • 9. Day trip to Nazaire
  • 10. Try Ginjinha
  • 11. Yoga
  • 12. Miradouros
  • 13. Fado Museum
  • 14. Wine Tasting
  • 15. Surfing lesson
  • 16. Rua Augusta
  • 17. Luz Stadium: Benfica
  • 18. Santa Justa Elevator
  • 19. Try Paseis de Belem
  • 20. Boat Party
  • 21. Cabo de Roca
  • 22. Travel Tram 28 Style
  • 23. Jeronimos Monestary
  • 24. Praca do Comercio
  • 25. Alfama
  • 26. Santa Justa
  • 27. Oceanario de Lisbon
  • 28. Fiera de Ladra
  • 29. Estoril Beach
  • 30. Santo Antonio Festival (June only)

Sao Jorge Castle

The Sao Jorge Castle, set on a hill of the same name, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon Portugal. Located at the highest point in the town, the Sao Jorge castle offers visitors dreamy panoramic views over the city.

Tickets cost €10 to enter (equivalent to $10.75 USD), and the site is open daily between 9 am and 6 pm. This is a must-see for your Portugal itinerary.

Tagus Estuary

Lisbon marks the start of the longest river in Iberia, the Tagus. Traversing through the city, this body of water reaches all the way into Eastern Spain, past the city of Madrid. From boat rides to casual walks, the Tagus estuary offer tourists plenty of activities for their Lisbon itinerary (many of which are free).

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon

Embrace a life without borders! Work, stay, and explore at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon!

Museu da Cerveja

Rated as one of the best things to do in Portgual, Lisbon’s Museu da Cerveja literally translates to the museum of beer. For ale connoisseurs or beer lovers, this is a must.

A ticket includes a tour, beer teachings, and of course tasting. Therefore, this one is not for children. It shouldn’t break the bank either, with entry costing just €3.50 (approximately $3.75 USD).

E-bike tour to Arrabida

Lisbon is an incredibly walkable city and has lots of public transport options for visitors who don’t feel like being on their feet.

To experience the city and its surroundings in a different way, try an 8-hour e-bike tour to Arrabida. As an eco-friendly way to explore the coastline and mountains all in one day, it’s one of the top things to do in Lisbon, Portugal. Tickets cost €70, which is approximately $75 USD.

Ponte 25 de Abril

Tourists to Lisbon would be forgiven for thinking that San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is in front of them because the Ponte 25 de Abril looks almost identical. The huge red structure can be found in the South of the city, crossing the Tagus river.

As the longest suspension bridge in Europe, a cycle across this iconic landmark should make it into the Lisbon itinerary.


Cascais beach

Upon arrival, it can be a surprise to some in Lisbon that there are many beaches within reach. Cascais is a buzzing beachy spot on the Portuguese Riviera to the west of the capital.

With amenities like bars and restaurants to keep fueled up between those tanning hours. Better yet, this is one of the many free things to do in Lisbon, since entry to the beach costs nothing.

Belem Tower

Otherwise known as the Tower of Saint Vincent, Belem Tower is a UNESCO world heritage site located on the Northern side of Lisbon’s river. A visit to the city is incomplete without seeing the tower, which is rich in 16th Century architecture.

Those looking for historical things to do in Lisbon will appreciate the Belem Tower’s links to King Manuel I, who ensured the rigid fortifications of the castle. Tickets are free with the Lisboa Card.


Lisboa Market

When it comes to fun things to do in Lisbon, there’s nothing better than heading to the bustling markets. While there are a few different markets and stalls dotted across the city, the gastronomy district of Campo de Ourique is our personal favorite.

Tourists can even guarantee samples at six delicious locations through a guided market tour, complete with secret local knowledge.

Day trip to Nazaire

Every few months in recent years, the gigantic tidal waves at Nazaire (and the crazy surfers who try to ride those waves) go viral all over the internet. Only a short train ride away from Portugal’s capital, it comes as no surprise that this is one of the most popular day trips for visiting tourists.

The best time to see big waves at Nazaire is during the winter, so a day trip is easily one of the top things to do in Lisbon in December or January.

Try Ginjinha

Those looking for a deeper dive into Portuguese culture and cuisine might be delighted to find a gorgeous deep red sour cherry liqueur, known as Ginjinha. While it’s one of the more unusual things to do in Lisbon, it’s an iconic delicacy that represents the country as a whole.

Tasting similar to a cherry-flavored dessert wine, Ginjinha is served in a shot glass but is meant to be sipped slowly. At approximately 18% ABV and only €1 per glass, it’s worth a try for most travelers.


While it’s not Lisbon-specific, the number and variety of yoga and wellness opportunities in Lisbon are endless.

For travelers who prefer to start their day with exercise or spend rainy days indoors, this could be the perfect fix. With slower flows for newbies, hot yoga and even a style of dance yoga called Lila movement on offer, it is one of the top things to do in Lisbon when it’s raining.


Literally translating to the word: viewpoint, miradouros are high-ground outdoor sightseeing spots that overlook the city. In fact, those lucky enough to visit on a clear day can experience some of the best views in Lisbon.

There are tons of miradouros that make a great daytime activity when searching for what to do in Lisbon, Portugal. Some of our favorites include: Santo Estavao Belvedere and Senhora Do Monte.

Fado Museum

Fado is a type of traditional folk music that’s native to Portugal and is usually composed of singing and guitar. But it’s not as popular as it used to be. Therefore, the Fado museum is an ode to one of Portugal’s best cultural and historical traditions and is an important part of keeping that tradition alive.

We appreciate that many explorers wish to make the most of the hot weather in Lisbon, so this is probably better suited for those looking for things to do in Lisbon in December while it’s colder. Entry costs just €5.00 (or less with the Lisbon Card).

Wine Tasting

The temperature, terrain and air quality in Lisbon all make it a perfect region for making wine. In fact, grape growing has been going on in these vineyards for as long as time can remember. That makes an urban wine tour and tasting experience one of the best things to do in Lisbon.

Explore the reds, whites and rose’s from the comfort of the fields they were grown in, and learn all about the winemaking process from the very people who make the delicacy year-round.

Surfing Lesson

Although the waves in Nazaire might make surfing in Portugal seem impossible, there are actually a few beginner-friendly options on Lisbon’s doorstep.

Renowned local company: Total Surf Camp will bring newbie and experienced surfers alike an experience that can only be described as one of the top things to do in Lisbon (maybe even the whole of Portugal). With individual and group surfing lessons, as well as packages lasting between 4 and 11 days, there really is something to suit every level.

Rua Augusta

Rua Augusta is famous for being Lisbon’s most popular pedestrian street, with plenty of shopping and commercialization. It’s located just a ten-minute tram ride away from high-quality accommodation options.

Cafes and shops line Rua Augusta, with plenty of the city’s main historical attractions nearby. For many visitors, it’s a must-see and becomes one of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon.

Luz Stadium: Benfica

Fear not, sports fans. In just about every major European city, a different soccer team rules. Here in Lisbon, the team is Benfica, and their home stadium, the Luz, is open to visit.

If a tour isn’t special enough, try to get tickets on game day. For the lucky fans who can get their hands on tickets, attending a Benfica game is easily considered one of the top things to do in Lisbon at night and is a great alternative to the nightclub and bar scene.

Santa Justa Elevator

Want something else to add to the cool things to do in Lisbon list? Try ticking off the Santa Justa; an ancient metal elevator box dating all the way back to the 1940s.

For a little over €5, tourists can ride the old elevator (which was originally built for transportation reasons) and reach the viewing platform at the top. On the other hand, some prefer to walk to the top, experiencing those same gorgeous panoramic views for free.

Try Pasteis de Belem

Pasteis de Nata, or Portuguese custard tarts, are some of the most famous sweet snacks on the planet. But these delicious delicacies were created by monks in 1837 and originally called Pasteis de Belem. With a recipe that is still secret today, the true Pasteis de Belem can only be found at one bakery in the city of Lisbon.

Considered one of the top things to do in Lisbon by locals, enjoy a creamy custard tart hot or cold when visiting Fabrica Pasteis de Belem.

Boat Party

Discover Lisbon from the middle of the Tagus river.

Not only will a boat party show off some of the city’s best-unseen hotspots, but will also give travelers the chance to make new friends and meet like-minded people. For those solo-traveling Portugal, a boat party is a no-brainer for the Lisbon itinerary.

With an open bar, on-board DJ, dance floor and photographer, what’s not to love?

Cabo de Roca

The Cabo de Roja region offers stunning beaches, walking trails and arguably some of the sweetest views in all of Portugal. While it’s not actually considered one of the main things to do in Lisbon, Portugal’s golden coastline shouldn’t be ignored.

Located 32km away from the Capital, many are surprised to find that the bus costs only €4. This makes the journey to Cabo de Roca one of the best value trips in Europe.

Travel Tram 28 Style

Speaking of public transport, the trams in Lisbon are similar to those found in San Francisco and look like they belong on a postcard. The number 28, in particular, connects two main Lisbon districts of Campo Ourique and Martim Moniz, while also passing by many of the city’s sights.

Retaining many of their old rickety features since the tram was introduced in the 1930s, riding the 28 tram is also one of the easiest ways to get around the city. For this reason, it’s one of the best things to do in Lisbon in February or any of the rainier months when walking isn’t an option.

Jeronimos Monastery

What is Lisbon famous for?

Generally, the most famous Lisbon monuments, stories and cultures all have religious connotations. The Jeronimos Monastery is no exception, complete with ancient architecture and the wild memoirs to go with it.

A visit to the monastery costs €16, which also includes the Belem Tower (which we mentioned earlier) and entry to the National Archaeological Museum.

Praca do Comercio

While it’s not the fashion capital of the world, shopping is still one of the most popular things to do in Portugal. Lisbon’s streets are open to the masses, lined to the brim with shopping and souvenir opportunities.

But navigating the streets can be difficult for those who are unfamiliar. Thankfully, the Praca do Comercio offers a meeting point, as it is the huge main square in the city. The plaza is centrally located with gorgeous views overlooking the river.


It was traditionally outside of the main city gates, home to the poorest in society. But today, Alfama is one of the most popular hotspots in Lisbon, mainly due to its history and colorful cultural sights.

A guided tour is the best way to explore this district and get some real local know-how on the best spots to find hidden gems. It’s located at the southeast corner of Lisbon and reaches all the way to the Tagus river.

Oceanario de Lisbon

It seems like the city of Lisbon has it all: history, architecture, cultural music and good food. Fortunately, Lisbon caters to nature and animal lovers too. In fact, one of the best things to do in Lisbon when it’s raining is to visit the indoor aquarium, Oceanario de Lisbon.

Complete with guided tours, the Oceanario offers excursions such as overnight sleeping with sharks, Fado music shows and even off to the Tagus to see the native river dolphins. Tickets start from €19 per adult.

Fiera de Ladra

The Fiera de Ladra, or Flea Market, is one of the most authentic things to do in Portugal. Lisbon’s locals handmake many of the wearables items on offer, and the atmosphere is a lively, bustling forum for buying and selling. Just how a marketplace should be!

The types of artisanal goods found at the markets can vary, but there are usually rugs, jewelry and macrame plant hangers, for example. Don’t forget to stop for food at nearby cafes, where the chefs use traditional local recipes that have been passed down through generations.

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon

Embrace a life without borders! Work, stay, and explore at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon!

Estoril Beach

On the drive over to Cascais to the West of the city, many tourists will make a stop at the beach town of Estoril. You guessed it; another gorgeous set of beaches with stunning views, fine dining restaurants and crystal clear waters.

If beaches are a must for your Lisbon itinerary, then Estoril is a great choice for a day trip because it’s within just a half-hour drive of Portugal’s capital.

Santo Antonio Festival (June only)

Finally, those lucky enough to see Lisbon in June cannot miss the most famous festival in the country, Santo Antonio festival. As the patron saint of the city, this religious celebration occurs every single year and is definitely something to write home about.

There’s no denying this is one of the more unusual things to do in Lisbon, but should not be written off by those who aren’t devout Christians. The festival also showcases puppet shows, sporting competitions and delicious foods, parades and more.

Lisbon FAQs

  • How many days to spend in Lisbon Portugal?

    It really depends on the type of trip. But as a minimum, we recommend at least 2 nights and 3 days spent in the city to properly explore the sights and experience some of the different sides of Lisbon. 

    Ideally though, one week would give most visitors enough time to relax at the ocean, trek through the historical buildings and try many of Lisbon’s local dishes.

  • What is Lisbon Portgual famous for?

    Lisbon is most famous for two things: 

    1. It’s strong religious history, of which evidence can be found throughout the city
    2. It’s location on the Tagus river and vicinity to the beach, which most visitors love.

    These two factors, along with many more positives, make Lisbon one of the most popular city break vacation destinations in Europe.

  • Where to stay in Lisbon Portugal?

    That’s easy! Selina’s Secret Garden location offers a range of comfortable living options, from shared dorms all the way to luxurious suites. Tucked away in the Cais do Sodre neighborhood, visitors will find a packed schedule full of optional activities and events to make the most out of their time in Lisbon.

  • How to spend a weekend in Lisbon?

    As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Lisbon, Portugal. So much so, that it can be pretty hard to choose how to spend the weekend. 

    For a weekend Lisbon itinerary, we recommend waking up and grabbing a Pasteis de Belem from the original bakery, before spending the day exploring some of the old landmarks such as: the Belem Tower, Sao Jorge Castle and Jeronimos Monastery. For the second day, why not take the bus to one of the nearby beach towns and spend the day sunbathing on the sand? End it with a trip to the flea market to pick up some souvenirs.

  • What is the weather like in Lisbon?

    Year-round, the weather in Lisbon, Portugal is fairly warm and dry. In the coldest month of January, temperatures can reach as low as 47F, but in the summer months, the average is 82F. 

    The best time to visit is around April and May, or September time since the weather is still hot without the huge crowds of summer holidaymakers. 

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