Lisbon is the oldest city in Western Europe. The first mention of it dates back to 205 BC. Can you imagine how many beautiful historical monuments are here? But how to choose the best of them?
During our trip to Portugal, we spent a day and a half in Lisbon, and, of course, we did not have time to see more than half of the sights. So that you can plan your visit to Lisbon, I have prepared an article The Best 30 Lisbon attractions. Among them are the main attractions, as they say, “must see”, as well as additional ones that are worth seeing if you have more than 1-2 days in reserve.
Lisbon map with landmarks
No. 1. Lisbon Cathedral
One of the main temples of the city, the Cathedral of Lisbon, attracts tourists, first of all, with a unique combination of architectural styles. Its design traces elements of baroque, gothic, rococo and neoclassicism. Date of construction – beginning of the XII century. They say that St. Anthony was baptized here, who later became the patron saint of Lisbon.
The height of the building is 90 m. The Cathedral includes a central hall, two towers, several chapels, a spacious courtyard, utility rooms.
Tourists most often inspect the treasury. It is located to the right of the south tower, on the second floor. Here is a unique old collection of silver, church costumes, statues.
Lisbon Cathedral, located on Largo da Se Square, is open daily from 9:00 to 19:00.
Entrance to the Cathedral is free; entrance to the treasury 2,5 €, claustro 2,5 €, complex ticket (treasury + claustra) 4 €.
No. 2. Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)
Commerce Square serves as a “gateway” to the central district of the city – Baishu. One of the best sights of Lisbon was built in the 16th century. Today it is surrounded by buildings, all yellow, which houses shops, cafeterias, bars. In the center of Commerce Square, there is an equestrian statue of the King of Portugal, Jose I. A picturesque view of the Tagus River opens from here.
№ 3. Quay Tagus
The next attraction in Lisbon (Portugal) is a 2-minute walk from Commerce Square. Tagus embankment is the center of the city’s nightlife. There are discos, restaurants, pubs. As a result, it is crowded at any time of the day.
No. 4. The Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa)
Perhaps the most recognizable landmark in Lisbon is Elevador di Santa Justa. What is this, beginner travelers will ask? This is the name of the elevator lift, which covers the Rua do Ouro street and the Largu do Carmo square. It helps to overcome a steep hillside and get from one area of the city to another. Not so long ago, the elevator was recognized as an architectural monument of national importance. The height of the building is 45 m. The facade is decorated with neo-Gothic style motifs.
A trip in the elevator (one way) will cost 1.50 € (price for September 2018), when using a travel card (zapping) only 1.30 €.
Since the elevator, like the Lisbon trams, has long turned into a tourist attraction, there are always lines to climb.
At an altitude of 30 m above the ground, a viewing platform with panoramic views of the capital of Portugal is equipped. Entrance is paid – € 1.5. Integrated ticket (up, down by elevator + observation deck) 5.15 €. With the Lisboa Card you can visit the attractions for free.
What is the catch of a complex ticket, I personally do not understand (1.50 * 3 = 4.50 euros, it’s cheaper than 5.15. Hmm …)
To get to the observation deck, from the level where the elevator comes, you must still climb the spiral staircase.
You can go up to the elevator level on foot and for free. It’s difficult to find the road the first time, but the main thing is to follow the signs for the Carmelite Monastery.
You can also save on visiting the observation deck. From the level where the elevator rises, you can also make a good tour of the surroundings.
Elevators are open daily in the winter (November to April) from 7:30 to 21:00. In the summer period (from May to October) and during the Easter period (March 26 – April 01) – from 7:30 to 23:00.
Observation deck: in the winter from 9:00 to 21:00. In the summer and Easter (26.03 – 01.04) – from 9:00 to 23:00.
No. 5. Carmelite Monastery
The Carmelite monastery was founded in the middle of the XIV century in honor of the victory of King Juan I over the army of Juan I. This was the period of the Portuguese interregnum. For the construction of the monastery chose the Gothic style. It was one of the most beautiful monuments of architecture, but the earthquake of 1775 destroyed its main part. Today, on the territory of the surviving part of the complex is the archaeological museum.
No. 6. Rossio Square
If you are interested in what to see in Lisbon on your own, pay attention to the picturesque square in the historical part of the city – Rossio. Around it – according to the good Portuguese tradition are numerous cafes, souvenir shops, and pastry shops.
The square was built as a tribute to the Brazilian monarch Pedro I. In the center of the square is a monument to him.
See also “Lisbon Airport: how to get there”
No 7. Gift shop The Fantastic World Of Portuguese Sardines (Praça Dom Pedro IV 39)
Funny gift shop with a national Portuguese product – sardines. The store is decorated in a big top style, and you can buy sardines in souvenir packages, for example, such:
For example, a person born in 1988 can be presented with a jar with the inscription 1988. The names of celebrities born that year are written on the jar.
No. 8. Cafe A Brasileira
This is a meeting place for business people, youth, tourists. It is always crowded, but clean and comfortable, great coffee and fresh pastries are served.
The hallmark of the institution is the Art Nouveau style interior (the French name for Art Nouveau). Guests are looking with interest at the oak bar with an abundance of gilded and metal details, antique chandeliers and candelabra, and a mechanical clock in a wooden frame.
The exact address of the attraction: Rua Garrett 120-122, Largo do Chiado.
The sign is very bright, you will not pass by. Without even knowing about this cafe, I photographed a sign passing by.
No. 9. Cafe Manteigaria, Portuguese custard pies factory (Rua do Loreto 2)
Another cafe next door. Surely, you’ve heard about the traditional Portuguese pastry Pastéis de Nata (pastel de nata). Many guidebooks recommend going for a pastel to a pastry shop in Belem (see No. 23). I tried the pastel in Belem and here. So, here I liked the cakes even more. By the way, to get inside, you also need to defend a rather big queue.
No. 10. Avenida da Liberdade
This is the name of the wide boulevard in the central area of Lisbon, the construction of which began in 1879. This was an important period in the development of the city and the arrangement of its northern part. The length of the street is 1100 m, width – 90 m. Today, fashionable hotels, boutiques and restaurants are located here. Many green spaces, monuments, footpaths. Avenida da Liberdade is called the Lisbon Champs-Elysees.
Let’s move to the eastern parts of Lisbon
No. 11. Saint George Castle (São Jorge Castle)
The fortress on the highest hill of the city proudly bears the name of St. George. It can be seen from any area of the capital. They say that the history of the city began from this place. According to the chronicles, in the 7th century BC a small settlement was created here.
The attraction has been rebuilt many times. The last large-scale restoration took place in the middle of the 20th century. Today, several museums, a restaurant, and souvenir shops work in the complex.
Here it is, on the left side of the hill (view from the observation deck, see No. 12):
Around the castle is a picturesque park with a dozen architectural monuments. The most famous among them was erected in honor of King Athos I. Wild ducks and geese, peacocks live here.
The complex is open to visitors from 9:00 to 18:00 from November to February and from 9:00 to 21:00 from March to October. The last entrance is possible half an hour before closing.
Adult entry fee is € 10. Children under 12 years old – free of charge. For disabled people and tourists over 65 years old – € 8.5.
No. 12. Observation deck Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen.
Lisbon is a city on seven hills, just like Rome, therefore, there are many viewing platforms. Here you can see from above the areas of Se and Castelo, see the bridge on April 25 and even see the elevator of Santa Justa and the Carmelite Monastery.
No. 13. Observation deck Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
View of the sea, the Pantheon and the church of São Vicente of Fora.
No. 14. Observation deck Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Literally 50 meters from the previous one. This observation deck is considered one of the most beautiful, because framed in the Portuguese style – with a swimming pool, flowering trees and, of course, azulejo tiles.
Read also my guide “How to travel to Portugal on your own: tips and tricks”
No. 15. Museum of Fado
Fado is a music genre native to Portugal. At home, he is not something that is popular. For the Portuguese, this is a cult, a tribute to traditions and ancestors. Music in this style necessarily plays in cafes, restaurants, at all events and celebrations, just on the streets.
The Fado Museum is located in Lisbon. It was opened in 1998. Here are sculptures and photographs of famous performers of the national musical genre of Portugal, historical documents, records and instruments. In the museum you can take singing lessons, purchase themed souvenirs.
Opening hours: from 10 to 18:00. Closed Monday.
A standard ticket costs € 5. Children under 12 years old have free admission. From 13 to 25 years old – € 2.5. Visitors over 65 years old – € 4.30. With Lisboa Card 30% off.
No 16. Pantheon
The National Pantheon of Portugal (another name is the Church of St. Engrasia) is a wonderful monument of architecture in the late Baroque style. It is located at Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa.
The Pantheon was erected in 1862. It is a tall building (80 m) made of pink marble. At the top is a voluminous dome. Near the main entrance there are four columns.
Many Portuguese kings and prominent figures: artists, politicians, poets, found eternal refuge here.
The Church of St. Engrasia is closed on Mondays. Opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday – from 10:00 to 17:00. Entrance fee is € 3. With Lisboa Card visit is free.
No 17. Azulejo Museum
Another national treasure of Portugal is Azulejo. This is a decorative clay or ceramic fired tile. The size of one tile is standard – 14 cm by 14 cm. Azuleja is decorated with most of Portugal’s multi-story and private houses, the facades of restaurants, shopping centers, etc.
There is a museum in the capital dedicated to this type of Portuguese art. Here is a large collection of azulejos from different times. New designs developed by modern designers and artists are also of interest.
The museum occupies part of the territory of the monastery of the Mother of God. Open from Tuesday to Sunday. Monday is a day off. Opening hours: from 10:00 to 18:00.
The cost of admission for guests from 13 to 65 years is 5 euros. Admission is free up to 12 years. Over 65 years old – € 2.5. With Lisboa Card visiting is free.
No 18. Tram 28.
One of the most interesting tourist attractions is an old wooden tram of bright yellow color at number 28. It was built in the 30s of the last century.
Tram 28 route:
Route 28 covers the most famous tourist areas of the city, namely:
- Quarters Mauraria, Alfama, Baisha, Chiado;
- Temple of Santa Engracia;
- Castle of St. George;
- Commerce Area;
- Elevator Santa Zhusta.
The journey from one end of the route to the other takes about 50 minutes.
The cars have wooden seats, narrow walkways. To inform the driver about the intention to get out, just pull the rope. She is at the exit of the cabin.
Now about the fares. If you buy a ticket from the driver, you have to pay € 3. If you have a zapping card (a kind of travel card, purchased by tourists on frequent trips by public transport in Lisbon), then the fare will be reduced to € 1.35.
Entertainment, of course, is not for everybody. There are always a lot of tourists in trams, it’s almost impossible to take a seat by the window, and to go standing up so that you can’t see anything – I personally don’t see the point.
And let’s be transported to the Belem region.
No 19. Jeronimos Monastery
Official website http://www.mosteirojeronimos.gov.pt/pt/index.php
Another magnificent architectural monument is the Jeronimos Monastery. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in 1502 The complex is located in the suburbs of Lisbon, an area called Belen.
The monastery was built in the late Gothic manual style. It is directly related to the era of the great geographical discoveries. It is here, according to the chronicles, that Vasco da Gama and his team prayed to the Lord before their trip to India. The construction of the complex began with the money received by the navigator from the sale of Indian goods. Here, by the way, he found his eternal refuge. In addition to him, some Portuguese monarchs and poets rest in the monastery.
The complex includes the main church, named after the Holy Virgin Mary, aisles, chapels, monks’ living quarters. All these buildings are located around the perimeter of the courtyard.
The interior of the monastery is dominated by baroque and classicist motifs. The walls are decorated with exquisite lace carvings. The refectory is decorated with antique azulejo tiles. Many bas-reliefs, stone statues.
From the center of Lisbon, you can reach the Jeronimos Monastery in several ways:
- buses No. 28, 714, 727, 729, 751;
- tram route number 15.
Admission is € 10, with Lisboa Card admission is free.
I would advise you to spend the whole day in the Belem district if you plan to visit the monastery and other museums. In addition, the queue to the monastery is huge!
The only way to save time and not stand in line at the ticket office is to pre-purchase a Lisboa Card, which costs € 19 for 24 hours, on the same day you can visit other attractions for free (or at a discount), for example, Belem Tower (full ticket price 6 euros) and the carriage museum (the cost of a full ticket is 8 euros) + free transport (including tram number 28 and the Santa Justa lift). Buy a card >> .
No 20. Maritime Museum
Portugal is a country of great sailors. While in Lisbon, you should definitely visit the Maritime Museum, located in the Santa Maria de Belen area, next to the Jeronimos Monastery.
The museum covers an area of 50 thousand m². There are 20 thousand exhibits. The collection consists of old maps and navigational instruments, ship models, portraits and sculptures of sailors. There are even whole ships!
The attraction is open to visitors daily. In winter (October to April) the museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00. From May to September – from 10:00 to 18:00.
Now about the prices of tickets. Children under 3 years old – free of charge. From 4 to 12 years old – € 3.25. From 13 to 65 years old – € 6.5. Over 65 years old – € 3.25.
No. 21. Monument to the Discoveries
The main attractions of Lisbon must include an ensemble created in honor of the era of the great geographical discoveries. The main one, a monument to the discoverers, was erected on the banks of the Tagus River. The grand opening took place in 1960.
The attraction is a white limestone ship. On the nose is the figure of the inspirer of the seafarers, infante Heinrich the Navigator, the son of King Juan I. Behind him are 32 more portraits of prominent people. Among them it should be noted:
- Fernand Magellan;
- Vasco da Gama;
- Diogo Kahn;
- Nicolau Coelho.
The total height of the building is 52 m. The base reaches a width of 20 m.
No. 22. Belem Tower
What to see in Lisbon yet? Of course, Torri di Belem! This is a fort in the homonymous area, which is part of the Portuguese capital. Belem Tower was erected in the middle of the XVI century. This is a bastion and a four-story building, made in the Manueline architectural style. Inside are vaulted ceilings, high stone arches of white color. The railing is decorated with images of Christ. A very beautiful place with a special atmosphere!
How to get to the Belem area has already been mentioned. The easiest way to use ground public transport: buses number 28, 714, 727, 729, 751 or tram route number 15.
The tower is open to visitors all year round. From October to April, opening hours are from 10:00 to 17:30. In the summer period, namely from May to September, the visiting time increases by 60 minutes (10: 00-18: 30).
Weekends: every Monday, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 13, and finally another date – December 25.
Admission is € 6, with a Lisboa Card free of charge.
You can limit yourself to an external sightseeing if you have little time. Or drink wine with a beautiful view. Funny, in Lisbon there are several places similar to our “coffee with you” points, but in Portugal it is not as popular as “wine with a view”, that is, wine with a view. Prices, of course, are rather big (from 4 to 11 euros per half a glass), but it’s unusual 🙂
No. 23. Pastel de Belem cafe
And this landmark of Lisbon is a paradise for the sweet tooth. Here, in the Café Pastel de Belem, they prepare and serve Portuguese delicacy – a puff pastry cake with custard. The owners of the place own copyrights to the recipe and the name of the treat. Confectioners who have the honor of working in a cafe are said to sign a vow of silence. In 2011, the cake was named one of the seven gastronomic wonders of the Portuguese Republic.
The exact address of Cafe Paschelle Belem is: Rua Belém 84-92, 1300-085. Opening hours: daily, without breaks and days off from 8:00 to 23:00.
The average cost of a cake is € 1.5. It is sprinkled with powdered sugar and optionally with cinnamon. Served with aromatic coffee.
You can sit in a restaurant (it will be more expensive), or take it with you.
№ 24. National Coach Museum
Official website http://museudoscoches.gov.pt/pt/visite/
The National Coach Museum is another attraction in the Belen district.
Look for it at: Av. da Índia 136, 1300-004 Lisboa. Here is one of the best carriage displays in the world. The main part is dedicated to crews dating from the 17th-20th centuries. Most of them were once owned by the Portuguese royal family. The collection also has rare bikes, accessories, suits. A very bright and colorful place, especially for children!
Opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
Entrance fee is € 8, free with Lisboa Card.
No. 25. 25th April Bridge
Portugal’s most famous suspension bridge is always welcome! It crosses the mouth of the Tagus River and connects the northern part of the capital and the southern. The height of the structure is 70 m. Construction lasted 4 years, and ended in August 1966. This attraction is included in the list of “The longest suspension bridges in the world.” Its length is more than 2 thousand 200 m. Well, it’s hard not to notice its resemblance to the Golden Gate Bridge in California.
Such photos can be taken from the site above the IAAT Museum near the Belem region.
No. 26. Vasco da Gama Bridge
The cable-stayed structure crossing the Tagus River, until recently, proudly bore the title “The Longest Bridge in Europe.” Traffic on the bridge, named after the great navigator, started in 1998. There is a six-lane road. There are speed limits of 100 km / h in some areas.
No. 27. Cristo Rei, Lisbon’s Statue of Christ
In Lisbon, you must visit the statue of Christ (Cristo Rei) on your own. This is an entire architectural ensemble, which, in addition to the statue, consists of a library, two chapels, exhibition halls, souvenir shops, cafeterias. And, if the April 25 bridge is a copy of the California bridge, then the statue of Cristo Rey is a copy of the world-famous statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro.
The statue itself is simply huge. The height of the structure is 113 m, of which the base is 75 m, and the sculpture of Christ itself is 28 m. The construction was completed in 1959 and lasted about 10 years. This is a sign of gratitude to the Portuguese for the Lord that he fenced them from participation in the Second World War.
An elevator lift is located in the side wall of the monument, bringing everyone to a height of 82 m above sea level. There is an observation deck with great views of Lisbon.
The attraction is located on the banks of the Tagus River opposite the city. The easiest way to get to the statue of Christ in Lisbon is by water.
From the center we reach the metro station Cais do Sodre (green line, the terminal station). The fare is € 1.35 (if there is a zapping card). If there is no card, the ticket amount increases to € 1.50. The journey takes about 10 minutes.
We leave the car, follow the signs to the ferry. We need a flight to Casillas. He walks every 20 minutes. The fare is € 1.2.
There is a bus stop near the pier. We take route No. 101. The interval between flights is 30 minutes. A ticket can be bought from the driver – € 4 (round trip). The bus reaches the very base of the statue.
The complex is open daily from 9:00 to 18:00. You can enter the territory for free, but to get to the observation deck you need to pay € 5.
No. 28. Lisbon Aquarium
One of the most beautiful and largest aquariums in the world is located in the capital of Portugal. Exact address: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s / nº, 1990-005. It was opened in 1998. More than 1 million people visit the aquarium annually.
The complex has a research department of Marine Biology and Oceanography.
The oceanarium is divided into 4 sections:
- North Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of species of waterfowl are represented here.
- Anthractics is the habitat of penguins.
- Pacific Ocean. This section has become a habitat for sea otters, rare fish and mammals.
- Indian Ocean. The main part of the territory is a tropical forest with its inhabitants.
In the central aquarium live stingrays, sharks, jellyfish, sea dragons.
To fill the Lisbon Oceanarium, it took more than 7.5 million tons of water.
Opening hours: from 10 to 19:00.
Children under 3 years old have free admission to the aquarium. From 4 to 12 years the ticket costs € 12. From 13 to 64 years old – € 18. Visitors over 65 are given a discount (-6 euros). Buy a ticket online .
No. 29. Lisbon Zoo
The zoo in the capital of Portugal is one of the best in Europe. At the entrance, guests are greeted by two towers of historic importance. This is a kind of symbol of attraction.
The zoo was created at the end of the XIX century. Today, more than 2 thousand animals live, 300 species in all. The greatest interest among the audience is caused by white rhinos, which are on the verge of extinction.
On the territory there are children’s playgrounds, souvenir shops and cafeterias. There is even a dolphinarium where performances are arranged. Visitors pay only the entrance ticket to the zoo.
The attraction is open to the public daily. From September 21 to March 20, the opening hours are from 10:00 to 18:00. In the summertime (from March 21 to September 20) – from 10:00 to 20:00.
The zoo is located in the city center. This is the metro (blue line), Zoo station. Buses No. 701, 716, 726, 731, 746, 754, 755, 758, 768, 770. Stop – Sete Rios.
Children under 2 years old visit the zoo for free. From 3 to 12 years old – € 14.5. The cost of an adult admission ticket (from 13 to 65 years) is € 22. Visitors over 65 years old – € 16.
No. 30. The National Palace of Ajuda
Another beautiful neoclassical landmark of Lisbon is the Ajuda Palace. It was built in the first half of the XIX century. Here is a magnificent collection of decorative art. Guests can enjoy antique jewelry, furniture, accessories, glass and ceramics. Two floors are open. The first is a private room, the second is a hall for receptions.
Opening hours: from 10:00 to 18:00. Entrance ticket price is € 5. With Lisboa Card, free admission in winter.
Sights of Lisbon (Portugal) are diverse. Not a month is enough to visit everything. If possible, book a visit to Lisbon for at least 3-4 days, so you can quickly explore the main attractions, walk along the old streets, sit in restaurants, try pastel de nata in several pastry shops, and you can tell where they are most delicious!
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