A little while ago, my friends and I decided to make a little tour through Portugal! We visited Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, Lagos and Faro during the end of August.
If you want to see some impressions of our trip, make sure to watch my Portugal video over here!
But now, let’s get started with 10 things to do and see in Lisbon!
#1 Join a free walking Tour
On the first morning after arrival, we decided to get to know the city by joining a free walking tour.
In order to join such a tour, you simply have to be at a designated place to meet your tour guides. If you want an overview of the available tours in Lisbon, make sure to check them out on this site here:
For ours, we had to be at the Rossio Square (also a must-see) in the morning. There we could decide wether we wanted to join a tour of Mouraria or Alfama.
We went with the tour through Mouraria, where our guide took us to the less crowded streets in Lisbon, told us about Fado and in the end took us up to see the city from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte!
#2 Take the tram
Lisbon is especially famous for its bright yellow trams. As we were quite exhausted after the walking tour, we decided to take a tram back to the inner city. However, we didn’t expect the ride itself to be as entertaining as it was.
The tram was pretty crowded, so we didn’t get any seats. As the streets down to the sea are rather uneven, it would often shake unexpectedly, speed up and brake abruptly. You often had to hold on to the bars in order not to fall.
Therefore, the ride was a lot more remarkable than we thought it would be. I would recommend taking the tram at least once in Lisbon! However, this driving style may not be everyone’s cup of tea!
#3 Make a day trip to Sintra
If you want to visit Sintra, you can catch a train from Lisbon to Sintra at the main station. (which is btw also worth a visit!).
Sintra was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The city itself is already beautiful and set in between a lot of nature. When visiting Sintra, a must-see is the Pena Palace, a colourful palace sat on a hill with a stunning view. I’d recommend taking the bus to get up and then visiting all the other stops as well.
Although we planned to visit all sights, we only saw the Pena palace as we didn’t get off the bus on time for the other places. If you’re taking a hop on hop off bus up the hill like us, make sure to get off at the stops, as the palace is the LAST stop of the ride.
I’ve got a lot more photos and some infos about Sintra, so if you want to know more about the day trip, make sure to let me know in the comments!
#4 Explore Mouraria
As mentioned before we took a free walking tour through Mouraria. I’d recommend you to take the tour as well! However, if you can’t, here are some of the things we learned during the tour:
Mouraria is a part of Lisbon that has been left mostly unharmed by the earthquake back in 1755. In this part of the city you will find a lot of narrow streets as well as colourful wall art.
It is also known as the place of origin of Fado. Fado is a musical genre especially typical for Lisbon. The singer (also called Fadista) sings about rather dreary and sad topics like heartache or social injustice. The singing is accompanied by a guitar.
Especially when strolling through the streets of Lisbon, you might find a lot of signs of Fado. You can search for portraits or wall arts of famous Fadistas. Fado is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. If you want to know even more, you can also visit the Museu do Fado located in Alfama.
One last thing our tour guide told us was that you can find a lot of “secret Chinese restaurants” in Mouraria. These restaurants are not marked as such on the outside, but you can identify them by the lights hanging outside the entrance.
#5 Enjoy the View from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
If you take the free walking tour through Mouraria, chances are high that it’s going to end at Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. It’s a viewpoint offering a beautiful view towards the city and the sea.
From this point you can see the inner city, the Ponte 25 de Abril (which looks a lot like the Golden Gate bridge) and Cristo Rei (another sight that looks quite familiar).
If you don’t take the free walking tour, I’d definitely recommend walking up here!
#6 Visit the tower of Belém
The tower of Belém is located a little outside Lisbon’s inner city in Belém. It’s one of the main sights of Lisbon and also part of the UNESCO world heritage.
If you want to go in, you should arrive quite early as it is crowded. We didn’t go into the tower, but instead enjoyed our time sitting besides it. There is a spacious square as well as a park.
#7 Have some Pastéis de Nata
Speaking of Belém, one of the most famous sweets, Pastel de Nata, has it’s origin in a monastery located there! The original Pastel de nata was created in the 18th century and is well-known ever since!
In Lisbon you can find a lot of different places selling the famous tart. Even vegan versions are available in some shops!
So make sure to taste one of these as they are delicious and a significant part of Portuguese food culture!
#8 Watch the waves at Praca de Comercio
Praca de Comercio is one of the most famous places in Lisbon. It’s a spacious square surrounded by a lot of beautiful buildings and sculptures.
Next to the place, you can then find a promenade as well as a beach. As this was our first encounter with the ocean during our Portugal tour, we decided to stay there a little to watch the waves. You can also get some ice cream to enjoy in the meantime!
The city beach itself is not that much for swimming as the waves were quite high and there were a lot of jellyfishes being washed up the beach.
#9 Join a Pub Crawl
As Lisbon is known for it’s numerous amount of bars, we decided to join a pub crawl to get to know the nightlife a little more!
The pub crawl started in the city centre and we visited several bars, where we could get some shots or drinks. Pub crawls are great opportunities to get to know the city as well as some new people!
The final stop of our tour was going to be a surprise club at the beach. The club was set at a spacious outdoor venue. However, it was rather on the fancier side, so make sure to wear something neutral or a little more elegant.
#10 Relax at Jardim da Cerca da Graça
On the way up to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte you might pass the Jardim da Cerca da Graça – A little garden with some benches and a little canopy.
I enjoyed this place even more than the final viewing point as there weren’t a lot of people here and you could relax on one of the benches.
Furthermore, you were a little closer to the rooftops of Lisbon, so you get to see the city in a new angle!
I really hope I could provide you with some less known things to do in Lisbon and help you plan your next trip!
If you have any further questions or any other tips, feel free to leave them in the comments!
Thanks for reading!