TOP TEN: Lisbon | Portugal 

Visiting a new city? Don’t know what to do first? This Top Ten will take you through places that might not necessarily be on the average city tour, but are defiantly somewhere you should visit. If you’ve only got a few days or a whole week, these suggestions will show you the very best places to visit in the city.

Introducing Lisbon 

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon is the perfect destination for those wanting to be emersed in centuries of history. As the possession of the city changed hands many times over the years, you can find an eclectic mix of architecture including gothic, baroque and modern. The quaint winding streets of the Alfama district, the history of the Mouraria district and the nightlife of the Barrio Alto make Lisbon a perfect destination of you want a holiday with a lot of variety.

1. Alfama District

The oldest district in the city sprawls underneath the Castle of São Jorge with maze-like streets that are impossible to navigate unless you’re a local. Famed for its beauty, you will find breath-taking views of the city from the many restaurants located in this district.

2. São Jorge Castle

This Moorish castle occupies a hilltop overlooking the city itself and the Tagus river. Originally thought to have been constructed around the 6th century  BC, the castle is one of the best places to get an uninterrupted view of the city. A wander through the Alfama district to the castle will take you a few hours (as its pretty much all uphill) but its certainly worth it!

Price: 8,50€ (5,00€ student)

Find out more here:

3. Praça do Comércio

Head down to the riverside through the city centre and you will find yourself at the main square in the city. Originally home to the Royal Palace (destroyed by the 1755 earthquake) the square today is a vast expanse of around 35,000m squared!

Top Tip: Head along the quayside to Quiosque Ribeira das Naus, a little kiosk serving drinks with live music looking out over the river!

Find out more here:

4. Elevador de Santa Justa

The Santa Justa elevator is always said to be the best place to see the city from and many tourists agree, with hundreds lining up for hours to ride the short 45 metres. I think its just a good (if not better) to walk through the Old Town and up to the back of the Elevator where you can see pretty much the same view FOR FREE!

Price: 5€

Find out more here:

5. Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara

I personally think this is the best way to see the city, its just a short distance from Praça Restauradores and is relatively undiscovered by tourists. You can either walk up the hill (its tiring!) or take the tram Ascensor da Gloria (one of only 3 of its kind left in the city). Once you reach the park you can find benches and tables where you can sit and enjoy the view.

Top Tip: go around an hour before sunset with drinks and food so you can enjoy the sunset and seeing the city turn its lights on!

6. Sintra

Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located around 30km west of Lisbon. Easily accessible by train this beautiful town is definitely worth a visit, with narrow streets, beautiful architecture and pastries to die for! Queijadas de sintra are small sponge cakes unique to the town and can be found everywhere, try one! Aside from the town itself, there are also other attractions to visit nearby including infamous Pena Palace, Sintra Mountains and the Moorish Castle.

Directions: Rossio Station (right by Praça Restauradores)  – Sintra takes around 40 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes (on the hour and half-past) – tickets cost 4,30€ return

(I would recommend visiting Sintra and Pena National Palace on the same day as they are both out of Lisbon city and you would need to go to Sintra first to get to the palace)

7. Pena National Palace

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pena National Palace is a MUST if you are visiting Lisbon (or anywhere nearby!), its utterly amazing. Set in 200 hectares of parkland with plants from all over the world, the palace sits atop a hill as a beacon to the surrounding countryside. Famed for its brightly coloured exterior, it can often be seen from Lisbon itself on clear days!!

Price: 11,50€ (access to the park and palace) or 6,50€ (access to park only)

Directions: bus 434 from Sintra Train Station to Pena National Palace. There is usually one every 40 minutes and it costs 5€ return (tickets purchased on board)

Find out more here:

(I would recommend visiting Sintra and Pena National Palace on the same day as they are both out of Lisbon city and you would need to go to Sintra first to get to the palace)

8. Belém

Only 6km from the city centre of Lisbon, Belém is most notable for its pastries and the Jerónimos Monastery. Along with the Tower of Belém, the monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is accessible for a donation. You cant miss the Pastéis de Belém shop, its only a few minutes walk from the monastery with a blue canopy and there is normally quite a sizeable queue of people waiting to try these delicacies. Similar to a custard tart, the history of these pastries dates back to the 1820s when monks started to sell them to create revenue for the monastery.

Top Tip: covered shoulders are required for entry to the chapel, so remember a scarf if its a hot day!

Directions: tram 15 or 127 from Praça do Comércio or train from Cais do Sodré train station (both cost around 3€ return)

Find out more about the pastries here:

9. Cabo de Roca

42 km west of Lisbon you can find the most westerly point of mainland Europe! With stunning views of the sea and a beautiful landscape this is something you should visit if you have the time. Getting to it is a bit tricky as there are no direct transport links from Lisbon but once there its worth it!

Directions: bus 403 from Sintra Train Station. There is usually one every 30 minutes and it costs 5€ return (tickets purchased on board)

10. Cascais

Take a 45-minute train ride right along the coast to Cascais and enjoy one of the best beaches in the area. The town itself is really quaint with a historic centre mixed with more modern buildings, cobbled streets and views of the sea.

Directions: train from Cais do Sodré train station, its runs every 30 minutes (on the hour and half past) and costs 7€ return


GINJINHA! This local liquor is made from sour cherries and is traditionally served in an edible chocolate cup. Its super cheap, super tasty and super alcoholic!

Try a free walking tour – they are usually the best way to see the non-tourist side of the city. these tips-based tours are lead by locals who simply want to share their knowledge of the city with you, not take all your money!

Find out more here:

PLACE TO STAY: Good Morning Hostel

Located in Praça Restauradores, the location is superb to explore the city on foot, the hostel is really modern and everyone who works there is so happy and fun! They organise trip/tours nearly everyday as well as nights out. Check them out here:

Read my other Top Tens:

DER 🇪🇸


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