The coastal city of Lisbon is situated in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula. This alpha global city is famous for its buildings from the archaic times. Excellent weather, a wealthy history, picturesque hills, scrumptious food are some amongst many reasons to visit Lisbon. As for what to see in Lisbon, there’s plenty of options!

While this article aims to help people on a shorter trip, it is by no means limited to them. Even if you have a lot more time to spare in Lisbon we suggest you have a look – the only difference will be that you’ll get to do it at leisure.

From visiting outstanding restaurants with excellent seafood to exploring its art and culture to walking along the beachside promenade, there are lots of things to do in Lisbon. Let’s try and break it down, shall we?

What to See in Lisbon

Castelo de São Jorge (São Jorge Castle)
Viewpoint of São Jorge Castle - what to see in Lisbon
View of the city from one of the viewpoints of São Jorge Castle

One of the main tourist points in Lisbon, the São Jorge Castle occupies a wonderful spot in central Lisbon, on a hilltop overlooking the city. When you think about what to see in Lisbon, you simply cannot overlook it.

The castle is a part of Lisbon’s historic centre. A highlight of this castle is its numerous viewpoints providing supreme views of Lisbon. The castle has eleven towers exhibiting different architectural features from the Moorish era. It also features lovely gardens and a huge terraced square from which you can get some of the best views of the city.

Entry Fee: Normal entry for a single adult is €8.50. There are discounted ticket options available if you are a student, travelling as a family, or if you are a senior citizen.

Timings: From March to October it is open from 9:00 to 21:00 hours. From November to February it is open from 9:00 to 18:00 hours. Entries close 30 minutes before closing time.

Note: The Camera Obscura is available only between 10:00 to 17:20 and its use depends on weather conditions. The castle is closed on the following days – May 1, December 24, 25, 31, and January 1.

Pro tip: Ensure you visit the Tower of Ulysses where there is a camera obscura installed for visitors to get a 360-degree view of the city as well as the river Tagus.

Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
Viewpoint of Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara gardens - what to see in lisbon

Across the city from the São Jorge Castle (but actually just about 2.5 km away) lies the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara gardens. The garden is landscaped and houses a beautiful fountain and several Greek busts. You can enjoy some live music, beautiful views of the city, or enjoy a snack or drink from any of the kiosks here. But the best part is that it is also in the vicinity of a fair few attractions.

The famous Gloria Elevator, the funicular that has been functioning since 1885 and is an icon in itself, stops right near the garden. The funicular ferries people from Restauradoras Square which is in the city centre to the Bairro Alto District where you can find this garden. Riding this is a thing to do in itself!

For the wine lovers, you will find the Port Wine Institute or Solar do Vinho do Porto right across from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara. At the bar here, you can try several types of port wines (over 300!) including some amazing vintage stuff. Relax for a while with a glass or a whole bottle of authentic Portuguese Port wine before you hit your next destination.

Timings: The garden is open round the clock.

Pro tip: Visit the garden in the evening. You can then go bar or restaurant hopping in the amazing Bairro Alto District where it is located.

Bairro Alto
A funicular going up bairro alto district - what to see in Lisbon

Bairro Alto is one of the most central and famous districts in Lisbon. The streets of Bairro Alto are always full of people of all ages who come to sip a drink, watch passers-by and just have a good time soaking in the vibe. Whether you appreciate 80s classics, the latest of musical sounds, or hard rock you will surely find something for your tastes here.

At Bairro Alto, you can shop, eat, drink, catch the sunset or just walk around the beautiful streets with their colourful houses.

Pro tip: There is a stark contrast between day and night in Bairro Alto. The same streets that appear normal will open up to a riot of pubs and restaurants by nightfall. It’s the best place to experience a great nightlife.

Stairs, buildings and street art in Alfama - what to see in lisbon

Alfama one of the ancient districts of Lisbon, is a pleasant maze of slender paved streets and houses, leading up the precipitous hill from Tejo Estuary to the fortress. There are several historic buildings and beautiful churches to see here. Alfama is a treat to walk around and take things in. Chances are you’ll find some amazing graffiti and street art. Unless you stop over for a coffee, you need not spend anything here.

Pro tip: Alfama is very close to São Jorge Castle (less than a km) and you can pop by before or after your visit to the castle.

Museu São Roque and Sacred Art Museum
Inside the Church of São Roque - what to see in Lisbon
Inside the Church of São Roque

Barely a 5-minute walk from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, this Museum one of the most esteemed tourist spots of Lisbon. You can see some beautiful paintings, relics, statues and more. The beautiful, historic Church of São Roque is right next to the museum and is also a must visit. In fact, most people visit the Church and then enter the Museum from there (they are connected). If possible, get an English speaking guide if you truly want to know about the history behind.

Entry fee: Normal entry fee is only €2.5. Admission is available for free or at discounted rates for certain people based on age, employment and other factors.


  • October to March – Mondays 14:00 to 18:00 hours. Rest of the days from 10:00 to 18:00 hours.
  • April to September – Mondays 14:00 to 19:00 hours. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 19:00 hours. Thursdays 10:00 to 20:00 hours.
  • Closed on – Easter Sunday, May 1, December 25 and January 1.
  • Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.

Pro tip: Admission is free for all on Sundays up till 2 pm.

Jerónimos Monastery
Jerónimos Monastery, museum, church and gardens - what to see in Lisbon

A highly elaborate monastery located in Belem district of western Lisbon. This impressive spiritual building was historically linked with the explorers because Vasco da Gama spent his last night here before leaving to the Far East. It is one of the best examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Monastery has a huge, sprawling garden and also houses a Museum and a Church.

Entry fee: Normal entry €10. Discounted and free admission available for certain categories of people.


  • October to May – 10:00 to 17:30 hours
  • May to September – 10:00 to 18:30 hours
  • Closed on – Mondays, December 25, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and June 13.
  • Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.

Pro tip: This is located slightly away from Lisbon centre and you can easily get here in a few minutes by train.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos
 Padrão dos Descobrimentos - what to see in Lisbon

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a magnificent plus iconic monument situated on the banks of River Tagus. It is devoted to the venturers and explores who set off on their voyages in the 15th and 16th centuries. It marks the ‘Age of Discovery’ of these two centuries, as the Portuguese were among the few who sent off to explore the lands in the far east. The original monument was built from wood and the central part of 1940 world fair. This monument is just there to behold and maybe take some pictures. You needn’t spend anything to see it.

Pro tip: It is within walking distance to Jerónimos Monastery and the Belem Tower and can be viewed en route to either.

Belém Tower or Tower of St Vincent

Belem Tower - what to see in lisbon

Torre de Belém or Belém Tower played a significant role during the Age of Discovery. It is currently an icon and one of the most visited or ‘must visit’ places in Lisbon. It was declared a UNESCO listed World Heritage for its historical significance.

Entry fee: An individual ticket to the tower is €6 but you can get a combined ticket to visit Belem Tower and the close by Jerónimos Monastery and National Archaeology Museum for €12.


  • October to May – 10:00 to 17:30 hours
  • May to September – 10:00 to 18:30 hours
  • Closed on – Mondays, December 25, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and June 13.
  • Last admission at 17:00 hours

Pro tip: The popular pastry Pastel de nata originated here and you can visit Pastéis de Belém a cafe that proudly claims to still use the original recipe from the early 1800s.

When it comes to what to see in Lisbon, the list by no means ends here. The city is charming and just walking around you are sure to come across some interesting and amazing things. Do let us know if you have any interesting places to add by leaving a comment below. All in all, we hope you have a great day in Lisboa!

TE’s TRAVELLER TIP: If you plan on making the most of your day(s) in Lisbon, get the Lisboa Card. You can top it up depending on the duration of use and you can enter a lot of attractions for free or at discounted rates. You can even use all the public transportation options from trams to the metro and even buses for free. You’re welcome 🙂

Also read about the fun city of Porto, the origin place of Port Wine!

Read more about one-day trips here.


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