Lisbon Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Lisbon

This lovely Portugal’s capital is a gem for travelers. Be it for a month-long workation or a short city trip to the exciting vibes of the city, or a way to escape the cold winter of its northern European counterparts, Lisbon is a well-loved destination by travelers all around the world. And why would they not, there are a ton of exciting things to do in this captivating city which I will share with you in this comprehensive Lisbon travel guide.

Founded around 1200 BCE, Lisbon is the second oldest capital city in Europe (after Athens) and is older than Rome itself. Much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1775, followed by a tsunami. Much of the city we know today is thanks to the resurrection that followed.

I visited Lisbon in December of 2022 and it was a lovely experience. Taking a trip from a snowy Germany to a sun-soaked Lisbon was rewarding in itself. Additionally, I felt the beauty of Lisbon lie more strongly in its old town and the lifestyle of the people there.

Best Things to Do: Lisbon Travel Guide

Visit The Belém Tower

Belém tower was built in 1515 to serve as a lighthouse and a fortress and was also used as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. This four-storey tower symbolizes Portugal’s power in maritime and colonial history and has been regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

This magnificent tower sits in a perfect spot and invites visitors to take some cool photos with the beautiful backdrop. It is also possible to enter the tower for guided tours. The entrance costs 8 EUR.

The opening times are 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, closed on Mondays, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 13, and December 25. 

Explore the Alfama neighborhood

The Alfama neighborhood is the gem of Lisbon. Just a walk in this marvelous old town provides a thrill. The architecture of Alfama is highly influenced by the Moors, characterized by Islamic urban design and winding streets, compact layout to provide shade and form a close-knit community. Unlike much of Lisbon, Alfama is spared by the 1775 earthquake, making it a living entity taking visitors to Lisbon’s past.

Alfama is a perfect neighborhood for aimless exploration. As you navigate these windy streets while giving way to the historic trams maneuvering their way, there’s a chance you will encounter many hidden gems and quaint cafes. There will be many moments that take your breath away, literally (‘coz you know, the inclination) and figuratively.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Take a walk to Miradouro de Santa Luzia, undoubtedly the most scenic viewpoint in Alfama. Consider taking a seat in nearby coffee shops for an affordable coffee or an icy cold drink to enjoy the picturesque vista.

The best time to visit Miradouro de Santa Luzia is either in the morning or during sunset in the evening. The place will be less crowded in the morning and you can observe the place in calm and quiet. As the day progresses, the place starts getting more traction, and the temperature rises, making the ascent more challenging.

You could take tram 28 from Martim Moniz to reach here, but when you see the long queue of people waiting to board this historic tram, you might feel you’re better off taking a walk.

Sanctuary of Christ the King

This large statue on top of Almada might feel familiar. You might think you’ve seen it somewhere before. Well, you’re not mistaken. This is a replica of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The idea for a similar statue in Lisbon came from the then Portuguese Prime Minister after visiting Brazil. It was built in 1959.

In front of this large statue lies the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, which you can visualize as a Portuguese replica of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge connects two neighborhoods over the Tagus River, and it really looks and feels massive.

You might think the Portuguese Prime Minister saw the bridge in the USA and had it built here, but the reason is more practical. Lisbon and California have one thing in common: earthquakes. The architect used similar engineering techniques to those employed in California to build a bridge resistant to earthquakes. The Ponte 25 de Abril was designed by the American Bridge Company.

To reach Sanctuary of Christ the King, you need to take a ferry from Cais do Sodré to reach Cacilhas. From Cacilhas, you may choose to take a tram or a bus to the statue, or you can take one of the Lisbon tuk-tuks that will take you directly to your destination. A common one-way tuk-tuk price is around 5 EUR per person.

Enjoy a pastéis de nata

Pastéis de nata are sweet pastries that are a common treat among the people of Lisbon. They say that a good morning starts with one of these pastries. A single pastéis de nata costs around 1-2 EUR, and you can pack it and take it with you to a scenic viewpoint to enjoy with a coffee in the shade, overlooking parts of the city.

Take a free walking tour

Free walking tours are my favorite way to familiarize myself with a city, and I do one every time I’m traveling solo. A walking tour normally lasts around 2-3 hours and covers the major areas of the city. Along the tour, the guide will share the significance and history of the places you’ll see, adding an interesting dimension to your travel experience. I highly recommend it. You can find the available walking tours in Lisbon here.

Ride the trams of Lisbon

Lisbon has two historic trams that are still operating today: tram 28 and tram 12. They start from Martim Moniz and go through the hilly Alfama neighborhood, returning to Martim Moniz. You can board these trams with your daily Lisbon transport pass.

Tram 28 is more popular among tourists. It goes through major destinations in the Alfama neighborhood. If you want to take this ride, I recommend you go early and try to be among the first passengers in the morning to board the tram. As the day progresses, it gets more crowded and increasingly difficult to even board the tram, let alone get a seat. The tram operates from 8 AM to 9 PM.

Tram 12 is comparatively less crowded, so you can also choose to board this tram. This tram also goes through the Alfama neighborhood, but to less popular areas, making it less appealing to tourists.

Parque da Paz

With the scorching sun and the constant jumping from one itinerary to the next, Lisbon’s heat will quickly catch up on you. Consider taking a break midday to take a stroll along Parque da Paz. It is a beautiful park in the middle of bustling Lisbon. There is a nice walking area, trees all around, and some ponds along the way, so you may also consider picnicking here while taking a break from Lisbon’s crowd.

Attend a Fado Show

Fado is traditional Portuguese music with a rich history. It is believed to have emerged from the working-class neighborhoods of Alfama and found its love among the sailors and tavern-goers in the port areas of Lisbon. These people expressed their hardships and struggles through Fado songs.

Fado’s unique musical rhythm is believed to be the result of influences from Moorish melodies, African rhythms, Portuguese folk music, and even Brazilian songs.

There are many Fado shows available in Lisbon. You may also see Fado show advertisements while walking the streets of Alfama. You can inquire about the showtimes and ticket prices and book one if it interests you. One Fado show typically costs around 10 EUR.

Visit the beaches

As a city located near the mouth of the Tagus River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, there are many beaches in the vicinity of Lisbon. Consider visiting one of these if you want a day on the beach. Tamariz Beach, Praia da Adraga, Praia da Azarujinha, and more are some of the scenic beaches at least 30 minutes away from Lisbon.

Take a day trip to Sintra

Sintra is a magnificent place to visit if you love old castles that look like they’re plucked right out of a movie scene. Pena Palace is one such castle that is picturesque and offers a great atmosphere for a visit.

You may choose to walk to the Pena Palace or take a bus or jeep. The bus is quite expensive, so I chose the budget-friendly way and walked. You can see what works for you.

Additionally, the beaches in Sintra are among the most beautiful. If you have time, consider visiting one of the beaches in Sintra. Praia da Adraga is only 15 kilometers away from Sintra, and public transport will take you close to the beach.

You can take a train from Lisbon to Sintra. A one-way train ride costs around 3 EUR and takes about 45-50 minutes to reach.

Nepali Food in Lisbon

If you are a Nepali or someone who loves Nepali food, then Lisbon is the perfect culinary destination for you. Portugal hosts a significant Nepali diaspora, particularly in Lisbon. There are many restaurants run by Nepali people who sell the most authentic Nepali dishes that you can find in Europe.

The prices are irresistible as well. One plate of Nepali Thali will cost you around 10 EUR, one plate of Chicken mo:mo for 5 EUR. You also have a lot of other food options to choose from – Chicken Sekuwa, Chicken Sadheko, Khaja set, and whatnot! Consider taking a trip to Lisbon if you want to feast on Nepali food. I have two restaurant recommendations. 

Love Lisbon – a good restaurant for a nice dining experience. Live music is available on most days. 

Restaurante Aagan – I had a Mutton Nepali Thali here for just 8.5 EUR. Good food. Located alongside the main square of Martim Moniz.


In Lisbon, public transportation is frequent and connects all parts of the city well. You have the options of taking buses, metros, and even ferries.

Getting a transport pass in Lisbon

In Lisbon, you can buy a transport pass from one of the ticket vending machines in the train or metro stations. You need to purchase a Viva Viagem card, which will act as a physical card that allows you to enter and exit the metro stations. In addition to purchasing the card, you need to choose your ticket option (single trip, bus/metro daily ticket, and so on) to buy what you need. A daily pass will cost you 6.80 EUR (6.30 EUR for the ticket and 0.50 EUR for the physical card). Updated July 2024.

Follow this link if you’re a meticulous planner. : )

You can also get a Lisboa Card (tourist card) for 27 EUR for one day, 44 EUR for 48 hours, or 54 EUR for 72 hours. With the Lisboa Card, you can get free transportation, plus free access to many tourist attractions. If you’re staying in Lisbon for a few days and plan to visit a lot of tourist attractions, getting a Lisboa Card could be a good strategy. If you’re not too much into tourist activities, I would not recommend it for this price. Follow this link to check more information and buy a Lisboa card.


Summer (June – August) is the peak travel season in Lisbon, and accommodation prices will be higher. In the shoulder and off-seasons (September – May), accommodation will be comparatively cheaper and might be the best option for a budget trip.

If you’re looking to stay in a hostel, you can find accommodation for 20-30 EUR per day in a four-bed or six-bed hostel room. Airbnb will cost somewhere between 30-50 EUR per night.

Accommodation will be cheaper if you look in areas that are away from the main city center. The only thing you need to check is if your accommodation falls within the area where your transport pass is valid.

You can head over to Trivago to check and compare the best accommodation options for you.

Practical tips to save money in Lisbon

  • Discount supermarkets like Lidl and Pingo Doce are available all over Lisbon. Buying groceries and takeaways will help you save money on food.
  • Don’t eat in the main areas as the prices are quite costly. Walking an extra block would be a great option to find a more affordable place to eat.
  • TheFork has a lot of restaurant offers where you can book in advance and enjoy meals at discounted prices.

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I love traveling and I love writing about it. It's my sincere hope that through my content, you will find some helpful information and inspiration for your own travels. :)

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