Lisbon is a beautiful city and it’s been on my bucket list for a long time. Finally, in 2018, I was able to visit this amazing city and it didn’t disappoint: it was everything I hoped it was!
I think Lisbon is the perfect size for a city – not too big and not too small. It’s big enough to explore for days but small enough that you’ll be able to grasp the entirety of the city in a few days.
Below you will find a list of things to do and see in Lisbon if you find yourself there for three to five days. Whenever I’m exploring a new city, I like to do a mix of touristic and local things, so that I see a bit of everything.
However, Lisbon is one of those cities which is best to explore just walking around, finding hidden streets and just going with the flow.
In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of things to do for each neighborhood in Lisbon:
Alfama is the touristic center of Lisbon, nevertheless, it is fun to stroll around the little streets and marvel at the buildings, discover street art, and climb steep hills.
Castelo de S. Jorge
Even though it’s quite a touristic attraction, I still recommend going, because you have some amazing views on Lisbon from this castle which makes for some coll Instagrammable shots. It’s also fun to explore some of the castle ground and have a look at the ruins. Entrance fee is €8.50 for a standard ticket, but I think the view is definitely worth it.
The famous vintage tram 28 of Lisbon, takes you through the main neighborhoods, and it’s great to do in the winter. In the summer however, there are loads of sweaty tourists, and pickpockets. I was fine with just looking at the beautiful vintage trams, but if you’re into these kinds of things, then I guess it’s a nice thing to do.
Baixa – Chiado
Chiado is one of the main shopping districts, and you can shop your heart out in the streets like Rua do Carmo and Rua Garrett. This is where all the mainstream brands are located, though you can find some other more interesting brands as well. If you like stuff for your home, then a visit to one of the A Vida Portuguesa stores is a must for you. For more upscale shopping, stroll along the Av, da Liberdade.
Praça do Comércio
This famous square is indeed not to be missed on a visit to Lisbon. Stroll across and around the square on a sunny day, then take in the river view on the 25 de Abril bridge. At Praça do Comércio, you can also have a seat and drink a cup of coffee at the oldest cafe of Lisbon, called O Martinho da Arcada e Lisboa.
Cais do Sodré
Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira)
This lovely indoor market is a foodies’ heaven and not to be missed when you’re in Lisbon, even if you’re not a foodie. Some of Lisbon’s top chefs have a stall in this market and offer special menu’s at really reasonable prices. There is loads to try, so come with an empty stomach!
Bairro Alto is the famous nightlife district; the little streets full of bars and nightlife entertainment. During the day, this part of the city is very quiet, and almost seems like a residential area, but at night it turns into a lively and fun neighborhood.
This is a hip neighborhood where you can find some really good restaurants as well as little boutiques. It’s a really nice area to take a stroll around, though keep in mind that it’s located on one of Lisbon’s 7 hills, so to get there it will be a bit of a climb!
Jardim do Principe Real
This small park is really lovely, especially at sunset. You can walk around and then grab a coffee at the cafe that is located within the park, Esplanada cafe.
In Principe Real, you can also find the botanical gardens. I haven’t been but I’ve heard it’s quite nice to stroll around. Don’t expect too much though.
This hipster establishment is a really cool collection of cute boutique stores and hipster eateries. Every Sunday, there is also a market where you can find all sorts of things, including vintage fashion and local foods.
Outside the main neighborhoods
Almada is a neighborhood just across from Lisbon, easily reached by taking the ferry to Cacilhas from Cais do Sodre (about a 7-minute ride). Even though the town itself is nothing special, it’s nice to stroll along the coast, perhaps even having a bite at Ponto Final or Atira-te ao rio , which are excellent restaurants at the coast with a marvelous view on Lisbon. If you’re up for it, you can visit the Christ statue, which is about a 40-minute walk from the ferry station.
In Belem, you can find two things: The Torre de Belem (the Belem Tower) and the famous Pasteis de Belem (Custard tarts). The tower is pretty touristy, but it’s probably nice to see it from a distance – no need to queue and go inside.
I hope that this sightseeing guide has been useful for you! As mentioned earlier, Lisbon is more of a city that you need to explore by roaming around and taking in the city’s atmosphere. In case you have any questions or comments about this blog post, let me know in the comment section below!