Things to do in Lisbon

10 must-see spots in Lisbon that make it an underrated gem

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Lisbon greets you with a hearty "Olá" and a promise of adventure without breaking the bank. This Portuguese gem is perfect for sun-seekers and culture vultures alike, blending city life with beautiful getaways. Ready to be wowed by ancient tram lines and charmed by tile-clad facades? Pack your bags, bring your wanderlust, and let's uncover the must-see spots in Lisbon that can't be missed. Welcome to the ultimate urban treasure hunt!

1. Jerónimos Monastery

Sao jorge Castle

What’s so cool about Jeronimos Monastery is that it's a masterpiece of Manueline architecture from Portugal's Age of Discoveries. The intricate carvings and maritime motifs adorning the cloisters tell tales of explorers who once sought new worlds. You’ll find Vasco da Gama's tomb here, a significant nod to a great navigator whose final voyage ended in Lisbon. The Monastery is also home to the Maritime Museum that showcases Portugal's seafaring history. And don't forget to see the church within the complex, where the elaborate stone work and monumental scale will leave you in awe. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this historic monument certainly earns its place at the top of any Lisbon itinerary.

2. Belém Tower

Belem Tower

Belém Tower stands as a sentinel from the Age of Discoveries, right at the edge of the Tagus River. This iconic fortress was both a defense system and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Climb the narrow staircase to the top for a stunning view of the river and the city. Its distinct gothic-style architecture with Moorish influences makes it one of the most photographed landmarks in Lisbon, reflecting the diverse cultural history of Portugal.

3. Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Aquarium

The Lisbon Oceanarium is a deep dive into marine life, known as one of the largest indoor aquariums in Europe. A marvel of design, the central tank replicates global ocean habitats, letting you wander through underwater worlds. It’s home to a huge number of species, from delicate Leafy seadragons to mighty sharks. The exhibitions are designed to educate about the oceans' ecosystems and the importance of conservation.

4. Tram 28

Tram 28

The historic Tram 28 rattles through Lisbon's most picturesque streets, reminiscent of bygone days. It takes passengers on a nostalgic journey passing key landmarks, including the São Jorge Castle and the quaint neighborhoods of Alfama and Graca. It’s not only a mode of transportation but a tourist attraction in itself, offering an authentic glimpse into Lisbon life. Be prepared for a cozy ride, as these vintage yellow trams are often packed with both locals and visitors eager to experience this charming city staple.


Georgia Aquarium

The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) is Lisbon's beacon of contemporary culture, set along the scenic Tagus River. Its striking facade, reflective of Lisbon's modern side, houses rotating exhibitions that highlight art, architecture and technology. Whether you're an art lover or a tech enthusiast, MAAT offers an innovative space to explore new ideas and perspectives.

6. Terreiro do Paço

Terreiro do Paço

This is one of Lisbon’s most famous squares and often acts as the city's meeting point. Officially known as Praça do Comércio, this grand waterfront plaza is surrounded by elegant buildings that once housed the Portuguese royals' administrative offices. Now, the area comes alive with cafes and street performers. The statue of King José I at the center and the Arch of Rua Augusta at the northern end offer perfect photo opportunities and a sense of historical grandeur.

7. National Pantheon

National pantheon

The National Pantheon, or Santa Engrácia Church, stands majestic with its imposing dome, visible from many parts of the city. It serves as the final resting place for Portuguese luminaries, including presidents and cultural figures. Its spacious interior is notable for the ornate baroque details and the panoramic views from its terrace are unparalleled.

8. Alfama District

Alfama District, Lisbon

Alfama is the oldest quarter in Lisbon, a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets, ancient houses, and a distinct rustic charm that encapsulates the heart of the city. Strolling through this neighborhood offers a journey back in time, with spontaneous Fado shows echoing off the walls and a multitude of traditional taverns serving Portuguese tapas.

9. São Jorge Castle

Sao jorge Castle

Perched atop Lisbon’s highest hill, São Jorge Castle offers unbelievably good views of the city. This historical fortress dates back to Moorish times and provides insight into Lisbon’s rich past, including the captivating views of the terracotta rooftops below. Wandering through its well-preserved ruins and ramparts, you’ll be transported to a different era. The castle grounds also host a small archaeological museum which is worth visiting.

10. Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is Lisbon's bohemian heart, a neighborhood buzzing with life, especially at night. Known for its vibrant nightlife, the area is packed with bars, restaurants, and clubs. During the day, it's an enchanting place to wander, admire the street art, and visit unique shops. Every corner teems with artistic flair, and the blend of traditional façades with contemporary culture is palpable. The district's hilltop location also promises stunning city views.

Must-see in Lisbon