Places to see in Lisbon

Sometimes, you just have a few days, or a few hours to discover a given city. And choosing what to do and especially where to go can be tricky. Having helped thousands of people to do just that, we know what are exactly the places to see in Lisbon.

International travel is coming back. That means that it’s easier and easier to arrive in Lisbon for a short visit or a layover. The Portuguese capital is very popular for weekend getaways, birthday and anniversary celebrations, bachelor or bachelorette parties and, overall, all kinds of short and fun stays. Doing a private walking tour is one of the best ways to make the most of your time. The experience is unique, and adapted to whatever you and your family and friends wish to do. And you can add great food and wine to the mix!

This viewpoint in Alfama is a good way to have a first ideia of Lisbon.

Layover challenge

However, imagine that you have just a short layover but still want to choose some places to see in Lisbon. Your best ally is the airport location. Really! The country’s main airport – the Humberto Delgado – is about 30 minutes from the historical center. So, if you can spare at least three hours between your flights, step outside and head to the city.

The Praça do Comércio is the “living room” of Lisbon.

After a short journey, either by car, bus or subway, you can reach the Baixa district. And from this point, you have a lot of options to get a taste of the city: head to the riverbank and enjoy the immense Tagus river mirror. The Praça do Comércio, or Terreiro do Paço, is one of the biggest and most beautiful squares in Europe and considered by many to be one of the best places to see in Lisbon.

Besides that, and if you still have time, the Baixa is a very short distance from other unmissable Lisbon areas. Facing the immense Arch at the Praça do Comércio, to the left you reach the Chiado and Bairro Alto districts. Filled with city life, shops, restaurants but also monuments and viewpoints, there you can share some of Lisbon’s more cosmopolitan vibes.

The view from the Saint George Castle walls.

On the opposite direction, you have a perfect viewpoint of Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge, or Saint George Castle. Located on top of one of the city’s several hills, it offers a 360º perspective, not only of the center, but also of the river’s estuary, the Sintra mountain, the Atlantic coastline and even the southern regions of the country.

Journey of discovery

Do you have a little more time in Lisbon, for instance, two or three days? Great! It is more than enough to check the main places to see in Lisbon. One of them is Alfama, the second-oldest neighborhood in Europe and where the traditional heart of the city still strongly beats.

Alfama is the second-oldest neighborhood in Europe.

Very close by, you will find the Mouraria district. One of the birthplaces of Fado Music, it is not as well known as Alfama, but its traditional surroundings are definitely worth exploring. By the way, if you love food and wine, specially with very affordable prices and an “east meet west” vibe, this is the area for you.

Some Mouraria buildings display the biggest Fado stars of all times.

If the great historical sites are your favorites, Lisbon has plenty of them in the Belém district. A short journey from the city center, it is the area of the amazing Unesco sites of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém and Padrão dos Descobrimentos. Three monuments that commemorate and explain, like no others, the Portuguese Age of Discoveries.

The main entrance of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a Manueline style masterpiece.

So, of all the places to see in Lisbon, what should you choose? Our advice is to think about the time you have available and what you are interested in. Perhaps less monuments and more city living? Or mix of both? Some great meals or a cocktail by the water, or on a river cruise, enjoying the sunset? A bit of shopping therapy? The city as it all and, if you wish, we can help you. Just reach out to Your Friend in Lisbon and let us know how we can make your time with us an unforgettable one.

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