What comes to your mind when you think of Portugal and its capital, Lisbon? Perhaps its colonial past, fortified wine, Fado music, seafood, or those beautiful pastel-coloured properties? While you will find all of those in Lisbon, there is so much more to see and do in this beautiful and cosmopolitan European city.
There are a lot of things worth doing when you are visiting Lisbon. Some of the things will cost you (although usually not much) and many things you can do for free. There are just so many potential places for you to visit it can be hard to decide.
Its advised that you do your research beforehand so you can plan your trip accordingly. Sometimes you’ll run into issues if you try to book an event with too little time in advance. There are a number of great websites like Lonely Planet in order to get travel advice for Portugal.
To really get a taste of the best the city has to offer, below we have highlighted 5 things to do in Lisbon, Portugal.
Hop On Tram 28
If it’s a culinary and cultural adventure you are after, then take a trip on the city’s famous No. 28 Tram. One of many Remodelado streetcars that run around the city, look like they’ve just been dropped in the middle of town from a different time. Although it may take as long as an hour to get on board one, the retro atmosphere of sitting on a bench as you feel and hear the tram clattering through the narrow streets of the city, blaring that authentic horn, is more than worth it.
Sample Pastel De Nata at Pasteis de Belem
The truly scrumptious egg custard tart dusted off with cinnamon is as much a part of Portuguese history as anything else. Although you can try these delicious delicacies just about anywhere throughout Lisbon, the very best place you should sample them from is at the renowned Pasteis de Belem. They have been making the pastry here to the same recipe since 1837. We recommend taking time out of your schedule to sit inside the eatery and enjoy them with a hot coffee.
Stroll Around the Palacio Dos Marqueses de Fronteira
Looking for some greenery to admire? Hail a cab or if you hire a car at Lisbon Airport, you can take a 20-minute drive from the city center to Benfica where you will find the sublime 17th-century palace that was built for the 1st Marquis of Fronteira, Don Joao Mascarenhas. These gardens are filled with stunning statues and it features a gorgeous fountain and stunning tiled benches.
A must-see feature of the garden is The Gallery of Kings. This is a bust collection that pays due respect to Portugal’s kings of old. The interior of the palace is nothing short of spectacular either, though, with the incredibly well-preserved Dutch tiled dining room, chapel, and library.
Enjoy Fado Music in a Traditional Setting at Clube de Fado
You’ll need to head to one of the older parts of Lisbon to enjoy Fado, the traditional Portuguese music at its finest. At Clube de Fado you can enjoy a mouthwatering array of quintessential, homely Portuguese food while being entertained with Fado vocals. Even the owner of the venue, one Mario Pacheco, the son of Antonio Pacheco, a revered fado guitarist, gets involved.
Take in the Jaw-dropping Vistas from Atop Torre de Belem
Finally, if you are looking to visit just one single key landmark that offers an insight into the cultural heritage of the city, with the architectural stylings of the Romans, the Gothics, the Moorish and the Mudejar all present, while enjoying sublime views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean, then you need to tackle the Torre de Belem. Or the Belem Tower.
Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this was built between 1514 and 1520 and sits to the north of Tagus River. It does have narrow stairs, but the five floors and rooftop terrace are worth navigating for those views.
These are just a few of the amazing attractions to take in while visiting Lisbon, Portugal. With the variety of options available to you it can be hard to see everything you want within just a few days. Try to give yourself at least 2 weeks in Lisbon in order to take in the culture and truly experience its beauty. You won’t regret visiting and it will be a place you’ll likely want to return to after your first visit.