Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my latest adventure in the captivating city of Lisbon, Portugal. As I wandered through its charming streets, I couldn’t help but fall in love with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. To help you make the most of your own Lisbon escapade, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon that you simply cannot miss. So, buckle up and join me as we explore the very best of what this enchanting city has to offer. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, these top 10 things to do in Lisbon will undoubtedly make your trip an unforgettable experience.
Discover Lisbon’s Rich History
Lisbon is a city with a rich history that dates back to the Roman Empire. From the Moorish occupation to the Age of Discovery, Lisbon has been shaped by a variety of cultures and events. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon that will help you discover the city’s fascinating history:
1. Visit the Castelo de São Jorge
The Castelo de São Jorge is a medieval castle that sits atop a hill overlooking the city. It was built in the 11th century by the Moors and later became the residence of the Portuguese royal family. Today, visitors can explore the castle’s towers, walls, and gardens while enjoying panoramic views of Lisbon.
2. Explore the Alfama neighborhood
The Alfama neighborhood is one of the oldest and most charming areas of Lisbon. Its narrow streets and alleys are lined with colorful houses, traditional shops, and restaurants. Take a stroll through the neighborhood and discover its hidden corners and historic landmarks.
3. Visit the Jerónimos Monastery
The Jerónimos Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 16th century to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India. The monastery’s architecture is a masterpiece of the Manueline style, with intricate carvings and decorations that reflect Portugal’s maritime history.
4. Take a tram ride
Lisbon’s iconic trams are a fun and convenient way to explore the city’s historic neighborhoods. Hop on tram 28 and ride through the narrow streets of Alfama, Graça, and Baixa while enjoying the views of Lisbon’s landmarks.
5. Visit the Belém Tower
The Belém Tower is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 16th century to defend Lisbon’s harbor. The tower’s architecture is a blend of Gothic and Manueline styles, with intricate decorations and sculptures that reflect Portugal’s maritime power.
6. Explore the Museu Nacional do Azulejo
The Museu Nacional do Azulejo is a museum dedicated to the art of Portuguese tiles. The museum’s collection includes tiles from the 15th century to the present day, with examples of different styles and techniques. Visitors can also learn about the history and production of Portuguese tiles.
7. Visit the Carmo Convent
The Carmo Convent is a Gothic church that was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and left in ruins. Today, the ruins are a fascinating reminder of Lisbon’s past, with arches, columns, and walls that still stand. The convent also houses a small museum with artifacts from Lisbon’s history.
8. Take a day trip to Sintra
Sintra is a picturesque town located just outside Lisbon that is famous for its palaces, castles, and gardens. Take a day trip to Sintra and explore its historic landmarks, including the Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, and the Quinta da Regaleira.
9. Visit the Lisbon Cathedral
The Lisbon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that was built in the 12th century. It is one of the oldest and most important churches in Lisbon, with a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. Visitors can also see the cathedral’s treasury and climb to the top of the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.
10. Explore the Chiado neighborhood
The Chiado neighborhood is a lively area of Lisbon that is known for its shops, cafes, and theaters. It was also the center of Lisbon’s intellectual and artistic life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Take a walk through the neighborhood and discover its historic buildings, statues, and landmarks.
These are just some of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon that will help you discover the city’s rich history. Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, or culture, Lisbon has something to offer for everyone.
Explore Vibrant Neighborhoods
Lisbon is a city of vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. Here are some of the top neighborhoods to explore when you’re looking for things to do in Lisbon.
Alfama is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon and is known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and stunning views of the city. It’s a great place to wander and get lost, and you’ll find plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops to explore.
2. Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto is a trendy neighborhood that comes alive at night. It’s known for its lively bars and clubs, but there’s also plenty to do during the day. You’ll find street art, boutique shops, and some of the best views of the city from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
Chiado is a chic neighborhood that’s home to some of Lisbon’s best shopping. You’ll find high-end boutiques, bookstores, and cafes, as well as the famous Café A Brasileira, where you can sip coffee and people-watch.
Belém is a historic neighborhood that’s home to some of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks, including the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower. It’s also where you’ll find the famous Pastéis de Belém, where you can try the city’s famous custard tarts.
Mouraria is a multicultural neighborhood that’s known for its diverse food scene. You’ll find everything from traditional Portuguese dishes to African and Asian cuisine. It’s also a great place to explore street art and listen to live music.
No matter which neighborhood you choose to explore, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do in Lisbon. Don’t forget to check out our other top 10 things to do Lisbon recommendations for more ideas!
Savor Authentic Portuguese Cuisine
When in Lisbon, one of the top 10 things to do is to indulge in the city’s authentic cuisine. Portuguese cuisine is known for its fresh seafood, hearty stews, and delicious pastries. Here are some must-try dishes and places to eat in Lisbon:
Bacalhau, or salt cod, is a staple in Portuguese cuisine. It’s said that there are over 365 ways to cook bacalhau, one for each day of the year. Some popular dishes include Bacalhau à Brás, a dish made with shredded cod, potatoes, onions, and eggs, and Bacalhau com Natas, a creamy cod casserole.
2. Pastéis de Nata
No trip to Lisbon is complete without trying the famous Pastéis de Nata. These custard tarts are a sweet and creamy treat that can be found in bakeries all over the city. The most famous place to try them is at Pastéis de Belém, where they have been making them since 1837.
Lisbon is located on the coast, so it’s no surprise that seafood is a big part of the cuisine. Some popular dishes include grilled sardines, octopus salad, and shrimp in garlic sauce. For a truly authentic experience, head to Cervejaria Ramiro, a seafood restaurant that has been around since 1956.
Bifana is a traditional Portuguese sandwich made with marinated pork and served on a roll. It’s a popular snack or lunch option and can be found in cafes and restaurants all over Lisbon.
5. Mercado da Ribeira
For a foodie experience, head to Mercado da Ribeira, a food hall that features some of the best chefs and restaurants in Lisbon. You can try a variety of dishes, from traditional Portuguese cuisine to international flavors.
Savoring authentic Portuguese cuisine is definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try these delicious dishes and experience the city’s culinary culture.
Embrace the Art and Culture Scene
Lisbon is a city that is rich in art and culture. From museums to street art, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon to embrace the art and culture scene:
1. Visit the National Museum of Ancient Art
The National Museum of Ancient Art is a must-visit for art lovers. It houses a vast collection of Portuguese art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum is located in a beautiful 17th-century palace and offers stunning views of the Tagus River.
2. Explore the street art in the city
Lisbon is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a walking tour of the city’s street art and discover the works of local and international artists. Some of the best places to see street art in Lisbon are the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Graça, and Alfama.
3. Visit the Berardo Collection Museum
The Berardo Collection Museum is a contemporary art museum that houses one of the most significant collections of modern and contemporary art in Portugal. The museum features works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol.
4. Attend a Fado show
Fado is a traditional Portuguese music genre that is known for its melancholic and soulful sound. Attend a Fado show in one of the city’s many Fado houses and experience the emotion and passion of this unique art form.
5. Visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is one of the most important museums in Lisbon. It houses a vast collection of art, including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artifacts, as well as European paintings and decorative arts.
6. Take a tour of the São Carlos National Theater
The São Carlos National Theater is one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe. Take a guided tour of the theater and learn about its history and architecture. You can also attend a performance and experience the magic of the theater firsthand.
7. Visit the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology
The Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology is a contemporary art museum that showcases the intersection of art, science, and technology. The museum features exhibitions, workshops, and events that explore the relationship between art and technology.
8. Explore the Belém Cultural Center
The Belém Cultural Center is a cultural complex that houses several museums, including the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Electricity Museum, and the National Coach Museum. The center also features a concert hall and a theater.
9. Visit the Lisbon Cathedral
The Lisbon Cathedral is one of the oldest and most important buildings in the city. The cathedral features a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque. Take a guided tour of the cathedral and learn about its history and significance.
10. Attend the Lisbon Book Fair
The Lisbon Book Fair is an annual event that takes place in the Parque Eduardo VII. The fair features book signings, readings, and discussions with local and international authors. It’s a great way to discover new books and meet fellow book lovers.
In conclusion, Lisbon is a city that is rich in art and culture. From museums to street art, there is something for everyone. These top 10 things to do in Lisbon will help you embrace the art and culture scene and make the most of your trip to this beautiful city.
Unwind in Lisbon’s Green Spaces
Lisbon is a bustling city with plenty of things to do, but sometimes you just need to take a break and relax in nature. Luckily, Lisbon has several green spaces where you can unwind and enjoy some fresh air. Here are the top 3 green spaces to visit in Lisbon as part of your top 10 things to do Lisbon list:
1. Monsanto Forest Park
Monsanto Forest Park is the largest green space in Lisbon, covering over 900 hectares. It’s a great place to escape the city and enjoy some peace and quiet. The park has several hiking trails, picnic areas, and even a small lake where you can rent a paddleboat. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try the park’s treetop adventure course.
2. Jardim da Estrela
Jardim da Estrela is a beautiful park located in the heart of Lisbon. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and it’s easy to see why. The park has a large pond with ducks and swans, a playground for kids, and plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. There’s also a small café where you can grab a coffee or a snack.
3. Parque das Nações
Parque das Nações is a modern park located in the eastern part of Lisbon. It was built for the 1998 World Expo and has since become a popular destination for locals and tourists. The park has several gardens, a large lake, and a cable car that offers stunning views of the city. There are also several restaurants and shops in the area, so you can easily spend a whole day here.
Make sure to add these green spaces to your top 10 things to do Lisbon list and take some time to relax and enjoy nature during your trip to this vibrant city.
Experience the Thrilling Nightlife
Lisbon is known for its vibrant nightlife, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the top 10 things to do Lisbon at night:
Bairro Alto: This neighborhood is famous for its bars and clubs, and it’s the perfect place to start your night out. The narrow streets are filled with people, and the atmosphere is electric.
Pink Street: Located in Cais do Sodré, this street is known for its pink pavement and lively bars. It’s a great place to grab a drink and people-watch.
Lux Frágil: This club is one of the most famous in Lisbon, and it’s known for its electronic music and stunning views of the river. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for a night out in Lisbon.
Pensão Amor: This former brothel has been transformed into a bar and club, and it’s one of the most unique places to visit in Lisbon. The decor is quirky and the atmosphere is lively.
Cinco Lounge: This speakeasy-style bar is hidden away in the Príncipe Real neighborhood, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail in a cozy atmosphere.
Park: This rooftop bar is located on top of a parking garage, and it offers stunning views of the city. It’s a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy a drink.
Chapitô: This bar and restaurant is located in a former circus school, and it offers live music and stunning views of the city. It’s a great place to enjoy a night out with friends.
Clube Ferroviário: This club is located in a former train station, and it’s known for its electronic music and industrial decor. It’s a unique and unforgettable place to visit.
MusicBox: This club is known for its eclectic music and lively atmosphere. It’s a great place to dance the night away and experience the best of Lisbon’s nightlife.
Time Out Market: This food hall is open until midnight, and it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a drink. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
No matter what your taste in nightlife, Lisbon has something to offer. These top 10 things to do Lisbon at night are just the beginning of the city’s vibrant and exciting nightlife scene.
In conclusion, this vibrant and enchanting city has something for everyone, and I hope my list of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon has inspired you to pack your bags and embark on your own Portuguese adventure. From the historic streets of Alfama to the bustling nightlife in Bairro Alto, Lisbon is a city that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return.
As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring many cities around the world, but Lisbon truly stands out as a must-visit destination. The top 10 things to do in Lisbon that I’ve shared in this Suitcase Stories blog post are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the countless experiences this city has to offer.
So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply someone looking for a beautiful city to explore, the top 10 things to do in Lisbon are sure to provide you with an unforgettable trip. Don’t forget to share your own Suitcase Stories with me, as I’m always eager to hear about the adventures of fellow travelers.
Until our next journey, I hope you’ll take the time to discover the top 10 things to do in Lisbon and create your own unforgettable Suitcase Stories. Safe travels, and see you soon in another exciting destination!