We recently spent a lovely week in Portugal, with the first chunk of our holiday in Lisbon! It was shockingly hot so our energy was zapped a bit, but we did experience a lot as well! In this post, we’ll go through a few things that you can do in and around Lisbon.
1. See stunning views from Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte viewpoint
This is by far the most incredible viewpoint in Lisbon. Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte offers panoramic views of the city and is especially gorgeous on a sunny day.
We happened to stumble upon this viewpoint on our first day wandering around and we were absolutely blown away by the views.
2. Get lost in Alfama
Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon with very narrow and hilly streets. We stayed in this neighbourhood and it was our best decision as it’s so charming.
The big earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1755 didn’t hit Alfama, hence how it’s retained its charm.
Wander up and down its streets and see what you can find! Be sure to wear your comfy walking shoes!
3. Take a ride on Tram 28
Trams are one of the key ways Lisbon locals get around. The most popular tram line is #28 as it takes tourists through popular neighbourhoods including Alfama, Graca, and Baixa. The route goes from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique.
The tram rattles through steep hills and narrow streets, some of which are for trams only! This particular tram line can’t be modernised due to the hills and wide turns.
Our best tip is to start earlier in the day for less tourists, and to hop on at the start of the line (in whichever direction) to get a seat. Ride the entire route if you have time – it only takes about 1 hour at the most. Do note that this is not a tourist tram as locals use it too!
If buying your ticket on the tram, the cost is €3.00 per person. Alternatively, you can buy a 24-hour ticket that is valid for the metro, buses, and trams and costs €6.40 per person. The only downside is that you can only buy the 24-hour ticket from metro stations.
4. Try Portuguese custard tarts at Pasteis de Belem
It is thought that Portuguese custard tarts were originally made at Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monastery) and the secret and ancient recipe was handed down from there. The most popular place for these tarts are at Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon as they are the ones that hold the secret recipe.
The tarts are made every day using traditional methods and you can even peer into the kitchen to have a look yourself! There is lots of seating inside or you can order the tarts to take away as well.
While you’re in the area of Belem, stroll along the water and check out Padrao dos Descobrimentos, a monument celebrating Portugal’s seafaring history, and Torre de Belem (Belem Tower).
5. Gaze at Ponte 25 de Abril from Santuario de Cristo Rei
Ponte 25 de Abril is a suspension bridge that is often likened to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s not hard to see why. Many people seem to think that the same company built both bridges, but it was actually the same company that built the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate Bridge.
The bridge connects Lisbon to Almada across the Tagus River and opened in August 1966. Great views of the bridge can be seen where the Santuario de Cristo Rei (Sanctuary of Christ the King) is. The statue of Christ was inspired by Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
6. Visit Pena Palace in Sintra
If you’re spending a few days in Lisbon, it’s possible to take a day trip to nearby mountainous Sintra. It only takes 40 minutes by train to reach Sintra from Lisbon. The best part for us was Pena Palace and Park, which sits at the very top of a hill above Sintra. The palace is super colourful and feels like you’re in a fairytale!
There is also a huge park you can enter. There seem to be buses that you can ride for a fee that will take you to different parts of the park as well.
The cost is €14.00 per adult for both the palace and the park or €7.50 per adult for the park only. There is a slight discount if buying tickets online, and the entrance area offers free Wi-Fi, so we were able to buy tickets online and show our phone at the door.
7. Stand on the westernmost point on mainland Europe at Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is the westernmost part of mainland Portugal and Europe. If you happen to be on a day trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca is quite close by.
Beware that it may be quite windy as the Atlantic Ocean is right there!
We also have a video on YouTube on our experience in Lisbon! Be sure to check it out and subscribe for future videos!
We hope you enjoyed exploring a few of the many things to do in and around Lisbon! Which one looks to be your favourite?