Portugal

The Ultimate Lisbon Bucket List: 101 Things To Do in Lisbon

November 8, 2016

I haven’t met a person yet who hasn’t loved Portugal. From the first day I was there last October, I knew it was a place I wanted to spend a lot more time. The weather is beautiful, the people are exceptionally friendly (and love babies!), the food makes my mouth water, the houses are happy and bright, and there are just so many things to do. We made our way back to Portugal for the summer, and spent two months exploring all that Lisbon has to offer. Here is our ultimate Lisbon Bucket List, conveniently organized by neighborhood. Whether you have a few days or a few months, we hope you can experience all of the amazing sights, sounds and flavors of Lisboa.

Ride Tram 28 through the Alfama | The Ultimate Lisbon Bucket List: 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Alfama

1 Portas do Sol Of the many beautiful viewpoints in Lisbon, this one is my favorite to watch the sunset. Overlooks the red tile rooftops of Alfama down to the Tagus River.
2 Miradouro de Santa Luzia With a great view of Alfama and the river, the viewing area itself is beautiful with a large reflection pool and flowering pink bougainvilleas.
3 Doca do Jardim do Tabaco In front of Santa Apolonia train station, former warehouses were repurposed into one of the trendiest areas in Lisbon with nightclubs, restaurants and shops.
4 The streets of Alfama One of the best things to do in this neighborhood is just wander and explore. Maybe you’ll hear some authentic fado, be offered a small shot of Ginja, or happen upon your favorite facade covered with azulejos.
5 Se de Lisboa Cathedral built in the 1100s. Exterior looks like a fortress, interior is mostly Romanesque architecture.
6 Tram 28 This tram runs from Campo de Ourique to Martim Moniz, but the funnest part is winding through the narrow streets of the Alfama. Take it the whole way up to Campo de Ourique to pass through Barrio Alto and see the Basilica de Estrela.
7 Castelo de São Jorge Moorish castle overlooking Lisbon. The oldest ruins date from the 6th century, though most of it has been restored.
8 Museu do Azulejo 15th Century Convent decorated with azulejos.

Street Art by Vhils in Alcantara | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Alcântara

9 LX Factory Industrial buildings converted into retail space and restaurants with a hipster vibe and lots of street art.
10 O Bolo da Marta Delicious cake shop in the Ler Devagar bookshop at the LX Factory.
11 Ler Devagar Cool bookstore in the LX Factory.
12 25 de Abril Bridge Not to be confused with the Golden Gate bridge, this red suspension bridge crossing the Tagus was built by the American Bridge Company which constructed the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. My favorite view is from Palácio das Necessidades.
13 Docas de Santo Amaro These docks right under the 25 de Abril bridge are lined with restaurants and ice cream shops.
14 Capela de Santo Amaro Circular church with beautiful azulejos and a stunning view of the river.
15 Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga Collection includes painting, sculpture, metalwork, textiles, furniture and drawings from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century.

Parque Eduardo VII | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Avenida da Liberdade

16 Avenida da Liberdade The Avenida is one of Lisbon’s main boulevard, lined with high end shops and palaces. The large, shady, and beautifully tiled walkways feature benches, fountains and several kiosks.
17 Avenida da Liberdade Market Every second weekend of the month plus the fourth Saturday of the month. Upscale market with lots of antiques and jewelry.
18 Casa do Alentejo Restaurant with neo-moorish interior, serving food and wine from the Antejo region.
19 Palacio Foz Palace with sumptuous interiors featuring free musical performances.
20 Ascensor do Lavra The first funicular in Lisbon. Transports passengers up from Av da Liberdade to Calcada da Lavra, near Jardim do Torel park nearby.
21 Jardim do Torel Peaceful spot in the middle of the city and atop one of the hills of Lisboa.  In August there’s a large pool and sandy area installed called Torel’s beach.
22 Marques de Pombal Statue Huge statue at the end of the Avenida. The Marquis of Pombal was the Prime Minister when the Great Earthquake of Lisbon struck in 1755, and master-planned the city’s rehabilitation after the extreme devastation.
23 Parque Eduardo VII Large park north of the Avenida with geometric pattern cut into the hedges.

Rossio Train Station | The Ultimate Lisbon Bucket List | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Baixa

24 Rossio Train Station Neo-Manueline train station in central Lisbon.
25 Santa Justa Elevator Elevator with beautiful metalwork that connects Baixa with Carmo square.
26 Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha One of the oldest churches in the country and unique for having only one nave, only the facade survived the 1755 earthquake. The church was rebuilt using materials from the ruins.
27 Miradouro de Santa Catarina View of the sunset over the port. Nearby restaurants like Noobai cafe and Pharmacia.
28 Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta Gateway to Praça do Comércio, built to commemorate Lisbon’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake.
29 Rua Augusta Main avenue in downtown Lisboa with shops and restaurants
30 Praca do Comercio Large plaza on the banks of the Tagus River. Center features statue of King José I.
31 Fabrica Lisboa Bakery with the most delicious croissants.

Barrio Alto

32 Tasca do chico One of the go-to places for fado if you can’t catch it in the streets of Alfama. This place books up early, and serves drinks and small plates.
33 Park Bar Rooftop of a car park into a bar with an amazing view. Head to this neighborhood to find the party in the streets.
34 Paletaria Fresh fruit popsicles.

Belem Tower | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Belém

35 Pastéis de Belém This bakery claims to have the original recipe for pastéis de nata. Worth the trip to Belém just for a sleeve of these. Make sure to eat them warm!
36 Jerónimos Monastery Large Manueline monastery attached to the Church of Santa Maria. Monks in this monastery provided spiritual guidance to navigators and sailors in Portugal’s golden age of discovery.
37 Santa Maria de Belém Church Church attached to the Jerónimos Monastery. Tombs of explorer Vasco da Gama and poet Luís de Camões.
38 Belém Tower Built in the early 1500s as part of the defense system on the Tagus river.
39 Belém Palace Official residence of the Portuguese president.
40 Monument to the Discoveries This towering monument featuring famous navigators on the banks of the Tagus celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th century. It’s currently undergoing a facelift, so much of it is covered by scaffolding (2016). For a few euros, you can climb to the top to see Belém from above.
41 Museu dos Coches Housed in the old Horse Riding Arena of the Belém Palace, this museum has one of the best collections of historical coaches in the world.
42 Museu Berardo At the CCB, this free modern art museum features works by Miro, Warhol and Picasso.

Cais do Sodré

43 Mercado da Ribera One of the best food halls in Europe, with outposts from Portugal’s best chefs.
44 Ascensor da Bica This funicular pops into view as you’re walking along Sao Paulo, with a view straight down to the river.
45 Taberna Ideal Go here, and you’ll rave about the goat cheese, rosemary and honey crostini.

Campo de Ourique

46 Mercado de Campo de Ourique Local market with fruit and veg stalls, with restaurants and seating.
47 Largo da Parada This square is as local as it gets, during the day you’ll find men gathered playing cards and children on the playground. The kiosk here serves up delicious burgers.
48 A Panificação Mecânica Our local bakery where we tried almost everything in the display case. Love their version of cronuts, Pao de Deus and everything in between.
49 Cemiterio dos Prazeres Largest cemetery in Lisbon with many large mausoleums.

Carmo Convent | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Chiado

50 Largo do Carmo Shady square in front of Carmo convent. Great place to grab brunch or a bica.
51 Carmo Convent Ruins from the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Museum has some interesting pieces as well.
52 Lisbon Street Art Tours This is one of the best tours I’ve taken in Europe, and showcases some of the amazing artists in Lisbon today. After you’re done, hunt around town for more pieces from well known artists like Vhils.
53 Sculpture of Fernando Pessoa Right outside Café A Brasileira, this scultpure celebrates one of Portugal’s most famous poets.
54 Livraria Bertrand World’s Oldest Bookshop in Operation. It’s now operated by a large chain, but is still an interesting stop in the heart of Chiado. If you want to read some of Fernando Pessoa’s work, pick up a book here!
55 Igreja de São Domingos Church built in 1241. Damaged by numerous disasters, including 1531 earthquake, 1755 earthquake, and 1959 fire. Though it’s been restored, signs of fire damage are still prominent.
56 Ascensor da Gloria Funicular that connects Restauradores Square with the Bairro Alto.  Government project with dedicated space to street artists that line the funicular path.
57 Sea Me Japanese fusion seafood restaurant and market.
58 Taberna da Rua Das Flores Tiny taberna with rotating menu of small plates with focus on seafood. Our favorite restaurant in Lisbon.
59 O Trevo The best bifanas in Lisbon, for € 2.
60 Landeau Chocolate Famous for chocolate cake, layered with mousse.
61 Manteigaria My favorite place in downtown Lisbon, and it may be better than Pasteis de Belem. Check out our post here for the best pasteis de nata in Lisbon.
62 Café A Brasileira Opulent Art Deco cafe opened in 1905. First cafe to sell a “bica”, or a small cup of strong coffee similar to espresso.
63 Artisani Portuguese ice cream chain.
64 Santini Portuguese gelato chain with the best fruit sorbets.

Estrela

65 Jardim da Estrela Large, beautiful gardens across from the Estrela Basilica. Walking paths, a cafe, library, playground, and wrought-iron bandstand from the 1880s.
66 Basilica da Estrela This funicular pops into view as you’re walking along Sao Paulo, with a view straight down to the river.
67 Mercado da Estrela  Craft fair with locally made goods on the first weekend of every month in Jardim da Estrela.

National Pantheon | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Graça

68 Feira da Ladra Vendors show their wares, with everything from antiques to clothes to azulejos. This flea market is open for bargain hunting every Tuesday and Saturday morning.
69 National Pantheon Originally a church, this landmark took several centuries to complete. Now the National Pantheon, it serves as the resting place of prominent Portuguese figures.
70 Miradouro da Graça Relaxed viewpoint, with church in front and cafe on the square.
71 Monastery of São Vicente de Fora Monastery for the Augustinian Order.  Houses the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

Tapada das Necessidades | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Lapa

72 Tapada das Necessidades Large gardens with a few empty water fountains and empty glass domed greenhouse that feels a bit forgotten. You’ll usually have this place all to yourself.
73 Palácio de São Bento Houses the Assembly of the Republic.

Mouraria

74 Parque de Estacionamento do Chão do Loureiro Before you say I’m crazy to recommend a parking garage, you’ll know why once you step inside. Each level is painted by a street artists, showcasing some of the best talent in Lisbon.
75 Zé da Mouraria Traditional Portuguese tasca where the menu changes daily (and not written in English). Delicious seafood!

Oriente Station | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Parque das Nações

76 Vasco da Gama Bridge The longest bridge in Europe, coming in at 17.185 km long.
77 Parque das Nações 5km along the Tagus featuring modern architecutre, a marina and a world class aquarium
78 Estacao do Oriente  Beautiful modern train station.

Embaixada in Lisbon, Portugal

Príncipe Real

79 Embaixada Neo-Moorish palace from the 1800s, on the edge of Jardim do Principe Real. Large concept store with unique Portuguese made goods and a cafe in the atrium.
80 Entre Tanto Indoor market with concept stores.
81 21 PR Concept Store Indoor market with concept stores.
82 Frangasqueira Nacional Delicious peri peri chicken lunch for less than €4.
83 Bettina & Niccolò Corallo Chocolate & Café Single origin chocolate from a family plantation on the São Tomé and Príncipe islands.
84 Pastelaria São Roque Bakery with ornate Art Nouveau architecuture and good Pao de Deus.
85 Gelataria Nannarella Italian gelato shop with very generous portions. Some of the best gelato we’ve had outside of Italy!
86 Refreshment Kiosks Most of the plazas and squares around Lisbon have food kiosks where you can grab a bica, a bite to eat, and enjoy the atmosphere. Try the one out in Praça Luíz de Camões or Jardim do Principe Real.
87 Churrasqueira da Paz A no frills, local tasca with amazingly fresh fish.
88 Rua de Sao Bento Street lined with the best antiques dealers in the city.
89 Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara Great views of downtown and the Castle across the way.
90 Convento dos Cardaes Nuns convent with white and blue glazed tiles by Dutch artist Jan van Oort.
91 Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara Convent and chapel with exquisite tile work. It may look like a bit of a plain Jane from the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
92 O Prego da Peixera From the same group that created Sea Me, this place has a few delicious twists on the traditional steak sandwich, the prego.
93 Igreja de São Roque One of the first Jesuit churches, this building survived the 1755 earthquake. The interior is richly decorated, with one of its chapels reported to be one of the most expensive in the world.

Refreshment Kiosk | 101 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Other Neighborhoods

94 Cristo Rei Christ the King statue inspired by the famous one in Brazil.
95 Palace of Ajuda Royal residence from the late 1800s featuring neoclassical architecture.
96 Jardim Botanica da Ajuda Adjoining the royal palace, beautiful gardens with exotic tree species from Portugal’s former colonies.
97 Gulbenkian Museum Ancient works from Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian, as well as European masterpieces from artists like Rubens and Rembrandt, Monet and Manet.
98 Campo Pequeno Bull Ring Even if you’re opposed to bull fights, this Arab-inspired brick arena also hosts concerts, and has been renovated to feature a museum, shopping center and restaurants.
99 Águas Livres Aqueduct Historic aquedact and a remarkable example of Portuguese engineering.
100 Cervejaria Ramiro Simple but amazingly fresh seafood. Get there before 7pm to avoid a long line.
101 Mercearia Criativa Lisboa Amazing Pao do Lo. They also have a great prego using bolo do caco bread from Madeira.

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The Ultimate Lisbon Bucket List: 101 things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply Julianna November 10, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Another fabulous post and so comprehensive! Thanks for posting, will definitely use this as a guide next time I go.

    • Reply nomanbefore November 10, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Hey again Julianna! Thank you! There’s so much to do in Lisbon, it’s hard to believe that 101 things doesn’t even cover the bulk of it. It was hard to narrow down our favorites!

  • Reply Lisbon vs Porto December 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    […] we have to make hard choices. Like ice cream or gelato. Beaches or mountains. Lisbon or Porto. Portugal has fast become one of my favorite countries in Europe, and […]

  • Reply Portugal Travel | 19 Places You Can't Miss in Portugal | No Man Before January 26, 2017 at 5:53 am

    […] Lisbon is The City of Seven Hills, the Queen of the Sea, and The City of Light. After traipsing up and down these hills for two months, I know Portugal’s capital is worthy of all of these titles. Lisbon is big, but each neighborhood feels like it’s own little city. Go to Alfama to get lost in a maze of tiny alleys and backstreets, Barrio Alto for nightlife, Principe Real for upscale shopping, and Belem to witness where the greatest explorers set sail. For more ideas on what to explore in each neighborhood, check out our ultimate Lisbon bucketlist! […]

  • Reply Sami May 28, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Great post! I’m Portuguese, although I live in Australia and I don’t think I’ve visited half of these places. I’m going to Portugal on holidays at the end of August so I’ll have a chance to visit some of these for sure!

    • Reply Kelly Barcus May 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Sami! I’m sure you already know a lot of great places, but I hope you discover something new with this bucket list! Sometimes it’s funny when I see tourists going to more places than I have in cities where I live. But it’s so much easier to see more when you’re on holiday. I hope you have a wonderful trip back to Portugal in August!

  • Reply Claire Davis June 10, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Hi! Lots of great information here, thanks! We (myself, husband and two toddlers!) are driving to Portugal in August and spending 2 months there traveling from north to south. Any tips on good, toddler friendly places to stay/attractions to see? The girls will be 1yo and 2.5yo.
    Thank you! Claire

    • Reply Kelly Barcus June 12, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Claire! A two month trip through Portugal sounds amazing! We found the whole country child friendly in that everyone we met was so nice to our son and went out of their way to help us. There are usually separate lines for people with children in the train stations, airports, and even the grocery stores. Our son loved the beaches the most, and there are a lot of beautiful ones! The hard part with some of the cities like Lisbon and Porto is that they’re hilly and full of bumpy narrow sidewalks, so pushing a pram can be pretty exhausting. We tried to use a carrier for most of the time, but if you’re not able to switch off I know that can be hard. Some of the smaller towns, like Cascais, are a great option if you’re looking for something that’s more low-key and pretty easy to get around. I just found you guys on Instagram and hope to follow along. I can never get enough of Portugal in my life. 🙂 Happy travels!

  • Reply 10 Tips for Visiting Lisbon with Kids  | No Man Before June 28, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    […] Places like the zoo and oceanarium end up on lists of things to do when visiting Lisbon with kids pretty often, so we focused our suggestions on places that are unique to this amazing city. Just wandering the streets of colorful Lisboa could keep some kids interested for hours, but here’s a few of our favorite stops that kids will love too.  For even more ideas on things to do in Lisbon, check out our Lisbon bucket list! […]

  • Reply Best Day Trips from Lisbon, Portugal July 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    […] you’re looking for a few ideas and what to do in Lisbon, check out our bucket list of 101 amazing things to do in the city. After you’ve spent some time getting to know […]

  • Reply Sonia Ramalho July 19, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Great post, you capture the highliths of each neighborhood in perfection. Next time you come to Lisbon talk to me to discover the wonders of Mouraria 😉

    • Reply nomanbefore July 20, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Thank you, Sonia! I stayed in Mouraria on my first visit to Portugal and thought it was a great neighborhood. I would love to explore more, and will definitely get your tips when we head back!

  • Reply HeidiMarie October 9, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I too love Portugal! My daughter lived in Carcavelos for 3 years. I visited twice, 2 weeks each time. Not nearly enough time. I’m going back some day.

    • Reply nomanbefore October 10, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Heidi! The coastline around Carcavelos is so beautiful, what a great place to live! I feel like I could never have enough time in Portugal, too! Hope you get to plan another visit soon! 🙂

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