Lisbon is Always a Good Idea
Arts & Culture
Lisbon is the stunning capital of Portugal. With its rich history, steep hills and photogenic skyline, Lisbon is a must-see destination for those seeking old-world European charm. Get lost in narrow streets, filled with beautifully tiled buildings, while taking in the incredible foodie scene in this city. This travel guide will help you make the most of your trip by highlighting the best attractions, hotels and restaurants Lisbon has to offer.
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Where to stay in Lisbon
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Mid-century stunner with all the finery and standout service you’d expect from the Four Seasons.
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The Vintage Hotel & Spa Lisbon
Located in central Lisbon, this hotel is known for its architecture, culture and beauty.
DIY gin & tonic kit in room.
Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa
Luxury hotel in Lisbon with a stylish restaurant and rooftop eatery.
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Things to do in Lisbon
A UNESCO Heritage Site, this Manueline-style monastery is a masterpiece of Portuguese architecture. It is the jewel of the Belem district.
This museum houses one of the most extensive and impressive collections of historic carriages and coaches in the world. You will find over 100 coaches and carriages in the museum, all with exquisite paintings and master-carved woodwork.
Constructed in the 19th century, Ajuda Palace served as the residence of the Royal Family until 1910. This is the most well-preserved palace in Lisbon.
Wander through the streets of the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. You will find narrow alleys, historic buildings and the impressive Sao Jorge Castle, with breathtaking views of the city.
Known for its lively nightlife, Bairro Alto is a bohemian district, filled with bars, restaurants and Fado music venues. Locals and tourists spill onto the streets of Bairro Alto to sing, dance and enjoy the great weather in Lisbon.
Climb aboard Tram 28 as it winds through historic neighborhoods, offering a unique perspective of the city. In the high tourist season, it may take more than an hour to get on a tram.
Located in the Park of Nations, this modern oceanarium is perfect for a family outing and is considered one of the best oceanariums in the world. Discover diverse marine life from around the globe.
Marvel at the mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Climb the tower to get panoramic views of the city.
A prime location in the center of Lisbon, famous buildings like Rossio Train Station and Dona Maria II National Theatre surround this square. A great location to sit outside, enjoy some coffee and people-watch.
The best day trip from Lisbon is to Sintra. A taxi, Uber or train ride from Rossio Station is the most used method to get to Sintra. The area is loaded with the former palaces of the Kings and Queens of Portugal. The main square has several restaurants and cafes. Most offer fantastic views of the palaces. Pena Palace looks like something Walt Disney created and is the most visited palace. Quinta da Regaleira is filled with secret passageways for travelers to discover.
Places to eat & drink in Lisbon
Cervejaria Ramiro - A seafood lover’s paradise famous for its fresh seafood and garlic prawns. Ordering is done by the kilogram, so it is important to know how much you want and the weight. Otherwise, you will end up with a huge bill in the end. Anthony Bourdain once visited this location for an episode of No Reservations. For a unique experience, order gooseneck barnacles. They look disgusting but are very tasty.
Manteigaria - For the best pastel de nata (custard tart) in Lisbon, go to Manteigaria. They have a few locations in the city center. They are not the original, but they are the best!
A tiny bar near Rossio Square serving up shots of ginja, a sour cherry liquor. You can order it with or without cherries. If ordering with cherries, they do pack a punch.
Time Out Market - A food hall featuring a wide range of Portuguese and international cuisine. Try local dishes like bacalhau (salted codfish) and pasteis de bacalhau (codfish cakes). The best dishes from across Portugal’s culinary spectrum are found at this venue.
Lisboa a Noite - Experience traditional Portuguese cuisine and Fado music in a cozy setting in the Bairro Alto district. Fado is unique to Portugal, and this location is iconic for its great food and iconic Fado singers.
#Treestory - If you are in the mood for something different, try this trendy spot for excellent dishes from the country of Georgia. Go for the Khachapuri Classico (like a cheese pizza) and a pork Kababi.
Belcanto - For a Michelin Star experience, visit Belcanto, Jose Avillez’s restaurant, which offers a tasting menu that showcases Portuguese culinary excellence.
Solar dos Presuntos - A classic Lisbon restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese dishes in a charming and historic setting. The seafood tower is impressive and is loaded with seafood. A quick tip to pass along. When you are seated, bread, butter, olives and other dishes get placed in front of you. Those are not free and could add as much as 25 euros to your bill. If you are not interested in these dishes, kindly ask your server to remove them.
Ponto Final - This is across from Lisbon in Almada. Indulge in seafood delights while enjoying a panoramic view of the Lisbon skyline and the April 25th Bridge. The Monkfish Stew is a MUST. Perfect for capturing sunsets, Ponto Final was featured in an episode of the Netflix series, Somebody Feed Phil.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Colette Gueye Owona guide, Beyond the Ordinary: A Cultural and Experiential Guide to Lisbon, Portugal.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Lisbon.