It is so easy to fall in love with Lisbon…any amount of time there will never be enough and you will be left craving more! Check out our list below of the best things to do in Lisbon, Portugal and the amazing reasons you’ll fall in love with Libson!
GINJINHA liquor SHOPS
Ginjinha liquor is a local favorite made of ginja berries infused in alcohol. You can find these shops all around the main tourist areas…usually just a small counter behind a set of doors with a line of people waiting. The ginjinha in Portugal is served as a single shot with ginja berries in the bottom of the cup. Usually, these only cost a little over a euro each. Personally, I think the ginjinha liquor that is a bit higher priced, from a store that sells bottles of wine and other spirits, tends to taste better and have less of an alcohol burn.
They can’t be avoided and why would you even try? Lisbon definitely has some amazing foods. Walking down the streets you are pretty much guaranteed to be stalked by the cafe workers trying their hardest to get you in for a meal. Some of my favorite foods were peri peri chicken and a pastel de bacalhau. Mmm, mmm, mmm they are to die for!
LISBON AT NIGHT
When night starts to fall. a different side of the city comes to life. Dine like a local and eat a late dinner, take a walk and see the glow of the city or find a cafe and have a coffee or a pastry. Lisbon at night is beautiful.
ARCO DA RUA AUGUSTA
If you are down by the waterfront you just can’t miss this. It sits at one end of a large plaza and really feels like a gate to the city. There are elevators to take visitors to the top for a minimal ticket price. There are always lots of people in this area, along with restaurants and unfortunately (as with any heavy tourist areas) pickpockets. The statue and the gate are wonderful to see and walk thru.
LOCAL STREET PERFORMERS
I admit it…I love watching street performers. Ok, I love watching them if they are good at what they are doing. Lisbon had its fair share of street performers all around. We saw everything from musicians, to living statues to caricature artists.
SANTA JUSTA Lift (CARMO Lift)
Probably better known as the Carmo Lift because once you reach the top you are directly beside Carmo Convent. The lift was inaugurated in 1902 and is the only vertical lift in Lisbon. Be warned the wait to go up the elevator will be long. Also, not sure if this happens often but there was a guy playing music next to the line and wouldn’t leave people alone until they gave him some change. Kind of annoying but the music does help pass the time I suppose. The lift is a beautiful cast iron design with filigree details on the outside; inside it is with equally as gorgeous. At the top you get a spectacular view over the city!
LISBON ROOFTOPS, ROOFTOPS AND MORE ROOFTOPS!
Seems like you can get a view of the rooftops nearly anywhere you go…and the view just never gets old! We found view like this all over the city, from the top of Carmo Lift, a roof top bar and even our apartment had a nice view of a few red roofs!
Lisbon Bridges…Is that the Golden Gate Bridge in Lisbon?
Nah not really…but it does resemble it though. This bridge is actually the Vasco da Gama Bridge and at 420 m (1,378 ft), it is the longest bridge in Europe. Opened in March of 1998 it stretches across the Tagus River and connects Sacavém to Alcochete and Montijo. Definitely a beautiful landmark to see while walking along the waterfront.
Endless STREETS TO EXPLORE
With all the different neighborhoods in Lisbon, you could spend days walking around exploring! Small shop, retail chains, people watching, food, wine…it’s all right here! Don’t forget comfy shoes though…the hills in Lisbon are KILLER!
SANGRIA…RED OR WHITE
The last weekend of every month near the Praça Da Figueira there is a popup market. Amazing sangria and tapas for cheap! Aside from the foods we also found arts and crafts tables. I highly recommend it checking it out if you are in Lisbon during the weekend that it is open.
One of the most famous churches in Lisbon that was built around the 12th century. Cost is free to get in but to visit the cloisters or the treasury there is a small fee. Definitely do not miss the cloisters and you will also be able to see the excavation work being done here. There are lots of wonderful photo opportunities and if you go at the right times it will be pretty empty!
THE ICONIC #28 TROLLEY
A great way to see a lot of the city, this trolley is always packed an the only way you have a chance to grab a window seat is if you get on at one of the two end of the line. This does come with a price…you will most likely have to wait in a long line. I think it was worth it. Make sure you look toward the back corners of the trolley as quite often it will pick up hitchhikers!
The inside of the #28 Trolley stays with some old world charm. It is rickety, wooden and gets packed within a few stops of the start of the line. Grab your window seat early or you won’t see anything except the inside of the trolley and the back of someones head.
STATUES AND FOUNTAINS ARE EVERYWHERE
Around every corner it seems you can find a plaza with a statue or fountain. Beautifully crafted and built to stand the test of time.
INTRICATE PATTERNS IN THE SIDEWALKS
All round the town you will find intricate patterns on the sidewalks and streets made from very small tiles. It is incredible to see and really hard to imagine the work that went into creating these works of art that are seriously everywhere! Below is one of the main plazas and has this pattern that runs the entire length with is probably about the size of a football field.
Destroyed in a series of earthquakes in 1755, the more recent years have led to this being used as an archaeological museum. Of course, I love spending most of my time in the nave where the ceiling is gone and you can see the clouds passing overhead. Where all that remains are the wall and the skeleton of what used to be. Entrance to the museum is 4 euros for a standard adult ticket. You can check current prices on their website: Carmo Archaeological Museum
Our trip to Lisbon was WAY to short! Our next stop was Barcelona, Spain and I was so excited to check out the Gothic Quarter! We were able to see many of the main tourist attractions but this city has so much more to offer. The people in our neighborhood were kind and helpful, the architecture is beautiful and the music and food is an experience. Whether you are traveling solo or with a companion, it would be easy to spend weeks here just learning the culture and experiencing life in Lisbon.