15 Reasons You’ll Fall In Love With Lisbon!

15 Reasons You'll Fall in Love With Lisbon Portugal

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

People standing in line at ginjinha shop in Lisbon, Portugal

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.

STREET CAFES

Tourists walking thru a street filled with cafes and restaurants

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

Street light up at night with tall buildings in Lisbon Portugal

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

Four street performers playing music together on the streets of Lisbon Portugal

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)

View from the top of the San Justo 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!

Red Rooftops of Lisbon PortugalRed rooftops against the water

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?

Scenic view of the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon Portugal

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

Yellow trolley car driving down a crowded street

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

Woman serving sangria to another woman at a local market

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.

LISBON CATHEDRAL

Empty cloisters in the Lisbon cathedral

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

#28 trolley headed up the street packed with tourists

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!

People sitting inside the #28 trolley in Lisbon portugal

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.

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STATUES AND FOUNTAINS ARE EVERYWHERE

Purple flowering trees surround an old statue in Lisbon Portugal

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

Detailed tile work around a tall fountain

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.

CARMO CONVENT

Black and white picture of the Carmo Convent.  Ceiling is gone showing only the sky behind the remaining parts of the structure

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.


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Comments 34

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  1. I had no idea Lisbon had so much to offer! These little cafés, the cathedral, the sangria….!! I really hope to be able to check that out with my own eyes this summer!

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  2. I’m planning on going to Lisbon in the summer, once I’ve finished my teaching contract in Barcelona! Everyone’s been raving about it recently!

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  3. I’m a student of European History, and we always talked about Lisbon in my college classes. You brought many of the scenes I pictured to life. Lovely photos!

  4. After befriending a girl from Lisbon while traveling, it’s become pretty high on my list for destinations in Europe. I can definitely see myself wandering through the streets and eating at a different cafe every day.

  5. I’ve been wanting to visit Lisbon forever and your photos are totally giving me trip envy. I’m a big fan of street performers too. I can’t imagine lugging a bass around to play on the street.

  6. I went to Lisbon last year for the first time, and like you, fell in love with the city! I love the architecture and the city has some of the best views! Seeing your photos has me wanting to return sooner than later. Did you try a Pastel de nata while you were there?

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  7. You’re so right – Lisbon is easy to love. When I was there, the Carmo Cathedral had this concert going on inside – some high school orchestra was playing covers of well known movie and theater music – and we were able to go in for free! Lisbon is literally oozing with charm and it’s also a pretty good value, so I know of expats who are looking to live there as well. Cheers!

  8. I’ve been wanting to visit Lisbon for so long! Looks like such a great city with the street cafes and pretty scenes everywhere. The Vasco da Gama Bridge does look like the Golden Gate! Would love to check that out as well as the iconic trolley!!

  9. I visited Lisbon and toured for a couple of days. Loved the old part more. I did miss some of the things you mentioned.

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  10. Unfortunately I haven’t been to Lisbon but it;s on my list. It looks like a very picturesque city with the orange roof tops and the scenic tram. I would also love to try this berry drink I have never heard of before. It sounds so tasty.

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  11. I also love street performers! My friends think I’m silly hehe.. although I never really understood the living statues, I do admire their perseverance. As long as I can hang out with a glass of sangria to watch though, I’m good 🙂

  12. Your photos really make Lisbon come alive! It’s so nice to see Portugal get the love and attention it deserves. It’s lived in the shadow of Spain and Italy for too long.

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  13. I went to Lisbon about 25 years ago but didn’t spend enough time there. My fondest memory is sitting at an outside café just watching the world go by. I would like to return to Lisbon one day to see how it’s changed (or not). Thanks for sharing!

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