8 fun activities in Lisbon
Lisbon exudes that typical Portuguese atmosphere. Truly a city to fall in love with. The winding small streets of the old district Alfama, where you can always hear a Fado singer in the background. Or the beautiful viewpoints of Lisbon, did you know that Lisbon stretches over seven hills? Not everyone can appreciate Lisbon right away, but for those who 'understand' the city, there's no turning back: Lisbon is a city that will stay in your heart forever. Experience it yourself with these 8 fun activities in Lisbon!
1. Enjoy the most beautiful views
Scattered over Lisbon you'll find several viewpoints (Miradouros), from where you'll be treated to beautiful views of the city. Many tours in Lisbon stop at at at least one viewpoint. At these viewpoints you'll often find a café with a terrace, the ideal moment to relax while enjoying a cup of coffee (of course with a Pastéis de Nata). The most beautiful viewpoints in Lisbon are Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara, Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte, Miradouro de Santa Catarina, Miradouro da Graça, Miradouro da Santa Luzia, Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
2. Cycle along the Tagus to Belém
Lisbon is not necessarily a bicycle-friendly city, but there are still a number of nice cycling routes to be found. The best start from Praça do Comércio and go in the direction of Belém. You'll enjoy a relaxing bike ride along the Tagus on one of the few real bike paths in Lisbon. This route takes you past a number of special sights, including the Ponte 25 de Abril, Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Torre de Belém. Be sure to visit the impressive Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, where you can visit the Maritime Museum. Next to the monastery is the world famous Pastéis de Belém, which you absolutely must visit! Here the original Pastéis de Belém are made. In addition to learning more about how they are made, there is also a large café where you can taste this delicacy for yourself. Would you like to do this bike tour with a local guide? You can! There is a special bike tour to follow this route along the Tagus.
3. Have dinner in a restaurant in Alfama
It is one of the oldest districts of Lisbon and absolutely one of the most atmospheric. Here you can taste the authentic Portuguese atmosphere. Although it is becoming more and more touristic, Alfama still offers you a glimpse into the authentic side of Lisbon. Alfama is a district to get lost in (which is 100% sure to happen to you), the maze of narrow streets, alleys and stairs will take you to the most surprising places. The viewpoints Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol can also be found in Alfama. Besides getting lost you can also enjoy a good traditional Portugese meal in Alfama, in nearly every street there are cozy restaurants hidden. In many restaurants fado singers perform in the evening, which creates a special atmosphere. Our advice: Just walk in somwhere and be surprised.
4. View Lisbon from the water
Lisbon has always had an important connection with water. Besides the fact that the Tagus River flows here, Lisbon is also situated on the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the Portuguese discoveries departed from Lisbon, so in the city you will find monuments and statues of Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama, among others. While you're in Lisbon, you should follow in the footsteps of the great explorers from Lisbon. From Belém you can make a crossing over the Tagus to Trafaria. Here you can visit the small fishing village of Cova do Vapôr or go to the beaches of São João da Caparica, where you can see many surfers. You can also do a sailing trip on the Tagus or go Stand Up Paddling at Cova do Vapôr.
5. Discover the beautiful Portuguese tiles
If you look closely, you can see so-called azulejos all over Lisbon. These are Portuguese ceramic (ornamental) tiles that are often painted blue. In churches, on walls, in metro stations and just on the ground, you can discover them everywhere. The tiles often tell a story and have a certain meaning, so it's nice to walk through Lisbon with a local guide and find out more about the tiles. In Lisbon you can visit the National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo). Don't miss the famous 'Great View of Lisbon'.
6. Visit Sintra and Cascais
There are a number of special places in the vicinity of Lisbon, which you can visit with an organised day trip or by train. One of these places is Sintra, which is located about 30 km west of Lisbon. From the town of Sintra begins the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, a beautiful nature reserve that runs to the coast. But Sintra can also be visited for its historic ruins (Castelo dos Mouros and Quinta da Regaleira) and beautiful palaces, such as the colourful Palácio da Pena and the Palácio Nacional de Sintra. Feel free to take a full day for this, these places are worth it. South of Sintra is the coastal town of Cascais, where you can easily get to by train from Lisbon. It is a beautiful and cosy town where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city of Lisbon. Stroll through the streets and enjoy a traditional Portuguese dish in one of the many restaurants.
7. Take a ride with the famous Tram 28
It is one of the icons of Lisbon: the yellow Tram 28. This historic tram played an important role in making the districts of the hilly Lisbon accessible. Nowadays it is mainly a tourist attraction, but one that is worth experiencing. The route of Tram 28 takes you through a number of historic districts. You follow winding narrow streets that sometimes go up very steeply and see various sights and viewpoints along the way. Do you want to avoid the busiest times? Then choose a ride in the morning. From the Martim Moniz stop you can start the ride, just watch out for pickpockets!
8. Walk on the walls of Castelo de São Jorge
The impressive Castelo de São Jorge is pretty much visible from anywhere in Lisbon. This castle is located on the highest hill of Lisbon and will naturally attract your attention. This historic castle is visited by many tourists and should not be missed on your list. Historical excavations show that people already lived here in the 6th century BC. Walk through the castle and you learn more about the eventful history of the castle. But for many people, the main attractions of the castle are the walls, from where you may have the best view over Lisbon and the Tagus.
Want to experience authentic Lisbon with a passionate local English speaking guide? We selected the most original tours & activities in Lisbon for you!