Highlights in Lisbon: Our tips for your city trip

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Lisbon. From the first moment we gave our hearts to this city. In our opinion, the Portuguese capital ranks very high in the list of the most beautiful cities in Europe . With the tiled house facades and the winding, narrow streets, the hilly Lisbon exudes a very special flair.

You can’t help but fall head over heels in love with Lisbon. We can therefore warmly recommend a city trip to the capital of Portugal.

To help you find your way around Lisbon, we will share our personal tips for your trip in this blog article : What are the most beautiful sights? Which highlights shouldn’t I miss? Lisbon is a dream of a city and we’re pretty sure you’ll love it as much as we do.

1. The most beautiful sights in Lisbon Alfama: The oldest district in Lisbon Our tip: It’s best to start your Lisbon city break right away in Alfama. The Alfama is the oldest and most original district of Lisbon and lives from the flair of the countless narrow and winding streets. “Labyrinth of alleys” is an understatement: Here you should just let yourself drift and enjoy the charm of Lisbon.

Although: with the words “let drift” we may convey the wrong image. The Alfama is very hilly and you have to be prepared to have to conquer one or the other hill.

One of the most important sights in the Alfama is the Cathedral Sé. It is more spectacular from the outside than from the inside, but it is still worth a short stop.

Castelo de São Jorge The medieval fortifications are located directly above the Alfama on a steep hill named Castle of Sao Jorge. Due to the proximity, it makes sense to combine a visit to the fortress with a walk through Alfama.

The Castle of São Jorge and its fortress walls are accessible. From there you have a spectacular view over Lisbon and the Tejo. A visit to this fortification should definitely be on your plan on a city trip to Lisbon: In our opinion, the Castelo is one of the most impressive places in the city.

Our tip: From the Castelo it is only a stone’s throw to one of the most beautiful views of the city. The Miradouro da Graça is a very popular place, especially at sunset.

Information on visiting the Castelo de São Jorge Entry: Euro

Getting there: On foot or by bus no. 18 from Praça da Figueira to the “Castelo” stop (directly in front) or by tram 28 to the “Miradouro Sta. Luzia” (5 minutes walk away)

Tram Line No. 500 Maybe you already have a photo of the seen a historic tram struggling its way up a steep hill in Lisbon? A ride on tram no. 15 is almost a must on a city trip to Lisbon.

When you take the tram, you get shoved and pushed through. Comfortable looks different – but it is always an experience. The tram travels across Lisbon and passes numerous sights. For example, you can take the tram to the Castle of São Jorge or from there to the western side of the city, to the Bairro Alto district.

Praça do Comércio One of the most important and imposing squares is the Praça do Comércio. Above all, the Triumphal Arch and the large equestrian statue immediately catch the eye. The dimensions of this square are gigantic. The great thing about the place is that it is open on one side to the river (Tejo). We were very lucky to be able to experience a really beautiful sunset here. North of the Praça do Comércio you get directly into the city center of Lisbon, into the so-called Baixa.

Getting there: Terreiro do Paço Metro Station

Baixa district The Baixa is the “centre” of Lisbon, so to speak, and also the area where quite a few tourists are out and about. This part of town was destroyed after the big earthquake in 11. Century completely destroyed and rebuilt. That’s why you’ll find symmetrical streets here.

A walk through the pedestrian zone is a must on a city trip to Lisbon. The main shopping streets with branches of international brands are also located here. The well-known Rua Augusta leads you directly to the Praça do Comércio.

The Elevador de Santa Justa is also very well known. This lift is probably the most famous in Lisbon and is an eye-catcher with its unusual steel construction. It connects the Baixa with the neighboring district of Chiado, located higher up. In the north of the Baixa you will reach two other well-known squares in Lisbon: the Praça da Figueira and the Rossio.

Convento do Carmo In the Baixa is home to an unusual sight in Lisbon: the monastery ruins called Convento do Carmo. An imposing cathedral once stood on this site before it was destroyed by the earthquake in 18. century was reduced to rubble and ashes. The restoration started, but was stopped. That’s why you’ll find a quirky, roofless nave on the site today.

The ruin is quite photogenic. Although it is not one of the major highlights in Lisbon, it is definitely worth a visit.

Information on visiting the Convento do Carmo Admission: 6 euros (reduced with the Lisbon Card)

Getting there: Baixa-Chiado Metro Station

Belém District Belém is a district, located in the western part of Lisbon, just outside the old town. For a trip to Belém you should plan about half to a full day, because some of the most important sights of Lisbon are located here.

Absolutely You shouldn’t miss the gigantic Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. We didn’t expect much and were ultimately simply speechless. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a masterpiece from an architectural point of view. The view of the cloister alone – simply incredible. Believe us: You too will be amazed.

Don’t miss: The world’s best Pastéis de Belém! The associated bakery is around the corner from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and is ideal for a short break. We will tell you more information in the next chapter.

The second major highlight in the Belém district is on the waterfront, around 15 walking distance away: The Torre de Belém is one of the most famous landmarks in Lisbon. It once served as a lighthouse – today you will find a viewing platform in the Torre de Belém, from which you have a beautiful view over the Tejo.

Another attraction of Belém is also on the waterfront: the Padrao dos Descobrimentos. The monument is a beautiful photo motif. There is also a viewing platform with a view of the Tagus.

Information on visiting Belém Getting there: Tram 15 (e.g. to the stop at the monastery)

Entry: 12 Euro combined ticket for Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (free with Lisbon Card)

District Bairro Alto Bairro Alta is, so to speak, the colorful trendy district from Lisbon. If you want to have a drink in the evening, you are in good hands here. During the day it is relatively quiet and relaxed in this part of the city. The alleys are mostly deserted, but you can marvel at the colorful street art works on the house walls. There are also one or the other cool shop to discover.

In the evening the district seems transformed: there is a lot going on in the restaurants, bars and clubs. Pretty cool: Much of the neighborhood is closed to traffic.

Getting there: Baixa-Chiado Metro Station (from there on foot)

2. Culinary Lisbon: Pastéis de Nata & other tips One thing that people in Lisbon (or in general in Portugal) are the delicious custard tarts called pastéis de nata. Personally, we could dig into it and give ourselves a pastéis-eating contest every time we’re in Portugal.

Pastéis de Nata you get at almost every corner. However, the supposedly best ones in all of Lisbon can be found in a traditional bakery in Lisbon’s Belém district. There they are called Pastéis de Belém. Small warning: The bakery is now anything but an insider tip. Although there is an incredible number of seats, you may still have to wait. We’re more into taking some cupcakes with us and then eating them with a view of the river.

Restaurant tips for Lisbon Bistrô Gato Pardo: This small, cozy bistro serves excellent Mediterranean cuisine. The mushroom ravioli were particularly good. The restaurant is run by a Swiss man who takes care of the guests with great enthusiasm and is incredibly nice. The prices are a bit high, but absolutely fine for the quality. Main courses cost about 12 Euro.

Pois Café: This artsy café is a good choice for a quick, easy lunch. There is pasta, salads and also oriental-Mediterranean dishes such as curries. In addition, daily changing lunch dishes are served as well as Austrian specialties (e.g. apple strudel), as the café is run by two Austrians.

Largo Café Estúdio: This very nice, small café, which is run with great attention to detail, is particularly worthwhile for a stopover for coffee and cake. It is in a very charming square. In summer you can make yourself comfortable outside at the tables in front of the restaurant.

3. Our hotel: The Memmo Alfama in the heart of Lisbon We stayed at Hotel Memmo Alfama, which we highly recommend! The design hotel is located in the middle of Alfama and is a real insider tip.

The hotel is one of those places where you feel at home from the first moment on feels good. It is furnished in Scandinavian style. The rooms are quite puristic, but still very comfortable – exactly our taste!

The big highlight of the hotel is the roof terrace. From there you have you have a spectacular view over Lisbon and the river. When the weather is nice, you can have breakfast directly on the terrace – an absolute dream, isn’t it?

You can book the hotel here: Memmo Alfama

4. More travel tips for Lisbon How long should I stay in Lisbon ? Lisbon is quite a diverse city. One or the other day trip (e.g. to Sintra and Cabo da Roca) is also an option. Therefore we recommend you to stay at least four nights in Lisbon. We were there for that long and found this time ideal.

Of course you can see a lot on just one weekend, but it’s much more relaxed the city trip, if you plan a slightly more generous time frame.

Which travel guide for Lisbon can you recommend? Option 1: Lisbon Travel Guide From the series “Dumont direct” there is a very compact Lisbon travel guide that we can recommend. You will look in vain for detailed background information – this travel guide really focuses on many tips on site. We really like the compact format and the design.

You can buy the guide here: Dumont direct Lisbon travel guide (edition )

If you prefer detailed, then the classic Dumont travel guide is more suitable.

You can buy the guide here: Dumont Lisbon Guide (Edition

Option 2: Complete travel guide for Portugal If you are planning a round trip to Portugal, we recommend the Lonely Planet travel guide . He is very likeable, clear and attractively designed.

You can buy the travel guide here: Lonely Planet Portugal (edition 2020)

5 . More travel reports from Lisbon and Portugal You want to know more? You can find more travel tips for a day trip from Lisbon in this article: Day trip to Sintra.

Are you not only traveling to Lisbon, but also want to visit other destinations in Portugal? You’ll find what you’re looking for here: All Portugal articles at a glance

Our conclusion on Lisbon: There were sparks between us and Lisbon. From the first moment. Until the last second. Lisbon is so harmonious (apart from the language), the city has so much charm. We don’t know of any comparable city in Europe and can only warmly recommend a city trip to the Portuguese capital.

2020Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Lisbon? Do you have any other tips or recommendations for sights? We look forward to your comment!