With its quaint streets, good climate and delicious food, charming Lisbon is now officially the best-value destination in Europe. As a result, Visit Lisboa highlights some of the great options that make the city and surrounding region such an appealing short-break destination.

Belém Tower

Must-see sites

Lisbon’s most famous attractions include the historic UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites of Belém Tower, a symbol of Portuguese maritime power during the Age of Discoveries, and Jerónimos Monastery, a lavish masterpiece of Manueline architecture.

Both attractions are located in the district of Belem, overlooking the River Tagus, with a combined entry of just €12. Moreover, the Monument of Discoveries is also in the same area, just a few steps away from Belém Tower.

Lisbon café life

Where to eat and what

Atmospheric Alfama is one of the best areas for traditional cuisine, with budget-friendly Tascas serving daily specials such as bacalhau (salted cod), feijoada (bean stew) and petiscos, which are small bites similar to tapas.

Fish plays a major role in menus across Lisbon, with the seaside town of Setúbal, south of the Tagus, the place to find the freshest dishes expertly prepared. Sardines are a speciality, along with the famous choco frito (fried cuttlefish), massadas de peixe (fish stew), red mullet and oysters.

Immerse yourself in the local culture

Soak up the sounds and colour of old Lisbon by exploring the Alfama district, where towering São Jorge Castle looks down on narrow streets and colourful houses decorated with Azulejos tiles, and traditional Fado music provides the soundtrack to a visit.

Lisbon’s rich history is also on display at a selection of outstanding museums, such as the majestic Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which hosts one of Europe’s best private art collections, with a particular focus on Islamic art.

Another popular choice is the Royal Treasure Museum, which showcases Portugal’s impressive Crown Jewels.

Lisbon
View from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

Enjoy (free) spectacular views of the city

Known as the city of seven hills, one of the best ways to see the beauty of Lisbon is to head to any of the famous ´miradouros´ (viewpoints), each offering its own unique outlook on the city below. A favourite is the Miradouro Da Senhora Do Monte, which provides sweeping views of the city, with the Tagus estuary, the rooftops of Baixa, the ruins of Carmo and the pastel tones of the Avenidas Novas, especially eye-catching.

See also: Exploring Lisbon: 3 Exciting Days in the Portuguese Capital

In addition, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is one of Lisbon’s largest viewpoints. It is set in a beautiful garden at the highest point of the Elevador da Glória funicular and has views of Avenida da Liberdade, Restauradores and Baixa. Make sure you enjoy some freshly-squeezed pineapple juice while you take in the view!

Lisbon tram
Lisbon’s iconic yellow trams

Travelling Around Lisbon

Lisbon’s canary-yellow trams are a city icon, and none is more famous than the number 28, which takes passengers through popular neighbourhoods such as Alfama and Baixa and past landmarks including the cathedral Se de Lisboa.

Meanwhile, the modern Number 15 tram takes an eye-catching route along the riverfront to the historic sites of Belem. Single trips cost just €3.

The sandy beaches of Costa da Caparica – Photo @ Turismo de Lisboa

Beach life in Lisbon

Lisbon is a dazzling city packed with culture and historic sites, but there are also great beaches within 20 minutes of the centre. Some of the closest and most easily accessible are found along the Costa da Caparica, to the south, where a 15km stretch of golden sands and various resort towns make it popular with Lisboetas. To the west of the city is charming Cascais, with the sandy shores of Santo Amaro, Oeiras and Cascavelos ideal for families.

Pro Tip: get the Lisboa Card

For the ultimate way to get the most out of Lisbon, the Lisboa Card saves visitors time and money during their stay. It costs 22€ per person for 24h, 37€/person for 48h ad 46€ for 72h, and provides free access to 39 museums and monuments.

It also provides free transport on the metro, trams, and funiculars within Lisbon. Moreover, the trains to the fairytale town of Sintra and the beaches of Cascais are also included.

Finally, it also offers discounts on a variety of local services and stores. For more info, visit https://www.visitlisboa.com/en/p/lisboa-card. You can also buy the Lisboa card online.

Pretty but affordable hotels in Lisbon

Lisbon is one of those destinations that, in addition to great sightseeing, has a wide variety of new, boutique hotels. That said, as Lisbon becomes more popular, the prices go up. Below are some of the prettiest, budget-friendly hotels in Lisbon:

  • Browns Boutique. Ideal for those who want a stay in the heart of the city, next to the main attractions. This boutique hotel has 32 bright rooms, a bar and a restaurant. The stylish lobby is like a library, with books, vinyl records and leather armchairs. Book your stay at Booking.com
  • Alecrim ao Chiado. A charming boutique hotel, with rooms in pastel blue tones and elegant cream furniture in classic style. Homemade breakfast is included in the price. Book your stay at Booking.com
  • Browns Central. Another boutique hotel of the Browns chain, also in the city centre, with a distinctive design, decorated by well-known designers. All rooms have a Nespresso coffee machine, Smeg kettle and Bluetooth MediaHub system. Book your stay at Booking.com
  • Palácio das Especiarias. If you want to stay in a palace but at a more affordable price, you will be delighted with this boutique hotel. It’s a real former 16th-century palace, with romantic decor but modern amenities, and rooms with views of the Tagus. Plus, you’ll have breakfast to the accompaniment of live piano or violin music! Book your stay at Booking.com
  • Casas de São Bento. this complex near Bairro Alto, has both hotel rooms and all-independent apartments with their own kitchen. All of them have romantic decorations, parquet floors and stone decorations on the walls. Some even have their own courtyard or balcony. Book your stay at Booking.com

For more information, ideas and inspiration on visiting Lisbon, please go to www.visitlisboa.com

Author

Eleanna is the founder of Chic Travel Tales and has been blogging since 2013. Her mixed ethnic background has made her curious about the world from a young age. Since her first solo trip at 18, she has visited and lived in many places, like London, Sao Paulo, Paris, and Toronto. Her mission is to inspire people to travel the world in style and get to know the soul of each destination.

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