Quick Getaway To Lisbon: A Guide To The City’s Must-See Spots

Thu Nov 02 2023

Quick Guide To Lisbon

Planning a trip to Lisbon but not sure what to do and where to go for the perfect getaway experience? Look no further – this comprehensive guide covers all of the must-see spots in this beautiful city! From unforgettable attractions such as St.

George’s Castle, Santa Justa Lift, and Praça do Comércio, to partying it up at nightlife hotpots Bairro Alto and LXfactory; you’ll be spoilt for choice when exploring the sights and sounds of Lisbon.

Immerse yourself in fascinating museums like MAAT or breathtaking viewpoints Miradouros – come with us on this thrilling journey that takes you beyond Lisbon's bustling streets!

Key Takeaways

  • Lisbon is a vibrant city full of attractions like St. George's Castle, Praça do Comércio and Santa Justa Lift.
  • Take a day trip to Sintra for its stunning palaces and world renowned Pasteis de Nata delicacy.
  • Experiences unique to Lisbon include the Tagus River Cruise, live Fado music performances and Miradouros providing breathtaking views of the city.
  • Indulge in lively nightlife spots including traditional pubs at Bairro Alto neighborhood or trendy clubs at LXfactory and Pink Street.

Top Attractions in Lisbon

Explore the must-see spots of the city, such as St. George's Castle, Santa Justa Lift and Praça do Comércio, take a Tagus River Cruise and wander through Alfama Quarter before heading for a day trip to Sintra for its famous Pasteis de Nata delicacy and Fado music.


St. George's Castle

Located in Alfama, St. George's Castle is one of the top attractions in Lisbon. It is the oldest castle in Lisbon and is also considered the best-preserved monument. Sitting atop of the highest hill in Lisbon, it offers panoramic views of stunning vistas over rolling hills and terracotta rooftops.

The castle has a rich history rooted deep within the city's foundations as it protected Lisbon for centuries, with many battles preventing enemy forces from entering or destroying its walls throughout time.

Today, though still standing proudly as testimony to days gone by, visitors can experience this beautiful structure while honouring its past through a combination of culture, history and breathtaking views brought together under one roof.

Santa Justa Lift

The Santa Justa Lift is an iconic 19th-century industrial era elevator in Lisbon with a stunning view from the top. The lift, which officially opened to the public in 1901 by King Carlos was initially used to transport passengers quickly and easily between Baixa and Bairro Alto districts, but it now serves as one of the city's busiest tourist attractions.

Created by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a pupil of Gustave Eiffel, the towering steel structure stands at 45 meters high and offers breathtaking views of Lisbon's historic architecture at every turn.

Inside its vintage wooden cabins are open for people to enter daily - complete with brass compartments and stained glass windows enclosing black leather sofas that befit this iconic piece of history.

Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comércio is an incredible plaza located on the waterfront in downtown Lisbon, Portugal. It is home to an iconic 18th-century archway which opens onto the Tagus estuary and houses a popular Tourist Information center within it.

Built after the devastating 1555 earthquake, Praça do Comércio has been widely considered one of the largest and most beautiful squares in Europe with its stunning architecture that encircles three sides of this square.

Because of its great importance as the starting point for exploring Lisbon, tourists can join guided tours at any time from here or take advantage of one of several tram services that pass by regularly.

Tagus River Cruise

Take a 45-minute trip along Portugal’s beautiful Tagus River and get an unforgettable perspective of Lisbon, its city center and charming riverfront attractions like the Monument to the Discoveries, Commerce Square, and the 25 de Abril Bridge.

The cruise also passes by Terreiro do Paco, a historically rich square in downtown captured by photographers around the world. Seeing Lisbon from this view is a must-do for travelers visiting the country, with many opting to take this route over traveling through cobblestone streets on foot.

This unique experience will give you insight into Portuguese culture as sailing down its famous riverside provides breath-taking views of historical monuments that helped shaped contemporary Portugal.

Alfama Quarter

Alfama is a captivating neighborhood in the heart of Lisbon, situated between Castelo de São Jorge and the Tagus River. It's known for its winding cobbled streets, vibrant backstreet restaurants, and gorgeous hilltop panoramas.

Many of Lisbon's most historic buildings are located in Alfama, like Se Cathedral dating to 1230 AD, St George’s Castle built during medieval times, Panteão Nacional which houses an impressive collection of royal tombs and Feira de Ladra flea market established over 200 years ago.

In addition to these amazing cultural sites scattered throughout Alfama you can also find inviting Fado music venues offering traditional Portuguese cuisine often accompanied by live performances giving visitors insight into some of Portugal’s most beloved customs.

Day Trip to Sintra

Sintra is a beautiful vacation destination that makes for an easy day trip if you’re visiting Lisbon. Located only 25km away, travelers can reach Sintra in no more than an hour of travel time from the city center.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its extravagant palaces, ancient castles, and stunning scenery, making it definitely worth a visit while on holiday! Depending on your style and interests there are several ways to plan a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon without any need for taking tours - you could opt for public transport like the train or bus service or even rent a car or book private taxi services.

Additionally, travelers can combine their day out in Sintra with some time spent exploring the nearby town of Cascais which adds another layer of charm to this short adventure outside of Lisbon.

Pasteis de Nata

Pasteis de nata are Portugal's most beloved pastry. This flaky and egg-custard filled treat is famous all over the country for good reason. Originating in Belém, the small neighborhood where they have been made since 1837, these delicious pastries can now be found throughout Lisbon in neighborhood cafes and artisanal bakeries like Pastelaria Aloma.

For something truly special, Manteigaria Fábrica de Pasteis de Nata at Time Out Market claims the top spot on TripAdvisor as delivering Lisbon’s best pasteis de nata experience! With its crispy crust and creamy custard center, there is nothing quite like a freshly made pasteis de nata - making it an absolute must when exploring this liveried city!

Fado Music

Fado is an iconic form of Portuguese traditional music characterized by its melancholic rhythms and lyrics. Originating in the early 19th century, this genre is a combination of opera and blues that uses powerful symbols to express longing and fate through themes such as saudade, loneliness, joy, sorrow, passion and even despair.

Lisbon is renowned for offering visitors the best opportunity to experience Fado Music with popular venues like Clube de Fado or night walks through Alfama’s narrow streets leading to enchanting fado houses where locals come together around one table for serenades full of unique emotions.

Miradouros (Viewpoints)

Lisbon is known for its many stunning viewpoints, called miradouros. Miradouros are located at official viewpoints, rooftops, hidden terraces and well-located bars offering panoramic views of Lisbon’s landmarks and neighborhoods such as the orange rooftops of Bairro Alto or Castelo de São Jorge.

One of the highest miradouros in Lisbon offers incredible vistas like rolling hills and lush greenery associated with Monumento Natural da Serra de Aires Cruzados. Well-known miradouros include Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte with amazing city views; Miradouro Padrao dos Descobrimentos featuring world maps on the ground depicting Portuguese discoveries around the world; and Miradouro de Santa Catarina (Adamastor), overlooking Cais do Sodre.

Visiting a mirador in Lisbon will make your trip unique since you can enjoy breathtaking sights from all over town while admiring one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a grand complex in Lisbon, Portugal that stands as testament to the rich Portuguese history. It comprises of an awe-inspiring Igreja de Santa Maria church, impressive cloisters and a west wing built for some of the most celebrated figures associated with overseas exploration.

The Manueline-style façade of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is world renowned for its intricate sculptures and lavish details all overlooking the mighty Tagus River. Its strategic location in Belem makes it easy to access from other popular attractions which serve as perfect backdrops for enviable picturesque shots that can only be found in this city! As a UNESCO World Heritage Site it's one of Lisbon's top sights, unmissable not only because its stunning architectural beauty but also due to its quintessential role in Portugal’s national heritage story.

Places to Party in Lisbon

From Bairro Alto and Pink Street to LXFactory and Rooftop Bars, you will have plenty of opportunities to party in Lisbon!


Bairro Alto

Located in the center of Lisbon, Bairro Alto is a district overflowing with historic charm and full of vibrant nightlife. Since the 1500s it has been a haunt for artists and writers who have been attracted to its lively atmosphere.

It's no wonder it remains the most popular area in Portugal today! Tired travelers will find plenty to do here - from traditional pubs playing fado music to modern clubs blasting all types of tunes into the night air.

This district offers those looking to explore more than just Portugese culture, as various fusion restaurants offer dishes invented right out of local ingredients. Whether you're looking for a cultural experience or just want to party the night away, make sure you check out what Bairro Alto has to offer – it won't disappoint!

Pink Street

Located in the Cais do Sodre neighborhood of Lisbon, Pink Street (also known as Nova Rua do Carvalho) is a must-see spot for anyone visiting the Portuguese capital city. It was once home to the Red Light district but has now been transformed into a vibrant and fun destination full of life.

With its bright pink exterior walls and paved pathways leading to modern bars, clubs, restaurants and a few stores as well, this street is one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in the city.

Locals and tourists alike frequent this nightlife hub for an enjoyable evening out with friends or significant other; where they can sip on Ginjinha –a locally produced cherry liqueur– while enjoying live music performances by some of top Fado artists from Portugal.


LXfactory is an exciting and vibrant hub located in the Alcântara district of Lisbon. Once a former industrial depot for textiles, this charming spot has been transformed into one of Portugal's and Europe's most creative hubs.

LXFactory offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities, such as vintage street markets which occur every Sunday, with artsy boutiques, lively cafés, music clubs and rooftop bars providing plenty to do.

Despite its transformation from an old factory to a modern creative hotspot in Lisbon’s burgeoning cultural landscape, LX Factory has kept some traditional touches like preserved red brick walls and cobble-stoned alleys that still give off a richness that can be experienced when exploring this fantastic complex – making it a must experience location on any travel list!.

Rooftop Bars

Lisbon is full of incredible spots to drink, dance and lounge with friends surrounded by stunning night-time views. Rooftop bars in the city are found all over the place, each offering a unique atmosphere and selection of drinks for visitors to choose from.

One of the top picks is Entretanto Rooftop Bar at Hotel do Chiado – here you'll be able to sip your preferred tipple whilst admiring Lisbon’s towering skyline. Check out other popular rooftop bars like Lumi Rooftop (which is renowned as Europe's best), Topo Martim Moniz or any one of the many hip locations that make up Bairro Alto – these places serve great Portuguese home cooking with an amazing dining experience atop some breathtaking sights! Enjoy mouth-watering cocktails as well as local beers, often accompanied by live music events playing throughout summer months too.

Pavilhão Chinês

Located in the Bairro Alto neighborhood of Lisbon, Portugal, Pavilhão Chinês is a unique bar whose interior has become renowned for its vast collection of antiques. Composed of five rooms featuring artifacts such as stained-glass lanterns, old decanters and traditional Portuguese furniture, it is easy to see why this place gives off museum vibes and stands out from other bars within the area.

This distinctive atmosphere coupled with the bar's prime location – located in one of Lisbon’s most popular nightlife spots – makes it a top choice amongst travelers looking for a truly unforgettable experience during their stay.

Whether you're interested in getting drinks or simply taking picturesque photographs inside this extraordinary spot - there's something to satisfy all visitors at Pavilhão Chinês.


Ginjinha is a traditional Portuguese liqueur made from Morello cherries soaked in aguardente. It has been enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for centuries, making it one of the most beloved drinks in Lisbon.

Serve with or without the cherry, Ginjinha can be very strong but has a tantalizing flavor that is appreciated by all who try it. The most famous place to get a Ginjinha is the bar near Rossio square which dates back hundreds of years.

While wandering around Portugal's capital city be sure to stop at this historic establishment and sample some of its unique flavor!

Must-Visit Museums and Markets

Explore Lisbon's cultural side by visiting acclaimed museums such as the MAAT Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and Oceanarium, or take a trip to Time Out Market for a unique food experience.


MAAT Museum

Located in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, MAAT Museum combines art, architecture and technology in its exhibitions and programming. The museum boasts a unique structure created by British architect Amanda Levete that seems to hover over the River Tejo.

Inside lies a variety of permanent and rotating collections dedicated to cutting edge exhibits pertaining to modern-day culture. Visitors can marvel both at the majestic view from above and below or immerse themselves in documentaries presented as audiovisual installations exploring topics like global citizenship, sustainability issues, immigration among others.

Though relatively new compared to other famous attractions around Lisbon, MAAT is quickly becoming one of the city’s must-see cultural destinations for locals and travelers alike who appreciate innovative and thought-provoking exhibits.

Time Out Market

Located within Lisbon’s old-school Mercado da Ribeira, Time Out Market is one of the largest open food markets in the city. It offers a unique dining experience unlike any other with top-notch restaurants and eateries all located under one roof.

Here, you can find cuisines from some of the most acclaimed chefs in Lisbon while tasting your way through local flavors and international favorites alike. It's no wonder why Time Out Market is becomes so popular among both locals and tourists who want to explore various dishes hailing from different cultures at once.

The atmosphere alone with its vibrant energy defines what it means to experience life like a local with music playing throughout the day including traditional fado tunes for an extra touch of authenticity!

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Located in the northern edge of Lisbon, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is a renowned and eclectic collection of ancient and modern art assembled by Armenian oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian.

Surrounded by tranquil gardens, this museum offers guided tours - including a weekly tour called "The best of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum" – allowing visitors to experience even more history surrounding the space.

Follow your guide as they lead you around exploring remarkable pieces of art throughout the museum. Ranked #14 out of 18 things to do in Lisbon, be sure not to miss out on one of Europe’s finest collections.


Located in Lisbon's Parque das Nações, the Oceanário de Lisboa is an impressive aquarium with over 15,000 marine creatures from 500 species. It is widely acclaimed as one of Europe’s top aquariums and also holds the title of the world’s largest saltwater Oceanarium.

Set over two stories, visitors will have a unique opportunity to explore underwater tunnels that pass beneath huge shark tanks full of jaw-dropping wildlife including sea turtles, stingrays, and graceful seahorses.

The Oceanarium offers guided tours for those who want to learn more about its extensive collection and even allows interactive sleepovers where brave guests can drift off to sleep at close proximity with their slimy neighbors! Whether you are looking for educational field trips or families seeking a total immersion experience into aquatic wonders - The Oceanarium de Lisboa has plenty on offer for all ages.

Beyond Lisbon

Explore new experiences and breathtaking sites just outside of Lisbon with a visit to Costa de Caparica, Ajuda National Palace or Marvila Brewery District. Unravel the mysteries of Lisbon as you discover its hidden gems!

Costa de Caparica

Located in the Setubal District of Portugal, Costa de Caparica is a popular escape for locals.Its spacious beach is lined with dunes and cliffs, making it a picturesque getaway spot.

Many Portuguese own holiday homes here or visit as a day trip from Lisbon. From its gorgeous sand to stunning views across the ocean, Costa de Caparica offers plenty to experience including restaurants nestled in natural coves offering delicious local fare and surf classes for all ages and levels that provide an unforgettable experience out on the waves.

For those wishing to explore further inland there are several woodlands ideal for outdoor pursuits such as hiking or mountain biking, all providing an uninterrupted respite away from city life while being only 30 minutes from central Lisbon by car.

Marvila Brewery District

Located in the Frieste neighborhood of suburban Lisbon, Marvila is an up-and-coming metropolitan area filled with cultural gems. Once known as industrial warehouses and derelict godowns, recent renovations have made it a haven for hipsters and art enthusiasts alike.

Best explored on foot through its cobblestone pathways and murals adorning historical buildings, travelers come to experience an escape from the traditional tourist attractions of Lisbon.

The enchanting district is home to craft breweries such as Dois Corvos, Lince and Musa that serve cold bottles of beer amongst refugees seeking revelry away from city life. Foodies can find award winning recipes outside their normal go-to eateries while exploring lesser traveled streets where locals flock for some of the best offerings in town.

Ajuda National Palace

The Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal is a stunning neoclassical palace located in the civil parish of Ajuda. Built at the request of Queen Maria II, it was meant to serve as an official royal house for most of the 19th century.

It features beautiful classic interiors with important art collections and significant historical monuments from its past including two gilded throne chairs. Historical texts inform us that this grand palace was never completely finished, still appearing unfinished today despite having served as a former royal residence decades ago.

Visitors can view restoration works which are taking place within the palace walls while admiring beautiful antiques on display throughout. The palace also part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lisbon making it one of the must-see attractions for tourists visiting Portugal's capital city!

Tram 28

is a famous symbol of Lisbon, connecting Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique, offering a unique way to explore its iconic sights. This vintage tram car offers breathtaking views of the city and takes you via Alfama Quarter and Miradouros (viewpoints) like Senhora do Monte, making it one of the most popular experiences in Lisbon! A daily ticket allows passengers to go on day-long trips around the city; however, Tram 28 can be overcrowded during peak times.

To maximize your experience of this celebrated attraction take advantage by planning your trip during off-peak hours or getting an audio guide for help navigating around key sites at your own pace.

Plus remember Passenger Safety Code: always maintain safety while riding Tram 28!

LX Factory

An essential stop for all visitors to Lisbon, LX Factory is a trendsetting art center housed under the Ponte de 25 Abril. What was once an abandoned industrial complex is now a vibrant and eclectic hangout spot with unique shops, craft beer and food purveyors, tattoo shops, street art – there’s something here for every curious traveler! Get lost among the colorful corners of this creative zone which serves up an ever-changing array of events from live music to sensory experiences.

In this newly developed part of town you'll find quirky boutiques selling handmade vintage clothes or local souvenirs while innovative restaurants offer delicious eats. Make sure to spend a day at LX Factory exploring its alleys while savoring some new Portuguese flavors!


Wrapping up your quick getaway to Lisbon requires a few reminders of all that the city has to offer. From exploring mesmerizing historic monuments such as Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and strolling through charming old neighborhoods like Alfama, joyous nightlife in Bairro Alto, sipping on a classic Ginjinha at LXfactory or enjoying picture-perfect views from Miradouros- able this amazing city has something for everyone! Depending on how long you'll be visiting, don’t forget to take day trips outside of Lisbon too.

For stunning architectural wonders and timeless countryside attractions, then head out to Sintra or Costa de Caparica; while Ajuda National Palace offers an insight into Lisbon's Portuguese-colonial history.

With so many attractions and neverending possibilities available during your trip -Lisbon is a must visit destination for any traveler wishing explore its rich culture and experience everything it has offer!

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