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After reading our review, you will know what to see in Lisbon in the first place. We have included in our rating those attractions in Lisbon that are recommended by both guides and locals. Every tourist should see them with their own eyes.
What is the first thing to see in Lisbon?
Your trip to the capital of the country will be unforgettable if you pay attention to the following excursions in Lisbon:
1. St. George's Castle
Castle of Saint George in Lisbon
The visiting card of the city, built in the second century BC. Over the long history of its existence, the building has been repeatedly destroyed and reconstructed. However, it still has a massive and impressive appearance, strict symmetry of architectural forms. Visiting such interesting places in Lisbon is not easy – the castle rises on top of a mountain.
Official website: https://castelodesaojorge.
2. Belem Tower
Belem Tower (Torre de Belém) in Lisbon Susanne Nilsson
A fortress building that has both a powerful and sophisticated look. According to the story that all guides in Lisbon love to tell travelers, it was here that the power of Portugal was born in the 15th and 16th centuries. The order to build the tower was given by the monarch Manuel the First.
Official website: http://www.torrebelem
3. Jeronimos Monastery
Monastery of the Hieronymites in Belen
Listing the sights in Lisbon, many guides give this temple the first place. Since it is he who is considered the most popular tourist attraction in the whole country and is included in the list of “Seven Wonders of Portugal”. Every year it is visited by about 800-900 thousand guests. In the chapel, on the site of which the monastery was erected, Vasco da Gama prayed before his departure to India (now there is a sarcophagus with his remains inside the building). Historians call 1496 the time of the creation of Jeronimos. But construction work from this year continued for two hundred years. Jeronimos is both a monastery for parishioners and a memorial, inside which is the ashes of representatives of the royal families of the state. In addition to the temple itself, it is interesting to see its courtyard with flowering flower beds arranged in a clear geometric order. Your trip to the capital will be incomplete if you refuse to visit this attraction.
Official website: http://www.mosteirojeronimos
Augusta Street in Baixa Ian Gampon
The most memorable, colorful and visited area of the city, consisting of impeccably smooth streets intersecting at right angles. In 1755, the quarters of the Lower City were destroyed by a strong earthquake. The Marquis de Pombala helped in their restoration, making the development of Baixa less chaotic than before. If you don't know what to see in Lisbon in 1 day, come here. You can walk among beautiful houses, visit souvenir shops and restaurants, cafes and shops.
5. Lisbon Oceanarium
Lisbon Oceanarium in Lisbon
Where to go in Lisbon with the whole family? In a huge oceanarium (the second largest on Earth) with an aquarium of 5 million liters of water and 4 small pools. The number of residents here is growing every year. Already today there are more than 20 thousand different sea creatures from all over the planet. In addition to fish and invertebrates, mammals, amphibians and even birds live in the capital's oceanarium. Favorable conditions have been created for representatives of flora and fauna: the waters of the Arctic Ocean, underwater forests of the tropics, coral reefs, and coastal cliffs. The Lisbon Oceanarium is included in all lists of “the best attractions in Portugal”.
Official website: https://www.oceanario
Be sure to watch this beautiful video about Lisbon!
6. Elevador di Santa Justa
Elevador do Carmo – elevator in Lisbon
Neo-Gothic style elevator, built in the 20th century. The main task of the attraction was to help pedestrians conquer a rather steep slope, getting from the Lower City to the Chiado area. Initially, the structure moved thanks to a steam power plant, later it was replaced by electric motors. The engineering site is of national importance, and traveler reviews of this elevator ride are consistently enthusiastic.
Official website: http://www.carris.
7 Carmelite Monastery
The ruins of the Carmelite monastery in Lisbon
The temple in the Gothic architectural style was erected for representatives of the Carmelite order. Today, the mystical and mysterious building is in a dilapidated state (including due to the natural disaster of 21175). Only stone carvings, lancet archways, columns and massive walls of the monastery managed to survive. If you don't know what to visit in Lisbon, but are passionate about architecture, you will enjoy visiting here.
8. Ajuda Palace
Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon
Due to an earthquake that shook the city in the middle of the 18th century, the castle of the royal family was almost completely wiped off the face of the earth. Therefore, in 1796, the construction of a new palace on the hills of Ajuda began for the Portuguese monarchs. The bright facade of the three-story building was decorated with sculptures and pilasters, the architectural style of the building is neoclassicism. The preserved palace interiors deserve special attention. In spacious rooms you can see ancient tapestries, paintings by the best artists of the world, ceiling frescoes, royal furniture and huge mirrors. Even the best hotels in Lisbon cannot boast of such a lavish setting.
Official website: http://www.palacioajuda
9. Lisbon Cathedral
Church of St. Mary the Most High or Lisbon Cathedral
An important historical building from the 18th century, in the baroque sacristy of which are the remains of St. Vincent. Between the jagged towers of the majestic building there is a stained-glass window and a portal. The date of construction of the ancient religious monument is 1150. The combination of different architectural styles (from Gothic to Romanesque and Baroque) in the design of the cathedral is explained by the fact that at one time it was owned by Christians, Moors, and Visigoths.
10. Maritime Museum
Belen Maritime Museum
Our list of “the best attractions in Lisbon” would not be complete without this unique complex, located on the territory of the Jeronimos Temple. In earlier years, Portugal was considered one of the greatest maritime empires, it was able to conquer colonies in different parts of the world. This is precisely what the samples of the Lisbon Museum prove: navigation instruments, maps, models of various ships on which great travelers and admirals of the state once performed their feats.
11. Oriental Museum
Exhibition at the Oriental Museum in Lisbon Daderot
If you are interested in the traditions and culture of the Orient, pay special attention to our following recommendations. In the Oriental Museum you can see many exhibits from the southeastern countries, from Japan and India, the Philippines and China: jewelry, masks, paintings, furniture, ceramics, fabrics, porcelain, and other antiques from different eras. Once a week (on Fridays) the complex is free to visit.
12. Mafra Palace
Mafra National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Mafra) in Lisbon
Many Lisbon architectural monuments boast luxury and splendor. However, most of them are still inferior to this legendary castle of the 18th century. Moreover, it is he who is considered one of the most luxurious and largest castles in all of Europe. The palace began to be erected in honor of the royal first-born of the family A. of Austria and Juan the Fifth.
Official website: http://www.palaciomafra
13. Pavilion of Knowledge
Knowledge Pavilion – Lisbon Interactive Science Museum Sheila Thomson
In the Park of Nations in the Interactive Museum of Science in 1999, a thematic pavilion of Knowledge was opened. It will be interesting to visit it for a person of any age – both kids from 3 years old and pensioners. In the pavilion, divided into separate halls, you can set up all kinds of experiments, for example, in the field of chemistry or physics, participate in experiments, learn about technological innovations and natural phenomena. Special attention deserves a hall with interactive modules called Escaping Exhibition: here you can ride a rope at a height of 6 meters on a bicycle, or relax at a huge table.
Official website: https: //www.pavconhecimento
14. Eduardo VII Park
Edward VII of England Park in Lisbon
Talking about the main attractions of Lisbon, it is worth briefly mentioning this object. One of the most beautiful city parks, which is loved not only by tourists, but also by locals. Neatly trimmed lawns and lawns, shrubs and flower beds, gazebos and benches are equipped for a peaceful rest in the bosom of nature.
15. Viewpoint of San Pedro de Alcantara
Miraduro de San Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint genevieveromier
Panoramic vantage point divided into two levels. At each level there are small restaurants, sculptural compositions, shops, fountains and vegetation. It is here that the local intelligentsia and the youth of the capital gather. There is no charge to access this outdoor viewing deck.
Sights of Lisbon: what else to visit in Lisbon?
Having visited all those sights of Lisbon, photos with names and descriptions of which you have just seen, be sure to take the time to explore:
16. Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira
Palace of the Marquises of Fronteira (Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira) kkmarais
The date of construction of the castle, decorated with unique tiled panels, is the 17th century. The building is surrounded by a beautiful garden with a flowering terrace and marble sculptures, also decorated with amazing old panels.
17. National Carriage Museum
The Collection of Royal Family Carriages at the National Carriage Museum in Lisbon Geerd-Olaf Freyer
Over 200,000 visitors visit the complex every year. The exhibits of the center are all kinds of carriages, racing carriages, stagecoaches, landaus and strollers of various eras. The museum was opened at the direction of D. Amelia (the last ruler of the state) in May 1905 in a historic building of the 18th century.
Official website: http://museudoscoches
< h3> 18. Monument to the discoverers
Monument to the discoverers on the Belen embankment of the Tejo River
A large-scale 50-meter sculpture, which was created in memory of the era of legendary geographical discoveries. According to the project, the monument should personify the exploits of the famous navigators of Portugal. There is an observation platform at the top level of the monument.
Official website: http://www.padraodos
19. Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe in Lisbon
The date of creation of the architectural structure is the end of the 18th century. The majestic arch was decorated with statues, sculptures of famous Portuguese, stone carvings, bas-reliefs and column groups. By paying a few euros, you can go up to the observation deck located on the roof of the building.
20. Lisbon Zoo
Central entrance to Lisbon Zoo Dmitrijs Kuzmins
The unique menagerie stands out from other zoos in that it does not have cages or aviaries. The inhabitants live in recreated “natural” conditions: a house is built for the rhinoceros in the form of an entire African village, macaques and chimpanzees jump on real trees, tigers and lions rest on the grass of the “savannah”. For comfortable observation of the animals and organizing picnics, there are tables and benches on the square of the complex. If you come to Lisbon with children, you should visit this wonderful zoo first of all.
Official website: https://www.zoo
21 Praça do Comercio
Equestrian statue of King José I in the center of the Market Square on the banks of the Tagus River in Lisbon
One of the most beautiful European squares is Lisbon's Praça do Comercio, from which the active development of the city began in the 15th century, regarding the famous geographical discoveries. It was during these years that the construction of the port and administrative buildings associated with maritime trade began. During the prosperity of Lisbon, ships with treasures from the Portuguese colonies moored in the port, important royal delegations arrived, and in our time, evidence of past glory remains in the Praça do Comércio area – monumental monuments, ancient administrative buildings and various interesting places. Ministries, banks and other state organizations work in historical buildings located along the perimeter of the square. The legendary cafe Martinho da Arcada, where true aristocrats dined, also operates here.
22. Augusta Street
Augusta Pedestrian Street and Arc de Triomphe in Baixa, Lisbon Jolly Janner
And what to do in Lisbon when you want to take a breath from the bustle of sightseeing and just wander around the city? The first thing worth seeing is Augusta, Lisbon's main pedestrian street. It stretches from the central city square of Rossio to the famous triumphal arch and is a pavement lined with ancient mosaics in the form of a fancy pattern. It is a favorite place for walks of locals and visitors, a large shopping area and a popular vacation spot with numerous outdoor cafes, boutiques, exhibitions of local artists and performances by musicians. Colored facades of old mansions surround you everywhere, and the majestic Arc de Triomphe crowns the end of the walking route, which is a separate attraction in itself. The grand building is decorated in a mixture of Baroque, Renaissance and Manueline styles. A spiral staircase and an elevator lead to the top of the arch, where the observation deck is located.
23. Rossio Square
Fountain and column with a statue of Pedro IV on Rossio Square in the historic center of Lisbon
The sights of Porto and Lisbon are a unique tandem of two Portuguese pearls, allowing you to discover all the most atmospheric places in Portugal, feel its lively character and plunge into antiquity. It is the ancient buildings and centuries-old streets of these cities that allow you to go back in time and understand how the glorious history of the state developed. One of the most iconic places in Lisbon is Rossio Square, which can be classified as one of the must-see squares. It is surrounded by buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, which today house numerous shops, cafes and restaurants, from modern eateries to fine Art Nouveau establishments. Over the centuries of its existence, the square has seen a lot – even the Romans equipped their hippodrome on this place. Bullfights, festivals, military parades, and even executions were held on the square. Today, city and general holidays are celebrated here, they study original installations and just relax.
24. Alfama District
Alfama, the oldest historic district on a steep hillside in Lisbon
If you look at the sights of Lisbon on the map, you can see that in the southeast of the city along the banks of the Tagus River there is the Alfama district – the only one in the city that has retained its appearance even after the earthquake in the middle of the 18th century. Its architecture stands out as a bright spot against the background of the rest of the city – chaotically located streets and small houses with stairs on the slopes form the image of the Middle Ages, and in general it does not look like a district, but a small village in the city. Down to the banks of the Tagus River, the quarter takes on a more modern twist, with old port warehouses transformed into modern loft spaces that feature restaurants and trendy nightclubs. In general, Alfama is located at the foot of two of the seven Lisbon hills, one of which crowns the castle of St. George, and on the other is the Cathedral of St. Vincent.
25. Belém Palace
Marble monument to the great Albuquerque in front of Belen National Palace in Lisbon yawper
The National Palace immediately grabs the attention of those who arrive in Belém, once a suburb, but now one of the districts of Lisbon. This laconic building with a pale pink facade today houses the residence of the Portuguese president, and once there were royal chambers. The palace was founded at the direction of Prince Manuel in the 16th century and is a complex of five buildings, outwardly quite modest for royal possessions. Due to the pink color of the facade and the snow-white finish, the building is also called the “pink palace”. All the royal chic is revealed in the interior decoration – the interiors have been repeatedly changed here, the interior rooms have been generously decorated, and now the entire space is covered with mosaics from Portuguese azulejo tiles. In front of the palace is a well-groomed garden with beautiful views of the Tagus River.
26. Queluz Palace
The large fountain with Neptune and the facade of the 17th century Queluz Palace in Sintra near Lisbon
In general, the best sights in Lisbon should be looked for not only in its historical center, but also in the surrounding area. In the suburban area, you can visit the luxurious palace complex of the mid-18th century – Queluz, once built as a summer royal residence. Here, the first persons of the kingdom rested and had fun to the fullest, throwing luxurious balls and social events. And despite the once raging elements, the palace survived the earthquake and has survived to this day in the best possible way. This graceful and airy building is a beautiful example of the Rococo style, in light colors, with ornaments, stucco and countless mirrors, making the interior of the palace almost endless. Today, this splendor can be seen with your own eyes, looking into the luxurious interior halls, which are replete with paintings and figurines. It is worth taking a walk through the garden complex with well-groomed shrubs, lush flower beds and fountains.
Official website: https://www.parquesdesintra
27. San Monastery -Vicente de Fora
Top view of the monastery and church of San Vicente de Fora in the Alfama quarter of Lisbon
In search of what to see in Portugal, you should pay attention to religious buildings. Shrines in Lisbon are a special kind of historical monuments, which, as a rule, were erected in honor of a particular saint. The monastery of San Vicente de Fora, which bears the name of St. Vincent of Zaragoza, the patron saint of Lisbon, is no exception – his relics rest in the walls of the temple. This monastery complex is one of the most revered monasteries in the country, dating back to the 12th century. It was originally built by the first Portuguese king for the Augustinian monks. The building embodies the best canons of the Renaissance, brought here to unearthly perfection. The ideal symmetry of the facade, with its slender pilasters, graceful windows, and marble statues of saints, fascinates. The interior is a treasure trove of art, with incredibly beautiful azulejo panels sparkling in the sunlight.
28. Saint Roch Church
The interior of the Church of St. Roch is generously decorated with gilding , tiles and marble Daniel VILLAFRUELA.
The Church of St. Roch was erected on the site of an ancient cemetery where the bodies of victims of the plague were buried. Burials were made until the 16th century, and later the Society of Jesus founded a church in these lands, which began to bear the name of St. Roch, a Catholic saint who was revered as the patron of pilgrims, seriously ill people, and also known for miraculous healings of those suffering from the plague. In general, it was the first church of this order in Portugal. Interior and exterior finishes are characterized by contrast – from the outside, the white stone facade looks rather modest, its only decoration is a round rose window. External conciseness is compensated by the interior decoration, which amazes with its luxury and elegance: precious woods, lapis lazuli, agate, ivory, amethyst are used to decorate the walls and ceiling, the vault is decorated with jasper and bronze. A real masterpiece is the Renaissance tiled mosaic.
29. Basilica da Estrela
Basilica of the Star in the western part of Lisbon Alvesgaspar
The hill, located in the west of Lisbon, is crowned by a majestic building – the Basilica da Estrela, erected by decree of Queen Mary of Portugal. Sometime during the marriage, Mary made a vow to build a temple for the nuns of the Order of Barefoot Carmelites, if the Lord would grant her a son. After a while, her heir was born, and at the end of the 18th century, the construction of the basilica began. This is how a unique building with columns, bell towers and bas-reliefs grew. The dome is complemented by a tower with a cross, which to this day serves as a guide for travelers – it can be seen from almost any part of the city. Unfortunately, by the time construction was completed, the queen's son had already died from smallpox. The picturesque architecture of the temple combines the Baroque and Neo-Gothic styles, the facade is decorated with sculptures of angels and 6 allegories. The central dome is surrounded by a terrace from which you can admire beautiful views of the capital.
30. Church of Saint Engracia
Main façade with a niche with statues in the 17th century Church of Saint Engracia in Lisbon VanGore
One of the most impressive creations of Portuguese Baroque architecture is the Church of Saint Engracia, also called the National Pantheon. This is a grandiose building made of pink marble with a huge dome, at the base of which, at a height of about 80 meters, there is an observation deck overlooking the city and the Tagus River. The temple began to be built in the 17th century, but was supplemented and rebuilt over the next 3 centuries. The construction process was so thrown that the well-known phrase “construction of Santa Engracia” appeared in the everyday life of the Portuguese, which meant an endless delay in work. The church has a design that has not previously been used in any Portuguese building – the interior space is distributed according to the scheme of the Greek cross. Niches with statues are located above the entrance, a beautiful baroque portal leads inside, where two angels hold the Portuguese coat of arms.
31. National Museum of Ancient Art
Entrance to the National Museum of Ancient Art in the ancient castle of the XVII century in Lisbon GNU
The period of late autumn in Portugal is a season with changeable, cool, often rainy weather. And if this frightens some, then others, taking advantage of the low season, rush to the capital. Far-sighted travelers are stocking up on ideas of what to see in Lisbon in the rain, especially since there are many options. For example, arrange a useful and informative tour of cultural institutions, including the National Museum of Ancient Art. This is one of the largest collections of fine art in Portugal and throughout Europe. The exposition of the museum includes art objects from the 14th to the 19th century, the basis was objects collected in churches and monasteries after the abolition of monastic orders. The entire collection is divided into floors: on the first level, works by European painters are shown, on the second, works of art from Asia and Africa, dating back to the Middle Ages, are presented. The third floor is completely given over to the exposition of Portuguese painting.
Official website: http://www.museudearte
32. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum amidst the bright lush greenery of Lisbon's city park Xauxa
Usually private museum collections do not attract as much attention as large national museums. The Galouste Gulbenkian Gallery is a special case, with a huge and diverse collection that can outshine any large-scale exhibition. The collector himself was born in Turkey, his family had Armenian roots, later he lived in London and Paris, and ended his days in Lisbon. Being the largest oil tycoon, he was simultaneously engaged in collecting, and financial solvency allowed him to establish a museum fund. The first part of the exposition presents objects of Greek, Egyptian, Persian art, here you can see the rarest jewelry, precious vases, fragments of Egyptian tombs. The second part is dedicated to European art – these are collections of paintings, carvings, sculptures, and various decor. But the most impressive part is the collection of paintings with paintings by Rembrandt, Renoir, Claude Monet and other eminent painters.
Official website: https://gulbenkian.
33. Electricity Museum
View from the Tagus River to the Museum of Electricity in the building of the former power plant Centro Tagus in the Belem zone
There are many places in Lisbon where you can spend your time learning. For example, the Lisbon Oceanarium, the largest in Europe, introduces hundreds of species of marine life, and in the Museum of Electricity, you can become participants in the most interesting experiments on generating electricity. The presented exhibits are aggregates, machines, devices and mechanisms that clearly demonstrate the principles of electricity. The exposition is interesting because all objects are interactive: they can be touched, viewed, twisted, disassembled, studied in action. The museum building itself is located in the premises of an old power plant, some parts of which are still in operation, but are used as practical aids for visitors. Children are especially interested here: they are introduced to electricity in a game format, they are helped to understand how current arises, and they show how it is generated. The second part of the exhibition presents devices related to the generation and use of electricity.
Official website: https://www.maat
34. Vasco da Bridge Gama
Aerial view of the Ponte Vasco da Gama bridge over the Tagus River in Lisbon Till Niermann
Powerful supports, dozens of cables, a curved line of the roadway over the waters of the Tagus River – all this is about the longest cable-stayed bridge in Europe. Vasco da Gama has a length of more than 17 km, its appearance marked the 500th anniversary of the opening of the route to India by the great navigator. The structure crosses the river in its widest part, connecting one of the districts of Lisbon with the opposite towns of Montijo and Alcuchet. Today it is difficult to imagine that once in these surroundings there was an industrial area instead of a green embankment, but by the end of the 90s of the last century, the territories were transformed, and a grandiose bridge grew. The celebration of its opening was no less grandiose: the longest 5-kilometer table was laid, and the largest feijoada in the world was prepared to treat 15 thousand people. It is worth noting that the design of Vasco da Gama is able to withstand the elements, 4.5 times more powerful than the famous Lisbon earthquake of the 18th century.
Official website: https://www. lusoponte.
35. Lisbon Yellow Tram
The famous yellow trams pass through all the historic districts of the city of Lisbon
The narrow, uneven streets of the historic part of Lisbon are lined with tram tracks that have existed here for more than a century. They are followed by miniature yellow Remodelado trams that appeared in the early 20th century, and today everything inside them, from controls to wooden benches, seems to transport you to a charming era of the past. Among the transport directions, route number 28 is the most in demand, passing through all the historical districts of Lisbon. The route is so popular that it is a real attraction among tourists who get into old yellow wagons to explore the city's attractions. When exploring the ancient quarters of Lisbon, one should not forget about its surroundings, which are no less rich in historical monuments. For example, you can go outside of Lisbon to explore the sights of Sintra – Moorish castles, palaces, ancient monasteries against the backdrop of landscapes immersed in greenery.
We will be glad if our review helps you create an exciting excursion route through the hospitable capital of Portugal.