52 of the best attractions in Lisbon

From mandatory monuments to more controversial suggestions; from the Belém Tower to street art; from the Brasileira café to Vida Portuguesa stores; we made a list of 52 of the best attractions in Lisbon, perfect for visitors and locals alike.
Terreiro do paço
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
By Time Out Lisbon editors |
Advertising

Warning: this list is bound to grow, Lisbon being one of the best cities in the world. So don’t approach the sights listed below as a definitive guide, but rather as a taste of everything Lisbon has to offer, including the activities that are excluded from our recommendations (for now). Wear comfortable trousers and go from there.

52 of the best attractions in Lisbon

1
Museu de Lisboa – Palácio Pimenta
Museums

Pimenta Palace

icon-location-pin Campo Grande/Entrecampos/Alvalade

Nothing better to start your itinerary than a little bit of Lisbon history. This old palace and summer residence, formerly Museu da Cidade (City Museum) is the main site of five Lisbon museums created in 2015 (Palácio Pimenta, Teatro Romano, Santo António, Torreão Poente and Casa dos Bicos). The permanent exhibition takes you through Lisbon’s history from prehistoric times to the start of the 20th century, while the garden’s Black and White Pavilions host temporary exhibitions.

Time Out says
2
Torre de Belem
© Lydia Evans / Time Out
Attractions

Belém Tower

icon-location-pin Belém

Listing Lisbon’s attractions without referencing this monument would be like having Christmas without turkey. Considered one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, Belém Tower was built as part of a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river, and is now an architectural icon of King Manuel I’s reign. It achieved the status of UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and was voted one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders in 2007.

Time Out says
Advertising
3
Igreja da Madre de Deus
©Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Museums

National Azulejo Museum

icon-location-pin Beato

The azulejo is a sign of the pragmatism of the Portuguese, who chose this cheap and low-maintenance material to decorate their buildings and interiors. But the azulejo cannot be reduced to its ease of cleaning. In the museum, located in the Madre de Deus Convent, you will find some of the most significant pieces of national azulejo craftsmanship, from the 15th century to today.

Time Out says
4
Loja das Meias (avenida da liberdade)
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Shopping

Loja das Meias

icon-location-pin Avenida da Liberdade

120 years after its inauguration in Rossio, the Loja das Meias department store was moved to the city’s most chic avenue, with the heavyweight names on display in the ground floor windows: Dior and Céline. But there’s much more inside - Moschino, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Lanvin and Salvatore Ferragamo are just a few examples. This is a good excuse to walk between Marquês de Pombal and Restauradores with high spirits and hands full of shopping bags.

Advertising
5
Igreja de São Roque
@Júlio Marques
Attractions

São Roque Church

icon-location-pin Chiado

São Roque Church is dominated by mannerist and baroque architecture, and it is one of the rare buildings that survived Lisbon’s 1755 earthquake - with barely any scratch. As such, the church and auxiliary residence were donated to charitable organisation Santa Casa da Misericórdia, to replace its own buildings and church which were destroyed in the seism. The relationship is still present today, and the church is a centre of attention for tourists and locals. After all, we are talking about one of the city’s most beautiful churches, commissioned at the end of the 16th century and built in collaboration by architects Afonso Álvares and Bartolomeu Álvares.

Time Out says
6
Eusébio – Estádio do SLB
©P. Fernandes/wikipedia
Sport and fitness, Football

Benfica Stadium

icon-location-pin Sete Rios/Praça de Espanha

Club supporters aside, since the new Águias stadium opened its doors in 2003, it has received over 10 million visitors, at least according to the venue’s registry. Plan your visit to coincide with a game and you’ll take the experience to the next level - why not even buy a scarf with the hashtag #aculpaédobenfica (it’s Benfica’s fault), which became popular last year when rival teams FC Porto and Sporting accused the club of corruption. If you don’t think you can handle the thrill of a game, opt for a tour of the Cosme Damião Museum and a few moments of reflection next to the statue of legendary player Eusébio, aka The King.

Advertising
7
Basílica da Estrela
© DR
Attractions

Basílica da Estrela

icon-location-pin Estrela/Lapa/Santos

Construction began at the end of the 18th century by order of Queen Maria I, who promised on her wedding day that, were she to give King Pedro a son, she would build a convent for Carmelite nuns, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - the first such temple in the world. The queen has her a sepulture in the Basilica, which makes her the only monarch from House Bragança not to be buried in São Vicente de Fora Church.

Time Out says
8
A Brasileira
© Lydia Evans / Time Out
Restaurants, Cafés

Café A Brasileira

icon-location-pin Chiado

A Brasileira has become a place of transit and a meeting point, with sculptor Lagoa Henriques’ statue prompting tourists to take selfies on Fernando Pessoa’s lap. But you can still feel enough of the place’s mystical vibe, enough of the presence of the intellectuals who gathered there to produce Portugal’s first modernist arts and literature publication (Orpheu) in 1915, to justify a visit. This is a mandatory stamp in the passport of every Lisboner: sit at the counter and have a cup of the house’s signature coffee.

Time Out says
Advertising
9
Bacalhau da manetigaria silva
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Shopping

Manteigaria Silva

icon-location-pin Santa Maria Maior

The Portuguese have been eating bacalhau (salt cod) for centuries. It's sold dried and salted. In traditional places such as this one, the smelly, kite-shaped cod carcasses are stacked up whole, ready to be chopped up to order. Alternatively, you can buy caras (cod faces) and línguas (cod tongues). The shop also stocks canned fish and has a cheese and presunto (cured ham) counter. It now has a spin-off stall in the Mercado da Ribeira, open daily until 2am.

Time Out says
10
Padrão dos descobrimentos
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Attractions

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

icon-location-pin Belém

Who’s the majestic figure on on the edge of this boat-shaped monument? It’s Prince Henry the Navigator, to whom architect Cottinelli Telmo paid tribute in this construction, with sculptures by Leopoldo Almeida. The original monument was erected in 1940 for the Portuguese World Exhibition, to pay homage to the historical figures involved in the Portuguese discoveries. The stone and concrete used on the current replica, inaugurated in 1960, guarantee the longevity of this Lisbon emblem.

Time Out says
Show more
See more Lisbon attractions

Make the most out of your time in Lisbon

Massa crítica
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Things to do

Free things to do in Lisbon

If you picked Lisbon for your holidays – hey, great choice! – then read the following list with free things to do in city. From free tours through Alfama, Graça and Bairro Alto, to bike rides or even free museums, enjoy Lisbon without spending a cent.

Things to do

How to spend 48 hours in Lisbon

Spending a weekend anywhere in the world is always a challenge, time constraints mean you have to be pretty sharp to be able to squeeze everything in without overdoing it. Here we present a guide to the eats, drinks and tourist hotpots in lovely Lisbon, where it's so easy to lose yourself in its evocative streets.

Advertising
Turista na ribeira das naus
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Things to do

10 tips for surviving in Lisbon

A city steeped in history, Lisbon is a cultural wonder and it's well worth spending a good solid day investigating all of its many facets, but where do you even start and how do you get around the Portuguese capital? Here are some hints and tips on how survive the wonderful city and all it has to offer.

Rua das lisboa com movimento
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Things to do

10 top tips for your Lisbon visit

A city steeped in history, Lisbon is a cultural wonder and it's well worth spending a good solid day investigating all of its many facets, but where do you even start and how do you get around the Portuguese capital? Here are some hints and tips on how survive the wonderful city and all it has to offer.

Advertising