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52 of the best attractions in Lisbon

With more monuments, museums and must-sees than you can visit in a lifetime, we've rounded down Lisbon's best bits to an essential, unmissable 52 attractions
Terreiro do paço
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
By Time Out Lisbon editors |
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As one of the greatest cities in the world, frankly it's a wonder that we managed to narrow down all the best things to do to a list of just 52. Think of our selection as a taster – something to satisfy your initial cravings and leave you wanting more. Take Belém Tower, for instance, this waterfront landmark makes for a great introduction to Lisbon's numerous nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites. Or climb up to Miradouro da Graça to take in one of the city's many magnificent views. And don't forget to visit the Time Out Market, of course, for a literal taster of the delicious culinary offerings.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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7
Basílica da Estrela
© DR
Attractions

Basílica da Estrela

icon-location-pin Estrela/Lapa/Santos

Construction began at the end of the eighteenth 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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11
Vista do Arco da Rua Augusta
©ATL/Arco da Rua Augusta
Attractions

Rua Augusta Arch

icon-location-pin Baixa Pombalina

This is Lisbon’s own triumphal arch, and it offers a gorgeous view. It was commissioned in 1759 as part of the reconstruction of Lisbon following the 1755 earthquake, but the famous Arch was only completed in its current form in 1873. As a celebration of the grandeur of the Portuguese Empire, which discovered many new peoples and cultures, the top of the arch reads "VIRTVTIBVS MAIORVM VT SIT OMNIBVS DOCVMENTO.PPD” which, roughly translated, means “The Virtues of the Greatest, to serve as an example to all. Dedicated to public expenses.” A bit of Latin never hurt anyone.

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12
Café Martinho da Arcada
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Restaurants, Cafés

Café Martinho da Arcada

icon-location-pin Santa Maria Maior

It is mentioned in tourist guides as one of Fernando Pessoa’s favourite hangout spots, and the local legend goes that Martinho da Arcada always has a seat reserved for the poet. But let’s skip to the practical details: the café serves quick meals at inviting prices, as well as one of the best custard tarts in the city. Once in a while, you can also stumble upon a literary lecture.

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13
Projector final Planetário
©Bruno Neves/Planetário
Attractions

Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium

icon-location-pin Belém

Even when there are no stars in the sky, the Planetarium always gets a five-star rating, and it remains a good reason to head to Belém and pretend to be in one of those field trips from many years (dare we say light years?) ago. In the sky of the 23-metre dome, you can see constellations, moons, planets, nebulae, galaxies and other parts of the infinite universe.

14
cemitério dos prazeres
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Attractions

Prazeres Cemetery

icon-location-pin Campo de Ourique

Bury your morbid preconceptions. Made almost exclusively of burial vaults, the Prazeres Cemetery was built in the Romantic era in 1833, after the outbreak of a “cholera morbus” epidemic. The chapel houses the old autopsy room and, since 2001, of the Museum Centre. Follow the guided tour around the last residence of various celebrities and admire the architectural heritage. This is also the site of the largest and oldest concentration of cypress trees in the Iberian Peninsula.

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15
Miradouro da Graça
@Arlindo Camacho
Attractions, Towers and viewpoints

Miradouro da Graça

icon-location-pin São Vicente 

Everyone calls it Miradouro da Graça, but this viewpoint’s official name, registered by Câmara de Lisboa, is Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen’s Viewpoint. The poet's bronze bust watches over the city and you can read one of her poems while you enjoy the views: from the castle all the way up to the river, Mouraria and baixa pombalina.

Miradouro da Graça is one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon.

16
casa dos bicos
©DR
Attractions

Casa dos Bicos - José Saramago Foundation

icon-location-pin Santa Maria Maior

The building was erected in 1523 on order of Alfonso de Albuquerque, son of the second governor of what was then Portuguese India, but it lost its top two floors in the 1755 earthquake. The Albuquerque family sold it in 1973 (to be used as a warehouse and as the headquarters of cod trade). Today, it houses a foundation dedicated to the life and work of Portuguese Nobel Prize in Literature José Saramago, inaugurated in 2007 and relocated to this Alfama space in 2012. The visit includes a permanent exhibition about the writer (1922-2010). If you check the agenda, you can catch book launches, seminars and other events.

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17
Sé de Lisboa
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Attractions

Lisbon Cathedral

icon-location-pin Santa Maria Maior

If you see a group of open-mouthed New World tourists in front of the cathedral, it’s normal. This romantic-style building is very, very old. Construction started in 1147 and ended in the first decades of the 13th century. The project, which includes three naves and a triforium, a protruding transept and a pew with three chapels, is very similar to the Cathedral of Coimbra. If some of these terms sounded strange, stay calm. You can always present this venue as the place where, year after year in June, young Lisbon couples swear to love each other forever. If, however, you like history, discover all the alterations the cathedral went through over the years and depending on the preferences of each of Portugal’s rulers. The gothic-style cloister, for example, dates back to the reign of King Denis, while his successor, Alfonso IV, modified the rear area of the building. In the first half of the 20th century, a large-scale restoration project was undertaken to bring the edifice back to its original aspect. It was inaugurated in a pompous ceremony in 1940, during the Estado Novo dictatorship. Seven years later, it was the site of the celebration of the 800-year anniversary of the Siege of Lisbon. But this would be a whole other story.

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18
Actividades para crianças no Museu Berado
©Museu Berardo
Museums

Berardo Collection Museum

icon-location-pin Belém

The Berardo collection is a journey through the main artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, starting with "Tête de Femme", a cubist painting by Pablo Picasso. It holds close to 1,000 pieces by over 500 artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, Fernando Botero and Andreas Gursky, among many others. The museum, which opened its doors in 2007, was free until May 2017, when it started charging five euros per ticket. Saturdays are still free. Enjoy.

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19
Cervejaria Trindade
©DR
Restaurants

Cervejaria Trindade

icon-location-pin Chiado

The years go by and the tourist cameras never tire from capturing the azulejos on its walls. As for the locals, they don’t refrain either. It all started in 1294, the year of the foundation of the Santíssima Trindade Convent, and needless to say, it has seen a lot through the years. Get in line to grab a spot at one of the oldest beer houses in Lisbon, open since 1836, and which continues to draw crowds of stomachs hungry for steak and seafood.

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20
Bairro do Avillez - Pateo
©DR
Restaurants, Portuguese

Bairro do Avillez

icon-location-pin Chiado

It sits on Rua Nova da Trindade and houses three restaurants with different offerings: Taberna, with petiscos and small plates, Pátio, which focuses on fish and seafood, and the exclusive burlesque Beco Cabaret Gourmet, as well as a deli and a charcuterie shop. If you still have energy for other gastronomic experiences, chef José Avillez, “the king of Chiado”, has many more venues to explore, including his debut Cantinho do Avillez, which opened in 2011. Otherwise, there’s Pizzaria Lisboa, Café Lisboa at the São Carlos National Theatre, or the Mini Bar at the São Luiz Municipal Theatre.

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21
Feira da Ladra
Fotografia:Ana Luzia
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Feira da Ladra

icon-location-pin São Vicente 

This is the Lisbon equivalent to Madrid’s El Rastro or London’s Portobello Market. Feira da Ladra started in the 13th century and moved around town, from São Jorge Castle to Rossio through Campo de Santana, before setting up camp at its current Campo de Santa Clara location in 1903. Get there early to snatch the best deals on new or second-hand objects. With clothes, books, vinyls and antiques, there’s a bit of everything.

22
O Trevo
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Restaurants

O Trevo

icon-location-pin Bairro Alto

We can say with near-complete certainty that one of Anthony Bourdain’s happiest moments in his Lisbon trip was his pitstop at O Trevo. Knowing how the restaurant’s frying pan works isn’t essential. All you need to know is that the bifana’s reputation has transcended borders, and that this humble counter on Luis de Camões Square is a serene oasis in the maze of gastronomic innovations that aren’t always delicious.

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23
miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Bars and pubs

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

icon-location-pin Chiado/Cais do Sodré

At the top of Elevador da Glória and right next to Bairro Alto you have a unique panorama of the city, allowing you to have, in one single photo: the river, the São Jorge castle, Graça and Avenida da Liberdade. It has a kiosk with an outdoor café where you can enjoy the view and drink almond liqueur while you're at it. There are blankets, too, for windier nights.

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24
Monumento ao 25 Abril – Parque Eduardo VII
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Parque Eduardo VII

icon-location-pin São Sebastião

It used to be called Parque da Liberdade (Freedom Park), but in 1903 it was renamed Parque Eduardo VII in tribute to King Edward VII of the UK, who visited Portugal the year before. It covers 25 hectares in the centre of Lisbon, including a monument dedicated to the April 25 Carnation Revolution, and a greenhouse. And it’s the perfect location for the book fair (Feira do Livro) that takes place there every year.

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25
maat, visto do rio
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Museums

MAAT - Art, Architecture and Technology Museum

icon-location-pin Belém

It opened, then it closed, then it opened again, but what’s certain is that this project by the EDP Foundation is much more than its acronym. MAAT’s architectural lines struck the city at its 2016 launch, and now justifies regular pilgrimages to the area of Belém. If nothing else, the structured designed by British architect Amanda Levete, combined with a sunset backdrop, makes a killer pic to share on social media. But of course you shouldn’t stop there: we recommend consulting the agenda for information on permanent and temporary exhibitions.

26
Time Out Market Lisboa
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Time Out Market Lisboa

icon-location-pin Cais do Sodré

This 19th-century market was initially called Mercado da Ribeira Nova, though people liked to call it “the little turnip mosque” because of the cupola under which fruit and vegetables were sold. The fresh produce stalls are still present in one of the wings, but in 2014, part of the space was turned into a 3D representation of Time Out Lisbon magazine. And of course we’re beating our own drum here, but the market boasts a selection of some of the best restaurants, bars and shops in the city, along with a space for shows and events.

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27
Luvaria Ulisses
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Shopping, Accessories

Luvaria Ulisses

icon-location-pin Chiado

It has always been, and remains to this day, the only shop in Lisbon that specialises in leather gloves. And don’t judge it by its size. Despite not being able to accommodate more than three people at the counter, it’s a mandatory stop for anyone who’s looking for elegant service and quality gloves made the way they were back in the day. If you try the gloves, you get to rest your wrist on a little cushion. The shop opened in 1925 and has produced its own gloves ever since. As for colours, you’ll find anything you want there: orange, yellow, turquoise or pink - it’s a true rainbow of gloves.

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28
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
©Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Museums

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

icon-location-pin São Sebastião

Armenian businessman Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian came to Portugal in
 the 1940s. He was just passing
 through, but fell ill and had to stay until he'd recovered. Fortunately for the 
city, he fell completely in love with it and created 
his foundation and museum
 here. The vast and valuable
 collection encompasses several 
historic centuries, ranging from 
Egyptian and Greco-Roman art
 to the works of Rembrandt and Manet. You must also visit the
 Centre of Modern Art and get lost in those endless gardens, with its charming duck ponds.

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29
Oceanário de Lisboa
@Abílio Leitão
Attractions

Lisbon Oceanarium

icon-location-pin Parque das Nações

In a country with an extensive coastline and an age-old maritime tradition, it would be a crime to think fish only has its place in plates. In 1998, the World’s Fair (Expo ‘98) that took place in Parque das Nações found one of its high points in this oceanarium. There, children and adults can find a giant aquarium with millions of litres of saltwater inhabited by countless creatures (for example the strange Port Jackson shark). The aquarium is divided between temperate, tropical and cold waters, since our planet is made of diversity. On top of the top-notch permanent exhibit, it has temporary shows, multiple activities (wanna sleep with sharks?), and enough foot traffic to send waves way past Lisbon.

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30
quiosque santa catarina
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Restaurants, Cafés

Adamastor Esplanade

icon-location-pin Chiado/Cais do Sodré

An end-of-day institution for Lisboners, Adamastor (official name: Miradouro de Santa Catarina) will remain in fashion as long as the sun continues to set on the horizon. The esplanade is small but the floor, the walls and the turf are its continuation. It is often visited by buskers of questionable merit.

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31
Quiosque do Carmo
Fotografia: Manuel Manso
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Largo do Carmo

icon-location-pin Chiado

The construction of the centre fountain started in 1769 as part of the urbanisation ordered by the First Marquis of Pombal. Around it are a number of interest points from various eras. It’s on Carmo Square that the ruins of the Carmo Convent, built in the fourteenth century, still stand, and now house the Carmo Archaeological Museum. You should also check out the quarters where Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano took refuge during the Carnation Revolution that overthrew his government.

32
WASTED RITA Solo Show at Underdogs10 Human beings - God's only mistake 27/03/2015
©DR
Art

Underdogs Gallery

icon-location-pin Marvila

Founded in 2010 in a huge warehouse in the neighbourhood of Braço de Prata, it displays artwork by the most publicised artists of this time - from Wasted Rita to Alexandre Farto, who was discovered by Vhils, probably one of the most respected names in Portugal when it comes to urban interventionism. It’s as much an exhibition space as a venue for artistic residences and, since we’re on the theme of versatility, it has a sister in Cais do Sodré: Art Store opened in 2014 and there you can not only buy art, but also eat a bagel or drink craft coffee.

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33
NIGHT PARTY DANCE
©LUISA FERREIRA/Lux
Nightlife

Lux Frágil

icon-location-pin São Vicente 

Watching the sunrise from Lux’s balcony is a mandatory experience for Lisbon residents and visitors. In 2014, The Guardian voted Lux one of the 25 best nightclubs in Europe, something we at Time Out have known forever. This is the most famous club in Lisbon - and in the country, to tell you the truth. It opened on September 29, 1998, on the second-to-last day of Expo ’98. The owner, Manuel Reis, who already had Frágil in Bairro Alto, recently opened a bar called Rive-Rouge inside Time Out Market.

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34
rua da bica
Fotografia: Manuel Manso

Rua da Bica

Walking up and down Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo is much more than a challenging urban fitness exercise. This is where you can find one of the city’s best postcard views, praised the world over. So don’t forget the obligatory picture next to the yellow elevator, walk past the door of famous fado singer Fernando Farinha and explore the neighbourhood’s countless side streets - a recipe that also applies in the legendary Bairro Alto, where your meandering will most likely turn into a bar crawl.

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35
Kidzania-cabeleireiro
©Patrício Miguel/Kidzania
Kids

Kidzania

icon-location-pin Greater Lisbon

'What do you want to be when you grow up?' If your child never knows what to answer to this, take him or her to this theme park, where kids can play grown-ups. There are over 60 professions to choose from in this small but comprehensive 'town' that includes an airport, factories, a theatre, shops, a police and a fire station, and a football stadium.

36
solar do vinho do porto
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Bars and pubs

Port and Douro Wine Institute

icon-location-pin Bairro Alto

The tasting room is decorated with azulejos from the original building at Ludovice Palace, beautiful blue pieces from the 18th century. We are at the Port and Douro Wine Institute (Solar do Vinho do Porto), a quiet alcove that attempts to bring some of the spirit of the Douro Valley’s nectars to São Pedro de Alcântara street. There are over 300 wines to try in this stronghold, which has been around since 1946.

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37
Museu do Fado - Fachada
©DR
Museums

Fado Museum

icon-location-pin Alfama

This piece of UNESCO’s World Intangible Cultural Heritage became tangible in 1998, when the Fado Museum opened its doors in the heart of Alfama. Get to know the collections donated by hundreds of singers, lyricists, musicians, composers, instrument makers, researchers and aficionados who converged here to share a bit of their story.

We’ve created a fado itinerary in Lisbon.

Time Out says
38
Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa
© Arlindo Camacho
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

Lisbon Zoo

icon-location-pin Sete Rios/Praça de Espanha

Two billion animals and over 300 different species. The Lisbon Zoo was inaugurated in 1884 and it continues to amaze generation after generation. Housing birds, mammals and reptiles, it is the perfect place to bring your aunts, much like Vasco Santana did in the 1933 comedy classic A Canção de Lisboa, which was filmed here.

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39
Reservatório da Mãe d'Água
©CML
Attractions

Mãe d'Água Reservoir

icon-location-pin Avenida da Liberdade/Príncipe Real

This reservoir, which used to collect the water that arrived in Lisbon through the city’s 19km aqueduct, has some of the best acoustics in Lisbon. Though not a concert venue, it is regularly used by national bands to record sessions.

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40
Biblioteca Nacional
©DR
Attractions, Libraries, archives and foundations

National Library

icon-location-pin Campo Grande/Entrecampos/Alvalade

We’re starting with the National Library, but this is an invitation to explore all of the city’s libraries - please, don’t miss São Lazaro, Lisbon’s oldest library and a little delight to the eyes. In Campo Grande, you’ll find an endless collection of books written by bearded men, as well exhibits made for the curious, like the one that revisited a century of candy tradition, or the one about the mobile libraries of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps.

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41
Jardim da Estrela
© Lydia Evans / Time Out
Attractions

Jardim da Estrela

icon-location-pin Estrela/Lapa/Santos

Planted in the heart of Lisbon, it was designed 163 years ago and follows the careful symmetry of tropical gardens (these five hectares include Australian banyans, Cook pines, horse-chestnuts and Cedars of Lebanon). It also has a playground, lawns for picnics and lazy afternoons with a book (which you can request at the book kiosk, open from Tuesday to Saturday, 1pm to 5pm), and is one of the best running routes in the city. Oh, and it has two esplanades.

Jardim da Estrela is one of Lisbon’s best parks and gardens.

Time Out says
42
Panteão Nacional
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Attractions

National Pantheon

icon-location-pin São Vicente 

It started in 1836 and is a great way to test your and your friends’ cultural knowledge: “Give me the name of five people who rest at the National Pantheon”. We can already tell you they include Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, Aquilino Ribeiro, Almeida Garrett, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Humberto Delgado and Sidónio Pais.

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43
Teatro Nacional de São Carlos
©Alfredo Rocha
Theatre

São Carlos National Theatre

icon-location-pin Chiado

In 1755, the Crown inaugurated the sumptuous “Tagus Opera”, an annex to the old Ribeira Palace, whose access was restricted. As it happens, the earthquake destroyed almost the entire city and this venue had an incredibly short life. Shortly after, the São Carlos theatre was erected in its place, and today it is Lisbon’s principal opera venue.

44
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Attractions

Jerónimos Monastery

icon-location-pin Belém

Ordered by King Manuel I in memory of Prince Henry the Navigator, this monastery has been a National Monument since 1907 and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. Built in the 16th century, it was donated at the time to the monks of the Order of Saint Jerome, and in 2016 it became part of the National Pantheon. The monastery’s church (Igreja de Santa Maria de Belém) holds the tombs of Luís de Camões, Vasco da Gama and King Sebastian, whose remains were brought there by King Philip in an attempt to put an end to the popular belief that Sebastian would return to save Portugal. But few people actually believe that these remains are those of the Desired King. And let’s not forget the famous Pastéis de Belém bakery is only 500 metres away from the Monastery.

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45
Elevador de Santa Justa
© Lydia Evans / Time Out
Attractions

The Santa Justa Lift

icon-location-pin Chiado

The endless lines of tourists standing outside would almost make you forget that this is part of the public transport network where you can use your Viva card. This National Monument was inaugurated in 1902, and is the work of Porto engineer Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard. It is beautiful from the outside, where you can admire the cast iron filigrees that change at every floor, and from the inside, with a cabin made of wood and brass.

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46
bolo rei confeitaria nacional
Fotografia: Ana Luzia
Restaurants, Cafés

Confeitaria Nacional

icon-location-pin Baixa Pombalina

This is the bakery that brought bolo-rei (a crowned-shaped cake decorated with dried fruit that is usually eaten around Christmas) to Portugal, and it still uses the same recipe as in 1875. As such, it is a great place to visit around the holidays, but not just then. If you fancy a slice of the past, you can also find it there. In 1875, the bakery founded by Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro had already been in operation for 46 years, and six generations later, it is still run by the same family. In the flagship store, located on Praça da Figueira,  you can have tea and choose between some of the house specialities, like custard tarts, duchesses or “enfarinhados” (almond paste rolled in a good layer of icing sugar).

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47
a vida portuguesa chiado
©DR
Shopping

A Vida Portuguesa Chiado

icon-location-pin Chiado

This was the very first A Vida Portuguesa store to be launched. Today it is still standing, swarming with tourists and Lisboners looking for original presents with a hint of nostalgia. And as the phenomenon grew and the space on Rua da Anchieta became too small, a second shop was opened in Chiado, nine years after the first. It’s just two steps away on Rua Ivens 2, and it specialises in homeware.

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Castelo de São Jorge
© Lydia Evans / Time Out
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

São Jorge Castle

icon-location-pin Castelo de São Jorge

It was built as a fortress by the Moors that reigned here before the arrival of King Afonso I in 1147. Along the years, it was repurposed and even became a royal palace, but it started the 20th century in ruins. A great work of restoration took place between 1938 and 1940, and it led to the discovery of countless historical vestiges, which can now be seen in the permanent exhibition or on a guided tour. The castle’s events agenda includes literary seminars, as well as musical and theatre performances.

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Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
© Lydia Evans / Time Out
Museums

National Museum of Ancient Art

icon-location-pin Estrela/Lapa/Santos

Located inside the Alvor Palace, this is the Portuguese museum that contains the biggest concentration of national treasures and references. Between paintings, sculptures, drawings, goldsmithery, European decorative arts and furniture, Asian and African art, the museum counts close to 40,000 items from the twelfth to the nineteenth century including, for example, the Saint Vincent Panels by Nino Gonçalves, or the Triptych of the Temptation of St Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch.

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Sala do Despachio do Palácio Nacional da Ajuda
©Palácio Nacional da Ajuda
Attractions

Ajuda National Palace

icon-location-pin Ajuda

It's hard now to imagine the shack made of wood and cloth that Dom José I, king at the time of the 1755 earthquake, had built here in the aftermath of the disaster. Ajuda, Portugal’s last royal palace, was built on the site of that shack and today houses items dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. Since 2014 it has been possible to visit the queen’s private chapel, where you can see a late work by El Greco – The Veil of Veronica – which in the only painting by the artist in Portugal.

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ponte 25 abril
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Attractions

Pilar 7 25 April Bridge

icon-location-pin Alcântara

Location: Pillar 7. The 25 de April bridge, inaugurated in 1966, has 14 pillars, but the one we’re interested in right now is on Avenida da Índia, at the back of Village Underground. Now that we’re situated, let’s get to it: this new tourist attraction takes visitors inside this pillar for a sensory immersion.

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Miradouro Panorâmico do Monsanto
Fotografia: Francisco Santos
Attractions, Towers and viewpoints

Panoramic of Monsanto

icon-location-pin Benfica/Monsanto

Lisbon’s latest viewpoint is almost 50 years old. In the past, it was a luxury restaurant, a bingo hall, a nightclub, an office building and a warehouse. Now, this architectural UFO designed by Chaves da Costa has been given a new lease of life - and a much more peaceful one: it is a viewpoint, which was always its second calling anyway. The 360º view of the city and great location, in Alto da Serafina Recreational Park, make this derelict building the best place to check out the sights in Monsanto. We won’t lie: it’s the best view of the whole city. Abandoned since 2001, the Panoramic received only sporadic visits from urban explorers, tourists, curious onlookers and people armed with spray paint, who went there to do what people generally do with spray paint. Since September 2nd, 2017, it can be visited legally and safely. Lisbon City Hall removed the rubble, put protections in place, and is soon going to tackle the walls full of sentences like “I can’t live without you Albino”. However, this won’t be the Panorâmico’s last refurbishing: the final transformation will happen in the future, after we find out who won an ideas competition due to be launched by City Hall in its next mandate. Until then, enjoy.

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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.

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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.

GYG Lisbon

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