Posted: Tuesday May 22 2018
Want to get to know the Portuguese capital like a local? Try one of these tours and tackle the city’s charming streets and take in sights and attractions on foot, by bike, bus, boat – even in an old school VW Beetle if that’s what you fancy. There are loads of fun ways to explore the capital, you just have to pick your favourite.
Why not experience the delicious delicacies of Portugal on a food tour? Sample bacalhau (salted cod) in the historic district of Belém, or sip on Portuguese wine, fresh from the vineyards of Alentejo, on a day-trip north of Lisbon. Alternatively, tour Lisbon at your leisure on one of the many hop-on, hop-off buses and trams that circulate daily.
To help your decision-making, we’ve gathered up the best Lisbon tours below.
Get to grips with Lisbon on an in-depth tour of the capital with a highly knowledgeable local. In three to four hours, your guide will lead you around Lisbon’s major historical landmarks and architecturally stunning squares, and will reveal the stories behind them as you walk. Plus, you’ll stop by various eateries to learn about Portuguese pastries and wine, before hopping on the ferry for a relaxing ride along the river Tagus.
Hop on the ‘cacilheiro’ (ferry) across the Tagus to experience a different side to Lisbon. You can discover the capital’s seafaring past at the Naval Museum, venture to the top of Boca do Vento to take in fab views of Almada, and have a gander at the contemporary art at Casa da Cerca. And when you wander over the corner of Cacilhas, you can see what Lisbon looks like from the other side. Spoiler alert: it’s pretty cool.
Discover the best of Lisbon’s wine, pastries and other delicious delicacies with an expert guide leading you through a selection of the city’s traditional eateries. As well as giving your taste buds a well-earned treat (don’t worry, you can walk it off!), your guide will explain the origins of Portuguese grub and advise on where to eat for the remainder of your trip.
If there’s one thing Lisbon is famed for – besides pasteis de nata and ginjinha – it’s hills. Boy, are there a lot of them! These electric bike tours make the slopes a bit more manageable. They’ll let you explore Alfama, Bairro Alto and Chiado with ease, before riding to landmarks like Lisbon Cathedral and heading up to the highest points of the city at the Church of Santa Engrácia and the São Vicente Monastery.
Tackle ten Lisbon great bars and restaurants in one tour. Led by an expert, you’ll be taken around, tasting authentic Portuguese food and drink as you go. Your guide will tell you all about the origins of items such as moelas (a chicken gizzard stew: yum!), pastel de bacalhau (cod fritters) and the famous custard tart: pasteis de nata.
Join a local guide and experience Lisbon through your taste buds. Venture to a ‘garrafeira’ (wine cellar) to try port in an authentic habitat, before heading to Mouraria to delight in a spot of tapas alongside lovely views across the Tagus. It’s worth noting that these culinary tours run through the day and night.
Spend the best part of a day really getting know the cuisine of the Portuguese people. This tour kicks off in Lisbon at the original pastéis de nata bakery, Pastéis de Belém, before moving further afield to Cascais, Cabo da Roca and Sintra. Taste fresh fish on a beach, scoff queijadas (cheesy cupcake) in the mountains, and sample some sericaia (light and fluffy cake) if you still have room.
See the city at your own pace on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Once you’ve got your ticket, you’ll have 24 hours to explore Lisbon, utilising the two bus routes that stop at historic sites and attractions. These include Marques do Pombal Square, Tower Vasco da Gama and the Ocenarium. Buses run every 30 minutes.
The old trams running up and down the epic hills of Lisbon have been doing so since 1873 – so not only will they take you to historical points, they’re historical points of interest in themselves! If you want to ride them all day (as well as the open-top tour buses), get a combination hop-on-hop-off ticket– it lets you easily get to places like Belem and Rossio Square, and visit the Oceanarium and Estrela Park.
If you want to give your knackered legs a rest, hop on this cruise along the river. The Tagus provides a relaxing way to see the city – hop on and off as you please at prime spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage site Belém Tower, the Cristo Rei Christ monument, and Jerónimos Monastery. There’s also audio commentary on the boats.
Forget the food and historic spots of Lisbon – this tour will take you on a distinctly arty journey through the capital. Journalist and tour guide Vasco T Rodrigues leads his audience through the city via striking street art, explaining the history of Lisbon’s urban art movement and discussing the noted local artists responsible for this thriving scene.
Follow our guide to the top Lisbon attractions, landmarks and sightseeing spots you’d be mad to miss