15 Best Things to Do in Lisbon

January 31, 2019 Condé Nast Traveler Alia Akkam Condé Nast Traveler
January 31, 2019
Condé Nast Traveler
Alia Akkam
Condé Nast Traveler

This article is an abbreviated version of the original. To read the full article go here.  

There certainly isn't a shortage of captivating ways to spend your days in Lisbon—there's so much to experience, in fact, you might have a difficult time creating your to-do list. That's why we've done it for you.

Tram 28: If your'e in search of Belém’s cultural and culinary adventures, you can simply hop on the sleek No. 15 tram from the city center to get around. But it’s the No. 28 that every visitor should weave into their itinerary. These vintage Remodelado streetcars, wooden and painted yellow, are a throwback to another era.

Praça do Comércio: Lisbon certainly doesn’t lack for stunning plazas, but perhaps the most important is Praça do Comércio. Before the earthquake of 1755, it was here where one found the royal palace.

Jéronimos Monastery: The massive structure, which commenced building in 1501, took a century to complete. It’s not hard for anyone to succumb to the UNESCO site’s staggering size and grandeur.

Café A Brasileira: A bronze statue of Fernando Pessoa greets visitors at Café A Brasileira—the beloved poet frequented this joint to sip absinthe. One of Lisbon’s oldest, and perhaps most famous, cafés, this circa-1905 institution was, in its heyday, a grand place for writers and intellectuals to convene.

New Europe Tours - Alfama Tour: This two-and-a-half hour stroll through the historic and scenic Alfama, Lisbon's oldest neighborhood, offers a thorough look at its highlights.

Pastéis de Belém: You can find delicious versions of pastel de nata, Portugal’s signature confection, throughout Lisbon. But none of these cinnamon-dusted egg custard tarts are as entrenched in Portuguese history as the ones served at this Belém institution.

Time Out Market Lisboa: Time Out magazine has curated this upbeat food hall in Cais do Sodre, which successfully merges the worlds of culinary highbrow and lowbrow.

National Azulejo Museum: It’s impossible to leave Lisbon without being riveted by the city’s masterful displays of tiles (azulejos) brightening up buildings and streets. One of Portugal’s most important traditions, these hand-painted beauties, most common in lovely blue and white iterations, get the spotlight at the National Azulejo Museum, an arresting 16th-century convent in an out-of-the-way location.

São Jorge Castle: São Jorge Castle, a hilltop castle, is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic scenes. Before the Moors built the fortress in the mid-11th century, the Visigoths settled here.

 Santa Justa Lift: This might just be the world’s most beautiful elevator. Designed by Portugal native Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, the vertical lift—also known as the Elevador do Carmo—made its debut in 1902.

Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira: Located in the hushed suburb of Benfica, about a 20-minute taxi ride from the city center, this 17th-century palace—and 18th-century addition—was built for Dom João Mascarenhas, 1st Marquis of Fronteira.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte: It’s certainly not as famous as, say, São Jorge Castle or Miradouro das Portas do Sol, but Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is just as dreamy a lookout point.

Clube de Fado: In Alfama, a five-minute walk from the Museu do Fado, the Portuguese music adventure continues at Clube de Fado.

Belém Tower: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Belém Tower was built on the northern bank of the Tagus River between 1514 and 1520 by architect Francisco de Arruda.

Lisbon Cathedral: Resembling a medieval-era fortress flanked by two imposing towers, the thick-walled Lisbon Cathedral has an austere look. The Romanesque building, completed in 1150, is the city’s oldest church, and one of its most impressive features is the rose window, which was rebuilt with fragments from the original.

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