Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the most highly visited cities of Europe. Renowned as t is for its fine architecture, history, cuisine, culture and international trade, that’s hardly surprising.

Geographically, Lisbon is located on the Iberian Peninsula, at the mouth of the River Tagus, which feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the oldest cities of Western Europe, characterised by medieval buildings, cosy neighbourhoods, iconic yellow trams navigating its narrow streets and spectacular hilltop views overlooking the river. Tourists often leave the city surprised by what Lisbon has to offer.

HistoryLisbon shares its culture with a wide range of peoples, including the indigenous Iberians, Celts, Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths and Moors, and the influence of each can be seen in the city and surrounding area. In 1147, Christian crusaders under Afonso I captured the city from the Moors, ushering in the maritime Age of Discovery. Famous Portuguese explorers set off to discover the Atlantic archipelagos, the Far East and Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. These epic voyages that started from Lisbon, brought about a great age of prosperity for Portugal. Sadly, a devastating earthquake destroyed the majority of the city in 1755.

The desirability of Lisbon is based on the geographical location of the city, which gives it great trade advantages. It has access by sea to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Western Europe, Africa and further afield to the Americas. The city has a large, natural harbour. These factors also greatly helped Portugal accede to the European Union in 1986. As such, Lisbon is a popular business, as well as top holiday, destination.

LandmarksThe Alfama is one of the oldest surviving districts of Lisbon and it’s where you’ll find most of the city’s top historical landmarks, including the Se Cathedral and Castelo San Jorge. Located on the top of a hill, it’s accessible by Tram 28 and offers fantastic views over the rest of the city.

Torre de Belem is one of the most iconic monuments of Lisbon: an ancient battlement that was built to protect the city. Like with the Alfama, the views from up here atop the tower are exceptional. Don’t forget your camera.

A more modern attraction, the Lisbon Aquarium, Oceanário, is a world-class facility, exhibiting exceptional aquatic biodiversity, and is a great place to enjoy with the entire family. Other notable landmarks that are worthy of a visit include the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Museu da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Lisbon Zoo.

Eat, Drink and Be MerryLisbon is made up of several neighbourhoods, each with their own unique buzz, where local communities enjoy good food, wine and fresh seafood.

Bairro Alto is a hilltop neighbourhood, with a great selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and some top notch nightlife. A trendy, somewhat hipster neighbourhood, it’s one of the best places in town to check out the local music scene, with offerings ranging from rock to pop, reggae to jazz and all the way to the traditional Fado music.

Alfama, one of the oldest districts in town and it’s where you find most of the city’s smaller, more traditional cafés, selling good bread and wine and buzzing with local life.

As far as dishes go, you should not miss out on sampling regional delicacies like the sweet cakes called Pastéis de Nata, grilled sardines, bacalhau (cod fish) and the local Portuguese wine. Make sure you pay a visit to Mercado da Ribeira, the newest market for food in town where you can taste dishes from some of the most famous and original Portuguese chefs.

ShoppingLisbon is a great city for shopping. Chiado is an excellent shopping neighbourhood known for pottery, books and coffee shops, as well as stylish boutique fashion shops from local designers. If you’re looking for those established, international brands then head for Avenida da Liberdade is one of the grandest shopping avenues in the city.

Centro Colombo is one of the largest shopping centres in Portugal, where you’ll find everything from big brand designer stores to electrical. It also has a cinema showing international films in their original languages, as wells as lots of affordable eateries in the food court.

Lisbon is a unique city with lots of character that sets it apart from any other world capitals. A sunny, beautiful and quaint historic destination for those that want to relax, explore or party. Whatever you want, Lisbon has it.

Where to stay in Lisbon District

Lisbon Old Town
Lisbon featuring heritage architecture and a city as well as a large group of people

Lisbon Old Town

Known for Urban, Architecture, Monuments

4/5(670 reviews)

Discover views over the old town from hilltop Graça, Moorish history in Alfama, bustling downtown Baixa, bohemian Chiado and nightlife in Bairro Alto. 

Baixa
Santa Justa Elevator showing landscape views and a city

Baixa

Known for Monuments, Shopping, Cathedrals

4.5/5(507 reviews)

Baixa is a sophisticated district of downtown Lisbon. It has picturesque squares, pedestrianised streets and avenues lined with elegant shops, cafés and theatres.

Alfama
Alfama showing a sunset and a coastal town

Alfama

Known for Romantic, Castles, Historical Buildings

4.5/5(151 reviews)

Explore Moorish castles and medieval alleyways in Lisbon’s oldest district before an evening of traditional live music at an authentic Fado bar.

Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto, Lisbon, Portugal

Bairro Alto

Known for Urban, Bars, Cafés

4.5/5(138 reviews)

Travellers come to Bairro Alto for its lively bars, and you can see top attractions like Camoes Square and Santa Catarina Viewpoint while you're in town.

Ericeira
Ericeira, Mafra, Portugal

Ericeira

Known for Sea, Surfing, Seafood

4.5/5(15 reviews)

Ericeira is noteworthy for its seaside views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Praia da Ribeira d'Ilhas and Sao Lourenco Beach.

Belem
Padrão dos Descobrimentos showing a bridge, heritage elements and a river or creek

Belem

Known for Temples, Monuments, Museums

4.5/5(13 reviews)

In this Portuguese city, travel back to times of global discovery. Tour this historic launch point for explorers seeking distant riches. 

Top hotels in Lisbon District

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Radisson Blu Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel
4 out of 5
Avenida Marechal Craveiro Lopes, 390, Campo Grande, Lisbon
£73
per night
16 Nov-17 Nov

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2 mi (3.3 km) from Gulbenkian Museum, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Santa Justa Elevator and Lisbon Oceanarium. Rossio ...

4.2/5Very Good! (2,139 reviews)

"We enjoyed the extremely prorfessional service offered by Jessica at check in and Nuno Gaives at the restaraunt. Radisson should be pleased having these two pros on their team."…"

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2019

Radisson Blu Hotel
Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
3 out of 5
Aeroporto Internacional Lisboa, Rua C-2, Lisbon
£99
per night
28 Nov-29 Nov

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Lisbon Casino, Lisbon Oceanarium and Lisbon International Exhibition Fair. Rossio Square and Santa ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,758 reviews)

"The staff is helpful, friendly and eager to make my stay comfortable.."…"

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2019

Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
Jupiter Lisboa Hotel
Jupiter Lisboa Hotel
4 out of 5
Avenida da Republica, 46, Lisbon
£78
per night
8 Dec-9 Dec

Located in Lisbon Old Town, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Campo Pequeno Bullring and Culturgest. Gulbenkian Museum and Jose Alvalade Stadium are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,178 reviews)

"The staff was friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The breakfast was great. The metro was right outside the front door."…"

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2019

Jupiter Lisboa Hotel

Popular things to do in Lisbon District

Castle of Sao Jorge
Image for Castle of Sao Jorge

Castle of Sao Jorge

4.5/5(658 reviews)

This medieval fortress offers insight into Lisbon’s long history as well as stunning views of the city and river below.

Lisbon Oceanarium
Image for Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium

4.5/5(164 reviews)

Enjoy an underwater adventure at one of the world’s largest and most diverse aquariums right on Lisbon’s beautiful waterfront.

Rossio Square
Image for Rossio Square

Rossio Square

4/5(766 reviews)

See the people-packed central square whose swirling wave-patterned cobbles are thought to have inspired copycat pavements across the rest of Portugal and beyond.

Belem Tower
Image for Belem Tower

Belem Tower

4.5/5(677 reviews)

Belém Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the northern bank of the Tagus River in the Belém district of Lisbon.

Jeronimos Monastery
Image for Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery

4.5/5(446 reviews)

See where monks once worshipped at this beautifully decorated monastery and where Lisbon’s famous custard-filled pastry is said to have been invented. 

Lisbon Cathedral
Image for Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral

4/5(535 reviews)

Lisbon Cathedral, also known as ‘Sé of Lisbon’ or ‘Santa Maria Church’ is one of the most important historic buildings in Lisbon. It’s located in the old city centre, on the top of a narrow cobblestone street, in the charming Largo da Sé. The architecture consists of a mixture of different styles - Medieval, Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque - as a result of successive restorations from the 12th to the 18th Century.

Top activities in Lisbon District

Lisbon Card
Image for Lisbon Card

Lisbon Card

£17

The Lisbon Card gives you the freedom to explore the city at your own leisure for 24, 48, or 72 hours. Enjoy unlimited travel on Lisbon's public transportation systems, and take advantage of included admission to some of the city's top museums and attractions.

Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais with Admission to Pena Palace
Image for Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais with Admission to Pena Palace

Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais with Admission to Pena Palace

£50

The romantic charm of Sintra and Cascais is on full display as you get to know these idyllic towns. Your guide shows you the lush forests, gardens, and grand palaces that combine with the coastal beauty of Cabo da Roca to form some of the most beautiful scenery in Portugal.

Small-Group 4-Town Day Trip: Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré & Óbidos
Image for Small-Group 4-Town Day Trip: Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré & Óbidos

Small-Group 4-Town Day Trip: Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré & Óbidos

£54

Become immersed in the rich history of Portugal, and discover its vibrant culture and age-old traditions on a full day tour in a small group. Discover 4 amazing Portuguese cities— Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré, and Óbidos—with insightful commentary provided by a friendly and knowledgeable guide.

Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Small-Group Full-Day Tour
Image for Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Small-Group Full-Day Tour

Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Small-Group Full-Day Tour

£52

The natural and historical beauty of Portugal is lined up for you on this full-day tour covering Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril. Discover the coastal playground of Lisbon, understand why Queen Maria II loved Pena Park, and visit the famous Pena National Palace.

Lisbon: Small Group Food and Drink Tour with a Local Guide
Image for Lisbon: Small Group Food and Drink Tour with a Local Guide

Lisbon: Small Group Food and Drink Tour with a Local Guide

£41

Taste your way through Lisbon on a 4-hour walking tour highlighting some of the city’s best food. A local guide leads the way, ready to share insider knowledge of the city and take you on a journey that combines history, culture, and delicious food.

Classic Sailboat Private Tour
Image for Classic Sailboat Private Tour

Classic Sailboat Private Tour

£37

Choose your favorite day in the following periods of time and book your tour on our classic sailboat: • Periods of time: Morning (9:30-11:30am / 12:00-2:00pm), afternoon (3:00-5:00pm / 5:30-7:30pm) or night (8:30-10:30pm) • Boarding and landing dock: Santo Amaro Dock (Alcântara) • Boarding door: Porta 1 (near the paddel tennis courts, under the 25 April Bridge) • Sailboat: classic 18m sailboat, all renewed, with a capacity for 16 people.

Reviews of Lisbon District

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1003
5 - Excellent 68.46416382252559%
4 - Good
420
4 - Good 28.668941979522184%
3 - Okay
32
3 - Okay 2.1843003412969284%
2 - Disappointing
9
2 - Disappointing 0.6143344709897611%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.06825938566552901%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

15 Nov 2019

A visit to Sintra is a must.

4/5 - Good

Farahnaz

13 Nov 2019

A lovely clean city with polite and helpful people and excellent seafood

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Nov 2019

Amazing place to visit will go back again.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Nov 2019

Didn’t find many vegetarian options on menus and what was offered was unimaginative eg margarita pizza.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Nov 2019

We had. Relaxing and cultural break would definitely revisit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

11 Nov 2019

Friendly accessible city. Something for everyone. Brilliant free walking tours. Very easy to get to Sintra and Cascais. Relaxed atmosphere.

Other places like Lisbon District

Porto
Image for Porto
Porto
Setubal
Image for Setubal
Setubal
trover photo by Sérgio Veludo
Berlin
Image for Berlin
Berlin
Vienna
Image for Vienna
Vienna