Lisbon District

Travel Guide
Lisbon showing heritage architecture and a city as well as a large group of people

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.

Lisbon District Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Lisbon District

Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
3 out of 5
Aeroporto Internacional Lisboa, Rua C-2, Lisbon
The price is £70 per night from 9 Feb to 10 Feb
Located in Olivais, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Lisbon Casino, Lisbon International Exhibition Fair and Lisbon Oceanarium. Gulbenkian Museum and Rossio ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (1,292 reviews)
"5 min walk to the airport and the breakfast was excellent"

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2022

Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto
TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto
4 out of 5
Aeroporto Internacional de Lisboa, Rua C, Lisbon
The price is £94 per night from 18 Jan to 19 Jan
Located in Olivais, this spa hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre, Atlantic Pavilion and Lisbon Casino. Lisbon International Exhibition ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (943 reviews)
"Walking distance from the airport, great staff, tasty breakfast"

Reviewed on 16 Jan 2022

TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto
Radisson Blu Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel
4 out of 5
Avenida Marechal Craveiro Lopes, 390, Campo Grande, Lisbon
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £83 per night from 18 Jan to 19 Jan
Located in Lisbon City Center, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Gulbenkian Museum, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Santa Justa Elevator and Lisbon Oceanarium. Rossio ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,167 reviews)
"Friendly and helpful staff great facilities"

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2022

Radisson Blu Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Lisbon Serviced Apartments Madalena
Lisbon Serviced Apartments Madalena
4 out of 5
Rua da Madalena, n. 36, Lisbon
The price is £44 per night from 20 Jan to 21 Jan
Located in Alfama, this apartment building is steps away from Se and Commerce Square. Lisbon Cathedral and Rossio Square are also within 10 minutes. Igreja Sta. ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (129 reviews)

Reviewed on 1 Dec 2021

Lisbon Serviced Apartments Madalena
Villa Baixa - Lisbon Luxury Apartments
Villa Baixa - Lisbon Luxury Apartments
4 out of 5
Rua de Santa Justa 45, Lisbon
The price is £100 per night from 18 Jan to 19 Jan
Located in Lisbon Old Town, this apartment building is steps away from Figueira Square and Rossio Square. Commerce Square and Lisbon Cathedral are also within ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (275 reviews)
"Oly there overnight for flight out next morning. Ideally located for sight seeing"

Reviewed on 25 Dec 2021

Villa Baixa - Lisbon Luxury Apartments
Lisbon Serviced Apartments - Principe Real
Lisbon Serviced Apartments - Principe Real
4 out of 5
Rua das Taipas, 12-14, Lisbon
The price is £53 per night from 24 Jan to 25 Jan
Located in Lisbon City Center, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Botanical Garden and Rossio Square. Commerce Square and Lisbon Cathedral ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (18 reviews)
"You can seldom go wrong with this company"

Reviewed on 2 Jan 2022

Lisbon Serviced Apartments - Principe Real
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Lisbon District

Top things to do in Lisbon District

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Lisbon District

Cities near Lisbon District