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Lisbon

Lisbon is the westernmost capital of mainland Europe and one of the oldest cities in the world. Visitors throng to Lisbon for its Mediterranean climate, good food, great wines, vibrant nightlife and ancient history.

HistoryThe strategic location of Lisbon at the mouth of the Tagus River has contributed to the city’s importance as a centre of trade between the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe. It was originally settled by the Celts and subsequently captured by the Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and Moors. Christian crusaders later captured the city, forming the long-term Portuguese Royal Family.

Lisbon flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Portuguese Age of Discovery, which lead to the accumulation of great wealth and power. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon and further disaster fell in 1807 when Napoleon’s forces occupied Lisbon. However, the city slowly rebuilt over the 19th Century.

In 1910, the Republicans established the Portuguese Republic with the Estado Novo regime, the longest-living dictatorship in Western Europe ruled by Salazar. It was deposed by the 1974 by the Carnation Revolution and Portugal joined the European Community in 1986. Recent improvements to the metro system and the revival of older buildings in the city have transformed Lisbon into one of the trendiest cities in Europe.

LandmarksLisbon and nearby Sintra have three sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, in Lisbon and Palácio da Pena in Sintra.

Belém was where Portuguese explorers set off from on their voyages of discovery. Belém Tower is a fortified lighthouse, which stands on a little island on the right hand side of the Tagus. It was originally intended to guard the entrance to the port against invasion or pirate raids, but today it offers incredible views over the city.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a monastery with amazing stonework and burial place of the greatest Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. Sintra is a beautiful dreamy town dotted with tourist hotspots and historic attractions, such as the grand Palácio da Pena: a fairytale-like castle that sits atop a mighty hill, offering incredible views over the town below.

The heart of the city of Lisbon is Baixa. This historic district was constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Its most notable feature is the Rua Augusta Arch, a triumphal arch designed as a gateway to the city. An elevator, located inside the arch, takes you to a vantage point that offers beautiful views over downtown, the Praça do Comércio and the Tagus River.

Lisbon's castle, Castelo de São Jorge, is an incredible piece of architecture that stands on top of the city's highest hill. Not only does it offer cultural and historical significance, but also provides beautiful views of the city and river, making it a fun trip for history-buffs and lay folk alike.

If you’re a fan of modern architecture, pay a visit to Parque das Nações: the newest district in Lisbon. Check out the Orient Railway Station, a truly eye-catching building and one of the main transportation centres of Lisbon. Here you can also find one of the world's longest bridges, the stunning Vasco da Gama Bridge.

Shopping, Restaurants and NighlifeIf it’s shopping you crave then pay Chiado a visit, Lisbon’s traditional shopping area. Here you can buy clothes from trendy designer boutiques, as well as books, crafts and pottery. You will also find plenty of coffee shops and restaurants serving traditional cakes such as ‘Pastéis de Nata’ and typical cod fish dishes called ’Bacalhau’.

As you can probably see, there’s never a dull moment in Lisbon.

Where to stay in Lisbon

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

Lisbon Old Town

4/5Very Good!(777 area reviews)

Lisbon Old Town is highly notable for its stunning river views, and you might want to visit top sights like Rossio Square and Castle of Sao Jorge. See more of Lisbon by jumping on the metro at Avenida Station or Rua Câmara Pestana Stop.

Lisbon Old Town
Alfama showing a sunset and a coastal town

Alfama

4.5/5Wonderful!(165 area reviews)

Alfama is a destination travellers like for its historical sites, and you might hop aboard the metro at R. Graça Stop or Sapadores Stop to explore sights like Castle of Sao Jorge.

Alfama
Santa Justa Elevator showing landscape views and a city

Baixa

4.5/5Wonderful!(604 area reviews)

Gourmet restaurants interesting history and top sights from Rossio Square to Santa Justa Elevator – discover Baixa, a destination also famous for its shopping.

Baixa
Bairro Alto, Lisbon, Lisbon District, Portugal

Bairro Alto

4.5/5Wonderful!(153 area reviews)

You might take some time to check out the lively bars in Bairro Alto. Spend some time visiting top spots like Fado in Chiado, and catch the metro at Sta. Catarina Stop or Largo do Calhariz Stop to see more of the area.

Bairro Alto
Chiado which includes views and a sunset as well as a couple

Chiado

4.5/5Wonderful!(10 area reviews)

Spend some time visiting places like Lisbon City Hall while getting to know Chiado, and be sure to check out the abundant dining options. You can hop aboard the metro at Lg. Academia Nacional Belas AR Stop or R. Vitor Cordon/R. Serpa Pin Stop to see more of the area.

Chiado
Commerce Square showing a city, street scenes and night scenes

Santa Maria Maior

4.5/5Wonderful!(76 area reviews)

You might take some time to check out the stunning river views in Santa Maria Maior. Spend some time visiting top spots like Castle of Sao Jorge, and catch the metro at Igreja Sta. Maria Madalena Stop or Sé Stop to see more of the area.

Santa Maria Maior

Top hotels in Lisbon

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The One Palácio da Anunciada
The One Palácio da Anunciada
5 out of 5
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, 112-134, Lisbon
The price is £143 per night

Located in Lisbon Old Town, this luxury hotel is steps away from Liberty Avenue and Restauradores Square. Rossio Square and Santa Justa Elevator are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (145 reviews)

"Fantastic hotel great location great staff - pool and pool bar were fantastic and the service from staff was second to none. Definitely recommend"…"

Reviewed on 3 Jul 2020

The One Palácio da Anunciada
Iberostar Selection Lisboa
Iberostar Selection Lisboa
5 out of 5
Rua Castilho 64, Lisbon
The price is £110 per night

Located in Lisbon Old Town, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Liberty Avenue and Marquis of Pombal Square. Rossio Square and Amoreiras Shopping ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (557 reviews)

"Staff were very friendly. Room was incredible - very modern, clean, functional. Shower/toilet layout was unconventional but we liked it. As a brit, would've loved milk with the coffee, but understand it's perhaps not the done thing. Brilliant hotel overall, worth the money."…"

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2020

Iberostar Selection Lisboa
Hotel Real Parque
Hotel Real Parque
4 out of 5
Avenida Luis Bivar, 67, Lisbon
The price is £87 per night

Located in Lisbon Old Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of El Corte Ingles Mall, Gulbenkian Museum and Marquis of Pombal Square. Lisbon Zoo and Rossio ...

4.1/5Very Good! (981 reviews)

"Location,good value, very pleasant staff ,near metro for airport."…"

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2020

Hotel Real Parque

Popular places to visit in Lisbon

Lisbon Oceanarium
Image for Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium

4.5/5(183 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(880 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.

Castle of Sao Jorge
Image for Castle of Sao Jorge

Castle of Sao Jorge

4.5/5(764 reviews)

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

Commerce Square
Image for Commerce Square

Commerce Square

4.5/5(715 reviews)

People-watch in this historic square while you enjoy a coffee and pastry in the café where the city’s literati once gathered.

Belem Tower
Image for Belem Tower

Belem Tower

4.5/5(779 reviews)

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

Lisbon Zoo
Image for Lisbon Zoo

Lisbon Zoo

4.5/5(52 reviews)

Be kissed by a seal, splashed by a dolphin and have your photo taken with a python at this family zoo in the center of Lisbon.

Top things to do in Lisbon

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

£59
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Lisbon Card
Image for Lisbon Card

Lisbon Card

£18
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
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

£68
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Best of Lisbon Small-Group Walking Tour
Image for Best of Lisbon Small-Group Walking Tour

Best of Lisbon Small-Group Walking Tour

£20
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Tramcar Tours
Image for Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Tramcar Tours

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Tramcar Tours

£32
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Lisbon city Private Transfer to Airport (LIS)
Image for Lisbon city Private Transfer to Airport (LIS)

Lisbon city Private Transfer to Airport (LIS)

£21
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Lisbon

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1154
5 - Excellent 68.08259587020649%
4 - Good
496
4 - Good 29.262536873156343%
3 - Okay
35
3 - Okay 2.0648967551622417%
2 - Disappointing
9
2 - Disappointing 0.5309734513274337%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.058997050147492625%

5/5 - Excellent

Taylor

23 Mar 2020

Myself and my partner had an amazing time in Lisbon. The people were friendly, the weather was beautiful and Portugal’s culture is so rich and diverse. We wished we could have stayed longer.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

14 Mar 2020

This was our first visit to Lisbon and in fact Portugal and we really liked it. Lovely city to visit and didn't really feel like a normal capital city, it had a more relaxed feel to the place and a fantastic blend between old and new styles.

5/5 - Excellent

Beth

8 Mar 2020

Lovely city to explore . Always lots of walking to do so wear trainers .

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

7 Mar 2020

Great place to visit

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

7 Mar 2020

Beauitful and pleasant city with lots of tourist attractions, restaurants, shops and bars. Was disappointed with the amount of graffiti seen across the city

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Mar 2020

There is plenty to see and do you just have to get out and about. We are seniors of below average fitness however we coped well with the hills. Buy the Lisboa ticket, worth it especially as we used our Expedia points to reduce the cost.

Cities near Lisbon

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

Lisbon District

National Museum of Azulejos which includes heritage elements

Alto de Sao Joao

National Museum of Natural History showing interior views

Rato