Dear fellow foodies, thank you for clicking to read this article! If you are planning to visit Lisbon, first of all: welcome in advance and congrats on your choice – you won’t be disappointed! Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and magic cities in Europe and it’s becoming a “must” destination for foodies around the world.
By the way, this is Luciana, FoodieBookings founder! I decided to write this article because people who join my food tours often ask me for advice on things to do in Lisbon.
Portugal’s amazing city, Lisbon, stays one of the best tourism spots due to its remarkable gastronomy, eye catching culture, sense of art and fantastic weather. If you are looking forward to visit us, there is so much to do here that you won’t get a second of boredom (mark that!). But I’m sure that even if you are visiting Lisbon for only 3 day, you will have the time of your life.
Here are my two cents on some of the best things to do in Lisbon:
1. Visit Museums
Lisbon has some great museums which hold together a lot of modern and classical history in them. From Ancient Art Museums, to Orient History and Modern Art; most of them are free on the first Sunday of each month. Personally, my favorite one is The National Museum of Ancient Art, it is a must visit as it is the home to Portuguese national art collection.
2. Join a Food Tour
In my opinion, this is the best way to explore a new destination!
So, eat your way through Lisbon: the city is famous for its seafood and it’s also one of the top foodie destinations in Europe – the hype is real.
Meet local foodies to explore the city through its mouth watering flavors. Have a taste of local “petiscos” (Portuguese word for snacks), pastries (such as the famous Portuguese custard tart, which is also our speciality) and discover our amazing wine.
Dear vegetarians, have no worries, most of the food walks have veggie options! Have a look at food walks in Lisbon hosted by local foodies
3. Embrace Lisbon's Nightlife
I’m a more of a “bar” person, I like to get up early in the morning to do my thing. But if you want to dance freely and let your hair down in Lisbon, you have got some really cool places to go. I would recommend the Sabotage Club, Lux Fragile, Trumps, Incógnito, MusicBox, Lust, and the Metropolis Club; each one of them is worth your time and you will have some serious fun!
If you are a “bar” person such as myself, you will love areas like Bairro Alto, Cais do Sodré and Bica.
4. Learn to Cook Portuguese Food
Why not learn the secrets of Portuguese gastronomy while you’re in the city? Master the secret of our pastry with a Pastel de Nata Workshop, or take a traditional Portuguese cuisine cooking class with visit to a local market.
Dear vegetarians, I have thought of you too: all cooking classes have veggie options, but if you are looking for a 100% vegetarian experience, have a look at these delicious vegetarian and vegan cooking classes.
5. Enjoy the Sunset at a Rooftop
Oh, this is a must do alright! Lisbon has a lot of eye catching rooftop bars with breathtaking views. My two favorite ones are Memmo Alfama (delicious food and wine) and Terrace BA (has a view over Tagus river + Cristo Rei + 25 April Bridge – how cool?).
There are other great ones such as Sky Bar (you can gaze the castle from there), Silk is also quite famous and PARK – the view is not great but the food and the music are ok.
Take one sunset of your vacations to enjoy the sun dive into the clouds.
6. Take Incredible Photos at the Viewpoints
Lisbon is filled with viewpoints which hold a lot of beauty. Feist your memories, your family and friends with eye catching photos from viewpoints such as São Pedro de Alcântara, Portas do Sol (my favorite!), Castelo São Jorge and Arco da Rua Augusta (this a double one).
7. Visit Belém
Belém is located on the western edge of Lisbon and it’s one of the most visited places in the city. It has wonderful gardens and parks and it’s famous for the monuments in honor of the Portuguese Discoveries.
How to get to Belém: You can easily catch the Tram 15 to get to Belém or even take the train there.
8. Visit Sintra
Mysterious, magical and an inspiration for several fantasy movies. Sintra is a famous town which is adored for its cool climate and wicked architecture. It has some eye catching palaces, fantastic nature, gardens and mansions. You can plan a day trip while you are in Lisbon and visit Sintra. You will love the sights that it has to offer to your eyes.
How to get to Sintra: you can easily take the train from Rossio station or from Santa Apolónia station (depending on where you are staying).
9. Explore the Surroundings
Mountains, beautiful beaches, breathtaking views, delicious food and wine.. All at only 40 minutes from Lisbon. What else could you ask for?
Even if you are on a short break visiting Lisbon, take a day trip to explore places like Setúbal, Sesimbra and Azeitão. I always say when I retire I will move to Sesimbra. This is definitely my favorite village in all Portugal.
Have a look at our day trip from Lisbon to Setúbal (pick up and drop off included)
10. Learn About Lisbon's African Roots
I always recommend Naky’s tour. It’s a mind blowing 5h walk about the history of Africa and Portugal. Lisbon holds within it, a painful story of slavery but Naky also talks about how modern African communities live in abundance nowadays in Lisbon (one of the best countries in Europe for migrants).
Prepare to get emotional on this tour.
About the author
I’m fascinated by the unique cultures of the world and I love to explore new places through local gastronomy. My passion for food lead me on my biggest adventure: build my own startup. So, 10kg later, FoodieBookings was born to provide the best (and most authentic) Portuguese food experiences 🙂