Top 8 Lisbon Tourist Attractions


The gorgeous capital of Portugal is a European destination like no other, winning over the hearts of more and more travelers who come to pay it a visit each year. Yellow trams climbing the hills of the orange-roofed city, the sounds of Fado singers entertaining guests who are enjoying local wine and cuisine, and a plethora of unique places to visit in Lisbon which simply awe - the reasons to travel to the inspiring city are endless. To make sure that you won't miss any highlights during your Portugal travel, we've put together a list of the top things to do in Lisbon as well as the sights worth checking out.

1. Belem Tower, Lisbon
Belem Tower, Lisbon

Opening the countdown is one of the highest-rated sights in Lisbon in terms of both popularity and beauty. The historic Tower of Belem is a notable UNESCO World Heritage Site in Portugal. It was built in the 16th century and still impresses visitors with its fancy white limestone walls which have many breathtaking carved elements. This Lisbon tower has actually once functioned as a fortress and served as a triumphant starting point of many voyages. Today it is regarded as the symbol of the country.

2. Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon
Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon

Portugal's role during the Age of Discoveries is, without a doubt, unquestionable. This country is the motherland of such great explorers as Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, thus stopping by the massive monument in their honor (called Padrao dos Descobrimentos) is a must. What is more, the adjacent square has some surprises in stock for you too. Its tiles form a map and have numerous elements themed around the discoverers, including an enormous compass, rightfully, it can also be listed among the sights to see in Lisbon.

3. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon
Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Also located in the Belem District and sometimes referred to as the Hieronymites Monastery, this historic place of worship is among the top tourist attractions in Lisbon. The former monastery is more than 500 years old and allures travelers with its ornate exteriors. The cloister is actually a UNESCO-listed site, and it boasts fine stonework with dozens of arches all built in the Manueline architectural style. An interesting fact about Jeronimos is that it is home to the tomb of Vasco da Gama.

4. 25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon
25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

Reminiscent of San Francisco's well-known Golden Gate Bridge, Lisbon's red Ponte 25 de Abril is another popular photo stop. The extensive bridge crosses the Tagus River and opens views of the Sanctuary of Christ the King. The famous statue of the monastery jogs your memory of a similar site guarding Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, the tall monument of Jesus Christ. The best pictures of these attractions in Lisbon can be taken from the shores of the river located about a 15-minute stroll from the Belem District.

5. Se Cathedral, Lisbon
Se Cathedral, Lisbon

Se Cathedral is indeed among the most famous buildings in Portugal's capital. Dating back to the 12th century, this Lisbon cathedral is a perfect example of Romanesque architecture, typical both of the area and its time. Among the one-of-a-kind features of its interiors to be noted are the gorgeous stained-glass windows, the tomb of Saint Anthony, as well as the precious relics and antique jewels which can be found in the Treasury that's also located inside. Undoubtedly, it is one of the major Lisbon attractions worth adding on to your travel plans.

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6. Commerce Square, Lisbon
Commerce Square, Lisbon

Named Praca do Comercio in Portuguese and often referred to as the Palace Yard, this square is one of the most beautiful sights to see in Lisbon. This area was where numerous financial actions took place at the end of the 1700s, including negotiations regarding funding voyages. Lisbon's Commerce Square is a vast plaza where you can see the Rua Augusta Arch, Ribeira Palace, and the Joseph I of Portugal statue, among others. Right by the shores, check out the staircase and the Cais das Colunas columns in the water, symbolizing the city port.

7. Santa Justa Elevator, Lisbon
Santa Justa Elevator, Lisbon

If you're still not quite sure what to do in Lisbon, we advise saving some time for one of the most exciting Lisbon tourist attractions, the Santa Justa lift. This unusual elevator looking like a tower is actually a viewpoint, taking its passengers up 13 meters (42 feet). Apart from opening great city panoramas, the retro Santa Justa has one more role as a multi-story pathway connecting two streets. Yes, you've heard it right! This is possible in Lisbon as the city is hilly, and some streets are set at different elevations, and Santa Justa is a secret link between the levels.

8. Sintra, Portugal
Sintra, Portugal

Finalizing the list is the most popular day-trip destination from the Portuguese capital and an absolute highlight of any Lisbon sightseeing itinerary, Sintra. Set on the outskirts of Lisbon, this hilly area is home to numerous castles and palaces. As such, the colorful fairytale-looking Pena National Palace is a must! One more Sintra castle to see is the fabulous Quinta da Regaleira with a unique winding entrance. Plus, the old Castle of the Moors is an interesting spot. And as a grand finale, visit the Cabo da Roca in Cascais, marking mainland Europe's westernmost point.