Lisbon Travel Blog: How To Travel To Lisbon Portugal
Lisbon City Guide
We’ve been traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, for years. It’s a beautiful city on the water, with tile-fronted buildings and classic European architecture. It’s also an amazing city to visit to learn about Portuguese food and wine. We’ve eaten all over the city through the years, constantly searching for new Portuguese restaurants, while consistently revisiting our favorites.
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How To Visit Lisbon Portugal
Based on all of our many visits to Lisbon, we wanted to share our tips on how to plan the perfect Lisbon sightseeing trip. This includes some of the top travel tips, the top things to do in Lisbon, and where and what to eat and drink in Lisbon.
Where Is Lisbon Located
Lisbon is the capital and largest city in Portugal with a population around half a million, making it one of the smallest capital cities in Europe. Situated on the banks of the Tagus River, Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe, predating cities such as London, Paris, and Rome. Like Rome, Lisbon is a city built on seven hills giving it the name cidade das sete colinas. You can also combine a visit with Lisbon and a trip to Porto, just three hours north.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Lisbon
With a Mediterranean climate, Lisbon is best visited during the months of March to May or September to October when temperature are mild and rainfall is at a minimum. The summer months see warmer temperatures attracting large crowds of tourists. In winter, Lisbon is warmer compared to most of Europe including some parts of Southern Spain. Throughout the year Lisbon hosts numerous music, art, and religious festivals. These attract larger numbers of visitors than throughout the rest of the year.
What To Do In Lisbon – Top Lisbon Attractions
As one of Europe’s oldest cities, there are a ton of attractions to see in Lisbon. One of the most famous and unique is Belem Tower. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1980s, the tower dates to the 16th Century. It once played a major role in the maritime defense of Lisbon.
On top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills sits Sao Jorge Castle (Saint George Castle). A Moorish fortification built to defend Lisbon in the 10th Century, which offers visitors stunning views of the city.
No trip to Lisbon is complete without heading down to the city’s waterfront. Afterall, Portugal has been a seafaring nations for centuries. The Praca do Comercio or Commerce Square, is a large open space situated along a portion of Lisbon’s waterfront. Once the home of the Royal Palace, today it’s a meeting place and outdoor space in the heart of the city.Check out the Top 10 Things To Do In Lisbon Portugal on TripAdvisor Check out our Ultimate Foodies Guide To Lisbon
How To See Lisbon In A Day
The horror if you only can spend one day in Lisbon, but we know it happens. It’s generally because visitors have an overnight layover, or might be visiting Lisbon during a cruise.
If limited on time, there are a handful of places to visit in Lisbon Portugal that can fill an entire day, with breaks, of course, for eating some of the most famous Portuguese foods along the way. The best way to orient yourself and to tick off some of the top sights in Lisbon is to start at Praça do Comércio, which can be best described as the original town square of Lisbon.
From there, walk north to see the Rua Augusta Arch, one of the most famous places to visit in Lisbon. You can also go to the top for 360-degree views over the city. Or, alternatively, visit the Elevador de Santa Justa, which does tend to have a longer line.
From here, head over to Time Out Market, which is one of the best places to visit in Lisbon for food, if short on time. Under one roof, you can taste a pastel de nata, along with a glass of Port wine. Try leitao, a suckling pig sandwich, or duck out back for a bifana pork sandwich at O Triangulo da Ribeira.
To work off your snack and lunch, walk up to Castelo de São Jorge (or take a taxi to save time) to see the views over Lisbon from a different view point. From here you can see some of the top Lisbon points of interest, including the April 25 Bridge and Cristo Rei, the large statue of Jesus that looks over the city.
How To Spend a Weekend In Lisbon
For many travelers in Europe a Lisbon city break is the perfect way to spend a weekend exploring a still relatively undiscovered part of Europe.
Our one day itinerary covers a lot of ground, but if you have an extra day, here are some more ways to see the Lisbon sights. Start with the recommendations above, but on day two, head out to Belém. Take a bus from Praça do Comércio to the Torre de Belém. This is the city’s old watch tower and one of the most famous things to see in Lisbon.
After walk a bit north past the Monastery of Jeronimos and the Jardins de Belem, and stop, of course, for some pasteis de nata at Pasteis de Belem. After, grab a lunch at Pão Pão Queijo Queijo before heading back into town. Perhaps wander the streets of Alfama, taking in the view from Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Then, just wander down towards the waterfront and head into Bairro Alto for drinks and dinner and the famous Lisbon nightlife. Don’t forget to stop for a ginja, a sweet, fortified cherry liquor that is a must-drink in Lisbon.