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Exploring Lisbon

Get to know the countries key areas

Located on the west coast of Portugal, the capital of Lisbon offers the perfect lifestyle for anyone looking to live in a city but to also experience the relaxation of spending a day at the beach

This historic city offers plenty to see and do, some of the top restaurants and bars in Europe and so much more! Lisbon is easily accessible by air (Lisbon Portela Airport), train and car from all major cities in and around Europe. 

Use the map above to get to know a bit of Portugal's geography

Things to do in Portugal

Monuments and locations you want to visit
Belém Tower

Built on the northern bank of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520 as part of the Tagus estuary defence system, the Tower of Belém is one of the architectural jewels of the reign of Manuel I.

Since 1983, the tower has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Jerónimos Monastery. It is often portrayed as a symbol of Europe's Age of Discoveries and as a metonym for Portugal or Lisbon, given its landmark status. Constructed on the northern bank of the Tagus River, this tower was used to defend the city. Years later, it was transformed into a lighthouse and customs house.
This iconic tower has 5 floors which are named, the ground floor is the Governor's Hall, The King's Hall, The Audience Hall and The Chapel which leads onto the roof terrace.

The ground floor of this architectural jewel has 16 windows with cannons. The visit also includes a tour of the pits and holes where the prisoners were thrown into.

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of the European continent, situated at the far end of the Serra de Sintra, the point "where the land ends and the sea begins", as Luís de Camões, greatest Portuguese poet wrote (in Os Lusíadas).

The viewpoint with lighthouse dating from 1772. is rising 165 meters over the ocean. Your eyes will turn to the west, facing you to open-breasted confrontation with the ocean. Your breath will become hard, feeling the full weight of the continent behind you, as your eyes enjoy endless ocean in front of you.

Until the end of the 14th century, it was believed that the windy cliffs of Cabo da Roca were the edge of the world which is something you can undoubtedly picture when you soak up the atmosphere and look out to the ocean.

Ride Tram 28

Tram 28 is one of the best ways to explore the old city, Lisbon’s historic heritage and typical neighbourhoods.

While in Lisbon you must visit the old town, here you will find one of the most fun attractions to do, taking a ride on Tram 28. Why is this tram ride so important you may ask? Well the number 28 Tram travel from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, passing through the most popular tourist area of Lisbon such as Baxia, Graca and Alfama.The tram goes through the narrow streets of Alfama, uncovering two breathtaking viewpoints: Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia offer astonishing angles over the red rooftops and the pastel-coloured houses of Alfama. En route to Baixa, catch a glimpse of the Sé, the city’s cathedral, combining Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architectural styles.

The delightful Remodelado trams date from the 1930s, and in any other city they would be housed in a museum, but in Lisbon, they are an integral part of the public transport network. These historic trams are still in use, as the 28 route is completely unsuitable for modern trams, due to its numerous tight turns.

Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium has recently been awarded a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence.

A large main aquarium, the biggest saltwater Oceanarium holding 5 million liters of seawater. Four marine habitats create the illusion of a single aquarium and a sole ocean. More than 8,000 sea creatures from 500 different species, inhabiting all 4 oceans of the world. Immerse yourself in the North Atlantic, Antarctic, Temperate Pacific, and Tropical Indian Ocean.

The main exhibit in Lisbon's Oceanarium is the 1,000-square-metres tank and the four 49-square-meter outer tanks. The central tank is 7 meters deep and allows pelagic swimmers to swim above the bottom dwellers, and providing the illusion of the open ocean. Celebrate the life of earth at exhibitions of living creatures. See sharks, clownfish, sunfish, and even sea devils, coral reefs, and the only 2 existing sea otters in Europe.

Visits to exhibitions at the Oceanarium where marine diversity is discovered are complemented by hands-on activities, fine arts, theater, research, among other dynamics.

Jerónimos Monastery

The Jeronimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the Age of Discovery. King Manuel I built it in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success.

Vasco da Gama's tomb was placed inside by the entrance, as was the tomb of poet Luis de Camões, author of the epic The Lusiads in which he glorifies the triumphs of Da Gama and his compatriots. The cloisters are magnificent, with each column differently carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs, evocative of that time of world exploration at sea. Here is also the entrance to the former refectory that has beautiful reticulated vaulting and tile decoration on the walls, depicting the Biblical story of Joseph.

When the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was original constructed it was situated on the banks of the River Tagus. Today, 500 years later, the waters edge is 300m further south and provides space for the beautiful Praça do Imperio gardens.

Castelo de São Jorge

Located on the highest hill in Lisbon, and with a heady view of the city, São Jorge Castle allows us to take a trip back in time, where all the stones speak, telling us the history of Lisbon.

The castle is entwined in Lisbon’s early history; it saw the fall of the Romans to the Visigoths, experienced the fierce conflicts between the Arabs and Christians, survived formidable sieges by the Castilians and witnessed the birth of Portugal as a seafaring nation. This varied and turbulent history is reflected throughout the castle. There are heavily fortified battlements, medieval royal quarters and seaward views, which inspired exploration within Portuguese kings.

Walking around the castle, we can imagine a Lisbon of old, while we get lost in one of the best views of the city and the Tagus. Among the eleven towers of the castle, the gardens and the inspiring landscape, it is easy to understand the reasons why this emblematic castle is one of the most visited monuments in Portugal.

Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comércio, Commerce Square in English, is Lisbon’s main square. It was built on the site where the old Royal Palace used to exist before it was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.

The southern end of the plaza is open and looks out onto the Tagus River. The other three sides have yellow-coloured buildings with arcades all along the façade. When the square was first built, the commercial ships would unload their goods directly onto this square, as it was considered the “door” to Lisbon.

Until the era of air transport, it was the great reception room of Lisbon for those who came by boat and could enjoy even better its beauty. Here was the quay where the Kings and Heads of State who visited Portugal landed.

The triumphal arch was designed by the Portuguese architect Santos de Carvalho to celebrate the reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake. It was completed in 1873. On top of its several pillars, it is adorned with numerous statues that represent important Portuguese figures like Vasco da Gama and the Marquis of Pombal.

Santa Justa Lift

The Elevador de Santa Justa stands 45m tall and the structure is built in the same style as the renowned French architect, Eiffel. The similarity between his designs and this Elevator is not accidental, as it was built by Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard, who was an admirer of Gustave Eiffel and applied the same techniques used in some of the funiculars in France of the time.

The Lift has a stunning observation deck at the top and offers magnificent views over Baixa. Since it was opened to the public, it has become one of the most popular viewpoints in Lisbon.

It was inaugurated as one of the city’s public transport systems on 10 July 1902 and was called Elevador do Carmo (Carmo Lift). Lisbon’s inhabitants were so excited to try this novelty that on the first day, 3.000 tickets were sold.

The Carmo Lift was originally powered by steam until the 6 November 1907, when an electric motor was put in place.

25 de Abril Bridge

The Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge is one of Lisbon’s most notable landmarks as it spans the River Tagus at the narrowest point. This massive bridge closely resembles that of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the date name remembers the Portuguese Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974.

At 2,277 meters long, the 25 de Abril Bridge is the largest suspension bridge in Europe. It has two levels: the upper floor for cars and the lower one, built in 1999, for trains. When it opened, it was the 5th largest suspended point in the world and the largest outside the United States. Now, forty years after its inauguration, it occupies 20th place worldwide. The comparison with Golden Gate bridge is correct as the consortium that constructed the American bridge also constructed Ponte 25 de Abril.

Along with the similar appearances both bridges are located in regions of high possible seismic activity and their designs are almost identical. To ensure solid foundations of the Lisbon suspension bridge the south tower extends for 79m below the water level deep into the solid bed rock.

National Coach Museum

The National Coach Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches) houses an important horse-drawn carriage collection of vehicles are from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century.

The Museum is housed in an old riding school and was inaugurated on the 23 May 1905 by Queen Amélia of Orleans and Bragança, the Princess of France married to King Carlos I of Portugal. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular museums in Lisbon.

The Museu Nacional dos Coches features some extremely noteworthy horse-drawn vehicles, especially those that belonged to Philip II of Spain (1581 – 1598). They are the oldest in the collection. The Museum also includes three carriages that belonged to Pope Clement XI. The vehicles were constructed in Rome in 1715 and are designed in a Baroque Italian style.

The National Coach Museum is a small but unique and charming. It is well-worth visiting. This museum is one of the most surprising in Lisbon.

Praça do Rossio

The official name is Dom Pedro IV Square, but everyone knows it as Rossio. It marks the very center of the city, a lively place at any time of the day, with a wave-patterned pavement that has been reproduced throughout Portugal, in Rio de Janeiro and in Macau.

Praça do Rossio is the liveliest area in the capital of Portugal and where many locals and tourists meet up.It was the site of the bonfires of the Inquisition, and in the early 1900s it attracted intellectuals who met at several cafes, such as the Nicola, which still exists. It's also home to the neoclassical theater Dona Maria II, and to a monument to King Pedro IV, standing 27-meters high between two monumental baroque fountains.

The monumental neo-Manueline facade of Rossio Station from 1886 has already placed it among the most beautiful stations in the world in various publications.St. Dominic's Church built in 1241, demaged in 1755 earthquakeThe church was rebuilt, but a devastating fire in 1959 left it in the state that you see today.


Sintra, the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted it Word Heritage Site status. Sintra is a delightful Portuguese town that is situated within the hills of the Serra de Sintra, hiding extravagant places, opulent mansions and ruins of ancient castle within pine-covered hills.

The variety of fascinating historic buildings and enthralling attractions, combine to form a fantastic tourist destination. There you will find The Palácio Nacional da Pena – one of Europe’s finest palaces, with a vividly painted exterior and an interior, The Palácio Nacional de Sintra – a gothic palace, boasting an extensive history and ornately painted ceilings, The Quinta da Regaleira – a lavish mansion and fascinating gardens that contain hidden tunnels and mysterious religious symbolism, The Castelo dos Mouros – an ancient castle ruin, which offers wonderful views over the region, and much more.

A visit to this wonderful town must be included in your holiday plans.

If you're looking to invest in Portuguese property, you've come to the right place. The property market in Portugal continues to go from strength to strength, with now being a great time to purchase home here. European buyers flock here every year, but the Golden Visa scheme allows people from further afield to get their hands on Portugal real estate. This gives overseas buyers the right to live, work and study anywhere within the European Union.

Local Information

Key details you must know about Portugal


Being the capital of Portugal, Lisbon offers plenty of transport links. From busses, taxis, the metro (subway/ underground) to trams, Lisbon is not shy of easy ways to get around the city.

Public transport in Lisbon is very reliable and cost effective with a single tram ticket costing as little as €2.90. If you are looking to travel further afield, then many flights operate daily from Lisbon Airport to EU and non-EU destinations.


Among the cobbled streets of Lisbon lays some of the trendiest places to shop. You will find popular high street shops like Zara and Mango as well as boutiques from local designers.

If you are looking for designer shops then Lisbon certainly isn’t short of those with the likes of Cartier, Gucci and Hugo Boss located on Avenida da Liberdade. If markets are your thing then take a trip to Feira da Ladra, the market is open each Tuesday and Saturday offering a range of handmade products.


Located 7 kilometres from the capital, Lisbon Portela Airport is the main international airport in Portugal and is one of the largest in southern Europe. Because of its close location to Lisbon city centre, getting from the airport to Lisbon only takes around 15 minutes and is straightforward using a taxi or bus service.


Much like any southern European country, Portugal offers a warm climate and Lisbon is no exception. No matter which month, Lisbon offers a mild climate.

In July you can expect the average temperature to reach a warm 24°C and the coldest average temperature in January of 11°C. November experiences the most rainfall in Lisbon, with the average reaching 128mm compared to July where you will only receive an average of 4mm of rain.

Restaurants & Bars

Being the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is full of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. Visit the beautiful Portuguese restaurants around the city to experience true Portuguese cuisine.

Among the variety of restaurants in Lisbon you will also find Chinese, Indian and Italian restaurants as well as many cafes and takeaway food. Lisbon has everything when it comes to bars. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere in one of the many beach bars or visit the upbeat clubs to experience the livelier Lisbon nightlife.


Due to Lisbon's location, on the mouth of the river Tagus, it is blessed with 4 different coastlines. To the west of Lisbon, the Oeiras-Estoril-Cais coastline offers calm sea and sandy beaches, perfect for those seeking a relaxing day.

The Serra de Sintra coastline is situated to the north of Lisbon, this is made up of cliffs and offers beautiful unspoilt scenery. To the south of the city you will find the Costa da Caparica coastline, this is a large stretch of beautiful beaches, spreading to the western side of Lisbon and highly popular for surfing.


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