The perfect location for a summer city break, Lisbon pleasantly delivered by topping all of my holiday check lists. I’m talking about great vegan food, beautiful weather and welcoming people and I gathered all of this from just four days in the city! But you may be wondering what to priorities doing when there is so much to choose from, I know I certainly was before arriving. Luckily my hostel provided me with some class local travel advice that ended up completely making my trip. So, here are the 20 Must See Attractions in Lisbon, Portugal courtesy of We F. Love Tourists! Remember, sharing is caring so if you have any of your own recommendations to add to this list, let me know in the comments!
We F. Love Tourists was conveniently located in the heart of the Baxia district which means I got to know the area pretty well. It’s made up of tall tiled buildings laid out in a grid like system and is also the departure point for the famous 15 and 28 trams. The roads were packed with unique little shops and cafes to enjoy as well as the city’s main shopping road. 8 Health Lounge was my favourite cafe in the area particularly for their smoothies, juices and vegan brownie! I also really enjoyed Mad Pizza which was just around the corner from the hostel. They specialise in healthy pizzas and had great vegan options.
Things to do/see in Baxia:
– Praca da Figueira (large square occupied by a food market and 8 Health Lounge)
– Praca do Comércio (another large square with beautiful views of the river)
– Convento do Carmo (former Catholic convent, now ruined church)
Probably the most famous district in Lisbon, Bairro Alto is known for its bar lined streets and great nightlife. In fact, one member of staff at the hostel told me there were over 200 bars in the area which is pretty impressive. I’m still trying to work out if they were pulling my leg though as it definitely didn’t feel that big! Most of the bars close at 2am and they generally have a very relaxed vibe which is great for watching Fado. The best vegan restaurant in the city was also located amongst these bustling streets. Da Terra, Rua da Rosa is a buffet, not particularly reminiscent of traditional Portuguese food other than the vegan Pastel de Nada which were pretty damn good! I did try a non vegan Pastel de Nada from Pastelaria Aloma which I have to say was 10 times nicer, may have even had two!
Things to do/see in Bairro Alto:
– Fado show (traditional Portuguese singing, it’s very beautiful and emotive. One of my top a must see attractions in Lisbon)
– Rua di Bica (one of Lisbon’s most photographed streets)
– A night out!
Otherwise known as the old town of Lisbon, Alfama is made up of a labyrinth of quiet, winding streets. The architecture here is beautiful if a little dilapidated. But really the crumbling tiles and uneven roads added to the overall charm. Rua de Sāo Miguel was especially nice to explore as were all of the streets running of it. I spent almost a whole day exploring here are would recommend doing the same! It gave me a real feel for the city’s more traditional side.
Things to do/see in Alfama:
– Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral)
– Castelo de S. Jorge (historic castle which is great to walk around, you don’t have to go inside!)
– Portas do Sol (popular viewing area of the river)
– Feira da Ladra (open air market translated to thieves market)
– Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte (best place to watch the sunset with a beer, overlooking the city)
– Panteão Nacional (the National Pantheon)
– Museu do Fado
One of the grandest areas of Lisbon, this is where the Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages to find Brazil and other countries in the 14th and 15 centuries. From Baixa it’s a 30 minute tram ride on number 15 which takes you straight into the centre of the district. On your way back to central Lisbon, leave yourself a meal and ideally lots of time to explore the LxFactory complex. It’s one of Lisbon’s trendiest areas, an old industrial zone converted into markets, arty shops and amazing restaurants. I really enjoyed this area as well as the traditional Portuguese meal we had in a restaurant called LxCantina.
Things to do/see in Belém:
– Tram 15 (get off outside the massive cathedral looking building)
– Jardim da Torre de Belém (famous Belém tower and beautiful gardens)
– Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (stunning monastery, looks more like a cathedral)
– Pasteis de Belém (the cafe that invented Pastel de Nadas!)
– Padrão dos Descobrimentos (impressively ginormous sculpture overlooking the river)
– MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, beautiful building)
– LxFactory on your way back
I wholeheartedly recommend staying at We F. Love Tourists. They’re 100% the reason I can narrow down the must see attractions in Lisbon! They put on events every night for their guests and each was a lot of fun. There is also a lot to see just outside of Lisbon too, the most popular activity being a day trip to the village of Sintra and the plethora of castles and palaces located there and second most popular being day trips to the beach! We visited the beach in Cascais which was very easy to get to by train from Cais do Sodré.
Hostel events worth taking part in:
– Petiscos Tapas Dinner & Fado Music (traditional dinner and unlimited wine at the hostel, they’re super happy to cater for vegans. Fado show in Bairro Alto afterwards)
– Sintra Day Trip (pick up and drop off at the hostel, you stop everywhere worth seeing and it’s super convenient)