Portugal Travel Guides

Lisbon Travel Guide: My Top 5 Things to do in Lisbon

May 24, 2017


Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of my favourite cities that we’ve visited so far in Europe. We’re definitely not usually ‘city people’ and tend to go to smaller cities and towns instead, but I’ve seen so much of Lisbon popping up everywhere and it just looked so beautiful that I decided that we had to visit.

It doesn’t feel like a city when you’re there and it’s so easy to get around. Everything is so cheap with transport being less than €2 to go anywhere in the city. And the food was amazing (can I just have a constant supply of Pastel de Natas please).

We actually ended up spending most of our time outside of Lisbon, but everywhere was so easy to access using public transport and was no longer than about an hour away by train.

So here’s my top 5 things to do on a weekend break in Lisbon…

Tram 28 in Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal





1. Wander the Streets of Alfama

Alfama was one of my favourite areas of Lisbon. It’s the old historic part of the city and it’s amazing wandering through the small hilly streets admiring all the old tiled houses and apartments. There’s also the famous Tram 28 which is the original tram line of Lisbon, and no visit is complete without spotting it.

Stop by the Santa Justa lift, the Sé Cathederal, São Jorge Castle and the Portas do Sol viewpoint for the best views of the city.

Related: Snapshots from Alfama & The Best View in Lisbon


Jeronimos Monastery, Belem, Lisbon - Portugal

2. Head over to Belem

Belem is a little out of the main centre of Lisbon, but it’s so worth it to head over and visit Belem. Not only for the famous Pastel de Natas from Pasteis de Belem, but to visit both the Jeronimos Monastery and the Belem Tower.

They’re about a 15 minute walk from each other, but the views are really nice. Just be careful for pickpockets in the area who target distracted tourists. Pickpocketing is terrible in Lisbon in general, but I’m sure someone was about to try going into my backpack as we were walking over a bridge. Luckily, I noticed and he backed off. But, just beware!

Related: Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower & Pasteis de Belem

Cascais, Portugal

Cascais Beach, Portugal

3. Head out to Cascais

Cascais is a lovely little town about a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon. It’s streets are so colourful, and the beaches look amazing (though it was a little cold while we were there, so didn’t fully get to experience them). It was a lot quieter in Cascais than Lisbon, but you wouldn’t need to spend too long here.

We took a day trip to both Cascais and Cabo da Roca – the most westerly point of mainland Europe and the views there were incredible. A lot of tours take you to Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais in an 8hr day trip, but I’d recommend spending a day at Cabo da Roca and Cascais and then spending another day or two in Sintra, as there’s just so much to see at both places.

Related: A Day at Cabo da Roca & Cascais


Moorish Castle Walls in Sintra, Portugal

4. Spend a day Exploring Sintra

One of our favourite days of our whole trip was the day we spent in Sintra. I’d definitely recommend a whole day here at least, potentially 2 in the high-season because it gets SO busy there and you can spend half your day waiting around for tourist busses to take you to the sights.

We explored the Moorish Castle, Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaliera and we loved all three. Each of them was completely different with the Moorish Castle offering amazing views over Sintra and Lisbon, Pena Palace being so colourful, and the gardens at Quinta da Regaleira were like being in a fairytale with secret caves, grottos and waterfalls.

Entry varied between places but was round about €10-15pp.

Related: Walking the Walls of the Moorish Castle in Sintra
Visiting the Colourful Pena Palace in Sintra
Exploring the Gardens of Quinta da Regaleira

Lisbon, Portugal


5. Explore the City

We had a spare bit of time before our flight home on the Saturday morning, so decided to just head into the main areas and explore a little. We didn’t have much time scheduled to fully explore Lisbon as we spent most of in nearby towns of Cascais and Sintra.

We stumbled across the Santa Justa Elevator, Rossio Square and Praça do Comércio and they were all so pretty! Just wander the streets and see where you end up!

Fabrica de Nata, Pastel de Nata Lisbon

BONUS: Eat all the Pastel de Natas

Ahh, I loved these little custard tarts. I still get cravings for them 2 months after our trip there, but nothing in the UK compares to the ones in Lisbon.

Try the ones at Belem (the best in the city), or head over to Manteigaria or Fabrica de Nata for some more amazing ones.

For dinner, you have to visit Time Out Market at least once on your trip there. We loved O Prego da Peixaria and Alexandre Silva. Both so so amazing!

Related: Time out Market Lisboa and the search for the Best Pastel de Natas

Have you been to Lisbon before? What were your top things to do there?







  • Reply
    May 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I’d LOVE to visit Lisbon – it looks so lovely and colourful, plus the food must be amaaazing! Cascais looks super cool too, a bit like something from a Disney movie! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Reply
      May 29, 2017 at 8:26 am

      The food in Lisbon was amazing! Some of the best food we’ve ever eaten!
      xo April

  • Reply
    May 26, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Lisbon looks like such a lovely place to visit! That castle looks amazing, I’ve never seen a castle so bright and colourful before. You get so used to seeing old ruins here in England, but you never see anything like this one! Lovely photos and guide 🙂

    Kayleigh | http://www.anenthusiasmfor.co.uk

    • Reply
      May 29, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Lisbon is absolutely amazing! Definitely one of our favourite cities! Yeah, all the old buildings here are either really regal or complete ruins. I wish we had more colourful buildings in the UK haha!
      xo April

  • Reply
    May 30, 2017 at 9:10 am

    beautiful place lisbon
    its really amazing
    wish to go there once
    thank you for information
    why dont you write an article in Airbnb
    they pays you some amount for sharing experience

  • Reply
    June 2, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Lisbon looks like such an amazing place! I’ve never been, but I’m hoping to go inter railing next summer (and Portugal is on my list) so this post will be super handy, I’ll keep it bookmarked!


  • Reply
    Emily Ray
    May 23, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Your photos are so beautiful! It’s definitely got me excited for my trip now – Lisbon looks so colourful and pretty. We’ll actually be staying in Alfama, so it’s good to know you’d recommend it! 😀

  • Reply
    January 14, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Sintra is absolutely beautiful!! We couldn’t quite make it to the famous castle, as we spent much of our time in the one that had the Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira. But hopefully will head out there next time! And visit Cascais too. Thanks for these tips.

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