Which highlights and attractions are not to be missed on your holiday in Lisbon? Here you will find a list of the top 10 sights of Lisbon!
It is said that you should spend at least three days on holiday in Lisbon. Only then can you really savour Lisbon's countless sights, its turbulent nightlife and regional cuisine. Picturesquely nestled in the hills on the banks of the river, dreamy and full of charisma, historically valuable and cosmopolitan-modern - this is how the "Beauty on the Tagus" presents itself.
Portugal's capital is blessed with wonderful climatic conditions and is one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. Listening to Fado and eating Pastel de Belém according to a closely guarded recipe - this is simply part of life in Lisbon!
You should also not miss Lisbon's top 10 sights, which we present here in brief.
Tip: If you stay a little longer in Lisbon, you should definitely spend a day by the sea. The beaches around Lisbon are definitely worth a visit!
Table of contents
Castelo de São Jorge
The historic Castelo de São Jorge is over 1000 years old and is the perfect starting point for a tour of Lisbon's old town. Lisbon's castle was built by the Moors and conquered by the Crusaders in 1147. From then on, the kings of Portugal resided here.
On the approximately 6,000 square metre fortress grounds, it is not only the remains of the mighty walls that impress, but also historical finds from Roman times. You can see the pointed arch house, secluded castle gardens, the towers of the citadel and the royal chambers.
Just as impressive as the Castelo de São Jorge is the view from the castle hill over the old town of Lisbon and the blue shimmering Tagus - a true dream at sunset!
Tram line 28
The bright yellow carriages of the trams are an unmistakable landmark of Lisbon. Most famous of all is the tram line 28whose nostalgic carriages from the 1930s actually belong in a museum. Not so in Lisbon. Here, the Eléctrico whizzes along adventurous routes through the city's most beautiful districts.
A ride on line 28, 28E to be precise, takes around 40 minutes from start to finish and is ideal for a sightseeing tour. It takes you through the narrow winding streets of Alfama, Baixa, Lapa and Chiado and thus to many of Lisbon's top sights.
Some alleys are so narrow that the wagons just fit through and in Calçada Nova de São Francisco there is a "mountain" with an incredible gradient of 13.5%, one of the highest in the world.
Tip: A trip on the Eléctrico 28 is a good idea in the early morning, otherwise seats in the signal yellow carriages are usually hard to come by.
Elevador de Santa Justa
The Elevador de Santa Justa is another Lisbon landmark. The open-air lift is used as a means of public transport and connects the two districts of Baixa and Chiado.
With its 45-metre-high steel skeleton from 1902, designed by Gustav Eiffel, the Elevador de Santa Justa exudes the flair of a historical monument. And rightly so, because the lift machines are still original and the wooden panelling of the cabins is also reminiscent of the past century.
Tip: A ride in the lift is especially recommended in the evening, when both the Elevador de Santa Justa and the city are wonderfully illuminated. The best way to enjoy the panoramic view is from the observation deck in the Chiado district.
Torre de Belem
On the waterfront outside the city walls of Lisbon lies the crenellated Torre de Belém, a famous landmark and imposing architectural example of the Manueline style. The former lighthouse at the mouth of the Tagus is a legacy of Portugal's former naval power, for in the 16th century it showed the great ships the way into the harbour. Later, it served as an armoury and prison until the 19th century.
The castle-like tower, dating from 1521, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be visited either by boat or via a bridge from land. Inside is the oldest stone statue of a rhinoceros in the world, and Our Lady of Safe Return, the patron saint of sailors, looks down from the northwest side of the tower. The view from 35 metres above Lisbon's picturesque parks and monuments is absolutely fantastic.
Tip: On the first Sunday of the month, the Torre de Belém can be visited free of charge.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
The mighty Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon's Belém district dates from Portugal's heyday in the 16th century. At that time, Vasco da Gama had just returned from India and the spice trade via the newly discovered sea route brought immense wealth. Vasco da Gama, incidentally, is one of the famous personalities who, along with the Portuguese kings, found their final resting place within the mighty monastery walls.
With its overwhelmingly decorated façade, the Jerome Monastery is one of the most impressive buildings in Lisbon. Today, it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site (as is the Elevador de Santa Justa, one of the few buildings in the Manueline style). The monastery garden is also absolutely worth seeing. The 300-metre-long garden surrounds the magnificent building with lots of greenery and beautiful flower arrangements.
Two museums can also be found here. The Naval Museum and the Archaeological Museum are located in two side wings of the equally splendidly decorated interior.
Praça do Comércio
The Praça do Comércio is one of the most magnificent squares in the city. In the past, the square was teeming with merchants from all over the world offering exotic goods or sailors looking for ways to finance their next voyage of discovery.
Today, the Praça do Comércio is still bustling with activity, but the merchants and explorers have been replaced by tourists and culture vultures. Boutiques, hotels and restaurants are located in the sunny yellow arcaded buildings, with the imposing triumphal arch Arco da Rua Augusta, the gateway to Lisbon's city centre, enthroned in between. From its observation deck, you have a wonderful bird's eye view of the hustle and bustle.
Rossio Square is actually called Praça de Dom Pedro IV and is one of the most important transport hubs in Lisbon's centre. Several metro and tram lines cross here, transporting tourists and locals to all parts of the city. The Terminal do Rossio station is also located here. Similar to Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square is also a former commercial centre of Lisbon.
In the middle of the square is a towering bronze statue of Pedro IV and a magnificent fountain spreads pleasant coolness. Rossio Square has been considered the heart of the city since the Middle Ages, as festivities, revolutions, executions and even bullfights have always taken place here. The wavy pattern that spreads across the pavement of Rossio Square is symbolic of the proximity and importance of the sea to Lisbon.
The next top attraction is also about the sea. Lisbon's Oceanarium is located in the modern Parque das Nações district and is one of the most impressive aquariums in Europe.
Each world sea has its own basin in Lisbon's Oceanário, whose inhabitants can be observed from above and below. The main tank is home not only to iridescent schooling fish, but also huge sea creatures such as sharks and rays. Penguins and sea otters cavort above water.
Mercado da Ribeira / Time out Market
The Mercado da Ribeira is all about food. Over 30 restaurants are located here under one roof. The special thing about it: There are no big chains or cheap takeaways; instead, the focus is on small providers with creative cuisine. Portuguese specialities are complemented here by sushi, Chinese noodles, ham, hamburgers, ice cream, custard tarts and chocolate treats.
TheMercado de Ribeira was already mentioned in documents in the Middle Ages, and since 1892 the locals met here to buy fish, fresh fruit and vegetables.
In recent years, the market hall has increasingly developed into a hip food court where many small portions are offered for sampling. Over time, the name "Time Out Market" became established. Because you can really forget about time here while feasting, shopping and tasting.
Christo Rei Statue + Ponte 25 de Abril
Most people know the statue of Christ from Rio de Janeiro, but Lisbon (or actually the neighbouring city of Almada) can also boast an impressive example. Based on the Brazilian model, the Portuguese Christo Rei statue towers over the southern bank of the Tagus estuary and, at 82 metres high, offers a sensational view over the city. With its 75-metre-high base, the Christo Rei is 113 metres high in total.
Directly below the statue of Christ is the 2278-metre-long Ponte 25 de Abril, which has led across the Tagus at the narrowest point of the estuary since 1966. Its name commemorates the Carnation Revolution in 1974, when the Portuguese revolted against the dictatorship of the Estado Novo founded by Salazar. Previously, the third longest suspension bridge in the world was called Salazar Bridge.
ThePonte 25 de Abril also has a famous twin that inevitably comes to mind: the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. No wonder, because both suspension bridges were built by the same company at the time. The bridge is best admired from a distance, as its crossing is reserved for cars and the railway.
PICTURES: The top sights of Lisbon