Things to Do
Belem: A fun thing to do is take the #15 tram, or any convenient bus, to the Belem area. There, you should see the Belem Tower, Belem Palace, and Discoverers' Monument (you can go to the top for a small fee).
Castle of Sao Jorge: On top of the hill in Lisbon, this castle has amazing views of the city and river. You can tour all around the castle, which is also home to wild peacocks.
Elevador de Santa Justa: This cast-iron elevator landmark is hard to avoid. Tip, don’t pay to head up there, take the local route from Bairro Alto instead. You'll enter from beside the church without a roof (a memorial to the 1755 earthquake), and head up some stairs to the “Bellalisa Elevador” restaurant. From there, you can walk to the top of the elevator and see the view for free.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara: It's big, has a fountain, and is a genuinely pleasant terrace where you can catch panoramic views of the city.
Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte: To get here, walk up from Martim Moniz. It is an absolute MUST-SEE, although a bit of a hike there! The best view in Lisbon, it shows off the city, castle, sea, and the bridge.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia: Well-attended viewing deck that lets you soak in some dramatic views of the river.
Markets: A great way to grab some fresh produce or treats, these are our two favorite recommendations. Feira da Ladra is the spot to find gifts and antiques. This market literally has everything, whether shopping for yourself or someone else! If you're lucky, you can find some incredible art for a decent price. Runs Tuesday thru Saturday, 9:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m. Mercado da Ribeira/TimeOut Market has an incredible food hall on one side and produce market on the other. Runs Monday thru Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. until midnight, then again on Thursday thru Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Rossio Square: Considered the most romantic square in Lisbon, it has a little market on the weekends and plenty of great restaurants and live music.
Sailing: If you do go to Lisbon, 100% do the sunset sailing tour with Lisboa Sailing (ask for Fernando)!! The guides are amazing: they're all so friendly, eager, and funny. Trust us, you’ll have a blast! They also have wine aboard, and it was only about 30 euro per person, and is completely worth it. You’ll get great views of the bridge, the Discoverers’ Monument, and Cristo Rei. Definitely the highlight of Lisbon!
Places to Eat
Taberna Del Grosso: A tiny pearl with lots of traditional Portuguese food. It is a very small and very popular place, so make sure to reserve a table ASAP. The dishes sound a bit weird, but just order a bunch and share it all. Talk to the head chef if you can, he will offer lots of shots if you tell them you are from Denmark (but make it believable). And order a bottle of “Assobio” with the meal!
Ground Burger: These burgers are undoubtedly worth the short metro trip there. Homemade buns and decadently juicy burgers.
Cocheira Alentejana: Restaurant right in the main area of Lisbon nightlife and bars! Cute outdoor and indoor seating in the middle of all the action.
Fauna and Flora: Your fix for a healthy, local brunch. They have everything you could want, and will leave you refreshed and replenished! Amazing coffee and juice selection.
O Corvo: A MUST-GO! We aren't kidding. Incredible brunch selection and they have great sandwiches – the bread is homemade. Oh, and the best cheese fondue you will ever put in your mouth to boot.
Pasteis de Nata: Their delicacies stem from a pastry originally created by a monk at Monsteiro dos Jeronimos. The original recipe was then sold to a local baker, Pasteis de Belem and the recipe lives up to expectations. Either go inside (pass the queue and head straight inside) or get them to-go and eat them in the little park across the bakery or by the waterside.
Sushi at Silk Club: Silk Club has a fantastic view of the whole city and is part rooftop sushi-restaurant, part night-club/ cocktail bar. It is reasonably priced, but of course the view comes with a slightly higher price compared to other places in town. Get a table at a later time, around 9:00 p.m., so you can stick around for the club afterwards.
Tapa Bucho: Authentic Portuguese tapas, get the Ox Cheek!
Other: If you can find these items on a menu, we recommend giving them a whirl: apple crumble for dessert, pears in Vinho do Porto, Bacalhau (cod fish, traditional Portuguese – try it as Bacalhau a Bras), and Clams Bulhao Pato with garlic and coriander are also fantastic options if you're into seafood. Fried sardines on bread is also a classic, though mostly eaten in the summer during their sardine festival. Finally, you should try to get your hands on some “Bolo de Caco,” a traditional bread from Madeira with garlic and cheese.
Bonus tip: For a nice and cheap breakfast, you can grab a croissant with cheese and/or ham, fresh orange juice and a coffee at any “A Padaria Portuguesa” – they are all over the place.
Places to Drink
The Mill: Awesome for brunch and bold coffee.
Fabrica: Cute little coffee shop to spend time at.
Pois Café: Incredible brunch options and they always have a juice of the day.
Hello, Kristof: Cozy coffee shop with a Scandinavian vibe to it
Park Bar: A hidden bar on top of a parking lot. Very cool atmosphere & setup.
Tivoli Hotel: Head to the bar on top for a luxurious atmosphere, good (but expensive) cocktails, and a nice view.
Topo Bar: Two options here -- Topo Martim Moniz, if you want a cool urban rooftop bar, or Topo Chiado, if you want a more hip place for during the day.
PARK: A different rooftop bar on top of a parking deck. Amazing cocktails!
Duque Brewpub: Best selection of craft beers in Lisbon.
The Pharmacy: Stiff, flavorful cocktails with a view of the sea. Sit outside on the lawn.
Madame Petisca : Snag drinks on the roof for an incredible view of Lisbon. Amazing food as well! But, they only serve sharing plates.
Bonus tip: When in Bairro Alto, try a Ginja, also called “ginjinha.” It's a shot made from cherries and/or a Pasteis de Nata shot. You should also drink as much Port Wine as possible, especially good with an apple crumble!
Bairro Alto: This is the main area for bars, restaurants, and nightlife in Lisbon. Open-container is allowed outside so you’ll see tons of people just hanging on the streets with drinks and the atmosphere is really fun and upbeat. Any of the bars in this hub will be fun to pop into, and you can tell where to go by the lines. Grab a 1 euro beer anywhere and party on the street, especially during the summer when it's crowded.
Copacabana: Where you can get a HUGE mojito (w/w.o. strawberry) for 5-7 euro, depending on whether you want it XL or XXL.
Lux: Friday night is the best night. They do charge cover (not until you leave, which is super tricky), but you do get a free drink with it. It’s located right on the river and has glass walls so you get gorgeous views from the back.
K Urban Beach: Good music, but a great place to check out mostly because of the atmosphere and lively characters.
Silk Club: On the fancy side and worth a visit.
Pink Street: This lane is packed with tons of club options. Pick any, you can't go wrong.
Rio Maravilha: Ideal place for photographs if you are in LX Factory, but go here during the day because they close quite early.
Places to Stay
We recommend Airbnb!
There is a cheap bus that goes from the airport to the train station in the center of Lisbon. The train station also has lockers that you can store your bags in if you have a later check in.
Most things in Lisbon, with the exception of Belem, are walking distance so you will hardly need an uber or taxi!