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The 5 Best Things to Do in Lisbon 2023

A yellow tram on a steep cobbled street lined with white and yellow buildings.
Lisbon’s iconic cobbled streets with yellow trams

Lisbon is considered one of the coolest destinations in Europe. Travelers can choose from a variety of exciting sites and activities, like visiting creative districts, classy casinos, and hilltop panoramic views.

Not to mention, Lisbon has a welcoming Mediterranean climate all year round. This makes the idea of exploring it even more enticing.

Fortunately, you can experience all this at a relatively low cost. A night in Lisbon costs around €43, making the city the second most affordable European destination.

Considering Lisbon for your next trip? We’ve rounded up 5 of the best things you can do.

1. Visit One of Lisbon’s Miradouros

The miradouros (viewpoints) are a must-visit spot for any tourist. A great one to start with is the Panoramico de Monsanto.

This 50-year-old UFO-like building once served as a fine dining restaurant, a warehouse, and even a discotheque in the past.

Now, its abandoned 3rd floor serves as a viewing deck with a panoramic scope of Lisbon and the Aqueduto das Águas Livres.

There’s also the Miradouro das Portas do Sol. At this Alfama viewing deck, you can unwind with food and drink amid a scenic backdrop of Lisbon’s Tejo River and the medieval, warm-hued Alfama village.

I also love Miradouro de Santa Catarina, arguably Lisbon’s most iconic viewpoint overlooking the 25 de Abril Bridge and the Cristo Rei (Christ Statue).

The view of a european city at sunset with pastel coloured buildings with terracotta roofs and a river with a bridge in the distance.
Sunset at one of Lisbon’s iconic viewpoints

Head here at sunset with a bottle of Portuguese Douro from the supermarket and enjoy live music from buskers (and great vibes all round).

2. Explore the LX Factory

Looking for a one-stop culture fix? This old industrial factory complex-turned-creative village in Alcântara is home to several concept boutiques, hip restaurants, and even artist spaces.

You can peruse through the extensive collection of books at Ler Devagar or wander through the ateliers and vintage camera stores at the Edificio I Building.

There is also a diverse range of cuisines in the artsy district—including Portuguese tapas and authentic Peruvian food, to name a couple.

3. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth with Pastéis de Belém

After a day of meandering around the city, treat yourself to one of Lisbon’s mouth-watering delicacies.

This flaky custard tart is world-famous for its distinctive creamy texture with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon.

However, you can only get the pastéis de Belém at the Pastéis de Belém Bakery-Cafe.

To this day, it’s the only establishment that holds the secret recipe to this tasty treat.

Located in Belém (just a short train journey from Lisbon train station), be sure to check out the Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos Monument whilst you’re in the area.

If you can’t make it to Belém, you can also get really good Pastel de Nata inside Time Out Market.

4. Seek Some Thrill at the Casino Estoril

Spend a thrilling night winning at slot machines and table games in this historic building. Its cornerstone was laid by former Portuguese President Dr. Bernardino Machado.

Since then, the Estoril has survived multiple cataclysmic world events and stands as a popular tourist spot today.

In fact, it’s also known as a popular European venue for the World Series of Poker, the largest poker event in the world.

Found just outside Lisbon near the beautiful coastal town of Cascais, The Estoril also has one of the most elegant poker rooms to boot.

Alongside Lake Como, which we mentioned in a previous guide, the Casino Estoril is thus notable for being one of the European filming locations for the poker-themed movie Casino Royale.

5. Immerse Yourself in Lisbon’s Music Scene

Those looking for less touristy itineraries can experience the place like locals through Lisboa’s music scene.

From electronic and jazz music in Damas to indie-folk tunes at Crew Hassan and Casa Independente, there are various genres of music shows for you to attend.

With a rich music scene, Lisbon was even chosen as one of the settings for Sofar Sounds, the global music startup that holds small concerts in eclectic places.

This UK-based music startup holds unique and intimate gigs all around the globe.

It keeps its location and setlist a secret whenever it holds a gig in town, making your discovery of it so much more fulfilling.

You should also check out Sr. Fado for authentic Portuguese Fado music.

For your next European trip, why not seek a charismatic destination filled with great food, views, and exciting cultural activities? Lisbon awaits you with all of this and more.

I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best things to do in Lisbon. Don’t miss my guide to the Best Neighbourhoods in Madrid and the Best Foodie Experiences in Madrid.