Is Lisbon Worth Visiting? 9 Reasons Why it is!
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Is Lisbon worth visiting or not? If you are debating, you have landed in the right place.
In this post, we will tell you all the reasons why Lisbon is worth visiting and provide useful travel tips to make your trip to the capital city of Portugal memorable.
Located on Portugal’s west coast, Lisbon is a beautiful blend of old and new, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and numerous historical landmarks.
Also, Lisbon is the second oldest capital in Europe. So, with a history of almost 3,000 years, the city has a unique character, colorful lifestyle, and creativity.
Therefore, unsurprisingly, Lisbon has been named one of the coolest cities in Europe.
But still, one may wonder if it is really worth it to visit Lisbon. So, let’s see in detail why Lisbon has become a popular destination among travelers in the last few years.
Is Lisbon Worth Visiting?
The short answer is, yes, Lisbon is definitely worth visiting and for many reasons which we are going to find out in a second.
With a fascinating history, Lisbon is best known for its unique historical attractions, as well as gorgeous colorful architecture, fantastic food, the almost all-year-round sunny weather, and mesmerizing scenery.
Let’s see the 9 top reasons to visit Lisbon to give you a glimpse of why it is worth it to have this beautiful city on your bucket list for 2023.
9 Reasons to visit Lisbon
1. The Food
It is not a surprise for the city to have a melting pot of eclectic flavors and unique dishes that will delight anyone’s taste palate.
Generally, Lisbon is known for its delectable seafood, but it also has several other traditional Portuguese foods.
Some famous dishes you should definitely try are Bacalhau à Brás, a shredded cod; Pasteis de Bacalhau, cod fritters; Polvo à Lagareiro, which is an octopus with olive oil and potatoes, and Porco Preto or in other English, Iberian black pork.
But Portuguese cuisine is not only about the main course. In fact, Portugal is pretty famous for delicious desserts and pastries. For instance, you can’t go to Lisbon and not try the famous egg custard tart, Pastéis de Nata.
These famous tarts were initially made and sold by a monastery in 1837 as Pastéis de Belém.
However, the original recipe is known only by a few people, and even if someone wishes to discover it, they would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement. So, the mystery behind these scrumptious tarts makes them even more delicious.
Finally, another must-try in Lisbon is wine. Portugal has some of the best wines in the world, so especially if you are a wine enthusiast, be sure to check local wineries.
2. The Weather
Frankly, no matter what month you decide to visit Lisbon, the weather is pleasant. Of course, travelers usually prefer summer for a holiday since it is the warmest and sunniest period of the year.
The average temperature is between 25 to 27 degrees Celsius, and July has an average of 352 hours of sunshine.
But Lisbon is generally a sunny city, with a great climate all year round. In spring and fall, temperatures are still quite high.
The average is between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius, yet, during nighttime, it can get a bit chilly. So it is advised to pack warm clothes and a light jacket to be prepared for the cold.
Similarly, Lisbon’s winter is very mild compared to other European cities. The average daytime temperature is 15 degrees Celsius, but the nights are colder, especially in December and January.
Also, winter tends to have a higher percentage of rainfall, so a raincoat is necessary.
Although the weather is pleasant, at any time of the year, the best time to visit Lisbon is in September or October.
The temperatures are still high, but unlike during summer, it is not scorching hot, the streets are less crowded, and most beach bars are still open.
3. Stunning Views
Lisbon was built on seven hills, so as already said, it is a hilly coastal city. And that indicates that Lisbon has stunning cityscapes and seascapes.
Undoubtedly, walking up Lisbon’s hills can be tiring, but the magnificent views you get once you reach the top of any hill in Lisbon is a reward you can’t miss.
And frankly, if you are wondering what to do in Lisbon for free, this is the best thing to do if you are traveling on a budget.
Of course, many viewpoints around the city offer beautiful views of the city, the coast, and major tourist attractions. The most photographed scenery is the April 25th bridge and Margem Sul, which can be seen from several viewpoints.
Some favorite viewpoints or miradouros, as they are called in Portuguese, are Miradouro da Graça, which offers beautiful views of the city, and the Miradouro das Portas do Sol which has stunning views of the Tagus River and the Alfama neighborhood.
Also, here on the weekends, often a DJ plays by the statue of São Vicente de Fora, creating a lively atmosphere. Lastly, a must-visit viewpoint is the Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte, the highest point in Lisbon.
When thinking of Portugal, you might imagine quiet nights at bars or taverns with Fado music in the background. But there is a lot more than that. In fact, today, Lisbon’s nightlife is among the best in Europe.
Expect to find an exciting and innovative nightlife scene that combines traditional music and food with lively dance floors and funky bars.
So, no matter what style of nightlife you prefer, you will surely find something to your taste.
However, typically nightlife in Lisbon starts quite late, like in most Southern European countries.
So, if you plan to go out to a party, it is best to head out after 11 pm. Most bars stay open until 3 or 4 am, while nightclubs party until 6 in the morning!
Lisbon, in general, during night time turns into a huge party city. But still, there are some areas that promise a wild night. These are Pink Street, Bairro Alto, Principe Real and Alfama.
Pink Street is a trendy street with numerous bars and clubs. Bairro Alto is the most iconic neighborhood to go out to for a party night since it has more than 100 bars and restaurants.
Principe Real is the perfect destination for upscale or classy outings with live music and cocktail bars. Lastly, Alfama is ideal for a relaxing night in Lisbon.
Generally, across the world, many people travel specifically for an event, a festival, or a concert. But sometimes, people tend to combine a relaxing and fun holiday by sightseeing around a city and attending a special occasion.
And thankfully, Lisbon is a city that won’t allow you to get bored. First of all, as we have already seen, it has plenty of stunning views and exciting venues, but it also has plenty of events and festivals.
Lisbon offers from traditional holiday events to music festivals to fairs. For instance, a famous holiday event is the Carnival. Most people are familiar with the Rio Carnival in Brazil.
But in fact, it all started in Lisbon. It usually happens in February, and the streets are full of people dressed in costumes, dancing, singing with drinks and food.
Another famous festival that allows travelers to experience Lisbon’s culture is Santa Casa Alfama.
It is a festival celebrating Portugal’s traditional music. Specifically, Fado is soft, tender, and powerful at the same time, so it captivates every music lover. The festival lasts for two days with ten stages and more than forty performers.
Lisbon is one of the safest countries in Europe for travelers. It is a country with rare violent crimes, allowing travelers to enjoy the city carefree and relaxed, even when traveling solo.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Lisbon has a zero crime rate. Like in many other popular tourist destinations, it is necessary to be aware of crimes such as pick-pocketing and drug trafficking.
The best way to avoid such unfortunate circumstances is to refrain from excessive drinking, keep away from drug pushers, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Nevertheless, Lisbon is generally safe for all travelers. For instance, Lisbon is one of the friendliest destinations for LGBTQ+ travelers.
In fact, it is an emerging hub of LGBT-friendly bars and clubs. Some of these include Trumps, Shelter Bar, and Posh Lisbon.
7. Sandy Beaches
Most people know Lisbon as a city break destination. But, as a seaside city, Lisbon has many beautiful beaches across the coastline. Generally, Portugal has vast stretches of sand and wild waters.
So it is an ideal spot for surfers. But Lisbon also has several small bays for those looking for a relaxed beach holiday.
However, Lisbon’s glorious beaches are usually about half to one hour away from the city center. Specifically, you will find golden sandy beaches between Cais do Sodré neighborhood and Cascais, as well as in Caparica, across the river from Lisbon.
A must-visit beach is Guincho in Sintra. It is a bit further out from Lisbon, about an hour’s drive, but it has a wild charm that will mesmerize you.
Furthermore, across the natural park of Arrabida, you’ll find some of the most pristine beaches in all of Portugal, with Praia dos Galapinhos being one of the favorites.
Another must-visit beach is Ponta de Mato, a river beach. Even though it is not the best place for swimming in Lisbon, it is an ideal spot to enjoy a relaxing day and a stunning view of the city. Also, it is a favorite spot to marvel at the sunset.
8. The City Architecture
A memorable thing in Lisbon is the unique buildings and stunning architectural style. Everything is colorful and like eclectic art pieces.
So, one of the best things to do in Lisbon is to take a walk along the artsy streets and admire the city’s beauty.
First and foremost, Lisbon is tile heaven. Exterior walls, interior stairwells, and door frames are decorated with colorful Portuguese tiles known as azulejos.
The tiles come in various designs, from traditional blue and white motifs to colorful Moorish-inspired patterns, making the city even more impressive.
Furthermore, the city is adorned with pastel-colored art-deco-style buildings, gorgeous traditional tile buildings, and modern, stylish buildings, giving Lisbon a diverse and unique character.
For instance, Lisbon exhibits some unique floors giving an additional splash of uniqueness to the city’s stunning architectural style. Here you can admire from charming cobblestone streets to fancy floors with intricate designs and patterns.
And lastly, Lisbon offers remarkable and intriguing street art. In fact, Lisbon is one of the most famous street art cities in Europe. So, when in Lisbon, be sure to look for some unique street art.
As already seen, Lisbon is a beautiful city with a long history and a unique character. Filled with historical monuments, landmarks, museums, charming and colorful buildings, and modern-day charm, it has the perfect blend between old and new.
But generally, Lisbon is about neighborhoods. Each has its own distinct charm and vibe, with old and new attractions to explore.
Therefore, to indulge in Lisbon’s unique ambiance, it is best to explore several parts of the city and history.
For instance, one of the city’s charming historical landmarks is the Livraria Bertrand, the oldest bookstore in the world, dating back to 1782.
Another is the 16th-century Mosteiro dos Jerònimos located in the Belem district. Others include the churches Sé de Lisboa, built in 1147, and the Convento do Carmo, built between 1389 – 1423.
To explore the modern-day charm of Lisbon, there are many new, hip, and trendy spots.
Some are the LXFactory, a transformed manufacturing complex that hosts several restaurants, shops, cafes, and galleries.
4 Reasons you might not want to visit Lisbon
Above, we went through the 9 top reasons why Lisbon is worth visiting. But like any other city, Lisbon is not perfect, so let’s see the 5 reasons why you might not want to have a holiday in Portugal’s capital.
💸 It’s Expensive
Lisbon is usually known as the perfect destination for low-budget travelers. However, due to over-tourism and an influx of digital nomads and expats, the prices have increased dramatically. So, Lisbon can’t be considered cheap anymore.
For instance, hotels, restaurants, and activities prices are similar to other top European destinations. Furthermore, tourist traps often arise due to over-tourism.
Specifically, certain establishments have higher prices because they allegedly sell more than just a drink or dinner. For example, a cocktail at a bar with a view can cost up to €15, while dinner at an upscale restaurant can be more than €200.
Still, overpricing can be avoided. Instead of visiting restaurants, bars, or other establishments in overcrowded tourist neighborhoods, look for local bars, restaurants, and other activities.
The prices will be a lot cheaper and the experience more authentic.
So, indeed Lisbon can be expensive, but similarly, it can also be cheap.
👀 Overcrowded by tourists
Unlike in previous years, Portugal is now considered a bucket list destination. For example, even though it is a relatively small country, nowadays, tourist arrivals exceed 15 million.
And of course, most tourists prefer to holiday in major cities such as Lisbon. In fact, Lisbon’s downtown has become a hub for tourists, and it is unlikely to find local residents.
For instance, in the Baixa district, you will find more than 70 hotels along with numerous tourist-oriented restaurants, souvenir shops, and international chain businesses rather than local ones.
Therefore, Lisbon definitely can get overcrowded due to over-tourism and might lack authenticity.
However, this can be avoided since over-tourism mostly happens during summer. Furthermore, plenty of other Lisbon districts maintain authenticity with local bars, restaurants, and unique boutique hotels.
So, to get away from the sea of tourists, go off the beaten path and explore lesser-known cities and areas instead of going to mainstream places like Sintra and Cascais.
🚋 Hills & Streets
Lisbon’s hills are magnificent sights and give marvelous views, but they are also exhausting. Perched on seven hills, exploring Lisbon’s streets means walking up and down all day long. So, especially in the hot and humid summer, this endeavor seems impossible.
Lisbon is the perfect city for you if you love hiking and walking. Especially since Lisbon is a walkable city and easy to find everything you might want within a few minutes, but for most people, it might be a challenging destination.
But worry not. If you are not up to walking uphill, Lisbon is a well-connected city with an easily accessible transportation system. Lisbon can offer various alternatives to walking.
From the metro, trams, funiculars, buses, trains, and ferries to the tuk-tuk and UBER drivers.
An important note to remember is that Lisbon’s steep, narrow, cobblestoned streets are not for high-heels or flip-flops. So, it is best to pack walking shoes.
Europe, in general, is a fantastic destination for road-tripping from country to country. Similarly, Portugal is a great destination to travel around by car. However, Lisbon’s parking situation can be a nightmare.
The narrow streets may be pleasing to the eye, but they were definitely not made for parking. So, it is necessary to be cautious when trying to park and be aware if you need to pay for the parking.
Also, some specific streets provide parking only to residents. Therefore, if you leave your car overnight on these streets, you might get a ticket, as well as a boot, which can be incredibly frustrating and expensive.
For your convenience, some hotels offer parking at an additional cost, but this can be up to €18, which is undoubtedly an insane amount.
5 Best things to do in Lisbon
Visiting any new city or country has its pros and cons. But Lisbon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and fun cities for a holiday. So, let’s see the best things to do for a fulfilling holiday.
🍹 Bar Hopping
Sometimes the best time to experience a city’s lifestyle is after the sun sets. And indeed, at night time, Lisbon transforms into a huge lively playground of music, food, and parties.
However, one might think it is hard to experience this lively atmosphere to the maximum when traveling. But thankfully, Lisbon’s various pub crawls and bar hopping tours and events make it easy for travelers to meet fellow and like-minded people and enjoy a fun night out.
Usually, you can join other travelers and locals at a specific meeting point and then visit several famous local bars, which often serve free welcoming drinks or even have an open bar for a certain period.
Later, most of these tours prepare venues for all the pub crawl tour groups and party together as VIP guests.
In other words, by joining a pub crawl or a bar hopping tour, you can visit some of the most popular clubs in Lisbon with skip-the-line access and meet fellow travelers.
⛪️ History Tours
Lisbon’s history is undeniably fascinating, meaning one should not miss visiting the many historic neighborhoods, landmarks, and museums.
So, a must activity is a tour to explore the city. Simply pick one of the many walking, hop-on-hop-off, or cycling tours and explore the city.
Most tours offer the chance to stroll around some of the oldest neighborhoods, including Bairro Alto and Alfama, and visit great viewpoints, like the Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara, and essential historical landmarks, such as the historic Lisbon Cathedral.
Furthermore, your knowledgeable guide will be alongside you during the whole tour, explaining all the details of each attraction and spot you visit, creating an even more fulfilling experience.
👉 Best of Lisbon Guided Walking tour
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1888 Reviews
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
- Local guide
- Pastel de nata pastry
- Wine Tasting and Tapa
On this tour, you will explore Lisbon with a knowledgeable local guide who will take you around the historical center of the city.
You will discover how the 19th-century central square was constructed with distinctive Portuguese stones to mimic the ocean’s waves.
Your guide will then take you to Restauradores Square, showcasing a towering obelisk symbolizing Portugal’s 1640 liberation from Spanish rule.
This is one of the top-rated walking tours in Lisbon.
🍴 Food Tours
Tasting de delicious food is another fantastic way to discover a city’s culture. After all, food might as well be the core and soul of the people. So, to explore Portuguese cuisine and Lisbon’s traditional dishes, a must-do activity is a food tour.
You can find various tours around the city, from 3-hour gourmet tours to tapas-style tours. But overall, most tours take you on a journey through traditional eateries where you can learn about the history behind Portugal’s most famous dishes.
Furthermore, it is a perfect way to taste and sample local delicacies, like Jorge cheese, homemade bread, and tasty sausages. Similarly, you can learn and taste Portugal’s famous wines.
Lastly, you can also experience Lisbon’s coffee culture by visiting one of the city’s oldest cafes in the historic center, as well as local eateries in the hidden alleyways around the city’s old neighborhoods.
👉 Treasures of Lisboa Food Tours
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1090 Reviews
Duration: 3 hours
- 18 TASTINGS Homemade, handmade, and UNIQUE from family restaurants. IMPORTANT: This activity is NOT suitable for Vegans/Vegetarians/No Fish diets. Also please let them know at the time of booking about any food allergies or diet restrictions!
- Local drinks You’ll taste many beverages such as local wines & liquors (18+ only). If you don’t drink alcohol, it’s ok but let me know in advance.
- Guided tour of Alfama: explanations regarding the city, the culture & Portuguese life
🍷 Wine Tasting
Although tasting Portuguese food is definitely a must-do activity, for wine enthusiasts, wine tasting is also a must-do.
Portugal has some of the best wines in the world, and of course, they are proud of it. So, there are many wine tours across the city to taste delectable wines.
Whether you prefer a tour in the bustling cobbled streets of Bairro Alto or the awe-inspiring World Heritage Site, Évora, here you will find some of the finest wine tours and vineyard trips in the country.
Within Lisbon, you can join a gourmet food and wine tour or a tapas and wine tour. Specifically, you can join a guided tour around Lisbon’s top-tier restaurants and bars. While sampling exquisite wines, you can learn more about the wine’s history and production.
Otherwise, you can join a day trip to Northern Lisbon and the historic parish of Cheleiros and sample locally produced wines from ManzWines.
Or, you can enjoy a ride along the Vasco da Gama Bridge, and visit Palmela Castle, to sample four wines at a local winery.
👉 Lisbon Small-Group Portuguese Food and Wine Tour
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1500 Reviews
Duration: 3 hours
- Food tasting (cod fish cake, cheese, marmalade, sausage, local bread, tapas)
- Wine tasting (a glass of Port wine, Ginja liquor, Portuguese red and green wine, and a beer)
- Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available but not guaranteed at all the stops
In this small group guided food and wine tour you will indulge in the gourmet flavors of Portugal. The knowledgeable guide will take you around to discover the city’s top food and wine offerings, including cheese, pastries, Port, and wine from the Alentejo region.
You will also learn about Portugal food and wine traditions and share their favorite dining recommendations.
Vegetarian options are available most of the time, simply specify your dietary needs when booking.
🛳️ River Cruise
For stunning city and coastal views, a river cruise is a must. You can find several cruises, from luxury yacht cruises to boat trips, which provide a fantastic way to discover the city from a different perspective.
Tagus River cruises allow travelers to marvel at famous landmarks such as the April 25th Bridge and the white-domed Basilica da Estrela. Other important sights you can see are the beautiful square of Praça do Comércio and the Castle of São Jorge.
Lastly, while heading back to the marina, you will pass by the longest bridge in Europe, the stunning Vasco da Gama Bridge, and admire the majestic Cristo-Rei Statue in Almada.
👉 2-Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1167 Reviews
Duration: 2 hours
On this 2-hour sailing cruise, you will be able to appreciate Lisbon’s monuments from the water in the magical Sunset colors.
You will sail by the Belém Tower, the neoclassical Ajuda National Palace, Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge), and more.
Your skipper will share interesting information about history and culture while you are sipping delicious local wine and relaxing.
Best Time to Visit Lisbon
Generally, the most popular time to visit Lisbon is in the warmer months, from May through August. But these months are hot and humid and attract large crowds. Therefore, summer can be an exhausting time to visit Lisbon.
So, the off-season might be the best time to visit Lisbon. Not only does it get fewer tourists, but it is also less expensive.
Also, winter in Lisbon, as already seen above, is not very cold, so you can still enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.
What is the best month to visit Lisbon?
Overall, the best time to visit Lisbon is between the months of October and April. But frankly, the best time to visit is in October.
The weather is still pleasant, with plenty of sunshine to enjoy the city without any worries. Also, since the crowd is much less, you can fully immerse in Lisbon’s beauty and lifestyle.
Additionally, a plus for visiting in October is the cheaper accommodations and reasonable prices at restaurants, souvenir shops, and other touristic facilities.
So, it is especially an ideal time to visit if you are traveling on a budget.
Is Lisbon worth visiting in November?
Similarly to the rest of the off-season months, November receives fewer tourists. But undoubtedly, November has a charm you won’t get during summer.
Unfortunately, you might not experience Lisbon’s sunshine and warm weather to the maximum, but this is the period of the magic of winter and Christmas stars.
So, November is an ideal month to visit if you want a mild winter holiday with a splash of Christmas. Specifically, it is worth visiting to experience the Christmas market and taste traditional sweets, celebrates local winter festivals and events, and explore the city’s numerous museums.
And all this at a slower and carefree pace which you definitely can’t have during summer.
Is Lisbon worth visiting in December?
December is a festive month which means it is relatively more expensive than other off-season months. Still, it has fewer crowds, and it is cheaper than summer. Also, December offers plenty of activities and unforgettable experiences.
Specifically, you can enjoy Christmas markets, surfing at tall waves in Ericeira, skiing at the slopes of Serra da Estrela, exploring rustic villages, and of course, an extravagant New Year’s Eve at Terreiro do Paço.
Is Lisbon worth visiting in January?
January is the coldest month in Lisbon, but it is also the cheapest.
So, if Lisbon’s cold weather is not an issue for you, then it is a great time of the year to visit. To start, during the first week of January, you can celebrate along with the locals the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
It is a grand celebration with concerts and other events where people gather to sing
janeiras, the traditional Christmas carols.
Furthermore, January is the perfect month to enjoy Lisbon’s several historical landmarks, museums, stunning views, and neighborhoods in more peace and quiet.
How many days should you spend in Lisbon?
I would say that no matter how long you will stay in Lisbon, you won’t get bored. After all, it is a city full of color and creativity and is home to many attractions. But everyone has a different itinerary and preferences.
The ideal amount of time to spend in Lisbon that everyone would be satisfied with is 3 days.
It is enough time to visit every popular spot around the city center and even have time to relax at coffee shops and go for lazy strolls.
Is 2 days enough to visit Lisbon?
Two days may not sound sufficient, but ideally, they may be enough for visiting Lisbon. Once you arrive, you can stroll around the city and explore historic neighborhoods and significant landmarks such as Santa Justa, Carmo Convent, Lisbon’s Pink Street, and Praça do Comércio.
All these are easily accessible by the metro or on foot, which allows you to admire the city while lazily strolling around.
However, it is important to note that in two days, you might not have enough time to visit other popular spots within and near Lisbon, like Sintra, Sao Jorge Castle, Belem Tower, and Jeronimos Monastery.
Is 3 days enough time in Lisbon?
A 3-day trip to Lisbon is much similar to a 2-day trip, but with more time to relax, shop, and enjoy Lisbon’s lifestyle.
Also, you have enough time to explore the city center and historical landmarks, such as Santa Justa, Carmo Convent, Lisbon’s Pink Street, and Praça do Comércio, as well as the Belem Tower, and Jeronimos Monastery.
Furthermore, you have enough time to explore Lisbon’s charm by simply strolling around to admire the unique architecture and colorful buildings and visiting traditional shops, restaurants, and cafes to try local dishes.
Is 4 days in Lisbon enough?
A 4-day trip in Lisbon is more than enough to explore the city and even have a day trip to another famous place, like Sintra.
The train ride to Sintra from Lisbon is about 45 minutes, which allows you to see magnificent scenery. And the short distance allows you to have plenty of time at Sintra to explore its beautiful historical landmarks within a day.
Also, within four days, you can easily explore more of Lisbon by following guided tours, such as a river cruise, a wine-tasting tour, and a pub crawl which will give you a chance to meet other fellow travelers.
Is 5 days in Lisbon too much?
Five days is the ideal amount of time to spend in Lisbon if you wish to split your time between Lisbon and another city. For example, you can do and see a lot more in Sintra that a single-day trip won’t let you experience.
Or, if you prefer, you can book one or two days in Porto or the Algarve region and three to four days in Lisbon. So, you can see different parts of Portugal within five days.
Otherwise, you can spend all five days in Lisbon and explore all aspects of the city. After all, Lisbon is a favorite city among travelers and digital nomads, meaning you will find plenty of facilities for a long stay.
How to get around Lisbon
Lisbon has many options regarding transportation. It has a relatively easy network system that combines the metro, trams, funiculars, buses, and trains. However, the easiest and safest to use for travelers is the metro.
The red line is the main one to travel from the airport to the city center. But if you are traveling within the city center, I recommend traveling on foot, since Lisbon is a very walkable city.
But if you plan to go beyond downtown, the metro’s four lines serve 55 stations and operate from 6:30 am to 1 am. The green line connects the center with the historic area of Baixa and the Cascais area, while the yellow and blue lines reach Lisbon’s main avenues.
A single ticket costs €1.45, and a day pass, which includes buses, trains, and trams, costs €6.30.
Where to stay in Lisbon
Lisbon may seem like a large and sprawling city, but the main tourist neighborhoods are within a relatively compact area. Generally, the best areas to stay in are the Baixa, Avenida da Liberdade, Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Cais do Sodré.
If you’d rather stay in a historic area, Baixa is the best area to stay, especially considering it is the closest to most tourist attractions.
Avenida da Liberdade is the best area for a more upscale holiday since it is famous for smart and stylish shopping centers and high-end hotels.
On the other hand, the Alfama neighborhood is known for steep hills and narrow streets with Lisbon’s characteristic architectural style.
Lastly, if you prefer to stay in a lively area with exciting nightlife venues, the areas of Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré are the best option.
For your convenience, here are three recommended hotels to stay according to different preferences and budgets.
Luxury Stay in Lisbon
🏨 Tivoli Avenida da Liberdade
Tivoli promises a world-class experience by offering all the perks a luxury hotel is supposed to have. It has a rooftop bar with panoramic Lisbon views, an outdoor round pool, and two restaurants serving delicious Portuguese and international cuisine.
Check rates and availability on Expedia | Booking.com | Hotels.com
Midrange Stay in Lisbon
🏨 São Vicente Alfama
Situated on the edge of the Alfama neighborhood, this chic property boasts a terrace, a restaurant, and a bar. It is right in the heart of Lisbon and less than 1 km from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte and other popular tourist attractions.
Check rates and availability on Expedia | Booking.com | Hotels.com
Budget Stay in Lisbon
🏨 Goodnight Lisbon
This is a downtown hostel offering free sangria, pub crawls, and other nights out, as well as several walking tours through Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Baixa-Chiado. It is the perfect hostel to meet fellow travelers and experience Lisbon’s lively atmosphere.
Check rates and availability on Expedia | Booking.com | Hotels.com
Day Trips from Lisbon
Lisbon is worth visiting and exploring its many beautiful neighborhoods, but if you have the time, there are plenty of areas near Lisbon you should go for a day trip. So, let’s see the best day trips worth taking.
As already mentioned, Sintra is less than an hour away from Lisbon by train, making it the most popular and convenient day trip from Lisbon. Sintra is known for its spectacular castles, such as picturesque Pena National Palace, but it also has many other palaces, such as the Castle of the Moors, the Moorish Monserrate Palace, the Palace of Sintra, and the Quinta de la Regaleira.
Cascais is the perfect getaway for sandy beaches, surfing, and lounging in the sun. It is about an hour away from Lisbon’s center by train, allowing travelers enough time to enjoy Cascais’ gorgeous beaches, beautiful town center, picturesque views, and delicious food. So, it is the perfect day trip for a break from Lisbon’s bustling center.
Évora offers an epic day trip filled with unforgettable experiences. Firstly, the one hour and half-train ride to Évora gives a glimpse of the difference between the city and the countryside in Portugal.
Then, when in Évora, you can explore remarkable attractions, such as the Aquaduct, the town square Praca do Giraldo, the Temple of Diana, the Évora Cathedral, and the Capela dos Ossos.
Is Lisbon worth visiting? Frequently Asked Questions
Should I go to Lisbon or Porto?
Both cities are a fantastic choice for a holiday. The best way to choose is to consider how much time you have. Porto is relatively small, so it is a good choice for a weekend trip, while Lisbon is better for a longer holiday.
Do they speak English in Lisbon?
As a touristic city, many people, especially those in the hospitality and tourism industry, speak English. So, you will easily be able to communicate as you explore the city.
Do they tip in Lisbon?
Unlike in the United States, where tipping is standard practice, tipping is not necessary for Lisbon. However, if you experience exceptional service, consider tipping out of appreciation.
Is Lisbon near the airport?
Lisbon’s airport is only 20 minutes away from the city center and is easily accessible by public transportation.
What do they speak in Portugal?
In Portugal, they speak Portuguese, as the official language but you will find that in most touristy towns, people would understand and speak English.
Is Lisbon worth visiting? Final Thoughts
Lisbon offers many fantastic and unforgettable experiences. Of course, like every other city, you might encounter some challenges, such as hilly, narrow, and overcrowded streets, but you can easily avoid them.
Furthermore, in Lisbon, everyone can find something that interests them, whether that is new cuisines, historical tours, crazy nightlife, or stunning scenery.
Also, Lisbon has become a very popular city for digital nomads, for its lively vibe and many cafes and coworking spaces where it’s easy to find good wifi to work.
So, I would say Lisbon is definitely worth visiting.
About the Author: Lydia Michael
Lydia Michael is a freelance travel writer from Cyprus whose love for traveling started from an early age. At the age of 18, she moved to England, and since then, she has lived in the UK, Czechia, Spain, Portugal, and Greece among others. But her greatest love has been Asia. So, she is awaiting her big trip to Southeast Asia this summer. Apart from traveling, she loves reading books, especially fantasy books, and she adores cats.