16 reasons to tempt you to Lisbon, Portugal

In Europe, Featured, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Our Tips, Portugal, Try-this, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

What to See, Ride, Taste & Hear

I really don’t know why Lisbon hadn’t been on our ‘go to’ list earlier. We have been to numerous European cities up until now, but for some reason Lisbon had not really risen to the top.

Well now was the time to put that right, our timing wasn’t perfect in terms of the weather, but we weren’t going to let that put a dampener on our adventure.

The view from Portas Do Sol, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has so many things to offer, but one of the stand out memories that we brought away were the friendliness of the locals.

Like with most cities to capture the true essence of a place you really need to don those comfy shoes and start wandering, with Lisbon this is imperative as there are plenty hills to tackle.

For your sanity, I have just kept this list to 16 but it could have been longer, also once you have visited Lisbon yourself, I’m sure you’ll have your own list favourites.


Elevador de Santa Justa

Not just because it is synonymous with Lisbon, but the panoramic views across the city and River Tagus below are amazing.

If you can take a stroll past it in the evening when it is lit up, it is quite impressive.

Elevador de Santa Justa at night, Lisbon, Portugal
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Torre de Belém

Belém Tower or Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

At the mouth of the River Tagus is another of Lisbon’s iconic landmarks. Built in 1514-20 the defensive tower once stood on an island in the Tagus. The northern bank has been gradually built upon and the tower is now accessible along a walkway.


Monument of the Discoveries

Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lisbon, Portugal

Just along from the tower is Padrão dos Descobrimentos a truly eye-catching 52 metre high monument built to commemorate Portugal’s age of discovery.

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide was invaluable to us.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Lisbon mini-break, now you can grab the revised copy.


Jerónimos Monastery

A view of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal

Along with Torre de Belém is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery which took 100 years to build, was constructed in the distinctive Manueline style and has an amazing internal courtyard and cloisters, it’s certainly worth a visit.


Sé Cathedral

Located in the Alfama district is Lisbon’s oldest church, the Sé Cathedral has gone through various architectural changes, due to the number of earthquakes that Lisbon has suffered.

Sé Cathedral, Lisbon, Portugal
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Castelo de São Jorge

The castle from the top of the Elevador de Santa Justa, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon’s hilltop Moorish castle, sits proudly overlooking the lively city below.


Carmo Convent & Largo do Carmo

A reminder of the devastation of the 1755 earthquake, the ruins of the 14th century church & convent of Carmo remains today.

Largo do Carmo plays a significant role in Portugal’s history as this is where the Carnation Revolution took place on 25th April 1974, to end Portugal’s dictatorship.

The remains of the Carmo convent, Lisbon, Portugal


Panteão Nacional

The National Pantheon, Lisbon, Portugal

The Pantheon is wonderful piece of architecture & houses the tombs of some of Portugal’s major historic figures. Take a climb to the top and enjoy the amazing views along the River Tagus & beyond.


Day at Sintra

Dominating the skyline, The Palace of Pena, Sintra, Portugal

If time allows a day in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Sintra is a must. The wonderful palaces and gardens scattered amongst the lush hillside are a real pleasure to explore. Our particular favourite was Quinta da Regaleira, with its subterranean towers.



The view from Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon, Portugal

There are quite a few viewpoints (Miradouros) dotted around Lisbon that give wonderful panoramic views across the tiled rooftops, go explore.


Thieves Market

Strolling through the Thieves Market, Lisbon, Portugal

On a Tuesday & Saturday the Feira da Ladra (flea market) in Alfama, transforms into a bustling and lively street market. Full of an eclectic mix of oddities, there is sure to be something for everyone.


Lisbon’s Praças

Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal

‘Squares’ to you and me. There are some lovely squares around Lisbon waiting for you to sit and watch the world go by, the grandest is Praças Do Commercio which stands with the Augusta Arch proudly looking down upon it.


Getting around

If you have seen any pictures of Lisbon you will know it is renowned for its trams and in particular no. 28. This tram takes you through the winding streets of Alfama and past many of Lisbon’s well known hot spots.

Also, there are 3 funicular trams, named Glória, Bica & Lavra, adorned with local art.

An addition in recent years are the Tuk tuks, I think you tend to either love them or hate them.

Tram 28, Lisbon, Portugal


Discovering the Districts

You learn so much from a city from just meandering around its streets and lanes and Lisbon is the same. There is plenty to be discovered just by turning left when the less adventurous are turning right. Take yourself for a walk around the Bairro Alto, Chiado & Alfama.

Amongst the lanes of Chiado, Lisbon. Portugal



The compelling melancholic ballads that are sung late into the evenings are a must to experience.

They can be very moving, we spent a few enjoyable hours at ‘Tasca do Chico’ in Bairro Alto.

Inside Tasca do Chico, Lisbon, Portugal


Tempt your taste buds

Pastel de Nata

No trip to Lisbon would be complete without sampling these little delicacies.

You can get them throughout Lisbon, however our favourites and that of many others is where they were originally created at Pasteis de Belém.

Believe me you’ll be hooked.

Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal


The local tipple of ‘Ginja’ a sour cherry liqueur is served almost everywhere, but the best places to try it is out of the two little shop fronts by Rossio Square.

Ginjinha Sem Rival, Lisbon, Portugal

Elegant Cafés

For an experience a little more graceful then try Café Nicola or A Brasileira, Lisbon’s famous cafés that serve a tasty selection of pastries within a very stylish décor.

Café Nicola, Lisbon, Portugal

Have You?

This was our first trip to Portugal and I can certainly see us planning a road trip around the country, to discover more of its delightful culture.

We would love to hear if there are any places in Portugal that you can recommend we add to our itinerary?

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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