Lisbon

Things to do in Lisbon

As one of the first European countries to send ships into the unknown during the Age of Discovery, Portugal boasts a rich and storied history – a lot of which can still be seen on the streets of Lisbon. Between visiting the Belem Tower, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Castelo de Sao Jorge, there are so many things to do in Lisbon for history buffs.

Built over seven hills, Lisbon offers spectacular views to those who brave a hike to the top. The Elevador de Santa Justa rising above the streets of Baixa and the Mirardouro das Portas do Sol in Alfama are just two outposts where you can take in Lisbon’s breathtaking cityscape.

Still wondering what to do in Lisbon? Check out one of the city’s many museums. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum houses work by Rembrandt and Monet, and a trip to see Warhol, Picasso and Dali in the Berardo Museum will cost you nothing.

Other things to do in Lisbon include listening to traditional Fado Museum, riding the historic Tram 28 and sampling traditional Portuguese custard pastries at Pasteis de Belem.

In a former bank in Baixa, you’ll find an exhaustive collection of contemporary furniture (Ponti; Studio 65) and vintage couture (Dior; Westwood). All of the 1,000 or so pieces at the Museu do Design were first bought for private use.

This 11 years-old Santos pioneer is local Paula Crespo’s temple to contemporary jewelry design.

This small beer hall in Bairro Alto hosts Fado Vadio [Street Fado] nights twice a week.

The butter-soft lambskin and leather gloves rival anything you'll find in Paris, but at bargain prices.

For a taste of the past, step into this shop that has been producing handmade beeswax candles in more or less the same fashion since 1789. There are tapers, novelty sculptures, and scented varieties.

Opened more than 20 years ago by Portuguese musician Luis Dams, the Xafarix nightclub in Santos continues to offer performances by local musicians.

Though you're unlikely to schlep home a Knoll chair, don't miss a trip to Manuel Reis's design-furniture boutique, a stone's throw from Bica do Sapato.

Located next to the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belém Cultural Center (Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém, or CCB, to natives) comprises five main areas: the Conference, Performing Arts, and Exhibition Centers and the Educational and Formation Areas.

The Romanesque cathedral in the mazelike Alfama district houses 12th- and 13th-century treasures from a Moorish excavation. Be sure to stop at the adjoining cloister, which has an archaeological site with artifacts from Roman times.

Snag one of the 18 wooden stools at this diminutive Bairro Alto boîte, where you can savor a singular Chardonnay from the emerging Alentejo region and be wowed by Barca Velha—a mythical Upper Douro red released only in exceptional years.

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The shop's collection of well-priced vintage jewelry includes some excellent pieces from the forties and fifties.

This latest addition to Belém’s sprawling Cultural Center opened in June 2007 and houses a 1,000-plus inventory of modern and contemporary paintings, sculpture, and videos dating from 1909 (Picasso) to 2005 (Luc Tuymans).

Lisbon's train station is a Santiago Calatrava design, and one of the most innovative in Europe.

Fine foods and wines (assemble a case to ship home some of the local vintages).

This historic site offers a glimpse of early-16th-century Lisbon. Built in the ornate Manueline style to celebrate King Manuel I’s Avis-Beja dynasty, the monastery’s gabled limestone façade stretches the length of the square.