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.

Promoter Manuel Reis's club at the docks is the place to go to dance to pumping house music all night long with a lively crowd of creative types and bar-crawlers.

Ginjinha, the pungent morello-cherry liquor—a national icon—is best enjoyed at this venerable, peanut-size bar, near the National Theatre.

The sound system is extra powerful and the crowd is scruffy-cute—intentionally so. Frequented by intellectuals and people from the arts, theater, and cinema.

Here you can browse shelves lined with compulsory design reading or pick up vintage hand-carved cedar toy cars from TobeUs

Located in the Parque das Nações district along the Tagues River, the Pavilhao Atlantico serves as Lisbon's largest indoor arena and is easily accessible from the Gare do Oriente transportation hub.

Droves of locals make weekend-afternoon pilgrimages to the Parque das Nações, which was commissioned for Expo on what used to be a dingy industrial wasteland northeast of central Lisbon. Now it's a large garden adjoined by striking examples of contemporary architecture.

Score rare fragrances from Saboaria Confiança, Miller et Bertaux, and Absolument Absinthe, as well as ceramics by Flemish artist Piet Stockmans.

Clube de Fado is one of the top hot spots to hear Portugal's folk music and owner and guitarist Mario Pacheco has assembled a strong roster of traditional fadistas, including Maria Armanda and Machado Soares.

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.