Things To Do In Lisbon
Situated on the banks of the Tagus River estuary, Lisbon is the capital city of Europe's westernmost nation, Portugal. It's is actually the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe and its unique positioning on both the Atlantic coast and the periphery of the continent has played a definitive role in the country's history.
Lisbon is, and always has been, a port city. It also boasts hot beaches, Iberian countryside, green mountains, and a dramatic history replete with battles against conquerors, world exploration, empire building and cultural evolution. Lisbon today is a popular short-break and European holiday destination with a pleasant all-year-round climate - ideal for sightseeing.
Below you'll find a selection of popular things to do in 2018 including day trips to Sintra and the City Sightseeing Lisbon hop-on hop-off tour.
1) City Sightseeing Lisbon Bus Tour:
What better way to explore Lisbon is aboard the easily recognisable City Sightseeing Lisbon hop-on hop-off open top bus tour. With 20 conveniently located bus stops you can enjoy 360° panoramic views of this wonderful city. You can hop-on or off the buses during the ticket's 48-hour validity meaning you have plenty of time to explore at your own pace. Tickets can be bought conveniently online before you travel.
2) Lisbon Zoo:
Known officially as the 'Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa', Lisbon Zoo is home to animal species from every continent on earth and their enclosures are set within peaceful park-like surroundings. At various times in the day you can see a number of special attractions, such as the Sea Lions Feeding, the Dolphins's Bay Show and the Reptiles Presentation. The Zoo's main entrance is located at the Praça Marechal Humberto Delgado.
3) Sintra-Cascais Natural Park:
If you want to explore further afield why not visit the municipality of Sintra? Situated just a short distance north-west of Lisbon, Sintra is famous for its mountainous national park, grand palaces and renowned cultural institutions. The City Sightseeing Sintra bus tour, with it's 14 ideally located bus stops, lets you explore the area at your own pace. Tickets are valid 24 hours from first use and can be redeemed on a mobile device at stop 1 - Sintra Railway Station.
4) Lisboa Card:
Lisbon has a magnificent selection of museums and galleries, most of which are centrally located and free-to-access. For those that do have an admission fee, why not consider the Lisboa Card? The city's official attraction pass provides free entry into some of the most popular cultural sites and even lets you travel on the famous Lisbon trams too!
One of our favourite places is the Barardo Museum of modern and contemporary art where you'll see original pieces by Andy Warhol, Picasso and Francis Bacon. Be sure to also stop off at Belem Tower, Sao Jorge Castle and Padrao dos Descobrimentos to fully immerse yourself in Portugal's captivating history and its role in the epic Age of Discovery.
5) Oceanário de Lisboa & Vasco da Gama Aquarium:
The Lisbon Oceanarium and The Vasco da Gama Aquarium allow visitors to enter a flourishing world of marine life. The former is ideal for entertaining the kids while the latter has great exhibits on the individual biodiversities of different oceans.
6) National Museum of Ancient Art:
Like most big European capitals Lisbon has no shortage of museums. From the qirky and the immersive, to the traditional and insightful, you'll find it in this city. The National Museum of Ancient Art, despite the name, actually showcases paintings, sculptures, metalworks, textiles, furniture and drawings from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century. Located along Rua Madre Deus this art museum is a must for any appreciator of historical works.
7) Museu do Oriente:
An interesting and highly popular anthropological institution is the Museum of the Orient, situated along Avenida de Brasilia close to the city's Atlantic coast. The museum hosts a diverse collection of Asian artefacts collected during the country's age of exploration. You'll find religious objects and a huge variety of artistic relics from various civilisations such as India, China, Japan and Indonesia. Collection highlights include a decorative range of 17th and 18th century Chinese and Japanese folding screens.
8) Carris Museum:
A common sight throughout the steep streets of Lisbon are the networks of yellow trams. As the city's most recognisable mode of transport it's no surprise that they have a museum at least partly dedicated to them. The Carris Museum on Rua Primeiro de Maio chronicles the past, present and future of public transport in Lisbon.
9) National Coach Museum:
A similar museum in the city's Belem district that's as good for art as it is for transport is the National Coach Museum. Housed within the old Horse Riding Arena of Belem Palace it is a place where you can admire one of the finest and most extensive collections of historical carriages in the world.
10) Electricity Museum:
Another Belem district museum is the Electricity Museum. This beautifully designed former power plant contains remarkable exhibitions which chart the evolution of electric power and its associated technologies. There's also machinery displays native to the building itself; these illustrate its own history and shed light on the basic processes involved in electricity generation.
Whenever you decide to visit Lisbon, you certainly won't be stuck for something to do in this sunny European capital. Whether it's lying on the beach soaking up the sun or strolling around one of the city's many cultural centres, we know you'll enjoy Lisbon.