Lisbon

Image for Chiado showing a city and railway items

Lisbon is the westernmost capital of mainland Europe and one of the oldest cities in the world. Visitors throng to Lisbon for its Mediterranean climate, good food, great wines, vibrant nightlife and ancient history.

HistoryThe strategic location of Lisbon at the mouth of the Tagus River has contributed to the city’s importance as a centre of trade between the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe. It was originally settled by the Celts and subsequently captured by the Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and Moors. Christian crusaders later captured the city, forming the long-term Portuguese Royal Family.

Lisbon flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Portuguese Age of Discovery, which lead to the accumulation of great wealth and power. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon and further disaster fell in 1807 when Napoleon’s forces occupied Lisbon. However, the city slowly rebuilt over the 19th Century.

In 1910, the Republicans established the Portuguese Republic with the Estado Novo regime, the longest-living dictatorship in Western Europe ruled by Salazar. It was deposed by the 1974 by the Carnation Revolution and Portugal joined the European Community in 1986. Recent improvements to the metro system and the revival of older buildings in the city have transformed Lisbon into one of the trendiest cities in Europe.

LandmarksLisbon and nearby Sintra have three sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, in Lisbon and Palácio da Pena in Sintra.

Belém was where Portuguese explorers set off from on their voyages of discovery. Belém Tower is a fortified lighthouse, which stands on a little island on the right hand side of the Tagus. It was originally intended to guard the entrance to the port against invasion or pirate raids, but today it offers incredible views over the city.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a monastery with amazing stonework and burial place of the greatest Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. Sintra is a beautiful dreamy town dotted with tourist hotspots and historic attractions, such as the grand Palácio da Pena: a fairytale-like castle that sits atop a mighty hill, offering incredible views over the town below.

The heart of the city of Lisbon is Baixa. This historic district was constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Its most notable feature is the Rua Augusta Arch, a triumphal arch designed as a gateway to the city. An elevator, located inside the arch, takes you to a vantage point that offers beautiful views over downtown, the Praça do Comércio and the Tagus River.

Lisbon's castle, Castelo de São Jorge, is an incredible piece of architecture that stands on top of the city's highest hill. Not only does it offer cultural and historical significance, but also provides beautiful views of the city and river, making it a fun trip for history-buffs and lay folk alike.

If you’re a fan of modern architecture, pay a visit to Parque das Nações: the newest district in Lisbon. Check out the Orient Railway Station, a truly eye-catching building and one of the main transportation centres of Lisbon. Here you can also find one of the world's longest bridges, the stunning Vasco da Gama Bridge.

Shopping, Restaurants and NighlifeIf it’s shopping you crave then pay Chiado a visit, Lisbon’s traditional shopping area. Here you can buy clothes from trendy designer boutiques, as well as books, crafts and pottery. You will also find plenty of coffee shops and restaurants serving traditional cakes such as ‘Pastéis de Nata’ and typical cod fish dishes called ’Bacalhau’.

As you can probably see, there’s never a dull moment in Lisbon.

Where to stay in Lisbon

Lisbon featuring a city and heritage architecture as well as a large group of people

Lisbon Old Town

4/5Very Good!(758 area reviews)

Lisbon Old Town
Alfama showing a coastal town and a sunset

Alfama

4.5/5Wonderful!(163 area reviews)

Alfama
Santa Justa Elevator which includes a city and landscape views

Baixa

4.5/5Wonderful!(582 area reviews)

Baixa
Chiado showing a sunset and views as well as a couple

Chiado

5/5Exceptional!(5 area reviews)

Chiado
Padrão dos Descobrimentos showing a monument, a river or creek and heritage elements

Belem

4.5/5Wonderful!(13 area reviews)

Belem
Santos
trover photo by Eva Johnson

Santos

4.5/5Wonderful!(22 area reviews)

Santos

Top hotels in Lisbon

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Corinthia Lisbon
Corinthia Lisbon
5 out of 5
Avenida Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, 105, Lisbon
SG$168
per night
Feb 28 - Feb 29

This family-friendly Lisbon hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Lisbon Zoo and Gulbenkian Museum. El Corte Ingles Mall and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (3,482 reviews)

"Beautiful hotel with a superior staff. Not downtown, but easy access to the underground."…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb,2020

Corinthia Lisbon
Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
3 out of 5
Aeroporto Internacional Lisboa, Rua C-2, Lisbon
SG$130
per night
Mar 24 - Mar 25

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Lisbon Casino, Lisbon Oceanarium and Lisbon International Exhibition Fair. Rossio Square and Santa ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,023 reviews)

"Very convenient location; can walk there from the airport. Excellent breakfast"…"

Reviewed on 20 Feb,2020

Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto
TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto
4 out of 5
Aeroporto Internacional de Lisboa, Rua C, Lisbon
SG$177
per night
Feb 26 - Feb 27

Situated near the airport, this spa hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre, Atlantic Pavilion and Lisbon Casino. Lisbon Oceanarium and ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,970 reviews)

"Loved the proximity to the airport and free airport shuttle! Breakfast buffet was very extensive and well maintained."…"

Reviewed on 18 Feb,2020

TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto

Popular things to do in Lisbon

Lisbon Oceanarium
Image for Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium

4.5/5(181 reviews)

Enjoy an underwater adventure at one of the world’s largest and most diverse aquariums right on Lisbon’s beautiful waterfront.

Rossio Square
Image for Rossio Square

Rossio Square

4/5(857 reviews)

See the people-packed central square whose swirling wave-patterned cobbles are thought to have inspired copycat pavements across the rest of Portugal and beyond.

Castle of Sao Jorge
Image for Castle of Sao Jorge

Castle of Sao Jorge

4.5/5(736 reviews)

This medieval fortress offers insight into Lisbon’s long history as well as stunning views of the city and river below.

Commerce Square
Image for Commerce Square

Commerce Square

4.5/5(693 reviews)

People-watch in this historic square while you enjoy a coffee and pastry in the café where the city’s literati once gathered.

Belem Tower
Image for Belem Tower

Belem Tower

4.5/5(754 reviews)

Belém Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the northern bank of the Tagus River in the Belém district of Lisbon.

Lisbon Zoo
Image for Lisbon Zoo

Lisbon Zoo

4.5/5(51 reviews)

Be kissed by a seal, splashed by a dolphin and have your photo taken with a python at this family zoo in the center of Lisbon.

Top activities in Lisbon

Lisbon Card
Image for Lisbon Card

Lisbon Card

84% of travellers recommend
SG$30
Per adult
Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais with Admission to Pena Palace
Image for Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais with Admission to Pena Palace

Day Trip to Sintra & Cascais with Admission to Pena Palace

94% of travellers recommend
SG$88
Per adult
Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Small-Group Full-Day Tour
Image for Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Small-Group Full-Day Tour

Sintra, Cascais & Estoril Small-Group Full-Day Tour

94% of travellers recommend
SG$90
Per adult
Lisbon: Small Group Fado Music, Local Tapas & Wine at Sunset
Image for Lisbon: Small Group Fado Music, Local Tapas & Wine at Sunset

Lisbon: Small Group Fado Music, Local Tapas & Wine at Sunset

90% of travellers recommend
SG$119
Per adult
Small-Group Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Image for Small-Group Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Small-Group Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

94% of travellers recommend
SG$100
Per adult
Lisboa City Tour & Shopping from Algarve
Image for Lisboa City Tour & Shopping from Algarve

Lisboa City Tour & Shopping from Algarve

SG$113
Per adult

Reviews of Lisbon

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1128
5 - Excellent 68.03377563329312%
4 - Good
485
4 - Good 29.25211097708082%
3 - Okay
35
3 - Okay 2.1109770808202653%
2 - Disappointing
9
2 - Disappointing 0.5428226779252111%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.06031363088057901%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 23, 2020

Loved it and look forward to returning someday soon.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 22, 2020

Lisbon is a beautiful city. The locals were very friendly, on three occasions we had to stop to check our map and the locals checked on us to see if we needed help finding our destination. The food was delicious and affordable,would highly recommend.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 22, 2020

Wonderful city,better and more interesting than we expected,no complaints,looking forward to going back.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 22, 2020

Cliches abound about friendly people but Lisbon is the city where this is true.The city abounds with tourists but there is always time for locals to interact-the number who speak English to even a passable level is astonishing. Friendly and safe.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 21, 2020

Vibrant and fun. Will re visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 21, 2020

Lovely cultural city, great sights and shops. Very hilly, but the trams are excellent.