Top things to see and do in Lisbon, Portugal

miradouro da graça Lisbon Portugal

While Lisbon in Portugal is undoubtedly one of the world’s top remote work destinations for digital nomads there’s a lot more to this very special city once you dig beneath the surface.

Lisbon is actually one of the oldest European capitals and believe it or not, 400 years older than Rome!

Lisbon is a charming, beautiful, laid-back and cultural capital city brimming with things to see and do once your laptop is shut down.

Grab your shades, a bottle of water and a pair of comfy shoes and let’s go discover the city of Lisbon!

Are you wondering about what you should see and do in Lisbon?

We have put together a list of some of the best things to see and do in and around Lisbon.

A few of the most popular attractions in Lisbon include the historical district of Alfama, LX Factory,  Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and the historic and mystical town of Sintra about 45 minutes away from Lisbon centre by train

 

Would 3 days would be enough time to see the top sights in Lisbon?

You might be wondering how many days you would need to see the sights in Lisbon. If you started early and really went for it, you could squeeze in some of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Lisbon in 3 days but it would be a rush and probably quite exhausting if we’re honest.

Definitely not something for those that also want to enjoy the relaxed vibe of Lisbon and take their time at each place.

We would recommend staying in Lisbon for at least a week or two to get a chance to soak up the unique atmosphere and see the most popular attractions in Lisbon and also visit the town of Sintra and the upmarket beach town of Cascais.

Let’s get started on your Lisbon sightseeing experience!

The historic district of Alfama, Lisbon

Alfama, Lisbon, tram
Alfama, Lisbon

Alfama is one of the most visited districts of Lisbon and is where the city of Lisbon began life. Alfama is strategically located high up on a hill and close to the river Tagus making it an ideal location to set up camp for the early settlers. Alfama dates back to 1200 BC and survived the massive earthquake of 1755 giving us a glimpse into how Lisbon would have looked before the 1755 earthquake and tsunami that practically destroyed downtown Lisbon.

Fast forward to today and Alfama is a very popular tourist attraction, however, don’t panic, while it does get busy Alfama still retains much of its charm and is a lively neighbourhood where real Portuguese people and people from other nationalities live their daily lives.

Walk the narrow cobbled streets, marvel at the beautiful squares, and churches and observe daily life in Alfama. You will still see laundry hanging from windows and neighbours sitting outside chatting and possibly gossiping.

Alfama is also famous for the traditional fado folk music that you will hear as you walk the narrow charming streets. Fado provides the perfect soundtrack to the beauty of the historic Alfama district.

Below we have listed a few of the best things to see and do in the Alfama district of Lisbon, Portugal.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Miradouro das Portas do Sol is a must see and beautiful viewpoint in Alfama, Lisbon

Miradouro das Portas do Sol Lisbon Portugal
Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Lisbon

Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Largo Portas do Sol in Lisbon  is one of the most popular and must see “miradouros” or viewpoints. Enjoy spectacular views to the River Tejo and the old buildings of the Alfama district. At Miradouro das Portas do Sol there is a kiosk and terrace to enjoy a drink or snack. Miradouro das Portas do Sol is also a popular place to take photos.

Largo Portas do Sol, 1100-411 Lisboa, Portugal

Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral, the oldest church in the Portuguese capital Lisbon

Lisbon Cathedral
Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral is the oldest church in Lisbon dating back to 1147 and built during the reign of D. Afonso Henriques. Following the Christian reconquest of Lisbon in 1147, it was decided that the Cathedral of Lisbon would be built where the Greater Mosque was dating back to Moorish times and prior to that the Mosque had been built on top of an ancient Visigoth church while the Muslims occupied Lisbon.

During the great 1755 earthquake parts of Lisbon Cathedral were destroyed, fortunately, much of Lisbon Cathedral survived giving us this magnificent historic structure to enjoy.

Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisboa, Portugal

https://www.sedelisboa.pt/

Castelo de São Jorge

Castelo de São Jorge is one of the most emblematic historical monuments in Lisbon

Castelo de São Jorge - Saint Georges Castle Lisbon
Saint Georges Castle Lisbon

Castelo de São Jorge or Saint Georges Castle is one of the most famous and visible icons of Lisbon alongside the April 25th Bridge and the Christ Statue (Cristo Rei).

Castelo de São Jorge originally dates back to 200 BC during the Roman times and over time was further developed during the time of the Visigoths between the years 480 and 714 AD and then when the Moors arrived they further strengthened the castle between the years 714 AD to 1147 AD.

Tickets cost €10 for adults and €8.50 for senior citizens and disabled people and €5 for people between the ages of 13 to 25. If you are a resident of Lisbon you can get free entry upon showing proof of residency.

R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa

The 28 tram Lisbon

The famous 28 tram Lisbon should be experienced despite being a bit touristy

28 Tram Lisbon Portugal
The 28 Tram Lisbon

The 28 tram has become very popular with tourists and no doubt boosted by Instagrammers over the last few years. It is however popular for a reason as all tourist attractions tend to be.

The 28 tram is not a tourist attraction but actual public transport. The tram is the beautiful old-style tram and the 28 tram line dates back to 1914.  The 28 tram begins its journey at Martim Moniz square before weaving its way up to Graca, Alfama and down again, through trendy Chiado towards the district of Estrella.

At some points, the streets in Alfama are so narrow that you could actually touch the walls outside. The 28 tram is certainly more enjoyable when it’s not too busy but if it’s busy, it’s a case of going with it and enjoying the ride, literally!

The first 28 tram departs just before 6 am, and the last one departs shortly after 11 pm on weekdays and at 10:30 pm on the weekend.

A single ticket costs €3.00 euros and can be paid to the driver, however, with the Viva Viagem card the trip costs just €1.50. The Viva Viagem card is a contactless card that works across the public transport system including the ferries, trains and metro system. It’s worth grabbing a Viva Viagem card during your stay in Lisbon as it makes trips cheaper and easier with a card. You can buy a Viva Viagem card at metro stations, train stations and ferry stations around the city. The card costs €0.50 and then you can top up as much as you want.

The 28 tram begins the journey from Praça Martim Moniz and ends in Campo Ourique

Places to see in the Belem area of Lisbon

Belem Lisbon Neon Sign
Riverside area of Belem, Lisbon

Belem lies about 8km (5 miles) to the west of Lisbon city centre and sits next to the mouth of the River Tagus that leads onto the Atlantic ocean. Belem was a launch point for the early Portuguese explorers venturing out into the world and bringing back glory and riches.

Three of the most popular places to visit in the Belem area include the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery and the famous Pasteis de Belem store that dates back to 1837.

It’s really easy to get to Belem from the centre of Lisbon. You can take the E15 tram from Cais do Sodre or the Cascais train that runs regularly between Cais do Sodre and Cascais. It is also possible to walk along the river if you enjoy a nice long walk as it’s flat all the way and lastly there are usually plenty of bikes or electric scooters available for rental from Bolt and other providers.

Below we have listed a few of the top things to see and do in the Belem area of Lisbon

Belem Tower, Lisbon

16th century Belem Tower is one of the most famous historical attractions in Lisbon dating back to the glory days of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama

Belem Tower Lisbon
Belem Tower Lisbon

The Belem Tower, officially known as the Torre de São Vicente (Tower of Saint Vincent) is a fortification from the 16th century that was used as a point of embarkment and disembarkment for Portuguese explorers.

Construction of the Belem Tower began in 1514 and ended in 1519.

Since 1983, the Belem Tower has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa

http://www.torrebelem.pt/

Jeronimos Monastery Lisbon

Jeronimos Monastery dates back to the 16th century and the golden era of the Portuguese explorers

Jeronimos Monastery Lisbon
Jeronimos Monastery Lisbon (the-creativv)

The Jeronimos Monastery is one of the most prominent and popular historical monuments in the Belem district of Lisbon. The Jeronimos Monastery was built in the 16th century during the reign of King D. Manuel I.

The building of the Jeronimos Monastery commenced at the beginning of the 1500s close to where Vasco da Gama departed for his first exploration.

The Jeronimos Monastery was built during the golden period of Portuguese history when famous Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama brought immense riches back from Asia. These riches were taxed creating the capital required to build such a magnificent building.

The Jeronimos Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site close to the River Tagus and the Belem Tower.

There is a €10 entrance fee to visit the Jeronimos Monastery, however, the church next door is free to enter and is definitely worth a visit. There you will find the tomb housing the remains of Vasco da Gama amongst other notable figures. 

Jeronimos Monastery is open between the hours of 9.30 am and 6 pm and the last entry is at 5.30 pm.

You can reach the Jeronimos Monastery from Lisbon city centre via electric tram number 15, the commuter train that runs regularly between Lisbon Cais do Sodre train station and Cascais or it’s possible to walk or cycle from the city centre along the river. Failing that Uber or Bolt are always available.

Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa

http://www.mosteirojeronimos.pt/

Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon

Pasteis de Belem is a maker of the famous pasteis de nata pastry dating back to 1837

Pasteis de Belem Lisbon
Photo: Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon

Following on from the Jeronomos Monastery and virtually next door is the famous Pasteis de Belem store that has become synonymous with both Belem and Lisbon.

The Pasteis de Belem store dates all the way back to 1837 and the sweet pasteis that they make actually originated from monks from the Jeronomous Monastery who began selling their pastries in the nearby factory that was formally a sugar cane refinery.

The pasteis de nata in English could be best described as a Portuguese egg custard tart pastry but that description doesn’t really do the pasteis de nata justice.

The pasteis de nata is usually served with a sprinkling of cinnamon and is the perfect size for a quick sugar fix as you buzz around Lisbon.

The recipe has never changed from those days and is a closely guarded secret. Most people in Lisbon would say that they prefer the pasteis de nata from Belem as they are a little more crunchy and the other popular one is from Manteigaria who have several outlets in the city centre. Both are really delicious and we recommend trying both and making up your own mind about who makes the best pasteis de nata in Lisbon.

R. de Belém 84 92, 1300-085 Lisboa

https://pasteisdebelem.pt/

Things to do and places to see in the Alcântara district of Lisbon

Doca de Alcântara marina Lisbon
Doca de Alcântara Marina, Lisbon with the April 25 Bridge in the background

We have put together a list of the most popular and probably the best things to see and do in and around the Alcântara district of Lisbon. Alcântara is about 4km (2.5 miles) from downtown Lisbon.

One of the most visited places in the Alcântara district of Lisbon is the LX Factory and also one of the most famous Lisbon landmarks is the April 25th bridge known in Portuguese as Ponte 25 de Abril is in Alcântara.

On the riverside right next to the April 25 Bridge you will find the Doca de Alcântara marina where there are a number of restaurants and bars from which you can enjoy the beautiful views of the April 25 Bridge, the small boats and the Tagus River. You can also take sailing excursions from Doca de Alcântara too. Quite surprisingly, Doca de Alcântara has a local feel and doesn’t ever feel overrun by tourists.

Below we have listed a few of the best things to see and do in the Alcântara district of Lisbon

LX Factory Lisbon

LX Factory is a former factory that has been converted to restaurants, bars and shops and has a funky, creative, industrial, hipster vibe

LX Factory Lisbon
The LX Factory Lisbon

The origins of LX Factory date all the way back to 1846 when the 23,000 m2 site was home to the weaving and textile company Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense. Later the site was occupied by the food processing company Companhia Industrial de Portugal e Colónias and by printers Anuário Comercial de Portugal and Gráfica Mirandela

LX Factory is one of the most popular and visited places in Lisbon and for good reason. The former factory site was converted into a funky home for hipster shops, bars, restaurants, production studios and galleries in 2008. The LX Factory sits directly below the 25th April Bridge giving the space an additionally dramatic feel.

LX Factory has become very popular with the Instagram crowd and there are plenty of opportunities to take cool photos. If you are not so much into the Instagram or hipster vibe, fear not, you don’t need to be, LX Factory is also a cool place to just walk around, enjoy the vibe, do some shopping, grab a drink or a meal.

LX Factory is not very big and a couple of hours would be enough time to see it all. One of the highlights is the Ler Devagar bookshop at LX Factory, if you are into books it will be heaven and if you’re not it’s still a great bookshop to walk around and browse.

Another highlight at LX Factory is the chocolate cake from Landeau Chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth and love chocolate cake, it has to be a must-visit situation. Even if you are not that much into desserts it has to be tried.

One of the unique things about Landeau is the fact that they only sell this one particular chocolate cake, it’s so good it has been written about by the New York Times amongst others.

If you don’t have time to make it to LX Factory but do want to try the Landeau chocolate cake, fear not, Landeau also has a small shop in Chiado Lisbon and also another outlet at the El Corte Ingles department store in Lisbon city centre.

Av. da Índia 34, 1300-299 Lisboa

http://www.lxfactory.com/

April 25th Bridge Lisbon

The 25th April bridge is one of the most visible and iconic landmarks of Lisbon

25th April Bridge Lisbon Portugal
The 25th April Bridge in Lisbon with the Cristo Rei statue in the background

The 25th April Bridge or Ponte 25 de Abril as it’s known in Portuguese is one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks and is visible from much of downtown Lisbon. While the 25th April bridge is not a tourist attraction per se, it is very symbolic of Lisbon and quite a sight to behold from up close.

On a beautiful, sunny, Lisbon day you can walk, cycle or run from Cais do Sodre along the river and this will lead you to the 25th April bridge. The April 25 bridge is not a pedestrian bridge and there is no access to the bridge from the river.

The 25th April bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world with a central span of 1km and a total length of 2.3km. The bridge carries road traffic and also trains.

The Ponte 25 de Abril bridge was inaugurated on 6th August 1966 and up until 1974 was known as the Salazar Bridge (Ponte Salazar) after the prime minister and dictator of Portugal at the time, Antonio de Oliveria Salazar.  In 1974 the bridge was renamed Ponte 25 de Abril after the date of the revolution

The April 25th Bridge is partly based on two San Francisco bridges. The colour, international orange is the same as the Golden Gate Bridge and the design is similar to the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.  The Bay Bridge and the April 25th bridge were built by the same company.

Another highlight when standing below the bridge along the river is the view of the Cristo Rei statue directly across the river.

Pte. 25 de Abril, Lisboa, Portugal

https://www.lusoponte.pt/

Things to do and places to see in the Chiado and Baixa districts of downtown Lisbon

Largo do Carmo Square Lisbon Portugal
Largo do Carmo Square in Chiado, Lisbon

The downtown districts of Chiado and Baixa are very popular for tourists and digital nomads alike. Chiado and Baixa are packed full of restaurants, bars, shops, museums, galleries and more.

You can reach the Chiado and Baixa areas easily with the Metro system and can get off at either Rossio station or Chiado/Baixa.

Chiado is a more trendy neighbourhood and reminds me a little of the Covent Garden area of London. In Chiado, you will find many boutiques and big-name fashion stores like H&M, Mango, Zara, Boss, Pepe Jeans and also find stores like Fnac, Ritual, Bodyshop, mobile phone shops and also an Apple reseller. Fnac also sells Apple products and can be found in the Armazens do Chiado shopping mall. When in Chiado don’t miss Livraria Bertrand, the worlds oldest operating bookstore.

In contrast, Baixa, which means low in Portuguese and refers to the flat, low part of downtown Lisbon that is surrounded by hills still retains many traditional local shops and a slightly more local vibe. There is a mixture of shops, churches, restaurants, bars and hotels in the Baixa area. Baixa is very close to the historic Alfama area.

Both Chiado and nearby Baixa are popular with tourists and can get pretty busy during peak tourist seasons.

If you walk just a few minutes down from Baixa and Chiado you will arrive at the Tagus River where you can enjoy a lovely riverside stroll and stop for a drink or a meal at a riverside bar.

Below we have curated a list of some of the best things to see and do in the Chiado and Baixa areas of downtown Lisbon.

Carmo Convent Lisbon

The Carmo Convent in Chiado is a former Catholic convent that partially survived the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755

Carmo Convent Lisbon
Carmo Convent Lisbon

The Carmo Convent is a former Catholic convent that was partially destroyed during the great 1755 earthquake that devastated much of downtown Lisbon. The Carmo Convent is now an archaeological museum.

Carmo Convent was founded in 1389 and over the years since the 1755 earthquake has had some restoration work done, however, the roof was never rebuilt.

Nowadays, the Carmo Convent is a historical attraction and often holds light show events. There is a permanent multimedia presentation telling the history of the Carmo Convent in one of the rooms at the far end of the building.

Tickets cost €5 for adults, €4 for students and senior citizens over 65 and entrance is free for children 14 years old and under

Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal

http://museuarqueologicodocarmo.pt/

Livraria Bertrand, Chiado, Lisbon

Livraria Bertrand in the Chiado district of Lisbon is in the Guinness World Records as the worlds oldest operating bookstore

Livraria Bertrand bookstore in Chiado Lisbon
Livraria Bertrand bookstore in Chiado Lisbon

When in the Chiado district of downtown Lisbon, you could easily pass by a very unassuming-looking book shop not realising that it is in fact the world’s oldest operating bookstore according to the Guinness Book of Records.

The Livraria Bertrand bookstore dates back to 1732 since which time it has been continuously selling books earning Livraria Bertrand the Guinness Book of Records title.

Livraria Bertrand also has a small cafe in the rear. If you are just passing by or love history and/or books, you really should visit Livraria Bertrand just to know you have been in the world’s oldest operating bookstore!

R. Garrett 73 75, 1200-203 Lisboa, Portugal

https://www.bertrand.pt/livrarias/livraria-bertrand-chiado/900

No trip to Lisbon would be complete without a visit to the beaches of Lisbon

Beach promenade from Praia do Tamariz in Estoril leading to Cascais
Beach promenade from Praia do Tamariz in Estoril leading to Cascais beach town

One of the many beauties of Lisbon is its proximity to beaches and there are quite a few to choose from.

Some of the beaches like Praia de Carcavelos, Praia do Tamariz in Estoril and Cascais for example are very easily accessed from downtown by a regular train service from the Cais do Sodre train station and trains running every 20 minutes at peak times.

If you are a wine or history enthusiast you might be interested to know that Carcavelos was a wine producer in the 19th century and the Marques de Pombal owned vineyards in the area, these days Carcavelos still produces a highly respected fortified wine, however, real estate took over from wine and Carcavelos is nowadays more about beaches and surfing than wine production.

A one-way ticket costs around €3 and can be bought at the train station, either from the ticket desk or automatic ticket machine. The best way is to buy a Viva Viagem contactless card where you can add credit and use the card on the trains, trams, ferries and metro system.

If you cross the Tagus River you get access to Costa da Caparica which is also a popular destination for surfers. Costa da Caparica is a little more difficult to get to via public transport and most people opt for an Uber or Bolt which is not too bad if several people are sharing the ride. Once at Costa da Caparica if you venture a little bit away from the centre of Costa da Caparica you come to some really beautiful beaches that are away from concrete buildings! One of these beaches and a favourite of mine is Fonte da Telha beach.

The popular town of Sintra, about 45 minutes away from Lisbon city centre also has some beautiful beaches, however, they are not close to the town of Sintra itself so you would need either a taxi or car to more easily get there.

If you feel like going on a bit of an adventure with the beach as your destination you would try the beaches of Setubal also on the other side of the Tagus River.

We have listed a few of the Lisbon beaches mentioned above and will be adding more so do check back regularly for more Lisbon beach inspiration!

Carcavelos Beach Lisbon (Praia de Caracavelos)

Carcavelos beach is the closest proper beach from Lisbon city centre and also popular with surfers

Carcavelos Beach Lisbon surfing
Photo: Zachary Pearson @ unsplash

If you are looking for the closest and easiest beach to get to from Lisbon city centre then Carcavelos beach could be a great choice.

If you are a surfer, would like to learn to surf or just watch surfers while you enjoy a cold beer then Carcavelos could be a great beach for you. There are surf schools on Carcavelos beach if you would like to give surfing a try.

Carcavelos is a proper sandy beach and very easily accessed by train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre train station. A regular train service runs between Cais do Sodre in Lisbon and the beach town of Cascais. Trains run every 20 minutes at peak times.

Simply get on the train to Cascais and get off at Carcavelos station. It’s about a 30-minute train ride (approximately 19km from Lisbon) and actually really nice as the train line runs along the river Tagus and also the coastline so we recommend getting a seat on the left side facing the direction of travel to really enjoy the view.

Once you get off at Carcavelos train station come out of the station and walk along the tree-lined Av. Jorge V for about 5 to 10 minutes max and you will arrive at an underpass on your left-hand side.

Walk down into the underpass and then back up again and you are at Carcavelos beach.

At Carcavelos beach, there are usually sunbeds to rent in peak periods and also little shops where you can buy an umbrella, beach towel or whatever you need for your Lisbon beach day.

There are also several bars and restaurants where you can have a bite to eat, a beer or a glass of wine with a lovely view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Tamariz Beach (Praia do Tamariz), Lisbon

Tamariz Beach is also on the Lisbon Cais do Sodre to Cascais train line, a little further along from Carcavelos

Tamariz Beach, Estoril, Lisbon, Portugal
Praia do Tamariz, Estoril, Lisbon, Portugal

Tamariz Beach or Praia do Tamariz in Portuguese is another favourite with Lisbon locals, also known as “Lisboetas”.

Tamariz Beach is a little further along the train journey between Cais do Sodre in Lisbon and Cascais and is a little bigger than Carcavelos beach and maybe a bit more of a traditional beach to relax and sunbathe compared to Carcavelos which has a little more of a surfer vibe.

To get to Tamariz Beach get off at Estoril train station, exit the station and you literally end up directly on the beach, unlike Carcavelos beach there is no walk to the beach. If you have stuff to carry or don’t fancy walking then Tamariz Beach would be easier.

At Tamariz beach there are many bars and restaurants and also little kiosks to grab and ice cream.

What we would recommend if you aren’t carrying too much stuff and like to walk a bit would be to take the train from Cais do Sodre to Estoril and have your beach day at Tamariz Beach.

When you are finished relaxing at the beach you could walk along a beautiful promenade for about 15 – 20 minutes which will lead you to the fashionable beach town of Cascais.

You could wander around Cascais, maybe have dinner and then take the train back to Cais do Sodre station in Lisbon from Cascais train station.

Praia da Ursa, Sintra

Praia da Ursa is a stunning remote beach, rugged and dramatic

Sintra beaches - outside of Lisbon
Praia da Ursa, a rugged, secluded beach cove on the Sintra coastline

If you are feeling bold and would like to experience a more rugged, dramatic less touristy beach then Praia da Ursa could be just the ticket!

Be warned though, Praia da Ursa is quite tough to get to and has no facilities whatsoever. There are no toilets, restaurants, bars or lifeguards. It’s therefore maybe not the ideal place for a family beach day if you’re just looking to swim, eat, drink and sunbathe.

Praia da Ursa would be more suited if you are looking for a dramatic landscape and a bit of an adventure! It might be one of the hardest of the Sintra beaches to get to, but, once you are there it’s also one of the most stunning beaches close to Lisbon.

Praia da Ursa is close to a local landmark, Cabo da Roca, the most Western point in Europe which is definitely worth visiting if you are anyway at Praia da Ursa. If you are hiking along the Sintra coast towards Cabo da Roca you will come across Praia da Ursa and can stop to take a rest, take photos and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Gardens and parks to relax in and around Lisbon city centre

monsanto park lisbon seating area
A tranquil seating area tucked away inside Parque Florestal de Monsanto in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon really has it all! Whether that be beaches, rooftop bars, restaurants or clubs there’s something for everyone. If you are looking for a bit of downtime why not visit one of the many parks in the city and sit under the shade of a tree or walk barefoot on the grass? If you are looking for something more, there’s always Monsanto Park, literally an entire forest that you can actually walk to from the city centre. Below we are a few gardens and parks in Lisbon we can recommend.

Parque Florestal de Monsanto (Monsanto Park) Lisbon

A 2500 acre, 10 km2 national park in Lisbon city for an easy escape into nature

Monsanto Park Lisbon
East Campolide entrance to Parque Florestal de Monsanto in Lisbon

While city life can be great, so much to see and do, there can be times when an escape into nature is called for. While Portugal has many beautiful national parks for such an escape they invariably require the need for a car or some planning.

What about those days when you fancy being in a forest for a few hours and don’t have a car or the time to visit a national park that is far away?

Fear not! Lisbon has a national park in the city, it’s called Parque Florestal de Monsanto or in English Monsanto Park and is the perfect answer. There’s no need for a car or an entire day out. If you like to walk it is possible to walk to Monsanto Park from the downtown area or you can of course take public transport or an Uber.

Parque Florestal de Monsanto covers a massive, 2500 acres or 10 kmso there’s plenty of space to get lost in nature for a while and still have time to get back into the city and hit a rooftop bar for cocktails in the evening!

Panorâmico de Monsanto, Lisbon

A hidden gem inside Monsanto park in Lisbon where you can get one of the best views of the city and the river Tagus

Panorâmico de Monsanto, Lisbon
Stunning views from Panorâmico de Monsanto, in the distance can be seen the Tagus river, Cristo Rei statue and the April 25 bridge

Panorâmico de Monsanto is an unusual and completely free attraction to visit in Lisbon. From Panorâmico de Monsanto you will be able to enjoy one of the best panoramic views of Lisbon city from what is now an abandoned restaurant building adorned with graffiti art. On our visit, there was even an abandoned car in the car park to add to the atmosphere!

While it may sound a bit sketchy fear not, it’s not dangerous and just a place to come, hang out and enjoy the view.

If you are a plane spotter you can sit and enjoy watching the planes fly low over the April 25 bridge and watch them descend and land right from that spot!

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