Top 10 Lisbon Attractions That You Can’t Miss

Top 10 Lisbon Attractions That You Can’t Miss

Want to discover the best of the Portuguese capital? You will love these 10 top attractions in Lisbon that you absolutely have to see during your trip.

Lisbon is a treat for those who are eager to explore. From historical monuments to contemporary designs, this city has something for everyone. I believe it can be a bit overwhelming to pick the best of the best, especially if you have limited time.

This is why I have gathered a list of the best attractions in Lisbon that need to be ticked off your bucket list. These landmarks serve as the symbols of Lisbon and can be found in every Lisbon travel guide.

Under each Lisbon attraction, you will find a little backstory, historical significance, opening times, and other useful tips that will help you visit the most iconic places in Lisbon.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

10 best Lisbon attractions for your next trip

Praça do Comércio and Arch of Rua Augusta

Arch of Rua Augusta
View from the top of the Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon
View from the top of the Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon

Praça do Comércio is the biggest square in Portugal, built on the Tagus riverbanks and the beating heart of Lisbon. The square is also known as Terreiro do Paço because there used to be the Royal Palace of Ribeira (Paço da Ribeira) and it can’t be missed even if you have only one day in Lisbon.

It (and a great part of the city of Lisbon) was devastated by the earthquake of 1755 and rebuilt by the famous Marques of Pombal. After this great disaster, the square and the whole area were built with some of the first anti-seismic palaces in the world.

We can safely say that this is the liveliest place in Lisbon. It hosts multiple different events, attracts tourists, and serves as a meeting spot for locals. Under the porticoes that surround the square, you can find vendors, fancy restaurants, and museums.

The Arch of Rua Augusta dominates the square and connects it with the Baixa district. It is one of the main attractions in Lisbon and your trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Arch of Rua Augusta.

From the square side, you can spot a statue of Jupiter and other important personalities of Portugal, like Vasco da Gama or the Marques of Pombal himself. From the Rue Augusta side, you can appreciate the clock. 

The top of the arch offers a unique view of Praça do Comércio and it is one of the best places to visit in Lisbon. If you are visiting Lisbon during the low season, you can even see the sunset over the square – a sight you don’t want to miss.

⏰ It is open from 10 am to 7 pm with the last entry at 6.30 pm.
💶 The entrance fee is 4.50 euros, but you get free access with Lisbon Card.

—> Get your Rua Augusta Arch entrance ticket here

Elevador de Santa Justa

Elevador Santa Justa - icon of Lisbon
Elevador Santa Justa - icon of Lisbon

The Elevador de Santa Justa, also known as the Santa Justa Lift or Carmo Lift, is one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks. This elegant iron elevator connects the lower Baixa district with the higher Carmo Square.

Designed by Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, the Elevador de Santa Justa was installed in 1902. 

The elegant iron structure, built in Neogothic style, is one of the most recognizable buildings in Lisbon and Portugal. Rising to a height of 45 meters (about 147 feet), the elevator offers stunning panoramic views of Lisbon’s rooftops.

I have to say that the queues and waiting time at the Elevador de Santa Justa get crazy and high season makes it even worse. Keep in mind that it is a 1-minute ride, so is it worth the wait? It is up to you to decide.

When I first took a ride on the Elevador de Santa Justa, there was no waiting time, and yet the ride felt underwhelming. It is beautiful to see the wooden interior, but that’s about it.

After the ride, you can pay an extra fee to climb a few more stairs for a panoramic view from the top. While you’ll get a stunning view over Rossio Square, Lisbon has better viewpoints, but the choice is yours.

Extra tip! Buy your transport ticket at a metro station beforehand. A single or daily ticket will cover your ride. If you buy a ticket at the lift, it costs 5.30 euros and only cash is accepted. If you have a Lisbon card, you can take the lift for free.

What you can do instead? 

Use Carmo Convent on your Google Maps and take the small alley on the right side of the entrance. You will reach a fantastic viewpoint right next to the Topo Chiado, which is the same place that you reach with Elevador de Santa Justa.

If you are coming from Largo do Chiado or Largo Trindade, you don’t even need to climb. If you are coming from Rua Augusta, be prepared for some climbing, but that is completely normal for Lisbon.

Other famous elevators of Lisbon:

🚠 Ascensor da Bica
🚠Elevador da Gloria
🚠Elevador do Lava
🚠And the latest addition – Elevador da Graça

Lisbon Cathedral

Se de Lisboa is one of the most important landmarks in Lisbon
Se de Lisboa is one of the most important landmarks in Lisbon

Lisbon Cathedral, also known as the Sé de Lisboa, is one of the city’s most significant historical and architectural landmarks. Situated in the heart of the Alfama district, it simply has to be added to your Lisbon itinerary.

It is built on the ruins of an old Mosque that dates back to the Moorish domination of the city. Its construction started in 1148 and it is considered the oldest church in Lisbon. The church is one of the few buildings that has survived the great earthquake of 1755.

The cathedral, having undergone numerous renovations throughout the years, features a striking circular window that dominates its facade. The scene of an iconic yellow tram passing in front of this historic structure creates a perfect scene for a Lisbon postcard.

The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, with its vaulted ceilings, elegant columns, and a mix of Romanesque and Gothic elements. But let me point out that it is very simple and dark. While in the past it was open to the public, now you need to pay an entrance fee.

⏰ It is open from 10 am to 6 pm. The Cathedral is closed on Sundays.
💶 The entrance fee is 5 euros.

Tram 28

tram 28 in Lisbon
tram 28 in Lisbon

Tram 28 is the symbol of Lisbon and while there are many tram routes, this is the most popular among tourists. And for a good reason, because it covers a lot of important Lisbon attractions together with some of the most iconic districts, including Graça, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela. 

You know how people say “Life is about the journey, not the destination.”? Well, Tram 28 is a perfect representation of it. If something, I am sure you don’t want this journey to end as you appreciate postcard views out of your window.

The route starts at Martim Moniz and ends at Campo Ourique (near Prazeres Cemetery), however, you can jump on anywhere in between. Depending on the season, trams depart every 10-15 minutes. The entire journey takes a bit less than one hour.

Despite frequent departures, tram 28 gets packed quickly and often does not even stop considering that there is no space for new passengers. I personally think the ride is worth it only if you see an empty seat. It is hard to enjoy the view as you struggle to stand, right?

If you don’t want to take the ride on Tram 28, you might want to discover the best places to photograph Tram 28.

💶 Buy a Carris/Metro ticket for 1.80 euros at any metro station and use it when you jump on the tram. It is valid for 60 minutes. If not, you will need to pay 3 euros in cash directly to the tram driver. If you have a daily ticket or Lisbon card, you can use any tram for free.

Don’t want to wait in the line? 

Start your journey from the final stop at Prazeres Cemetery in Campo Ourique. Most visitors jump on Tram 28 in Martim Moniz, which forms a massive line during peak hours, while Campo Ourique is empty. If you are an early bird, you can enjoy a peaceful ride as well.

Castelo de São Jorge

view from Castelo de São Jorge
View from Castelo de São Jorge
view from Castelo de São Jorge
View from Castelo de São Jorge

São Jorge Castle dominates Alfama and overlooks the city from the top of the hill. The castle is a real must-visit in Lisbon as it is one of the most characteristic landmarks of the Portuguese capital.

Initially constructed as a defensive stronghold, the castle has transformed in purpose over the centuries. Today, it stands as one of Lisbon’s most popular landmarks, offering visitors some of the most spectacular panoramic views of the city.

The castle’s grounds encompass a variety of historical and architectural features, including its robust battlements, imposing towers, and well-preserved walls. It is perfect for every history lover visiting Lisbon.

You should plan 2-3 hours to visit the entire castle. I recommend visiting a few hours before sunrise, so you can end your tour with a sun setting over Lisbon and enjoy the colorful sky from the viewpoint.

⏰ Castle is open every day and here are the opening hours:

  • From March 1st to October 31st it is open from 9 am to 9 pm, with the last entry at 8.30 pm.
  • From November 1st to February 28/29th it is from 9 am to 6 pm, with the last entry at 5.30 pm.

💶 An adult ticket costs 15 euros. If your trip is less than 90 days away, you can buy your ticket here. Or access the castle for free with a Lisbon card. Either way, make sure you get your ticket before, so you don’t have to wait in a massive line.

Do you want to know more about Castelo de São Jorge? You will love this guided tour that includes an entrance ticket to the castle.

Rossio and Rossio Train Station

Rossio square in Lisbon
Rossio square in Lisbon
Rossio Train Station at night
Rossio Train Station in Lisbon

Rossio, officially known as Praça de D. Pedro IV, is one of the most historically significant squares in Lisbon. It is surrounded by beautiful architecture, cafes, and important landmarks, with the Rossio Train Station standing out as one of its most iconic features.

Rossio Square has a rich history that dates back to the medieval period. Over the centuries, it has been the site of markets, celebrations, political rallies, and even bullfights. 

The iconic black-and-white wave pattern known as “calçada portuguesa” and fountains were designed in the 19th century during the reign of King Pedro IV. At the center of the square stands a statue of King Pedro IV, mounted on a tall column.

The surrounding buildings feature a mix of architectural styles, from Neoclassical to Pombaline, named after the Marquis of Pombal who led the reconstruction of Lisbon after the devastating earthquake of 1755.

Rossio Train Station is an iconic Portuguese landmark and one of the most beautiful attractions in Lisbon. It is famous for its Neo-Manueline façade, a style that characterizes several buildings in Lisbon.

It still serves as an actual train station, but it deserves a visit even if you are not planning to use the train. Also, you can visit inside of the building without a train ticket which makes it one of the best free things to do in Lisbon.

Belem Tower

Belem tower - one of the main attractions in Lisbon
Belem tower - one of the main attractions in Lisbon
Belem tower - one of the main attractions in Lisbon

Have you even been to Lisbon if you haven’t seen Belem Tower? It is one of the most important attractions in Lisbon and simply can’t be skipped during your trip.

Constructed as a fortress to defend the entrance to the harbor and as a ceremonial gateway to the city, Belém Tower played a crucial role in safeguarding Lisbon’s maritime interests and asserting Portugal’s dominance in global trade routes.

Belém Tower witnessed the departure of numerous expeditions that set sail from Lisbon’s shores, including Vasco da Gama’s historic voyage to India in 1498. As such, it became a symbol of Portugal’s Golden Age.

Just like other Lisbon attractions, Belem Tower awaits you with a huge queue at the entrance. Is it worth the wait? It is up to you to decide, but I have to say that there is not much to see inside and your visit will be over in 30 minutes. Views from the top of the tower are nice though.

💶 If you decide to visit the inside, the entrance fee is 10 euros and you need to buy it here. With a Lisbon card, you can visit Belem Tower for free, but it does not give you skip-the-line option.

⏰ The tower is open from 10 am to 6 pm with the last admission at 5.30 pm. Keep in mind that it is closed on Mondays.

Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon
St. María of Belém in Lisbon
Church of Santa Maria de Belém

Jerónimos Monastery is located in the Belém district of Lisbon and stands as a symbol of Gothic Manueline architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most visited and celebrated landmarks in Portugal and an absolute must-visit in Lisbon.

Situated in the picturesque Belém district, the monastery is surrounded by other notable attractions, including the Tower of Belém, the Monument to the Discoveries, and the renowned Pastéis de Belém pastry shop.

The story of Jerónimos Monastery begins in the early 16th century. King Manuel I commissioned its construction in 1501 to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s successful voyage to India in 1498. This is another sight in Lisbon that resisted the earthquake of 1755.

The cloister is undoubtedly the most interesting part of the monastery. The monastery also hosts the Museum of Archeology which is now closed for renovation and plans to reopen in 2026.

Attached to the monastery find the Church of Santa Maria de Belém. It’s free to visit and it is an architectural gem you don’t want to miss. Without the Museum of Archeology, it will take you at least one hour to visit the Monastery and the church.

⏰ The monastery opens at 9.30 am, so I recommend you to be there a bit before opening time to enjoy the place without big crowds. As an alternative, you can visit a few hours before closing time which is at 6 pm. Please note that the monastery is closed on Mondays.

💶 The entrance ticket costs 15 euros and you can buy it here. If you have a Lisbon card, you can access Jerónimos Monastery for free.

Ponte 25 de Abril

Santo Amaro Chapel - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon
View of Ponte 25 de Abril from Miradouro de Santo Amaro
Ponte 25 de Abril

Named in honor of the Carnation Revolution that took place on April 25, 1974, the bridge is a beloved landmark that holds deep significance for the people of Lisbon. With its vibrant red color and its majestic span, Ponte 25 de Abril connects Lisbon to its suburbs.

Today, Ponte 25 de Abril has become a symbol of Lisbon’s identity, and its silhouette dominates the city’s skyline. I am sure this red bridge will remind you of another important attraction in San Francisco, right?

You can appreciate the views from Belem Promenade, Passeio Carlos do Carmo near MATT, and Miradouro de Santo Amaro. Another unique place is Miradouro do Bairro do Alvito, this is great if you want to play with your zoom lens and get some unique photos.

You might also want to try Pilar 7 – Bridge Experience, which is included with the Lisbon Card. However, many visitors have reported that the lift often doesn’t work. This means you would need to climb nearly 30 floors, which can be quite challenging.

Want to enjoy a meal with a view of Ponte 25 de Abril? Head to SUD Lisboa.

Miradouros of Lisbon

Miradouro de Santa Luzia - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Porta do Sol - best views in Lisbon
Miradouro das Portas do Sol

In Portuguese, “miradouro” translates to “viewpoint,” and Lisbon boasts an abundance of them. Although reaching these viewpoints might require a bit of effort, visiting just a couple of them will allow you to easily spot all of Lisbon’s iconic landmarks.

The most popular viewpoints in Lisbon are:

  • Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia
  • Miradouro das Portas do Sol
  • Miradouro da Graça
  • Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

If you are looking for less popular options with fantastic views, I am sure you will love one of these miradouros:

  • Miradouro de Santa Catarina
  • Miradouro do Monte Agudo
  • Miradouro de Santo Estêvão

My favorite is Miradouro de Santo Amaro, one of the best-hidden gems in Lisbon. It is located further away from main landmarks, however, you can combine it with LX Factory, another free attraction in Lisbon.

Final thoughts…

Top 10 Lisbon Attractions That You Can’t Miss

This is the end of the top 10 Lisbon attractions that you absolutely must visit during your trip. I am sure this list and useful tips will help to make the most of your time in Lisbon.

I would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment below. If you need further help with planning, check out these Lisbon travel tips, hotel recommendations, or food guides.

Pin it for later and save the top 10 Lisbon attractions!

Top 10 Lisbon Attractions That You Can’t Miss
Top 10 Lisbon Attractions That You Can’t Miss

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