Spread across seven steep hills next to the estuary of the Tagus River, Lisbon has a laidback vibe and plenty to see and do. Home to family attractions, historical buildings and a great night scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Lisbon.
When to Go
If possible, avoid visiting Lisbon during the summer months as during this season both the temperature and room rates reach their peaks. The best time to visit this wonderful city is either in the spring or autumn. During these months the weather is gorgeous and the city is less busy.
If you are keen to partake in some of Portugal’s most famous festivals, June is the best month to go as this is when the Santos Populares (Popular Saints) celebrations take place.
What to Do in Lisbon
There are loads of great things to see and do while on holiday in Lisbon. The rest of this guide outlines some of the most popular attractions.
Situated on the highest of the seven hills, the Castle of St George or Castelo de São Jorge overlooks the Moorish Quarter. Throughout the year, visitors can get a guided tour of the castle and during the summer there are a number of cultural events and festivals held within the castle grounds. When visiting the Castle of St George be sure to check out the periscope in the Tower of Ulysses. On addition, the ramparts afford some fantastic photography opportunities!
One of the most famous sights in Lisbon is the Belém Tower (Portugese: Torre de Belém). The tower was designed to help defend the River Tagus back in the Sixteenth Century. Today, the tower has a museum and a famous 18th Century statue. In addition, the tower offers a brilliant view of the west of Lisbon and the river.
Lisbon has a number of viewing points or Miradouros which are strewn over the seven hills. These offer sightseers an excellent view of the city and its most famous monuments. All of the Miradouros are open 24 hours a day and free to visit. Some of the best vantage points include The Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara where you can see the Castle of St George and Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
Whether you are on holiday with children or you just love sea life, be sure to check out the Oceanário. The Oceanário is one of the largest aquariums in Europe and has a fantastic collection of creatures. Highlights include otters, penguins, and manta rays. There is also a number of interesting exhibitions such as one which features life-size models of now extinct marine reptiles.
If you fancy a round of golf, you are spoiled for choice in Lisbon. There are a number of great golf courses both in Lisbon and the nearby area. Courses cater for a range of abilities and all offer stunning views of the city and its surrounding landscapes. One of the most popular golf courses is Lisbon Sports Club which is situated in Estoril.