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10 BEST Things To Do in Lisbon

Things to do in Lisbon - City

10 BEST Things To Do in Lisbon.. whilst you learn Portuguese!

Lisbon is a beautiful city and there is always plenty to explore! The Portuguese capital is historical, charismatic and at times, chaotic. However, it is all part of its charm. You can lose yourself in Lisbon’s old neighbourhoods, eat the best pastries in the world, and catch the city’s spectacular sunsets. You can experience all of these activities in Lisbon whilst learning Portuguese.

Our list of things to do in Lisbon includes visits to world-class museums, local tram rides, and exploring the oldest bookshop in the world. We have also included a list of FREE things to do in Lisbon!

Cactus offers outstanding Portuguese language courses in Lisbon. If you have any questions about any of our courses please call us on +44 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our team of multilingual experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


1. Eat (several!) Pastéis de Belém

Things to do in Lisbon - Pastéis de Belém

In the Belém neighbourhood, which is located in the west of Lisbon, you can eat Lisbon’s original pastries. They were the very first of their kind and only these can be called Pastéis de Belém, everywhere else they are called Pastéis de Nata (portuguese custard tarts). Get on tram 15, go to Belém and eat a Pastel de Belém inside the pastry shop, it’s divine and without doubt one of the best things to do in Lisbon!


2. A Ride on Tram 28

Things to do in Lisbon - Tram 28

Lisbon’s iconic trams are the best way to discover the city. Get on Tram 28 in Chiado neighbourhood, and make the journey to Alfama. Go through narrow streets in Lisbon’s downtown, catch glimpses of Lisbon monuments such as Lisbon’s Cathedral and discover Alfama. If you are feeling it, stop at Feira da Ladra (Lisbon’s biggest flea market) and visit Panteão Nacional historical church.


3. Brunch in Chiado

Chiado is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon that wasn’t destroyed in the 18th century earthquake. Chiado is very charismatic, bohemian and where you can find some of the best restaurants in town. From small eateries offering petiscos (Portuguese snacks) to the Michelin star restaurants, going for brunch here is one of the best things to do in Lisbon. Brunch in Chiado is delightful, especially on sunny days, you can sit outdoors and fully indulge in some people watching. One of the best places is Kaffeehaus Lisboa. You can then shop for some souvenirs at the Vida Portuguesa shop next door, explore Príncipe Real square and the Botanical Garden of Lisbon with it’s characteristic palm trees.


4. Discover Bertrand Chiado: Oldest Bookshop in the World

Practice your Portuguese skills and discover the oldest bookshop in the world in Chiado. A great opportunity to buy some Portuguese books so when you return home you can keep on learning and practising the language. The Livraria Bertrand Chiado was recognised in 2011 by the Guinness Book as the oldest bookstore in the world still in operation. Bertrand Chiado opened it’s doors in 1732 on beautiful Rua Garret and it’s still until this day an important landmark for some of the most renowned Portuguese writers.


5. Discover Belém Neighbourhood

Things to do in Lisbon - Torre de Belém

We mentioned Belém on the number 1 of the best things to do in Lisbon. There is a simple reason – plenty to do and see! You can visit the UNESCO World Heritages sites of Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, or even Padrão dos Descobrimentos. You can also, explore the uniqueness of Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) and Champalimaud Foundation, or visit one of Lisbon’s newest highlights, MAAT – The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. As mentioned in number 1, eat several pastéis de Belém and enjoy the breathtaking views of the River.


6. LxFactory

Things to do in Lisbon - LxFactory

Pay a visit to LxFactory – an old industrial complex in Alcântara. Amazing restaurants, nice shops and a funky vibe. A great place to visit some of Lisbon’s most emblematic places such as Livraria Ler Devagar, a quirky bookshop and to buy some one-of-a-kind souvenirs.


7. MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda

If you are interested in design, than you need to pay a visit to MUDE (even if you are not!). Set in an old bank, it’s an architectural gem with great exhibitions and entry is free! Whilst you are in the area, one of the best things to do in Lisbon is to go to the top of Arco da Rua Augusta and explore Baixa (Lisbon’s downtown) from the river to Avenida da Liberdade.


8. Time Out Market Lisbon – Mercado da Ribeira

Lisbon has some incredible food and Portugal is known for it’s delicious cuisine. Whilst you are in Lisbon, visit some of the best markets and Time Out Market Lisbon is a an opportunity to eat food prepared by Michelin star chefs at affordable prices. Enjoy the vibes by the river during the day or at night and then go for drinks at Cais do Sodré Pink Street or Rua do Alecrim. And if you want to keep partying you can enjoy Bairro Alto e Cais do Sodré until sunrise!


9. Museu Nacional do Azulejo

Things to do in Lisbon - National Museum of Tile

Portugal is known for its love affair with tiles – any forms and shapes, anywhere and everywhere. At National Museum of the Azulejo you can see tiles from the 15th century until today. A unique museum set in an impressive building – Madre de Deus Convent.


10. Explore Lisbon’s Old Neighbourhoods: Alfama, Graça e Mouraria

Things to do in Lisbon - Alfama

Lisbon has some very charming neighbourhoods and one of the best things to do in Lisbon is to get lost and explore them. Alfama is the birthplace of Fado and it’s quite easy to find Casas de Fado (Fado houses). Graça and Mouraria, the other 2 typical neighbourhoods, are set in the dramatic hills on the east side of Lisbon overlooking the Tagus River. Get lost in the narrow alleyways, enjoy the breathtaking views from Portas do Sol viewpoint and grab something to eat in one of the many traditional restaurants and cafés.


Bonus Tip – FREE Things To Do in Lisbon:

Free Things To Do in Lisbon

Whilst you are learning Portuguese in Lisbon there are plenty of *FREE* things to do in Lisbon in addition to the ones mentioned above, which you can take advantage of:

– Catch the perfect sunset at Miradouro de Santa Catarina (viewpoint) and go for some nibbles and drinks at Noobai;
– Enjoy the stunning views of some of the best viewpoints in Lisbon, such as Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte;
– Go for a night out in Bairro Alto, even to just sit at Praça Luís de Camões and people watch;
– Some museums are free every Sunday morning and bank holidays, so take note of the ones you don’t want to miss.


Are you looking to start learning Portuguese in Lisbon? Are you looking to explore the charming neighbourhoods? Cactus offers a variety of great Portuguese language courses in Lisbon for adults if you are looking for an immersive language experience.

Cactus 10 best things to do in Lisbon is a great starting point to explore the Portuguese capital and create amazing memories. Going away soon? Why not Download our free Portuguese Language Kit or check our Basic Portuguese Phrases to help you get the most of your time abroad.

Free Portuguese Language Kit


How to Book a Portuguese Course in Lisbon?

Please check our How to Book page for more information on the simple secure and easy online booking process. Check our Portuguese Courses in Lisbon page to find more information. Don’t forget to take our list of 10 best things to do in Lisbon with you.

For information on any of our Portuguese courses, please call us on +44 (0) 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any question you may have.

Book Your Portuguese Course in Lisbon


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