Explore the Best of Lisbon: Travel Tips and Recommendations


One of Europe’s most enchanting capital cities, Lisbon sprawls across a series of hills overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Its modern cityscape has been marked by everyone from the Romans to the Moors, with opulent palaces, bohemian neighborhoods and a magnificent castle to discover.

If you’re looking to make the most of your time in this fascinating metropolis, we have you covered with these top tips and travel recommendations. It all begins with finding the perfect place to stay, whether you want to spend your days museum hopping, lazing on the beach, or marveling at the architecture of Sintra. Online holiday rental platforms such as Rentola Lisbon are a great place to start, allowing you to compare properties across the city. Here you’ll find everything from romantic apartments in Alfama to spacious homes in Graça and comfortable stays on the doorstep of Bairro Alto’s nightlife.

Select your neighborhood carefully


While Lisbon isn’t a huge city (by European capital standards), it is divided into unique neighborhoods that feel completely different from one another. So where you choose to stay can have a big impact on your impression of the city and the experience you end up having.

In the historic center of Lisbon is Baixa-Chiado where you’ll find many of the city’s most famous landmarks. It’s a great base for first-timers to the city or those who want to be within walking distance of many of Lisbon’s major attractions. Directly east are the narrow, steep and winding streets of Alfama, which is becoming increasingly popular with tourists thanks to its eclectic cafes, street art, and charm.

For those who are coming to Lisbon to experience the nightlife, you can’t go past Bairro Alto, which is packed with bars and clubs that stay open until the early hours. Bairro Alto lies on the other side of Baixa-Chiado from Alfama, so it’s still within close proximity to all the sightseeing action. Further afield (north of Alfama) is Graça, which has retained a more authentic atmosphere and is abuzz with locals going about their daily business.

Pick up a Lisboa Card

A simple way to save money when visiting Lisbon and enjoy a hassle-free experience is by investing in a Lisboa Card. This contactless card includes free public transportation on subways, buses, trams, and lifts, as well as train rides to Sintra, Cais do Sodré, Azambuja, and Setúbal. It also includes entrance to 39 different museums and places of interest that would normally require you to purchase a separate ticket (you’ll even get “fast track” entry at some of these). The Lisboa Card also includes select discounts on local services, tourist attractions, and souvenirs at participating stores.

Prices for a Lisboa Card vary, depending on whether you want it to be valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours. It’s not worth the cost if you’re using it for public transport alone but it pays for itself if you’re planning to visit the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem Tower, the National Tile Museum, or the Lisbon Story Centre. Other top attractions in Lisbon on the card include the Santa Justa Lift, the Coach Museum, and the National Museum of Ancient Art.

Avoid visiting some museums on a Monday

If you’re planning a long weekend escape to Lisbon, it’s best to avoid including a Monday as one of your sightseeing days as many of the city’s museums and monuments are closed. In addition to the National Ancient Art Museum and the National Tile Museum, the Belem Tower and the Contemporary Art Museum close their doors on a Monday to give their staff a rest.

That being said, there are plenty of museums that are open on a Monday and close on different days of the week. For example, both the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum are closed on Tuesdays. If you have your heart set on visiting particular Lisbon attractions, check their opening times and plan your itinerary accordingly so you don’t miss out.

Visit outside of the peak tourist season


Unless you can only get away in July and August, it’s best to avoid these months when the rest of Europe is on its annual summer vacation. Not only that, but July and August can get incredibly hot, making it less than ideal for being out and about sightseeing. Accommodation prices also spike at this time, so you’ll need to budget a little more for your holiday.

If you still want warm weather to enjoy the beaches of Cascais and Comporta, it’s best to visit in June or September. During these months, you’ll get idyllic temperatures (around 25 degrees C/80 degrees F) and far fewer other tourists competing for space in the museums and on Lisbon’s iconic trams. Accommodation prices are also slightly more affordable, although you’ll probably pay even less if you opt for a May or October vacation.


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