My recent weekend in Lisbon, Portugal was epic. This trip has completely overcome my initial expectations. Let me share some of my favorite places in the city.

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Top Things to see on a Lisbon Weekend

Visiting Lisbon

Our weekend in Lisbon

I really enjoyed spending a weekend in Lisbon. The city might feel a bit shabby, but on the charming side, very much like the Italian Cinque Terre. During my visit, a lot of sights and complete streets were under reconstruction.

I´ve literally chopped off my hair a few days before this trip. So you won´t see my typical windy hair shots in during this weekend in Lisbon. But curiously enough my new haircut felt like a great match for an artsy Lisbon.

Why visit?

Unexpectedly, Lisbon has made it to my list of the top European capitals.

As I´ve already told you in my San Franciso post – you feel the energy of a place and it´s either hit or miss, either you are disappointed or you become a part of its heartbeat. Lisbon is definitely one of those love-at-first-sight cities.

Therefore, if you haven´t managed to visit Lisbon yet – you must go! Lisbon didn´t make it to my list of the most romantic travel experiences around the world, simply because my inner art lover was so into this city that at times I forgot my husband was there too.

With its dazzling street art and fascinating ceramics (reminding the Spanish pottery and decoration style), Lisbon is a place to return every now and then. Plus, the nearby Sintra is a fantastic day-trip idea.

Unique experiences to book in Lisbon

The are a few top-rated tours you might consider booking to make the most of your weekend in Lisbon:

Top 10 things to see during a weekend in Lisbon

1. São Jorge Castle

The best thing about São Jorge Castle is the views. There is not much to do inside but to enjoy the panorama of the city from behind the medieval walls. You could also see the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara on the other side, which is also a nice place for the views (plus it is free). The panorama of the whole city was one of the most unique moments of our weekend in Lisbon.

To learn more historic insights during your visit, you can book Sao Jorge Castle Skip-the-Line Ticket or Saint George’s Castle Guided Tour with Entry Ticket.

Beautiful views from São Jorge Castle weekend in Lisbon, Portugal
Views from São Jorge Castle

2. Santa Justa Lift

Located in the heart of the city, this Neo-Gothic lift immediately drags your attention. It is also hard to miss due to the huge waiting lines. I loved the architecture, but the views from São Jorge Castle were definitely better.

Santa Justa Lift weekend in Lisbon, Portugal

3. Jerónimos Monastery

Another example of a beautiful Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture Is the Jeronimos Monastery.

It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Lisbon, also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The building was designed by Portuguese architect Diogo da Boitaca to commemorate the return of Vasco da Gama from India. The Jeronimos Monastery was finished in the 17th century. It was actually built on the site of the former chapel where Vasco da Gama and his sailors prayed before setting sails towards India.

Prepare your tickets in advance:

Jerónimos Monasteryweekend in Lisbon, Portugal

4. Alfama District

The oldest district of Lisbon is Alfama. Unfortunately, during my visit, lots of the streets were under reconstruction and had restricted access. Nevertheless, you still could spot unique old local buildings and Portuguese tiles while exploring this neighborhood.

Best Alfama tours and experiences:

A walk through the Alfama District weekend in Lisbon, Portugal
windows in Alfama District weekend in Lisbon, Portugal
portrait at Alfama District in Lisbon, Portugal
New look for a weekend in Lisbon

5. LX Factory

One of my favorite stops during this weekend in Lisbon is LX Factory.

This place is such a cool mix of the old and the new. It used to be a factory and warehouse district, but recently it was turned into the ultimate creative hub full of trendy places. Vibrant street art, design boutiques & concept stores, stylish dining, and peculiar Ler Devagar Library – at LX Factory you can find it all.

For more street art locations in lisbon, check out one of these tours:

LX Factory in Lisbon, Portugal

6. Belem Tower

Belem Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city, so we simply could not miss it during our weekend in Lisbon.

The tower is located close to the Jeronimos Monastery and Monumento a Los Descubrimientos (which also was under reconstruction during my visit). The tower formed part of the city´s defense system. Built in the early 16th century, it played an important role in Portuguese maritime discoveries. This is where I thought of Columbus and the discovery of the Americas.

Although he actually sailed towards the new world from Cadiz in Southern Spain. You can check these top places in Spain to channel your inner Cristopher Columbus.

Belem Tower in Lisbon, Portugal

7. Time Out Market

Love fresh local specialties?! – This is your place.

Time Out Market is a perfect location to try different foods straight from the market. Gourmets could enjoy oysters at a reasonable price. However, it tends to get really crowded. The best thing you could do is to visit it before/after the regular lunch hours.

Top Foodie experiences in Lisbon:

time out market n Lisbon, Portugal

8. Praça do Comércio

You can´t leave Lisbon without a walk through one of its central squares – Praca do Comercio.

I felt like the city´s relentless life literally rolled around this place. Back when it was first built, the ships would unload their goods directly into the square. Therefore, this place was called the door to Lisbon. Must-see sights here are Rua Augusta Arch and the Statue of Joseph I.

Rua Augusta Arch at Plaza do Comercio in Lisbon, Portugal
Building water reflection near Plaza do Comercio in Lisbon, Portugal
Rua Augusta Arch at Plaza do Comercio in Lisbon, Portugal

9. Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the coolest SeaWorld places I´ve been to, besides Valencia, Mallorca, and Barcelona. It should be one of your first things to see in Lisbon if traveling with kids.

Aside from its permanent exposition, this Oceanarium often hosts really interesting temporary exhibitions. It is located close to the Lisbon Expo and Estacion de Oriente, which makes the whole area really cutting-edge, full of art and design objects.

You can get Lisbon Oceanarium Entrance Tickets in advance here.

into the blue at Lisbon Oceanarium
Lisbon Oceanarium in Portugal
Estacion de Oriente in Lisbon, Porugal

10. Bairro Alto & The Pink Street

Bairro Alto is the central district of Lisbon. Honestly, the name alto should have warned me: it´s all about steps. The neighborhood is full of tourists, restaurants, cafes and yet has the most local architecture and atmosphere. Wear comfortable shoes or start from the highest point and head downwards.

It seems like not a big deal but after a morning of ups and downs in Bairro Alto – my feet hurt for the rest of the week. The same thing has recently happened to me in one of the most colorful villages in Spain – Cudillero in Asturias, I was lost in the moment, exploring and taking pictures. I normally walk fast – but when it´s all about the stairs it´s good to slow down at times. So basically, the next day it felt like I´d spent that whole day in a gym (without previously working out for years).

One of the most Instagrammable locations in Lisbon is Pink Street. Many criticize it: dirty, overrated, etc. I mean, the whole city is a bit shabby, you can´t expect this particular street to be different, right? So I admit – I did photoshop some dirty spots on my pictures. Anyway, pink flooring gives a random street completely unique vibe, don´t you think?

Bairro alto in in Lisbon, Porugal
Pink Street in Lisbon, Porugal

Top Lisbon Day Trips:

There are several unique day trips from Lisbon that you simply can not miss:

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Best things to see in Lisbon, Portugal for Pinterest

Want more Portugal travel tips, stories, and secret places? – Check my Portugal Travel board on Pinterest.

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