Lisbon in detail

Lisbon is known for

Museums & Galleries

If Lisbon’s museums and galleries have sidestepped the world spotlight, it’s because the Portuguese capital only whispers about its charms.

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – Coleção do Fundador Treasure-trove museum with standout Egyptian artefacts, Rubens paintings and René Lalique jewellery.

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga Peerless stash of ancient art, from Dürer originals to bejewelled chalices and Japanese screens.

Museu Coleção Berardo Warhol pop art and Picasso cubist wonders crown this outstanding collection.

Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida An unsung gem of a private collection in an art-nouveau mansion.

Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia Lisbon's newest museum is a hi-tech, architecturally daring take on cutting-edge art.

Museu Nacional dos Coches Portugal's most visited museum; a fantasy of fairy-tale coaches parked in brand-new modern environs.

Museu do Oriente Be catapulted back to Portugal’s first baby steps in Asia.

Museu do Fado Tune into the history of fado at this well-done folk-music museum.

Museu Nacional do Azulejo Piece together 500 years of azulejo history.

Museu do Aljube This unnerving museum chronicles life under two dictatorships inside a former political prison.


Plain and patterned, ornamental and utilitarian, blue-and-white and polychrome – azulejos adorn facades all over Lisbon.

Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora See La Fontaine fables picked out in azulejos and an exquisitely tiled cloister.

Museu Nacional do Azulejo An ode to the azulejo in every style, shape and form.

Igreja & Museu São Roque Extraordinary diamond-tip majolica tiles grace this unassuming church.

Palácio Nacional de Sintra Sintra’s palace has azulejos from almost every epoch.

Fábrica Sant’Ana Handmaking and painting azulejos using age-old techniques.

Solar A garage-sale-style treasure trove of centuries-old tiles salvaged from abandoned churches and palaces.

Cortiço & Netos Industrial tiles elevated to an art form at this born-again family business.


Like Rome, Lisbon sits astride seven hills, which equates to a different view for every day of the week.

Cristo Rei Lisbon spreads magnificently before you across the river in Cacilhas.

Miradouro Panorâmico de Monsanto A miraculous view of everything from a dilapidated, ghost-town-like 1960s supper club outside town.

Largo das Portas do Sol Peer across Alfama’s mosaic of red rooftops, spires and domes to the Rio Tejo at this Moorish gateway.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara This tree-shaded, fountain-dotted terrace has far-reaching views to Lisbon's castle, the river and the Ponte 25 de Abril.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte They don’t come higher than this pine-shaded viewpoint that affords photogenic perspectives of the castle.

Memmo Alfama A magic trick of a rooftop bar, buried deep in the medieval heart of Alfama.

Miradouro da Graça Popular sunset gathering spot with amazing views of Lisbon’s skyline.

Park The most happening spot to drink in expansive city views over sunset cocktails.

Churches, Castles & Palaces

The Moors and Christian crusaders, fairy-tale-minded King Manuel I and one hell of an earthquake have all left their indelible mark on some of Lisbon's most treasured historical buildings.

Palácio Nacional de Sintra Conical chimneys crown this palace, hiding Moorish courtyards, Manueline flourishes and a fantasy of azulejos.

Castelo de São Jorge Perkily set on a hillside, Lisbon’s crowning-glory castle tells its history in a nutshell.

Sé de Lisboa This Gothic giant of a cathedral was built on the site of a mosque in 1150.

Basílica da Estrela Dona Maria I commissioned this domed basilica to celebrate the birth of a male heir.

Convento do Carmo Its earthquake-ravaged rooftop provides an absolute 'wow!' moment upon first sight.

Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira This working suburban Lisbon palace is worth a trip, with its 17th- and 18th-century detail and extraordinary gardens.

Palácio Nacional de Mafra The extravagant vision of Dom João V, who commissioned this colossal, town-dominating baroque palace in 1717.

Igreja de São Roque This 16th-century Jesuit church is a jewel box of gold, marble, lapis lazuli and azulejos.

Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora This twin-towered Renaissance monastery hides an elaborate collection of azulejos and a creepy mausoleum.


While Lisbon might not immediately strike you as a green city, there are well-tended parks, botanical gardens lush with palms and banyan trees, and praças (squares) with fountains offering peaceful respite if you know where to look.

Jardim da Estrela Wander among the palms, pines and monkey puzzle trees. Kids dig the playground and duck ponds.

Praça do Comércio Down by the river, this monumental square is the Lisbon of a million postcards.

Parque Eduardo VII Gaze across Lisbon to the river from the top of this sloping parterre.

Ribeira das Naus This gorgeous promenade lopes along Lisbon’s revamped riverfront.

Rossio Wave-like cobbles, fountains, cafes and a 24-hour buzz.

Jardim do Príncipe Real A giant umbrella of a Mexican cedar shades this alfresco, people-watching plaza.

Jardim Botânico Madeiran geraniums, jacarandas and a giant Moreton Bay fig tree thrive in these lush gardens.

Gourmet Adventures

Lisbon's hot kitchens are one of the main instigators of the city's sudden rise in tourism. Superstar Michelin chefs like José Avillez and Henrique Sá Pessoa are leading a culinary charge that's wowing diners from far and wide.

Alma Henrique Sá Pessoa's casual, Michelin-starred flagship Chiado restaurant is Portugal's best gourmet bang-for-your-buck.

Belcanto An upscale adventure into the country's abundant culinary bounty with Portugal's most famous chef, José Avillez.

Feitoria Chef João Rodrigues' contemporary Michelin-starred restaurant in Belém is can't-miss destination dining.

100 Maneiras An innovative take on Portuguese cuisine from hardcore Bosnian transplant kitchen-master Ljubomir Stanisic.

Prado An outstanding all-organic small-plates newcomer with fantastic natural wines.

Loco Upstart Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Silva takes diners on a fiercely seasonal, five-sense culinary adventure in Estrela.

Beco This gastronomic outing comes with a side of sexy at José Avillez' newish gourmet cabaret.

Gourmet Experience The top-floor food court of Lisbon's fanciest department store harbours five Michelin stars among its 17 offerings.

Free Stuff

Museu Coleção Berardo Free entry on Saturdays to a billionaire's art collection.

Jardim do Príncipe Real A relaxing, shady plaza custom-built for watching the world go by.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte Great views of Lisbon's castle.

Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros Descend into layers of ruins dating from the Iron Age.

Igreja de São Domingos A baroque church that has (just) survived since 1241.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara Another terrific hilltop viewpoint.

Jardins d’Água This water park is a great spot to cool off in summer.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina Fantastic views with a hippie, student vibe.

Fado no Castelo A June song-fest; tickets are free but limited.