Beautiful, colorful, vibrant Lisbon.. Portugal’s Capital City.
With a population of just over 500,000 and a whopping 3 million visitors per year, it’s no wonder that you want to drop by!
Lisbon is a top tourist hotspot and a wonderful, as well as affordable holiday location.
Overlooking nostalgic coastal views and monuments steeped in history.
Lisbon is the perfect place to explore, unwind and relax.
Stick with us here at Stasher, the best option for luggage storage in Lisbon, to learn more about what in the world to do in a city where there is so much available at your fingertips!
1. Learn to make your own Pastel de Nata
You know how the saying goes, the quickest way to anyone’s heart, is through their stomach!
We figured the best way to start your Lisbon experience is through taste, and what better food is there to encompass all that Lisbon has to offer if not its very own Pastel de Nata (custard tart).
Let’s circle back to the 19th century for a moment, to the West of Lisbon at Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, where the history of the Pastel de Nata began.
Believe it or not some monks found themselves with too many leftover egg yolks and decided to get creative!
Today, we thank them for the beloved national treasure that is this pastry.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of Portuguese cuisine at the Compadre School of Cooking located at Number 14, Rua Heliodoro Salgado.
Here you can learn to make your very own authentic Pastel de Nata, so that the next time you crave a piece of Portugal, you’ll only have to travel to your kitchen.
2. Dinner and Fado
Since we are on the topic of great Portuguese food, we recommend that you head over to somewhere like Clube de Fado to delight in some more of the country’s delicacies.
But be warned, the taste bud tickler, for once, is not the star of the show. No no, that spot is reserved for Fado.
This emotive genre of music originated in the 1820s in Lisbon, but it is believed to have much earlier and deeper origins.
Fado is often linked to cafes, restaurants and is known for its eerie, melancholic melodies not to mention its beautifully profound nature, musically and lyrically.
3. Feira da Ladra (The ‘Thieves’ Flea Market)
Feira da Ladra, roughly translated to ‘’The Market of Thieves‘’, is one of Lisbon’s oldest markets.
Dating back to the 12th century, this market, once displaying random, unwanted second-hand items for sale (hence the name), has grown and evolved into what it is today.
A place where you can find clothes, books, handmade/carved goodies, countless antiques carrying the history of Portugal in their shine, and definitely some souvenirs that you can take home to your loved ones.
So put on your best adventurer’s hat, make your way down to Campo de Santa Clara and swerve through the lively Feira da Ladra, haggling to your heart’s content.
Learn more about the history of the famous Lisbon Flea Market here.
4. O Museu do Azulejo or The National Tile Museum
If you’re looking to learn more about Portuguese culture and you also happen to be a fan of art, look no further than the Museu do Azulejo, also known as The National Tile Museum.
The Museu Nacional do Azulejo, founded by Queen D. Leonor in 1509, is located in R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312, Lisbon, and it is dedicated to the azulejo, the traditional tilework of Portugal.
The word Azulejo means ‘’polished stone’’, but I don’t think that that description quite represents the meaning of the tile to the Portuguese people.
Tiles trace as far back as the 13th century and were initially used to protect the walls of wetter areas such as bathrooms and kitchens from dampness/mould, but they became a common expression of Portuguese culture and art in the 15th century.
The museum features, but is not limited to, a wide range of decorative ceramic tiles, in various colours and made of many different materials, beautifully depicting the history of the Portuguese Empire from as far back as the 15th century, right up until the present day.
What is not to love, right?
5. Make your own tile
So you’ve visited one of Lisbon’s most historically rich locations, learned as much as you can about Portugal, got lost in all it’s astonishing swirls and patterns and now you’re wondering, ‘what do I do next?’.
Well it only stands to reason that, since you’ve spent so much time admiring the azulejo, you should make one yourself!
Yes, you can totally do that, and at the Museum no less! So remember, when you get through the exhibition and explore till you’ve had your fill, sign up to the workshop the Museum offers, and jump into the hands-on experience of creating the traditional ceramic tile.
Lucky for you, all of that inspiration should still be whizzing around in your brain, so have fun and get creative. No pressure!
The first Jesuit church in Portugal and one of the only buildings to survive the devastating earthquake of 1755 nearly untouched, it is a wonder to explore.
With breathtaking sacred art, a dazzling marble and gold interior, and featuring our beloved traditional tile work, the astoundingly clever mannerist and baroque architecture, (work of Filippo Terzi, royal architect of Filipe II of Portugal), is sure to draw you into its grasp.
The São Roque Museum, which you may also be interested in surveying, is stationed right next to the church.
Free guided tours are offered at 3pm Thursday to Sunday if you want to learn more about the church’s past, but you are also welcome to have a browse at your own pace.
Although we definitely recommend making the most of the tours, given that the story of this building is astonishing, (and if we tried to explain it all to you in this blog alone, we would be here for the entirety of your holiday).
7. Tram 28
Tram 28 follows the most famous journey in Portugal.
This particular tram has been around since 1914, when horse-drawn carriages still carried Lisbon’s locals through its winding streets and over the seven hills that the city was built on.
The tram travels through the centre of the city and, similarly to a sightseeing bus, it passes through older areas of the city, allowing tourists (and locals) to appreciate its original architecture, newly built areas for the modern heads, as well as many of Lisbon’s attractions.
Learn more about the Tram 28 route as well as how to purchase tickets here.
We recommend that you get a day pass for the tram, it costs between €6-€7 and lasts for 24 hours.
Tram 28 has over 30 stops on its path, so it may take you a while to get to the end of the line.
But if you have some time while in Lisbon, be sure to jump on this journey to the past, or at least as close to the past as you can get.
8. Tuk Tuk Tours
Tuk Tuk Tours, like Tram 28, can take you on a venture all through the City of Lisbon.
On the winding and narrow roads, the smooth concrete and the cobblestone, as well as passing through and stopping, at main attractions and landmarks.
This time, however, you get a little more wiggle room to decide where you go!
Think of your Tuk Tuk guide as a Genie, ask and you will get!
Only you are not limited to 3 wishes, Tuk Tuk guides are delightful and knowledgeable and they definitely will not trick you into wishing them free.
Prices may vary where these tours are concerned. For example, a tour taking 30 minutes to 1 hour, can cost anywhere between €20-€30.
Whereas a longer tour, between 2 and 3 hours, can cost up to €100.
You’ll usually find Tuk Tuks stationed throughout the city of Lisbon, particularly at touristy locations and landmarks.
You may wish to ask different drivers what they charge for a tour and decide based on what is most affordable for you.
9. Dolphin Watching
If you love nature and take pleasure in seeing animals thrive in their natural habitat, then this is the activity for you!
You will depart from the Lisbon coast on a speedboat, travel over the Tagus River, pass under the famous ‘25 de Abril’ suspension bridge and start your venture into the ocean.
You will also be able to see many of Lisbon’s amazing monuments along the way.
The goal is, of course, catch sight of some dolphins up close, but with the help of a marine biologist that will be on board, if you are lucky enough, you may encounter various other species of marine wildlife on your travels.
These include but are not limited to, jellyfish, sharks, turtles and much more! Note that the weather can sometimes affect this activity.