Lisbon is the gorgeous capital of Portugal with plenty of things to do. Here’s my list of the top 15 things I think you should do when you visit Lisbon.
1. See the Rua Augusta Arch and Praça do ComércioOne of the busiest tourist attractions in Lisbon is the Rua Augusta Arch, situated at the bottom of one of the biggest shopping streets in the city. The Comercio Square may be pretty but might not be the smartest place to hang out, unless you want to get harassed by drug dealers and shady tourist scams.2. Visit the Tile MuseumOne of my favourite museums in Lisbon was the Tile museum. I know it doesn’t sound like the most thrilling museum in the world, but trust me, it’s better than it sounds. It’s a gorgeous building home to plenty of tiles from as early as the 15th century to the modern day.3. See the views from St Jorge’s CastleSt Jorge’s Castle is a Moorish royal residence and will take up a good portion of your day if you decide to visit. It’s a large ruined castle with an uphill climb to get to. From here, you can see some of the best panaramic views of the city.4. Visit the Carmo ConventThe Carmo Convent was once a gothic church ruined in the 1755 earthquake that destroyed 80% of Lisbon. Nowadays it is an archeological museum and a gorgeous spot for taking pictures of the ruins and the bright, blue Lisbon sky.5. Go up the Santa Justa LiftThe Santa Justa Lift has a bad rep for being a tourist trap, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed it. Tickets are free if you have a Lisbon card or an all day metro ticket. Here you can get stunning panoramic views of Lisbon, including St Jorge’s Castle and the Carmo Convent (which is right next door).6. Admire the street artLisbon is home to some of the most beautiful pieces of street art in the world. Nearby Picoas metro station you can see the famous pieces by Os Gemeos and Blu, but there are plenty of other spots in Lisbon to see some street art. Every alleyway is painted with colours, even some of the trams have been coloured in with spray paint!7. Hang out in Rossio SquareRossio Square is one of the most lively squares in Lisbon and a perfect place to stop and people watch. You could enjoy sitting outside one of the cafes surrounding or hang out by the statues and fountains on a hot day.8. Visit the Lisbon CathedralThe Lisbon Cathedral is one of the biggest and best religious monuments in Lisbon and can be found in the heart of the city centre. It is also a great place to catch a glimpse of a classic yellow tram as they stop right by the cathedral.9. Try ginjinha Ginjinha is the Portuguese liquor infused with berries, cherries and cinnamon. It can be drunk any time of the day and is strong enough to get you a little tipsy. Barnivore (the happycow of alcohol) assures me that ginjinha is vegan, so drink away my hippy friends. But remember to be responsible!
10. Get lost down Lisbon’s old, winding streetsThere’s so many beautiful streets to get lost down in Lisbon, especially in Alfama. You never know, you could end up running into a gorgeous piece of street art or finding one of Lisbon’s many viewpoints.11. Visit the neighbourhood of BelémThere’s so much to see in the neighbourhood of Belém, it deserved it’s own list. Be sure to check out the Jeronimos Monastery, the Discoveries Monument and the Belém Tower.12. See Christ the KingThis 90ft statue was built in 1959 to thank God for sparing Portugal in WWII. You can clearly see the inspiration drawn from Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil. Getting to this monument might deter some tourists as it is not accessible by metro but you can get there by an inexpensive ferry ride from Cais do Sodre station and then from bus number 101.
13. See Lisbon’s tallest building, the Vasco da Gama TowerAnother impressive building that might deter some tourists because of it’s location is the Vasco da Gama Tower, located near Lisbon’s airport and the metro station, Moscavide. Here you can get impressive views of the city, ride a cable car or simply take in the futuristic beauty of one of Lisbon’s tallest buildings. A good note for vegans is that right outside is one of my favourite veggie restaurants in Lisbon, Miss Saigon.
14. Try some traditional Portuguese foodFrom pasteis de nata to francesinha, Portuguese food is an interesting experience, and finding vegan versions of everything is a quest in of itself. Luckily, there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants that will happily veganify any traditional Portuguese dish for you and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.15. Get out of Lisbon!You knew it was coming. Lisbon, as fantastic as it is, has some equally incredible towns and cities right next door. Take a day trip to Sintra, Cascais, Évora or Óbidos to see some unique sights.