Thanks to its rich history, waterfront setting and unhurried atmosphere, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most enchanting cities. It’s hard to think of a place that brings together the past and the present with as much aplomb as Portugal’s captivating capital.

Those who love to tick off the must-see sights will be in their element here, with medieval castles, baroque chapels and monasteries as grand as palaces to relish. But it’s also a delight for those who prefer to do their exploring in a more organic way, stumbling on everything from centuries-old cafés on elegant squares to hip bars in riverside warehouses as they wander through its various districts.

You don’t have to make an effort to discover the soul of this welcoming destination. You’ll feel its quirky, laidback vibe everywhere you travel, whether you’re rattling along steep cobbled streets on a jaunty yellow vintage tram, taking a ridiculously ornate lift from one part of this hilly city to another, or soaking up the 360-degree views from the cable car that runs through its most modern quarter.

For a Lisbon holiday to remember, call our experts to arrange everything from the perfect hotel to the experiences you won’t want to miss.

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Lisbon Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Lisbon

Onyria Marinha Boutique Hotel

This sleek and stylish hotel has been designed with families in mind, so that you can all relax....

Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf & Spa

A gloriously storied hotel on the Portuguese Riviera. Split your time between pool days, spa trea...

PortoBay Liberdade

A tranquil yet urban escape, this beautiful hotel is set just off of Lisbon’s most elegant boulev...

Tivoli Avenida Liberdade

A landmark hotel in an unbeatable location, with designer shops and cool cafés on your doorstep.

Highlights of Lisbon

Portugal’s capital is one of Europe’s most enchanting cities, and you’ll be introduced to its great monuments on this insightful half-day tour. A visit to the Palace of Ajuda – a designated National Monument dating back to 1795 – is a highlight, where you’ll get to explore its ornate Neoclassical rooms and hilltop botanical gardens. We’ll then continue to one of the most traditional quarters of Lisbon: Alfama, where you’ll experience one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritages. UNESCO established this list to protect important cultural representations. In Lisbon, this is Fado, and there are traditional Fado houses (small eateries or larger restaurants where singers perform emotional, nostalgic songs) on every corner.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Meals and entrance fee to the Palace of Ajuda are not included.

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Traditional Lisbon

Get to know Lisbon after dark on this cultural evening tour. We’ll walk through the city’s narrow streets, squares and avenues, seeing its monuments bathed in twinkling lights, before dining at a traditional Portuguese restaurant to experience Fado. You’ll tuck into classic dishes while listening to a Fado performance: a haunting and nostalgic musical style that is one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritages. After the show, we’ll wander through the pretty Belém district on the Tagus River, known for its colourful houses and seafaring landmarks.

• Departing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees are not included.

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Explore Sintra

Step into a real-life fairy-tale at the unique village of Sintra, where tropical gardens, storybook houses and glistening palaces tumble down the hillside to the Adriatic Sea. On this full-day trip, you’ll discover some of Portugal’s most beautiful historical monuments, before continuing to the westernmost point of continental Europe at rugged Cabo da Roca. Our final stop will be the village of Cascais, where there will be time to explore and take in the panoramic views of Estoril.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

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Wines of Evora

Get a taste of Portugal on a full-day trip to Alentejo, one of the country’s main inland regions known for its top-quality wines. In the historic capital of Évora, you’ll explore the old town centre and see the Roman Temple as well as Évora’s Cathedral – one of the most important Gothic monuments in Portugal – and the chapel of bones: a small chapel where the walls are adorned with human skulls and bones. To complete the tour in style, we’ll enjoy wine tastings at one of Portugal’s oldest wine estates.

• Departing Tuesday and Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

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Discover Western Portugal

Discover the wild west of Portugal on this full-day tour of its dramatic coastline and historical villages. First, we’ll visit the medieval town of Óbidos and explore its well-preserved castle, before heading to Batalha and the Batalha Monastery, one of the best examples of late Gothic architecture in the country. Travelling onwards to the coast, our next stop is Nazaré, known as a surfer’s paradise thanks to its huge waves, and on to Fátima, the centre of Portugal’s catholic faith.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees are not included.

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Get to know Lisbon and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT -/+ 0 hours

CURRENCY

Euro

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

2¾ hours

RELIGION

Christianity (majority Roman Catholic)

LANGUAGE

Portuguese

Where is Lisbon?
Portugal’s capital city - the most westerly in Europe - lies on the north side of the River Tagus’s large estuary, not far from where it meets the Atlantic Ocean about a third of the way up the country. Our best time to visit guide can help you decide when to travel to Lisbon.

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Alfama
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest district, and its steep maze of narrow cobbled lanes and small squares - miraculous survivors of the 1755 earthquake that destroyed so much of the city - are a fascinating place to wander. The little shops, neighbourhood cafés and unpretentious seafood restaurants are as much of a must-see as the area’s grander sights. These include the medieval Castelo de São Jorge, which overlooks the whole area; the magnificent cathedral, whose mix of architectural styles is a history lesson in itself; and a clutch of charming museums dedicated to everything from the decorative arts to the soulful sound of Fado, the area’s soulful soundtrack on many evenings.

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Baixa
On an altogether grander scale, Baixa - the elegant central district - was rebuilt after 1755 on a grid pattern, with tree-lined boulevards and vast open spaces. One of the largest of these is Praça do Comércio (also known as Terreiro do Paço), which looks out over the old harbour. It’s framed by neoclassical arcaded buildings where you’ll find inviting cafés - including the city’s oldest, founded in 1782. Get a complete overview from the viewing platform at the top of the Elevador de Santa Justa, a neo-gothic iron lift built more than 100 years ago.

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Chiado
There are more historic stores and luxury boutiques in neighbouring Chiado, where the locals come to buy everything from books to porcelain, or just meet friends in one of its old-style cafés such as A Brasileira. This is where you’ll find theatres, the opera house and several museums, including the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea housed in a former convent.

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Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto, a picturesque tangle of streets that’s long been a favourite haunt of artists, writers and other creative types. Nowadays, it’s known for its lively nightlife, with a multitude of bars and clubs. During the day, it’s altogether quieter - perfect for visiting sights such as the church of São Roque, whose unadorned facade hides a fabulously ornate baroque interior. Also at its best in daylight hours is the panoramic vista from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, a small formal garden.

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UNESCO-listed Lisbon
No trip to Lisbon would be complete without a stop in Belém to the west of the historic centre, from where most of the famous Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery around the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. The much-photographed Torre de Belém, a fortified lighthouse constructed in the 1500s in ornate Manueline style and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is practically the symbol of the city. From around the same time, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is the district’s other UNESCO-listed site, and its fabulous interior is well worth queueing for.

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Beaches
Originally a fishing village, and later a summer retreat for Portugal’s aristocrats, Cascais remains a charming and cosmopolitan seaside resort - and it’s just a short hop from Lisbon. Many are drawn here by the fabulous beaches, complete with stylish toes-in-the-sand bars, but there’s also an atmospheric old town whose winding lanes are lined with chic restaurants, cafés and boutiques. Follow the promenade, which hugs the coastline, to glamorous Estoril, known for its golf courses and its casino, set in lush gardens.

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Getting around
Lisbon’s picturesque streets are made for exploring on foot. If you’re staying centrally, you’ll probably only use the metro if you’re in a hurry or to reach newer areas such as Parque das Nações. Otherwise, there’s an extensive network of buses complemented by historic tram routes and funiculars, the last of which make zipping between the hilltop and lower-level neighbourhoods a breeze. For trips further out, such as to Cascais, options include the Linha de Cascais urban train and taxis (which are reasonably priced).

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