If you’re looking for a city getaway that encompasses the best of old-world charm, with delicious fresh food, homegrown wine and world-class beaches then it’s time you visited Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is often overlooked in favour of neighbouring Spanish cities, such as Barcelona and Madrid, but Lisbon has a vibe all of its own. There are plenty of super fun things to do in Lisbon.
Featuring influences from Europe, Africa and Southern America, Lisbon is a melting pot of cultures and attractions. It’s fast becoming a hub for travellers of all ages as well as digital nomads. Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living in the whole of Europe, attracting remote workers, expats and freelancers to its luscious shores.
It’s because of its affordability and charm, that once you visit Portugal once, you’ll want to return time and time again. Looking for an affordable place to stay once you’re in the capital? Our Hostel Card gives you up to 20% off all room types at Selina Secret Garden Lisbon, Sant Jordi Hostels Lisbon, Sunset Destination Hostel, and Lisbon Destination Hostel. Plenty of awesome hostels to choose from!
So, you’re thinking about visiting Lisbon, but you’re not sure what to do? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Here are the 5 fun things to do in Lisbon
1. Hop on a food tour
If there’s one thing that’s definitely worth doing when you’re in Lisbon, it’s a food tour. Thanks to its position on the Atlantic Ocean and its fertile, arable land to the east of the country, Portugal is full of fresh and vibrant ingredients, just waiting to be sampled.
From gorgeous seafood to flaky, buttery pasteis de natas, to silky smooth cheese, there’s a lot to love here. As there’s so much choice, it’s best to go with a local who knows the best spots. Secret Food Tours do just that and offer two tours; Secret Food Tours: Lisbon Mouraria, and Secret Urban Wine Tours: Lisbon Old City.
The best part? You get a 12% discount on both Secret Food Tours with our Hostel Card!
2. Check out the coast
Although planning a trip to Lisbon might feel more like a city break, its location means that it’s the perfect place to check out the Atlantic coast. You can easily hop on a tour, hire a car or use public transport to get out to some of the best coastal spots, including Nazare and Cascais.
The former may seem like a sleepy fishing village, but it’s actually one of the big wave capitals of the world. Some of the biggest waves ever surfed were ridden right here off the coast of Portugal. If you’re more of a small wave kind of water sports enthusiast, the Portuguese coast offers some of the best swell and conditions in Europe.
Looking for a more relaxing seaside escape? Head to Cascais and enjoy the delicious seafood, bay views and cobbled streets. With much more of a holiday feel, you can swim, sunbathe or surf in this spot of paradise, just a short train ride from the heart of Lisbon.
3. Savour a drink or three
It might still be one of the best kept secrets in wine, but Portugese wine is not only delicious, but it’s seriously affordable. Of course, the country is mostly famous for fortified wine, or Port, but their wine is something to savour. It mostly hails from the Douro Valley, but there are plenty of wineries and vineyards in the area surrounding Lisbon.
Another great activity you should check out while in Lisbon is the Full-day Arrábida Wine Tour. You will get the chance to visit two different wineries: a family owned one (including 4 tastings) and one of the main wine producers in the country (including 2 tastings). Of course we also have a discount for you! You can enjoy the tour with a 20% off discount with our Hostel Card.
If wine isn’t your thing, then try the local tipple, Ginja. It’s a brandy that’s made with morello cherries and is often served in a chocolate cup. Yes, you read that right. It’s available all over Lisbon, so finish off your meal the right way with this digestif and dessert all in one.
4. Head skywards on the funicular
Exploring Lisbon by foot is one thing, but if you really want to take in the beauty of the city, you need to head up towards the clouds. The city’s bright yellow funicular is an iconic sight and something that you have to do while you’re in Lisbon. Even if it’s just for the photo opportunity, it’s definitely one of the best things to do in the city.
Gliding up the steep hills of the city, you can gaze out above the rooftops, towards the glistening bay in the distance. There’s also the added benefit of saving your legs the ache of hiking up what can be some real intense hills!
5. Walk in the footsteps of pilgrims
It’s no secret that Lisbon is steeped in history – you just have to look around – but if you head out to the towns of Fatima and Obidos, you’ll be able to walk in the footsteps of pilgrims. Check out a UNESCO world heritage site, the beautiful and Gothic Batalha Monastery. Wander the cobbled streets of the walled city of Obidos. Learn about life as a pilgrim at the Sanctuary of Fatima.
This area is rich in spiritual history as well as stunning architecture. Inside Lisbon actually runs a day tour that encompasses all of this plus a stop in Nazare. Again, you get 20% off that tour if you have your Hostel Card handy!
Lisbon is a great city break
So, there you have it, the 5 fun things to do in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital really is a beautiful place that’s unlike any other city that you’re likely to visit. Although it’s got plenty of European features that makes it feel similar to many places on the Mediterranean, the North African and South American influences make it feel completely new.
With great low-cost flight links all across Europe and long haul links to the rest of the world, Lisbon is a great option for your next city or beachside adventure. Just be sure to bring your appetite for all that delicious, fresh food!