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Top 10 Things To See And Do In Lisbon, Portugal

Top 10 Things To See And Do In Lisbon, Portugal
The rolling, hilly landscape of Portugal’s capital provides the perfect setting for a relaxed break. Its coasts and beaches can tend to overshadow some tourist spots, so read on to find the best things to see and do in Lisbon, from monuments and museums to zoos and activity centers.

Lisbon Zoo

Lisbon Zoo describes its main mission as “to develop both a zoological and botanical park, as a center for conservation”. The zoo hosts 2,000 animals from over 300 different species, and in 2014, it celebrated its 130th birthday. Feedings shows are daily, varying by season, and the usual zoo amenities, such as reptile houses, are also open to visitors. Lisbon Zoo also features The Animax, which is on the zoo premises but outside the animal area. It’s an amusement area with restaurants, bars, and shops.

Opening hours: 21 March – 20 September 10.00am – 8.00pm; 21 September – 20 March 10.00am – 6.00pm

Praça Marechal Humberto Delgado, 1549-004 Lisbon, Portugal, +351 21 723 2900

National Tile Museum

This museum is an undiscovered gem, tucked out of the way of the busy city. Its collection consists mainly of decorative azulejo tiles, azulejo being a form of painted ceramic tilework, the majority depicting religious scenes. This makes sense, considering the fact it is housed in a monastery dating from the 16th century, and the spectacular chapel is an attraction unto itself. For those looking for something unconventional but beautiful, this attraction is perfect.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 10.00am – 6.00pm

R.Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal, +351 21 810 0340

Berardo Collection Museum

Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisboa
Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisboa | ©Leon/WikiCommons
This museum of modern and contemporary art is one of the most visited museums in the world, with 2,600,000 visitors a year. Every main movement of the 20th and 21st centuries has a place in the collection, and visitors can expect to see pieces by big names such as Picasso, Dali, and Warhol. The museum has an extensive permanent collection, but also a host of ever-changing temporary exhibitions. The perfect place to visit for anyone with even a passing interest in art. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00am – 7.00pm
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Pavilhão do Conhecimento

The English translation of this attraction means “Pavilion of Knowledge”, a fitting name for this science museum. Whilst its main focus is on children, the exhibits are engaging enough to keep adults entertained also. Its interactive exhibits teach science (mainly physics) in an interesting way, and there are workshops and experiments on offer for those wishing to be a little more hands-on. The small entrance fee provides good value, and visitors are sure to get at least a few hours of entertainment from the site.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm; weekends and holidays 11.00am – 7.00pm; closed Mondays

Alamedados Oceanos, Portugal, +351 21 891 7100

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Architectural Landmark
Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lisbon
Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lisbon | © Hugo Grilo / Alamy Stock Photo
This 164-foot tall sculpture is a monument to the Portugese Era of Discovery and to Henry the Navigator. 33 statues line the sides of the monument, each representing an important figure from the epoch of discovery. Monarchs, cartographers, and scientists stand alongside explorers, artists, and missionaries. There is a small charge to go up the monument to the observation deck, but the panorama views are more than worth the few euro. Opening hours: March – September 10.00am – 7.00pm (closed Mondays during March); October – February 10.00am – 6.00pm (closed Mondays)
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National Museum of Ancient Art

The exterior of the National Museum of Ancient Art
Discover the masterpieces at the National Museum of Ancient Art | © Joaomartinho63 / Wikimedia Commons
Also known as the Museu das Janelas Verdes (“Museum of the Green Windows”), the “Ancient” part of this museum’s name is misleading. The collection, though extensive, contains no literally ancient art, but instead houses works dating from the Middle Ages through to the early 19th century. Set time aside to look at Triptych of the Temptation of St. Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch, a fantastic three-part work of art. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00am – 6.00pm
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Parque Eduardo VII

Belem Gardens, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
Belem Gardens, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal | © Peter Moulton / Alamy Stock Photo
This 26-hectare park makes the perfect escape from the bustle of the city. Running through the city center, it’s a location that’s easy to nip into for a picnic or a rest. The Lisbon Book Fair takes place there annually every May, for bibliophiles, and there is a play area for children. The central statue, coupled with the geometric hedgerows, make this park feel like something from another era.
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Lisboa Story Centre

This center offers a brief overview of the history of Lisbon. In an hour or so, children and adults can learn about the city, its major events, and its people. Tours are available for groups, but ordinary visits will consist of picking up an audio guide and using it in conjunction with the panels around the room. Whilst the history is by no means detailed, it is a useful baseline for those looking to learn more about the city, and it’s absolutely perfect for younger travelers.

Opening hours: 10.00am – 8.00pm

Praçado Comércio 78, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal, +351 21 194 1099

MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda

Portugal’s Museum of Design and Fashion is in an old bank building in downtown Lisbon. The bank building has been pared back to place emphasis on the pieces instead of the architecture. However, one remainder of the building’s former purpose still exists in the basement, where a huge bank safe sits. The standout collections are the textile and furniture exhibits, but the entire building is worth seeing.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00am – 6.00pm

R.Augusta 24, 1100-053 Lisboa, Portugal, +351 21 888 6117

Lx Factory

One of Lisbon’s most important manufacturing complexes was previously on this site. Now, it is a hub of creativity occupied by creators and patrons of fashion, arts, and music. The industrial feel is still there in the former manufacturing district, but the vibrant atmosphere of the new area gives it an entirely new feeling. In the shopping area, a particular place to go is Livraria Ler Devager, a bookshop built around an old printing press. The unit is still there, with books settled around it and a café under the press.

R.Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300 Lisboa, Portugal

These recommendations were updated on February 9, 2017 to keep your travel plans fresh.