Which are the most beautiful places in Lisbon? Which are not to miss places when traveling to Lisbon? Where to see the beauty and essence of Lisbon? Read along to find out the most beautiful and iconic landmarks in Lisbon, one of my favorite cities!
We spent more than two weeks living in Lisbon and exploring everything this iconic city had to offer. In this blog post, you will find the most beautiful places in Lisbon with photos, descriptions, and locations on Google Maps. Happy exploring!
Read more >>> 33 most famous Instagram photo spots in Lisbon
1. The symbol of the Age of Discoveries – Belém Tower
The Belém Tower is one of the most famous landmarks and one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal – a special list of cultural monuments voted by people as the most important monuments in Portugal.
The Belém Tower is a 16th-century fortification that served as the launching point for the many sea voyages of the Portuguese explorers so it is often considered as the symbol of Europe’s and Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. It is an icon!
The tower is one of the most prominent examples of the Manueline architectural style in Portugal – also called the Portuguese late Gothic that incorporated marine symbols and elements as well as representations of the discoveries during sea voyages.
If you are looking for a crowd-free photo, I recommend coming here early in the morning – we arrived at 8 AM to get that morning sunrise glow. However, if you wish to visit the tower, then you will have to wait until 10 AM when it opens for visitors.
Location: Belém Tower
2. The iconic Jerónimos Monastery
Jerónimos Monastery is easily one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon and also among the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It is also a prominent example of the Portuguese late Gothic architectural style – Manueline.
The key to a crowd-free experience is to arrive before the opening time and buy your tickets online prior to your visit. Even if you see a big line at the entrance, don’t worry – it moves fast and the monastery is big with space for everyone.
The monastery is a 16th-century masterpiece listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is definitely a must-see place in Lisbon! Although the only place you will see during your visit is the big courtyard and some rooms connected to it, it is still well worth it!
Once you get to the courtyard you can walk around the ground floor and admire the architecture as well as some of the rooms that are connected to it and house tombs of some important figures in Portugal’s history.
When you finish circling around it, you will then climb up to the upper floor. The upper floor of the courtyard was my favorite. You get a nice overview of the whole area from above and the intricate architectural details up close.
Imagining all the work that was put into creating this masterpiece is mindboggling. In terms of architecture, it will be hard to find a more beautiful place in Lisbon than Jerónimos Monastery! Despite the crowds, it was one of my favorite places in Lisbon!
Interestingly, Jerónimos Monastery is the former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome whose monks were the ones who created the recipe for the world-famous Portuguese egg tart – pastel de nata – right here in this place.
The monastery is connected to a church (the entrance to the church is next to the monastery, and has its own opening hours) which is the final resting place for the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and two kings – Manuel I and John III.
3. Carmo Convent – when beauty can be sorrowful!
There is one event in Lisbon’s history that shaped Lisbon as we see it today and that is the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The earthquake and the following tsunami as well as the firestorm destroyed about 85% of all buildings in Lisbon and changed the city forever.
Only a couple of places in Lisbon remind us of the past horrific events and Carmo Convent is one of them. It is a 14th-century convent that suffered damage in the earthquake – the roof collapsed and part of the building complex was destroyed.
Today you can visit the ruins and see what is left of the Gothic church – it is completely roofless with high arches crossing the sky. The visit also includes a museum behind the church with artifacts and two mummies.
When you enter the roofless church hall, you get this serene feeling when beauty and sadness are combined. We can now witness this masterpiece and admire the uniqueness of this place only because of a sad event centuries ago.
History teaches us that something might look beautiful and unique but have so much sadness to it at the same time. People have had horrible things happen to them. And such things can happen again – it is part of life. We just need to figure out a way to move forward after them.
Location: Carmo Convent
4. The most beautiful rooftop in Lisbon – Basílica of Estrela!
The Estrela Basilica was one of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon! This beautiful 18th-century church was ordered by Queen Maria I of Portugal and today holds Queen Maria’s tomb inside the premises of the building. You can visit the church for free.
However, the most special thing about the church is that you can climb up to the roof to see the impressive dome and two bell towers up close. I always love climbing up to the rooftops wherever I can and this basilica offers the most amazing views!
There is a small door to enter the dome and see it from within. It is quite spectacular and incredible! It is hard to imagine what it was like for them to build such a grand and complex building centuries ago. A visit to the roof costs 4 EUR per person.
Basílica of Estrela is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon! Because it is a bit further away from the center of the city it gets fewer visitors than other Lisbon landmarks which is nice if you are looking for a crowd-free experience!
Location: Basílica of Estrela
5. The symbol of resilience – Arco da Rua Augusta!
Arco da Rua Augusta arch is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks and one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon! Just like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris or the Colosseum in Rome, this arch is one of the symbols of Lisbon!
Arco da Rua Augusta is a triumphal arch that was built to commemorate the reconstruction of Lisbon after the devastating 1755 earthquake (it also caused a tsunami and a firestorm) that destroyed about 85% of all the buildings in Lisbon.
It symbolizes the resilience of local people who suffered a lot but overcame the difficulties and found a way to live again despite what happened! Construction of the arch started in the 18th century and was completed more than 100 years later.
It is more than 30 meters/100 ft high and you can actually visit the inside of the arch and climb up to the roof! Entrance tickets cost 3.50 EUR per person. Arco da Rua Augusta is located in the very center of the city and is impossible to miss when visiting Lisbon.
Right next to the arch you will find Praça do Comércio or the Commerce Plaza – a massive public square lined with restaurants and shops and features the statue of King José I of Portugal in the middle.
Interestingly, the locals still call it the Palace Yard because previously the square hosted the Royal Palace of Ribeira. Unfortunately, the palace was completely destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the square was rebuilt afterward.
6. The most beautiful viewpoint in Lisbon – Miradouro de Santa Luzia!
If you are looking for the best viewpoints in Lisbon, then this is it – Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Thanks to the beautiful pergola covered with vines and flower bushes as well as tile-covered walls this viewpoint has the perfect setup for a stunning photo.
This is by far one of the most beautiful corners in Lisbon. There is a little square right next to a church that features a statue, flower bushes, and tile-covered benches to sit on and take in the scenic views over Lisbon’s classic terracotta rooftops.
If you are an early riser I highly recommend coming here in the morning. The glowing sun rays from the sunrise make the whole place even more scenic and magical. It will be quite busy during the day, so there’s another reason for an early morning visit!
The viewpoint offers picturesque views over Lisbon’s red terracotta roofs and the scenic Tagus river. This is definitely one of the most iconic and famous Instagram photo spots in Lisbon and it offers numerous photo opportunities. Don’t leave Lisbon without a photo from this spot!
Location: Miradouro de Santa Luzia
7. The tile-filled church and monastery of São Vicente de Fora
If you travel to Lisbon then visiting Igreja de São Vicente de Fora church and the monastery right next to it is a must! It is a massive complex that consists of a large church, a monastery that features the royal pantheon, and a courtyard.
It was built in the 17th century in the Mannerist style and features some of the most impressive tile artworks in Lisbon. One of the best things about it is that you can climb up to the roof of it and see Lisbon and the nearby National Pantheon from above.
The inside of the monastery features a famous sacristy covered by different types of marble. There are courtyards lined with arches and walls decorated with illustrations on painted tiles. The church hall ceiling is covered by beautiful barrel vaulting.
The whole building is a piece of art and is one of the most important monasteries in the country as it hosts the royal pantheon of tombs from the Portuguese monarchs from the Braganza dynasty. I would definitely include this in my Lisbon bucket list!
The building might look quite conservative from the outside, but the inside is full of jewels. The marble-covered sacristy, the paintings on the ceilings, the tile-covered walls, the stunning bell towers, and the most amazing views over the city make it one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon!
Definitely take your time to explore it all – you will need more than 1 hour to see everything! We went 1 hour before closing time and had to rush to manage to see all the rooms and corners of this place!
8. The one and only – Lisbon Pink Street!
There are very few places in Lisbon that are more iconic and famous than Pink Street. It is a short street in the heart of Lisbon that is colored pink and hosts numerous bars and restaurants. Part of the street is covered with rainbow umbrellas.
Pink Street is a proper party street by night, so the nighttime is definitely not the best time to go there! It could also be very busy and full of people in the afternoon so I’d recommend going there before noon.
We actually arrived at Pink Street shortly after 7 AM and the street was full of sticky drinks and plastic cups from the night before, so take that in mind. However, it was soon cleaned and washed by the bar owners who were preparing to open their bars.
I think the best time to go there is around 8 AM when the street is clean from the trash and before it gathers the usual crowds. It is also before the restaurant owners bring out chairs and tables and place them in the middle of the street.
There is nothing else special about this street other than the beautiful colors – the blue building, the yellow arch, and the pink street. However, in my opinion, that is completely enough to include this spot amongst the most beautiful places in Lisbon!
Location: Lisbon Pink Street
9. One of the oldest convents in Lisbon – Convento da Graça!
The incredible Convento da Graça was one of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon. Convento da Graça is one of the oldest convents in Lisbon located on the highest hill in the city. It was founded in the 13th century and survived the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.
Today you can visit the ground floor of the complex for free – it features a large courtyard lined with archways and some of the most amazing tile illustrations you will see in Lisbon! The illustrations tell different stories and events from the past.
However, there is an extra hidden gem to the convent – you can actually climb on the roof of Convento da Graça! Tickets to the rooftop terrace cost 5 EUR and there is even a drink included in the price. You can opt for a glass of wine or a glass of juice.
The rooftop of the convent gives you panoramic views over the whole of Lisbon. The best views are right next to the bell tower – don’t forget to walk behind it to get the best views! This was one of my favorite viewpoints and hidden gems in Lisbon!
Being one of the oldest convents in Lisbon this place has a historic significance. It feels strange to walk the steps that people walked here many centuries ago and see how they made this place their home as well as a place of worship. Do check it out!
Location: Convento da Graça
10. One of the most important buildings in Lisbon – the National Pantheon!
Amongst the most beautiful places in Lisbon, you will find the National Pantheon – a beautiful 17th-century monument. It is also amongst the most popular places to visit in Lisbon. The National Pantheon was initially built as a church but was later redesigned.
Today the National Pantheon hosts multiple burial sites of some of the most important Portuguese personalities like presidents, generals, and also artists. You can visit the Pantheon for an entrance fee of 4 EUR. A visit to the roof is also included in the price.
The most impressive part of the Pantheon is the dome. It was only finished in the 20th century. If you climb up to the roof of the Pantheon, you can walk around the circular shape of the dome from the inside. There is a pathway with railings – see photos above!
From the rooftop of the Pantheon, you can get 360-degree views over Lisbon, the Tagus river, and the port. It was definitely one of my favorite viewpoints in Lisbon! Pantheon itself is located on a hill so the views were extra great!
Location: National Pantheon
11. A place full of history and amazing views – Castelo de São Jorge!
It is impossible to miss the majestic São Jorge Castle sitting atop a hill in the heart of Lisbon. It is one of my favorite places to see the city from above. And it is one of the most unique spots in Lisbon – exploring these fortifications felt like stepping back in time!
The fortifications of a castle that we see today date back a thousand years. They were then built by the Moorish forces that had occupied the territory of Lisbon. However, there is evidence that humans lived on the castle hill as far back as the 8th century BC.
São Jorge Castle is one of the bucket list places to visit in Lisbon. During the Middle Ages, this site had a royal palace that was the residence of the kings of Portugal. As of today not much is left of the castle. Except for the impressive defensive towers and walls.
Visit to the castle cost us 11 EUR each which is a bit pricey to see the walls of a castle from the Middle Ages. However, if you time it around sunset then you can get some magical golden views over the whole city. Plus there are smaller crowds in the evening!
Location: Castelo de São Jorge
12. The oldest church in the city – Lisbon Cathedral!
Lisbon Cathedral is an iconic building and the oldest church in Lisbon. The church was built in 1147 and so far has survived multiple earthquakes and has been rebuilt and redesigned multiple times over the centuries.
Visiting this iconic and resilient building is a must – even if you check it out only from the outside! Those two towers stretch high above the regular buildings in Lisbon! If you are an early riser, you might catch a photo with the famous yellow tram in front of it!
In order to get such a photo, you must arrive before 8 AM! After that, the traffic gets very busy, tourists arrive to visit the cathedral and tuk-tuks line along the side of the street exactly where I am in the photo. It gets crazy! But it is iconic nevertheless.
Entrance to the cathedral costs 5 EUR and includes a self-guided visit around the main church hall and its many chambers, to the upper floor that features lots of religious artifacts as well as the balcony under the rose window that you can see in front of the cathedral.
Being the oldest church in Lisbon and having survived many catastrophes, the cathedral was rebuilt and redesigned numerous times. And some parts of the cathedral are still under construction!
This means that the Lisbon Cathedral features many different architectural styles – starting from Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Rococo styles. It is a mix of everything! Pretty cool!
My favorite place in the cathedral was the front facade balcony on the upper floor. You can walk on the balcony from the inside and wave to the people on the street. I felt like the Pope!
Although other churches and monasteries in Lisbon offer more to see and explore, the 5 EUR entrance fee feels like a reasonable price for what you get in exchange. But at least check it out from the outside!
Location: Lisbon Cathedral
13. The stunning secret in Lisbon – Palace of Fronteira
Hidden near Monsanto forest park is one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon – the Palace of the Marquesses of Fronteira. It is a stunning 17th-century palace with an expansive garden. You can either visit the gardens on your own or join a guided tour of the inside of the palace.
The palace is still the private residence of the Marquesses of Fronteira so only a part of the palace is accessible to the public. We only visited the gardens and it was very much worth it. You can tell that a lot of work was put into creating this place.
The gardens feature a pond with swans, fountains, numerous sculptures, and benches to sit on. The whole area is full of decorative bushes and blooming plants. But the central piece of the garden is the wall next to the pond.
The big wall has stairs on both sides where you can climb up to the upper part of the wall. It is lined with statues of the Kings of Portugal. The whole wall is blue and decorated with beautiful glazed tiles.
Hidden in the corner of the garden you will find a special chapel. It is covered with stones, seashells, and broken porcelain and glass. It was my favorite place in the gardens. If you have some extra time in Lisbon then check out this place!
Location: The Palace of Fronteira
14. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is among the best viewpoints in Lisbon for sure. If you are looking for the perfect place to watch the sunset in Lisbon, this is probably the most popular viewpoint of all. The views are fantastic and perfect for a photo!
This viewpoint is located in a churchyard on the highest point on one of the hills in Lisbon. It will definitely be a decent hike up to the viewpoint. However you can always rent a tuk-tuk to get around Lisbon without constantly battling the hills, haha!
We visited this viewpoint in the morning and during the day. It offers sweeping views over the whole city and is probably one of the best viewpoints you will find in Lisbon. It will definitely be full of buzz during the day and evening, but the views are worth it!
This place definitely felt like we had the whole of Lisbon at our feet! The view is panoramic and you get one of the most beautiful overviews of the city. Besides it is perfect for watching the airplanes land in the nearby airport. So cool!
Location: Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
15. The most Portuguese museum of all – National Tile Museum
If there is a museum that you must include in your Portugal bucket list then the National Tile Museum would be the one for sure. There are only a couple of things that characterize the Portuguese nation the best and tiles or ‘azulejos‘ are one of them!
The National Tile Museum holds a large collection of painted tiles from centuries ago that you can see with your own eyes. The museum is located inside a real 16th-century convent which makes the experience even more special.
You also get to visit a small church with stunning gilded altarpieces and artworks. My favorite tile work was the panoramic illustration of Lisbon. It shows how Lisbon was before the 1755 earthquake. The tilework is located on the upper floor of the museum.
You can’t leave Lisbon without seeing the beautiful painted tiles! So definitely try to find time to admire the tiles in some of the places that I have mentioned. However, the tile museum might be amongst the best places to see them.
Location: National Tile Museum
16. The most unique building in Lisbon – MAAT
MAAT is short for the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. Although I can’t say a single word about the museum itself because I did not visit the inside, I can say that the MAAT building is one of the most futuristic, alien-like, and beautiful buildings in Lisbon!
MAAT building is located on the riverside in the district of Belém. You can not only admire the building from the outside or explore the events and exhibitions on the inside, but you can also climb up to the rooftop viewpoint (for free).
The scenic riverside, the Ponte de 25 Abril bridge in the background, and the unique shape of the building create an unforgettable combination. This is a cool spot to take photos. It is especially popular during sunset hours when everything turns golden!
MAAT museum is definitely one of the most scenic places in Lisbon. I loved the winding shapes of the building and the shadow lines it creates. The setting is perfect for relaxing and watching the ships pass by in the river. Simply beautiful!
17. One of the most beautiful elevators in the world – Elevador de Santa Justa
Elevador de Santa Justa is probably one of the most iconic places in Lisbon. And definitely one of the most beautiful elevators in the world! You simply can’t pass by this unique building without stopping and looking up to admire the looks of it!
This iron elevator was built in 1902 to connect different levels of the city. It is 45 meters high and was built in a Neo-Gothic architectural style. Moving around the city has always caused problems so this was created as one of the solutions.
Taking the famous elevator and driving up to the observation deck is among the top things to do in Lisbon. You can normally see a big line waiting for their turn to go up with the iconic lift. However, you can also visit the top of the elevator for free.
Taking an iconic iron elevator that is more than 100 years old is definitely a cool experience and I have done it myself. However, waiting in the long line was the worst part. If you happen to be there on a hot day then maybe you wouldn’t want to do that.
You can actually climb up to the higher level on foot – you can navigate to the Carmo Convent building which is behind the elevator and from there, you can walk to the upper floor of the elevator for free. It is located next to a bar and is open to everyone.
Those who buy tickets and drive up with the elevator are allowed to climb up a few meters higher and see a rooftop view but it doesn’t differ too much from the one you get for free, so it is up to you to decide. Elevator tickets cost about 5 EUR per person.
Location: Elevador de Santa Justa
18. The most beautiful rail station in Lisbon – Rossio railway station
Rossio railway station is one of the busiest and central train stations in Lisbon located right next to the famous Rossio square. The station was built in the 19th century in the Neo-Manueline architectural style and boasts one of the most beautiful building facades in Lisbon!
The architecture is what really makes it special, especially the facade. The entrance goes through two intertwined horseshoe-shaped portals decorated with ornate details with a small statue of King Sebastian of Portugal in between.
The small more-than-a-hundred-year-old statue was actually accidentally destroyed in 2016 (somebody tried to climb up to take a selfie and broke it), so this must be a replica. If you happen to be there, definitely stop by to take a look or even get a photo!
Location: Rossio railway station
19. The cutest elevator in Lisbon – Elevador da Bica
Another iconic example of how locals tried to make a solution for the hills in Lisbon is Elevador da Bica. It is a funicular that connects two streets transporting people along a railway with a sharp incline. Alternatively, you can climb the stairs next to the railway.
The elevator began functioning in the 19th century and has been redesigned over time. Now it features the famous yellow color and looks similar to Lisbon’s famous yellow tram – Tram 28. That makes it a popular tourist attraction and a cool photo spot in Lisbon.
These yellow trams are world-famous thanks to Lisbon and getting a photo with one of them is a must! I found this funicular much cuter and more beautiful than the regular yellow trams. The trams are usually covered with advertisements and completely crowded.
For the best photo, I recommend walking to the top of the route and waiting for the funicular there. There are two funiculars going up and down the railway. When we visited one of them was beautiful yellow, but the other one was painted with graffiti.
Lisbon is a city like no other – rich in history, picturesque from the many viewpoints, beautiful with art and colorful tiles as well as tasty if you try those iconic pastel de nata egg tarts. I have been to Lisbon many times and I already can’t wait to go back.
I hope you enjoy your time in Lisbon as much as we did! And I hope you will get some travel inspiration from this blog post to make your trip to Lisbon – one of the oldest cities in the world – even more adventurous, fun, and exciting!