Top 10 Things To See And Do In Lisbon
1. Take A Ride On The 28 Line Tram
From the 5 tram lines left in the city, the most famous is the Yellow nr. 28 tram. The tram starting point is at Martim Moniz square, named after a 12th century knight who died after he lodged himself in the door of Lisbon’s St George’s Castle so his army would be able to get in and reclaim it from the Moors.
After a scenic ride through many notable land marks in Lisbon it stops in Campo Ourique (Prazere). The main sight to see here is the Prazeres Cemetery.
It’s the largest cemetery in Lisbon and had a rather inauspicious start, being created in 1833 after a cholera epidemic. However, it has become the de facto national cemetery in recent years and there are many important Portuguese figures buried here.
What a great way to see the city at a cost of about €2.90 per person. Services run from about 6am - 9pm. You can buy a ticket from the driver or a machine on board alternatively you can buy a Viva Card in advance (€0.50) and top it off with cash instead of tickets.
2. A Visit To The Tower Of Belem
The Belem Tower (Torre de Belem) was built between 1514 and 1520 in a Manuelino style by the Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda.
It was classified as a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. Constructed on the northern bank of the Tagus River, this tower was used to defend the city.
Years later, it was transformed into a lighthouse and customs house. Click here for updated ticket prices and discounts.
3. Jeronimos Monastery
The Jeronimos Monastery is, along with the Belem tower, the most important tourist attraction in Lisbon, inside which lies the tomb of Vasco de Gama.
4. Time Out Market
In 2014, Time Out Lisbon editors turned a historic market hall in the city into Time Out Market, thus creating the world’s first food and cultural market, and the first market experience rooted wholly in editorial curation.
A place that previously housed the city’s top vendors now brings together the best of the city under one roof: its best restaurants, bars and cultural experiences, based on the editorial curation Time Out has always been known for.
5. Pasteis de Belem
A visit to Lisbon will not be complete unless you visit this original bakery. In 1837, the baking of the “Pastéis de Belém” began in the buildings attached to the refinery, following the ancient ‘secret recipe` from the monastery.
Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in the ‘secret room’, this recipe remained unchanged to the present day.
You can make your own with our easy to follow recipe on or recipe page.
6. Padrão dos Descobrimentos
The Padrão dos Descobrimentos marks the shore of the Tagus Estuary with its grand architecture and beige stone. You can reach the towering landmark by strolling along the waterside of Santa Maria de Belém.
Once you spot it, be sure to pick out the legendary figures of Vasco da Gama (an explorer of India and Arabia) and Prince Henry the Navigator (an adventurer of the Great Sand Sea).
It’s been here since the early 1960s and is an ornate testimony to the successes of Portuguese exploration during the Age of Discovery.
7. Enjoy the natural beauty of Tróia
About an hour from Lisbon, in Setúbal, you simply take the ferry across the river Sado to get to the beaches of the Tróia Peninsula.
It’s very common to see dolphins at this point where the river Sado meets the sea, and taking a boat ride with time to observe them is always a good idea.
Or go bird watching in the Serra da Arrabida Natural Park or the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, where there’s no lack of interesting species.
Not far away is Carrasqueira, a very traditional fishing port built on stilts.
In the heart of the peninsula, you’ll find one of Portugal’s most engaging and challenging golf courses, the Troia Golf, voted one of Continental Europe’s best 10 resorts by Golf World magazine in 2019. If you are a golf player the Troia course should definitely be on your bucket list.
9. 25th April Bridge
Stretching across the estuary at the Tagus River in Lisbon is the Ponte 25 de April (25th April Bridge). Standing over 200 feet (70 m) above the water it is the largest suspension bridge in Europe and the 20th longest in the world. Often considered as a twin sister of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco because of its similar design, the bridge in Lisbon is 300 feet (100m) longer.
Heading across the bridge by train or car will give you a fantastic viewpoint to see the city of Lisbon from, the uninterrupted views are breathtaking.
The bridge is a spectacular sight from any direction with a length of approximately 1.5 miles (2.3 Km), it dominates the river and there are many places to get views of the structure from. But my absolute favorite was from Cristo Rei.
This mind blowing aquarium with its huge wrap-around tank makes you feel as if you're underwater, as you eyeball zebra sharks, honeycombed rays, gliding mantas and schools of neon fish. Located in the Parque das Nações.
It is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe.
That conclude our Top 10 list of Lisbon. There are certainly a million more things to do and see and you can easily spent weeks in Lisbon. Go to street markets, nightly concerts, listening to Fado while enjoying a local meal or simply taking in the sun.
It is definitely a family favorite destination for us.
Nine Ways to Save Money Before Traveling
If you would like to travel but the expense seems like Kilimanjaro ahead of you, consider a few of these money saving ideas:
1. Change your eating habits
Don't eat out, limit your take-away's and dinners out with friends.
Take-away's are mostly unhealthy and dinners out can add up very quickly if the night becomes long.
Cook your own food at home, cook for a few days and pack lunch instead of buying.
2. Stop buying your favorite Starbucks coffee
This was a big one for us. We, mostly me, LOVE coffee on the go, who wants to go sit next to a tennis court with kids playing and no cuppa??? Not me!
You have 2 options here, brew your own coffee at home, or invest in a good coffee machine.
We got a great deal on an awesome Nespresso machine, that makes better lattes than our local barista. We can now make our own awesome lattes on the go at a lower price and still have the machine, which you can later choose to sell or keep.
3. Eat less meat
We used to be big meat eaters. Growing up in South Africa, meat is a must everyday. But we moved away from that, and instead of having a meat-free Monday we had a meat eating day.
We eat a lot more grains such as Quinoa, millet etc. We also mostly eat large servings of fruits and vegetables.
4. Change your attitude towards possessions
At this very moment I can happily say I have no need for anything. It is so freeing not to accumulate "things". I only buy consumables, food or clothes. As soon as you live with less you realize all those extras are really NOT necessary.
Think twice before you buy something. In our house we always ask.... "Will that fit in the camper?"
If not, are you prepared to spend that money on something short term? The answer is always no.
5. Change your phone/internet plan
So many places have free internet, we traveled for 9 months getting free wi-fi where ever we went. Do you really need Netflix?
6. Quit the gym and other unnecessary clubs
More often than not we belong to the gym and clubs that we don't even attend enough times to justify the monthly fees.
Start running with friends and get some fresh air. I've discovered some of the most amazing things running in new places.
7. Stop using credit/debit cards
It is easier to swipe a card than to pay cash for everything.
You become more aware of your expenses when you pay cash for stuff. Keep a record of your spending and evaluate monthly.
8. Learn to travel frugally
There are many ways to save money while traveling. Eat where the locals eat. Not only will you get a real food experience, but its often much less than places that target tourists.
Negotiate long term rentals. Most Air B N B's give a huge discount for long term rentals.
Consider house sitting. You look after peoples house/pets while they are away and stay in their house in return.
You can also try WWOOF, a website where you exchange service, mostly working on farms in return for room and board.
9. Use skyscanner and travel light
You can look for cheaper tickets at different surrounding airports and different days on skyscanner.
Many airlines charge for checked luggage. You can save a lot by only having a carry on bag.
Even with all these tips we all are different and have different needs. Most of these are no sacrifice to me. But if something is very important to you try to cut back in other areas. We only live once and need to enjoy that one life!!!
What to do before traveling to Europe
Going on any trip takes planning, but going to Europe in a camper with 5 kids, certainly needed a bit more planning and orchestrating. This is how it all started...
8 Months before our trip
Having an intensive conversation with my husband explaining the pro's and cons about a long term trip in Europe. Adding all our monthly expenses and realizing that it will actually cost us less to travel than to stay home.
I drew up a timeline of what needed to be done up until our departure. House needed to possibly get rented out, lots of belongings had to be sold, tickets had to be booked, 21 bags packed, etc.
7 Months before
We worked out a rough itinerary to see how much winter and summer clothes would be needed. Yes, I know EVERYTHING can be purchased anywhere, but we had the space in our bags and chose not to spend unnecessary money, plus it was awesome having so much of "home" with us.
We went through our house, room by room and had boxes for, "store", "sell", "give away", "take with". Doing this so well in advance made us realize how much we really did not need.
6 Months before
A list was made of repairs that needed to be done to our house. My husband started working on a plan for his businesses, who will be taking care of it while we are away(he returned every other month to attend to it).
We started looking for flights on Skyscanner, as soon as we saw a great deal around the time we wanted to go, we took it and planned our departure date around that.
5 Months before
Started selling everything we did not need on line and on local facebook/WhatsApp groups.
See which of our memberships we had to give notice to.
1-3 Months before
I started packing what needs to go in storage. We only had one suitcase each to live out of for the last few months.
Check if your passports are all up to date, apply for visas if need be.
Give yourself a buffer of 1 month before your departure. Be packed and out of your house. You will realize how much still have to be done after that day, but if you are all ready, then it is a great month to relax with people you wont see in a while.
1 Month before
Check that all memberships were indeed cancelled, mail forwarded, pet sitters arranged, travel insurance purchased, medical checks done.
Notify your bank, cellphone provider and neighbors of your trip.
Go on your trip and make memories.
Hi I'm Erika,