Lisbon is full of gorgeous, and sometimes secret, Instagram-worthy spots. I’ve picked out the 10 prettiest and most photogenic places to visit in town.
Planning a trip to Lisbon soon? Great news, I have some sights to delight your eyes. All of them are special, pretty and even romantic and if you love architecture, you’ll likely love all of these too. From skyline points to brand new museums. From shops to public squares. From well-known to secret locations.
Portugal is one of the prettiest countries in Europe (if not the world) and its home to many beautiful cities so if you liked this list, make sure you visit Porto too.
So here are my top 10 prettiest and most photogenic places to visit in town.
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1. Praça do Comércio
This vast waterfront square, also known as Terreiro do Paço or “the palace’s square,” is where the royal palace stood for over two centuries until 1755, when it was destroyed by the Great Earthquake. The royal family moved to another residence in the district of Bélem, and the new arcaded buildings acted as the port of entry to the city. On 1 February 1908, the square was the scene of the assassination of Carlos I, the penultimate King of Portugal.
Location: Praça do Comércio, 1100-148 Lisboa (Google)
2. Miradouro de Santa Luzia
This romantic terrace by the church of Santa Luzia introduces visitors to Alfama with a sweeping view over its houses, churches, and the Tagus River. The cafe on the terrace is a good place for a drink before climbing to the Castle of São Jorge nearby. If you liked this location, don’t miss the nearby Miradouro Portas do Sol.
Location: Largo Santa Luzia, 1100-487 Lisboa (Google)
3. Casa do Alentejo
Located at Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, a lively pedestrian-only street known for its seafood restaurants, this restaurant is famous for serving as a meeting place for people from the Alentejo province, and has an attractive Moorish courtyard and a restaurant filled with tile decoration. This peculiar 17th-century building is worth dropping into, it’s beautiful!
Location: R. das Portas de Santo Antão 58, 1150-268 Lisboa (Google)
4. Elevador de Santa Justa
Connecting the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo, Santa Justa Lift is a vertical structure, consisting of a metallic tower, an observation platform, walkway and base. It was built in 1902 as an elevator decorated in a Neo-Gothic style in iron by Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard.
Location: R. do Ouro, 1150-060 Lisboa (Google)
5. Lisbon Cathedral
After the period of Visigothic domination, Lisbon was conquered by the Moors and stayed under Arab control from the 8th to the 12th century (although Christians were allowed to live in Lisbon and its surroundings). In the year 1147, the city was reconquered by an army composed of Portuguese soldiers led by King Afonso Henriques and North European crusaders taking part in the Second Crusade (see Siege of Lisbon). An English crusader named Gilbert of Hastings was placed as bishop, and a new cathedral was built on the site of the main mosque of Lisbon in 1150.
Location: Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisboa (Google)
6. Elevador da Bica
Elevador da Bica was conceived by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard and installed in 1890. It connects the Rua de São Paulo with Calçada do Combro/Rua do Loreto – some of the steepest streets in Lisbon. Its course follows an area of predominantly rental buildings constructed during the 18th century. Take funicular #25, which has been creaking arthritically up the steep, narrow Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo since 1892.
Location: Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, 1200-057 Lisboa (Google)
7. Ler Devagar Bookshop
Ler Devagar, meaning Read Slowly, was named one of the 10 most beautiful bookstores in the world. This is a large space, united by a grand staircase and filled with antique printing machines. Ler Devagar is located in one of the city’s coolest places: LX Factory.
Location: R. Rodrigues de Faria 103 – G 0.3, 1300-501 Lisboa (Google)
8. Ponte 25 de Abril
Completed in 1966 and originally named after dictator Salazar, this suspension bridge across the Tagus River changed its name after the revolution of April 25, 1974. With an overall length of 2278m (approx. 1.5 miles), and the longest central span in Europe (1013m/3323ft) Ponte 25 de Abril is actually longer than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Location: Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisboa (Google)
9. MAAT Museum
Lisbon’s latest riverfront star is this low-rise, glazed-tiled structure that intriguingly hips and sways into ground-level exhibition halls. Visitors can walk over and under its reflective surfaces, which play with water, light and shadow, and pay homage to the city’s intimate relationship with the sea. The striking building was designed by UK-based Amanda Levete (famed for winning the rights to design London’s Victoria & Albert Museum expansion).
Location: Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa (Google)
10. Bélem Tower
The Belem Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for the sailors it was the last sight of their homeland. It was built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour. Since 1983, the tower has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Jerónimos Monastery. It is often portrayed as a symbol of Europe’s Age of Discoveries and as a metonym for Portugal or Lisbon, given its landmark status.
Location: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa (Google)
Check these and other beautiful locations on the map below or download the Free Architecture Guide of Lisbon.