Walking Lisbon: What you should see right away

Portugal has a lot to offer: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, interactive museums and old-world buildings that survived the 1755 earthquake.

It’s a beautiful country with a lot to choose from, so naturally, I had a hard time figuring it out at first.

But, the planning process went smoothly — for the most part.

My girlfriend Ashley and I knew we wanted to take a trip this spring. After finalizing where we wanted to go, we booked our flights, going from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Paris ($584 on Delta for me), then to Lisbon (about $100 each).

This turned out to be much cheaper than flying direct to Lisbon (but it depends how many airports you want to visit).

While the flying seemed a little busy for my taste, the hotels part was easy. Since we planned to stay about a week and a half, it made more sense to call Lisbon home and rely on the metro to visit the surrounding area. We booked one room at the Vincci Liberdade, near the Praça dos Restauradores, which made it easy to walk the city and access public transit.

After our flights were booked, hotels done, we still had to figure out what we were going to do.

Admittedly, planning out an itinerary isn’t always a strength of mine. Sometimes, I prefer to just show up and figure it out as I go.

Approaching the trip this way didn’t prove to be issue because of all the sights and sounds you can take in by simply strolling the streets of Lisbon.

Related: What to Know About Backpacking in Southern Italy

Wandering Around Lisbon

One of my favorite aspects of Lisbon is how walkable it is. The first few days in Lisbon, we didn’t grab a taxi, step onto the metro or flag down a tuk tuk (a small city-zippin’ vehicle for tourists).

Instead, we walked out onto the intricately tiled sidewalks and made our way around the city, often spending long days on our feet. It was easy enough, too, as Lisbon isn’t difficult to navigate.

Here’s a list of places in Lisbon best seen on foot: 

You don’t have to go in order, and the 25 de Abril Bridge is still a sight to be seen from afar, so you don’t necessarily have to march all the way there. Many of these are also fairly close together, and there are other great places along the way (like I said, there’s a lot).

When visiting these places, we brought a day pack and enough cash for lunch. We hit the streets and took in the scene. It was a relaxing way to get used to our surroundings, shaking off the jet lag, and also covering a substantial amount of ground.

Some of these attractions, like the Santa Justa Lift, do have a small cost attached to them. However, the Lisbon Card not only gets you in for free, but you’re also able to ride the metro for free too, which I highly recommend.

The metro has multiple lines that travel within the city, stopping regularly. After a long day of walking, it’s a great option to get from A to B quickly, while giving your feet a break.

Here’s a map to start plugging in coordinates and routing your trip. Safe travels!