Top 10 Walks to Take in Lisbon
One really doesn’t have to “plan” to walk in Lisbon; this is something that happens very organically whether you like it or not.
Those looking to optimize their walking experience, however, can head to a few key spots for strolls that aim to please. Here are ten of the best:
1. Walk the Alfama in Lisbon
Even when people only have 24 hours to spend in Lisbon, I tell them to walk the Alfama.
Lisbon’s Alfama is the oldest and most historic neighborhood in the whole city. It’s one of few districts to have yet to be overrun with gentrification, and there is still a very big local community living here.
The Alfama spans across a few of Lisbon’s biggest hills. Walking it is challenging, but the views are unmatched and you’ll feel good about concurring this neighborhood by foot.
Whether you start your walk at the northernmost point and work your way south to the water, or vise versa, is up to you. I find the restaurants down the southern end to be a bit better, so if your walk is to be rewarded with food then definitely work your way from top to bottom!
2. Walk Belem in Lisbon
Another thing that even the quickest trips to Lisbon must include is a walk in Belem.
The Belem Tower is one of the most famous monuments in Portugal; it sits right on the edge of the water in the coastal town of Belem. Not far away is another mind-blowing monument: the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
The two are about a ten minute walk along the coast apart. They mark important times in Portuguese history and are quite incredible to stand next to.
You’ll also be within walking distance from the MAAT Museum and Museu Coleção Berardo once your coastal stroll is complete.
3. Walk the Shopping Streets of Chiado in Lisbon
This one is for the shoppers! Lisbon isn’t a mall-focused city; instead certain neighborhoods are simply like big outdoor malls!
Chiado is the very center of Lisbon, and the streets hold some of the best shopping in the entire city. Concept stores, big name brands, boutiques and more can be found in this small collection of carless streets.
If you’re interested in clothing shopping while in Lisbon then I recommend dedicating a morning or afternoon to walking the whole of Chiado!
4. Walk Between the Bars of Bairro Alto in Lisbon
Night owls need to head across from Chiado into the collective alleyways that make up Bairro Alto.
This is Lisbon’s most vibrant nightlife district. It’s filled with restaurants, cafes, wine bars, music venues and fado theaters. There is always something to see, do, eat or drink; and this continues on into the early hours of every morning.
Even by day, however, Bairro Alto is a beautiful neighborhood to explore on foot. The architecture here is near ancient; and some Lisbon locals still call the apartments above the bars home. You’ll see them hanging their washing from the windows and tossing dirty water into the streets…
5. Walk Along the Coast from the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon
Those exploring the city center don’t take very long to find their way to the Praça do Comércio. This is Lisbon’s biggest public square and it sits right on the coast where the city mattes the water.
The Praça do Comércio is an architectural wonder. Walking through it is quite something, especially at sunset. Once you reach the water you’ll have the choice of going either left or right.
Going left will take you along the Alfama coast; going right will lead you toward Cais do Sodre, an exciting coastal village where Lisbon’s Time Out Market can be found. Dinner is served!
6. Take a Guided Walking Tour in Lisbon
If self guiding your way between two destinations feels daunting in a foreign city, leave it to the professionals.
Everyday in Lisbon there are free guided walking tours that take place through the city center and the Alfama. They’ll give you guided access to the history, culture and architecture of the suburbs as you move by foot from A to B.
7. Walk from the City Centre to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Lisbon
Being a city built on hills, Lisbon has many beautiful viewpoints nestled at the summits of the vast ranges. These you’ll usually find on a whim while walking yourself to an intended destination; the Alfama, for example, has three of them that will pop up as you meander through the village.
A popular walk to do is from anywhere in the city centre up to the de São Pedro de Alcântara. This is a giant plaza at the top of the hill closest to the heart of Lisbon, and it overlooks the entire southern range of the city.
8. Walk Across the Ponte 25 de Abril in Lisbon
This is definitely one of the most unique walks to be done while in Lisbon, but unfortunately it is not an option year round.
In fact, one can only walk the Ponte 25 de Abril on one day of the year. Once a year in March the city holds a massive half-marathon event that uses the bridge as a route. The runners get preference, but the public is not barred from walking along the outskirts of the bridges roadway.
The bride spans 3.2km in length, so you can imagine what a light stroll across might feel like once you get halfway and have to decide on either turning back or continuing on.
9. Walk the LX Factory in Lisbon
Another attraction on the Lisbon coast that is a must when visiting Lisbon is the LX Factory.
This is an abandoned factory yard that was recently transformed into a co-operative space featuring cuisines from around the world, concept shops, bookstores, art galleries, movie screenings and more.
It spans over quite a significant distance, with multiple streets and layers to the entire ground space. Walking the LX Factory in its entirety takes some time and is best experienced with comfortable walking shoes and a hat in hot weather!
10. Walk to the Nearest Train Station in Lisbon…
… and catch a ride to Cascais on the Lisbon coast. And walk it!
Cascais is the nearest beach town to Lisbon, and is about a 40 minute train ride from anywhere in the city. Once you arrive, you’ll find yourself in a fishing village abundant with worldly cuisines, all the seafood you can imagine, multiple beaches and even harbors.
A day trip to Cascais is one of my favorite things to do in Lisbon. The village is tiny, and walking it in full is entirely possible in just one day.