Once one of the most underrated cities in Europe, Lisbon has quickly turned into a famous tourist destination over the last two years, welcoming millions of travelers every year. The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is known for its historic landmarks, trendy neighborhoods, stunning beaches and year-round sunshine, and excellent dining and shopping scene. This is why there’s no better choice than the Portuguese capital for a fun getaway with your girls.
Going on a trip to Lisbon is the perfect way to bond with your ladies because of the endless possibilities for fun and adventure. Whether you’re into history, art, nature or food, there’s something for you and your gals in this charming city. Here are some of the best things to do in Lisbon with your girls.
Things to Know Before You Go
Lisbon is one of the world’s best tourist destinations and you and your ladies are in for a treat. However, as with most trips, preparation is key if you want to make your time in the city as seamless and hassle-free as possible. Here are some things to know to help you prepare for your Lisbon trip:
- Although the city is a year-round destination, you should plan when to go and when the best time is for you. For instance, May to August is the busiest time in Lisbon with the occurrence of festivals and warm weather. November to February is a bit cooler in terms of weather and is also the period when prices drop.
- Lisbon is surprisingly compact and can be explored easily on foot. The public transportation system is also easy enough to understand. Carris is the main operator of public transport, including the trams and city buses, while the Metropolitano de Lisboa operates the metro system. You can choose to buy a Lisboa Card, which gives you unlimited public transportation access as well as entrance to some of the city’s top attractions.
- For a convenient trip, opt to temporarily store luggage and other items at a Lisbon luggage storage spot. Travel around hands-free!
- Some establishments do not accept credit cards so it is best to have cash on hand.
- The majority of the locals here do not speak English, so it will be handy to have a basic translation app. They are, however, extremely friendly and will try to help you the best they can.
Best Things to Do with Your Girls in Lisbon
Visit the city’s famous landmarks.
One of the main reasons why people visit any place is to see their most popular sights. Naturally, you’d be remiss not to check out the historic landmarks located within the Portuguese capital. Some of the must-see places in Lisbon are:
- Torre de Belém: This iconic tower once served as a fortress and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The four-story building is known for its impressive architecture and its stunning views of Belem and the rest of the city.
- Mosteiro dos Jerónimos: Lisbon’s most famous attraction, this huge monastery is considered one of the world’s best-preserved examples of Manueline architecture and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Praça do Comércio: Also known as Commerce Square, it is the most popular and important square in the city and once served as the “gateway” to Lisbon.
- Castelo de São Jorge: Another impressive piece of architecture in Lisbon is St. George’s Castle, a small fortress that was enlarged during the 11th century. Today, the castle towers over the city and is one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon.
- Monument to the Discoveries: This 52-meter tall monument was inaugurated in 1960 to commemorate the 500-year death anniversary of Henry the Navigator, one of the most prominent individuals during the early Portuguese empire.
Sample some of Lisbon’s local delicacies
If you and your girls love to eat, you will surely enjoy the local dining scene in Lisbon. The city was named 2019’s “Foodie Hotspot” at the National Geographic Traveller UK reader awards. Some dishes you should definitely try when in the city are caldo verde (soup made with kale and sausage), bacalhau à bras (dried and salted cod), piri-piri chicken, bifana (thin-sliced pork sandwich), feijoada (pork and bean stew), and, of course, the pastel de nata.
Explore the city’s historic Old Town
While Lisbon is famous for its charming neighbourhoods (called barrios), one that is frequented by both locals and tourists is Alfama, the oldest neighbourhood in the city. Known as Lisbon’s Old Quarter, Alfama is a traditional and historical area that once served as a fishing suburb. The district is also where the Portuguese musical style known as fado originated.
Alfama is one of the best areas to explore with your girlfriends because it is home to a number of Lisbon’s most important attractions, such as the Museu de Artes Decorativas, Lisbon Cathedral (Sé), Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, and Igreja de Santo António de Lisboa. To see it all, follow this free walking tour of Alfama.
Splurge and shop until you drop!
Lisbon’s shopping scene has come a long way in recent years. The city has a good mix of independent boutiques and swanky designer shops that will satisfy any shopaholic. One of the best spots to go shopping is Embaixaida, which is home to shops that sell just about anything – from clothing and accessories to art, vintage finds, and Portuguese ceramics. If you’re looking for something more upscale, head over to Avenue de Liberdade, a tree-lined boulevard that is filled with international names such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex, and Furla.
Experience Lisbon’s vibrant nightlife
No girls’ trip would be complete without partying, and Lisbon’s nightlife scene will definitely make your trip memorable. For a fun girls’ night out, head over to Barrio Alto, which is arguably the most prominent party area in the city. After sunset, the neighbourhood transforms into a buzzing nightlife destination, where locals and tourists alike party until the late hours of the evening. Another party zone in Lisbon is Pink Street, Lisbon’s former “red light district” that’s now known for its range of clubs and bars.