Fun fact: National sites and many other businesses in Lisbon are CLOSED on Mondays! What’s a traveler to do about that? On a recent trip to Lisbon, our timing fell Saturday afternoon-Tuesday morning, so Monday was one of our only full days there! Not to worry, though. There are still plenty of things to do on Mondays, and I’ve done the research to help you out! Here are the best things to do on a Monday in Lisbon, Portugal!
Check Out the Miradors
“Mirador” means “viewpoint.” Because Lisbon is a city on a hill, there are lots of beautiful miradors overlooking the city, the river, the sea, etc.! And because these are outdoors, they’re all open on Mondays (and always). You could easily spend a few hours admiring Lisbon from every angle (and get plenty of steps in the process!).
Also essential: How to Make the Most of the Lisboa Card
Ride Tram 28
One of the most popular means of transportation is 100% available on Mondays! These historic, wooden trams are classic and iconic; they’re a real part of Lisbon’s history! And while Tram 28 is not the only one, it is most popular with tourists because it passes many attractions and iconic sites along its route. Taking the tram is €3 per ride, or FREE with the Lisboa Card!
It gets mighty crowded, so plan to ride it early! The first Tram 28 of the day leaves just before 6:00am, and we could see that it was already getting packed by 8:15am or so! Hop on before 8:00am for a pleasant (less crowded) ride. We spent part of our morning taking the entire route from one end to the other, then back to yet another site that’s open on Monday and happens to be on the route. (See the next site on this list!)
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Lisbon
Visit the Carmo Archaeological Museum
One of the most Instagrammable places in all of Lisbon opens at 10:00am on Mondays! Not only is it a beautiful ruin, it’s also an interesting archaeological museum. The former convent dates back to 1389, but was ruined in the 1755 earthquake that devastated Lisbon. Reconstruction efforts started the following year, but stopped in 1834 when religious orders were abolished in Portugal.
Nearly 30 years later, the Museo Arqueologico do Carmo was created. Today, you’ll find an Egyptian mummy and sarcophagus, Manueline architectural features, the Tomb of King Fernando I, elegant tilework, and more artifacts! It’s well worth the price, but you’ll get a 20% discount if you have the Lisboa Card!
More like this: Ruined: Beauty in the Broken Places
Explore Ajuda National Palace
Want to see how royalty really lived? Ajuda National Palace was built in the early 19th century, but was never completed. You’d never know it, though! The completed portions were lived in for nearly 100 years, until the royal family was removed. The rooms and furnishings are truly grand, and to be honest, I knew practically nothing of the Portuguese Royal Family until I visited!
The palace is open on Mondays, but keep in mind it’s closed on Wednesdays. You can take public transportation here easily. But even better, you can visit for FREE with the Lisboa Card!
Read next: What to Pack for a Week in Spain and Portugal for Women
Admire the Royal Treasures Museum
Oh, you want to see crown jewels? You can! Also located at the Ajuda National Palace, you’ll find the Royal Treasures Museum. Here you’l find true treasures: Gold, diamonds, jewelry, royal robes, diplomatic gifts from all over the world. And actually, the part of this museum I appreciated the most was the portraits and reigns of the Portuguese monarchs on the walls between each section. Again, very helpful! It is also FREE with the Lisboa Card.
Read next: What to Know Before You Visit Portugal
Visit Castelo de Sao Jorge
Who doesn’t love a legit castle?! Dating from the 12th century, the castle is on the highest point of the old city. From here, you’ll see stunning viewpoints, ancient artifacts (some dating back to the Iron Age around 600 B.C.!), and even some peacocks and peahens roaming around!
This is the #1 thing you must do when in Lisbon, so make sure it’s on your list of things to do while you’re there. While it’s not included with the Lisboa Card’s benefits, it is open every day of the week, including Monday!
Also here: Staying at Solar do Castelo Hotel, Lisbon
Go Up in the Torre da Igreja do Castelo Sao Jorge
This little church in the Castle Village is sort of unassuming, but you definitely don’t want to miss it! The view from the top is worth the 50 steps to get there, and you get a complimentary beverage to enjoy as well! Visitors can choose from juice or red wine in summer, or enjoy hot chocolate in the chilly winter months. You’ll get a 20% discount with the Lisboa Card, too.
Read next: 8 Things You Forgot to Pack for Your Trip to Europe
Try the Pasteis de Belem
You’ve heard about them, you’ve seen photos of them all over Instagram, you know you want to try one! While pasteis de nata can be found all over the city, the original may just be at this little pastry shop in nearby Belem. Located across the street from the ever-popular Jeronimos Monastery (not open on Mondays, FYI!), there is almost always a line (or three), so know which line you’re standing in: Table service, take-away, or pre-ordered.
The history goes that someone from the monastery started selling these little treats to earn a living once the Monastery closed in the early 19th century. They’ve been a favorite for locals and visitors alike here since 1834. Best of all, the famous pastry shop is open on Mondays!
Keep eating: The Best Foods to Try in Lisbon
Have the Pilar 7 Experience
So, there are miradors all over Lisbon’s old city, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, but how about a little something new? When the Ponte 25 de Abril was completed in 1966, it was originally called the Salazar Bridge. After Portugal’s Carnation Revolution began on April 25, 1974, the bridge was renamed Ponte 25 de Abril. It is the longest suspension bridge in Europe, and you can go up in Pilar 7 to get the view from the top! It’s FREE with the Lisboa Card, as is the bus ride to get there.
More here: The Ultimate List of 30 Trips to Take in Your 30s
Visit Lisbon Catheral (Se de Lisboa)
There are so many beautiful, big, historic, significant churches and monasteries and cloisters in Lisbon, but this one is the oldest, most important one. Dating from the 12th century, it’s stood the test of time, most notably surviving the 1755 earthquake, fires, and tsunami that devastated the vast majority of the city. You can visit the sanctuary for FREE, but the rest is by admission only. You’ll save 20% with the Lisboa Card, and your ticket price includes the treasury on the second floor. Best of all, it’s open on Mondays!
Essential info: The Best Cities in the World to Travel Without a Car
Take in the View from the Discoveries Monument
If you only do one thing to recognize Portugal’s contribution to world travel, make it this one. The Discoveries Monument was completed in 1960 to honor the explorers of Portugal and memorialize the “Age of Discovery.” It’s ship-inspired and includes 32 statues all around the bow, led by Prince Henry the Navigator, 15th century Portuguese prince and explorer. There is one woman: Queen Filipa de Lencastre. She was Prince Henry the Navigator’s mother!
You can go up to the top of the tower to take in the view. You’ll see Ponte 25 de Abril to one side and Torre de Belem to the other. Don’t forget to look back, too! You may have noticed the massive compass rose and map (gifted to Portugal by South Africa) on the plaza as you approached the monument, but you’ll have a better view from the top! Get in with a 20% discount when you show your Lisboa Card.
NOTE: This monument is open every day of the week from March through September; it is closed on Mondays from October through February. You can always see the monument from the outside, of course, even if the tower is closed.
Read next: 10 Trips Every Traveler Should Take
Want more? Get everything you need to know on my dedicated Portugal Page!
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4 thoughts on “The Best Things to Do in Lisbon on a Monday”
Thanks for the tips I have been wanting to go to Portugal for the longest time.
Yes! Definitely make it happen. The people are so kind and welcoming, and we loved our time in Lisbon! Check out my Portugal Page for more tips and a packing list, too! Quickwhittravel.com/portugal