Lisbon is regarded as a fine student city, with many flocking to study their degree from all over Portugal and beyond. Indeed, this is a choice that thousands of students make every year due to the excellent quality of universities and the wide range of attractions and activities available in Portugal’s proud capital city.
We have been aware of the lure of the city for Portuguese students for some time at Collegiate and our Marquês de Pombal studio apartments have been incredibly popular since they were opened. You can discover more about these properties and the facilities available by perusing the dedicated section of our website.
So excited are we about Lisbon these days, that we have decided to cover the top local attractions in Lisbon as part of a series of features and guides to our favourite European locations.
Whether you’ve been accepted into university in Lisbon or you’re simply doing some research to see if Portugal’s vivacious capital is right for you, we hope this guide helps you to make an informed decision.
We have no doubt you’ll fall in love with the idea of life in Lisbon thanks to its world class restaurants and reputation for fine arts and culture as well as a host of other attractions and nuances.
Things to do in Lisbon
There is no shortage of things for the modern student to get up to in Lisbon, this is obviously the case with many European capitals but Lisbon may just offer that little something different.
Read on to find out our top picks when it comes to attractions in Lisbon!
Belem Tower makes an excellent starting point when beginning to explore the city and this was where many of the voyages of discovery the Portuguese embarked on started, back when it was built in 1515.
Known as an icon for Lisbon, Belem Tower is a symbol for the Age of Discovery and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage monument. Those visiting it today will be able to enjoy its stonework motifs depicting historical figures such as St. Vincent as a fantastic introduction to Lisbon’s rich history.
Mosterio Dos Jerónimos
This is another local attraction in Lisbon tied to the history of the Age of Discovery. Jeronimos Monastery is an impressive building where the explorer Vasco de Gama is entombed and can be found along the Tragus River; you can also find out about the life of one of the world’s most famous discoverers.
The monastery does get busy but that’s not surprising considering its stunning exterior. The Gothic chapel and ornate church are free to explored but once you’ve had a round look, take a trip to the monastery’s gardens away from the crowds. Here you can take in stunning views and really appreciate one of Portugal’s most fascinating attractions.
If you want to get to know the Portuguese capital like the back of your hand before settling in, then the Lisbon tour might just be the perfect option. The city offers the opportunity to discover the sights and attractions by foot, bike, bus or boat; the choice is yours.
What better way to explore the city than with a local guide? Although you may well have visited the city before or even lived locally, these guided tours allow you to familiarize yourself with yourself before you start your degree.
One can also take some time to hear the stories behind Lisbon’s historical landmarks, stopping at a whole host of eateries along the way or hop on a boat and travel by water along Lisbon’s River Tragus.
If you are traveling on two wheels is more your thing, Lisbon’s electric bike tours are very popular with visitors, especially when it comes to tackling the many winding hills; This is something that Lisbon has become famous for over the years.
Traveling by bicycle also makes the slopes more manageable and allows you to explore the city’s local areas such as Bairro Alto and Chiado in style.
Where to eat in Lisbon
Discover the delicious gastronomy that Lisbon has to offer with our top tips on where to eat …
Situated close to Belem Tower, Pasteis de Belem is renowned for its “pasteis de nata” tarts. As you will no doubt be well aware, these are a typical Portuguese delicacy and are loved by locals and tourists alike. Visiting Lisbon without sampling would simply be a travesty.
Due to the location of this quintessentially Portuguese eatery, you can combine a visit with a trip to the tower, so be sure to take a walk through the gardens and down to the waterfront to take in the magnificent views.
LX Factory is a renovated industrial complex that attracts thousands of shoppers every year, and whilst it might be a shopping complex within the city, it is certainly one with a twist and has a hipster, bohemian vibe that lends itself very well to the student community.
The abandoned print works got a makeover over a decade ago and has since been a popular place to visit thanks to its colourful walls and huge murals.
Once you’ve eaten, don’t miss a visit to the Village Underground around the corner. It’s a unique structure made from shipping containers and double decker buses, upcycled into office spaces and a restaurant – a must-see.
Mercado da Ribeira
Found opposite Cais de Sodré station, this 13th-century market serves up some of the most delicious dishes from around thirty Portuguese chefs who run their own respective stalls. It’s a popular market with Lisboans and it’s the perfect place to visit if you like a bit of people watching.
There’s no need to book, simply turn up and graze the food that the stalls have to offer before pulling up a chair at one of the communal benches around the market.
Where to drink in Lisbon
If it’s party spirit you’re looking for after a long day at university, then it’s Bairro Alto that attracts drinkers late at night. Here you’ll find the hip youngsters of the city who flock to the area to enjoy cocktails and beers in a quite stunning setting.
Park Bar is popular with many of the local students and is always worth checking out if you are after some late-night drinking and dancing.
It can be quite hard to find but once you do you’ll be greeted with a terrace on top of a car park filled with plants and beautiful views of the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge. For a classier affair, scout out Esquina de Bica where you can enjoy some delicious cocktails in the lap of luxury.
Discover Lisbon with Collegiate Portugal
If you are a Portuguese student currently weighing up your options and deciding between a few of our great cities, then we hope this has sparked some interest in the capital. You can find out more about our facilities at Collegiate Marquês de Pombal and some of the other cities in which we have luxury properties, by taking a look around the Collegiate PT site.
You can also contact us here or if you wish to speak to one of our advisors, by calling +351 213 500 070 .