8 ideas for guided tours in Lisbon

Panorama de la vieille ville de Lisbonne

Traveling to Portugal? Discover the capital from every angle with our selection of guided tours in Lisbon!

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities! This sublime, sun-drenched city has everything it takes to seduce visitors. With its typical streets, monuments and culinary specialities, its fado and warm-hearted inhabitants, it’s easy to see why Lisbon has become a city-break must-see. There’s no shortage of things to do in the city, so there’s no denying that you’ll never get bored!

But with so much on offer culturally, historically and culinarily, it’s easy to miss out. So how do you make sure you don’t miss a thing? By opting for a guided tour of Lisbon, of course! There are tours to suit all tastes and desires, in French or English, thematic or otherwise. But all of them are led by a passionate local guide who will teach you everything you need to know about the Portuguese capital!

Lisbon in a nutshell

Vue de Lisbonne et château Sao Jorge

Photo credit: Shutterstock – TTstudio

Spread over seven steep hills overlooking the Tagus River, Lisbon is one of the most popular cities among travelers. The city’s roots go back to antiquity. Occupied by many different civilizations and capital of a vast maritime empire, Lisbon is home to a wealth of architectural and cultural treasures. These monuments are as much a part of the city’s reputation as its gentle way of life, its gastronomy and its climate. In short, Lisbon has everything to seduce any visitor. Whether you like cultural visits, partying and eating well, or just strolling from street to street, you’ll find what you’re looking for here!

In the city, don’t miss the labyrinth of narrow streets that make up its neighborhoods. There are also many monuments and museums to see, such as the impressive Château Saint-Georges overlooking the magnificent Alfama district. You should also visit the Hieronymites Monastery and the Belém Tower. Last but not least, take the famous streetcar line no. 28, which circles the city’s main districts!

Visit Lisbon in French

Don’t worry: there are plenty of guided tours of Lisbon in French! Whether you opt for a historical or thematic tour of the Portuguese capital, you’re bound to find a local French-speaking guide. After all, the recent history between Portugal and French-speaking countries is still palpable. In Lisbon, you’ll be amazed at how many people speak perfect French!

When it comes to guided tours in Lisbon, you can choose to explore the city’s main monuments and neighborhoods. These tours are usually done on foot or by streetcar (the famous streetcar 28). There are also tuk-tuk tours, an excellent means of transport for a quick and easy tour of the city’s most beautiful treasures. It can be very pleasant, especially after climbing a few steep hills! Thematic tours in French are also available: gastronomy with culinary specialties, Portuguese wines and local cheeses, or a tour of Lisbon street-art, or the discovery of Fado. Something for everyone!

Around the fado

Groupe de fado à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sopotnicki

A popular urban song from Portugal, Fado is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A Portuguese musical genre par excellence, it is made up of popular songs with a melancholy theme, accompanied by plucked string instruments. Lisbon Fado, less joyful than Coimbra Fado, comes from the working-class districts of Alfama, Castelo and Bairro Alto. Performed by both men and women, it has taken many forms over the years. Today, travelers can hear the fado of yesteryear in the capital’s historic districts, but they still need to know the right addresses!

For example, you can opt for a guided tour of Lisbon with a focus on Fado. Once again, the possibilities and activities are numerous. In French or English, you can choose a guided tour of the Alfama, followed by a Fado concert in a typical establishment. These 3-hour tours are, of course, accompanied by a local guide. You’ll learn more about the history of the district and of Lisbon, as well as about this unique musical genre!

Street art

Façade décorée d'un vieux bâtiment à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Madrugada Verde

Are you passionate about street art? Then opt for this theme on a guided tour of Lisbon. The Portuguese city has established itself as one of the street-art capitals of the world. Now a must-see, Lisbon is a veritable open-air museum. Everywhere you look, urban art is present, in the form of magnificent frescoes of all kinds!

Would you like to discover them and learn a little more about Lisbon’s street-art scene? Luckily for you, there are many street-art themed guided tours in Lisbon. These activities can last from 1.5 to 4 hours, depending on the itinerary chosen. The longest are obviously the most in-depth. Some also combine street art with historic buildings. Finally, there are several guided tours available in French.

Free tours of Lisbon

Jeune femme devant l'arc de Triomphe à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Madrugada Verde

Looking for a free guided tour of Lisbon? The Wild Walkers Tours organization offers daily walks in English. Lasting 2 hours 30 minutes, they start at 10.30 a.m. every day. These tours are only available for small groups of up to 8 people. Reservations are required and can be made via the organization’s website. A tip at the end of the tour is, of course, greatly appreciated.

Gourmet Lisbon

Pasteis de Nata, Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Olesya Kuznetsova

Of course, you can take advantage of your stay to discover the city, its monuments and museums. But don’t forget to discover the local gastronomy! Lisbon invariably attracts food lovers and gourmands alike. Portugal is synonymous with pastéis de nata, as well as all the specialties based on cod and sardines, the local stars. Would you like to discover all the local dishes and learn more about Portuguese cuisine? Then be sure to book a guided tour of Lisbon on the theme of gastronomy!

In French or English, there are many different activities to choose from. For example, you can choose a 3-hour walking tour of typical restaurants and stalls. Your culinary guide will introduce you to wines, petiscos and local dishes. You can also book a tour on the theme of Portuguese wines and the deliciously associated cheeses! There are also tours based on local tapas, or including a special dinner with your guide and a group of enthusiasts. In short, there’s something for everyone!

The different ways to visit Lisbon

Tuk-tuk dans le quartier d'Alfama à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – portumen

There are endless little wonders to discover, admire or taste in Lisbon. And you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying them. A variety of means of transport are available for your guided tours:

On foot

Lisbon is a city best visited on foot. This is the best way to lose yourself in the narrow streets, stumble across a hidden square and observe buildings off the beaten track. For your guided tour of Lisbon, we can only recommend a walking tour. The duration of each tour varies, from 2 hours for the shortest to four or five hours for the most comprehensive. You can choose to focus on one district, such as Alfama, or on several, including the city’s main monuments. It’s worth noting that part of many walking tours can be taken via streetcar no. 28. The latter circles Lisbon’s tourist districts. It’s an invaluable ally when it comes to getting to each of the city’s key points!

The website Lisbon à Pied, for example, offers three-hour guided tours in French of Alfama and Graça, or Baixa Chiado for groups. Rates are around €110 for 2 adults and 3 children. But many other sites offer cheaper tours on a per-person basis. Once again, the possibilities for guided tours in Lisbon are endless!

By tuk-tuk

Another practical means of transport for visiting Lisbon is, with or without surprise, the tuk-tuk! Yes, many of Lisbon’s guided tours take place in this amazing vehicle. The truth is, the tuk-tuk is a very practical way to discover the Portuguese capital. Fast, light and easy to maneuver, it will take you from monument to monument, from sublime buildings to breathtaking panoramas. These guided tours are of course accompanied by a professional guide and driver.

As you wander around, you’ll learn more about the city’s history, while getting an eyeful of the sights! But above all, the tuk-tuk will save you the exhausting and interminable up and down of Lisbon’s hills. The slopes are part of the city’s charm, but they can also tire you out!

Expect to pay €20 per person on average for this tour.

By bike

Just like guided tours on foot, there are plenty of bike tours of the Portuguese capital! Most tours last an average of 3 hours. Thanks to this means of transport, sometimes electric, you can get a quick overview of the main monuments on Lisbon’s 7 hills. Of course, you’ll be accompanied by a professional local guide. He or she will tell you all you need to know about the wonders you’ll come across. This activity is perfect for sports enthusiasts and non-sports enthusiasts alike! In fact, as mentioned above, some tours are done with an electric bike.

As for prices, expect to pay an average of €30 per person for a 3-hour guided tour of Lisbon.

By streetcar 28 or scooter

It’s THE symbol of Lisbon. Like the double-decker bus in London, streetcar no. 28 is the star attraction of a guided tour of Lisbon. As mentioned above, it’s often included in walking tours, but you can opt for a tour with a few stops. In particular, you can combine it with a guided tuk tuk tour, for example. In any case, tramway n°28 remains an authentic experience to be enjoyed during your stay.

Electric scooters are all the rage when it comes to visiting districts like the Alfama! A bit like the segway, they’re an easy and fun way to discover the city without too much effort.

Boat trip on the Tagus

To discover Lisbon and its culture, a cruise on the Tagus River offers a different kind of guided tour! As you sail along, you’ll discover the city’s history from the water’s edge, from its must-see monuments to its famous landmarks. The result is an exceptional panorama of the capital!