The 6 most fascinating monuments to visit around Lisbon

Palais de Pena à Sintra, monuments autour de Lisbonne

What to do around Lisbon Venture beyond the capital and visit the must-see monuments of the Lisbon region.

To explore the historic monuments around Lisbon is to immerse yourself in Portugal’s rich and eventful past. From Sintra to Fátima and Batalha, you’re in for a real journey through time. You’ll discover that each monument has its own particularity and architecture. You’ll be surprised by every visit and enjoy a unique experience.

The little extra: some excursions are even included in the Lisboa Card, so you can discover as much as possible about the region and satisfy all your adventurous desires. In this article, we present the most fascinating monuments to visit around Lisbon, with practical information to help you plan your itinerary accordingly.

Castle of the Moors in Sintra: a fantastic view from an enchanting site

Chateau des Maures à Sintra, monuments autour de Lisbonne

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  • 🕰 Period: 12th century
  • 🚗 Distance from Lisbon: approx. 30 km
  • 💙 We like: Exceptional panoramic view of Sintra

Lovers of history and architecture won’t want to miss the Moorish Castle in Sintra, a historic monument built over 12 centuries ago. It has defended Portuguese territory for centuries and witnessed numerous battles. It can be reached by car or bus from Lisbon, and offers breathtaking views over Sintra.

To take full advantage of this exceptional site, we recommend exploring each level of the fortress and stopping to admire the breathtaking scenery. It’s best to come early in the morning to avoid the crowds, and wear comfortable shoes to climb the many steps.

To visit the Moors’ Castle in Sintra, we advise you to bring some food or snacks, as there are no restaurants on site. It’s also best to avoid peak hours, to make the most of your visit. With its well-preserved perimeter walls, towers and bastions, this castle is a fascinating historical monument that allows you to discover the history of the Lisbon region.

Palais de Pena in Sintra: a colorful monument

Palais de Pena à Sintra, monuments autour de Lisbonne

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  • 🕰 Period: 19th century
  • 🚗 Distance from Lisbon: about 30 km
  • 💙 We like: The mix of architectural styles that make this an unusual place to visit.

Exploring Lisbon’s surroundings would not be complete without a visit to the Pena Palace, one of the most fascinating monuments. King Ferdinand II created this colorful edifice in the 19th century, a blend of Romantic, Gothic and Islamic styles, located on a hill in Sintra. For easy access, we recommend using public transport, as parking is difficult.

During your visit, take time to explore the gardens, labyrinths and water basins that surround the palace. The magnificent interiors, richly decorated with furniture and works of art from the period, also house a collection of paintings, drawings and prints documenting the history of Pena.

To avoid the crowds, we recommend arriving early and allowing around 2 hours for a complete visit. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and a light jacket, as it can be cool and windy at the top of the hill.

Évora Cathedral: a jewel of Gothic art in a historic city

Cathédrale d'Évora, monuments autour de Lisbonne

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  • 🕰 Period: 13th century
  • 🚗 Distance from Lisbon: 140 km
  • 💙 We love: The unique architecture of this impressive site and the marble tombs

Évora ‘s 13th-century Gothic cathedral is an architectural gem located in the city’s old quarter, just a stone’s throw from numerous hotels. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, it features a massive tower and a richly decorated chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. These are examples of its unique architecture, ranging from Gothic to Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical.

We recommend you visit the cathedral first, to familiarize yourself with the architectural styles and admire the late-Renaissance masterpieces, such as the marble tomb of Cardinal King D. Henrique. The library is another of the cathedral’s marvels, with its many medieval manuscripts. The thirty-five tiled panels illustrating the Old Testament in the Chapter Room deserve particular attention.

Évora is a historically rich city, and has even been called a « museum city ». So if you’re planning to visit several monuments in the city, we recommend you buy a ticket to several sites. This is your chance to discover the ancient Roman temple, the Temple of Diana, or theChurch of São Francisco.

Évora Cathedral is easily accessible by car, with parking nearby, making it easy to visit this must-see monument around Lisbon.

Batalha Monastery: an imposing monument with delicate sculptures

Cloîtres dans le monastère de Batalha, monuments autour de Lisbonne

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  • 🕰 Period: 14th-century Portuguese Gothic
  • 🚗 Distance from Lisbon: about 100 kilometers
  • 💙 We love: the imposing architecture of this monument and the magnificent, fully sculpted tomb of Inés de Castro

If you’re looking to discover the must-see monuments around Lisbon, we recommend a visit to the Batalha monastery. This Portuguese Gothic edifice was built to commemorate the victory of the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385.

This Unesco World Heritage site is packed with wonders, including the tomb of Inés de Castro, the main chapel and the sculpted cloister. To discover this marvel of Portuguese heritage, you can take advantage of the guided tours included in the entrance fee.

Located in the town of Batalha, you can reach the monastery by car from Lisbon, or by train or bus. A full visit takes around two hours, and is best done in fine weather to discover the interior of this dark monument. Be sure to check opening hours, which may be reduced on public holidays.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima: a timeless experience

Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame du Rosaire de Fátima, monuments autour de Lisbonne

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  • 🕰 Period: 20th century
  • 🚗 Distance from Lisbon: about 120 km
  • 💙 We love: the breathtaking ocean view and the serene atmosphere of the premises

The Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts Catholics from all over the world. Three children saw the Virgin Mary there in 1917, and since then it has become an important place of pilgrimage. The site includes several churches, chapels, fountains and commemorative statues, including the Basilica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, famous for its spectacular stained-glass windows.

For a complete religious experience, we recommend visiting Fátima early in the morning and attending mass. The Chapel of the Apparitions, where the children saw the Virgin Mary, is also a must-see, with its statue of the Virgin sculpted in 1920.

The Sanctuary can be reached by bus from Lisbon, and there are plenty of parking lots and hotels for visitors. It’s important to note that the Sanctuary is a place of meditation, so we recommend that you dress modestly and respect the religious atmosphere of the site. Good to know: the anniversary of the apparitions is celebrated every year on May 13. As a result, this must-see monument around Lisbon sees an influx of pilgrims.

Palais national de Queluz: a sumptuous monument to see around Lisbon

Palais national de Queluz, monuments autour de Lisbonne

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  • 🕰 Period: 18th century
  • 🚗 Distance from Lisbon: about 20 km
  • 💙 We love: The magnificent gardens and the richness of this palace called the « little Portuguese Versailles ».

The magnificent Queluz National Palace, built in Baroque style, is one of the most beautiful monuments around Lisbon. It’s just 20 km from the capital. This historic monument invites you to discover Portugal’s royal history. Admire the sumptuous reception halls, formal gardens and richly decorated royal chambers.

Luxury and elegance abound in the Queluz Palace, and you’re sure to be impressed. Among them, the corridor of Azulejos representing the four continents and the four seasons, the Throne Room with its incredible gilding and the Queen’s Boudoir with its floral ceiling are pure marvels.

We recommend a guided tour to discover all the secrets of this sumptuous palace. Take time to stroll through the gardens of this exceptional monument. Several Baroque fountains and a charming azulejo canal will round off your visit.

Now you know what to do around Lisbon! You can’t help but marvel at the wealth of heritage and culture this region has to offer. From Pena Palace to Batalha Monastery, each monument tells a fascinating story. So, are you ready to set off and discover these historic gems?