It’s often said that Lisbon lacks a defined “downtown”, but tourists will find most of their points of interest in the relatively compact area centered around the vast *Praça do Comércio (map), facing the river.
*Alfama (map) – this neighbourhood still bears signs of the Moorish presence in the city, with the buildings very close to each other, and very irregular streets. It’s very atmospheric and a great spot in which to wander around. Major sights include *Lisbon Cathedral (map) and St. George’s Castle (map).
*Bairro Alto (map) – Head uphill to Bairro Alto and give your legs a good workout, or take one of the elevadores (funiculars) for stunning views of the city and some wild partying in Lisbon’s most popular nightclub district. This district includes with the main shopping and leisure boulevard of Avenida da Liberdade (map) and Chiado (map), an elegant shopping district, and Principe Real (map), the trendy district with all the fancy shops.
*Belém (map) – This monument-packed area is a must-see place, and it contains Lisbon’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Belém Tower (map) and the Jerónimos Monastery (map).
If you are in Lisbon for sightseeing (especially for your first visit), the best location is along the route of tram #28 (see official map of the route). This especially works if you are with a baby stroller, as it will save from huge part of hill-climbing.
Lisbon is known for its lively nightlife. For going out, stroll around the old neighborhood of Bairro Alto for an after-dinner caipirinha or ginjinha and people-watching. Its small streets, full of people, are packed with a high variety of bars.
If you become lost or cannot find the location you are looking for, try to locate the nearest Carris bus or tram stop. Most of these stops (not all) have a very good map of the city with your current location clearly marked on the map. All the prominent tourist sites in Lisbon are also shown along with an index at the bottom of the map.