In recent times, Lisbon has seen a veritable boom in fun activities for tourists. It’s now possible to visit the historic neighbourhoods of the centre of the city, and navigate the cobbled streets in a variety of ways, ranging from Segways, to jeeps, to sidecars and even aboard an amphibious vehicle which will then head straight to the river for a trip on the water! Here, then, and in no particular order, we list what we think are the Top 10 Fun Activities you can try out in Lisbon:
1. GPS-Guided GoCar Tour
If you’ve been to Lisbon in the last couple of years, you’ve surely noticed the little yellow 3-wheeler GoCars whizzing around the centre of the city. These 2-seater cars were the first computer-guided storytelling car, originally in San Francisco and then in Lisbon before becoming available in a few other cities. The onboard GPS unit provides instructions so that the car knows where you’re going even if you don’t, allowing you to wander around the small streets and alleys of central Lisbon, investigating the city as you go. More info and bookings here.
2. Discover Lisbon by Sidecar
A relatively new addition to the stable of fun vehicles riding around Portugal’s capital, the motorbike with sidecar provides an entertaining way to tour and see the sights. Driven by a qualified guide, you’re taken around the old streets of Lisbon, with one person in the sidecar and another on the motorbike, and stop off on the way to take some great photos and learn some interesting facts about the city.
Sit back and enjoy the ride in this classic sidecar, taking you back in time to visit the historical areas of Old Lisbon. More info and bookings here.
3. Glide on a Segway
Segways are quite commonplace these days, and can be seen in airports, used by the police in some cities, and in many other situations. They’re a great way to get around and the perfect means of transport for Lisbon’s sometimes difficult to navigate hills and narrow streets. In just a few minutes you’ll easily learn to ride this self-balancing 2-wheeled vehicle, touring round the city as you stand on the Segway’s platform, allowing you to see the attractions of Lisbon as you glide comfortably on this novel transport. More info and bookings here.
4. Hop-on, Hop-off Tram Tour
One of the first things everybody learns about Lisbon is that the old electric trams still run through the city. As they trundle past, heads turn and cameras flash, and some people even venture onboard to take a quick journey up one of the hills. But the red trams make this possibility even easier, allowing you to buy a ticket, hop-on to visit one part of the city, hop-off to investigate the area by foot, and hop-on again when the next tram comes by. You can start your tour at any of the 6 stops, and ride until you want to hop off, allowing you the flexibility to see the city at your own pace, but with some traditional transport to take you around! More info and bookings here.
5. A Joyride by Jeep
We Hate Tourism Tours is a local tour company that tries to do things differently, as you might have guessed from the name. They’ve certainly achieved that aim with their King of the Hills tours, taken in what they call their “one of a kind vintage, seven-passenger convertible jeep”. The tour takes you up and down the hills of the city, getting to know the places “only the locals know”, in a “crazy ride” with one of the local drivers. The idea here, obviously, is not to take a typical tour, but to experience something a little different, and to enjoy the novel approach to tourism that this young company is so proud of. More info and bookings here.
6. Electric Bike Tour
It’s certainly not unusual to see traditional bikes being ridden around Lisbon, but we sometimes feel sorry for the rider when he or she has to struggle to climb one of the steep hills the city is known for (and for which we should be grateful, because they give us such wonderful viewpoints at the top!). An electric bike makes such climbs much easier, though, and it’s now possible to hire one of these great inventions to quickly reach the best places for the most stunning views. A tour like this provides a fun way to see the sights and to get a little excercise at the same time – but not too much 🙂 Helmets and reflective vests are provided, and you can ride around the city on the morning, afternoon or night tours. More info and bookings here.
7. The HippoTrip Tour
Of all the tours mentioned on this page, this is certainly the only one that takes place on both land and water. The HippoTrip takes place aboard an amphibious vehicle, the first of its kind in Portugal, and provides a fun-filled guided city tour by a unique means of transport. The HippoTrip bus takes you round the city and on to the water in an entertaining 90-minute trip that will have heads turning and mouths dropping as the large vehicle drives in to the water and then simply keeps afloat to emulate the most seaworthy boats. This is a great way to tour the city and see Lisbon with a splash! More info and bookings here.
8. Lisbon & Sintra by convertible Beetle
The old, original VW Beetle car is one of the most-loved and best-known cars of all time. Its instantly recognisable shape is synonymous with fun and adventure, and the restored, convertible models used for this tour certainly provide plenty of that! This 3-hour tour allows you to get to know Lisbon with your family or group of friends, and at the same time enjoy a comfortable drive in this classic car. A full-day tour is also possible, which includes the world heritage listed town of Sintra, a beautiful destination and a perfect place to complement the historical districts of the capital. More info and bookings here.
9. Tuk-Tuk Tours
An auto rickshaw is a three-wheeled cabin cycle used as an essential form of urban transport in many developing countries. So what’s that got to do with Lisbon? Well, the Tuk-Tuk, as it’s commonly known – due to the sound it makes when in motion – is now available as a means of seeing the city. This is a fun way to sit back and let yourself be driven around to see the sights, sitting on the back of this novelty transport to enjoy the warm weather and get a great view of the attractions of the old, historic quarters of Lisbon. These fun vehicles come in different colours and sizes, and are operated by two different companies, but all of them provide an entertaining tour and an experience to remember. More info and bookings here and here.
10. Sunset & Coastline Cruises
For the romantic among you, how about the chance to see the spectacular sunset in Lisbon from a sailboat on the expansive Tagus estuary? Sip a glass of champagne as you admire the city skyline from the deck of your sailboat as you pass by the Belém Tower, Monument to the Discoveries and under the 25th April Bridge, and as the crew point out the famous landmarks on shore, while you’re bathed in the light of the late-afternoon sun. Several different tours by boat are available in Lisbon, even including a hop-on, hop-off version allowing you to visit different shoreline neighbourhoods on a 24-hour ticket. We can’t promise you’ll tour on both land and water like the HippoTrip tour above, but we can promise you’ll end this tour with an unforgettably romantic experience! More info and bookings here.