7 Must-Try Walking Trails in Lisbon

Written By Becky Gillespie

Staying in Lisbon and looking to discover the City of Light on foot? We think that’s a great idea! Of course, the only way to catch those stunning miradouros (viewpoints) is to skip the metro, miss your bus, and put on your walking shoes. But leave your high heels at home, please! Lisbon is for gym shoes, trainers, and shoes with a good grip to help you make your way up the steep hills and burn those calories while taking in all that Lisbon has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, Lisbon has a variety of walking routes that offer breathtaking views and a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this captivating city. Here’s our guide to seven of the best walking trails in Lisbon!

1. Monsanto Forest Park Trail

    • Starts – Percurso Volta do Planalto (as it is called on Google Maps – This is also known as the Blue Trail on AllTrails if you can download the app)
    • Ends – Percurso Volta do Planalto 
    • Length – 7.7 km
    • Duration – 2-3 hours
    • Difficulty – Easy
    • Scenery – As Lisbon’s largest green expanse, Monsanto Forest Park is akin to an urban oasis, truly the green lungs of Lisbon, and offers walkers a refreshing retreat into nature. This loop trail guides you through a dense forest of pines and eucalyptus, interspersed with playgrounds and picnic areas, making it ideal for family outings. The paths are well-maintained and lead to several lookouts that offer sweeping views of the city and the Tagus River below. Beyond the rich natural scenery, the park is dotted with historical and cultural relics including the remnants of ancient fortifications.
Monsanto Forest Park,
André Cardoso, Flickr

2. Lisbon Waterfront (Cais do Sodré to Belém)

    • Starts – Cais do Sodré Metro Station
    • Ends – Torre de Belém
    • Length – 6 km
    • Duration – 1.5-2 hours
    • Difficulty – Easy
    • Scenery – This picturesque path stretches along the scenic riverfront from Cais do Sodré to Belém, passing by some of Lisbon’s most famous landmarks. As you walk, you’ll stroll right under the iconic 25 de Abril Bridge and straight by the historical Belém Tower, with several spots to stop and enjoy the riverside ambience. The path is lined with cafes and museums, providing plenty of opportunities to relax and soak in the riverside atmosphere.

The trail is particularly magical as the sun casts a golden hue over the water and the landmarks during sunset, including the Discoveries Monument and the MAAT museum. The vibrant atmosphere here, with joggers, cyclists, and families meandering by, creates a lively and engaging environment, perfect for experiencing Lisbon’s dynamic waterfront.

The River Tagus with the Ponte 25 de Abril, Photo by Rayko Staykov

3. Alfama to Graça Historical Walk

    • Starts – Alfama (perhaps starting in front of the Chafariz d’El-Rei – R. Cais de Santarém 23)
    • Ends – Miradouro da Graça (also known as Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen)
    • Length – 3 km
    • Duration – 1-1.5 hours
    • Difficulty – Moderate
    • Scenery – This trail winds its way through Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest quarter, known for its narrow, labyrinthine streets and the wistful strains of fado music emanating from traditional restaurants. As you ascend towards Graça, the views open up to reveal a panoramic view of the city, showcasing the red-tiled roofs and the majestic São Jorge Castle atop its hill.

The final destination, Graça, offers not only breathtaking views from the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte but also a glimpse into the local way of life with its quaint cafes and antique shops. The contrast between the historic architecture and the vibrant street art found here encapsulates the essence of Lisbon—where the old seamlessly blends with the new.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, espinozr, Flickr

4. Seven Hills of Lisbon Trail

    • Starts – St. Catarina – Hill #1 (then moving clockwise starting in the southwest of the city) – (Chagas, Sant’ana, São Roque, Santo André, São Jorge)
    • Ends – São Vicente – Hill #7
    • Length – 10 km
    • Duration – 3-4 hours (and even more depending on if you want to stop in cafés along the way)
    • Difficulty – Challenging
    • Scenery – Embark on a journey across Lisbon’s legendary seven hills, and you’ll discover why this city is often likened to a living museum. Each hill offers a unique perspective, featuring different slices of Lisbon’s history and culture. From the gardens of São Pedro de Alcântara to the quaint and quiet corners of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen Viewpoint, the city unfolds in layers of stunning vistas. This trail not only challenges your stamina but rewards you with the most comprehensive views of the urban landscape. Traversing these hills, you encounter a mix of majestic churches, historic residential quarters, and lively marketplaces. Bring your shoes with your best grip for this one and do not attempt this during the rain.
Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara, Brad, Flickr

5. Parque das Nações Promenade

    • Starts – Parque Infantil
    • Ends – Jardins do Tejo
    • Length – 4.7 km
    • Duration – 1-1.5 hours
    • Difficulty – Easy
    • Scenery – The Parque das Nações area represents the modern face of Lisbon, with its renovation completed in time for the 1998 World Expo. This promenade features striking contemporary architecture like the Vasco da Gama Tower and the Lisbon Oceanarium. The trail is a favorite for both tourists and locals giving you a flat and well-paved path with spectacular views of the Tagus. The cable cars overhead add a unique element to the landscape. While you won’t see any trees on this walk, the wide streets and inspiring views of the horizon are refreshing.
Promenade, cableway, motorway bridge, boat and seagulls on the river Tagus. View from Parque das Nações, Pietro Faccioli, Flickr

6. Sintra-Cascais Natural Park Coastal Trail

    • Starts – Azenhas do Mar (Azenhas do Mar – Praia das Maçãs – Praia Grande – Praia da Adraga – Praia da Ursa)
    • Ends – Cabo da Roca
    • Length – 11 km (one way)
    • Duration – 4-5 hours
    • Difficulty – Moderate
    • Scenery – About a one-hour drive from central Lisbon is our starting point for this hike, Azenhas do Mar. This trail takes you along the rugged coastline of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The path wends through dense maritime pine forest before emerging onto cliffs that offer awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic Ocean. The dramatic landscape is a reminder of nature’s power with the rocks sculpted by the wind and the crashing waves below.

This trail also takes you through Portugal’s coastal ecology. The area is rich in biodiversity and home to numerous bird species and native flora. The endpoint at Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point, will give you a sense of accomplishment and a place to reflect on the vastness of the ocean and the beauty of the Portuguese coastline. You can also take a rideshare or taxi back from Cabo da Roca to Lisbon or ride over to Cascais and take the train to Cais do Sodré back from there. 

Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Jonathan Wolfson, Flickr

7. Estrela to Campo de Ourique Market Trail

    • Starts – Jardim da Estrela
    • Ends – Mercado de Campo de Ourique
    • Length – 4 km
    • Duration – 1-2 hours
    • Difficulty – Easy
    • Scenery – Ready for a cityside walk? This pleasant journey starts in the historic Estrela district known for its grand Basilica and the leafy Jardim da Estrela. The garden is a perfect example of Romanticism in landscape architecture with its winding paths, exotic plants, and ponds. As you leave the park, the trail takes you through the charming streets of Campo de Ourique, a neighborhood famous for its traditional architecture and local boutiques.

The highlight and fitting end for this trail is the Campo de Ourique Market, where you can sample a wide array of ethnic cuisine including Portuguese favorites such as bifana sandwiches.

Mercado de Campo de Ourique, Photo by fpmato, Flickr

Each trail offers a distinct slice of Lisbon, inviting walkers to explore its many facets. From historical paths winding through ancient neighborhoods to scenic routes along lush parks and dramatic coastlines, these trails provide a full experience of Lisbon’s charms. Whether you seek a vigorous challenge or a leisurely stroll, Lisbon’s walking trails promise memorable adventures in one of Europe’s most enchanting capitals.

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