Aqueduto das Águas Livres

Built to supply the capital with fresh water from the hills north of the city, the Aqueduto das Águas Livres is one of the most important engineering constructions from the 18th century. And fun fact: construction was actually funded by special levies on meat, olive oil and wine. It covers a total length of 14 kilometres from its main source in Caneças to its end at the reservoir of Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras. Fast forward to now, it belongs to the Water Museum which organises visits to the inside of the aqueduct. And the reservoir of Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras organises cultural events and temporary exhibitions.

Tue-Sun 10am-5.30pm. Admission: €4; concessions €2; free for under-17s.

Convento do Carmo

The ruined Carmo Convent is said to be Lisbon's loveliest church, despite the fact it hasn’t had a roof since it fell in during the 1755 earthquake. It now stands as a reminder of the earthquake and a memorial. The beautiful gothic arches still stand and are well worth viewing. Much of the architecture dates back to the 1300s, while Manueline (Portuguese Gothic) windows and other details were added later, in the 16th and 18th centuries. You'll even be able to spot eerie South American mummies (a young boy and a young girl from Peru) if you like closely.

May-Sep: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Oct-Apr: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm. Admission: €5; concessions €4; free for under-14s.

Igreja e Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora

The church itself is worth a look, but the old monastery remains the main attraction. Its cloisters are richly decorated with early 18th-century tile panels, some of which illustrate the fables of La Fontaine. Inside, you’ll also find the royal pantheon of the Bragança family, Portugal’s last dynasty.

Palácio Nacional da Ajuda

Construction began in 1802, but it was interrupted in 1807 when the royal family high-tailed it to Brazil to escape Napoleon’s armies. The palace was never finished and still looks sawn in half. Nevertheless, it served as a royal residence in the late 19th century. Some wings are open as a museum, while others house the Ministry of Culture

Igreja de São Roque

Igreja de São Roque was built for the Jesuits with the assistance of Filippo Terzi on the site of an earlier chapel dedicated to São Roque. Most of the single-nave structure was built between 1565 and 1573, although it was roofless for another decade. The ceiling is a wonder of sorts. The original architect had planned a vaulted roof, but in 1582 a decision was made to build a flat wooden roof, and sturdy timber from Prussia was richly painted. The paintings in the inner sacristy are worth admiring, but the main attraction is the side chapel dedicated to St John the Baptist. Notice the lavish ivory, gold and lapis lazuli, which attest to Portugal’s colonial wealth and extravagance. Built in Rome and shipped to Lisbon in 1749 after being blessed by the Pope, it took four years to reassemble, not least because of the detailed mosaic above the altar. The neighbouring museum contains items from the chapel, including Italian goldsmiths’ work, paintings and richly embroidered vestments.

Torre de Belém

The tower was built to guard the river entrance into Lisbon’s harbour, following orders from King Dom Manuel (1495-1521), during whose reign Portugal greatly expanded its empire, namely by reaching Brazil and finding a sea route to India. The tower has stonework motifs recalling the Discoveries era, such as twisted rope and the Catholic Crosses of Christ, as well as Lisbon’s patron saint St Vincent and a rhino.

Basílica da Estrela

The ornate white dome of Basílica da Estrela is one of Lisbon’s best-loved landmarks. Construction took ten years (1779-89), with statues sculpted by artists from the Mafra School. The inside of the church is richly embellished by Portuguese marble, although many of the paintings were made by Italian masters. Climb the 114 steps for fine views of the city.

Sé de Lisbon

Don’t be surprised if you see a group of openmouthed New World tourists in front of the cathedral. This Romantic-style building is very, very old. Construction started in 1147 and ended in the first decades of the 13th century. The project, which includes three naves and a triforium, a protruding transept and a pew with three chapels, is very similar to the cathedral in Coimbra. Did some of these terms sound odd? Don’t worry. You can always just see this venue as the place where, year after year, in June, young couples swear to love each other forever. If, however, you like history, dive head-first into all the changes the cathedral went through over the years, all according to the preferences of each of Portugal’s rulers. The Gothic-style cloister, for example, dates back to the reign of King Dinis (1279-1325), while his successor, Afonso IV, modified the rear area of the building. In the first half of the century, a large-scale restoration project was undertaken to bring the building back to its original form.

Panteão Nacional

The dome of this church was completed in 1966, a mere 285 years after the building started being built – hence the local expression “a job like Santa Engrácia”, which means something that takes forever. The church is on the site of an earlier one, which was torn down after being desecrated by a robbery in 1630. A Jewish suspect was blamed and executed but later exonerated. Before his death, he is said to have prophesied that the new church would never be completed because an innocent man had been convicted. The first attempt at a new Santa Engrácia duly collapsed in 1681 (a construction mistake, compounded by a storm, may have been to blame) and work restarted the following year. The new plan, by master stonemason João Antunes, bears many similarities to Peruzzi’s plans for St Peter’s in Rome, and the interior is dominated by marble in various colours. In 1916, the Republican government decided Santa Engrácia, which was still roofless then, would become the national Pantheon, a temple to honour dead Portuguese heroes. Among those since laid to rest, there is General Humberto Delgado, an opposition leader killed by secret police in 1962, fado diva Amália Rodrigues and football legend Eusébio.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Ordered by Manuel I in memory of Infante Dom Henrique of Portugal (Prince Henry the Navigator), this monastery has been a national monument since 1907 and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. Built in the 16th century, it was donated at the time to the monks of the Order of Saint Jerome, and in 2016 it became part of the National Pantheon. The monastery’s church (Igreja de Santa Maria de Belém) holds the tombs of Luís de Camões, Vasco da Gama and Sebastião I, whose remains were brought there by Filipe I in an attempt to put an end to the popular belief that Sebastião I would return to save Portugal. But few people actually believe that these remains are those of the Desired King. And let’s not forget: the famous Pastéis de Belém are only 500 metres away from the monastery.