Join the only Jewish guide in Portugal and visit to the major sights of historic Lisbon. Along the way you will discover artifacts, inscriptions, and monuments that no other Jewish tours of Lisbon can access.
In May of 2012 a sensational discovery by Archaeologists of Jena University revealed Hebrew inscriptions on stone which point to the Jewish people residing in Portugal as early as 390 C.E. However, some Biblical Archaeologists believe that Tartessian texts found in Southern Portugal in 1922 suggests a Jewish presence dating to the time of King Solomon.
Walking through the quaint side streets of Lisbon your guide and historian will explain these recent findings and unveil hidden elements in the architecture, explaining the influence of great Jewish sages like The Abravanel- a philosopher and statesman, and Abraham Zucato who altered the course of the Age of Discovery. The Jews of Portugal throughout history held social and political ranks with the favor of kings, and conciliatory relations between Muslims and Christians alike. However, these periods were equally marked by inquisitions, forced baptisms and brutal massacres which have been overlooked in many historical references.
On this tour you will discover the amazing story of Crypto-Jews, (Cristão-Novos) a distinctive sub-group of Sephardim in Portugal who survived over 400 years of persecution in secret. At the site of the Inquisitors Palace, learn little known facts about the Portuguese Inquisition and the controversy of the Marquis of Pombal whose authority destroyed Jewish heritage but saved lives at the same time.
Stand at the deportation point during WWII where thousands of Jewish refugees escaped Nazi persecution, among them famous names like Marc Chagall, Max Ernst and many others who contributed to the arts, sciences and politics of the world stage. Learn about Portugal’s own Oskar Schindler, a righteous gentile who is responsible for the single largest rescue mission of WWII, deifying state orders to save thousands feeling the horrors of the 3rd Reich.
Beyond the former Jewish quarters, there are stories in artifacts festooned around the city that will bring deeper understanding of the Early Modern Diaspora,
The Passover Massacre, Crypto-Jewish practices and famous Jewish families associated with Portugal.
starting at €160 total, not per person
3-hour private walking tour • children 12 years and under are free • skip ticket lines and go inside • reservations required
experience the major sights of lisbon from a jewish perspective
We access traffic restricted areas with steps and ramps. It is not possible to do this tour route with a vehicle.
You can add a private luxury vehicle for commuting to and from the historic center.
Skip the ticket lines with an offical, knowledgeable guide.
Authorization to enter sights.
Audio system for larger parties.
2 km, (1.24 miles), 98% down hills and stairs. A few upstairs and inclines. Uneven cobblestones on tour route. Not safe for those with walking challenges, canes or unable to walk for 1-hour without resting.
Wear comfortable athletic shoes.
There are stops for clean restrooms, and food & beverage breaks if needed.
A museum closed on Sundays.
Hotel, apartment, ship dock, or at an easy-to-find location in historic center. A map and photo of exact meeting point is sent with tour confirmation. Hotel or apartment meetings subject to time and location.
7-days a week, year round.
Morning: 9:00am, or 9:30am
Some closures on Sundays.
Custom start times subject to guide availability.
Paid by guests at entry with cash. A closure on Sundays.
Retired 65+ years €3.50
Child under age 14, no ticket fee
Entry ticket fees.
Transfer to and from hotels outside of historic center.
Sundays: Museums are closed.
Parties of 4 or more require taxi, or transfer uphill from historic center to old quarters.
• Príncipe Real: Upscale residential district with boutiques garden, and cafes.
• Baixa- Pombalina Downtown: Jewish Quarters Grande and Pequeno.
• Rossio Square: Tribunal of the Inquisition.
• Carmo Ruins: The roofless church of the great earthquake.
• São Dominigo's Square: Memorial to the massacres of 1506.
• Elevador de Santa Justa: A Neo-Gothic tower of merchant transport.
• Bairro Alto: Home to great Jewish sages.
• Sao Pedro de Alcantara: Scenic views from the west side Lisbon.
• Chiado and Rua Garrett: Merchant district with historic retail shops.
• Much, much more....
Visits to the modern orthodox synagogue and cemetery require 30-days advance notice, sent directly to the synagogue. They do not permit tours inside the synagogue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They do not permit guides to give tours. The synagogue has their own appointed docents who gives the tours.
It is a waste of tour time and money to have our guide take you to the synagogue because they canonot give the tour.
The synagogue is located outside the historic center, and not easily accessible during this historic walking tour. If you schedule an appointment for a visit to the synagogue, your guide will be happy to direct you there at the end of your Jewish Lisbon tour.
why walk In lisbon?
Because that’s what locals do. Portuguese are among Europe’s biggest walkers! A Eurobarometer survey published in 2014 revealed that Portugal is among the countries where making daily routine trips by foot is most common. To really know Lisbon one must go into those small maze-like streets of the city’s old quarters, where automobiles are limited and real life unfolds in pedestrian friendly streets and squares.
Beware of imitations
Please be aware of other Jewish tours, led by guides with similar sounding names. Paolo Scheffer is the only authoirzed guide in Portugal who is Jewish, and he works exclusively with us here at Lisbon Explorer.
December 25 and 31
* We are happy to offer this tour on Sundays, but please be aware of museum closures and restricted access to important pieces of Lisbon's Jewish history.
Outside of the histioric center of Lisbon there are more sights and museums open on Sundays. We suggest a Sunday tour of The Alfama, Belem, Sintra, Evora, Obidos or other tours we offer outside of Lisbon for a Sunday.