Alfama Miradouro
How many days to spend in Lisbon


2 days


3 days

Culture buffs

3 days

Note: The itineraries below include information about Lisbon only & do not include a day trip out to Sintra. However, most visitors to Lisbon do take this popular day trip & it is definitely highly recommended, so keep this in mind! (see below for more day trip options too).

Globetrotters – 48 hours in Lisbon


Morning Alfama
Afternoon Chiado
Evening Baixa
Tram 28

Tram 28

Start your first day in Lisbon with the quintessential Lisbon experience, which is taking Tram 28 from Martim Moniz to the Alfama district (the charming & hilly old part of town). The tram ride is an experience in itself, passing some picturesque streets where you get a glimpse of everyday life for Lisbon locals, and even better, it’s a free ride. Due to this reason it’s usually very crowded & the wait lines for it are often very long so make sure you do this as early in the day as possible.

Alfama Miradouro

Alfama Miradouro

Once in Alfama, the areas largest drawcard is the Castle of São Jorge ramparts & the incredible views overlooking the city from it. Give yourself a good amount of time to wander around, explore the castle & take many pics of the impressive views. Afterwards, it’s worth checking out the viewpoints at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, which is next to Miradouro de Santa Luzia, for more great views…certainly not as spectacular as from the castle but different viewpoints nevertheless (looking out to sea & over Alfama rooftops moreso). Chances are you’ll hear some fado-playing buskers at these viewpoints. Stop by the Se (Cathedral) on the way downhill too.

Walking around the old town

Walking around Alfama

Walking downhill from Alfama you will most likely end up near Terreiro do Paço square, where stands the Rua Augusta Arch, one of the most iconic of Lisbon monuments. By now it’s probably time to rest your feet and grab some lunch. In the grid of streets that come off the square you’re spoiled for choice, as well as there being plenty of shopping opportunities along here. Make your way towards Rossio square, another large and popular square that is also notorious for pick pockets and dodgy characters at all times of day, so keep your wits about you whilst walking around the square. Continue onto the Chiado area, passing by the Santa Justa Elevator on the way. You can ride to the top if you still haven’t seen enough good views yet, the view from here is rather impressive at sunset or early evening though. You could easily spend the remainder of the afternoon just wandering around Chiado. It’s worth taking a look at the Carmo Convent ruins (an old ruined church) and then staying close by & dining in Baixa, which is the lively nightlife area with lots of bars and restaurants.


Morning Belem
Afternoon Parque Das Nações
Evening Parque Das Nações / Oriente
Jeronimos Monestary

Jeronimos Monestary

Now you’re acquainted with the inner city, today it’s time to explore the many gems out west in Belem. First up is Jeronimos Monestery, a magnificently decorated complex with an impressive cathedral. It’s worth devoting a good hour or so to explore the place. Directly across the road is Jardim da Praça do Império park. Keep walking towards the shore line where you can’t miss the massive monument (Padrão dos Descobrimentos – monument to the discoveries). From here you will also see the 25 de Abril Bridge which is a spitting image of the golden gate bridge in San Francisco. Walking along the shore to the right and around the port you’ll find the Torre de Belem. Most likely you will recognise it from the cover of many travel books & postcards as it is a popular Portuguese icon. You can walk right up to & ascend the tower for nice views over the bay. A little further around there is a war monument. Head back towards the monastery & get in line at Pastéis de Belém to try the Portuguese tarts (Pastel de Nata) that have been served here for 175 years. If there a long line outside, don’t worry, the wait for these scrumptious treats will definitely be worth it!

Torre de Belem, Lisbon

Torre de Belem

Going from the old into the new. Head back east now & get the Metro to Oriente. The train station is a sight in itself & this area in general is an architect’s feast. Walking through Parque Das Nações (Park of the Nations), along the shoreline you’ll pass many inspiring & uniquely designed modern structures. The path leads to the very Dubai-esque Vasco da Gama Tower, behind which you’ll see the longest bridge in Europe (Ponte Vasco da Gama) fading into the horizon. There is a gondola if you don’t feel like walking all the way back to Oriente from here. Spend the evening in the Parque & feast at one of the many great restaurants along the shore, or there’s always the Vasco da Gama shopping mall next to Oriente station for cheaper & more casual options.

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama Tower

Vacationers – 72 hours in Lisbon

You would have seen most of the sights that Lisbon has to offer in the Globetrotters itinerary, however if you prefer to take in a bit more, you might want to devote more time to Belem & Parque Das Nações, splitting them up into seperate days rather than trying to fit them into a single day. You’ll also have some time to fit in a wander along the Avenida, Lisbon’s main upmarket shopping strip. Or, why not spend a little bit more time out in Sintra rather than just heading out there for the day like the majority of tourists do. You won’t regret spending the night in such a blissful place.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belem

Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belem

Culture buffs

Of course, the more time you have the better, but three days will still be ample time for a culture buff, perhaps less relaxed but sill being able to cover the majority of the inner city’s sights in this time.

Got more time? Consider these day trips

- Sintra. In fact I would say that no trip to Lisbon is really complete without going here. Make sure you allow an extra day in your itinerary for this gorgeous, peaceful, inspiring little town.
- Évora. A small and peaceful rural town most well known for it’s ancient Roman Temple ruins and aqueduct.
- Cascais. Cosmopolitan resort town and beach, popular in Summer.

Days mapped out

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