Lisbon is one of Europes most popular capital cities. It has an endless amount of great things to see, do and eat. You’ll certainly not regret taking a city break here. This was our first visit to Portugal and naturally, we wanted to do as much as we possibly could. So, take it from us, you won’t be able to fit everything in without some careful planning. To help you make the most of your time, we’ve compiled a 3-day Lisbon itinerary to help inspire your visit.
For those who prefer to plan your own day, why don’t you read our top things to do in Lisbon?
Day 1 of your Lisbon Itinerary– It’s all about the centre!
Take a free walking tour
For your first day in Lisbon, we suggest starting in the centre and familiarising yourself with your new surroundings. For this reason, the first thing we recommend you do is to take a free walking tour.
We can vouch for the tours given by Wild Walkers Lisbon, as our tour with them was fantastic. The tour guide herself was a local and was able to give us a real insiders view of her city. Their tours start at 10:30 AM in Rossio square and passes through some central areas before ending in the famous Alfama. Once the tour is over you can choose to tip however much you feel the tour was worth. Whilst this isn’t compulsory, the tour guides work super hard and their hard work should be appreciated.
Get lost in Alfama
Once the tour is over you’re perfectly located to explore the narrow streets of Alfama yourself. This is a great opportunity to stop in one of the quaint cafes for a small lunch and cheap espresso.
Visit the Sao Jorge Castle
If your legs can handle it then the next stop on your list should be the Sao Jorge Castle. Just a short walk back up the hill from Alfama and you’ll find yourself at the gates. Don’t worry, it will still be early enough in the day for you to fully explore the grounds. For a fee of €8.50, you’ll have access to the grounds and have amazing views across the city.
Explore the centre
If you aren’t tired yet we’d recommend walking back and exploring the centre of Lisbon. In a very small area, you can visit the wonderful landmarks of Praca Do Comercio, Rua Augusta Arch and the Santa Justa Lift.
If you’re an early riser you could potentially squeeze in these highlights in the morning before the walking tour. Though visiting these in the early evening will leave you centrally located and close to hundreds of restaurants for your evening meal.
Alternatively – If you aren’t a fan of tours, take your time exploring the centre in the morning instead. There are tons of great spots for breakfast and it’s also a fantastic place for shopping.
Day 2 of your Lisbon Itinerary – Architecture, local treats & sunset views!
Torre De Belem
Your second day in Lisbon should be started at the amazing tower of Belem. It’s located some way out of the centre of Lisbon but is very easily accessible. You can go inside, though being a UNESCO world heritage site means it draws lots of other visitors and long lines. We were content with sitting in the sun on the grass and viewing the building from the outside.
Pasteis De Belem
Your trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t try a Pastel De Nata. Pasteis De Belem is by far the most famous location to eat these small local tarts. Once your visit to the tower is done, you might want to stop by here for a sweet snack. People are willing to wait in long lines for these tarts, so they must be damn good!
Marvel at the monastery
With a belly full of special custard tarts, take the short walk to the Jeronimos monastery. For just €7 you can enter the monastery and be taken back by the amazing 500-year-old architecture. For €13 a joint ticket can be purchased that also gives you admission to Belem tower.
Stop off at LX factory
Located on the way back to Lisbon centre is the LX factory. You should stop off here if you like hipster vibes, small artisan food outlets and lots of books! If it’s later in the day you could easily find your dinner at this stop too. If you’re not quite ready for dinner, a coffee or craft beer break would also be an option.
If you didn’t eat at LX factory and aren’t tired yet, why not head to Bairro Alto? Here you can find the famous yellow funicular, restaurants and even a cool rooftop bar. The rooftop bar, PARK, is on top of a high-rise carpark. It’s a great place to chill at the end of the day and watch the sunset over the city.
Day 3 of your Lisbon Itinerary – The fairy-tale of Sintra!
Take the train to Sintra
Your final day could be well spent outside the city of Lisbon and in the nearby town of Sintra. The fairy-tale town is located roughly a 1-hour train journey away from central Lisbon and it’s completely worth the journey.
Sintra is a UNESCO world heritage site and it owes this title to the very colourful villas and palaces. It would be hard to give you a 1-day itinerary for Sintra, as it has so much to see. Some people stay in the town and have multiple days there.
If you’re like us and only have the day there then you’ll want to hit up the highlights. These include Palacio de Pena, Castelo dos Mouros & Palacio Nacional de Sintra.
Fortunately, there is the 434 tourist bus that takes you to each of these attractions. The bus starts at the train station and runs regularly to cope with the high influx of tourists. The whole circuit bus ticket costs 6.90 and is an adventure in itself. The bus route navigates steep, narrow roads up the side of a mountain.
So, what are you waiting for?
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading and have found our 3-day Lisbon itinerary useful. As always, we’d like to point out that this was made based on our own style of travelling and preferences.
In no way is this the only way to see the city of Lisbon or organise your time there. Each day is planned around activities that can be bunched together and found within close proximity to each other. Efficient use of your time is what can ultimately make or break a trip.
At the very least, we hope we were able to give you an idea of how to structure your trip. Now, get out there and enjoy yourself!
Where to stay in Lisbon
Budget – Lost Inn Lisbon Hostel
A bright and colourful hostel located in the historical Chiado area. A great place if you’re looking to meet other travellers and want to get involved with events each night.
Mid Price – Vila Garden Guesthouse
An affordable, clean and perfectly located guesthouse for you to easily explore.
Luxury – Santiago de Alfama
An ultra-stylish 5-star boutique hotel that will exceed all expectations. This hotel is for those wanting a luxurious stay in Lisbon in the heart of the action.
For more places to stay in Lisbon you can check the latest prices here.
Heading to Europe? Check out our top tips.
- 13 Things to do in Lisbon
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- 3-day Madrid Itinerary
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