3 days in Lisbon, a complete itinerary - Wapiti Travel

Lisbon is the ideal starting point for a road trip through Portugal but also lends itself perfectly for a city or weekend trip.  You can combine your visit to the capital with a side trip to the fashionable Cascais or the fairytale palace in Sintra. 

Even the iconic wild and rocky coastline of the Algarve is only a 2-hour drive away.

But let’s not get too carried away by everything outside Lisbon as the capital itself is already so beautiful that you may not ever want to leave anymore once you’ve tasted it.

Here we list what you could do when you have 3 days in Lisbon.

We start with the highlights, so when you only have 2 days in Lisbon you could cover the highlights with this Lisbon itinerary.

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Table of Contents

Cheap flights to Lisbon

If you want to score cheap flights to Lisbon we advise you to have a look at Momondo and Skyscanner.  Both are flight aggregators that compare several hundreds of booking sites and give you an overview of the best flights and the cheapest sites to book them. 

Momondo and Skyscanner are both very good at finding good deals, of the two, Momondo is probably the one with the most intuitive user interface.

Read our full review about 10 booking sites here. 

 

Those who are always on the lookout for the best deals should join the Dollar Flight Club. Joining is free and once you’ve joined you will get alerts in your mailbox whenever cheap flights out of your home airport have been found. 

I recently joined the club and already saw some incredible deals.  Joining is free and it can literally save you thousands of dollars.

Travel insurance for Lisbon

Make sure you have some sort of travel insurance before you leave for Lisbon.  We never had anything serious happen on any of our journeys around the world but you know what they say, better safe than sorry…

We personally love World Nomads insurance for their excellent coverage. Here you can read our article about World Nomads and immediately get a free quote.

How to travel from the airport to the center of Lisbon

If you arrive by plane, you always arrive at Portela Airport, also known as Humberto Delgado Airport or Lisbon airport.  Both the ‘normal’ and low-cost airlines fly to this airport. Lisbon airport has 2 terminals.

All arrivals are in terminal 1.

Terminal 2 is only used for the departing flights of the low-cost airlines. A free shuttle bus runs every 10 minutes between the 2 terminals.

The center of Lisbon is about 7 km from the airport.

There are several possibilities to travel to the center.

Making use of public transport

The least expensive way to get to the center is by public transport. You can consider buying the Viva Viagem card or 7 Colinas card.

This card will save you money if you frequently hop on the metro, bus or tram.  

This card is valid on all the metros, buses and trams and even on trains to for example Sintra, Cascaïs, etc.

There is no difference between the 2 cards, apart from the look and the name.

 

You can buy this card at the vending machines in the metro. The card costs € 0.50. You then load a day pass on the card or you charge it with a minimum of € 3 and a maximum of € 36 of so-called zapping credit. 

The Viva Viagem card is a personal card, on your name, so you have to buy 1 card per person.

You can use the Viva Viagem card, as well as the 7 Colinas card, in 2 different ways.  Either as a day pass or as a prepaid card. 

As a day pass it gives you unlimited rides on the bus, tram, and metro for 24 hours for €6.40. 

When you use the card like a prepaid card you charge it with zapping credit and you pay-as-you-go.  It facilitates life as you just need to swipe the card each time you take the bus, tram or metro. 

On top of that, you also benefit from a preferential rate for the trips you do. You save at least 35 cents per ride, but sometimes much more. 

With this Viva Viagem card, you pay € 1.40 per ride for the metro and € 1.8 per ride for the train. Without this card, you pay almost the double amount per trip.

The metro runs between 6.30am and 1 am at night. Every 6 to 9 minutes, a metro leaves for the center. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the center of Lisbon with the red metro line (Lina Vermelha).

Several buses (705, 722, 744, 783 and the night bus 208) connects the airport and the center of Lisbon. You can also use the Viva Viagem card on these buses.

A disadvantage is that you can only take these buses when traveling with hand luggage.

With the Aerobus, a private or shared taxi

Another possibility to get to the center is to take the Aerobus. It runs daily from 7.30 am to 11 pm and suitcases are allowed.

Line 1 goes to the center of the city while line 2 goes to the financial district.

All stops are announced in English so you will know when to get off. Here is an overview of all the stops:

Aerobus Line 1: Airport – Arrivals, Areeiro – Av. Alm. Gago Coutinho, Alameda DA Henriques, Pç. Chili – Av. Almirante Reis,  Av. Almirante Reis – R. Angola, Igreja Anjos, Martim Moniz,  Pç. Figueira,  Pç. Comércio, Cais Sodré, Pç. Comércio, Rossio, Restauradores, Avenue Liberdade, Mq. Pombal – Av. Fontes P. Melo, Picoas, Saldanha, Campo Pequeno – Av. República, Estação Entrecampos, Airport– Terminal 1, Airport – Terminal 2, Airport – Arrivals.

Aerobus Line 2: Airport – Arrivals, Estação Entrecampos, Campo Pequeno – Av. República,  Av. República, Saldanha, Picoas, Marquês Pombal, Avenue José Malhoa (gemeente Polícia),  Avenue José Malhoa, Sete Rios (Expressos), Airport- Terminal 1, Airport– Terminal 2.

Although the Aerobus is more expensive than the regular bus, it has the advantage that it is more comfortable.

You can take your bags on board and the stops are announced.

The bus stops are arranged in such a way that they stop close to popular hotels.

It is a great solution when you want to be dropped as close as possible to your hotel.

You can buy your ticket for the Aerobus here:Tickets Aerobus

If you do not feel like waiting for a long time and you don’t want to drag your bags around, you can also book a private driver or a shared transfer from and to the airport.

Here you can find more information about the private transfer: Private transfer

Here you can find more information about a shared transfer: Shared Transfer

Of course, you can also take a taxi to your hotel. Because the airport is relatively close to the city, the rate isn’t too expensive. A taxi from the airport to the city center costs about € 15. For luggage, you pay about € 1.20 per piece.

At the departure hall, the taxis are cheaper than at the arrival hall.

 

Public transport in Lisbon

The metro

The metro takes you quickly from the airport to the center of Lisbon and is also a good way to get through the city.

There are 4 different lines that take you all 4 to another part of the city.

Here you will find a handy plan.

The historic center is relatively small and you can visit it on foot.

The metro is especially useful if you want to see one of the sights or museums outside the historic center.

If you often want to make use of the metro, you should buy a Viva Viagem card.

Another possibility is to buy a day ticket for € 6.15. This allows you unlimited travel on the bus, tram, and metro. This day ticket is not valid on the train and the ferry. There you need another day ticket for that costs €10.40. 

You can find all the info about the different tickets here. 

With the trams

The tram network in Lisbon has 6 lines and is a good addition to the metro network. The historic city center is served by the lines 12, 18, 24, 25 and 28.

The iconic yellow historic trams ride on all these 5 lines.

Especially the route with tram 28 is popular with tourists as it winds through the narrow and steep streets of the Alfama district.

Tram 15 is a modern tram that runs between Para do Comércio and Belém.

Tram 15 does not have the charm of the other trams but is a convenient way to get to the sights in the Belém district.

With the cable trams

An easy way to get from the lower to the upper city is with a cable tram, in Lisbon referred to as a funicular. 

Three different trams bridge the height from the city center to the Bairro Alto (the upper district):  the Ascensor da Bica, the Ascensor da Glória and the Ascensor da Lavra.

These trams run every 15 minutes from the bottom to the top or vice versa.

A ride takes about one minute and costs 3 euros. With the Viva Viagem card, you pay the general rate of 1.30 euros. You should definitely do this at least once when you are in Lisbon.

With the hop on hop off bus

A comfortable way to discover Lisbon is with the hop on hop off bus. Discover Lisbon with 4 routes that give you the freedom to see what you want to see at your own pace.

You can buy a ticket for 24 or 48 hours.

 

Here you will find more information about the hop on hop off bus: Hop on Hop off Bus

Lisbon money-saving travel tips

Below we share some tips that will help you to save money during your Lisbon trip.

The Lisboa card

If you are planning to visit many museums and historic buildings, it might be interesting to purchase the Lisboa Card.

After all, this card gives you free use of public transport for 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours in addition to free entrance and discounts on museums and other attractions.

This card is only interesting if you are planning to visit many museums. If you are only going to use public transport, you are better off with a Viva Viagem card.

We have listed all the benefits of the Lisboa Card below:

  • Free transport: unlimited travel by bus, metro, tram, funicular (cable car) and the city lift.

  • Free access to more than 20 museums and historic buildings.

  • Avoid the queue: This card gives you priority at many places of interest. Because it is often very busy and there are often long queues for sights, you save a lot of time.

  • Free city guide: free city guide with useful information and tips.

  • Discounts: the Lisboa card also gives a discount of 10-30% on many museums and attractions.

  • Day trips to Sintra and Cascais: If you plan to visit Sintra and Cascais during your stay in Lisbon, you will also receive free admission or a nice discount.

Click here for a complete overview of all the benefits of the Lisboa card or buy your card here:  Lisboa card

The Super Lisbon Combo

With this ticket you can ride with the hop on hop off bus for 48 hours, you get tickets for the fado and the Lisbon museum, skip the line tickets for the São Jorge castle and an audio guide for your walk through Alfama.

It is a great deal if you want to ride the hop on hop off bus and have these sights on your wish list.

Click here for more information and tickets: Lisbon Combo

Free museum access

Is there a certain museum on your wish list? Chances are you can visit it for free, or at a considerable discount, on Sundays.

Some museums open their doors every Sunday for free, other museums do so on the first Sunday of every month. Some offer only free access for children and 65+ and a discount for all others.  Some popular museums restrict free admission to residents of Lisbon or Portugal.

Read also: 74 interesting facts about Portugal.

The rules differ from museum to museum and can be found on the website of the museum.

If you do not know the website, you can start your search from the website of the tourist office of Lisbon that has an overview of all museums in and around Lisbon.

Public transport

We already wrote about the Viva Viagem, or 7 Colinas card, and its advantages above.  These cards will save you money if plan to often use public transport. 

The card itself costs 50 cents but you will quickly earn this cost back by the discount you get on each ride.

Keep in mind that you can not return the card. The money you put on the card cannot be refunded in cash. You can keep the card if you ever plan to come back to Lisbon.  Cards expire after 1 year, but even from an expired card, you can transfer the balance to a new card.

The prices we give in this article are valid at the time of writing. You can always find the current price on this Viva website.

Appetizers

While you wait for your food, you will often be served some appetizers. These are usually not free, so don’t touch them if you do not want to pay.

Wear comfortable shoes

This is not a money-saving tip but it is important to know.

You will probably walk a lot during your city trip in Lisbon.

Because Lisbon is built on 8 hills, it can at times even look a bit like a steep mountain hike.

Comfortable footwear is therefore recommended when you want to discover this city.

Our Lisbon 3 day itinerary

Lisbon has something for everyone. There is no shortage of museums and historic buildings and we also found Lisbon a very pleasant city to stroll around, to enjoy a drink and to take in the atmosphere of the city.

It’s an ideal city that offers something for everyone.

Our goal is to run out of pages in our passport

Below we first list the most important sights in Lisbon that you should definitely visit when you only have 2 days in Lisbon.

We start with all the museum and historic buildings followed by other things to do in Lisbon. You can mix-match them as you please. 

If you have 3 days in Lisbon, a day trip to Sintra or Cascais should not be missed.

If you have only one day in Lisbon, you can find an itinerary here.

2 days in Lisbon

Day 1

We start by exploring the historic city center, the most traditional part of the city.  We start our exploration in the Baixa district and make our way up to the other absolute highlight of Lisbon, the Alfama district.

We start at the wide-open square near the river shore, the Praça do Comércio.

Stroll over the Praça do Comércio (Terreiro do Paço)

Praça do Comércio (Terreiro do Paço) is one of the most famous squares in Lisbon, near the Tagus. It is an impressive big square. The name Terreiro do Paço dates from the time that the Ribeira Palace stood here but it was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.

The entrance to the Praça do Comércio is formed by the Arco da Rua Augusta. This triumphal arch was built to commemorate the earthquake of 1755, which destroyed a large part of Lisbon and in particular the Baixa district, the historic city center. The triumphal arch symbolizes the resurrection of the city after this devastating disaster. They have worked on this arch for 120 years.

When you walk under the arch you come in one of the nicest and most popular walking and shopping streets of Lisbon, Rua Augusta.

Since 2013 the arch can be visited. At the top, you have a beautiful view of Baixa, the cathedral and the underlying square flanked by the Tagus.

Info icon
Address:
Arco da Rua Augusta
Rua Augusta, Nº 2, 1100-053 – Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: April 15 to May 15 & September 1 to  October 31: 9 am to 8 pm.
May 16 to August 31: 9 am to 9 pm.
November 1 to April 14: 9 am to 7 pm.
(last entry 15 minutes before closing)
Closed: December 25.
Tickets: 3€ – free for children up to 5 years.
Access is included with the ‘Lisboa Card’.
Buy your tickets here:

LISBOA CARD

Next, we walk underneath the majestic triumphal arch that divides the square from Lisbon’s primary shopping district.  As we continue our way along the busy and touristy shopping street of Rua Augusta we may pass some streets performers.  The facades of the houses in this street are still authentic, but the shops are now largely occupied by international brands.

Read also: The best things to do in the Azores.

We continue our way until we see the Santa Justa elevator on our left.  Instead of going to the Santa Justa elevator we turn to our right and follow Rua de Santa Justa until we arrive at Rua dos Fanqueiros.

A short right and left leads us to the Escadinhas de São Cristóvão, in the second section of the stairs (after you’ve crossed the Rua Da Madalena) you will pass some beautiful Fado-inspired street art.

Fado street art, Lisbon, Portugal

As you’ve probably noticed we have started making our way up to the castle of São Jorge.  At the top of the stairs, we make a right and continue our way up along Largo São Cristóvão en Calçada do Marquês de Tancos until we can make a left that leads us to the castle entrance at the Largo do Chão da Feira.

The castle of São Jorge

The Castle of São Jorge is the most famous castle in Lisbon. The castle sits on a 110-meter-high hill, the highest in the city, and towers high above the city. If you want to visit the castle, it is best to plan 2 to 3 hours for this. The castle started as a small fort in the 5th century but over the years one has often built and the castle now has 11 towers. The tour also includes a visit to the permanent exhibition with archaeological finds.

The view of the city from the castle walls is majestic and it is a very pleasant place to enjoy the sunset. After sunset, the castle is also nicely lit.

There are two entrances to the castle, a first entrance at the Largo do Chão da Feira and a second one at the Largo do Menino de Deus.

If you do not want to hike all the way up, you can use the free lifts at Rua dos Fanqueiros and Largo Chão do Loureiro.

Info icon
Address:
Castelo De São Jorge
R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal
Event icon
Opening hours: November to February:
From 9 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5.30 pm).
March to Oktober:
From 9 am to 9 pm (last entry at 8.30 pm).
Closed: January 1, May 1 and December 24-25 & 31.
Tickets: 8,50€ / 65+ : 7€ /  13 to 25 years: 4€
The free admission on Sunday is only valid for Portuguese.
Sao Jorge Castle Lisbon, Portugal
Buy your tickets here:
SKIP THE LINE

Guided Tour

After your visit to the castle, you can continue exploring the Alfama neighborhood to discover its other gems.

Explore the Alfama neighborhood

This is a neighborhood that you absolutely must visit during your city trip to Lisbon. It is the oldest district in Lisbon and you will still find many authentic houses that survived the earthquake of 1755.

Read also: The Azores, a complete guide.

Here you can wander through the many small and picturesque streets.

Sometimes you suddenly come across a narrow alley with surprising street art and behind the next corner, you see beautifully decorated houses full of Azulejos.

There are also many cozy small restaurants in this district.

Be sure to take your time to explore Alfama. Nowadays you can also take a ride with a tuk-tuk, but it is still more fun to stroll around quietly and keep your eyes peeled.

Alfama is a great neighborhood to just wander around and explore at your own pace.  Things worth passing by are:

  • Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen: this is the official name but most people refer to this viewpoint as Miradouro da Graça.  The official name honors the poet who came here to get inspiration for her poems.  We can indeed agree that it is a nice place to relax and enjoy the view. (Calçada da Graça, 1100-265 Lisboa, Portugal.) 
  • Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte: the highest miradouro in Lisbon and probably the most romantic, at least by the count of the many lovelocks that decorate this viewpoint. (Largo Monte, 1170-107 Lisboa, Portugal.)
  • Campo De Santa Clara 124: This house has a magnificent blue yellow facade made with Azulejos. (Campo de Santa Clara 124, 1100-473 Lisboa, Portugal.)
  • The National Pantheon, Panteão Nacional (see below)
  • Miradouro das Portas do Sol: a cozy place from where you have a beautiful view over the orange roofs of Alfama. (Largo Portas do Sol, 1100-411 Lisboa, Portugal.)
  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia: nearby the Miradoura das Portas do Sol this viewpoint also offers beautiful views on the orange roofs of Alfama with the Tagus river in the background.  The benches and walls of this viewpoint are beautifully tiled with Azuleos which (Largo de Santa Luzia, 1100-487 Lisboa, Portugal.)
  • Lisbon’s Cathedral, Sé de Lisboa: This cathedral is an impressive building that could almost be confused with a fort. During a visit, which is free, you can see the inside of the cathedral as well as the adjacent disused cloister and parts of the excavated ruins of the mosque that was used as a foundation for the cathedral.

It may be fun to ride on tram 28 in Alfama although the trams are often jam-packed throughout the day.  You risk encountering long queues at the 2 terminal stops and oftentimes the trams are so full that you don’t get to board at the stops along the way.

You can try your luck at the cathedral or you may opt to visit these spots in reverse order and descend the stairs at Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen.  Once at the bottom of the stairs make a left, take the first right and follow Rua Cavaleiros which will lead you to Martim Moniz, the terminal stop of tram 28.

Wander through the Pantheon Nacional

The Panteão Nacional is located on the upper edge of the old historical district of Alfama. It is an immensely large building in Portuguese Baroque style where you can feel free to wander around.

The construction of the Igreja de Santa Engrácia started in 1683 and it took almost 300 years before the church was finished. The ground plan is based on that of the St. Peter’s Church in Rome. Since the church opened in 1966, it is in use as the National Pantheon.

A nice extra is that this beautiful building is not currently overwhelmed by tourists so you can still enjoy it.

Be sure to walk up the 181 steps for a nice view from the roof terrace.

 

With the ‘Lisboa Card’ access is free.

Info icon
Address:
Igreja de Santa Engrácia
Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: Oktober to March:
From 10 am to 5 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm).
April to September: 
From 10 am to 6 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm).
Closed: Every Monday, January 1, Easter Sunday,  May 1, June 13 and December 24 & 25.
Tickets: 4€ – 50% discount for 65+, students, young people, and family tickets.
With the ‘Lisboa Card’ access is included.
The free admission on Sunday is only valid for Portuguese.
Pantheon Nacional Lisbon, Portugal_Thumbnail
Buy your tickets here:

LISBOA CARD

If you are interested in visiting a flea market, we advise you to visit the Pantheon on Saturday or Tuesday morning so that you can combine your visit with a visit to the nearby Feira da Ladra market.

 

After our exploration of the Alfama district, we head to Rossio in the heart of Lisbon to stroll along the Avenida da Liberdade before we end the day with a beautiful sunset from the Parque Eduardo VII.

Shop till you drop op de Avenida da Liberdade

Or maybe shop until your wallet is empty is a better statement… Along this shopping street, you will find shops of expensive designer brands alternated with some exclusive restaurants and trendy bars. The avenue is 1.1 km long and runs from the square at the Rossio train/metro station to the beautiful Eduardo VII city park. It is a shopping paradise if you have a well-stocked wallet. The brands that have a store here include Prada, Gucci, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton.

If you do not plan to (window) shop then it is still fun to stroll along this avenue. In the middle is a pedestrian promenade with beautiful inlaid stones.

You can also find the Hard Rock café here.

 

Bus iconYou get here with the Linha Azul (blue metro line). You can choose between the Marqués de Pombal, Avenida or Rossio stop.

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon, Portugal

Unwind in the Parque Eduardo VII

Do you need some rest after all that shopping? Then you should definitely walk into the Eduardo VII Park.

Parque Eduardo VII is the largest park in the center of Lisbon. It is wonderfully quiet and a nice place to relax. In the park, you will also find 2 greenhouses with exotic plants and a theater.

If you have a Lisboa card, you can visit the greenhouses for free.

 

The park extends on a slope in line with the Avenida de Liberdade. At the highest point of the park, you will find the Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII. You can not miss it because it is well marked by the flagpole that proudly displays the largest Portuguese flag of the country.

This viewpoint offers a beautiful view of the underlying city with the Tagus in the background.

Day 2

We start our second day in the district of Belém with a visit to the Tower of Belém.  The quickest way to reach the tower is with tram 15.  Exit the tram at the stop Largo Da Princesa and make a left toward the river.  You can make use of the pedestrian bridge to cross the busy Avenida India.

Enjoy the beautiful view from the Belém tower

This tower was built in the 16th century as a tribute to Vasco da Gama. Originally, the tower was on an island in the Tagus, but due to an earthquake the course of the Tagus changed and the tower now borders the quay. Over the course of the years, this tower has proven to be really multi-functional. He served simultaneously as a defense tower and as a ceremonial gateway. You can clearly see the latter because it is just as lavishly decorated as the Jeronimos monastery that we will visit later on.

In the following years, the tower also served as a prison and customs office, but now it is primarily a tourist attraction. During a visit to the tower, you can still see traces of how the tower once served as a fort and later as a palace. The tour of the tower takes you all the way to the top of the balcony from where you have a view over the river, the red ‘Ponte de 25 Abril’ and the Padrão Dos Descobrimentos monument that we will visit next.

In general, however, I would dare to say that the outside view on the tower is more beautiful than inside.

You may encounter long queues to go inside. The good news is that the tickets that you can buy online allow you to skip the line and come at the same price.  Buy your skip-the-line ticket online here.  Usually, the lines are still relatively small early in the morning but as long as the skip-the-line tickets come at the same price it doesn’t hurt to book in advance.

The Lisboa card grants you free access to the tower but you still have to stand in line as long as you don’t have the actual ticket.  One way to avoid the line is to collect your ticket in advance at the archaeological museum next to the Jeronimos monastery.  The museum has a ticket office where you can buy regular tickets for the tower and you can also collect your tickets with your Lisboa card.  As soon as you have tickets you can skip the queue and walk directly inside.

If you want to learn more about this period of wealth from which both the Jeronimos Monastery and the Torre de Belém have arisen, you can also take a guided tour of these 2 monuments.

Info icon
Address:
Torre de Belém
Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: October to May:
From 10 am to 5.30 pm (final entry at 5 pm).
May to September :
Van 10 am to 6.30 pm  (final entry at 5 pm).
Closed: Mondays, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 13 and December 25.
Tickets: 6 € – 50% discount for 65+, students, youth and family tickets (1 adult with at least 2 children).
In the ‘Lisboa Card’ access is included.
The free admission on Sunday is only valid for Portuguese.
Leaving the tower we follow the course of the river towards the next monument, the Padrão dos Descrobrimentos.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos

This memorial was erected as a tribute to the sailors, explorers, and people who contributed to the development of Portuguese voyages of discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries. On the square in front of it is a large wind rose with the discovery routes on it from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Travel is the only thing that makes you richer

We admired the monument only from the outside but if you want you can also visit it.

Every day at 3:30 am there is a film shown about the construction of the monument.  You can also take the elevator to the roof of the 52-meter high monument.

From the terrace, you have a wide view of the harbor and the Torre de Belém, the Jerónimos Monastery, the red ‘Ponte de 25 Abril’ and the Tagus.

Info icon
Address:
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: October to February:
From 10 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5.30 pm)
March to September:
From 10 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6.30 pm)
Closed: 1 January, 1 May and December 25.
Tickets: Exhibition: 3 € / Exhibition + viewpoint and film: 6 €.
30% discount with the ‘Lisboa Card’.
The free admission on Sunday is only valid for Portuguese.
Padrao dos Descobrimentos Lisbon, Portugal

We continue our way toward the Jeronimos Monastery.  To get there you cross the busy Av. Brasilia with the underground passage and then you just head straight through the gardens.  You can see the monastery from afar.

Discover the Jeronimos Monastery

Even if you are not a big fan of museums and historic buildings, the Jeronimos Monastery, is one of the highlights of a city trip to Lisbon and it would be a shame to skip this.

The Portuguese king has built this monumental and richly decorated building to show its wealth to the world. After all, the money flowed smoothly after Vasco da Gama set foot in the Dutch East Indies. The associated church, which you can visit free of charge, is also dedicated to Vasco da Gama and is decorated as lavishly as the Monastery. Vasco da Gama was also buried in this church. 

During your visit to both the church and the monastery, pay attention to the details of which many refer to shipping.

The monastery attracts a lot of visitors. If you want to avoid the queues, come early or buy “skip the line” tickets here and then walk straight in without having to sit down.

If you want to learn more about this period of wealth from which both the Jeronimos Monastery and the Torre de Belém have arisen, you can also take a guided tour of these 2 monuments.

What we wrote about the Lisboa card in regards to the tower applies as well for the monastery. You get free access with the card but you have to stand in line to get the actual ticket. Sometimes these lines can be long.  Don’t worry, you can make use of the same trick that works for the Belém Tower. 

To avoid the queue you can collect your ticket at the archaeological museum right next door.  As we wrote, the museum also sells regular tickets for both monuments.  Once you have the ticket you can skip the queue and walk directly inside.

Info icon
Address:
Jerónimos Monastery
Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: October to May:
from 10 am to 5.30 pm (last entry at 5 pm). 
May to September:
from 10 am to 6.30 pm  (last entry at 6 pm).
Closed: Mondays, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 13 and December 25.

 

Tickets: 10€ – 50% discount for 65+, students, youth and family tickets (1 adult with at least 2 children). With the ‘Lisboa Card’ access is included. The free admission on Sunday is only valid for Portuguese.
Jeronimos monastery Lisbon, Portugal

 

After your visit to the monastery, you can taste some of the best pastries that Lisbon has to offer, the famous Pasteis de Nata.   

The Confeitaria de Belém may well be Lisbon’s most touristy pastry shop.  It is only a 5-minute walk from the monastery. 

All you have to do is follow the main road that runs in front of the monastery in the direction of Lisbon.

Pasteis De Nata Lisbon, Portugal

Pasteis De Nata

Taste the famous Pasteis De Nata

The Pastéis de Belém or Pastéis de Nata are small stuffed pies with pudding. It is one of the most famous Portuguese desserts.

Traditionally you also drink a coffee with it.

You can find them in many cafés and confectioneries in Portugal, but the most famous and also most touristy can be found in the Belém district.

When you visit Belém your visit is not complete before you have eaten the famous Pastéis de Belém.

The Pastéis are so famous that even here you may sometimes have to queue to indulge in the local delicacies.

Info icon
Address:
Confeiteira Pastéis de Belém
R. de Belém 84-92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: Oktober to June:
From 8 am to 11 pm
July to September:
From 8 am to midnight
Open every day, on December 24, 25, 31 and January first exceptionally open from 8 am to 7 pm.
Prices for Pastéis start at 1.10€

Next up we head to a site that is less popular but therefore not less impressive, the National Palace of Ajuda.

Bus iconTo reach the palace you can either take bus 727 at the Monastery for 5 stops towards Caselas ( you get off at Rua Bica do Marquês), bus 729 for 6 stops towards Padre Cruz ( until Rua Bica do Marquês) or you could walk.

By foot it would take you 25 minutes, buses are faster and should run approximately every 15 minutes on business days and every 20 to 30 minutes over the weekend.

Feel like a king in the National Palace Ajuda

The royal family must have thought that you can never have too much of a good thing when they built this palace. The facade of the palace is already quite impressive, but the lavishly decorated rooms inside are even more impressive. According to the original plans, this palace was even going to be bigger, but construction was brutally interrupted when Napoleon’s army invaded the country. The construction was resumed at several intervals but until today the building is still incomplete.

The palace is still used today for ceremonial occasions.

Moreover, it has not yet been discovered by mass tourism.

 

Info icon
Address:
Palácio Nacional Da Ajuda
Largo Ajuda 1349-021, Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: From10 am to 6 pm.
Closed: Wednesday and January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, December 25.

 

Tickets: 5€ – 50% discount for 65+, students, youth and family tickets (2 adults with at least 2 children).
Access is included with the ‘Lisboa Card’.
Palacio Ajuda Lisboa, Portugal
Buy your tickets here:

LISBOA CARD

Palacio Ajuda Lisbon, Portugal

Time to head back to Lisbon.  The quickest way is to go back to the monastery from where you take tram 15E towards Lisbon.  We don’t go all the way until the city center just yet but we stop at Cais do Sodré where we will visit the Mercado da Ribeira and Pink street.

It may be too early for dinner yet but be sure to peep inside the Mercado de Ribeira.

Have dinner in the Mercado da Ribeira

Mercado de Ribeira is since 1892 the most important food market in Lisbon. This covered market is located south of the lower city, on the river Tagus. Here everything is about food and drinks.

The market was thoroughly renovated during 2013 and 2014.  The renovation made room for a few shops and a trendy food court besides the traditional market that is still located in this building.  The food court attracts many Lisboans that come to enjoy the good life.

All world kitchens are present and this place is a delight for the gourmets. You can try food from many different local restaurants and even some famous chefs are present to prepare your food on the spot.

This food court is an ideal place to discover the different Portuguese flavors.

To complete your meal you can order a glass of wine at the wine bars.

Info icon
Adres:
Mercado da Ribeira
Avenida 24 de Julio, 1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday:
From 10 am to midnight.
Thursday to Saturday:
From 10 am to 2 am
Mercada Da Ribeira Lisbon, Portugal_thumbnail
Taste Portugal’s local cuisine during a walk with a culinary guide:
MEER INFO

From the food court, it is just a short 2-minute walk to Rua Nova do Carvalho.
Pink Street Lisbon, Portugal

Pink street – Rua Nova do Carvalho

Rua Nova do Carvalho became “Rua Cor-de-Rosa” (“Pink Street”) in 2011 as part of a rehabilitation project to turn the former red-light district of Lisbon into a trendy place for nightlife. The ‘fille de Joie’ have disappeared and together with them also the dark and decayed nightlife. The street is now lined with new hip bars and restaurants and even a few nightclubs.

The upgrading project was certainly a success. The bars and restaurants have retained various elements of the rich history of this street and that gives it a very particular appearance.

This is a nice street to stop and enjoy a snack or a drink and if you want to get a taste of the real Portuguese nightlife you should not look any further. Music Box, one of the more popular clubs in Lisbon, can be found under the bridge with the street art.

Bus iconThe closest metro stop is Cais do Sodré, the final stop of the Verde / green line.

You can, of course, go on to discover everything yourself, but perhaps it is more fun to do a guided street art tour.

Here you find more information about this guided street art tour: Street art tour

If you have some time left you can explore the Bairro Alto district of Lisbon.  The district counts 2 nice miradouros, some colorful street art and a nice example of a house decorated with Azulejos.  The Ascensor De Bica starts in the Rua de Sao Paulo that runs parallel with pink street and goes all the way up to the Largo Calhariz in the heart of this district.

Discover the Bairro Alto district

These are the highlights of the Bairro Alto district:

  • Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara: A nice wide open viewpoint that oversees the city.  To get here leaving the ascensor you head right and follow this street until you arrive at Rua do Alecrim.  Here you make a left, the viewpoint is on your right just after the Ascensor Da Glória.  Which is our second point of interest.
  • The Urban Art Gallery in the Calçada da Glória, the first official location for street art in Lisbon and the street were the Ascensor da Glória runs.  We write in more detail about the Urban Art Gallery further below.
  • If you’re interested in street art you can head to these 3 streets next: Rua Vinha, Rua São Boaventura, Travessa dos Fiéis de Deus
  • Miradouro de Santa Catarina: The viewpoint itself is not as nice as the first one in this list but the view itself is certainly not inferior.  This is a good place to stop if you want to head back to the Mercado Da Ribeiro.
  • Casa do Ferreira das Tabuletas: A house decorated with Azulejos.  The house is close to the Santa Justa Elevator, the quickest way to get to Baixa.

The district’s nightlife is well-known to attract many locals so you may just as well stick around and socialize with the locals in the pubs afterward.  The most lively nights are Fridays and Saturdays.

Ride the Santa Justa Elevator

The Santa Justa lift is a classic lift, but nonetheless an impressive steel construction of 45 meters high. The elevator connects the center with the 30 meters higher Carmo square.

No visit to Lisbon is complete without having done a ride with this elevator.

Unfortunately, there is often a long queue to go up but luckily the queue to go down tends to be shorter.

There is a viewpoint at the top of the elevator. Don’t skip the viewpoint, visit this one first before you take the elevator.

The viewpoint at the top of the lift has room for up to 29 visitors. As a result, there can also be a queue at busy times. You reach it via the Largo da Carmo. A visit to the viewpoint offers a phenomenal view of Baixa. From here you can also see the ruins of the Carmo church and monastery.

To take the lift down from the viewpoint, there are usually no queues.

Info icon
Address:
Elevador Santa Justa
R. do Ouro, 1150-060 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours Elevator: November to February:
From 7:30 am to 9 pm
March to October:
From 7.30 am to 11 pm
Opening hours View Point: November to April van 9 am to 9 pm.
13, 14 en 15 April and May to Oktober: from 9 am to 11 pm.
Tickets: 5.15 € for a ride with the elevator (including access to the viewpoint).
1,15 € for access to the viewpoint.
Free entrance for the elevator and viewpoint is included in the ‘Lisboa Card’.
Santa Justa elevator Lisbon, Portugal
Buy your tickets here:

LISBOA CARD

3 days in Lisbon

Here is some inspiration for your third day of this 3-day Lisbon itinerary. We covered the highlights of Lisbon in the first 2 days and you can fill in the third day to your own preference. We list some extra sights worthwhile checking out in Lisbon. Or you could do a day trip to Sintra or Cascais.

Visit one of the most beautiful aquariums in the world

The Lisbon Aquarium, called Oceanarium, is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. It is a legacy of the expo of 1998 that at the time was dedicated to oceans to celebrate the 500-year jubilee of the discovery of the sea route to India. The aquarium was expanded in 2011 and now houses more than 15,000 different animals.

The highlight is the gigantic central tank where 4 ecosystems are mimicked: the three oceans and the Southern Polar Sea.

A visit to this oceanarium is a great fun thing to do during your city trip in Lisbon.  It will also showcase a completely different side of Lisbon.  The Parque das Nações, where the aquarium is located, is a modern and even slightly futuristic district, quite a contrast with the traditional districts of Lisbon where you spent the first two days.

You can buy your tickets in advance online.

 

Info icon
Address:
Oceanário de Lisboa
Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº, 1990-005 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: From 10 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6 pm).
Open until 8 pm during the summer (last admission at 7 pm).
25 December: open from 1 pm / 1 January: open from noon.
Tickets:  18 € / Children 4-12 and seniors (65+): 12 €.
Family ticket: 47 € (2 adults + 2 children).
15% discount with the ‘Lisboa Card’.
Oceanario de Lisboa, Portugal
Buy your tickets here:
TICKETS

LISBOA CARD

Lisbon tram Portugal

The iconic old remodelado trams of Lisbon

Take a ride with an eléctrico, an authentic tram

With the exception of tram 15, the iconic yellow old ‘Remodelado’ trams still run on all other lines in Lisbon. Some of these trams date back to 1930 but they continue to serve valiant and will probably have to keep doing this in the coming years. The narrow streets and the many sharp bends ensure that the modern long trams are no alternative.

Because the trams are not yet ready for retirement, they are also very well maintained. The charming aspect of the trams keep retained (think of the authentic wooden benches) but the technology has received a solid service in recent years. From there comes the name ‘Remodelado’ which means as much as ‘remodeled’.

The most popular route for tourists is tram 28, followed by tram 12.

Tram 28 takes you in about 50 minutes to all famous sights in Lisbon. He starts in Martim Moniz and drives to Campo Ourique, on the way he drives through the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Alfama, Graça and Estrela. It stops at the Basilica da Estrela, the Assembleia da República, Praça Luís de Camões (the main square of Bairro Alto), the Se Cathedral and Portas do Sol in Alfama.

If you want to do a ride with this tram, it’s often better to get up on it on one of the end stops because it is sometimes impossible to get on it when it is on route because it’s a lot of times full.

If you just want to drive a Remodelado tram and the route is less important for you, you can, of course, choose to make a ride with one of the other tram lines. Tram 12 runs in a loop through Alfama and Martim Moniz. It is a short route of only about 20 minutes and part of the route follows the same tracks as tram 28.

Another option is to take Tram 24. This tram connects Praça Luís de Camões with Campolide. It is a relatively new route. The route does not really take you to tourist sites and is therefore mainly used by Lisboners.

If you want to sit on the tram then you have the most chance on this route.

 

Trams 12 and 28 are mainly used by tourists. With the Lisboa card, you can ride for free with all trams in Lisbon.

Below you will find the timetable of the trams:

Admire the street art

We already covered some street art spots in our 2-day itinerary but it doesn’t stop there.  Fans of street art will certainly have a good time in Lisbon. Many beautiful places are scattered in and around the city center.

Below we list those we could find although there certainly could be more:

The Crono Project

In 2010, the Crono project was started. For this, the city invited a number of international names who worked together with local Portuguese street artists. The aim was to convert old dilapidated buildings in the financial district into a gigantic outdoor art project.

These works are pretty striking and hard to miss when you ride the bus from the airport to the city center.

Bus iconThe 3 best-known buildings are located on the Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo. The nearest metro station is Picoas on the Amarela / yellow line. From the Parque station on the Azul / blue line, it is about a 5 minutes walk.

The Crono Project counts more artworks than these 3 buildings. Here you will find the full overview.

Gau / Urban Art Gallery

Street art is so important for Lisbon that they have established GAU – Galeria de Arte Urbana or the Urban Art Gallery under the wings of the city’s culture and heritage as a place for street artists. Every artist can submit a proposal and when they are accepted, they can refresh the streets of Lisbon with their works of art.

On the GAU website, you will find artworks spread over the entire city on a handy map. Handy if you want to plan a walk.

The place where this initiative started was the Calçada da Glória, a steeply rising street in the center of Lisbon.

Bus iconTo get here, take the metro to Restauradores (Linha Azul / blue line). From here it is a short walk to the foot of the street. The artworks are mainly at the top of the street. You can, of course, walk up on foot but you can also choose to take the Ascensor da Glória and come back on foot.

When you have a Lisboa pass or a public transport pass, the cable car ride is free.

If you come from Bairro Alto you have to walk to the Rua São Pedro de Alcântara, it comes out at the top of the Calçada da Glória

In the Largo da Oliveirinha a side street about halfway the Calçada da Glória you will find more works.

Parque Mayer/Maria Vitoria theater

Parque Mayer is a street that forms a loop. Previously, several theaters were located along this street, but this old theater district still has only one functioning theater today. The street has now been transformed into a large public parking lot. Street artists eagerly use the many open spaces to exhibit their works of art.

The Parque Mayer is located near the Avenida da Liberdade.

Bus iconThe closest metro stop is Avenida on the Azul / blue line. From the exit of the metro, you can follow the signposts to the Teatro Maria Vitoria.

The Santa Apolónia coastline 

The Crono project is not the only project that has brightened up Lisbon. In 2010 there was also the Pampero Public Art Project. With this project, some abandoned depots have been given a new look. These are life-sized and very colorful works by José Carvalho, Smile, Vanessa Teodoro (Supervan), and Tamara Alves. There are also some works by Vhils-Pixelpancho, a well-known local artist, who works with an enormous eye for detail.

These warehouses are located along the Avenida Infante Dom Henrique.

Bus iconThey are the easiest reached by bus. Take bus 728, 735, 759 or 794 and stop at the Casa Conto bus stop.

Fado Lisbon Portugal

Fado performance

Attend a fado performance

When you are in Lisbon, it is an excellent opportunity to attend a Fado performance. The Fado music is so interwoven with Portuguese culture that it is often regarded as national music. Fado is a highly prized singing art in Portugal that used to be sung exclusively in shabby pubs. It is usually sung by a single person, called a fadista, who is accompanied by a classical guitar and a Portuguese guitar.

Fado occupies a special place in the lives of many Portuguese people.

She gives voice to the minds of life, sadness, melancholy and joy, most of the time the inevitable fate takes a central place. The name Fado comes from the Latin word for destiny.

During a summer evening walk in the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto, Alfama and Mouraria you will be able to enjoy the fado sounds that come out of the restaurants but if you want to attend a fado performance you can book this in advance. The best addresses are usually fully booked in advance.

Below we list a number of possibilities where you can enjoy a fado performance.

 

Stroll along the Cemitério dos Prazeres

This gigantic cemetery (the official name is Cemitério do Alto de São João) covers an area of 20 ha. The district used to be a rich part of the city, which is still visible in a large number of works of art,  sculptures,  architecture and the quality of the used materials. The construction of the cemetery took place in 1833 when elsewhere in the city there was no longer enough space for the many cholera victims.

Many well-known Portuguese actors, singers, and writers are buried here and it seems like every family with money and respect has a family tomb here. Some are the size of a small home.

Bus iconYou get here by taking tram 25 or 28 to the final stop, Campo de Orique (Prazeres).

If you’re interested in a romantic ghostly walk along the cemeteries of Lisbon then this is for you: Cemetery Tour
Azulejos Lisbon, Portugal

Go Azulejos spotting

Our 2-day Lisbon itinerary takes you along 2 houses that are richly decorated with Azulejos but those are not the only places where you can find these tiles.

In Largo Intendente you will find the beautiful blue-white façade of tile fabrication Fabrica Viüa Lamego. South you will find the house Campo de Santa Clara 124 which also has a beautiful blue yellow facade.

In the Chiado district, you will find the beautiful decorated Casa do Ferreira das Tabuletas at Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.

In the metro stations, you also often find large panels of azulejos. The classic blue tiles can be found in the Campo Grande station. In many other stations such as Picoas, Parque and Campo Pequeno you will find more modern works made with the same technique.

But even if you just wander through Lisbon, you will every once in a while almost accidentally bump into some beautiful.

If you aren’t bored with all those azulejos afterward, be sure to pay a visit to the Azulejos museum.

With the Lisboa card, the entrance is free. Otherwise, you pay € 5.

 

Make a day trip to Sintra

Sintra, one of the most beautiful small towns in Portugal is located 25 kilometers from Lisbon. It’s a fairytale town that is perfect to discover during a day trip. In Sintra, you will find 2 palaces and a castle. As a culture lover, you can really enjoy yourself here.

For us, the highlight of our visit to Sintra was the fairytale palace of Pena.

Bus iconThe easiest way to reach Sintra is by public transport. You can take a train from the Rossio station or the Oriente station to Sintra. A train departs every 15 minutes. A bit more than half an hour later you are in Sintra.

The train ride to Sintra is free with the Lisboa card.

Info icon
Address:
Palacio de Pena
Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal.
Event icon
Opening hours: until 23/3/2019:
From 10 am to 6 pm (last admission at 5 pm)
after 23/3/2019:
From 9.30 am to 8 pm (last admission at 7 pm)

 

Tickets:14 € / 12.5 € for -17 and 65+ / family tickets: 49 € (2 adults with 2 children).
10% discount with ‘Lisboa Card’.
Buy your tickets here:
SKIP THE LINE

LISBOA CARD

Spend a wonderful day at the beach in Cascaïs

Do you fancy a day at the beach?  Cascaïs is the ideal place to do so. This somewhat mundane resort is located at 30 kilometers from Lisbon.

Bus iconYou can easily reach Cascaïs by train from the Cais do Sodré train station.

 

With the Lisboa card, the trip by train to Cascaïs is free.

 

If you prefer to visit Sintra and Cascaïs with an organized guided tour, then this excursion might be something for you: Guided Tour

The best place to stay in Lisbon

Below we have a number of nice hotels in the center of Lisbon.

Luxury hotel

Hotel icon

Hotel Avenida Palace 

HotelAvenida Palace Lissabon PortugalDo you want to spoil yourself during your city trip to Lisbon, then the Hotel Avenida Palace is a good choice. This belle epoque hotel is located in the historical part of Lisbon within walking distance of a number of attractions and the metro. Tastefully decorated rooms and a fantastic breakfast will make your stay unforgettable.

Click here to see the latest prices on Booking.com: BOOKING

Premium comfortable hotel

Hotel iconNH Collection Lisboa Liberdade

NH Collection Lisboa Liberdade, Lissabon PortugalThe NH Collection Lisboa hotel is located on Avenida da Liberdade, surrounded by luxury shops and boutiques. The hotel is close to the metro and is a great starting point to discover Lisbon. You sleep in a beautiful room with a spacious walk-in shower. Extensive and luxurious breakfast. From the roof terrace, you have a magnificent view of Lisbon.

Weather permitting you can relax in the pool after a busy day.

 

Click here to see the latest prices on Booking.com: BOOKING

Comfortable hotel

Hotel iconMy Story Hotel Rossio

My Story Hotel Rossio Lissabon PortugalThe My Story Hotel Rossio is a great hotel in the center of Lisbon. From your room, you have a beautiful view over one of the liveliest squares in Central Lisbon. The metro, bus and tram stations are nearby. Ideal for a city trip.

The airport Aerobus stops almost in front of the hotel.

Click here to see the latest prices on Booking.com: BOOKING
If you aren’t convinced of these hotels, you will find a lot of other hotels in Busan on Booking.com:  BOOKING



Conclusion

Lisbon is a super fun city to spend a weekend or even a longer city trip. You can visit the many historic buildings or just get a feel of the city by wandering through the cobblestone streets.  You can relax, enjoy the views and do some people watching at one of the many miradouros.  Bring some pasteis de nata when you’re going to admire the sunset at one of these viewpoints, they’re finger licking good! After sunset, you can socialize with the Lisboans in the bars or attend a fado performance. Lisbon has something to do for everyone.

If you have been to Lisbon and have some extra tips do not hesitate to share them in the comments.

 

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Lisbon 3 day itinerary

Categories: Portugal

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