The best Lisbon itinerary

The best Lisbon itinerary

Lisbon, Portugal has so much to offer. I would argue it’s one of the most interesting, unique, and beautiful cities in all of Europe. If you aren’t sure what to do and how to structure your days, read on! Here is the best Lisbon itinerary!

I had spent about 3 weeks in Lisbon, but that was over a decade ago…. I LOVED Lisbon. So when my husband and I started planning our trip to Portugal, I knew Lisbon had to be a big part of our itinerary.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have an abundance of time in Portugal, so that meant only 3 days in Lisbon. But it was a wonderful 3 days. Because more and more people are escaping to Portugal for spring break (Or for a shorter period of travel), I’m going to focus on what you can do in 3 days in Lisbon.

If you have more time, even better!!

Check out other Portugal content:

The best Lisbon itinerary


But first let’s talk about where you should stay! I can help you find the perfect place that fits your needs. That might be a budget-friendly apartment, a luxury hotel for your honeymoon, or a quaint boutique hotel. There are many accommodation options to choose from, something that will fit your needs.

We stayed at the Boutique Chiado Suites. For my husband and I, I was looking for something romantic, apartment-style, good location that wasn’t too noisy, it HAD to have a balcony, and something affordable.

Our Portugal trip was spaced in 3 different areas of Portugal, Porto, Douro Valley, and Lisbon. We opted for a variation of accommodation types. Porto was a typical hotel, Douro Valley was a family-run beautiful farm-house (more on this to come!), and Lisbon was apartment-style.

I highly recommend Boutique Chiado Suites! We hit all our needs. From the moment we walked in to the tall ceilings, drapes, and french doors — I was in love! They have varying room types you can select from (with varying price points).

Day 1: Morning

For your first morning in Lisbon, head out for a walking tour. If you’ve read other posts of mine, you know that I recommend this often. Even if you’re a little hesitant, give it a chance!

The way I often think of a walking tour: It may not be our most memorable, favorite activity of your trip, but it upgrades all the experiences you have afterwards. This is because you learn a lot on your walking tour. I promise — once you learn a few things from your walking tour, you’ll appreciate all the other aspects of Lisbon.

For example, did you know there was a huge earthquake in Lisbon in 1755?? This ruined a huge majority of the city. People still reference the earthquake of 1755 often. And one of the only neighborhoods left, was Alfama.

You will learn so much more on your walking tour that will help elevate everything you do afterwards.

Day 1: Afternoon

Get some lunch — I might suggest Lisboa Tu e Eu 1 or Lisboa Tu e Eu 2. One family runs both tavern-style, approachable, affordable restaurants. The food is simple but delicious. It gets quite busy and does not do reservations. So I recommend going around 12 to beat the 1pm rush.

After lunch, you may want to take a nap at your apartment/hotel and relax a bit.

Day 1: Evening

For your first evening in Lisbon, I recommend walking around a couple different neighborhoods and eating dinner in an alley somewhere that you find.

If you decide to do the Alfama neighborhood, make sure to start with the best view in the city: Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Walk around and grab some dinner around 7 (which is when most people start eating dinner). After dinner, make sure to finish your evening in the Bairro Alto and Chiado neighborhoods (which is where Boutique Chiado Suites is — if you decide to stay there).

If you want to stay out late and party, you can definitely do that in these neighborhoods. But if you’re like us and want to stroll around in the evening, and then head to bed by 10 or 11pm, you can also do that.

That’s just what we did. The Bairro Alto and Chiado neighborhoods are interesting to walk around in. You will find many street performers with amazing talent. One of our highlights on our trip was joining a congregating crowd at 9pm as the sun had set listening to a talented musician singing Frank Sinatra.

Day 2: Morning

For your second morning in Lisbon, I recommend heading to Belém for sunrise. Belém is the western most point in Lisbon, one of the most historical areas in Lisbon. It’s where many of the “explorers” departed for other parts of the world including Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama. While there is some controversy over this part of the world’s past, you may be interested in learning more by visiting Belém.

You can take the train, tram, or bus to Belém from Lisbon. You can see a fabulous sunrise near the Belém Tower and Discoveries Monument.

Once you soak in sunrise, head to one of the best places in the whole city (at least that’s my opinion) for the infamous Pasteis de Belém. This is where the famous pasteil de nata tarts started (custard-like creamy tart. Pasteis de Belem is quite large. You can walk in and through all the rooms to the back to get a seat. They will wait on you. You would be silly NOT to order the pasteil de nata (Belém).

We ordered 2 each with espresso and people watched. What a perfect way to start the day!

It can get really busy here, so even more-so why I recommend coming to Belem for sunrise and then getting an early start at Pasteis de Belem.

After fueling up, I recommend checking out the Jerónimos Monastery (right across the street!). You need to buy tickets in advance!! We actually didn’t do this and weren’t able to see the Monastery. It is a regret of mine. It’s a beautiful place with so much history.

I’m not someone that loves to spend all day in museums, but there are always 1-2 that interest me. This was one.

Day 2: Afternoon

After a busy afternoon in Belem, head back to Lisbon city center, grab some lunch, and head back to your hotel to relax for a couple hours. With an early morning wake-up, you’ll probably be quite tired!

Day 2: Evening

It’s been a long day! I recommend spending your second evening, finding some street food for dinner (ie. pizza!!). We went to two different pizza places nearby, ordered a couple of different pizzas to try, bought a bottle of wine from a grocery store, and went back to our apartment to people-watch (and music-listen) on our balcony.

I love doing this when we travel! It gives a different feel than being a tourist, but is like you’re just living a day in your life in this city.

Later on, we ended up finding a Portuguese tv show on Netflix (Until Life do us Part in English) — that we actually continued watching in the U.S.

Day 3: Morning

For your last full day in Lisbon, take the morning to do whatever you’d like. Walk around to the other parts of the city you haven’t been. Or go back to your favorite spots. One of my favorite things to do is go get a cafe/espresso in a local spot and people watch.

You could also check out the world’s oldest bookstore: Bertrand Bookstore (which also happens to have a cafe 😉 )

Day 3: Afternoon

Get some lunch nearby, and then head back to your apartment/accommodation. Spend a few hours resting, napping, and then making a plan for tomorrow (the day you depart). Make sure you have you check-in for your flight, or have your train tickets handy. Know how you’re going to get a ride to the airport (highly recommend Bolt!).

Pack up your belongings, and then get ready for your last evening in the city.

Day 3: Evening

For your last evening in the city, I recommend you do a Lisbon Food and Fado Tour. This specific tour (Lisbon Food and Fado Tour: An Evening Out in Mouraria and Alfama) was THE highlight of our time in Lisbon AND in all of Portugal.

I would love to help you book this!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know I’m obsessed with Fado. Fado is a specific and special music genre in Portugal. It’s characterized by melancholy music — often sung by a woman and accompanied by a guitarist as well as a Portuguese guitar.

Be on the lookout for a post on this alone!

This tour is over several hours. Your guide will bring you to local food spots, and hidden locations around the city that are special to Fado.

It finishes with dinner and wine at a tavern while you listen to a Fado show.

#romantic !

I hope that the best Lisbon itinerary gives you a place to start for your trip to Portugal. If you want help making more detailed plans or booking anything, don’t hesitate to reach out!!

Lisbon is a special place. There is so much to see and do. Three days doesn’t scratch the surface, but it is a start….


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