The Perfect 3 Day Lisbon Itinerary
Our 3 days in Lisbon itinerary is the perfect guide to help you plan your dream vacation in Lisbon, Portugal. If this is your first time in Portugal, there’s no better city than Lisbon to get acquaintance with the charming and vibrant Portuguese culture. Our 3-day Lisbon itinerary is packed with the best attractions you can find in Lisbon, the coolest neighborhoods and tips to help you plan the perfect 3 days in Lisbon.
Lisbon or Lisboa, Portugal’s capital, is located in the west of Portugal on the northern banks of the Tagus River. It is one of the most ancient cities in Europe and it was almost totally destroyed in 1755 by the Great Lisbon Earthquake, an earthquake that was followed by fires and a tsunami and killed thousands of people.
You’ll find a mixture of cultural influences in Lisbon, historic monuments, lively nightlife and great cuisine. Lisbon is also known as the city of seven hills so there is no shortage of great viewpoints or miradouros in Portuguese. It is one of the most colorful and vibrant cities we’ve ever visited. It has so many things to see and do and though it is a European city, it has a South American flare. The Portuguese language just made us think of South America, not to mention the Capoeira dance circles and the Portuguese infectious joie de vivre. With so many attractions around, you’d better plan your 3-day Lisbon itinerary carefully so you’d be able to experience everything Lisbon has to offer!
Reasons to Visit Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of the most ancient cities in Western Europe, second only to Athens. History and culture lovers will have plenty to do in Portugal’s capital.
Lisbon is conveniently situated on the banks of the Tagus River, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It is also home to the longest bridge in Europe, the Vasco da Gama Bridge which stretches out to 17.2 km
Lisbon is one of the sunniest places in the world with an average of 2,800 – 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. Even during the winter you’ll get 5 hours of sun daily, on average.
Thanks to its hilly topography, Lisbon offers amazing viewpoints and a very unique tourist attraction in the form of street elevators and funiculars that make it easier for pedestrians. The most well-known elevator is the beautiful Elevador de Santa Justa.
Architecture lovers will be amazed by the different architecture styles and stunning buildings and avenues all around Lisbon. From Romanesque, Manueline, Gothic, and Baroque, to Modern and Postmodern elements – you could spend the whole 3 days exploring the stunning historical and modern structures all around the city.
Culture and history lovers can also check the numerous museums that can be found all around the city. From the famous Lisbon Oceanarium (the largest on its kind in Europe), to the Tile Museum or the National Museum of Ancient Art. Check out this list of the top museums in Lisbon.
Lisbon is one of the top destinations for food lovers. From Michelin-starred restaurants to simple eateries, and food stalls. There are numerous Portuguese dishes that should be on your bucket list (other than the famous Pasteis de Nata). From seafood and sausages to amazing cheese and wine – for specific recommendations, check out our Lisbon’s Foodie Guide.
3 Days in Lisbon - What to See and Do
3 Days in Lisbon Itinerary - Day 1
Lisbon's City Center and Alfama Neighborhood
Exploring Lisbon’s Baixa-Chiado & Rossio
The best way to start your 3-day Lisbon itinerary is to explore Lisbon’s central areas of Baixa and Rossio. In this fairly small area you can find many tourist attractions, beautiful monuments, coffee shops and restaurants. Enjoy the structured layout of Lisbon’s downtown area, since it’s very different from the maze-like layout of other parts of Lisbon such as Alfama and Bairro Alto. In fact, this area was rebuilt completely after the Great Lisbon Earthquake while taking into consideration a modern city layout design. Therefore, the whole area, which is referred to as Pombaline Baixa is one of the first examples of earthquake-resistant construction. Start at the beautiful Rossio Square, and then enjoy walking on one of the central streets of Lisbon, Rua Augusta, to get to other famous attractions and historical sights in the area.
Rossio Square (Praça de D. Pedro IV)
The beautiful Rossio Square which is situated in the heart of Lisbon has been the hub of the city since the Middle Ages. It has seen executions, riots and celebrations and nowadays it is a local meet up point which is busy day or night. The area is dotted with many cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, some of which date back to the 18th century (the famous Café Nicola which used to be a gathering place for poets and artists is one of them). The square itself is beautiful to look at with its unique pavement with wavy pattern, the column of Pedro IV (the King of Portugal) in the middle of square and the two baroque fountains on each side. Around the square, there are many impressive buildings, especially the D. Maria II National Theatre in the northern corner.
Insider Tip: The square is illuminated beautifully at night time, so photography lovers can come back for some night photography.
Santa Justa Lift
The Elevador de Santa Justa is probably one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Lisbon. It has been operating since 1902. This beautifully decorated lift was born out of necessity. The hilly topography of Lisbon forced its citizens to find creative solutions to connect the different parts of the city and so many such urban elevators and funiculars had to be constructed, out of which Santa Justa Lift is the most beautiful one. This iconic monument which connects the Baixa district to Largo do Carmo, was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, a student of Gustave Eiffel. The impressive structure of the elevator is adorned with Neo-Gothic elements and geometric patterns and once you get to the upper level you can admire the gorgeous view from above. You’ll need to purchase entrance tickets to the viewing platform but if you buy a return ticket to the elevator then the price of the viewing platform is included. There are always long queues thanks to the popularity of the Santa Justa Lift and the fact there’s a capacity limit to ride the lift and enter the viewing platform.
Tips for visiting Santa Justa Lift – To avoid the long queues, try and come very early in the day or in the late afternoon hours. In terms, of price, the ride back down is quite pricey (€5.30) but it’s included in the 24-hour public transport ticket (which costs €6.40) since the lift is technically a part of Lisbon’s public transport network. You would need to purchase the 24-hour ticket which can be purchased from any metro station for €6.40 prior to your visit. Note that the entrance to the viewing platform (€1.50) isn’t included. The Lisbon Card (from €20 for one day) also includes the Santa Justa Lift. Another way to enjoy the viewing platform without standing in line or paying for the Santa Justa Lift is to simply walk over to the back entrance of the lift (use the bridge behind Carmo Convent) and buy the ticket only to enter the viewing platform.
Address: Lower entrance: R. do Ouro, 1150-060 (just off Rua Augusta street) | Upper entrance: Largo do Carmo, 1200-092
Opening Hours for the lift:
Summer (March – October): 7.00 am – 11.00 pm daily Winter (November – February): 7.00 am – 9.00 pm daily
Opening hours for the viewing platform:
Summer (March – October): 9.00 am – 11.00 pm daily Winter (November – February): 9.00 am – 9.00 pm daily
Admission Fee: For the lift & viewing platform: € 6.40 | for the viewing platform: € 1.50 (check our tips for discounts)
Largo do Carmo Square and the Carmo Convent
As long as you are checking the view from Santa Justa’s viewing platform, take a detour and visit the nearby convent and beautiful square. Largo do Carmo is a peaceful plaza, decorated with cobblestone pavement, historic monuments, baroque buildings and jacarandas trees which means Spring is the perfect time to visit it when these trees are blooming. One of the most unique historic buildings is located here, the ruins of Carmo Convent, officially known as the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This convent was founded in 1389 but was destroyed during the great earthquake. Nowadays, you can visit the ruins and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Insider Tip: Since 2018, there is a multimedia show called Lisbon Under Stars that take place in the evenings in the convent from May till the beginning of July. Twice a night, the ruins of the convent turn into a three-dimensional screen, on which the history of Lisbon is projected accompanied by a narrator, music and dance performances. It is a very unique experience and you can check all the information about Lisbon Under the Stars here.
Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)
Lisbon’s largest plaza was built after the 1755 earthquake and thanks to its location, on the bank of the Tagus River, it has always had an important role throughout the years. This used to be where the Royal Ribeira Palace was located until it was destroyed by the earthquake. The whole area was rebuild in the Pombaline Style under the supervision of the Portuguese architect, Eugénio dos Santos. The new design included a large, rectangular square which remained open on the side of the river. It was named the Square of Commerce to indicate its main purpose and many governmental buildings were located there.
Nowadays the beautiful yellow facade with white arches provide a very instagrammable background. In the center of the plaza you’ll find the bronze equestrian statue of King José I and on the northern side you’ll find the magnificent Rua Augusta Arch situated just at the entrance to the famous Rua Augusta. On top of the Rua Augusta Arch there’s another viewing platform which provides 360° views of Lisbon and its harbor.
Address: Praça do Comércio, 1100-148 Lisboa
Opening hours for the Rua Augusta Arch viewing platform: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
Admission Fee for Rua Augusta Arch viewing platform: € 2-3 (included in Lisbon Card)
Have Lunch at Time Out Market
We love markets! No matter if we’re talking about traditional produce markets, upscale ones or the really trendy food markets where you can grab lunch or dinner at a great price, markets are always on our itinerary. Lisbon’s Time Out Market (or Mercado da Ribeira) combines the best of two worlds – traditional produce market and an upscale foodie’s heaven in reasonable prices. In the morning, you’ll find a traditional vegetable and fruit market on one side of the building and when you cross over to the main hall, you’ll find some of Lisbon’s best eateries. The concept of Lisbon Time Out Market is unique. Food critics and experts have chosen the best restaurateurs from Lisbon foodie scene and gave them their own space to present their best dishes. Strolling through the market is quite an experience, it is in fact a curated collections of the best dishes and restaurants in Lisbon. In addition, you’ll find here various meat and cheese vendors, bars , sweets and shops – a collection of tastes and flavors under one roof which happens to be very Instagram friendly. It’s a great trendy spot for people watching, always packed with locals and tourists who come here for the great food and atmosphere!
Insider Tip: Lisbon’s Time Out Market also holds the occasional food workshops and the Time Our Studio on the first-floor hosts performances by international and local artists so don’t forget to check the Time Out Market event schedule!
Address: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisbon
Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday – 10.00-00.00 | Thursday to Saturday – 10.00-02.00
Explore the Charming Alfama Neighborhood
On a full stomach, it’s time to explore the charming Alfama Neighbourhood, the oldest district in Lisbon and one of the few areas that were not destroyed in Lisbon’s earthquake. After you’ve spent your morning hours in Lisbon’s city center, Alfama will feel like a totally different world. It’s one of those places you’d love getting lost in. Cobbled alleys and photogenic flights of stairs, colorful laundry lines and charming azulejos, and you’ll find plenty of stunning viewpoints all around Alfama. Most people are keen on taking the famous 28 tram to get to Alfama, but our recommendation is to skip the 28 tram ride since it is always packed with tourists and pickpockets alike. You’ll have a chance to ride a tram later to Belem. A three-wheeler is a fun way to get there but you can also take the bus or metro. Alfama is one of our favorite areas in Lisbon so make sure you check out some of these attractions.
São Jorge Castle
São Jorge Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in Lisbon that can be seen towering over the city from many spots all around Lisbon. Its history dates back to at least the 8th century BC but the first fortifications were built later by the Romans. For a while it was occupied by the Moors until the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, conquered it in 1147. There isn’t much left from the original structure of the castle, but thanks to heavy restoration work, some of the defensive walls, including 18 towers were restored and nowadays visitors are welcomed to roam around the Castle’s grounds and ramparts in search of some breath-taking vistas.
Insider Tip: If you love history and you enjoy exploring ancient ruins and castles, then it is a must-see attraction you have to add to your 3 day Lisbon itinerary. Since it is a very popular attraction, try to come early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Unfortunately, skip-the-line tickets are quite expensive (€ 24) since they include other attractions and a guided tour. However, if such places are usually not your cup of tea, we’d skip it, since you have so much else to explore during your three days in Lisbon. It is true that the castle is a great vantage point to admire the beauty of Lisbon but there are so many other stunning viewpoints all over the city and some of the best are found at Alfama.
Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisbon
Opening hours: 1 November – 28 February: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Closed – December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1)
1 March – 31 October: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (Closed – May 1)
Admission Fee: € 10
Check Out Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol
There are many gorgeous viewpoints all over Alfama. The two most famous viewpoints that happen to be situated one next to the other are Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol. take a picture of the colorful houses and historical monuments of Alfama set against the backdrop of the Tagus River and rest for a while while enjoying the view. Both of these miradouros are very busy, but they have pretty wide terraces so chances are you won;t be too crowded. You can stop for a drink at the cafe at Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
Insider Tip: There is another charming viewpoint, Miradouro da Graça in the adjacent Graça neighborhood. It’s about 10 minutes walk from São Jorge Castle (uphill) but you’ll get to see the view on the other side of the hill and it’s quite breathtaking. It’s one of our favorite places in Lisbon to watch the sunset from.
Take a Picture of Lisbon's Cathedral - Sé de Lisboa
When you stroll around Alfama, you’ll probably notice the impressive structure of the Se Cathedral, one of the most important religious buildings in Lisbon. There are Romanesque and Gothic elements in its exterior and interior design. Though it’s free to enter the cathedral, you’ll need to pay to visit the the cloister and treasury. Personally, we just had a look outside since it was packed with tourists.
Insider Tip: The vicinity of the cathedral provides great opportunities to take a picture of a three-wheeler or the famous 28 tram. The curvy road, photogenic backdrop and hectic transportation route, means you’ll likely catch a few good shots very quickly.
Address: Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisbon
Opening Hours for the Cathedral: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
Cloister: 10:00 am – 5:00 (May – September 7:00 pm) (Sunday from 2:00 pm)
Treasury: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed on Sundays)
Admission Fee: Cloister / Treasury: € 2.5 each or a combined ticket for € 4
Get Lost in the Alleys of Alfama
Our favorite thing to do in Alfama was getting lost in the labyrinth of cobbled alleys and look for hidden gems. Wandering around the small winding alleys, you’ll find charming coffee shops, bars, restaurants and shops and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take a picture of the local azulejos, the colorful ceramic tiles. We loved the old-time charm and friendly vibes of Alfama, and it’s one of the areas we’d love to explore more.
Insider Tip: If you do love azulejos and you’d like to learn more about the history behind them, visit the Lisbon’s Tile Museum
Have Dinner and Watch a Fado Show
Alfama is filled of plenty of restaurants and fado bars, so after watching the sunset from one of the miradouros, it’s time to fill your tummy. Fado music is a musical genre whose origins can be traced to the 1820’s in Lisbon. Some say Alfama and Bairro Alto were the original places where this melancholic music initially started. Traditionally, the fado singers used to sing about the hardships and loss one experiences in his daily life. Fado music is very important in the Portuguese culture and it’s included in UNESCO‘s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. There are many mixed reviews about different fado bars, but remember that the songs are in Portuguese and you are there for the cultural experience and not the food. If fado is not your thing, you’ll be able to find plenty of other great restaurants in Alfama.
Insider tip regarding Alfama: Alfama was one of our favorite areas in Lisbon but you need to be fit if you want to explore it on foot. If you’d rather make your life easier or just have more fun, you can take this one-hour segway tour and cruise through Alfama alleys in style.
3 Day Lisbon Itinerary - Day 2
Belem, LX Factory & Bairro Alto
Belem - One of the Most Charming Neighborhoods in Lisbon
We suggest starting your second day on your Lisbon itinerary early in the morning. After breakfast, take a tram from Lisbon’s city center to Belem. Belem is a quiet little neighborhood about 9 kilometers from Lisbon’s city center where you’ll find many top attractions and monuments. Taking the 15 tram from Lisbon’s city center to Belem is a great way to get there. This tram is usually less packed than the 28 tram especially in the early morning. It should take you about 20-25 minutes to get to Belem.
Visit Jerónimos Monastery
To avoid the crowds, start your itinerary with a visit to Jerónimos Monastery. This old monastery is a recognized UNESCO world heritage site and you can spend at least an hour exploring this impressive monastery. King Manuel I gave the order to build this monastery to replace an older one. Construction began in 1501 and and it took 100 years to complete it. When you visit Jerónimos Monastery and see the intricate decorations and impressive architectural style, you’ll understand why it took such a long time to complete it. The Monastery was designed in the Manueline style, a Portuguese variation of the late Gothic style, which is characterized by lots of decorations and ornaments with complex sculptural themes which incorporate maritime elements. Strolling through the structure and yards of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, you are bound to admire the unique architecture and intricate limestone decorations.. This is one attraction in in Lisbon you can’t afford to miss.
Insider Tip: We arrived very early and there was already a queue. Luckily, we knew that we could also buy tickets in the next door Museum of Archaeology where the line was far shorter. The ticket there is a combined ticket for the monastery and museum and will cost you about € 2 more but will save you time. You can also buy a combined ticket with Belem Tower (BUT read our experience in Belem Tower first). Another great option is to buy skip-the-line tickets. The Jerónimos Monastery is included in the Lisbon Card but you’ll have to wait in line to get your tickets.
Eat Pastels de Nata at Pasteis de Belem
Now it’s about time to have a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, pastels de Nata. There are many famous places where you could find this delicious egg tart but one of the best is Belem’s Pasteis de Belem. A few minutes from Jerónimos Monastery, you’ll find this small little bakery and trust us, don’t buy just one, buy a few tarts. We usually aren’t too crazy about sweets, but these were so delicious, we came back for more. Oh, and don’t skip it just because of the queue (and there will be a long queue), you won’t have to stand in line for more than a few minutes.
Insider Tip: According to the legend, the monks from the next door Jerónimos Monastery were the ones who came up with this famous Portuguese egg tart. Back then, they used egg whites to starch their clothes, and used the leftover yolks to bake these treats. They used to sell them to raise funds and when the monastery was closed, they sold the original recipe to a local sugar refinery whose owners opened this famous Pasteis de Belem bakery.
Admire the Impressive Monument to the Discoveries
Next item on your 3-day Lisbon itinerary, cross the street straight to the Monument to the Discoveries (or Padrão dos Descobrimentos). This striking monument is located on the banks of the Tagus River and it depicts the adventures of the Portuguese explorers of the 14th century. The original monument was built from wood in 1940 and later was replaced by the current one. The impressive monument depicts a ship with 33 historical figures who had an important role in Portugal’s Age of Discoveries, including Vasco da Gama, King Alfonso V and Henry the Navigator who leads this expedition in the front of the ship. Next to the monument, on the pavement, there’s a giant compass rose with a map of the globe, including important dates and routes. Inside the Monument to the Discoveries there’s a small museum and a lift that will take you to the viewing platform at the top of this 52-meter monument. We skipped this in favor of climbing Belem Tower which might have been the wrong choice (check our Belem Tower section)
Insider Tip: There’s a 50-minute documentary about the construction of the monument and its history (in Portuguese with English subtitles). It is included in the € 6 ticket and you can catch it daily at 3:30 pm. For more information about the documentary film.
Address: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisbon
Opening hours: March to September: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm daily | October to February: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (closed on Mondays)
Closed on: 1 January, 1 May and 25 December
Admission Fee: € 6 for exhibition and viewpoint (the documentary is included) | € 3 only for the exhibition, check here for discounts
Take a Picture of Belem Tower
From the Monument to the Discoveries walk along the Tagus River promenade till you’ll get to Belem Tower whose official name is Tower of Saint Vincent (Torre de São Vicente). The iconic tower that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site List, dates back to the 16th century and it’s another prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, though other styles can also be detected. Initially the Belem Tower was constructed as a fort to defend the city but throughout the years it was was also used as a prison, a light house and a customs house. The five floors of the tower are connected by a very narrow spiral staircase which means, it’s a nightmare to climb it during the high season. If you are planning to climb the Tower, don’t forget to buy the combo ticket while visiting Jerónimos Monastery and then you would be able to skip the long line at Belem Tower. However, after climbing the tower, we are not sure it is worth the effort unless you arrive early before the crowds. It was very crowded inside, groups of people were shoving each other to climb up or down the narrow staircase (there is only enough room to either go up or down but not at the same time). In retrospect, we would have rather just admire it from the promenade.
Insider tip: The line here is quite long due to the limited opening hours and capacity. You do get a free entry with the Lisbon Card but that means you’d have to stand in the regular line. If you do want to get inside (which we don’t necessarily recommend unless there aren’t a lot of people), we recommend buying the combo tickets at Jerónimos Monastery or buying skip-the-line tickets in advance.
Walk Along the Tagus River Promenade
Lisbon’s Tagus River Promenade is a great place to spend a few hours, visiting the different monuments or just enjoying the lively atmosphere. It’s also a great spot to take some photos of Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisbon’s famous Suspension Bridge. There are many coffee shops and restaurants around and also food stands that offer some beer or wine accompanied by snacks. So grab a drink and join the locals who come here to sunbathe and admire the beautiful views. It was one of our favorite places in Lisbon.
Visit the MAAT
The MAAT is located on your way back to Lisbon’s city center. so if you love unique museums and stunning architecture, stop here on your way to the Bairro Alto. The MAAT – the museum of art, architecture and technology hosts national and international exhibitions. It is located on the banks Lisbon’s Tagus River and the building alone is worth a visit if you are in the area. The architectures were inspired by the rippling of the water of the river and the building is covered with 15,000 three-dimensional ceramic tiles. Visitors can visit the roof for some spectacular views of the river. The best time to visit would be around sunset so you could also take gorgeous pictures of the scenery and the outer building during the golden hour.
Insider tip: Free entrance on the first Sunday of every month.
Add Bairro Alto to Your Lisbon Itinerary
Finally, it’s time to explore Bairro Alto. We always love to explore the old quarter of any city we visit and Lisbon’s Bairro Alto has definitely met our expectations. The Bairro Alto is a great area to find funky little shops, unique boutiques and trendy bars and restaurants. This old bairro has a different atmosphere during the day and during the night so try and arrive early in the afternoon when the shops are still open and stroll around the colorful streets. You can catch the sunset at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, at the top of the hill, and then continue to explore Lisbon’s Bairro Alto. It’s also a great place to have dinner and enjoy some of Lisbon’s trendiest bars. If you’d like to hear unique stories about the history of Bairro Alto and Alfama – check out this excellent and budget-friendly guided tour.
Lisbon Insider Tip: Another great place to taste the delicious pastels de nata is Mantreigaria and if you’d like to visit one of the hippest restaurants in Lisbon try La Cevicheria though you’ll probably need to wait in line for quite some time.
3 Days in Lisbon Itinerary - Day 3
Take a Day Trip to Sintra
Sintra is a charming little town which is located approximately 30 kilometers from Lisbon. If you are wondering how to get there, it is a 45-minute easy train ride from Lisbon’s city center. You can find around this picturesque town many examples of the colorful and a bit kitschy Romanticism architecture which has earned it a UNESCO world heritage site recognition. Sintra is also known for its national parks so you can also explore Sintra-Cascais Nature Park and the Sintra Mountains. Need more details? For opening hours, fees and Sintra’s attractions and information regarding how to get to Sintra from Lisbon. Also here’s a great guide to help you plan your own Sintra tour! If you prefer to make your Sintra tour hassle free, then check this full-day tour to Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais. For 3-4 people, why not take this cool Sintra tour in a convertible VW Beetle!
3 Days in Lisbon Itinerary - An added Bonus
Visit the LX Factory
Another cool place in Lisbon you might want to add to your Lisbon itinerary if you have the time is the LX Factory. This former industrial area was turned into one of the hippest places in Lisbon. These structures used to be warehouses and factories but nowadays it is a trendy dining and shopping area with an artistic atmosphere. It is close to Belem and located on the riverside of Alcântara. You’ll find here many unique shops and hip boutiques, lots of restaurants and bars, there is great street art in the compound and art galleries as well. On Sundays, most of the shops are closed but some of the eateries are open and there is a small market where you’ll find food stalls, jewelry, accessories and vintage items. It’s also a trendy place to spend an evening in Lisbon. For more details on LX Factory.
When to Visit Lisbon
Lisbon’s weather is convenient enough to visit it any time you feel like it but the best time is usually the shoulder season when the city is not swarmed by tourist groups. Both Spring and fall are a great choice.
June – During the month of June, you’d be able to take part in Lisbon’s festival, Festas de Lisboa (Festas dos Santos), when every night there’s a celebration in a different part of the city.
Fall – During the fall there are many celebrations in Lisbon and the nearby cities, including Our Lady of Nazaré Festival and film and music festivals both in Lisbon and the nearby Sintra. During the fall season (from mid-October) the streets are filled with roasted chestnut carts and oit’s aslo the beginning of the wine season so this is also a recommended season for your visit.
Winter – Usually winter isn’t our favorite season, however, with an average temperature of 15 °C during the day and 10 °C during the night and an average of 14 rainy days per month, Lisbon is one of the best winter destinations in Europe. It can be a great Christmas and New Year destination, and in late February or beginning of March you can visit the nearby towns of Torres Vedras and Sesimbra for some Mardi Gras parades.
For the average temperature and rainy days by month check this
How to Get to Lisbon
All domestic and international flights land at Lisbon’s airport, Humberto Delgado Airport, located only 7 km from the city center. The most convenient ways to get to Lisbon’s city center are by taxi, metro or a shuttle bus.
Getting to Lisbon’s city center by taxi – Catching a taxi ride will cost you about 15 euros (maybe more at nighttime), make sure the meter is turned om.
Getting to Lisbon’s city center by metro – You can catch the red metro line to get to Lisbon’s city center from the airport. With a Viva Viagem electronic card it will cost you about € 2 or you can buy a 24-hour ticket for € 6.30. Check out Lisbon’s Metro Routes.
Getting to Lisbon’s city center by bus – Use the Aerobus to get from the airport to Lisbon’s city center. for more details about time schedules, prices and tickets check here.
If you’ll be arriving at Lisbon from another destination in Portugal or Europe, you can take a train straight to Lisbon’s center. For more information check out the train routes to Lisbon for domestic trains or more options if you’ll be arriving from another European destination.
Getting Around Lisbon
We love walking everywhere, it’s the best way to find hidden gems and truly get to know a city. However, Lisbon has so many hills and for some of the attractions, like Belem, you will definitely need some form of transportation. The public transportation in Lisbon is pretty good. If you happen to have the Lisboa Card, you can ride the buses, trams and metro for free. Otherwise, you can purchase the VivaViagem card which will be cheaper than buying a single ticket every time. Taxi prices are pretty high and also have a bad reputation in Lisbon. Another fun way is to catch a ride with the local tuk-tuk or three-wheeler. Though their prices aren’t cheap, we recommend taking a fun ride in one of these at least once. A great option to do this is with this fun tuk-tuk ride that actually follows the route of the famous 28 tram. You’ll get private explanations about all the points of interest along the way and it is going to be much more comfortable than riding the crowded tram 28. Uber is also a great choice to get around Lisbon.
Where to Eat in Lisbon
Well, we’ve already mentioned Time Out Market but there are other great places in the city you must try. If you want to know where to find the best ice cream or the best seafood restaurant in Lisbon (not to mention the reasonable prices) check out our Portugal Foodie Guide where you’ll also find some of the best dishes you must try in Portugal.
Where to Stay in Lisbon
There many types of accommodations in Lisbon. From simple hostels to luxury hotels. We’ve listed a few options for every budget under our favorite neighborhoods but if you haven’t found something that fit your budget and preferences, here are all the options for hotels and apartments in Lisbon.
Additional Travel Tips and Essentials for Your Lisbon Itinerary
Lisboa Card: Prior to your arrival check out the Lisboa Card. With this card, you’ll get free entrance and/or some discount while visiting Lisbon’s attractions plus you can take public transportation for free. There are different options (24/48/72 hours) so for prices and more information check out their Lisboa Card website. Note that to the most famous attractions, you’ll have to wait in line since the Lisbon Card does not include skip-the-lines or combo tickets.
Tipping: Some of Lisbon’s restaurants add service charges so check the bill. If there is no service charge, fill free to tip 5-10% for good service. Taxi drivers expect a 10% tip, bellboys usually get 1-2 euros per suitcase.
Couvert: In many restaurants in Lisbon the waiter will serve you some bread or olives and cheese without ordering it, it will be added to the final bill, so ask in advance and ask the waiter to take them away if you are not interested.
Miradouros: Follow any sign you see because these Miradouros or viewpoints are the best places to get a gorgeous view of Lisbon.
Pickpockets: Lisbon is notoriously known as a place where you’ll likely lose your wallet to a pickpocket. We actually witnessed one in action in the middle of Baixa and gave a shout to scare him off. Be careful especially in crowded places and on all of the trams.
Azulejos: You can’t come to Lisbon without looking for these gorgeous ceramic tiles. Our advice is to skip the tile museum and go straight to Alfama. It is THE place to view these colorful tiles.
Funiculars: Lisbon has three funiculars (designed by the same architect who planned Santa Justa Lift) and they can be a great addition to your Instagram feed so if you’d like to include them in your Lisbon itinerary, you can find Elevador da Bica just near Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out Market). The most famous funicular is Elevador da Glória and it connects Restauradores Square with Rua San Pedro de Alcántara in the Bairro Alto. The third one, Elevador da Lavra, is actually the oldest one and you’ll find it here. If you visit it, have a cup of coffee at the nearby Fábrica Coffee Roasters which has excellent coffee and delicious snacks. For more information about Lisbon’s funiculars.
We loved Lisbon and can’t wait to go back there as soon as possible. For more tips about unique things to do in Lisbon and the best times to visit some of the attractions, check out our Lisbon Bucket List and if you are heading to Porto, don’t forget to check our Porto Guide for the perfect weekend.