If you’re planning on spending a weekend in the Portuguese capital, and want help designing your Lisbon itinerary, this is the guide for you!
Lisbon is one of the few European capitals I hadn’t seen yet. When this summer I had the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in Portugal, and within that two days in Lisbon, I was pretty ecstatic.
In this Lisbon itinerary I have listed all the best things to do in Lisbon, especially if you only have two days.
I included a walking itinerary that you can follow to make your route easier, as well as tips on the best places to eat, how to get around the city, where to stay and more.
This Lisbon 2-day itinerary will take you to explore of the highlights of the city, from the famous viewpoints and must-see landmarks to the more unknown local spots.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this two days in Lisbon itinerary, and discover everything this gorgeous city has to offer!
- 1 Do you need travel insurance for 2 days in Lisbon?
- 2 How to get around Lisbon
- 3 Suggested tours for a weekend in Lisbon
- 4 Weekend in Lisbon itinerary – Day 1: Central Lisbon
- 4.1 Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
- 4.2 Rossio Square
- 4.3 Rua Augusta
- 4.4 Santa Justa Lift
- 4.5 Praca do Comercio
- 4.6 Pink Street
- 4.7 Time Out Market
- 4.8 Elevador Da Bica
- 4.9 Lisbon Cathedral
- 4.10 Alfama
- 4.11 Miradouro de Santa Luzia
- 4.12 Castelo de Sao Jorge
- 4.13 Miradouro da Graca
- 4.14 Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
- 5 Lisbon 2-day itinerary – Day 2: Belem & Almada
- 6 Are two days in Lisbon enough?
- 7 Where to stay for your weekend in Lisbon
- 8 What to pack for your 2 days in Lisbon
Do you need travel insurance for 2 days in Lisbon?
After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.
You might not end up needing it, but for a small fee you can travel without worries. Personally, I suggest getting your travel insurance with Heymondo.
Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).
Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.
Plus, as a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance!
How to get around Lisbon
The centre of Lisbon is fairly small, with all the main attractions being located quite close to each other. You can easily walk everywhere, which is what we did, however bear in mind that it’s a very hilly city.
Despite the distances being short, some streets will be very up hill and can be tiring to walk up. In this situation or for longer journeys you can take an Uber, Lime e-scooter or eCooltra scooter.
Uber is very affordable in Portugal. We paid around 7 EUR for a 20-minute journey from the airport to Alfama. It’s the cheapest and easiest options for families or groups of friends travelling together.
Public transport is also very efficient in Lisbon. There are bus and tram routes covering the whole city, as well as some famous ones such as tram 28, known as the most scenic tram route in Lisbon.
Suggested tours for a weekend in Lisbon
Another fun way to get around Lisbon can be with an organised tour. Tours will usually take your around the city either on foot, bike or bus, and take you to all the main highlights. Here are some tours with great reviews.
Lisbon: 2.5 Hour Hills Tour by Electric Bike – This tour will take you to all the famous spots and awesome viewpoints, with minimal effort since you’ll use an electric bike!
Lisbon: Daytime/Sunset City Cruise by Sailboat with Drinks – See Lisbon from a different angle! I suggest the sunset cruise for the most beautiful golden hour light.
Lisbon: Food and Wine Walking Tour – Because what better way is there to discover a city than eating your way through it?!
Lisbon Essential Tour: History, Stories & Lifestyle – The classic tour that will take you to explore all of the highlights of Lisbon.
Weekend in Lisbon itinerary – Day 1: Central Lisbon
If you don’t fancy joining a tour, don’t worry, as you can easily explore everything Lisbon has to offer alone.
For your first day in Lisbon we will focus on central Lisbon, and all the main highlights of the city. These places are those must-see bucket list spots that you can’t miss.
Located in the heart of the Portuguese capital, they are the places that have to feature on every Lisbon itinerary.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
If you’ve read my blog before or if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know how much I love a good viewpoint. With its numerous hills and viewpoints, Lisbon was a dream city to visit for me!
Which is why I couldn’t help but start off this Lisbon itinerary with a viewpoint. We were staying at Lisbon Destination Hostel, a short 15-minute walk away from this viewpoint so for us it made sense to start here.
The Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara offers awesome views over Lisbon city centre, with the distinctive outline of Lisbon Cathedral and Castelo de Sao Jorge towering above the rooftops.
You can sit here, relax and enjoy the view for a while, maybe while tasting a delicious pastel de nata from one of the nearby pastelarias.
After enjoying the view from Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara you can walk down to Rossio Square. The walk is around 20 minutes, and it will take you past some gorgeous corners.
Rossio Square has been one of the main squares of Lisbon since the Middle Ages. Along both sides of the square you will find lots of cute bars, restaurants, shops and cafes.
At the end of Rossio Square you will find the entrance to Rua Augusta. Rua Augusta is the main shopping street of Lisbon.
It’s a pedestrian street lined with cool eateries and shops. It’s also a prime example of Baixa architecture, with the famous Arco Triunfal towering over it from one end.
You can walk along Rua Augusta, taking in the Lisbon vibe and doing a bit of window shopping (or maybe actual shopping too)!
Santa Justa Lift
On one of the streets parallel to Rua August you will find Santa Justa Lift. You will have to do a small deviation to get to it, but no more than 3-4 minutes by walk.
The Santa Justa Lift, also called Carmo Lift, is an elevator that connects the lower streets of central Lisbon to the higher Largo da Carmo. Being a very hilly city, Lisbon is fully of similar lifts and “elevadors”, but this is a particularly famous one.
Just one look at its unique architecture will tell you why. Designed by Raoul Mesnier, an admirer of Gustave Eiffel, it was built in July 1902 in a distinctive French and Eiffel style.
It runs every day from 7AM to 10PM (11PM in summer) and costs 5.15 EUR for a return trip, or 1.50 EUR for entrance to the viewpoint, without the elevator trip. From the viewpoint you will get an incredible view over the roofs of Lisbon.
Given the number of viewpoints we saw in Lisbon we decided to skip riding the lift, but we wanted to at least walk past it and admire its unique design.
Praca do Comercio
After seeing the Santa Justa Lift go back to Rua Augusta, and continue walking along it until you cross the Arco Triunfal into Praca do Comercio. Praca do Comercio is a huge square, which overlooks the harbour and river.
This magnificent square is easily recognisable for the architecture of Arco da Rua Augusta and its bright yellow walls.
It also used to be the home of Paco da Ribeira, Portugal’s most important palace and royal complex, but it was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 1755.
You can spend a bit of time wandering around the square, taking in the architecture and history of the place, maybe grabbing some food at one of the many restaurants around it.
From Praca do Comercio it’s about a 10-minute walk to Rua Nova do Carvalho, which has been renamed the Pink Street. If you’ve seen photos online of a street with a bright pink floor, this is the one.
It used to be a run down part of Lisbon, but as part of an urban renewal project that took place in 2013, the floor of Rua Nova da Carvalho was painted pink, which gave new life to the area.
Today it’s one of the trendiest parts of Lisbon to head at night, since it’s full of cool bars and restaurants. If you’re visiting during the day it won’t be quite as lively, but it’s still an interesting place to see.
Time Out Market
I liked Time Out Market so much that I ended up eating there twice. Considering I was only in Lisbon for two days during my Portugal itinerary, it gives you an idea of how great I think it is.
I love markets in general, but this one was especially good. Here you will find loads of different food stalls offering all sorts of cuisines, from traditional pastel de nata to burgers or sushi.
Especially after all the walking you will have done by the time you get here, I’m sure you will fancy a bit of a seat and some nibbles.
I love it also because they’re very efficient at serving food, and won’t take up to much time from your Lisbon itinerary.
Elevador Da Bica
After your break and with a full belly, you’ll be ready to set off and visit one of Lisbon’s most iconic sights; Elevador Da Bica! If you’ve seen photos of a yellow tram in a steep, narrow and panoramic street, this is the one.
This funicular railway was built in 1892, and it connects the Rua de Sao Paulo with Calcada do Combro / Rua do Loreto. It runs from 7AM to 9PM every day, and costs 3.80 EUR for a return journey.
If you don’t want to pay for the funicular you can just walk alongside it, taking in the views of the Elevador da Bica journeying up and down this scenic street.
It runs regularly through the day, so if it’s not moving already when you get there just wait a little and you’re sure to enjoy this quintessential Lisbon show.
From Elevador da Bica you now need to cross Central Lisbon, to reach the famous Lisbon Cathedral. The walk takes around 20 minutes, or you can hop on an Uber, Lime or eCooltra if you don’t fancy walking.
Lisbon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, as well as being the oldest church in the city and the seat of the Patriarchate of Lisbon.
You will notice a mix of architectural styles as the cathedral has been renovated and restored several times, often following earthquakes.
You can also visit the interior, and discover the history of this interesting building. After visiting Lisbon Cathedral you’re about to step into the most beautiful neighbourhood in Lisbon.
Alfama was my favourite area of Lisbon. This neighbourhood is one of the oldest in the city, and is characterised by narrow and steep streets. Here you will find lots of cute cafes and shops selling traditional crafts.
The famous tram 28 winds its way through this neighbourhood, basically taking you on a sight seeing tour instead of just acting as a transport mode.
However I recommend exploring Alfama on foot, as it will allow you to discover the cutest and most interesting spots.
There isn’t a set route to follow in Alfama, simply wander around and get lots amongst these beautiful streets! In Alfama you will also find many beautiful viewpoints and churches.
You can also do a guided walking tour of Alfama, which will take you to all the most famous and historically important parts of this beautiful Lisbon neighbourhood.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
We started this itinerary with a viewpoint, so I couldn’t help but also end it with one (or three)! As you wander around Alfama you can start making your way towards Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, walking by two others on the way.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia is one of the most popular viewpoints in Lisbon, but I have to say I didn’t personally love it. While the azulejos tiles and little garden are without a doubt very pretty, the view over Lisbon isn’t amongst the best.
You get a view over the rooftops of Alfama, the river and other coast, but there are no recognisable Lisbon spots in sight. You can do just a quick stop here as it’s actually on the way to your real destination.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Dating back to the 1st century BC, this castle sits proud and tall on a hill above Lisbon. Personally we didn’t visit it as we were short on time, and many people say that while the views are stunning, the castle itself isn’t as interesting.
If you’re only going for the views, you can probably skip it too as I’ve got two more viewpoints coming up for you. However if you have an interest in ancient history, then you’ll find this castle fascinating.
Restored in the 1940s, here you can visit the medieval royal quarters, walk along the watch towers and relax in the tranquil gardens. Entrance tickets cost 10 EUR, and you can book online to avoid queues on the day.
Miradouro da Graca
This viewpoint isn’t your final destination just yet, but it’s a very close second. From here you can see Castelo de Sao Jorge, the San Francisco Bridge and you will have behind you a gorgeous church.
In the square by Miradouro da Graca you will find also a cute bar, where you can take a seat and enjoy a cocktail with a view. However on the day we visited it was very windy, and this viewpoint was completely exposed.
Another thing to note is that the sunset is directly in front of this viewpoint (in summer especially) so while the view is undoubtedly gorgeous, it can be hard to enjoy due to the sun in your eyes.
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Which leads us to our final destination; Miradouro da Senhora do Monte! If you’re visited your Lisbon itinerary right you should be arriving here by sunset.
From here you will be able to enjoy a gorgeous view over the rooftops of Lisbon, with its many iconic sights recognisable from above. The sun will be setting to your right, washing its golden light over Lisbon and without molesting your eyes.
It gets very busy, especially in high season, so make sure to get here a bit before sunset if you want to grab a seat. We brought drinks and snacks with us and had a little impromptu aperitivo while watching the sun go down over Lisbon.
Lisbon 2-day itinerary – Day 2: Belem & Almada
After spending the first day of your Lisbon itinerary exploring everything central Lisbon has to offer, it’s time to head a bit further out and discover the beauties that surround the Portuguese capital.
For your second day in Lisbon, here are the places you absolutely must visit.
Belem Tower is one of the most iconic Lisbon sights. Its official name is Tower of Saint Vincent, and it’s a 16th Century fortification that served as point of embarkation and disembarkation, as well as ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.
The tower was built between 1514 and 1520, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. It’s also a prominent example of Portuguese Manueline style.
It’s closed on Mondays and on major holidays, but otherwise is usually open every day from 10AM to 5:30PM (or 6:30PM in summer). Entrance costs 6 EUR for adults, or 12 EUR if you include also entrance to Jeronimos Monastery.
This monastery is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, and it’s easy to see why. This former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome is a prime example of Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style architecture.
The detail of the decorations and beauty of the cloisters is unlike anything I’d seen before. The monastery is pretty huge, depending on your interest you can visit just the cloisters and church, or also the museum.
One thing I 100% recommend doing is buying a ticket online beforehand. When we arrived there was a 1+ hour queue for the ticket office, and no queue for online ticket holders.
If you’re only spending a weekend in Lisbon, you don’t want to waste any of that time in a queue!
Eat a pastel de nata!
I could have included this activity also in day one, as you’ll likely be eating a lot of pastel de nata during your Lisbon weekend, but there’s a reason why I’m including it here.
Close to Jeronimos Monastery you will find Pasteis de Belem, supposedly the home of the most delicious and famous pastel de nata in Portugal.
Other good pastelarias you can try in Lisbon (or around Portugal) are Casa do Pasteis de Nata, Fabrica de Nata and Natas de Lisboa.
Santuario de Cristo Rei
The Santuario de Cristo Rei is a Catholic monument and shrine, inspired by the Christ the Redeemer Statue of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It’s located in Almada, on the opposite side of the river.
From here you get incredible views over the river, Lisbon and Ponte de 25 Abril. If you’re renting a car for the day it’s a cool place to drive up to, enjoy the view and relax for a bit.
For 6 EUR can go all the way to the top, just below the statue. Personally we skipped it as the queue was quite long (which is why you should purchase tickets online beforehand!) but they say the view from up there is even more gorgeous!
Almada is actually its own city, but I chose to include it anyway in this Lisbon itinerary since many people visit it while spending a weekend in Lisbon. Located on the southern margin of the Tagus River, it’s directly opposite Lisbon.
It’s especially popular in evenings, as you can find many delicious restaurants along the river, where you can taste traditional Portuguese cuisine while watching the sunset over Ponte de 25 Abril and the Lisbon skyline.
For those who want to head a little further, from here you can also drive on an extra 30 minutes to Costa da Caparico, and its many gorgeous surfing beaches.
Are two days in Lisbon enough?
Lisbon is a very popular weekend destination, and it’s easy to see why.
While the locals might argue that two days in Lisbon aren’t enough to properly see the city, they’re enough to tick off all the main tourist sites and to get a feeling for the tranquil Portuguese vibe.
If you spend one full day exploring central Lisbon, both the main sights and more unknown local spots, that gives you another full day to head a little further out to Belem or Almada.
When you return at the end of the day you can still spend more time exploring Lisbon by night, and all the quirky eateries or fun nightlife of the city.
If you’re doing a long weekend in Lisbon and have a couple more days, you could also venture further out to Sintra, Evora, Cascais or Costa do Caparica, which are some of the most popular day trips from Lisbon.
Where to stay for your weekend in Lisbon
Being a fairly small city, you could stay pretty much anywhere in central Lisbon and be within walking distance of all the main attractions. Here are some cool accommodation options for every budget.
Budget: This Is Lisbon Hostel – I spent my two nights in Lisbon in this hostel and loved it. They have both dorms and private rooms, and offer a gorgeous rooftop terrace with epic views over Lisbon.
It’s also within walking distance to Alfama, Castelo de Sao Jorge and all the most beautiful viewpoints.
Mid-range: Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is perfect for those who want something nice, centrally located and cosy, without breaking the bank.
Luxury: Lisboa Pessoa Hotel – If you want to treat yourself, this is the perfect place to do so. With their spacious rooms and gorgeous rooftop terrace, it’s the perfect place to relax after a Sintra day tour.
What to pack for your 2 days in Lisbon
Being a city you don’t need much besides the usual travel essentials. If you forget anything, you’ll easily find a shop selling it in Lisbon. That said, here are some items I absolutely recommend packing.
Comfortable walking shoes – As you can see from my Lisbon itinerary, there’s a lot of walking going on! You want to be sure you have comfortable enough shoes to do so.
Power bank – While you’ll want to live in the moment when you’re exploring Lisbon, you’ll still need your phone to map your way around the city or to take photos. You don’t want it running out of battery half way through the day!
Camera – If you want to capture the best Lisbon memories, make sure to bring a good camera along with you!
Final thoughts on the ultimate Lisbon itinerary
There you have it, the ultimate Lisbon itinerary! Whether you’re spending one day or two days in Lisbon, this itinerary covers all the must-see things in your chosen timeframe.
Especially for those spending two days in Lisbon, it will give you enough time to properly explore both central Lisbon and its surroundings. If you only have one day in Lisbon, don’t worry, as it will be enough for the highlights of the city.
From epic viewpoints to quirky side streets, or from gorgeous monasteries to fun street markets, the Portuguese capital has something for everyone.
I hope you find my Lisbon itinerary useful in planning your time in Lisbon! If you have any questions on how to spend one or two days in Lisbon just let me know in the comments below!
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