Welcome to Lisbon, the vibrant capital city of Portugal!
With a population of over 3 million people, Lisbon is one of the most crowded cities and one of the oldest cities in Europe with a rich historical heritage dating back to the 1200s BC.
The city’s strategic location has made it a major port for centuries. In addition to its historical attractions, Lisbon also boasts a lively modern city life, making it a popular destination for all types of travelers.
This guide offers a two-day itinerary for those in a hurry to explore the best of what Lisbon has to offer.
Tips to Make the Best of the Day in Lisbon
Are you ready to make the best of your day in Lisbon? Whether you’re in a hurry or just want to optimize your time, we have some tips to help you out.
First of all, when it comes to transportation, Lisbon’s famous yellow streetcars are a must. These vintage cars, which have been used for almost 150 years, connect the city’s narrow and steep streets. A single trip cost 2.90 euros, but daily tickets cost around 6 euros, making it a more reasonable option.
While the subway is efficient, the city’s more developed bus network might be a better idea for exploring the city’s unique atmosphere. A single trip for the metro costs 1.40 euros, and bus tickets cost 1.80 euros.
Next up, packing the right essentials is crucial for a great day in Lisbon. Depending on the season, your backpack will look different. In summer, the most popular time for tourism, light items such as several t-shirts, shorts, skirts, and swimsuits are a must. Ocean winds in the capital might make the weather cool at night, so packing one or two jackets is a good idea. A hat and a powerful sunscreen are also important for protecting yourself from the sun. Lastly, bring a smaller pack for daily use to keep the trip enjoyable.
Finally, consider obtaining a Lisboa card, which grants access to many tourist attractions and substitutes for transportation fees. Not only will it save you time, but it will also save you money. With these tips, you’re ready to have the perfect day in Lisbon.
For museum entrances and transportation fees, tourists can obtain a Lisboa Card which has different versions for 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days. These costs differently, but definitely worth the money. Lisboa Card can be obtained at the airport. One-day version of this card costs 19 Euros, and 2 days version costs 32 Euros.
Read our article on the Lisboa Card to learn more.
Essentials of the Two-Day Trip in Lisbon
In two days, with a good plan, it is possible to see a good chunk of Lisbon. For instance, spending the first days strolling around Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado districts; and saving the second day for Belem, Principe Real, and Bairro Alto is a good idea. This guide provides further assistance in dividing the days into districts.
Day 1: Alfama, Starting the Day
Alfama district of the Portuguese capital is an old town with narrow, cobblestone streets that add to the town’s picturesque beauty. The oldest town in Lisbon is best explored by walking. Since the district is full of narrow, little streets that are only accessible on foot, it is a good idea to enjoy and experience the town very closely. Going through this medieval town via the famous number 28 yellow tram of Lisbon is another “must-do” activity.
VIP [Very Important Place]: Sao Jorge Castle is in the Alfama region and it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the country.
Baixa and Chiado Districts
The central district of Lisbon named Baixa is one of the first examples of a grid plan urban layout. After the devastating 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, this district had to be entirely rebuilt. Now displaying its great baroque architecture along with nice avenues and plazas, Baixa is the modern center of Lisbon. Baixa is very popular with tourists, it is very easy to find quality restaurants and art shops that mostly appeal to the contemporary taste.
VIP: Praça de Comercio
Very close to Baixa, there is another beautiful district named Chiado. This town is usually known as the theatre and shopping center of Lisbon. Being one of the high-end districts in the city, Chiado offers enjoyable walks along the banks of Tejo.
VIP: Sao Roque Church
Day 2: Belem District
One of the most attractive districts in Lisbon for tourists is Belem. Lying along the Tejo banks, the Belem district is in the western part of Lisbon. Home to the most scenic attractions and tourist destinations of the city, Belem is a former port city that has an immense history of seafaring. Now offering wide-open spaces to its visitors alongside its popular attractions like the Torre de Belem, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, and Mosteiro dos Jernimos; the Belem district is a district where an entire day could easily be spent.
VIP: Pastel de Nata traditionally emerged from the Pasteis de Belem in this district.
Principe Real is another fine place for shopping and tasting Portuguese cuisine. The town that offers boutique markets, flamboyant mansions, and top-shelf restaurants is a good place to spend the evening in.
The vibrant partying district of Lisbon, Bairro Alto, is a great place to finish the night and the trip. Enjoying awesome bars and nightclubs, Bairro Alto is where people party until the morning.