Travel Tips

48 Hours in Lisbon, Itinerary

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Lisbon is Portugal’s coastal capital city and one of the first stops on most people’s Portugal itinerary. We spent an unforgettable 48 hours in Lisbon, packing in as much as possible. In this post, we will take you through its best neighborhoods and top attractions, giving insider tips on where to stay and what to eat. If you have two days in the city, follow this 48 hours in Lisbon itinerary to see the top attractions and to enjoy some of its culture, food, and architecture.

Two Days in Lisbon Itinerary

Where to stay in Lisbon Portugal

When spending a couple of days in Lisbon, make sure to book a hotel with breakfast included. Usually, breakfasts at European hotels are amazing, with pastries, eggs, gourmet coffee, and tea. We stayed at the Turim Boulevard Hotel located in the heart of Lisbon on Avenida da Liberdada. You can read our full article about where to stay in Lisbon here.

We found a great deal on Booking.com to stay at this 5-star hotel that was within walking distance to the Old Town and many of Lisbon’s top attractions. Check rates and availability here.

To get around Lisbon, we used Uber. The app was affordable and easy to use. We highly recommend downloading Uber before traveling to Portugal.

A Lisbon Card allows you to enter many of Lisbon’s top attractions and skip the line. If you want to see a lot quickly, this is a great option to purchase ahead of time. So, are you ready to explore one of Europe’s most exciting cities in two days? Let’s dive in!

Day 1 – The Top Attractions

Best things to do in Lisbon Belem Tower

After breakfast, we called an Uber to take us to the Belém neighborhood, where we would begin our Lisbon itinerary at two of the city’s top tourist attractions.

The Belém neighborhood is located along the Tagus River, just a short tram or Uber ride from Lisbon’s city center. Belém is the birthplace of the Age of Discoveries and houses some of Lisbon’s most iconic attractions.

Belém Tower

Belem Tower is one of the few monuments to survive the 1755 earthquake. It is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located directly on the Tagus River, it is a great way to begin your Lisbon adventure. 

An Uber from the old city cost us 8€ and took about 20 minutes.

We didn’t go inside Belém Tower but admired it from the outside. The cost to enter Belém Tower is 6 Euro, and opening hours are from 10 am to 6:30 pm from May to September, with an earlier closing of 5:30 from Oct to April. You can reserve your timed entry in advance here. It is also included in the Lisbon Card.

Since it opens so late, getting in at 10 a.m. really cuts into the Lisbon Itinerary. We suggest going before the crowds to see this wonder before it opens. You can then continue down the Tagus River to see more attractions.

Jerónimos Monastery

Best things to do in Lisbon Jeronimos Monastery

Just a short walk from Belém Tower is Jerónimos Monastery, It’s another UNESCO World Heritage Site that you must not miss.

Jeronimos monastery was built in the 16th century to commemorate Vasco de Gama’s voyage to India; he was the first European to reach India by sea. 

The monastery is a masterpiece of Manueline architecture, showcasing elaborate carvings that pay homage to Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. Visitors can expect to be mesmerized by the monastery’s stunning cloisters, each intricately designed with columns richly adorned with maritime motifs and symbols of exploration.

The church of Santa Maria, housing the tomb of Vasco da Gama, provides a poignant connection to Portugal’s navigational achievements. Open to the public, the Jerónimos Monastery invites tourists to step back in time and marvel at its breathtaking beauty, expansive dimensions, and historical significance. With its close proximity to other notable attractions such

Tickets cost 12 euros, and you can purchase them online in advance. They are also included in the Lisbon Card.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos – Monument of Discoveries

Best things to do in Lisbon Padrao dos Descobrimentos

It is only fitting that the Monument of Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) is located nearby. Vasco Da Gama was just one of many legendary explorers from Portugal, and this impressive monument, built on the Tagus River in the 20th century, celebrates those great explorers with Prince Henry the Navigator at the front.

This monument celebrates the Portuguese explorers who charted unknown territories worldwide. You can to up to the top to take in the views of the Tagus River and the Belem neighborhood.

Pasteis de Bélem

Best things to do in Lisbon Pastel de Nata at Pasteis de Belem

Also located in the Belem Neighborhood is the birthplace of Portugal’s famous Pasteles de Nata. Pastéis de Belém has been serving its secret recipe since 1837 and offers the original version of the creamy custard tart that has become a symbol of Portuguese culinary tradition.

The history of these tarts dates back to the early 19th century when monks crafted them. When the monastery closed, the recipe was passed to the bakery, ensuring the legacy of this delicious treat.

This is an excellent place to grab a coffee and snacks before moving on. The best advice we got was to go inside to sit down. The line may seem long, but the restaurant is huge, and the turnover is fast. We only stood in line for about five minutes before we were seated.

Tagus River Attractions

Walking along the Tagus River is a Lisbon attraction unto itself. As we continued along the waterfront, we enjoyed the sites of the Belém neighborhood. As you continue along the waterfront, you will come across monuments and statues and there are a few museums worth stopping at.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located near Jeronimós Monastery if you want to pop into that, and the National Coach Museum is located along your walk back towards downtown.

We continued to walk along the waterfront, enjoying the views of the Tagus River, including The Sanctuary of Christ the King – a monument that reminded us of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro. There are plenty of things to see, and you can rent bikes or scooters to get around as well

Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

Highlights of Staying in the Belem Neighbourhood of Lisbon

Whatever you do, don’t miss the impressive Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. Conveniently located on the banks of the Tagus River and still in the Belém district, MAAT stands as a beacon of contemporary culture and innovation.

Inside, visitors are treated to a dynamic array of exhibitions that bridge the gap between art and technology, showcasing works that provoke thought and inspire innovation. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a technology enthusiast, or simply looking to immerse yourself in Lisbon’s cutting-edge cultural scene.

It is open from Wednesday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., making it a perfect addition to your Lisbon adventure.

LX Factory

Best things to do in Lisbon LX Factory

We walked all the way to the LX Factory, one of the coolest neighborhoods in Lisbon. It is a complex of old industrial buildings located under the April 25th Bridge that has been turned into an artisan community. 

There are restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and multimedia displays. This is a great spot to grab a snack and an aperitif and simply people watch. Even the locals like to hang out at LX Factory, so you will feel like you are really immersing in the local culture.

Avenida da Liberdade

Highlights of staying in the Principe Real Neighbourhood of Lisbon

After catching an Uber back downtown, we relaxed at our hotel located on the Champs Élysées of Lisbon, the c As we mentioned, this is the area that we stayed in and we loved how close it was to downtown, but it was also quiet and chic away from the hustle and bustle.

This beautiful treelined street was inspired by the boulevards of Paris with a shaded walkway through beautiful architecture.

For high-end shopping, this is the place to go. It is one of the most expensive streets in Portugal and we got an amazing deal on booking.com at the Turim Boulevard Hotel.

Rooftop Bar for Sunset

Best Places to Stay in Lisbon Alfama Neighbourhood

Our hotel had a rooftop bar where we enjoyed the sunset. Watching the sunset from a rooftop or one of Lisbon’s Miradouros is a must. This city is beautiful. With its seven hills surrounding the historic town, it is one of the most beautiful scenes in Europe.

Right next door to the Turim Boulevard Hotel is the Tivoli Avenida Hotel Next door. Their Skybar is legendary and is an excellent place for a sunset cocktail. We stayed at the Tivoli in the Algarve, and loved the Skybar there as well. We suggest getting there early, though, as this patio fills up quickly.

The area of Avenida da Liberdade is a great place to grab dinner and enjoy the rooftop bars with gorgeous views. 

Fado Show

Best things to do in Lisbon Fado Show at Clube de Fado

One of the must-do experiences in Lisbon is to watch a Fado Show. UNESCO recognizes it as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and you can also visit the Fado Museum in Alfama. 

Fado is the soulful, haunting music genre that captures the essence of Portuguese culture and emotion. Originating in the 1820s in Lisbon, it is recognized for its deeply melancholic melodies and lyrics that often explore themes of love, loss, and longing, reflecting the Portuguese concept of “Saudade” — a profound sense of nostalgia and yearning.

Even if we couldn’t understand what they were saying, we felt the emotion seep through their voices.

We made the mistake of booking a Fado show online with GetYour Guide. While it was just a short walk from our hotel to the venue, we really should have gone to the Alfama district to experience this genre of music in the city’s oldest district.

Day 2 – Miradorous and Neighborhoods

Top things to do in Lisbon

Day two in Lisbon takes you all around the Old City to see its vibrant neighborhoods and top attractions of the Old City. After breakfast, we walked down to the Old Town to begin at the Alfama District.

Alfama District

Best things to do in Lisbon Alfama Neighborhood

The Alfama district is Lisbon’s oldest district and its most cultural and authentic neighborhood. It is the perfect place to start day 2 of your 48-hour stay. 

Tram 28

Where to stay in Lisbon Alfama Tram 28

Tram 28 costs 3 Euros and goes through some of Lisbon’s most iconic neighborhoods. A 24-hour pass is available, and it is free with the Lisbon Card. However, whenever we went by a stop, there was always a crowd. 

Castelo St George

You can easily spend the half a day here. Start by making your way to the top and explore Castelo St George. You can see this castle from all around the city.

 The old fortifications date back to the 2nd century BC but it underwent extensive renovations.  You can walk along its old walls and take in views of Lisbon. 

Make sure to get there early or book your tickets in advance as it gets crowded.

Belvedere Lookout

If you don’t want to tour the Castle, there is a Miradorou right beside Castelo St. George that we went to instead. It costs €5 to go up the stairs to the bell tower, but there is a glass of wine

Porto do Sol

Best things to do in Lisbon Miradouro das Portas do Sol.jpg

Miradouro de Santa Catarina, often referred to as “Porto do Sol” by locals is one of the top stops in the neighborhood with breathtaking views of the Tagus River and the city’s picturesque rooftops.

This scenic viewpoint, nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of Santa Catarina, becomes a magical spot as the sun sets, painting the sky in shades of orange and pink. It’s a favorite among both locals and tourists for its relaxed atmosphere, complemented by the gentle strumming of guitars and the soft hum of conversation.

Visitors can enjoy a refreshing drink from the nearby kiosk or café, making it an ideal location for a serene evening after a day of exploring Lisbon’s bustling streets. The panoramic views from Porto do Sol provide a perfect backdrop for memorable photos, capturing the essence of Lisbon’s beauty. Whether you’re seeking a romantic spot to watch the sunset or a peaceful place to soak in the city’s charm, Miradouro de Santa Catarina promises an unforgettable experience, making it a must-visit destination on any Lisbon itinerary.

Tuk Tuk Tour

Best things to do in Lisbon tuk-Tuk Tour

You can hop on another historic tram to tour the city or hire a Tuk Tuk as we did. 

It is actually a great way to see many of the top attractions in a short amount of time. If you only have 48 Hours in Lisbon, we highly recommend hiring a tuk-tuk. 

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

One of the best views in Lisbon is the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. This was included in our tuk tuk tour and it was worth going up for a view over the city.

Comercio Square

Things to do in Lisbon Praca Comercio

Commerce Square is Lisbon’s grand square located on the River Tagus. It is as massive as it is beautiful, with its distinctive U-shaped arrangement of yellow 19th-century buildings standing at the former Royal Palace of Ribeira. 

There is a lot happening at this square, and you can’t miss going to see it. 

Pink Street

Best things to do in Lisbon Pink Street

Pink Street, officially known as Rua Nova do Carvalho is located in the heart oof the Cais do Sodré district. Once a gritty area, Pink Street has transformed into a bustling hub for nightlife.

During the day, it attracts photographers with their smart phones to take social media photos of its pink-painted road covered with colorful umbrellas.

Open from dusk till dawn, this trendy hotspot offers an eclectic mix of musical genres and atmospheres, catering to all tastes. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, enjoy a cocktail in a stylish bar, or simply soak in the electric atmosphere.

Time Out Market

Time Out Market is a must visit on any Lisbon itinerary. Located in the former Mercado da Ribeira at Cais do Sodré, this bustling food hall brings together a curated selection of Lisbon’s best restaurants, chefs, and food producers under one roof. But take note, it is extremely busy. However, it’s an affordable option for lunch.

Open daily, it offers visitors a chance to indulge in a wide array of gastronomic delights, from traditional Portuguese dishes to international cuisine, all freshly prepared in an open kitchen environment.

Whether you’re craving seafood, gourmet burgers, or authentic pastéis de nata, the Time Out Market provides an unparalleled dining experience that showcases the richness of Lisbon’s culinary scene. Its central location, near major attractions and easily accessible by public transport, makes it a convenient stop for tourists.

Rua Agusta

best things to do in portugal arco da rua agusta

We then spent the afternoon checking out the sites along Rua Augusta, a long pedestrian street in the heart of Lisbon’s bustling Baixa district.

Framed by the majestic Arco da Rua Augusta at one end and the sprawling Praça do Comércio at the other, this street is a bustling hive of activity, offering an array of shops, cafes, and street performers that entertain visitors at every turn.

The triumphal arch itself, offering panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River from its rooftop, is a must-visit attraction, providing a unique vantage point to appreciate Lisbon’s historic charm.

The street’s pedestrian-friendly layout encourages leisurely strolls, allowing visitors to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and architectural beauty that define Lisbon. For those looking to immerse themselves in Lisbon’s dynamic city life while enjoying easy access to its historic sights, Rua Augusta is an unmissable destination.

Santa Justa Lift

Things to do in Lisbon Elevador de Santa Justa

Throughout this neighborhood, there are plenty of shops and restaurants and other attractions, such as the Santa Justa Lift. The Santa Justa lift is open to the public to go up and take in the views from the platform (the platform was closed during our visit) and it acts as public transport to take you up to the Largo do Carmo area.

Bairro Alto District

Best Things to do in Lisbon Barrio Alto

We ended our two days in Lisbon in the Bairro Alto District to enjoy dinner and drinks in this lively area where the streets come alive with live music, bars and restaurants once the sun goes down. 

Bairro Alto is the pulsating heart of Lisbon’s nightlife. This historic neighborhood turns into a lively hotspot when the sun goes down, where narrow cobbled streets come alive with the sounds of Fado music, emanating from quaint bars and intimate restaurants.

This area is a haven for nightlife seekers, offering a diverse array of entertainment options, from chic rooftop bars with stunning views over Lisbon to cozy taverns where locals and tourists alike mingle over glasses of vinho verde and plates of petiscos (Portuguese tapas).

The district’s bohemian atmosphere is unmatched, making it the perfect place to experience Lisbon’s legendary night scene. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away in one of its many nightclubs or simply enjoy a leisurely evening stroll amidst the vibrant street art and historical architecture, Bairro Alto promises an unforgettable night out, showcasing the very best of Lisbon’s dynamic and inclusive culture.

We went for gin and tonic cockails at Gin Lovers cocktail bar in the Portuguese Concept stores, we then at dinner on the terrace with beautiful views of the old city. This is a great neighborhood to end your Lisbon Itinerary.

Day 3 Bonus

best day trips from lisbon sintra

If you have another day on your Lisbon itinerary, most people go to Sintra, which is just a short day trip from Lisbon. We spent two night in Sintra, but it can be done on a day tour to see its top attractions. Sintra is one of the most popular destinations in Portugal, and if you only have a short time in the country, you really shouldn’t miss visiting this magical destination. Read all about it 14 Best Things to Do in Sintra, Portugal

And there you have our 48 hours in Lisbon. We are heading back there soon and will share even more things to do in the city, but for now, check out our videos on Sintra, the most popular day trip from Lisbon and included on everyone’s Lisbon Itinerary. 

Plan More of your Lisbon and Portugal Itinerary

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