After visiting Lisbon, the capital of Portugal – we quickly fell in love. The city has so much to offer from history, good food, and amazing weather and is an affordable holiday destination. In this 2 days in Lisbon itinerary, we will show you how to make the most of your trip to Southern Europe.
We have also included a Lisbon 2 day itinerary sample with a half-day trip to Sintra if you are interested.
2 days in Lisbon: A Perfect Lisbon 2 days itinerary
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Day 1 of the Lisbon 2 day itinerary is PERFECT if you only have one day in Lisbon, as it covers all the central highlights that Lisbon has to offer.
In order to explore the top attractions in Lisbon, it is recommended that you get the Lisbon Card (or Lisboa Card). Lisbon card can be purchased as a day pass of 24, 48, or 72 hours providing unlimited train, tram, and bus rides in the city, for that duration. It also includes free entry to 26 tourist attractions for that duration.
The Lisbon Card will be handy for the airport to hotel and return trip, to get to tours, and for sightseeing. BUY LISBON LISBON CARD HERE
Where to stay in Lisbon? We stayed at the easyHotel Lisbon on our very first trip. Hotel rooms were comfy and clean, with easy access to the bus and metro stations. There were tons of restaurants nearby as well. BOOK YOUR STAY HERE
Another great plus is that the hotel is very close to Marquis de Pombal Square and most of the tours can be redeemed here – aka tour starting point. BOOK YOUR STAY HERE
Looking for a more in-depth guide to Lisbon? Read 3 days in Lisbon trip itinerary and travel guide.
Day 1 of 2 days in Lisbon – Arrive & explore
Start your first day in Lisbon, by exploring the best of the city centre and neighboring areas. Lisbon is a hilly capital so make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes, as you start the morning.
Lisbon’s lanes and corners are sprinkled with historical gems and your day 1 will be full of history and culture. Lisbon’s history is shaped by the earthquake of 1755 that occurred on National Saints day (the year 1755) and wiped out 60,000+ residents and destroyed many buildings.
Many of the squares and statues that you will see today were a result of a successful town-building after that devastating earthquake.
Breakfast at Café A Brasileira
Start your day at the historical and artsy quarter of the Chiado neighborhood. Café A Brasileira is an iconic restaurant that was frequented by artists, writers, and poets from the bygone days. Eat breakfast here, before you start wandering the lanes of Lisbon.
This café is located very close to the Baxio-Chiado metro station and has other cafes nearby too.
The Chiado square and the neighborhood is a testimony to Portugal’s poets and writers. You will find a lot of statues of poets from the mid-19th century staring at you as you wander the streets.
Chiado is also a shopping district in Lisbon. So we will be coming back here in the evening for a fado show and/or shopping if interested.
To navigate the many neighborhoods of Lisbon city center, we recommend taking a walking tour, to get acquainted with the area. We took this essentials history tour and highly recommend it.
This tour is only for 3 hours and will provide you with a good understanding of the neighborhoods and Lisbon’s history. BOOK LISBON ESSENTIALS TOUR.
Barrio Alto Neighborhood
From Chiado, walk uphill to reach the district of Barrio Alto. This neighborhood is known for its nightlife activities and an amazing array of restaurants and bars.
One of the coolest things to do here is to admire the beautiful tile work in the neighborhood. Not as close as Porto, but almost.
Both Chiado and Bairro Alto are great places to eat and enjoy a slice of Portuguese culture.
Carmo Convent ruins and Santa Justa Lift
From Chiado and Bairro Alto, head to the ruins of Carmel. The cathedral was destroyed during the earthquake of 1755 and today serves as a unique place for theatrical works.
The square around the convert ruins, called Carmel square, saw the peaceful ‘Carnation Revolution’, which resulted in the demise of the Portuguese dictatorship rule (of 50 years).
At the end of the square, you will see the artistic Santa Justa Lift.
This lift was created to connect people traveling from Carmo Square to the lower streets of Baixa. The Santa Justa lift is a great piece of ironwork and it also offers amazing views of the city of Lisbon.
There is an entry fee to get to the lift, but keep in mind there are long wait times to get to the top.
Ride the Tram 28
I am sure you have seen epic postcards of Lisbon with a yellow tram. Looks so vintage-y right? Well, you will find them in the city center and the many neighborhoods that we are exploring today.
Trams are an important means of public transport in the city. If you are using the Lisbon Card, you will get unlimited rides for the duration of your card.
To reach the Lisbon neighborhoods that are located at a height, use trams to get there, like our next neighborhood of Alfama and Graca.
Alfama and Graca – National Pantheon, Lisbon Cathedral, São Jorge Castle
Further uphill from Bairro Alto, is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon – Alfama. This neighborhood is home to many iconic monuments that overlook the city of Lisbon. The National Pantheon, Se Cathedral, the Lisbon Cathedral, Sao Jorge Castle to name a few.
When you ride the tram you can also get down at Graca, another neighborhood known for its unique street art. It is an off-beat area, but if you wish to check out the city highlights only on this 2 day Lisbon trip, then Alfama is the place to be.
You won’t be able to explore all of these as you are on a short trip. But what you can do is to take the walking tour and reach Alfama. From where the walking tour ends, take a taxi to quickly arrive at the Castelo de São Jorge.
From the Castelo de São Jorge, you can see some of the amazing views of Lisbon, so a trip to the castle complex is worth it. The entire complex will take a couple of hours for you to completely explore, so set aside 1-1.50 hours for checking out the main spots.
The same goes for the Lisbon Cathedral and the National Pantheon. We recommend viewing them from outside, or a pay a quick visit, as you only have 2 days in Lisbon.
Miradouro das Portas do Sol – Scenic viewpoints
One of the most popular viewpoints of Lisbon is located in the Alfama district – Miradouro das Portas do Sol. You can see the amazing red roofs of Lisbon and the blue river!
Commerce Square and Rua Augusta Arch
From the highs of Alfama, let’s head down to the historic city centre again. And this time to Commerce Square.
The Praca do Comércio is a large plaza that was built on the ruins of the previous royal palace. The palace was completely destroyed in the 1755 earthquake.
Following the earthquake, the enlightened Prime Minister of Portugal, Marquis of Pombal came up with new urban planning and building designs called the Pombaline – which were anti-seismic buildings. The bright yellow quarters that you see around the square are filled with restaurants and offices today.
In the center of the square is the statue of King Jose I facing the river Tagus.
The river Tagus (and marble steps leading to it) is on the south end of Commerce Square and is the perfect place for a quick stroll.
At the north end of Commerce Square, you will see a triumphal arch. Rua Augusta Triumphal arch was built to celebrate the victory of the city against the earthquake.
Watch a live Fado show in Chiado (or do fado & food together for the evening)
From Arc Rua Augusta, head to Chiado again for a live fado show. (Chiado is 11 minutes walk from the Rua Augusta Arch. Along the way, you can stop for food or street entertainment).
Fado is a musical genre that originated in Portugal in the mid 19th century. The music is characterized by melancholic tones and refers to the sea and the loneliness associated with it.
You can watch a 50-minute live fado show “Fado in Chiado”. BOOK FADO IN CHIADO HERE.
If you are a foodie and wish to explore Lisbon with all its delicacies, then a food tour is a good idea to experience it in a short time. BOOK FADO AND FOOD TOUR IN LISBON HERE
The Pink Street – Rua Navalaho
If you would like to do dinner by yourself, then the Cais de Sobre area is a good option. The famed Pink Street is located in the same neighborhood, along with the most visited (touristy hangout place) – Time out Market. You will find tons of places to eat on Pink Street itself.
Pink Street was once upon a time Lisbon’s red-light district and today it is bustling with nighttime activities.
If the Pink Street or party/nightlife activities is not your thing – then after the fado (or fado and food tour), head to Rossio Square.
Rossio Square is one of the central squares of Lisbon and the plaza is always filled with people – locals and tourists. At the centre of the square, you will see a tall statue of King Pedro IV.
This is a good spot to see trams coming and going, and also a perfect Instagram spot in Lisbon. You can sit and hang out here – in the midst of history, enjoy a paste da nata – a Portuguese sweet delicacy, and catch a train (or taxi ride) home (aka your hotel in Lisbon).
Day 2 of Lisbon 2 day Itinerary
For day 2 of your 2 days in Lisbon Itinerary, we have 2 itineraries for you.
- Option: 1 – Explore Belem and hop on and hop off tour of the rest of Lisbon
- Option: 2 – Day trip to Pena Palace and then Belem Tower and area for the afternoon/evening
Option: 1 – Explore Belem and hop on and hop off tour of the rest of Lisbon
The district of Belem is located to the west of Lisbon and is known for its iconic Belem tower and monastery – Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
To make the most of your day, we recommend taking a hop on and hop off tour to arrive in Belem. You can also reach Belem via train from Lisbon.
Torre de Belém is a 15th-century tower that was created as a getaway to the sea. You can save some time and skip the entry to the tower and admire the tower from a distance.
From the ports in Belem, you can see the stunning 25 de April Bridge, named after the Carnation Revolution. The Pont de 25 April Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting
You will see a large statue of Jesus Christ of Almada which was erected to express gratitude as Portugal was spared from the horrors of World War II.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos – Monument of Discoveries
A short distance away from the sightseeing area of Belém tower, you will see the Padrão dos Descobrimentos or Monument of Discoveries.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos was created for the World Expo of 1929 and the structure is dedicated to the sea discoveries and everyone who made it possible from sailors, navigators to mathematicians, and everyone in between.
Such a great testimony to the world pioneers and explorers of the world!
In terms of history and singing praises of the sea discovery, Lisbon didn’t disappoint us. It stands behind their heritage and the stories and tales of Vasco da Gama can be heard with pride.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos or the Jerónimos Monastery
Another place to learn about maritime stories is a visit to the impressive Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This is a 16th-century Order of Saint Jerome Monastery and inside it houses a Maritime Museum.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a popular tourist site, so expect long queues to get inside. BOOK ENTRY TICKET TO JERONIMOS MONASTERY
Oceanaria de Lisbon, Torre Vasco da Gama, Oriente
If you are taking a hop on and hop off tour, we recommend exploring the newer side of the city of Lisbon.
This sightseeing tour will take you to the Parque das Nações where you can explore the Oceanaria de Lisbon, Torre Vasco da Gama, and Oriente. All of these sites take you from 16th-century architecture to the 20th-century land of World Trade Expos.
Oceanaria de Lisbon is Europe’s largest oceanarium and is home to over 8000 species. You can spend 1-2 hours here easily. They also hold permanent and temporary exhibitions in the oceanaria.
Parque Edward VII | Self guided walking tour for best views over Lisbon
End your 2 days in Lisbon by taking a walk (downhill) from Parque Edward VII. This open space at the top of the Avenida da Liberdade provides some of the best views over the city of Lisbon and the Tagus River.
The park has green spaces and pedestrian walking areas. When you walk downhill, you will reach the Marquis of Pombal Square – an important roundabout of the city, dedicated to the Prime Minister of Portugal, the 1st Marquis of Pombal – Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo.
For dinner today, head to the Avenida da Liberdade.
Alternate/Option: 2 – Day trip to Pena Palace and then Belem Tower and area for the afternoon/evening
An alternative itinerary for the second day in Lisbon consists of venturing outside the city limits to Sintra and an afternoon-evening in Belem.
Many travelers visiting Lisbon, wish to add a quick day trip to the Pena Palace located in Sintra. This 2 days in Lisbon itinerary to help you do that.
Lisbon to Sintra is just 40 minutes away. You can take a train to Sintra from the Rossio station in Lisbon. After arriving in Sintra station, head to the town center to take a 434 bus to reach the Pena Palace.
You can combine Belem tower and Sintra on a day tour for ease of travel. Or do it yourself.
Tip: If you prefer a tour combining Belem and Sintra, here is a recommended tour. BOOK BELEM AND SINTRA SIGHTSEEING TOUR FROM LISBON
The Pena Palace is a stunning Romanticist castle. It is located at a top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. The bright yellow and red colors against the green forest make for a perfect postcard capture.
On a half-day trip to Sintra, you can explore the Pena Palace terraces and park, have lunch in the city center, and then return back to Lisbon by 02:00 pm. BOOK PENA PALACE PARK TICKET
The above ticket is for entering the palace grounds only and doesn’t include access to the staterooms. It is recommended that you book tickets online so that you are not waiting in line to get in.
Just like Lisbon, wear comfortable walking shoes to Sintra Pena Palace.
There is a 4 hour Sintra Pena Palace tour, leaving from Lisbon at 09:00 am, and returning by 01:00 pm. This is a good option to add to your 2 days in Lisbon for ease of travel. You can request the tour guide to drop you in Belem for the afternoon.
The tour includes hotel pick up (and drop off), but entry to the palace is additional. BOOK YOUR HALF DAY SINTRA TOUR HERE.
In the afternoon, when you arrive in Belem via train or tour, explore the two main attractions of the district – Torre de Belem and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos or the Jerónimos Monastery.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is open from 09:00 am to 06:00 pm, so we recommend tackling that first. Also, there could be long line-ups. From there you can also see the impressive Monument of Discoveries.
Thereafter spend the evening at the Torre de Belem area. Even if the entry to the Belem tower is closed, don’t worry you can take pictures from outside and it looks lovely during sunset.
To make your experience even richer, take a cruise in the Tagus river and enjoy a nice dinner by the port, before returning to Lisbon. BOOK 2 HOUR SUNSET – RIVER CRUISE
Sightseeing Map – 2 day Lisbon Itinerary
Other Things to do in Lisbon Portugal
Since our very first visit to Lisbon, we have traveled there many more times; and checked off more places from our bucket list.
The 2 day Lisbon itinerary outlined above is still the best way to see the city for a first-time visitor. However, there are other sightseeing attractions and activities that you may wish to add or swap based on your interests,
Located in the neighborhood of Alcântara, about 3 km (1.86 miles) away from the Lisbon city centre is the coolest LX Factory! We recommend visiting the LX Factory when you explore Belem, due to its distance.
Now the LX Factory is home to hip restaurants, cafes, creative spaces, and more. It is set in an old industrial area of Lisbon. So, a converted warehouse of sorts! This is a great place to hang out, work, shop, and even book a hostel to stay over there.
The original site of LX Factory dates back to the year 1846, when one of Lisbon’s most important textile manufacturing companies, “Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense”, was set up here. For years, this industrial area was neglected.
And then in 2008, it was uplifted into a new attraction – the LX Factory. There are no entry fees to visit the site.
Cooking Class in Lisbon
A cooking class or a workshop to learn how to make Pastel de Nata is a great way to spend an afternoon in Lisbon. This is a class I took – it was a 2 hour hands-on cooking class. It was such a fun experience.
We made Pastel de Nata, which is so popular in Portugal. You will be making the pastry and another savory dish, and also eat it later!
The cooking class also offers tea, coffee, and a light meal to share after cooking.
Pub Crawl in Bairro Alto District
Join a pub crawl in Bairro Alto. This is a guided walking tour in Lisbon’s nightlife district in which you will visit 3 clubs and bars throughout the night. There is also free beer and/or sangria to kickstart the tour!
Private Sintra Tour with Cellar Visit & Wine Tasting
This is a full-day tour of Sintra with wine tasting. In order to participate in this tour, a full day is required (suggested the second day in Lisbon).
The guided tour beings with a stop at the Palace of Queluz, built in the 18th century, and then continues on to Sintra. It covers Sintra National Palace, Moorish Castle, and Pena Palace before arriving at the most westerly point in continental Europe – Cabo da Roca.
Wine tasting is included at the cellars of Adega Regional de Colares. Before departing for Lisbon, the tour also stops at the charming resort town of Cascais.
Day trips from Lisbon Portugal
One of the best aspects of visiting Lisbon is its close proximity to other interesting and exciting destinations. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day or an active day of sightseeing, there are plenty of day trips to choose from when traveling around Portugal.
Sintra, of course, is a popular choice from Lisbon. But there are more – and all within 40 minutes to less than 2 hours of travel. Those looking for a beach escape can take a day trip to the seaside town of Cascais or head further down the coast to Ericeira where they can surf some of Europe’s best waves.
History buffs will love a day trip to Evora, an ancient city full of Roman ruins and beautiful churches. Obidos is another great destination. This charming medieval village is known for its white-washed buildings and narrow cobblestone streets.
Places such as Fatima and Batalha are also easy trips from Lisbon. Finally, the picturesque fishing village of Nazare is a popular destination with stunning views, huge waves, and a rich history.
Add one of these destinations to extend your 2 days in Lisbon itinerary!
Read: 4 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Travel Tips
When planning a trip to Lisbon, the best time to visit is between April and May, and then September and October. During these off-season months, temperatures are mild and the weather is generally sunny.
Summers are very warm and worth visiting for the carnival events (June) and other festivities taking place in the city!
It’s also important to keep in mind that compared to other European cities, Lisbon is relatively inexpensive.
A great place to stay in Lisbon is within the city centre where you can easily access public transportation like buses, trains, and trams. There are also many hostels, bed, and breakfast inns, and hotels to choose from.
For those looking for luxury accommodations, there are plenty of high-end options available in central Lisbon.
When visiting Lisbon it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. The city has a low crime rate but it’s still important to take the necessary precautions. Avoid walking alone late at night, keep your valuables secure, and be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Lisbon is an amazing city with lots to explore. From the beaches and monuments to the delicious seafood restaurants and colorful markets, Lisboa will just melt your heart!
With the right planning and a little preparation, your trip to Lisbon will be an unforgettable experience! We hope you have a great time in Lisbon. We SOO love this city!
Other Posts on Lisbon | Portugal Travel Guides
- Sintra Guide – Get the day trip itinerary from Lisbon to Sintra
- Lisbon Airbnbs – Best Airbnbs in Lisbon for your stay
- Day trips from Lisbon – Guide to day-trip ideas from Lisbon to add to your vacation
- Portugal & Spain itinerary – Itinerary for Spain and Portugal in 10 – 14 days
Europe Travel Planning Posts
If this is your first trip to Europe, read these handy guides
- First time to Europe? Get our Europe Planning guide and checklist
- Schengen Visa Application – Read this Schengen visa guide
- What to pack for Europe? Get the Packing List for Europe for your travels
- Europe trip samples – One week in Europe Itinerary Samples for your inspiration
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.