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2 days in Lisbon: A Perfect Lisbon 2 days itinerary

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After visiting Lisbon, the capital of Portugal – we quickly fell in love. The city has so much to offer from history, good food, 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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2 days in Lisbon itinerary

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The 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 ride 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

2 days in Lisbon
2 days in Lisbon

Where to stay in Lisbon? We stayed at the easyHotel Lisbon. 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 (in the year 1755) and wiped out 60,000+ residents and destroyed many buildings.

Many of the squares and statues that you will see today where 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 by-gone 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.

2 days in Lisbon at Chiado Square
Chiado Square

Chiado Square

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 of 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 history. BOOK LISBON ESSENTIALS TOUR. 

Bairro Alto lanes - 2 days in Lisbon
Bairro Alto

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 the Carmel square, saw the peaceful ‘Carnation Revolution’, which resulted in the demise of the Portuguese dictatorship rule (of 50 years).

Peeking - Carmo ruins on the left and Santa Justa Lift on right
Peeking – Carmo ruins on the left and Santa Justa Lift on right

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 overlooks the city of Lisbon. The National Pantheon, Se Cathedral, or 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. 

Sao Jorge Castle 2 days in Lisbon
Sao Jorge Castle

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! 

Views of Alfama

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 the 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.

At the Commerce Square Lisbon 2 day itinerary guide
At the Commerce Square & Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon 2 day itinerary guide

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.

Commerce Square
Commerce Square

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 at the Pink Street itself.

Pink Street in Lisbon 2 days
The Pink Street

The 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 the 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, 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 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 rest of Lisbon

Belem tower

The district of Belem is located to the west of Lisbon and is known for its iconic Belem tower and monastery – Mosteiro dos Jerónimos that 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 Belem

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.

Monument to the Discoveries - Lisbon photography spots

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 the 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.

2 days in Lisbon - 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 Lisbon.

This sightseeing tour will take you to the Parque das Nações where you can explore the Oceanaria de Lisbon, Torre Vasco da Gama, Oriente. All of these sites takes you from the 16th century architectural 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.

BOOK: Here is a day ticket allowing you to visit the Oceanaria de Lisbon.

Parque Edward VII

End your 2 days in Lisbon by talking 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.

Pombal Square - 3 days in Lisbon Itinerary
Marquis de Pombal

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.

Pena Palace Sintra - half day Trip from Lisbon 2 day itinerary
Pena Palace

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 makes 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.

Sintra Pena Palace

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, 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. 

Belem Tower 2 days in Lisbon
Belem Tower

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

We hope you have a great time in Lisbon. We SOO love this city!

Other Posts on Lisbon Portugal 

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If this is your first trip to Europe, read these handy guides

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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2 days in Lisbon
2 days in Lisbon – A perfect Lisbon 2 day itinerary

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