What To Do in Lisbon: A Fun-Filled 3-Day Itinerary (+Day Trips)

What To Do in Lisbon: A Fun-Filled 3-Day Itinerary (+Day Trips)

So you finally decided to make it to Lisbon. Great choice! Lisbon is the spicy capital of Portugal oozing with contagious energy and loads of character. It really reminded me of San Francisco with the hills, the colourful housing, and especially the iconic red bridge! #twinning. It’s such a lively city and there is a lot to see, so be prepared for some awesome sites. If you’re wondering what to do in Lisbon, this mini guide will surely help!

I find itineraries to be super helpful when planing my trip. I usually have a list of things to do but feel overwhelmed because I don’t even know where to start. So when someone plans it out for me and tells me how far each site is apart and which order to do them in, it saves me SO much stress and time planning. I thought I would share the love and hopefully this serves as a helpful resource to explore Lisbon!

With my recent trip to Portugal’s capital, I have put together a 3-day itinerary highlighting what to do in Lisbon (including day trips). Without further ado, welcome to Lisbon!

But first…

A few Interesting facts about Portugal you probably didn’t know:

  • Did you know that Portugese is the 6th most spoken language in the world?! Who would have thought?
  • There are 7 former Portugese colonies including Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Macau, and Goa where Portugese culture, food, and language is still firmly rooted today.
  • A sea quake in 1755 knocked out lower parts of the city, but the ones on the hills survived. Hence, the buildings on the hills are older.
  • The old trams were given to Portugal by Germany as compensation for WWI.
  • The Revolution of 1974 was a bloodless coup that took place on April 25th and restored democracy in Portugal. As a result, the famous red bridge is referred to as the 25th of April bridge.

Lisbon 3-Day Itinerary

Lisbon Street Art

♥Day 1: What to do in Lisbon♥


Start your morning off right by grabbing a famous Portugese custard tart (“pastel de nata“) and a coffee. (Unfortunately the tarts are not gluten-free so I wasn’t able to try one…but if you do, let me know how they are because they looked very yummy). These are the staple sweets in Portugal and you will see them just about everywhere!

Lisbon Miradouro

After fueling up, head to the infamous Miradouro, meaning viewpoints. Any time you see a sign that says “Miradouro”, a good idea would be to follow it to see what wonderful views of the city it offers! There are so many great viewpoints in Lisbon, and the hard part is choosing which ones to see!

Lisbon is VERY HILLY and you will be walking uphill a LOT, so don’t try to be cute and wear heels, wedges, or uncomfortable sandals. I wore my sporty gym clothes the whole time in Lisbon and I would have died wearing anything else.

Top 3 most Instagram-worthy Miradouro in Lisbon:

1. Señhora do Monte

Señhora do Monte viewpoint

This was probably my favourite view over the city and castle. It’s one of the highest viewpoints and affords an awesome birds-eye view over the vibrant city of Lisbon. There was a live musician playing soothing music and a little cafe up there as well. I planned on going back here for the sunset, but unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate.

2. Miradouro Graça- (Graça means grace)

Miradouro Graça

Less than 10 minute walk downhill from Señhora do Monte you’ll find an almost equally stunning view over the city at Miradouro Graça. It’s a bit lower than the last viewpoint, but it offers a more close-up view of the castle. There are slightly more tourists at this viewpoint as well but it’s still a must see! There is also a little cafe where I had some tea as I admired the view.

3. Santa Luzia

This offers a great view over the rooftops of Alfama and the water. There are lots of restaurants and cafes around, as well as live music. It’s probably the most “touristy” view, but it’s still nice to see! Its also at the bottom so it will be on your way to see Alfama!

Santa Luzia in Alfama


Alfama is an electric neighbourhood near the water and is a must see when visiting Lisbon. There are gorgeous cobblestone streets, very colourful housing, stunning street art, narrow alleys, and just so much life! This is also where you will see lots of restaurants advertising “Fado” shows, the traditional Portugese dance.

Unfortunately I skipped this activity because honestly, it was too expensive for my budget. Most restaurants charge a cover fee of 10 to 15€, and then overpriced dinner as well. Expect to spend 30€ minimum. I don’t mind paying extra for something very unique, but it seemed to be less traditional and too touristy for me. But hey, that’s just my opinion. If it interests you, go for it!

28 Tram

the infamous 28 Tram in Lisbon

The 28 tram seemed to be an icon in Lisbon and takes you through all the pretty neighbourhoods in the city. I saw the little yellow tram several times, but never got on. It’s a must do on most Lisbon guides, but it was SO crowded. It looked like a pick pocket haven so I passed and just admired it from afar. But if you find it empty, I would definitely hop on for the experience.

Villa Berta

Next, take a quick stroll through Villa Berta, a former working class neighborhood. These buildings were originally built for working class people to all live in a common area. It’s a very picturesque neighbourhood and worth a walk through, if only to snap a photo or two.


Where to Eat?


Where to eat in Lisbon

Head over to Pharmacia, a popular restaurant decorated to look like, well, a pharmacy! I ended up eating there twice. It has a nice ambiance and serves more tapas-style dishes. It was nice to sample a few different dishes. The servers were super nice and the food was good. I wouldn’t say awesome, but really good. I paid about 18€ for 2 dishes and a glass of wine. It’s a popular place so a reservation is a must, especially during peek season. This restaurant is also right in front of a popular Miradouro called Santa Catarina. During sunset, this was the local spot to be with a beer in hand!


TimeOut Market

TimeOut Market in Lisbon

This is a must go to place while in Lisbon, so if you don’t go here on day one, make sure to make it there on day 2. TimeOut Market is not your typical food market. It’s a gourmet food market with some of the best chefs in Lisbon. It is HUGE and offers so many choices.

The design really reminded me of Octoberfest. Except everyone was drinking wine, instead of beer. It’s a really big social spot and gets really busy, so you may have to wait for a spot at one of the tables. But it’s SO worth it. TimeOut Market is amazing! Don’t miss it! Expect to pay around 10-12€ for a meal and a bottled water.

Castel de Sao Jorge

what to do in Lisbon

After a late lunch head over to the Castel de Sao Jorge for spectacular panoramic views of the city. You can also walk the castle walls, which is always fun. The walk up to the castle is very nice with street art everywhere and cute tiny little cafes and wine bars on the way. It’s overpriced if you ask me, at 8.50€ a ticket (isn’t Portugal supposed to be cheap?!). But I enjoyed it, and if you’re not on a super strict budget, I would definitely check it out.



If you went to TimeOut Market for lunch, then head to Pharmacia for dinner. Another option would be to head to Alfama, as there are endless restaurant choices in this area and just an overall lively atmosphere.

Bairro Alto

Colorful Bairo Alto Lisbon

This is the hipster neighborhood and the most popular place to go out at night. The streets come alive after hours so if you like to party, head over to this neighborhood. It’s also a very pretty part of town and I enjoyed strolling through with camera in hand.

♥Day 2: What to do in Lisbon♥


Rua Augusta Tower

This tower will give you a great view over the famous Rua Augusta street. It’s 2.50€ to enter and an easy walk to the top.

View from Rua Augusta Tower in Lisbon

Elevador de Santa Justa

Elevador de Santa Justa

A gothic type elevator that seems to be very popular. It costs 5€ to go to the top and might be a tourist trap as the lines were wrapping around the corner when I went. I didn’t go to the top, but took photos from the bottom instead. It looks like something out of Gotham City and it’s nice to see. I would skip going up however. 

Carmo Convent

Carmo Convent

Probably the coolest site in Lisbon. An earthquake demolished the roof of this church back in 1755 and it has never been restored. It has now been converted to a convent. Price is 2.50€ to enter. Don’t miss this attraction, it’s pretty unique!



What to do in Lisbon

After lunch, take the bus to Belem, outside of the city. It’s a cute  little town with a famous tower located on the shore. It’s a great spot for people watching or a picnic, and I witnessed so many people were laying in the surrounding green park. It takes about 30 minutes by bus and costs 2.85€. For some reason the bus ticket back was only 1.80€.


Enjoy one of the many quaint restaurants in Belem, or head back to Lisbon to the Alfama district.

♥Day 3: What to do in Lisbon♥

Day trip to Sintra, Quinta da Regaleira, and Cascais. For more details on day trips from Lisbon, be on the lookout for a separate blog post highlighting these amazing spots!

(Early) Morning


You can’t go to Lisbon and skip the easy day trip to Sintra. You cant. Just don’t do it. Home to the fairytale Peña Palace and the Moorish castle, it is an absolute MUST! The entrance fee is a bit steep at 14 euro, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Catch an early train to avoid crowds, and also because there is a LOT to see so you’ll need every last minute.

The colorful Pena Palace in Sintra

Direct Trains to Sintra leave every 30 minutes from Lisbon and take about 40 minutes. The cost is 3 euro one way. Apart from the iconic castles, the town of Sintra is worth a visit. It’s a beautiful and timeless little town set amongst the mountains and it’s sure to catch your eye. 

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

Having my Indiana Jones moment 🙂

A mere 10-12 minute walk from Sintra is a heavenly place called Quinta da Regaleira. This was by far my favorite part of the day. Don’t leave without seeing the famous well on the property. It’s straight out of a storybook. I felt like I was in Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom exploring all the endless surprises around every corner.

It costs 6€ to enter and was well worth it. Set aside ample time because this place is huge!



The gorgeous seaside of Cascais

Another must see is Cascais, a quiet little seaside town that really reminded me of the south of France (sans the hefty prices). A highlight was Boca do Inferno, a 20 minute walk from the center. Boca do Inferno means “hell’s mouth” as there is a small opening (the mouth) in the rocks where forceful waves come crashing through. I sat up at the top and just admired the view for about 30 minutes. 

Boca do Inferno

A train back to Lisbon from Cascais costs 2.60€ and takes 40 minutes. The bus from Sintra to Cascais takes 40 minutes and costs 4.10€.

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 ♥(optional) Day 4♥

If you have a 4th day in Lisbon, I highly recommend breaking up your big day trip into 2 separate day trips. Spend day 3 in Sintra/Quinta da Regaleira and Day 4 in Cascais. I did this all in one day and it was almost too much. I was a little rushed and I wish I had more time in each place.

Side note for eating gluten-free (GF) in Lisbon: as a gluten-free traveler, it was extremely difficult to find actual gluten free restaurants in Portugal and I panicked a little bit. However, seafood was my best bet as this is a staple dish in Portugal being on the coast. I carried my Portugese Gluten Free restaurant card with me at all times, and most places were able to accommodate me in some way or another. So if you are a Celiac or gluten-intolerant, don’t bother finding GF restaurants, as they are virtually non-existent. You can eat safely in Portugal, it just takes a little more effort. Cheers!

Travel Insurance for Portugal

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to islands, as you may need to be air-lifted to the mainland in the worst case scenario. Do you know how much air-lifting costs? Think at least 5 digits (I.e. Expensive AF!).

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 3 claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 3 without any hassle. I highly recommend them.



1.Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!

2. Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. I use this lens more than the original and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.

3. E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.

4. LifeProof NUUD Waterproof Case (iPhone 6): this helps protect my phone from water, sand, dirt, and the numerous drops that incur while I travel. I love it!

5. GoPro Hero 5 Black: My newest addition and the BEST GoPro on the market. This is an essential item when you’re traveling solo to get all your cool shots (and of course underwater pics).

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂

Have you been to Lisbon? What was your favorite part? Did I miss anything? Do tell!

Liked it? Click photo below to PIN IT for later! ♥

What to do in Lisbon


  1. I am so happy I found your post! I will be going to Portugal the beginning of November for I felt I had made a horrible error by committing to an AirB&B in the Alfama district for six nights. My plan is to follow your 4 day intineray and include a day trip to Belem for a fifth day. Use the first afternoon of arrival to acquaint ourselves to Alfama and possibly take in the Carmo Convent, try for dinner at the Alfama Cafe with live Fado music if not overly priced. Sixth day possibly visit the Gulbenkian museum in the morning and the Run Augusta Arch/street in the afternoon. Check out the Barrio Alto neighborhood night life.

    7th day head for Porto
    Douro Valley/winery day trip
    final day back to Lisbon to depart very early following morning.

    Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • Hi! Glad yo enjoyed my itinerary. You don’t need a full day in Belem really. I did all that in 3 days! (although it was a little rushed, I saw so much!). I didn’t have time for Obidos, but I really wanted to go there so maybe look into that. Good luck, Portugal is amazing!

  2. Lisbon is overcrowded and packed with turists these days. It is also became extremely expensive (accomodation averaging more than 100€ per night, dinner in the city centre costing at least 30 euros) and lost its authenticity (yes, it now has a ridiculous number of souvenir shops and it’s hard to find a restaurant that serves typical Portuguese food). I think you are better off visiting Porto/Braga/Aveiro/Coimbra or go South to the Algarve/Costa Vicentina/Évora/Comporta/Sesimbra.

    • You can get an entire apartment on Airbnb still for $40/night. Maybe you’re talking about fancy hotels, but it’s still very affordable if you use Airbnb. Any capital city is going to be a bit busy, there is no way around that. The key is to go in shoulder season. I went in April and it wasn’t bad at all!! The Algarve was just as busy when i went :). Lisbon is an awesome city! I would not skip it.

  3. I’ve just came back from Lisbon and would have loved to stumble upn your article before going. I would have known to climb the Arch since it offers such a stunning view! I will know better the next time.

    • Awww that just means you need to return :). I loved Lisbon. I hope you had a great visit!

  4. Hi, I enjoyed reading your itinerary. I will be travelling to Portugal in a few weeks and spending 4 days in Lisbon. It sounds like everything is pretty much within walking distance? would you recommend doing the hop on hop off bus?

    • Hi! Ya, the city is totally walkable, although the steep hills made me very tired and sometimes at the end of the day I just took an Uber back to my place (lazy haha). It only costed like $2-3 so not bad at all! I didn’t try the hop on hop off bus so can’t comment on that. Although if you do it, I would recommend doing it in the beginning so that if you like a place, you can go back later on your own! Have a great time, Lisbon is such a great city!!! 🙂

  5. Just to say: Lisbon is amazing! 🙂 Thanks for the information.

    • Yes it is! Love that city so much!!! 🙂

  6. Did you get a Day ticket for 24hr to use the public transportation?

    • Hey!
      Great question, which i should have mentioned about transport in my article (I think i might update that, thanks!). I didnt get the 24 hour pass, I walked everywhere. It was a lotttt of walking haha. And a lot of hills. The only time I took a bus was to go to Belem and I just bought a ticket on the bus. Also, Uber was really cheap and readily available so at the end of the day if i was too tired to walk back to my Airbnb I used Uber. It was like $3-4 to get back to where I was staying so that convenience of not having to use public transport and just get back quickly was worth it to me. I usually get public transport passes when im in a city because its usually worth it…unless its a small city and walkable. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • Awesome thanks! And you did a round trip ticket for Sintra? I am asking, cus I will be there in August! I am so excited!

        • Well I went to Sintra, then to Cascais, then back to Lisbon..so not really roundrtrip. The tickets were super cheap though.

  7. Great article, love your sharing so much, thank you!

  8. Oh my god. This looks so amazing. I’ve fallen particularly in love with Casto de Sao Jorge and Sintra. I really hope to visit Lisbon in the next few months so I am definetly bookmarking this for later use. Thank you for this wonderful guide! – Sophia from http://sophiawithoutborders.com

    • No problem, hope it helps!! And yes, Sintra and surroundings is a MUST!!!! You will have a blast! 🙂

  9. Great angle pics, it’s one of favourite cities to visit in Europe. good packed itinerary as well as it is such a small but great city!

    • Thanks! I cant wait to go back!

  10. I love itineraries, too!! 😀 Thanks for this one..I’m pinning it for when I go to Lisbon! It’s not on the calendar yet but I know it’s a place I have to go because these photos look so gorgeous.

    • Thanks for the pin! I’m sure you will enjoy the city when you finally make it over there. Its really different than most the capital cities in Europe. Loved it!

  11. I think Lisbon is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. In fact, I get the impression that it’s not a very crowded city. Your photos are beautiful, by the way! Oh, and Sintra looks amazing!

    • Thank you! And yes, so underrated! I feel like its been put on the map the last year or 2 so im sure it will get crowded very soon. Its such a great and lively city, loved it!

  12. Lisbon is a great city to visit and this is a pretty comprehensive itinerary. I haven’t been for years, but this has reminded me that I need to revisit. Rua Augusta street is just so unique and you got a good shot from the tower. I love the rocky coves, like the one pictured at Cascais. This is classic Portuguese coastline. Lovely!

    • Thank you! Ya it definitely deserves a visit back if you ask me! 🙂

  13. Sounds like you had a great time. Some great photos too!

    • Thank you! Lisbon didn’t disappoint!

  14. Nice post! Thanks for including the tips for the extra day trips from Lisbon – I always enjoy visiting the little towns and not just the capital cities. The picture from Sintra looks amazing and Cascais too. Pinned your post for later reference – for when we finally make it to Portugal!

    • Thank you!! Yes Cascais and Sintra are a MUST if you visit Lisbon! They aren’t too far away either so its convenient!

  15. i´ve been in portugal ones but ever to lisbon. seems like i shoud definetel change this fact. it looks great

    • Ohh yes! I’m not a fan of capital cities, but Lisbon is an exception! So much to offer and very unique in its own sense 🙂

  16. Amazing post & such a great itinerary! I went to Lisbon last year and planned to go to Sintra, but there was heavy rain so I wandered around Lisbon with my umbrella for the most part! I can’t wait to go back:)

    • Thanks girl! Uhh yes you need to go back! Sintra cant be missed! And Cascais as well! That was my fav day exploring these areas:)

  17. My family is going here in October. I’m soo so jealous that I won’t be able to come with. It looks like such an amazing city!!!

    • I would suggest hiding in their suitcase hehe :). Lisbon is amazing!!


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