2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary

It’s difficult not to be swooned by those gorgeous photos of the iconic yellow trams trundling their way up the ancient, narrow cobbled streets and the classic panoramic shot of the colourful houses of Alfama overlooking the Targus river.  

Despite being the nation’s capital, the city is compact enough to be able to enjoy all the main highlights in a short time, even if you only have 2 days in Lisbon. If you do have more time I certainly recommend it! 

This Lisbon in 2 days itinerary focuses on the city’s top landmarks, including exploring the photogenic historic centre, riding on the iconic yellow Number 28 tramway and exploring the once-underbelly district of Alfama. Thrown in are plenty of stops, to sample their mouth-wateringly delicious pastel de nata. And also a bonus trip out to the nearby dreamy town of Sintra.

Lisbon quickly scaled the ranks to become one of my favourite European cities, and I’m sure after you visit Lisbon you’ll feel the same way. 

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 1
Lisbon 2 day itinerary; City View

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2 days in Lisbon Itinerary – How to use this guide

This Lisbon in 2 days’ itinerary is divided into sections to make it easier to skim for the information you need. The first section is a glance that gives an overview of what to do in Lisbon in 2 days.

The second section breaks down each day in detail, which is perfect if this is your first time in Lisbon. In the final section, you’ll find FAQs that answer things like the best time to visit Lisbon, where to stay, getting around and of course practical insider travel tips.

2 days Lisbon itinerary – At a Glance

Don’t have the time to read the whole article, but curious about what to see in Lisbon in 2 days? Then this section is for you. Here is a summary of what’s inside this article, starting with the must-see landmarks in Lisbon. You can also download this checklist and location map straight to your inbox.

What to see in Lisbon: Top 10 Liabon Landmarks

      •  Praça do Comercio
      • Lisbon Cathedral
      • E28 Yellow Tram
      • Alfama
      • São Jorge Castle
      • Santa Justa Lift
      • Carmo Convent
      • Rossio Square
      • Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
      • Belém Tower

…and if you opt to visit nearby Sintra, then Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira and Castelo dos Mouros

Two days in Lisbon – Day By Day Overview

Day 1 – Visit the most iconic Lisbon landmarks in the old town and explore the picturesque cobbled streets of the Alfama district. Take the ride on the iconic Tram 28 and view the city from São Jorge Castle. Discover the ruins of Carmo Convent and how the city was nearly lost during the Great Earthquake of Lisbon. Then immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of the Fado.

Option: Visit the famous UNESCO sites of Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower.

Day 2 – Escape the city and head to nearby Sintra to see some of Europe’s most beautiful castles and palaces. Spend the day marvelling at the visually stunning Pena Palace, and lose yourself in the underground grottoes and labyrinths at Quinta da Regaleira. Hit the town in the evening around Lisbon’s lively and trendy area of ‘Pink Street’.

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This 2 day Lisbon itinerary covers everything you need to know to start planning your perfect short break. You can download the information covered in this Lisbon guide, plus a FREE map that features all the must-see Lisbon highlights and a checklist for offline viewing. Whether you’re just planning a quick city break to the capital, or this forms part of a Portugal road trip itinerary, you’ll love your time in Lisbon.

What you can expect in this article...

Lisbon itinerary - Day 1

Morning

Praça do Comercio – Your Lisbon 2 day itinerary starts at the Praça do Comercio (Commerce Square). This is one of Lisbon’s most iconic and recognisable landmarks. The large square has one open side facing out to the Targus River. The other three sides are lined with beautiful buildings with columned walkways as colourful yellow trams trundle past in front of the giant Arco de Rue Augusta (or the Rua Augusta Arch). This is a perfect place to start your two days in Lisbon.

Historically the square was called Terreiro do Paço, named after the Paços da Ribeira (Ribeira Palace), which was the king of Portugal’s residence. The stood here until it was destroyed by the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755.

What stands here now are bright yellow facades of buildings that gleam in the sunlight into the square. If you want to find out more about the history of Lisbon, on the east side of the square I recommend the Lisboa Story Centre.

Time Spent Here: 20 minutes
Location: Praça do Comércio MB, 1100-148 Lisboa

Your complete 2 days in Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Arco de Rue Augusta
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Arco de Rue Augusta

Lisbon Cathedral – From the Praça do Comercio hear in a northeast direction and walk to Lisbon Cathedral. The Sé de Lisboa (Cathedral of Lisbon) is located at the junction between two streets which the trams run along; Largo da Sé and Cruzes da Sé. The Cathedral was built by Lisbon’s first king and is the oldest church in Lisbon.

This junction is one of the best photo spots in Lisbon. If you wait a short while, you’ll get that famous picture of the pretty yellow tram going past the front of the Cathedral. You’ll find this iconic picture of Lisbon on loads of postcards, prints and posters in every tourist shop.

Time Spent Here: 20 minutes
Location: Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisboa

Insider tip: It’s actually free to enter the Sé de Lisboa. Just be mindful that this is still an active place of worship, so it may only have limited access or be shut to visitors at times due to services.

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 3
The iconic Tram 28 & Lisbon Cathedral

Take A Ride on Tram 28 – No Lisbon bucket list would be complete without a ride on the iconic yellow tram. If this is a bit gimmicky for you, then you can easily take the 10-minute walk up to Alfama (your next destination on this Lisbon 2 days itinerary).

Depending on the time of day there may or may not be a queue. At peak times, it’s often quicker to walk. The waiting time for the E28 Lisbon tram can be long. However, if your mind is set on having a ride on the E28 line, then hop on just outside of the Cathedral. 

The tram route winds through the narrow and curvy streets, stopping at various points all over the city. If it’s too busy outside the Cathedral, then head to one of the other tram stops, it passes through the districts of Graca, Estrela, Baixa and then eventually up to Alfama. If you have the time, and you’re staying 3 days in Lisbon you could sit on here and do the whole circuit!

Time Spent Here: 30 minutes
Location: There is a tram stop just outside the Cathedral

Insider Tip on Safety: A word of warning, if you’re intending to ride on the E28 tram. This is prime territory for pickpockets. The number of tourists here twinned with the crowdedness of the tram makes for easy pickings. Be sure to keep an eye on your belongings and keep them somewhere safe. You might want to look at getting a theft-proof bag (more on these in the FAQ section).

Alfama District – Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon. The streets are narrow and steep, so no public transport can come in here. This pedestrian-only district of Alfama covers the steep hill between the São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River. Because Alfama is situated outside of the old city walls, in the past this area was associated with poverty and crime.

Thankfully, the area of Alfama was not destroyed during the 1755 earthquake, so the layout of the area has remained pretty much unchanged and why it’s kept its charming narrow streets and small squares. It’s steeped with history and very easy to pass an hour or so wandering about and getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and alleyways.

One of the top things to do in Lisbon in 2 days is to explore this quaint district. Over recent years there has been a resurgence and the area has now been transformed into a trendy, artisan district with intimate restaurants and cafes. If you read up on any hipster guide to Lisbon, Alfama ranks pretty high.

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Narrow streets of Alfama
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Narrow streets of Alfama

The pleasant thing with Alfama is that it’s still a residential area. You’ll get a glimpse of local life, as they go about their daily lives. It’s not uncommon to see laundry hanging out in the street and the delicious smell of home cooking wafting out from their kitchens.

Alfama is also the home of the emotive and soulful Fado. You’ll find intimate music venues dotted all around this area. The Fado is a type of music, synonymous with Alfama. It’s based on folk and blues, with lyrics often about the hardship of life. Be sure to experience a live Fado Show and learn about the music that expresses the true soul of Lisbon. Be sure to add this to your Lisbon bucketlist.

Time Spent Here: 60 minutes
Location: Alfama district covers the area between the Cathedral and Sao Jorge Castle.

Climb up to São Jorge Castle – Keep heading upwards and out of Alfama. Eventually, you’ll find São Jorge Hill. At the top of the hill is Sao Jorge Castle. This is one of the most recognisable places to see in Lisbon, the castle can be seen from most places around the city.

The first fortifications at the top of São Jorge Hill date back to the 1st century BC when Lisbon was under Roman rule. However, what you see today is a mix of hundreds of years of history all amalgamated into one. It dates from the 5th to 11th century.

Inside the castle walls, you’ll find pretty gardens, eleven towers and turrets as well as the castle wall to walk around. You might even see the resident peacocks strutting their stuff. It’s also a great vantage point to take some beautiful Lisbon city pictures.

While you’re checking out the view, see if you can spot the Santa Justa Lift, you’ll be heading here shortly. If you have time in the evening, come back to São Jorge Hill for one of the best places to watch the sunset in Lisbon.

Time Spent Here: 60 minutes
Location:

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 4
Sao Jorge Castle overlooking Alfama

Lisbon itinerary - Day 1

Afternoon (Suggestion 1)

Ride the Santa Justa Lift – Continue your first day in Lisbon as you head down the hill from São Jorge Castle. Make your way towards the lively district of Chiado in the city center, this is where you’ll find the Santa Justa Lift. You’ll find this area bustling with shops, cafes and restaurants. Stop off here for a lunch before moving on.

The Neo-Gothic style structure was completed in 1902 by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard. Look at the style and architecture of the lift, does it look familiar? Ponsard was actually a student of Gustav Eiffel the architect behind the iconic Eiffel Tower, Paris.

The Santa Justa Lift was built to connect the lower part to the upper part of Lisbon. The lift has now become a tourist attraction more than anything. Take a ride up the 45m lift to the viewing platform which overlooks the city it’s also a great Lisbon photo location, as you’ll have a great view of the São Jorge Castle you’ve just visited.

Time Spent Here: 30 minutes
Location: R. do Ouro, 1150-060 Lisboa

Insider Tip: If the queues to ride the Santa Justa Lift are too long, then you can walk up to the viewing platform instead. Head along the Largo do Carmo, past the Carmo ruins and then behind the Bellalisa Elevador restaurant.

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 5
Santa Justa Lift

Explore the Ruins of Carmo Convent – From the Santa Justa Lift walk to the nearby Carmo Convent. You might have noticed that I’ve mentioned the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 quite a few times in this Lisbon two day itinerary. . These beautiful Gothic ruins of the Carmo Convent are a result of that.

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ll know I can’t resist an ancient ruin. The roofless columns and walls of the Carmo Convent are a relic from that dark day in 1755.

Inside there is a museum that houses various religious artefacts, mummies and tombstones. The old convent has a tranquil feel to it. I spend ages here exploring the beautiful ruins, it was one of my personal highlights of Lisbon.

Time Spent Here: 60 minutes
Location:  Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa

 

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Carmo Convent Ruins
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Carmo Convent Ruins
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Carmo Convent Ruins
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Carmo Convent Ruins

The Great Lisbon Earthquake – Portugal’s Darkest Day

The Great Lisbon Earthquake is said to be the darkest day in Portugal’s history. It happened on the morning of All Saints Day on Saturday, 1 November 1755. The earthquake reached a magnitude of 9 and the subsequent fires and tsunami nearly wiped out the city and its surrounding areas. It’s thought that over 60,000 people lost their lives as a result of it.

Rossio Square – From the Carmo Convent, turn right and follow the street, down the steps and towards the highly photogenic Rossio Square. The lively square is surrounded by stunning architecture, you’d be hard pushed to miss the geometric pattern of the black and white cobblestones. This square makes for one of the most Instagramable pictures of Lisbon

There are often markets and pop up stalls around here as well as a hub for locals to meet. If you enjoy a spot of people watching, this is your place. If you’re feeling exhausted from all the walking about, then stop in one of the bars here.

Time Spent Here: 30+ minutes
Location: Rua dos Correeiros, 204, Lisboa

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 6
Rossio Square

Lisbon itinerary - Day 1

Afternoon (Suggestion 2)

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) – The easiest way to get here from Lisbon centre is by catching Tram number 15. Walk to Cais de Sodré station to pick up the tram. The grounds and building from the outside are both visually stunning, so even if you don’t go inside (it’s closed on Mondays) at least swing by the outside for a look.

Construction of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos started in 1500 and then took 100 years to complete. This 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage-listed site was built from money derived during Portugal’s age of exploration. Most of the wealth came from the taxes on imported goods from both Africa and the Far East.

Time Spent Here: 2 hours
Location: Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 7
Jeronimos Monastery

Insider Info: If you have time, then a great place to stop off for lunch is at the Time Out Market. The market is close to Cais de Sodré station and sells a whole range of delicious locally produced food. For more info on this market, scroll down to the where to eat in Lisbon part of this guide.

Belém Tower – A short walk from the Jerónimos Monastery is where you’ll find the Belém Tower. This famous landmark features somewhere on most Lisbon itineraries. The Belém Tower was built in the 16th Century to protect the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour during the age of exploration. Belém Tower shares the UNESCO World Heritage title with Jerónimos Monastery.

From the outside, the fortress looks quite ‘blocky’ to say the least. That’s down to its combination of Medieval and Gothic architectural styles. Originally, Belém Tower was built on an island, however, after the 1755 Great Lisbon Earthquake, the course of the river shifted which is why now the tower sits on a little rocky outcrop, right on the shoreline.

The Belém Tower also offers a great vantage point to watch the sunset from and a great spot to finish off your first day in Lisbon.

Time Spent Here: 1 hour
Location: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa,

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 8
Belem Tower

Padrão dos Descobrimentos Monument – This relatively modern statue was built in 1940 for the Portuguese World Exhibition, and then was made a permanent feature in 1960 to mark 500 years since Henry the Navigator’s death. It’s also known as the Monument of the Discoveries.

The monument features a stylised group of men set out on a caravel (which is a small, fast Portuguese sailing ship from between the 15th–17th centuries). Henry the Navigator is stood at the front. He was an important figure during Portugal’s overseas expansion and Age of Discoveries.

It was built in Belém facing out to the River Tagus, as this was where boats embarked on their journeys to explore the unchartered seas and lands from the 14th century.

Time Spent Here: 1 hour
Location: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 9
Monument of Discoveries

Lisbon itinerary - Day 1

Evening

Watch & Listen to a Fado performance – Finish off the first of your two days in Lisbon itinerary by heading back to the Alfama district to watch a Fado show. The Fado is unique to Portugal and it’s said that Alfama is the birthplace of it.

The Fado is a music genre that could be likened to blues music, where the sole singer emotionally sings about their woes, love and life. The first Fado dates back to around the early 1800s. They often take place in small intimate settings of bars and restaurants. There are over 40 venues in Lisbon to choose from.

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Fado Mural, Lisbon

Lisbon itinerary - Day 2

You have a choice here. If you’re limited to only 48 hours in Lisbon, and you opted for suggestion 1 yesterday, then today, you could spend a much more leisurely day around the area of Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. However, my suggestion is to visit Sintra, just outside of the city. I promise you will not be disappointed.

If you’re opting to visit Sintra as part of your Lisbon 2 days itinerary, then start early. Make your way to Rossio Station and catch the train. From Lisbon to Sintra is about a 40-minute train journey. Sintra is located about 30km to the east of Lisbon in the stunning surroundings of the Serra de Sintra.

The whole area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. I don’t even need to try and argue why. It’s remarkable in every way. This easy day trip from Lisbon is popular, so a word to the wise; start early. to make the most of Sintra before the crowds.
Once you arrive at the train station in Sintra, you’ll notice how green the area is. The station is located a little way from where you want to be but there will be a multitude of buses to take you up to your first stop. Seeing as you’re only in Lisbon for 2 days, rather than take the train, you might find it more efficient to book a tour to see the highlights of Sintra instead.

The green hilly slopes are the polar opposite of the built-up capital. You’ll pass through the picturesque town of Sintra which is a bustling hive of shops, restaurants and cafes and you could spend quite a bit of time wandering about here. However, I suggest the first thing you do is head up to Pena Palace before the crowds do.

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Pena Palace, Sintra

Morning

Pena Palace – If you’ve ever typed ‘beautiful castles in the world’ into an image search, I guarantee one of the images you get back will be of Pena Palace. The pretty region of Sintra plays host to some of Portugal’s most beautiful landmarks.

Built in the Romanticism style, this 19th-century castle is the most colourful castle I have ever seen. Situated in a lavish landscape of well-manicured grounds and gardens the brightly coloured castle featuring contrasting red and yellow walls with black and white striped roofs is a photographer’s dream. It’s so photogenic and a bit of a playground if you’re wanting to get trigger-happy and artsy with the camera.

There are so many beautiful details covering every surface of this castle that you could spend hours perusing the marvellous carvings, archways, turrets, doorways and alcoves. The whole place really is quite magical.

 

Time Spent Here: 3 hours
Location: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra

Insider Tip: It’s very easy to lose track of time whilst exploring the grounds and outer walls of Pena Palace. If you do decide to go inside the Palace, which I recommend doing, be aware of the crowds. Book a skip-the-line ticket in advance The queues get very long, I made the rookie error of not booking in advance and wasted an hour standing in the line.

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Pena Palace, Sintra
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Pena Palace, Sintra

Lisbon itinerary - Day 2

Afternoon

Quinta da Regaleira – From Pena Palace, head back down the hill, through Sintra town and out towards Quinta da Regaleira. Depending on where you are in the grounds of Pena Palace, the walk will take about an hour. Although it’s a very picturesque walk, if you are pushed for time, get the shuttle bus instead.

The 20th-century house was built in the Gothic style and situated in stunning landscaped gardens with waterfalls, follies, underground labyrinths, lakes and grottos. It would have been a fantastic aristocrats’ playground back in its heyday, today, these wonderful grounds are enjoyed by adults and children alike!

One of the most iconic things to see at Quinta da Regaleira is the Initiation Well. This 88-foot-deep well has a spiral staircase twisting along the walls, winding right down to the bottom.

Along the staircase of the well, columned archways give the place a regal yet slightly creepy feel. It was built for secret ceremonies, exactly what went on here will probably always be a bit of a mystery. It leads down into a subterranean labyrinth, eventually leading back out into the lower gardens. If you’ve ever seen the film Pan’s Labyrinth, or other twisted fairy tales, Quinta da Regaleira wouldn’t look out of place as the backdrop.

Once you’ve explored the grounds, head into the house. Similarly, the attention to detail in the main mansion is extraordinary. You’ll probably want to spend a decent amount of time exploring it. It’s the quirky fantastical charm, again like with Pena Palace, that makes Quinta da Regaleira a photographer’s dream.

Time Spent Here: 2 hours
Location: R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567, Sintra

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Quinta da Regaleira
Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira

Insider Info: If you have time in Sintra, I also recommend the Castelo dos Mouros. It’s located nearly opposite the main entrance to Pena Palace. The ancient Moorish fortress is perched on an outcrop of rocks overlooking the whole valley. Although overshadowed by nearby Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira in terms of aesthetics, the wall walk is certainly worthwhile. You’ll get some great panoramic shots of the whole region from up here, and on a good day, you can see the ocean. It will take about 30-40 minutes to walk the walls.

After exploring the area of Sintra, catch the train back to Lisbon to enjoy your final night. In this Lisbon itinerary, 2 days is pretty intense, so find a great rooftop or terrace bar on the hill of São Jorge, to relax and catch the sunset.

Lisbon itinerary - Day 2

Evening

Explore Lisbon’s lively nightlife – Like most countries in mainland Europe, the nightlife doesn’t really kick off until around 11 pm. You’ll be spoilt for choice of places to go, however, the famous Pink Street (Nova do Carvalho) in Cais do Sodré district is one of the livelier areas of Lisbon to party. If you’re stopping for at least 2 nights in Lisbon, then I recommend you head there at least once.

If you want something a little less lively, then there are a multitude of trendy cocktail bars along Bairro Alto, or if you prefer somewhere where the locals drink then head towards Rua Nova do Carvalho.

Your complete 2 days Lisbon guide includes all the highlights of the Portuguese capital. This guide will give you the perfect 2 days in Lisbon on a short city break. The best things to see in Lisbon and the best things to do in Lisbon. #Portugal #Lisbon #CityBreak
Pink Street, Lisbon

Where to stay in Lisbon

There are so many options for places to stay during your Lisbon two day itinerary. There’s so much choice that it can be overwhelming to know where to stay in Lisbon. Accommodation in Lisbon ranges from budget to luxury.

This Lisbon guide has been designed without the use of a car, so each of these recommendations are close to the main things to see.

Here are my top recommendations;

Comfort

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Boutique

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Luxury

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Where to Eat in Lisbon

Time Out Market, Mercado da Ribeira – Eating here is certainly worth making time for at some point during your itinerary. Lisbon certainly knows how to do fresh food well! Located close to Cais do Sodré, Time Out Market is a super trendy food hall that opened in 2014. It boasts over 40 different restaurants, shops and cafes serving some of the Capital’s best artisan foods. It’s at its liveliest during the weekend and is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists.

If you’re a foodie, you could easily spend hours here trying a handful of small tapas-style small dishes from a whole range of outlets, while washing them down with delicious local wine or beer.

Location: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa

LX Factory in Alcantara – Similar to Time Out Market is the LX Factory. This old factory was renovated into an equally trendy outlet. The 100-year-old building is now home to a variety of hip and urban shops, restaurants and cafes and a haven for food lovers.

Location: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa

Pastel de Nata

So this isn’t specifically a place to eat, BUT it’s a local speciality that you HAVE TO TRY at least once, during your Lisbon two days itinerary. You’ll be forgiven for trying these at every given opportunity; they are delicious!

This Portuguese sweet treat is essentially a vanilla flavoured egg tart, sometimes with a hint of cinnamon, made in a flaky buttery pastry shell. They are baked so the top gets a slightly caramelised flavour. You can even attend a workshop to learn to cook your own Pastel de Nata!

Pretty much every café across Lisbon will sell them, with a multitude of venues claiming to sell the ‘best’ pastel de nata. Two of the more famous cafes for pastel de nata are Confeitaria De Belém which is located just outside of the station when you arrive in Belém. The other is Santo António located close to São Jorge Castle. BOTH cafes get busy, so you will have to queue. All I’m going to say is, go and ‘sample’ LOTS of them and make up your own mind who serves the best one.

2 Days in Lisbon: The Perfect Lisbon in 2 Days Itinerary 10
Pastel de nata

2 days in Lisbon Portugal – Useful Tips & FAQs

      • Lisbon is a fairly compact city and the main highlights are all fairly central. Make the most of the efficient and affordable public transport system for getting about. Or, if you’re looking for convenience, you could use the hop-on-hop-off bus. Lisbon also has a hop-on hop-off bus, which is a great way to see all the famous Lisbon landmarks efficiently.
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      • Make sure you’re wearing a comfortable pair of shoes with grippy soles. Although you’re in a city, the pavements are often made of slippery polished cobbles. There is a lot of walking involved in this Lisbon itinerary, it’s also worth noting that Lisbon is a hilly city, so be prepared for some serious leg work at times.
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      • If navigating a city fills you with dread, and you want the easy option of seeing all the famous landmarks in Lisbon by foot, then there are numerous city walking tours. Your guide will give you plenty of insights into the history of the city as well as be a great source of local Lisbon insider tips for photo opportunities, cafes and free things to do.
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      • If you’re able to spend longer than a couple of days in Lisbon, then it might be worthwhile taking advantage of the Lisboa Card. This card gives you unlimited use of public transport and entry to loads of the city’s top attractions, so could end up saving you money.
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When is the best time to visit Lisbon, Portugal?
If you’re wondering when to visit Lisbon, then the best weather in Lisbon is between late April to October. The warmest months of these are from June to August. The warmest months coincide with the European summer vacations, so expect crowds, especially in late July and August. The peak season also brings with it, inflated prices.

If you have the flexibility to travel at any time, then the best time to go to Lisbon is the shoulder seasons of late spring or early autumn. This takes advantage of the good weather, quieter crowds and shoulder season prices. Taking that into consideration, the best month to visit Lisbon is either May, June, September and October.

Although not typically the best time of year to visit Lisbon, November through to January can also be a great time to visit if you don’t mind the cold. Find out what to do in Lisbon in winter here.

How many days should you spend in Lisbon?
This is a great question. It can be tough to decide how long to spend in Lisbon, after all, there’s a lot to see here as well as in the region. This 2-day itinerary does feel rushed. There are just so many things to do in Lisbon in 2 days that naturally, however, you can certainly see the most iconic landmarks.

You could easily spend several days here, by doing 3 days in Lisbon itinerary, and adding in some great day trips from Lisbon such as Sintra, Cascais or Estoril.

So, is 2 days in Lisbon enough?
Ummm, not really. There’s no shortage of things to see in Lisbon in 2 days, and in fact, you’d be hard pushed to see everything worthy of seeing. However, you’ll be able to see most Lisbon famous landmarks and get a flavour of the city. It would also be a great excuse to come back another time to see the rest.

This jam-packed article features lots of things to do if you visit Lisbon in 2 days. You could easily stretch out the ideas I’ve suggested here for a more leisurely city break.

I’m not sure what to see in Lisbon in two days?
Didn’t you read this article? You won’ be left wondering what to do in Lisbon for 2 days. There are so many things to see in Lisbon.

This article gives a detailed itinerary on how to see the best things in a short space of time. If you don’t want to read the full article and are just interested in the summary, then click here to jump to it.

What are the best Lisbon day trips?
There are loads of great places to visit from Lisbon. I mentioned Sintra in this article already, but you could also go to…(insert links)

Is Lisbon safe?
On the whole, Lisbon, like most of Europe, is an incredibly safe destination. However, as with all major cities, be careful of pickpockets in busy areas (such as on the tram). In this 2 days in Lisbon guide, all the locations are central, and you’ll frequently see police out patrolling the streets if you do need any help.

Naturally, the safest thing is to lock valuables in your room and be aware of where high-value items, such as mobiles and cameras are (use common sense – don’t keep your phone in your back pocket). However, for extra peace of mind, it could be worth investing in an anti-theft bag to keep your belongings safe. These two here are great options to go for.

What’s the best way to explore Lisbon?
This Lisbon city break guide has been designed to be explored on foot. The historical centre of Lisbon and the surrounding areas of Alfama is fairly compact, if not hilly! Wear comfortable shoes.

Outside of the centre, everywhere else is easily accessed by public transport such as bus and train. You will not need a car.

What currency do they use in Lisbon?
Lisbon uses the Euro. Cash and card are widely accepted everywhere.

What language do they speak in Lisbon?
Naturally, the official language is Portuguese. However, English is widely spoken across the country. Overall I found the Portuguese to have a very good level of English and communication was no problem.

Where can I find a map of Landmarks in Lisbon, Portugal?
Not sure where to find everything I’ve mentioned in this article? then check out this map that features all the places I’ve mentioned in the city. Click here to download it.

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Lisbon itinerary 2 days map

Planning a trip to Lisbon?

I hope you agree that there’s an abundance of stuff to see in Lisbon to make for a full packed short city break.

There is so much packed into this 2 days in Lisbon city guide with plenty of options to chop and change to suit your travel style. You can download this Lisbon travel planner here that features a map, checklist and useful information sheet.

Staying longer? Why not take a look at these other inspirational articles?

Save it for later

Lisbon is a pretty outstanding city. If you’re planning your own 2-day Lisbon itinerary or a trip to Portugal, why not pin this for future reference so you can add these places to your travel bucket list.

If you enjoyed this article, or know someone who would, then please like and share. Got a question? ask below.

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Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. That’s a lot of things packed into the 2-day itinerary! I love the colorful pictures of Pena Palace and those of Carmo Convent. I would like to watch a Fado show. Thanks for an informative blog post! 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s a full-on 2 days. This could easily be split into a more leisurely 4-day itinerary. And yes, the Pena Palace is so colourful, the photos don’t do it justice. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. I was in Lisbon for 3 days and did this itinerary! I can’t wait to go back and explore more, this was definitely just a taste!

    1. Yes, these are certainly all the must-see places in Lisbon. And like you say, I also can’t wait to go back and explore more.

  3. What a gorgeous city. Your photos show off its beauty. I would love wandering around an ancient city like this. The narrow streets, colorful and intricate architecture. Wow. Thanks for introducing me to Lisbon.

    1. I’m no pro photographer, so taking great photos is made so easy because of how stunning and colourful the city is.

  4. I absolutely Love Lisbon and Portugal in general. I was gutted when I had to cancel my trip to Portugal the second year running. Although I have been several times to Lisbon, I can’t get enough. I always seem to find new things.

    1. Yes, Portugal is an amazing country. That’s unfortunate that you had to cancel your trip for the past two years. Fingers crossed to be able to travel without cancellation soon.

  5. I loved this comprehensive Lisbon guide. Thanks for all of the detailed information on the tram system, this is super helpful!

    1. Hi Elena, I’m glad you found it useful.

  6. This post brings back good memories of a beautiful city! Great itinerary for two days—I love that you were able to squeeze in a trip to Sintra in this itinerary because it’s so worth the trip 🙂

    1. Isn’t Sintra just a dream, it would be sacrilege to be so close and not go to visit. Ideally, you could spend much longer than just a day in Sintra, but a day trip is doable.

  7. I long to visit Portugal, and Lisbon looks so beautiful! Lovely photos.

    1. Thank you for reading. Lisbon is such a photogenic city, I think anyone can take great photos here. It’s a visually stunning place.

  8. We visited Lisbon several times and your post brought back all the great reasons we will go back to Lisbon again. It did indeed become one of our favourite European cities! Good that you told people about the slippery polished cobbles. Would not want to miss any of the great spots with cobblestone streets. We are sorry we missed a Fado performance on our visits so will need to make sure we plan properly next time. And believe it or not we have still not seen Sintra. Can’t wait to get back!

    1. Thanks for the great comment 🙂 and yes, those slippery stones, they get even worse in the rain! It sounds to me like you have two reasons very good reasons to go back 🙂 , a fado show, and of course Sintra.

  9. This is such a fantastic guide! I haven’t been to Lisbon yet but it’s high on my list, so than you for these really helpful tips on what to see and do there!

  10. I love Portugal, not only because I got engaged there… ???? Lisbon is one of my fav cities in Europe. Love this guide and your pictures! Definitely wants me to travel Europe again!

    1. Wow, what a great place to get engaged in! It sounds like a good reason to come back and celebrate an anniversary here!

  11. Wow, fantastic guide. Keeping this in mind when we hopefully get to visit Portugal this Summer. Definitely also want to visit Sintra.

    1. You’re going to love Lisbon. And yea, 100% if you have time, stay overnight in Sintra. Although you can see the highlights in a day, take a bit more time and stay a bit longer.

  12. We were there in 2019 but only 2 nights…which translates to 1 full day. We didnt get in till late…we all went out to dinner. Next day we visited Sintra for the day. Then left early the next morning for Evora. So thank you for sharing on more of what I can do next time I am there. fingers crossed.

    1. Awww, it’s a shame you didn’t have a bit longer. But on the other hand, you have a very good reason to go back again one day 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  13. Pingback: 27 Best Cities in Europe Including Cost of Living - Venaugh

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