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Lisbon Itinerary - TOP Places and Experiences for a Weekend in Lisbon

Discover the ultimate Lisbon Itinerary for a perfect weekend getaway! Unmissable locations, iconic trams, and the best Pastel de Nata in the city! Follow us along as we check if 2 days are enough to see everything that Lisbon has to offer!


Blending traditional heritage and extraordinary modernism, Lisbon is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Europe. It's also a top rated travel destination and one of the most often visited cities on the old continent. Thanks to its diversity, Lisbon attracts people of different ages and interests.


Most of the popular sights are located in the close city center, which is clearly the liveliest part of the capital. That allows tourists to see the most of what Lisbon has to offer in a short time. During our trip, we wanted to test out if Lisbon can be a perfect getaway and if two days are enough to get a good taste of Portuguese capital.


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TOP Things to do in Lisbon

In this bustling Portuguese capital, every cobblestone street whispers tales of exploration and discovery. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie craving culinary delights, or an adventurer seeking breathtaking views, Lisbon offers a long list of experiences to captivate every traveler. The best things to do in Lisbon include taking a scenic tram ride, exploring the old neighborhood of Alfama, and catching a sunset at Graça or any of the other incredible viewpoints that Lisbon has to offer.



Ride the famous Tram 28

The yellow tram is one of the most iconic things in Lisbon. There's just something very unique in seeing these vintage cars passing through the narrow streets of the old town. The most popular is without doubt the tram 28, which has its route in Alfama District - one of Lisbon’s oldest areas, are lined with shops selling traditional crafts and cafes. Alfama is an unmissable place and there's no better way to see it than from the window of the Tram 28. The route between Martim Moniz Square and Prazeres can be done from 6AM to 11PM (or 10:30PM on weekends). The full trip takes less than an hour. The ticket costs 3 Euro and can be purchased from the driver. Trams appear every 10-15 minutes.

Be aware as this is one of the coolest things to do in Lisbon, so it's also very popular and the small wagons get very quickly packed up with passengers, especially in the season. Crowded trams are also a perfect occasion for pickpockets to dive into someones pocket, so you can see signs inside which remind passengers to be alerted.

To avoid crowds and being robbed, we decided to make this ride our first thing to do on that day and it was a great decision. We were able to take a seat and peacefully enjoy the experience without almost anyone around. So getting on the ride early would be something what we can recommend to you!



Get Lost among the narrow streets of Alfama


As mentioned before, you can get a pretty good look on Alfama from the tram, but it's a true joy to get lost among the beautiful streets of Lisbon's oldest neighbourhood. Full of colourful buildings, meandering narrow streets, cafes and small stores, Alfama is the true heart of Lisbon and you'll feel it as soon as you step in it!

Situated on a hill, this neighbourhood is full of fantastic viewpoints (called Miradouro in Portuguese). Our favourite were Miradouro de Santa Luzia, Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro da Graca. They're all great for sunrise and sunset photography!



Stop by Lisbon Cathedral


Just 10 minutes away from Alfama's viewpoints you'll find the oldest church in Lisbon. You can also see it from the tram 28, as it's passing just in front of it. Built in 1147, the cathedral has survived many earthquakes and has been modified, renovated and restored several times. It is nowadays a mix of different architectural styles. It's currently classified as a National Monument.

You can enter the main hall for free, but you need to purchase a ticket to explore the architectural treasures, which you can find plenty in this 12th century building.

This place is definitely worth stopping by!



Take a break at Prasa do Comercio


This is the historic trading centre of Lisbon. It was here where captains and merchants would plan their voyages to Brazil or the east and trade their goods while returning. It's an open square and apparently a popular meeting point for tourists and locals. We found it to be very interesting and it seems like a great place to have lunch or a drink in one of the many restaurants you can find there.

Without a doubt, the most amazing construction there is the impressive 30m high arch which makes an entrance to the main shopping street of Lisbon - Rua Augusta.




Pastel de Nata - Try the local speciality


Pastel de Nata is a sweet egg tart pastry which apparently tastes best in Lisbon. You can get it in every local bakery in Portugal, but this desert is also very popular in other places in the world, like for example in China.

To get the authentic experience, we asked few locals and all of them agreed that the two best places to try it in Lisbon are:

- Manteigaria - Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata

and

- Pastéis de Belém,

We tried them both and we can honestly say without any hesitation that these are the best pastries we ever had. We have also tried Pastel de Nata in some other bakeries in the capital and they came out to be pretty good wherever we got them.

So you can't go wrong with Pastel de Nata!




Stop by Santa Justa Lift


This is just an outstanding construction and definitely is the fanciest elevator we have ever seen. In the past people rode up to the top to avoid walking up the street and today it remains as a tourist attraction. You can also go to the viewing deck at the top to have a better view over the city. A ride up and down will cost you 5 Euro. When we got there at midday, the place was very busy and the line was long. As we prefer enjoying views in privacy we skipped this one, we planned to visit some other spectacular viewpoints later.



Walk down Bairro Alto and take a ride in Ascensor da Bica


Bairro Alto, another old neighbourhood of Lisbon. Known to be fashionable and stylish by day and wild and exciting by night. We walked here for about a kilometre from our previous location and it took us only 15 minutes. We came all the way down here to have a ride up in Lisbon’s popular yellow funicular - Elevador da Bica, and have a stroll around the area.

Bairro Alto is how I have imagined Lisbon. Full of colourful buildings and winding streets meandering up and down around the neighbourhood. It is definitely one of the most picturesque areas of Lisbon, so don't put your camera away while you're here!



Experience the Nightlife at Lisbon's Pink Street


Rua Nova do Carvalho is the official name of Lisbon’s Pink Street, known as the right place if you want to party. This street always was the epicentre of fun in the city. Full of brothels, gambling houses, and dodgy bars, Rua Nova do Carvalho was the place where sailors, criminals and prostitutes would come to hang out, mingle and plan their shady businesses with their companions. Now it's different of course, but you can still see it alive at any time of the day.




Mingle with locals and enjoy the best sunset spot in the city at Miradouro da Graca


While many of the viewpoints in the city mostly attract tourists, viewpoint da Graça is still a popular meeting point for locals. The viewpoint is located just behind the church. At the place, you'll find a small snack bar, where you can get some sandwiches and pastries or a drink. This spot offers a very unique view over the buildings of Alfama, with the São Jorge Castle on the side and the impressive bridge in the back. This is simply a fantastic place to enjoy the sunset with your fellow travellers!




Visit the Tower of Belem


Belém Tower is one of unmissable locations in Lisbon and an instantly recognisable building in Portugal. In the past, the tower was guarding the Estuary of Tejo river.

It is possible to see the tower inside (The tickets cost 6 Euro), but in our opinion the biggest attraction is its exterior. So we skipped this tour in favour to our next location.

Whenever you're planning to visit this popular place, try to do it as earliest as possible because it's known to be quickly getting crowded as it's a stop for guided tours. We came here to catch the sunrise and we were very happy how it came out!




Take a Tour at Jeronimos Monastery


Just few minutes away from the tower there is the Jeronimos Monastery. This monastery is known to be one of the most decorative churches of Portugal. This place is indeed magnificent. Each column is differently carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, corals, and other sea motifs, evocative of the Age of Exploration. Here is also the entrance to the former refectory that has beautiful reticulated vaulting and tile decoration on the walls.

The monastery opens at 10:00, so after catching the sunrise at Belem tower we still had some time to spare. We visited Lisbon's most famous cafe - Pasteis de Belem. Where we tried the Belem tart, which is a variation of Pastel de Nata.

Unfortunately for us, Jeronimos Monastery was closed on the day of our visit so we couldn't fully experience it. Hopefully, we will have a chance to do it on our next visit to Lisbon.


Other Sights


During our visit we purposely skipped the visit to São Jorge Castle. We aren't interested in castles too much as we saw many medieval buildings before and although each of them has a unique story, they seem to look alike to us. But if this is something you would like to see, you should definitely go for it as visiting this castle is another top thing to do in Lisbon. The entrance ticket is 15 Euro.


Our Experience and Thoughts


Two days aren't enough to fully experience Portuguese capital. But by spending a weekend here, you can get a very good taste of the city. Lisbon has so many attractions and activities to do so you’ll never get bored here. It's worth to visit this city even for few hours during your layover.

Our favourite thing to do was walking along narrow streets in the historical neighbourhoods, admiring panoramic views from the lookout points and stopping for a coffee and cake whenever finding a nice cafe on our way.


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