DESTINATION GUIDE EUROPE FEATURED TRAVEL

3 days in Lisbon: Ultimate Guide to a Lisbon City Break

After spending 3 days in Lisbon last month, I fell madly in with this cultural city. I’ve pulled together a guide to a Lisbon city break and I’ve done all the research for you including where to stay, where to eat, what to do and how to get there. 

Three days is the perfect length of time to fully discover Lisbon and within these three days you can visit all of the main areas of the city, and the main tourist attractions. You can also grab yourself a famous pasteis de Nata, visit the imposing São Jorge Castle, take in all the views from the famous Alfama district, walk around Barrio Alto and take photos against the city’s pastel-colored buildings, and there is even enough time to see the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge.

This huge blog post will provide you with a suggested three day itinerary of Lisbon, which could be used for a short city break or as part of an extended tour of Portugal. And if you’ve got longer than three days in Lisbon, outside the city there is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril. Check out my guide to days trips from Lisbon too.

Note: This guide only focuses on the city of Lisbon and not the surrounding region. There are lots of days trips from Lisbon which you can take and I have another blog post on these, so you can extend your stay as part of a bigger trip around Portugal.

So what are you waiting for? Book your flights, already!

3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon
 

Top 21 Things to do in Lisbon

  1. Praça do Comércio
  2. Tower of Belém
  3. Jerónimos Monastery
  4. Alfama district
  5. Bairro Alto
  6. Santa Justa Lift
  7. Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  8. Oceanário de Lisboa
  9. Eduardo VII Park
  10. Lisbon Zoo
  11. National Sanctuary of Christ the King
  12. Lisbon Cathedral
  13. Ponte 25 de Abril
  14. Avenida da Liberdade
  15. National Pantheon
  16. Miradouro Portas do Sol
  17. São Jorge Castelo
  18. Praça Dom Pedro IV
  19. Santa Justa Miradouro
  20. Carmo Convent
  21. Igreja de São Roque

3 days in Lisbon

Overview: 3 days in Lisbon Itinerary

The following is an overview for our suggested 3 day in Lisbon:

Day 1

  • Morning – Arrive on a plane and head for lunch at Basilio
  • Afternoon –  Head out to explore Chiado and Bairro Alto districts including The Pink Street, Santa Justa Lift, drinks at PARK and then a mid-afternoon snack at Manteigaria
  • Evening – Fado music performance and then dinner at SEEN restaurant and Sky Bar
  • Additional – Drinks at rooftop bar H10 Duque de Loulé near hotel

Day 2

  • Morning – Take a vintage motor sidecar tour of the city, and then head to Belem district to Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Pastéis de Belém, Jerónimos Monastery
  • Afternoon – Have weekend brunch at Four Seasons Lisbon, then head out to Alfama district, take a visit to Castelo de Saint Jorge and watch the sunset at Miradouro das Portas do Sol
  • Evening – Dinner at Time Out, and then a big night out in Bairro Alto 

Day 3

  • Morning – Explore the Alfama and Baixa districts, especially the views at Miradouro da Senhora
  • Afternoon –  Head for lunch at Nicholau Lisbon and then jump on number 28 tram tour of Lisbon
  • Evening – Head home

As mentioned before, 3 days in Lisbon really isn’t long enough, mostly because there’s also a lot to do in the regions outside of the city centre, including a day trip to Sintra. I would suggest spending an extra day in Lisbon if you want to also visit Sintra Lisbon. A rental car is not required for a trip to Sintra or for these few days in Lisbon as the city has excellent public transport and inexpensive taxis.

 

READ MORE: Hygge Hideaways: Where to stay in Copenhagen

3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon

LISBON 3-DAY ITINERARY OVERVIEW

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT LISBON

The best time to visit Lisbon is any time of year! But if you are after the hotter weather than a visit to Lisbon from March to May or September to October, is the best. And the hotels are also cheaper around these dates. We visited in August and they were OK priced. In those seasons, you might also be able to squeeze in a few beach days. 
 
 

GETTING TO LISBON AND GETTING AROUND 

Flights to Lisbon were super expensive when we travelled to Lisbon, but we did go in August. I looked for other times of the year and October they were as little as £50 return. So it’s worth visiting this wonderful city in the off-peak season. Lisbon has one airport only, but with two terminals so it isn’t the biggest. From the airport, getting to the city centre is pretty easy, and we used Uber which was incredibly cheap and only around 10 euros for two people. Or you can also jump on the Metro – the airport is the final stop of the red line, meaning that, with one change, you can find yourself right in the city centre within roughly 45 minutes. It’s worth buying a Metro card when visiting, especially if you are in Lisbon for three days. 

3 days in Lisbon

3 days in Lisbon Lisbon Food Lisbon Food

3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon

ACCOMMODATION IN LISBON

The best place to stay in Lisbon

Located in the heart of Lisbon, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon sets the standard in luxury five-star accommodation in the city and is the best place to stay in Lisbon. The hotel was built in 1959 by the Dictator Salazar, and designed by award-winning architect Pardal Monteiro, to prove that Lisbon could do luxury as well as any other European capital and he certainly proved himself with this stunning building, and its interior.

Locals still call the hotel the Ritz Hotel, but it was taken over by the Four Seasons group and entirely refurbished. It’s also got a great location, with Lisbon’s narrow streets making traffic a problem, the hotel’s location near the main Avenida de Liberdade provides easy access for guests around the capital. 

The iconic hotel wears the soul of Portugal on it’s sleeve, with art-deco interiors, set against a collection of important contemporary local artwork, and outside from the bedrooms and the rooftop fitness centre you can view the city’s rolling hills, brown roofs and even the sea beyond. A huge marble lobby area, which leads into a formal lounge area, where guests can relax before and after dining in the Varanda Restaurant.

The décor throughout the hotel is grand, there are chandeliers and huge flower displays on gilded furniture, as well as collections of modern Portuguese art, from tapestries to sculptures and paintings. You can also dine on the terrace at the Varanda Bar is you want the alfresco style of dining, or you can head to the luxury spa in the basement, where you will find a 18-metre pool, with spa and sauna rooms. 

READ FULL BLOG POST —-> REVIEW: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Other Places To Stay in Lisbon, Portugal

BOOK FOUR SEASONS HOTEL RITZ LISBON

Hotel Ritz Lisbon Four Seasons Hotel Review Hotel Ritz Lisbon Four Seasons Hotel Review Hotel Ritz Lisbon Four Seasons Hotel Review

 

LISBON ITINERARY: DAY ONE

Now it’s time to start my recommended 3 days in Lisbon

  • Morning – Arrive on a plane and head for lunch at Basilio
  • Afternoon –  Head out to explore Chiado and Bairro Alto districts including The Pink Street, Santa Justa Lift, drinks at PARK and then a mid-afternoon snack at Manteigaria
  • Evening – Fado music performance and then dinner at SEEN restaurant and Sky Bar
  • Additional – Drinks at rooftop bar H10 Duque de Loulé near hotel

 

Stay at: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

TRY A PASTEL DE NATA 

If you’re staying anywhere near the centre, make sure you head straight for Manteigaria. These amazing custard tarts are the best thing Lisbon has to offer and are fresh from the oven here. These guys are some of the best suppliers in Lisbon, so make sure you stop here for a tart.

WANDER DOWN TO THE PRACA DO COMERCIO 

In the summer you can wander down to Praça do Comércio, which is one of my most famous squares in Lisbon. Its situated right on the water, overlooking the southern part of Lisbon so its a great place to relax with a drink and sit on the steps that lead down to the river. You also get an amazing view of the Ponte 25 Abril: Lisbon’s own Golden Gate Bridge.

HAVE A TYPICAL PORTUGUESE DINNER AT SEEN AND DRINKS AT SKY BAR

On your first day in the city, you must make sure you go for dinner at a restaurant serving traditional Portuguese food. I would recommend SEEN restaurant in Lisbon. Arriving at around 7pm, we took the lift straight to the 9th floor and followed the walkway to arguably one of the best rooftop bars in Lisbon – Sky Bar Tivoli Lisboa. Descending the stairs to the bar, we were met by stunning views across the colourful streets of Lisbon and out to sea. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect – still basked in warm sun but out of the daytime heat.

Once seated, our lovely server introduced himself and playfully suggested he would select our cocktails – not something we were overly comfortable with initially – but we threw caution to the wind and agreed. The first round of cocktails arrived and we kicked back, enjoying the killer throwback soundtrack served up by the DJ and watching as the bar filled with revellers in search of a tasty tipple with a view.

READ MORE: The Lisbon rooftop venue SEEN and Sky Bar

3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon

3 days in Lisbon

LISBON ITINERARY: DAY TWO

  • Morning – Take a vintage motor sidecar tour of the city, and then head to Belem district to Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Pastéis de Belém, Jerónimos Monastery
  • Afternoon – Have weekend brunch at Four Seasons Lisbon, then head out to Alfama district, take a visit to Castelo de Saint Jorge and watch the sunset at Miradouro das Portas do Sol
  • Evening – Dinner at Time Out, and then a big night out in Bairro Alto 
  • Additional –  Visit Lisbon’s famous aquarium!

 

Stay at: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

TAKE A VINTAGE MOTOR SIDECAR EXPERIENCE

The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is the best place stay in Lisbon for a number of reasons, but the element that really made our stay special was the Saturday morning tour of Lisbon in a vintage motorbike with sidecar. All you need is your camera in tow, and your helmet and the professionals will do the rest. The four hour tour of Lisbon is something you’ve never experienced before.

Through a partnership with Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, you’ll join a your guide, ours was called Juan, on a tour of Portugal’s capital by vintage motorcycle. They pick you up from the front of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, and take you on your journey. For four hours you cruise through winding cobblestone streets and around leafy squares to discover the city’s most spectacular spots in Lisbon including: Alfama, Castelo de São Jorge, Bairro Alto and Chiado. At each stop, the guide will offer insights about the city and it’s interesting history!

VISIT BELEM DISTRICT

Belém is a laid-back area on the Tagus River, known for its seafood restaurants and houses decorated with colorful tiles. Among the area’s shaded green lawns are historic landmarks that recall Portugal’s seafaring past, like the 16th-century Tower of Belém and the sail-shaped Discoveries Monument. Near the vast Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, the popular Pastéis de Belém patisserie is famed for its custard tarts. 

By the riverside are two major landmarks, with a 15-minute walk between them, which both serve to remind visitors of Portugal’s significant role in the Age of Discoveries. The Belém Tower (Torre de Belém) was built in the 16th century as a fort to protect the coast from foreign attacks, and like the Jerónimos Monastery, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an example of Manueline architecture.

WEEKEND BRUNCH AT THE FOUR SEASONS

On the Saturday morning of our trip, we headed for weekend brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. A welcome drink awaits guests upon arrival, and adults and children will delight in a sumptuous buffet at Varanda Restaurant, specially prepared by Executive Chef Pascal Meynard and his team. The buffet features breakfast favourites such as scrambled eggs, bacon and the delicious Ritz eggs Benedict at the live eggs cooking station, as well as a variety of crepes and waffles and there is even a live cooking station with a different theme each week and selections such as dim sum, bao bao and gyozas.

There’s even a seafood, ceviche and sushi station at the buffet, as well as a farmer’s market salad station, an assortment of bread, artisanal national and international cheeses, charcuterie and a variety of jams, honey, muesli and homemade yoghurts. And on the terrace, there is a barbecue station and pizza oven. What more could you want?!

VISIT PINK STREET

This street is unique and is completely pink, as the name suggests. In the day the street is full of people having coffee and lunch, whilst they watch people wandering down the pink street. And then after dark, the street comes alive with bars, people and nightlife. Head to one of Lisbon’s best bars Menina e Moça, which which offers both bar and café, but also bookstore, with quotes adorning the walls.

READ MORE: Visit Lisbon: Five Day Trips from Lisbon

3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon  

LISBON ITINERARY: DAY THREE

  • Morning – Explore the Alfama and Baixa districts, especially the views at Miradouro da Senhora
  • Afternoon –  Head for lunch at Nicholau Lisbon and then jump on number 28 tram tour of Lisbon
  • Evening – Head home

 

Stay at: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

TAKE A STROLL AROUND ALFAMA 

The steep streets of Alfama, was one of my favourite areas of Lisbon. Located on a steep hill of Lison, the streets are lined with shops selling traditional crafts and cafes. Here you can join the iconic no. 28 tram, which winds through Alfama on its way up to 11th-century São Jorge Castle. And there are also some of the best views from Miradouro da Graça terrace stretch over the city to the River Tagus and on a sunny day another view point from Miradouro das Portas do Sol has one of the best views in the city, so make sure to bring your camera!

NICOLAU LISBON

Nicolau Lisboa Café was born in the summer of 2016 in a little corner of Lisbon where the owners realised the dream of offering everyday healthy and really delicious food within a relaxed environment. They love to enjoy breakfast inspired dishes any time of day and at Nicolau the brunch is no longer only on Sundays but it is always available. You can expect amazing smoothies, salads and pancakes. The decor in aqua green and natural wood makes this cafe stand out. It’s one of the few breakfast and brunch restaurants in town, and a lovely spot for a light meal whatever the time of day (meals are often Brazilian-leaning, such as the açaí bowls and tapioca crêpes). 

JUMP ON THE NO. 28 TRAM

The number 28 Lisbon tram connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique, and passes through the popular tourist districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela. For visitors, this is the classic Lisbon tram journey, riding in a quaint yellow tram as it screeches and rattles through the narrow streets of the city. A ride along the entire 28 tram route provides one of the best tours of the capital and is often a highlight of any holiday to Lisbon. This article will provide an introduction to the number 28 tram, and includes fares, tourist advice and popular tourist attractions along the route.

3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon 3 days in Lisbon

Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in the world and I hope this 3-day itinerary helps you make the most of your visit to this amazing city!

 

BOOK TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE YOU FLY

Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE

 

Other posts that may help you:

The Best City Breaks for Couples

Beginner’s Guide to Europe Interrail Routes

Copenhagen Chic at the Andersen Hotel

Best Vegan Restaurants in Malmo

Ultimate Guide to a Weekend Break in York

10 of the Best places to eat Brunch in London

The Best Weekend Trips in the UK

 

Not booked your hotel yet? Sign up to AirBnB with this link and receive a £23 off your first booking.

 

Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it for me with all your friends and family!

Sophie X

  • Jessie
    September 15, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Lisbon looks like such a fun city! I have seen lots of people who have been this year and I’ve added it to my list – it is so beautiful and colourful and sounds like there’s heaps to do! xx

    Jessie | jessie-ann.co.uk