Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. It is recognized as a true Global city and is the 9th most visited city in Europe. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe predating its rivals London, Paris and Rome. Lisbon is perfect for a city break so let’s find how to spend 2 days in Lisbon.
We started our tour of Portugal with 3 Days in Porto followed by the capital Lisbon and culmination in the Algarve.
But first lets find out What to see in Lisbon.
The Best Time to go to Lisbon.
Lisbon is a great city to visit all year round but most enjoyed during the summer. The best months to visit Lisbon are from March to May and September to October. This is because you still get pleasant warm weather and less crowds. The hotels and flights tend to be cheaper as well and you can get some great deals. The peak summer months of July and August can get scorching and very crowded as well.
How to get to Lisbon
By Air – Lisbon has a great connection with London and rest of the world. One of the busiest airports in Europe and serviced by over 40 airlines from around the world. Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) is 6.5kilometres from that main city and is well connected by train bus and taxi.
By Train – Lisbon is well connected to other parts of Portugal and Europe by trains and one we used. We took the train from Porto to Lisbon which was around 3 hrs. The 4 main train stations of Lisbon are Santa Apolonia (Estacao da Santa Apolonia), Rossio (Estacao do Rossio), Barreiro (Estacao do Barreiro) and Cais do Sodre (Estacao do Cais do Sodre).
We started in Porto followed by 2 days in Lisbon and onto the Algarve. We took the train from Porto to Lisbon which was very comfortable and took us under 4 hrs.
How to get around Lisbon
Lisbon is well connected when it comes to public transport. The historic tram system of Lisbon is great way to travel around the city and used by both tourists and locals. You can easily get around Lisbon by buses trains and UBER as well. Another great way to get around Lisbon is by hiring a Bike or the new craze in town the Electric scooter. Using Public Transport is great way to see Lisbon .
Lisboa Card –
The Lisbon Card is the best way to enjoy Lisbon. It offers free access to museums, discounts at restaurants and unlimited access to public transport. The cost of a Lisboa card bought in advance Lisboa Card costs: €19 for an adult and €12 for a child. A 48 hour Lisboa Card costs: €32 for an adult and €18 for a child.
The Lisboa card includes free entry to 29 museums, the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monasteryas well. Works out perfectly if you are looking to spend 2 days in Lisbon.
What is the Currency in Lisbon? Lisbon is part of the European Union and uses the Euro.
Where to stay in Lisbon.
Lisbon like most other popular cities in Europe Lisbon has a wide range of accommodation to choose from. There is no shortage of places to stay, from high end hotels to historic mansions converted into rental apartment. There is something to suit every budget in Lisbon. You can grab some great bargains during the off season. The high season in Lisbon is from June to September.
The average cost for an Airbnb in Lisbon averages between €75 and €100 but you can get some great deals in shoulder season for as cheap as €35 for a private room.
Please see below some of the best areas to live in Lisbon.
Chiado is a nice area to live in Lisbon. It is lively but not the party central. Chaido is right in the middle of everything and well connected to most of Lisbon.
Our Apartment for 2 days in Lisbon was the Chiado Square Apartment. It was located right in the heart of the square and had some amazing views. Chiado Square Apartments mirrors the modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Chiado. It is integrated in a historic building surrounded by antique details like the tiles lining the inside of the building. All the apartments are fully equipped, have free Wi-Fi, air conditioned and are soundproofed but above all makes you feel at home.
Avenida da Liberdade is another great area to stay in Lisbon. It is Lisbon’s main boulevard lined with trees, fountains, cafes and designer shops. A mile-long street and is classed as Portugal’s most expensive real estate.
Alfama – This is one of Lisbon’s oldest area with winding streets heading uphill towards the castle. Alfama offer you some of the best views Lisbon overlooking the iconic terracotta roof tiles.
Baixa is another popular place to live in Lisbon. It is classed as downtown with its historic buildings and traditional shops leading to the squares of Rossio, Figueira and the riverfront Praça do Comércio. Most of the old buildings here have been converted into hotels and guest houses.
Things to do in Lisbon
Torre de Belém or The Belem Tower
If you had the choice of visiting only 1 attraction in Lisbon then this should be the one.
The Belem Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour. It is believed to be the starting point of Vasco da Gama’s extraordinary sea voyage to India.
It was built by the architect, Francisco de Arruda with Moorish Influence in its architecture. It has sculptures depicting historical figures such as St. Vincent. The Belem Tower is Lisbon’s most famous landmark, standing in the middle of the Tagus River and a must visit. It is possible to enter the Belem tower but there are long queues so plan accordingly.
Opening timings of Belem Tower – October to April: 10 am to 5:30 pm. May to September: 10 am to 6.30 pm. The Belem Tower is closed on Mondays.
Ticket Price to enter the Belem Tower – Adults €6. Senior (over 65 years old): 50% discount. Students 50% discount. Children less than 12 years old are free. Free entrance with the Lisbon card.
How to get to Belem Tower – By tram line 15. By Bus: lines 27, 28, 29, 43, 49, 51 and 112. By Train: Belem, Cascáis Line.
Just a short walk from the Belem Tower is the Monument to the Discoveries.
The Monument to the Discoveries or Padrao dos Descobrimentos
First built in 1940, as a temporary structure for Portuguese World Exhibition the Monument of Discoveries has 32 sculptures of historic figures and is a very popular attraction of Lisbon.
The monument was reconstructed in 1960 to mark 500 death anniversary of the Infante Dom Henrique (Henry the Navigator).
Standing in a striking pose on the bank of the Tagus, the Monument to the Discoveries is a very instagramable place in Lisbon. There is a small museum inside the Monument of Discoveries and a viewing platform which gives you some great views.
The ticket price to enter the Monument of Discoveries is €3 and the monument is closed on Mondays.
Ride Tram 28 in Lisbon
Most of the larger cities in Portugal have the Tram but the most popular tram in Lisbon is the Tram 28.
The iconic Tram 28 has been working its way through the old Alfama district for decades. The number 28 Lisbon tram connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique, and passes through the popular tourist districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela.
Be mindful as the tram 28 is used by daily commuters as well as tourists so you could get long queues.
The cost of a single ticket for Tram 28 costs €3.00. A better option is to purchase the 24-hour public transport ticket. A day ticket in Lisbon is valid for 24 Hours and costs €6.30. The day ticket includes all trams, metro and buses in Lisbon. The 24-hour ticket can only be purchased from metro stations.
Wonder around Alfama District.
Alfama is hailed as the oldest part of Lisbon and dates back to the Moorish settlements. Alfama is a delightful place to wonder around with its maze of narrow cobbled streets and ancient houses. It is lined with shops selling traditional crafts and cafes.
A good way to reach Alfama is by riding the historic No 28 tram winding its way up to the 11th-century São Jorge Castle.
Wondering around the narrow streets and alleys of the Alfama District is one of the top activities to do in Lisbon.
Lisbon is made up of 7 Seven Hills and has some beautiful viewpoints. Some of the best views are from Miradouro da Graça. The views from the terrace stretch over the city to the River Tagus.
Fado Music in Lisbon.
If you visit Alfama in the evening you can hear Fado music from some of the old restaurants that have stood there in time.
Fado is the folk music of Portugal and often associated with pubs, cafes and restaurants. If you are in Lisbon you must visit a Fado Dinner and show. Book your tickets for a Fado show
You can also visit the Fado Museum in Alfama which has a great collection donated by hundreds of singers, musicians and instrument makers. A great place that shares the history of Fado.
Squares of Lisbon
Lisbon has a number of squares like most European cities. The most popular squares in Lisbon are Rossio Square and Praca do Comercio.
Rossio Square also known as Praça do Rossio is Lisbon’s nerve centre. It is situated in Baxia a very popular and lively neighbourhood in Lisbon. It is a very lively place and a common place for locals and tourists to meet up. There are 2 large fountains at each end of the square. The surrounding street are packed with restaurants, bars, shops and cafes. Rossio Square and the areas around is a great place to stay in Lisbon and is home to the famous Café Nicola.
Praca do Comercio or Commerce square is Lisbon’s main square close to the river. It was built on the site of the old Royal Palace before being destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. The 3 sides of the square are lined by bright yellow buildings with one side along the river Tagus. The square was initially used by the commercial ships to offload their goods in the main square. The ferry terminal of Cais de Sodré is near the square and you can hop on to a ferry if you want.
The other interesting things to see around the square are Rua Augusta Arch and the Statue of King Joseph I.
The Rua Augusta Arch gives way to the boulevard Rua Augusta the most popular boulevard in Lisbon. The Arch was built to celebrate the reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake.
The equestrian bronze Statue of Joseph I. He was the King of Portugal during the Great Earthquake.
Visit Café Nicola
Café Nicola is one of the most famous coffee shops in Lisbon. It has a prime location overlooking Rossio square and a trip to Lisbon would be incomplete without a visit to Café Nicola. It opened its door to the public 200 years ago and the interiors of the café are stunning.
Art Deco furnishings and polished marble are further enhanced by paintings. It is not just a café but also serves dinners and lunches. You can enjoy a Fado performance here with your dinner.
Must have in Café Nicola is the Custard Tart and the some of the world’s most premiere coffee imported from Brazil and Africa.
Eat a Custard Tart in Lisbon
Lisbon along with most of Portugal is famous for that ever so delicious Custard Tart. You can’t visit Portugal and not have a custard tart. The best place in Lisbon to have a custard tart is Café Nicola and Pasteis de Belem. Average cost of a custard tart in Lisbon is under €2 per tart.
Day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.
Did you go to Sintra? Will be one of the questions when you return from your trip. One of the most popular attractions in Portugal is a trip to Sintra. If you are spending 2 days in Lisbon and want to see Sintra I would suggest you get an extra day.
Read how you can do a Day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.
King Edward VII Park
You can also visit Lisbon’s largest park covering 62 acres. It was named after King Edward VII of England. He visited the city in 1903 to reaffirm the Anglo-Portuguese alliance. The main attraction of the park is the Estufa Fria (greenhouse) with exotic and tropical plants.
Entry to the King Edward VII Park is free with the Lisboa Card.
Visit St George’s Castle
Standing tall above the streets of the old Alfama District is the St Georges Castle. It is the most visible landmark of Lisbon’s historic centre. It was originally built in the 8TH century and further developed by the subsequent rulers of the city.
Pose in front of Cristo Rei – Lisbon’s Statue of Christ
A bit far from central Lisbon is the Cristo Rei or The Sanctuary of Christ the King. It was erected in1959 and is located in the city of Almada, across the River Tejo. Cristo Rei is inspired by famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio. It overlooks Lisbon and the April 25 Bridge.
It is possible to go to the top of Cristo Rei statue which stands tall at 110-meter. There is a lift that takes you to the top the statue of Cristo Rei and it costs €5.
Nightlife in Lisbon.
Lisbon has a history of being a Port city and when the ships docked the sailors made their way to the city to have a few drinks and socialise. It has a history of nightlife.
When it comes to Nightlife in Lisbon one of the main attractions would be a dinner followed by a Fado performance.
For some of the best Fado joints in Lisbon visit the Bairro Alto district. For more traditional restaurants visit Alfama.
Party on Pink Street
The Pink Street in Lisbon has become a very popular night out destination. Thanks to Instagram and social media it is one of the most popular places to visit in Lisbon.
The area has been a popular night spot for decades. In the olden days the area was filled with bars, gambling dens and brothels but now it is home to some of the best bars and clubs in Lisbon.
Yes the colour of the street is Pink.
How to get to Pink Street in Lisbon – Google search for Rua Nova do Carvalho, which is the street’s actual name. By metro, get off at Cais do Sodré and take the short walk towards Rua Nova do Carvalho.
Best time to visit Pink Street in Lisbon? If you want to take some fantastic photos then go in the morning but if you want to party then after sunset.
Time Out Market Lisbon
One of the best places to experience Lisbon’s culinary delights under one roof is the Time Out Market. The Time Out Market which is in Lisbon’s Mercado da Ribeira (riverside market) is more than a hundred years old. You must try to visit this market one evening you are spending 2 days in Lisbon .
Half the section of the building has been renovated and now houses some of the most popular names in in the Lisbon food world. The other half of the market still runs a traditional market, selling fresh produce.
This is a canteen style layout with various food counters serving some of the best food in Lisbon. From traditional Portuguese food to Sushi it has it all. It can get very busy in the weekend and in the evening but still worth a visit and the atmosphere is electric.
Ride the funiculars of Lisbon.
There are a series of funiculars / Elevators all around the city which help transport the locals and tourists across the different neighbourhoods of Lisbon. The funiculars are not your typical ones that you may have experienced in other parts of the world. These are more like trams, just climbing upwards. Some are large Elevators.
Some of the most popular ones are:
Santa Justa Elevator is a very popular and connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo. It offers some great views of the city.
Elevador da Bica takes you between Calçada do Combro/Rua do Loreto and the Rua de S. Paulo. One of the most popular funiculars in Lisbon taking you up the steep hill overlooking the Tagus River.
Elevador da Gloria takes you up the hill and travels between Bairro Alto and Restauradores square. One of the larger ones and has a capacity for 22 passengers.
Elevador da Lavra connects Câmara Pestana with Largo da Anunciada.
There is so much to do and see in Lisbon that whether you spend a few days or 2 days in Lisbon it will leave you memories of a Lifetime.
However it was time to say goodbye to the Capital and move on to our final stop on our tour of Portugal – The Algarve.
If you are looking to travel around Portugal why not find out how to enjoy Porto in 3 days.
The best things to do and see – 2 days in Lisbon:
- Sip on a coffee and People watch on the Rossio Square.
- Visit an al fresco cafes in Bairro Alto also the city’s top nightlife spot.
- Get lost in Alfama.
- Enjoy a ride on the historic Tram No 28.
- Go beach hopping on the Costa da Caparica.
- Enjoy a beer at Bairro Alto.
- Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium.
- Take a stroll down the river Tagus and admire The Monument to the Discoveries.
- Enjoy the electric atmosphere at The Time Out Market Lisbon.
- Discover the Basílica da Estrela.
- Watch the sunset over the Belem Tower.
- Spend an evening in Alfama and enjoy Fado.
- Ride the funicular at Elevador da Bica.
- Admire the azulejos in the National Tile Museum.
- Pose in front of Cristo Rei – Lisbon’s Statue of Christ.
- Marvel at the historic Monastery of Jerónimos.
- Party in the Pink Street.
- Enjoy fresh seafood in Cascais
- Visit the flea market of Feira da Ladra and grab a bargain.
[…] 2 Days in Lisbon […]
It looks like there’s a lot to see and do there! The pink street is really interesting. 🙂
It is a great city to visit and the pink street very unique.
I always miss Lisbon and as I love such quirky places, your complete guide of Lisbon tempts me to book tickets right now. Pink street is really photogenic and I would end up taking thousands of photos here. The blue ceramic tiles exterior facade of building in city center is very beautiful too. Even I would love to take funicular and elevators in this beautiful city.
It’s a great city with a lot to see and do. I would love to go back myself
I’ve heard that Portugal is famous for the Custard Tart so I am glad you included a recommendation for where to try it. I always like trying the local food specialities. The Time Out Market sounds really a place I would really like too. Those elevators are interesting, I haven’t seen anything like that in other cities!
Time out Market is indeed a great place for foodies and the tarts at Cafe Nicola is to die for.
We are hoping to visit Lisbon soon! The Card sounds like the way to go if we want to maximize our time there. I love the photos you shared of all the squares. I love seeking squares out when we travel to new cities- they tend to be full of history. Saving this for when we are able to travel there soon!
The card is indeed a great way to see the city and gives you the most.
The tram in Lisbon is a scene. The museums in Lisbon are indeed also worth a visit. I agree with your suggestion to use the Lisbon Card to explore the city. It sounds to have the best value of the money. The todo list is also a good reference.
Hope you can visit Lisbon soon and d joy all it has to offer.
Sadly we were only in Lisbon for a few short hours on a cruise to Panama. We missed out on seeing so much in Lisbon. The queue for the Santa Justa elevator was too long as well so we missed out on that. But we did enjoy coffee and a yummy portuguese tart. I am bookmarking your article for future reference and hope that we can book the same accommodation that you did – it looks just perfect.
Sad you missed out. It is a great city but can get crowded during the high season with long queue. Hope you can visit it again.
I really want to visit Portugal but I’m going to need more days than just 3! Lisbon looks amazing, especially Belem Tower. I would love to walk the streets of Alfama, and that’s probably where I’d choose my hotel. Sintra day trip is a definite! Also, I really wish to visit Algarve!
You need more than 3 days for Portugal but Lisbon can be done in 3. Hope you can visit Portugal soon and travel around soon
This has been on my bucket list for long. I am surely going to take a ride in the tram. While I am not a tart person, your emphasis on custard tart makes it go on my list. And so does a Fado dinner and show. This is quite a comprehensive itinerary.
Hope you can visit Lisbon soon and d joy all it has to offer. The tram ride is a must
Portugal has been on my list for a while now. One of the most important questions you answered is that you can get around Lisbon without a rental car. I want to ride the tram and visit the market. I agree that I’d need an extra day to see Sintra. I’ll look for your Porto and Algarve ideas too.
Hope you can visit Portugal soon. Do try and visit sintra.
Lisbon looks spectacular. Would love to visit it someday. The Torre de Belém is amazing. Didn’t know that it was the starting point for Vasco Da Gama’s journey. The pink street sure looks instagram worthy.
Hope you can visit Lisbon soon. It’s a great city and lots to see
I’ve been to Lisbon twice on a cruise and agree that there’s plenty of things to see and do. I enjoyed my trip to the TimeOut Market as I’m a bit of a foodie. A visit to Lisbon is not complete without a Portuguese custard tart!
Surely a great place for foodies in Lisbon – Time Out Market.
Dont know much about Lisbon so it was interesting to read about this vibrant place that has do much to offer the travellers. Always happy to read your descriptions and enjoy those amazing clicks in your post Amar.
Thanks. It’s a beautiful city and one you should try and visit.
We spent a few days in Lisbon recently as well. It’s such a fascinating city with so many unique neighbourhoods to explore. I agree, having a beer at Bairro Alto and the Time Out market were two highlights for me as well.
The Time Out Market is certainly a very interesting place to visit in Lisbon.
You always have so many details and amazing gems captured on your itinerary. This post on Lisbon is nothing different. Just by reading your post I think I can totally agree with you on the Belem tower being its biggest attraction. What an imposing historic monument ! Will keep in mind the custard tart.
Thanks. Well yes if you had to chose 1 attraction in Lisbon. Belém without a doubt tops it
[…] 2 Days in Lisbon […]
[…] 2 Days in Lisbon […]
We visited Lisbon last year and we definitely had a great time. I totally agree that transportation is not a major concern since there are a lot of options. Too bad we were not able to visit Praca do Comercio
It is a great city when it comes to transportation. Sad you couldn’t visit Praca Comércio
Lisbon was one of my favorite vacations. I really enjoyed the city! Like you, we found a really nice deal on an airbnb although ours was in Alfama. I wish I had gotten some good photos of the Belem Tower. We did have fun on pink street and it’s great how easy the trams make transportation. Great guide!
Thanks. Yes it’s a great city with so much to see and do. The trans are a great way to travel in Lisbon.
I had no idea that Lisbon was one of the oldest cities in Europe! Clearly a great place for some history! Cristo Rei looks like an incredible sight towering over the city and I love that it’s such a reasonable price to go to the top.
A lot of history attached to the city. A great place to visit and lots on offer.
I saw Lisbon very briefly on a cruise stop and always mean to go back for a real visit. Your post just makes the yearning stronger! It brings back memories of colourful city and Sintra is a place i would add on too. I absolutely love the shoe shine picture you captioned streets of lisbon. I find that so interesting with every day life in the foreground and the tourists at the back!
Thanks. Hope you can visit Lisbon one day and discover more of it. The shoeshine was just something that got my attention and there is something about it.
I love Lisbon! I wish I would have used Uber while I was there. We took taxi’s and they circled the street to increase the fair, they didn’t even bother to attempt to be sneaky about it. I missed Café Nicola, now I have another reason to return
Ubers are always a safer bet and i use regularly . Cafe Nicola is a must visit and hope you can when you visit Lisbon again
I visited Lisbon on multiple occasions and it’s one of my most favorite cities in Europe and the world. I have to say, I’m impressed how much you covered in just two days. It’s a very useful guide as a lot of people spend only 1-2 days here on a cruise or as a layover for their main destinations. Thank you for this lovely read and keep up the great work
It is indeed a great city with a lot to offer . i wish i could have spent more time there
Portugal is one of the European countries that I really want to visit. Lisbon is definitely going to be good starting point. There are so many things to do in the city in mere 2 days! The trams look so chic. And there are queues for it. Not something that we see back at home!
It is indeed a great city and a good place to start your tour of Portugal. The iconic tram is something that stands out and a must. It did remind me of the old tram in Kolkata
This was a great article to read, Lisbon seems to be a beautiful place to go. Thanks for making me aware about the place. Thanks for the share. Cheers!!!
Welcome. Hope you can visit it soon
I have been eyeing on Lisbon from quite sometime. Your post has reminded me to plan a trip. I am a big fan of their architectures. It is something you can’t take your eyes off. You have provided details about this city. I find the trams are the best to see the city and they look really good too. can’t wait to go literally. Thanks you for sharing the post
Hope you can visit Lisbon soon. It’s a great city and a lot to see and do.
[…] 2 Days in Lisbon […]
I loved Lisbon when I visited years ago, there’s a great energy about it. I especially like Alfama and Chiado neighborhood too, it’s also great to just walk around and get lost. The custard tart is so good here, one really isn’t enough for me. Sintra is a fantastic place to visit, and so romantic too!
One if the best things about these cities is just walking around and people watching. Must visit Sintra when you are in Lisbon