Lisbon is Portugal's coastal capital city, it is honestly one of my favourite cities to visit. Lisbon became very popular in recent years, and the reason for that are its authentic trams, its beautiful architecture, and its charming streets. A 3 days trip to Lisbon would be good enough to explore the city, you can of course stay more than that but 3 would be the minimum number of days to be able to explore the city of Lisbon. I visited the city twice and I enjoyed it both times and would visit again.
1. How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
6. How to Move Around Lisbon
2. How to Get to Lisbon
7. Best Time to Visit Lisbon
3. Day 1
8. Accommodations in Lisbon
4. Day 2
9. Best Cafes & Restaurants in Lisbon
5. Day 3
How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
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Awesome support - Their customer support is ready to help 24/7. They want you to enjoy your travels and avoid the stress of getting a visa!
How to Get to Lisbon
Direct flights to Lisbon are available from all over Europe, Lisbon’s International Airport is easy to reach from all over the world, so you won’t struggle to find flights. I like to use Omio to find either buses or trains in Europe, and if I am looking for a flight I would use WayAway to find cheap flights. You can also use this promo code - TP-385219 - for WayAway Plus or you can directly visit this link! (You will get 10% off WayAway Plus subscription!)
You will need to start your days early in Portugal as most tours start at around 8:30, so starting exploring Lisbon can be done starting 8:00 - 8:30. For the first day of your trip you will need to wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot since most sites are close to each other. Since this is your first day, you will need to arrive the day before.
1. Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift)
The Santa Justa Lift which is also called Carmo Lift, is a lift in the historic center of Lisbon that is located at the end of Rua de Santa Justa. This lift connects the lower streets of the Baixa neighbourhood and the higher Largo do Carmo. It was built back in 1902 and it has saved the residents of Lisbon a hard climb uphill, and its design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. It is a must see when in Lisbon and it open at 7:00 am. This should take you about 30 minutes, depending on how busy it is.
2. Praça do Comércio (Comércio Square) & Arco da Rua Augusta (Rua Augusta Arch)
Praça do Comércio is Lisbon's harbour-facing and main square, it is also the largest square in Lisbon. Arco da Rua Augusta is the "Door to Lisbon" which is opposite to the river, this arc leads to the center of Lisbon as well as the shopping boulevard. It takes 5 minute to walk from Santa Justa Lift to Praça do Comércio. This should take you less than 30 minutes to explore.
3. Rua Nova do Carvalho (Pink Street)
The famous Pink Street is located in Rua Nova do Carvalho in the neighbourhood of Cais do Sodre, this used to be Lisbon's Red Light District. The colours as well the new cafes and bars were introduced back in 2011 to give it a new life. It is a very crowded area since it is famous and a lot of people want to take pictures there, so getting early there would be great to avoid the crowd. This should take you about 15 minutes.
4. Tram 28
You can easily walk from the Pink Street to the tram 28 stop, this iconic yellow tram dates back to 1930. A single ticket to the tram costs 3€. This should take you between 15 and 30 minutes.
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5. Distrito de Alfama (Alfama District)
Alfama is one of Lisbon's oldest areas, in this area you can find a lot of colourful houses, cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture. You would probably find that this is the most beautiful part of the city where the old trams are rolling through the narrow streets. This should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on how much time you have and how long you want to explore.
6. Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral)
This is the oldest and most important church in Lisbon, it can be found in Alfama. This should be a must when visiting Lisbon, especially when wandering around the Alfama area. This should take you about 15 minutes.
7. Castelo de S. Jorge (Saint George’s Castle)
The Castle of S. Jorge is located in the Alfama area as well, and it offers a 360 view of Lisbon as it is located on the highest hill. This should take you about 2 hours.
8. Miradouros (Sunset from a Viewpoint)
Miradouros in Portuguese means Viewpoints, the Alfama area has a lot of viewpoints but the two most famous ones are Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia, and they are really close to each other. This should take you between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
9. Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out Market)
For dinner you can come to Time Out Market which is a food hall located in the Mercado da Ribeira at Cais do Sodré. This should take you between 1-2 hours, depending how much time you have and how long you want to stay to enjoy your food.
Cascais is a coastal resort town near Lisbon, it is filled with beautiful white houses, flower filled streets, and amazing beaches. It is Lisbon's residents weekend or holiday escape. Cascais is connected to both Lisbon and Sintra, so it is easy to go on a day trip from any of them. Cascais can be reached easily from Lisbon, you can take the train from Lisbon which takes around 30 minutes. Train leaves every 10 minutes so make sure to book your ticket at the station and hop-on as there is no seat reservation.
I created a travel guide for Cascais where you will find all the details on how to get there, how to move around in Cascais, accommodation if needed, best times to visit, and what to see/visit. You will only need half a day in Cascais so you can go back to Lisbon to continue exploring.
2. Torre de Belém (Belém Tower)
After getting back from Cascais, head to Belém Tower. The Belém Tower a former defence mechanism and later a prison surrounded by water dating back to 1519. You can see the tower from the inside as well for the top, so know that there will be a queue in order to enter. This should take you about 45 minutes.
3. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery)
The Jerónimos Monastery is near the Tagus river in the parish of Belém, it was before a place for sailors to pray before they set out on the seas. This should take you between 2 and 3 hours.
4. LX Factory
This historical industrial complex houses an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants, it is hidden under the Ponte 25 de Abril. This should take you between 30 and 45 minutes.
5. Basílica da Estrela (The Estrela Basilica)
The Estrela Basilica; also called the Royal Basilica and Convent of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a minor basilica and ancient carmelite convent in Lisbon, it can be seen from far away from many points all over Lisbon. It has a white facade with two bell towers, and it was built in the second half of the 18th century in order to fulfil a vow by Queen Maria I after she gave birth to a son and heir. This should take you less than 15 minutes.
Day Trip to Sintra
Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Sintra Mountain in Portugal, it is a UNESCO site with hilltop castles and exotic gardens. You can take a train from Lisbon's Rossio station, you will find a train that departs every 20 minutes from there, and the train ride only takes 40 minutes. Keep in mind that on Sundays the train leave every 1 hour instead. A one-way ticket from Lisbon to Sintra costs 2.25€ and it can be easily bought from a machine or a ticket booth or counter.
Once you arrive in Sintra, there are two bus lines that pass by the palaces and castles, these are line 434 and line 435. You will need to decide which bus line to take prior based on the sites you want to visit. If you are going on a day trip from Lisbon where you will spend half a day, then chose one bus line, but if you plan on staying longer then you can take both to explore more sites.
You can buy bus tickets at the bus itself or at the train station, buses run every 15-20 minutes starting from 9:15 am. You can return on a hop-on hop-off bus which would cost 6.90€. I created a travel guide for Sintra where you will find all the details on how to get there, how to move around in Sintra, accommodation if needed, best times to visit, and what to see/visit.
You will only need half a day in Sintra so you can go back to Lisbon to continue exploring, but you will be spending more time in Sintra that Cascais.
After returning from Sintra, you can either chill and relax then leave the next day, or you can continue exploring Lisbon, this depends on how tired you are. You can check my Lisbon Travel Guide for more places to visit.
How to Move Around Lisbon
When it comes to getting around Lisbon, public transportation such as the bus, the metro, and the train are available all over Lisbon, you can get a reusable paper VivaViagem card at a station and then top it up for every trip and it can be used through the entire city. It is also better to get a transportation when going uphill and then walk downhill to enjoy the city. Uber and Taxify are also a great option and not expensive, but public transportation is cheaper. Scooters are also available through apps such as Lime, Tier, or Wind and they are a quick way to get around the city, but you have to be 18 or older to use them.
Best Time to Visit Lisbon
The best times to travel Lisbon would be between September and November, or March and May. During these two periods the weather is nice and cool, and it is going to be less crowded compared to other times. High seasons months are July and August, which means the streets are much more crowded than usual and the accommodation prices are higher as well. If you are a fan of festival, then June is the month for you. June is the month of festivals in Lisbon so it would be a perfect time to visit.
Accommodations in Lisbon
The best neighbourhoods to stay in are Barrio Alto and Alfama when it comes to the old town, or Baixa and Chiado when it comes to the centre. The old town is quieter the entire day in comparison to the centre but is more hilly.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Lisbon
Organi Chiado (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, Mediterranean)
Yallah Lisboa (Vegan friendly, Middle Eastern cuisine)
Focaccia In Giro (Vegan friendly, Italian cuisine)
Scoop 'N Dough (Vegan friendly, American & International, best doughnuts & ice cream)
Eight The Health Lounge (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, European)