A Perfect 2 Days in Lisbon Itinerary

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A view of a coastal city with white buildings with orange roofs next to the water
Lisbon is a beautiful European city with numerous landmarks and attractions

Lisbon, or Lisboa in Portuguese, is one of the oldest cities in Europe. The capital city of Portugal has been home to famous explorers and a starting point of the world's greatest voyages. Needless to say, it is a city full of history! Built on hills and surrounded by the ocean, Lisbon is also one of the most picturesque cities in Europe.

Visitors will discover numerous things to do in Lisbon, Portugal, and this 2 days in Lisbon itinerary will cover many of these fun and exciting activities. As you explore, you will get to see spectacular architecture, old neighbourhoods, World Heritage Monuments, and breathtaking museums, among many other attractions.

Conveniently, all of the stops on this Lisbon guide are located near each other, and getting around Lisbon is also relatively easy. If you cannot walk between stops, you can use buses, trams, or the metro.

For your two days in Lisbon trip, you can get a Viva Viagem Card that will allow you to ride the metro and other public transport. These cards are available at Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon Airport) and at metro stations. If you plan to use public transport a lot, the card will help you save money on transportation tickets.

Another way of saving money, and probably the best option, is to get a Lisboa Card. It offers free entry to more than 30 attractions and allows you to travel on public transport free of charge. You can opt for a 48-hour Lisboa Card, with 24-hour and 72-hour cards also available.

Are you planning a getaway to Portugal's capital city? Then keep reading for the perfect 48 hours in Lisbon travel guide!

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  • 2 day itinerary
  • Average of 8 stops per day

Lisbon 2 Day Itinerary

Lisbon Map

A map of Lisbon. Use the map to explore all the days and stops.

Explore the Picturesque Belém District

A small stone castle-style structure next to trees and surrounded by the water
Belém Tower is one of many landmarks to see on your first day in Lisbon

The first day of this Lisbon two day itinerary will see you wandering around the Belém district, a charismatic neighbourhood to the west of the city. Your day will begin at the beautiful Jerónimos Monastery, where you can wander around and learn more about the landmark's history.

Next, you will stop at the iconic Pastéis de Belém to get coffee and pastel de nata. You can enjoy your light breakfast at the bakery or take it to Jardim Vasco da Gama to eat surrounded by nature.

After a walk around the park, you will head over to the fascinating Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology before seeing the renowned Padrão dos Descobrimentos. At the monument, you can snap pictures and even go to a museum and viewing platform inside.

Your last attraction of the day is Belém Tower, another famous landmark in the city. You will then go on a luxurious sunset cruise along the Tagus River before ending the evening at one of the city's many bars or restaurants.

To make the most of this day, especially if you only have one day in Lisbon instead of two, start out as early as possible. Take into account that even though you can walk from one attraction to another, you might need to use public transportation to save time. Don't forget to get the Lisboa Card to skip the queues at the front of the ticket booths!

A white monastery structure next to trees, greenery, and a lake on a clear day
Jerónimos Monastery is the resting place of Vasco da Gama

Jerónimos Monastery

Your first stop of the day is Jerónimos Monastery, a grand monastery and resting place of Vasco da Gama. Built during the 16th century to commemorate Vasco da Gama's return from India, Jeronimos Monastery is one of the most well-known landmarks in Portugal. Its breathtaking architecture, decorative elements, and impressive stone carvings attract millions of visitors every year.

Inside the church are tombs of famous Portuguese people, including explorer Vasco da Gama and poet Luís de Camões. In 1983, the monastery was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As this is such a popular attraction, purchasing Jerónimos Monastery admission tickets in advance is highly recommended.

e X p o s e/Shutterstock.com
The exterior of a bakery with a blue design and a "Pastéis de Belém" sign
Pastéis de Belém is a famous bakery serving pastel de nata and other treats

Pastéis de Belém

After the monastery, stopping at a small local bakery for a light breakfast and trying Lisbon's famous custard tart, known as pastel de nata (or pastéis de nata), is a must. Going to Pasteis de Belem is an excellent idea as it sits right next to Jeronimos Monastery.

According to local stories, this bakery was the first to start selling pastel de nata after monks from Jeronimos Monastery sold their recipe for the tart to the bakery owners. Only a handful of people know the secret recipe used to make Pastéis de Belém's custard tarts. This unique recipe makes the pies crispier and more delicious than those sold in different bakeries.

The Manteigaria, aka the Portuguese custard pies factory, also serves up some tasty pastel de nata. So, it's worth considering stopping here for breakfast in Lisbon as well!

Luis Overlander/Shutterstock.com
A park with a gravel path, greenery, benches, and a statue on an obelisk
Wandering around Jardim Vasco da Gama is the ideal way to unwind and enjoy nature

Jardim Vasco da Gama

Jardim Vasco da Gama, or Vasco da Gama Garden, is a five hectares garden situated in the centre of the Belem district. The garden was established in the 18th century to celebrate the great discoveries of explorer Vasco da Gama.

Today, it is a vast garden with fancy restaurants, several handicraft shops, fountains, and lots of green space. Strolling around and enjoying the tranquillity of the beautiful gardens is definitely one of the top things to do in Lisbon in 2 days!

To make the walk even more enjoyable and satisfying, take away custard tarts from Pastéis de Belém and eat them alongside a cup of coffee surrounded by nature.

Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock.com
A modern structure next to steps and a clear blue sky
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology is a must-visit attraction

Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)

The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, more commonly known as MAAT, faces the Tagus River. The architect Amanda Levete designed the museum's exciting and modern structure, which is a work of art in itself.

Inside the museum, several halls feature international and local exhibits. As many exhibits rotate, you'll see something new every time you visit. There are also debate rooms and convention halls. MAAT is notably one of the most-visited museums in the country, making it a must on every Portugal itinerary!

When you finish exploring the museum, you can grab lunch by the river. You can also find cafes inside the museum. In addition, next to the museum, you will find another of many famous Lisbon attractions, the Tejo Power Station. This building is a symbol of Portuguese industrial design, and walking past and admiring the architecture is highly recommended when in the area.

A large statue with men holding flags and ships next to a wall and a clear blue sky
Padrão dos Descobrimentos is dedicated to explorers from the 15th and 16th centuries

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

After the museum, continue walking along the river. You will eventually come across the famous monument of Padrão dos Descobrimentos or the Monument of the Discoveries in English. This landmark is dedicated to Portuguese explorers from the 15th and 16th centuries.

It was initially built in 1940 from wood and plaster. Almost 20 years later, in 1958, the government decided to rebuild the structure using limestone, concrete, and steel. The current monument is 52 meters high and has a viewing platform with the most beautiful views of Belem and the Tejo Estuary.

When you go inside Padrão dos Descobrimentos, you will also find small exhibit rooms. If you want to visit the viewing platform or museum, do note that there are different fees for each. However, if you have the Lisboa Card, you will receive a 30% discount, and exploring this attraction is a must when in Lisbon for two days, despite the small fee.

A castle-style structure within a body of water next to small hills and a blue sky
Belém Tower was constructed in the 1500s as an estuary defense system

Torre de Belém

The Tower of Belem, or Torre de Belém in Portuguese, is another of the must-see landmarks in Lisbon. Construction of the tower began in 1514, and it opened in 1519. It was a part of the Tagus estuary defense system. Later on, it was turned into a lighthouse and customs house. In 1983, Belem Tower was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visitors to Belem Tower today enjoy marveling at the unique Manuelino-style architecture. The tower, in total, has five floors, 16 windows with cannons, and numerous pits that were used for prisoners.

Belem Tower can be explored on a guided tour, which includes visiting all the floors. You can enter for free with the Lisboa Card. If you don't have a Lisboa Card, you can purchase a Torre de Belém entry ticket in advance.

Tagus River Sunset Cruise

If you're wondering what to do in Lisbon for 2 days during the early evening, taking a sunset cruise is an absolute must! During this two-hour excursion, you will sail along Lisbon's historic waterfront, spotting a range of well-known landmarks, including Belém Tower. After taking in the views, you will continue down the river, where you can watch the beautiful sunset.

Guests will also be treated to a drink, with wine, beer, and soft drinks available. In addition, your guide can provide some additional information on all the landmarks you sail past.

Once your journey is complete, you can head back to central Lisbon to enjoy the nightlife by visiting one or more of numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs. Daytime and later evening cruises are also bookable if that works better with your schedule.

The Historic Central Lisbon

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A stone arch and a statue of a horse on a square
You can see Arco da Rua Augusta and many other landmarks on day two in Lisbon

On the second day of Lisbon 2 day itinerary, you will explore central Lisbon and learn more about the city's rich history. The day begins at Castelo de São Jorge, which has a history and art museum and offers stunning views over the city.

You will then head to Praça Dom Pedro IV, or Rossio Square, to admire the buildings around the square and discover some shops and cafes, where you can grab a light breakfast or early lunch. Next, you can ride in the Santa Justa Lift and enjoy more amazing vistas.

Stops in the afternoon include Chiado Square and Lisbon Cathedral. You will then go to Miradouro das Portas do Sol, a fantastic lookout point, to watch the sun go down over the city. For dinner, walk over to Time Out Market, which is home to an array of vendors serving all types of cuisine.

On the way there, you can also stop at Arco da Rua Augusta to take some pictures. Finally, to end your trip to Lisbon, relax at a bar at Time Out Market or return to the bars around Chiado.

A stone castle with a flag on it next to green trees
Castelo de São Jorge dates back to the Romans and today features a museum

Castelo de São Jorge

São Jorge Castle, also known as Castelo de São Jorge or Lisbon Castle, is situated on a hill overlooking the Alfama District. First built by the Romans, the castle underwent a complete restoration in the 1940s, and it is now a popular tourist attraction.

Inside, you will find a museum, paintings, numerous viewing points, and spectacular gardens. Outside the castle, there are several monuments, arches, and beautiful medieval streets.

As it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Lisbon, expect long queues at the entrance and ticket booths. To make admission easier, purchase São Jorge Castle guided tour tickets before you arrive. The castle is generally open seven days a week.

A fountain in a square with a black and white floor next to buildings and a column
Rossio Square features baroque fountains and beautiful buildings

Praça Dom Pedro IV

Praça Dom Pedro IV, also known as Rossio Square, is the most iconic square in the city, meaning it has to be on your Lisbon for 2 days itinerary! It is located in the Baixa District (Downtown), a short walk from São Jorge Castle.

Locals usually refer to the square as 'the heart of Lisbon' because various European landmarks and traditional restaurants surround it. Within the square, you will find two baroque fountains and a 27-metre-tall monument dedicated to Dom Pedro IV.

This square has a rich history as well. During the Middle Ages, Rossio Square was the main square for revolts, bullfights, executions, and celebrations. Now, it is an ideal place to relax, grab a coffee, and people-watch. Do keep an eye on your belongings here, as pickpocketers are common and active in this square.

A yellow house next to a unique tower structure with a walkway under a blue sky
Santa Justa Lift is an interesting attraction that offers fantastic views of Lisbon

Elevador de Santa Justa

Your third stop of the day is the Santa Justa Lift, or Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese. The lift opened in 1902 and was initially named the Elevador do Carmo (Carmo Lift).

Until 1907, the lift was powered by steam. It was built to ease access between the Baixa and Bairro Alto Districts. The elevator stands at 45 metres tall and can carry up to 20 people at a time.

This landmark became popular among tourists due to its panoramic views over central Lisbon. When visiting, do note that two different admission fees exist; one to ride the lift and one to enter the viewing platform. However, if you have a Lisboa Card, both activities are included at no additional cost.

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A black and white square with a statue, European buildings, and trees around it
Chiado Square is a scenic place to explore and is near bars and cafes

Chiado Square

Chiado is a bustling neighbourhood in Lisbon. A popular area in the district is Praça Luís de Camões, also known as Chiado Square. The small square is located between the Bairro Alto and Baixa districts and is surrounded by various shops, theatres, museums, cafes, and restaurants.

If you are looking for gifts to bring back home from Lisbon, Chiado Square is an ideal spot to do some souvenir shopping. Also, just a little bit further from the square, you will come across important cultural sites, such as the ruins of Carmo Church, Martires Basilica, and the National Opera House.

The square becomes even more exciting in the evening, which is when most of the chic cocktail bars, restaurants, and pubs open their doors. So if you are looking for fantastic nightlife, head back to the Chiado neighbourhood later in the evening.

Your 2 days in Lisbon itinerary must include a trip to Lisbon Cathedral
A trip to Lisbon Cathedral has to be on your 2 days in Lisbon itinerary

Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa

Lisbon Cathedral, also called The Cathedral of Saint Mary Major or Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa in Portuguese, is another of many historical landmarks in Lisbon that you must plan to visit. This church was constructed around 1147 and has had to withstand earthquakes and subsequent reconstructions since its initial construction.

Despite natural disasters affecting the structure, the church has been rebuilt and is open to visitors today. It is also the oldest church in the city and was designated a National Monument in 1910.

Due to additions over the last hundreds of years, you can admire many styles of architecture when visiting, including gothic architecture, baroque architecture, and romanesque architecture. Along with exploring the cathedral's interior architecture, you will find a museum inside. This museum collection features religious works of art and other cultural artifacts, many of which date back centuries.

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A statue of a man on a patio next to buildings with orange roofs on a clear day
You can enjoy the views and see Estátua de São Vicente at Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Miradouro das Portas do Sol is an excellent viewpoint that offers stunning views over Lisbon. While you can head to this lookout at any time, going around sunset is a fantastic idea.

The lookout sits within the district of Alfama. Once at the top, you can take in the vistas of this part of Lisbon, including its iconic white buildings with orange roofs. You will also be able to spot Castelo de São Jorge and some other local landmarks. As you arrive, you will also get to see the statue of St. Vincent (Estátua de São Vicente).

Visitors will additionally find a small cafe and some patio tables at the lookout, so you could grab a drink and relax as you watch the sun go down over Lisbon. Miradouro de Santa Luzia is another lookout point to check out, located next to Miradouro das Portas do Sol.

A large white arch with statues on in next to a yellow building in a square
Arco da Rua Augusta has been in the city since 1873

Arco da Rua Augusta

Between Miradouro das Portas do Sol and your next attraction of the day, Mercado da Ribeira, make a stop at Arco da Rua Augusta, or Rua Augusta Arch. This landmark is a popular place to take pictures in Lisbon and has sat in the city since its completion in 1873.

The stone arch was built to commemorate Lisbon's reconstruction after the devastating earthquake of 1755. It features a variety of statues of historical figures and stands approximately 11 metres high. You can also see the Portuguese coat of arms in the center of the arch.

The Pink Street is another of the best things to see in Lisbon in 2 days if you want to snap some more unique photos. You can head here earlier in the day or also stop by on the way to Mercado da Ribeira.

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An indoor market with lots of people at tables and a sign that says "Time Out Market"
Mercado da Ribeira, or Time Out Market, houses amazing food vendors and bars

Mercado da Ribeira

One of the Lisbon highlights for foodies is going to Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market. The much-loved marketplace is open from the morning through the late night, meaning you can go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As the market is close to Miradouro das Portas do Sol, visiting for dinner is an excellent idea.

At the market, you will discover an array of vendors serving dishes from across the world. So whether you want traditional Portuguese dishes, contemporary Asian cuisine, pizza, or almost anything else, you will find it here! You can also pick up dishes from a few vendors to enjoy together.

After your main meal, you can grab dessert from one of many sweet vendors. Options range from French pastries to doughnuts and, of course, pastéis de nata. Before or after your food, you can stop at a bar for drinks, and there are terraces to sit out on if it is warm.

In Summary

If you are planning a quick trip and have been wondering what to do in Lisbon for two days, this in-depth itinerary should have given you lots of ideas. Lisbon has an array of interesting sights, and while it is not easy to see everything in only two days, it can definitely be done.

As you explore, you will get to see stunning architecture, unique historical sites, and charming European streets and squares. You can also try many delicious dishes and snap photos of the fantastic Lisbon scenery, all in only 48 hours!

Do note that this guide is a suggestion. Feel free to add and remove stops or switch up the itinerary as it suits you. You may also want to go on a guided walking tour that will take you to the top Lisbon sights.

In addition, if you wish to explore more and don't mind using public transportation, you can take the Tram 28 line that goes through the best parts of Lisbon. You could also plan a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais.

Ultimately, Lisbon is an amazing Portuguese city with numerous attractions. As you can see everything it has to offer in a short amount of time, it makes an excellent destination for a weekend getaway or a quick city break. No matter what you see and how long you stay, you are sure to be impressed!

This article was edited by Alli Sewell.

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Written by Agne Civilyte

031226hug FORMER WRITER Agne is a Lithuanian living in the UK and enjoys travelling all around the world. She loves visiting places that are still not well-known to tourists. Her favourite part of the world is Southeast Asia as it has beautiful mountains and temples. Agne's absolute favourite country is South Korea, as she feels at home there.


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