When one thinks of Lisbon, you most probably conjure up images of rolling cobblestone hills and quaint little buildings. Walking through the ancient streets, travelers can expect wafts of freshly baked pasteis de nata as they dodge the yellow trams that regularly pass by, carrying travelers and locals alike. Lisbon vibrates with history and culture, and can easily be overwhelming without some form of guidance. A Lisbon itinerary is key to making the most out of a weekend in Lisbon!
So, you’ve booked your flight to Lisbon, but now where do you start? Lisbon is both the capital and the largest city in Portugal. Depending on your interests, the coastal city has got so many different neighborhoods to wander, and they’re all interlinked with efficient and affordable public transport.
As one of the oldest cities in the world, a trip to Lisbon promises to be culturally and historically enriching, with countless activities and places to explore! Our Lisbon itinerary highlights the key spots to visit when spending three days or more in Lisbon.
Lisbon experiences a Meditteranean climate, which means that the city has mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Its moderate climate makes Lisbon a fantastic city to visit throughout the year!
The best time to visit Lisbon is during the months of March to May, or September to October. During this time, the weather is still temperate so travelers can explore comfortably and still fit in a few beach days! These periods also fall outside of peak tourist season, which is June to August. During peak season, the city can be crowded and the prices of hotels and tours can be significantly higher.
Regarding temperature, July is the hottest month in Lisbon, and it can reach a high of 28°C (82°F) – perfect for fun days on the beach.
The coldest month in Lisbon is January, when the temperature averages a chilly 11°C (52°F) but can drop as low as 8°C (46°F).
All-in-all, the temperature remains moderate and comfortable throughout the year. The city is best explored by foot, so we suggest you avoid coming in November when Lisbon experiences the most amount of rain, with an average of 127.6mm.
|Average Temperature||Chance of Rain||Crowds||Overall Grade|
|January||11°C / 52°F||High||Medium||🙂|
|February||12°C / 54°F||High||Calm||😐|
|March||14°C / 57°F||Average||Medium||🙂|
|April||15°C / 59°F||Average||Medium||😀|
|May||18°C / 64°F||Average||Medium||🙂|
|June||21°C / 70°F||Low||Busy||🙂|
|July||24°C / 75°F||Low||Busy||😐|
|August||23°C / 73°F||Low||Busy||🙂|
|September||23°C / 73°F||Low||Medium||🙂|
|October||19°C / 66°F||Average||Medium||😀|
|November||14°C / 57°F||High||Calm||🙁|
|December||12°C / 54°F||High||Medium||🙂|
The rich history of the city means that there are many things to see in Lisbon. No matter where you choose to stay during your Lisbon trip, you’ll be in for a treat! With that being said, there are more popular districts, depending on what you hope to achieve out of your time.
There are a large number of Lisbon hostels, hotels and apartments to choose from. The most popular areas to stay in Lisbon are Baixa which is the grand historic district, Chiado which is the bustling center of the city, and Alfama which consists of steep, rolling hills and is full of character. As these areas are home to many of Lisbon’s iconic attractions, they have developed with tourists in mind, and are full of restaurants, bars, and shops.
If you’re prioritizing nightlife outings during your three day adventure in Lisbon, then you should definitely stay in Bairro Alto which is the party district, or Cais de Sodré which is also a popular nightlife hub and former red-light district! If you choose to stay in these areas, be advised that the nights are long, and whether or not you’re part of the festivities, you won’t be getting much sleep!
Finally, if you are looking for a more authentic and calm experience in Lisbon, then Graça, Estrela and Principe Real are the areas for you! They offer a vibrant local experience, a peaceful escape, and exclusivity, respectively.
If you are looking for a great Lisbon Airbnb property, then you will rejoice to hear that there are loads of them!
Best Hostel in Lisbon – Lost Inn Lisbon
Located in the bustling historical city center district of Chiado, Lost Inn Lisbon is the ultimate hostel choice for travelers wanting to be in the thick of the action! The hostel is a five-minute walk from the metro and is on the doorstep of some epic bars and restaurants. It’s also a great place to meet friends to join you on your adventures!
Want to check out more hostel options in Lisbon? Check out our guide to hostels in Lisbon!Check on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Lisbon – Renovated 18th century flat
If you’re not sure where to stay on your first Lisbon visit, you should check out this Airbnb. With only the best reviews, the apartment is beautifully furnished, in the best location possible and has all of the amenities you’ll need. You can truly call this place a home! The main metro station is only a short walk away. Cute cafes, local restaurants and attractions are right around the corner too.Check on Airbnb
Best Budget Hotel in Lisbon – FADO Bairro Alto
As the name suggests, FADO Bairro Alto is a great hotel choice for travelers who are on a budget and want to enjoy the nightlife in Lisbon! The hotel building is authentic and typical of Portugal, with a balcony to enjoy the evening sun before hitting the town!Check on Booking.com
Best Luxury Hotel in Lisbon – York House Hotel
This boutique luxury hotel is located in the laid-back area of Estrela, with the city center a short 10-minute walk away, giving travelers the best of both worlds! The chic contemporary style of the hotel gives a modern twist to traditional architecture. A stay here promises all the perks of luxury accommodation!Check on Booking.com
Now that you know when it’s best to visit Lisbon, and where to stay once you arrive, it’s time to plan what to do in Lisbon! Make use of the traditional tram, buses, and the metro to get around the city center. The trains and Uber are great and efficient for visiting surrounding areas. For your convenience, we suggest that you get yourself a Viva Lisboa metro card to dash between attractions!
What better way to get acquainted with a city than to go straight to the center! On your first day experiencing a new place, you no doubt want to tick off some of the most popular attractions in Lisbon The following itinerary serves as both an introduction and a full immersion into the incredible city!
- Why it’s awesome: Tram 28 is one of the most famous transport attractions in Lisbon, it rides through all of the major tourist districts and has regular stops at the big attractions!
- Cost: €3 (USD $3) for a single tram ticket. It’s cheaper with the Viva Viagem multi-transport card!
- Food nearby: Take your pick from countless cafés along the route- we’d suggest Quiosque da Burra, an old-school pastry kiosk, which is at the start of the tram route right by Basilica de Estrela.
Tram 28 is one of the best ways to explore Lisbon’s heritage center. The entire route from Martim Moniz to Campo de Ourique/Prazeres takes about an hour. It passes by some of the quaintest scenery and Lisbon’s top attractions along the way.
The tram queues can get very long, as it is a popular way of getting around for both tourists and locals. It’s worth the wait, though, to see spots such as Chafariz do Intendente monument in Rua Palma and Igreja Dos Anjos, a baroque-style church.
Insider tip: The tram can get very crowded, so it’s best to start your journey early (the tram starts at 5:45 am) and jump on board at a less crowded stop, such as Basílica da Estrela.
- Why it’s awesome: Rossio Square has been one of Lisbon’s main city squares since the Middle Ages!
- Cost: Free!
- Food nearby: Café Beira Gare is a top choice for a quick snack and a cold beer! The café is a traditional Portuguese bite-to-go refueling station!
Travelers can spend hours strolling around Rossio Square, more formally known as Pedro IV Square, in Downtown Lisbon. It is surrounded by shops, cafés, and people relaxing, socializing and enjoying a drink outdoors. The atmosphere is vibrant, and makes for some incredible pictures!
The center monument of the square is framed by two baroque fountains, and the cobblestone floors are laid in a beautiful wave-like pattern- you may have seen pictures of this! The history that has passed through the square is quite incredible, so make sure that you soak it all up!
- Why it’s awesome: It’s primely located along the Tagus River for a quick reprise near the water!
- Cost: Free!
- Food nearby: While it’s suggested to sit along the water’s edge, Can the Can Lisboa is a great Portuguese seafood restaurant flanking the square with an epic waterfront view!
Make your way down bustling Rua Augusta pedestrian street to the central area where the “Commerce Square” is located. Take the time to pause for a few moments and take in the magnificence of the arch (which is a feat of design in itself).
For years, the square was the center of Lisbon’s trade and maritime movements. Today, the animated square is full of people and great coffee shops to relax and take in the ambiance. There are often concerts and events hosted in the square as well, so look out for posters!
Insider tip: Buy a drink and snack from one of the surrounding cafés and sit along the Tagus River. It offers the most incredible view of both the square and the river!
- Why it’s awesome: With narrow winding streets and vintage architecture, Alfama perfectly captures the old-school essence of Lisbon!
- Cost: Free
- Food nearby: Petisqueira Conquistador is a family-run restaurant with a relaxed environment. Tucked away from the crowds, their tasty dishes are best shared, so grab a few friends and pop in for some food!
Alfama is the oldest part of Lisbon and is made up of ancient tiered buildings and cobblestoned streets. A walk through the area will present you with countless sights and activities. Look out for Lisbon Cathedral, one of the top religious and historical landmarks in Alfama!
Alfama was one of the only areas in Lisbon that wasn’t destroyed by the devastating earthquake in 1775, meaning that many of the old buildings are steeped in history! Walking through the streets is sure to conjure up nostalgic feelings of good times gone by.
- Why it’s awesome: The castle offers the best views of the city, especially at sunset!
- Cost: €9 (USD $10) for adults, €5 (USD $6) for students and free for children under 10.
- Food nearby: While you are exploring the castle, you may as well dine at the castle’s Restaurante Casa do Leão. While the food is more expensive than other surrounding spots, the views from the terrace are unparalleled!
Following the winding streets of Alfama will undoubtedly lead you to São Jorge Castle. The castle is one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks- largely due to its majestic location perched on top of the hillside as well as the deep history that it has carried since the 13th century!
Take your time exploring the castle’s 11 towers and its small museum before taking in the mesmerizing views of the city. If you can, try to time it so that you are able to watch the sunset from the terrace. This is a really romantic spot for couples!
- Why it’s awesome: The pulsing nightlife of the area makes it the perfect spot for dinner and Fado!
- Cost: Free to enter, but the cost of the night will depend on bars, clubs, and restaurants that you visit.
- Food nearby: Leve Leve Tapas Bar is guaranteed to blow you away with their incredible food and exceptional service!
Probably the quirkiest and most hipster Lisbon district, Bairro Alto is known to be one of the best nightlife areas and the perfect way to end your first-day itinerary in Lisbon. Enjoy walking through the vibrant streets and make sure that you pop into various bars on a whim.
You can expect live music and delicious drinks around every corner – look out for the sangria, it’s delicious! Follow the sound of Fado, traditional Portuguese music. This will lead you to the more traditional Portuguese restaurants where you can get swept away by the solo singer and classical guitar!
- Free WiFi
- Free Breakfast
Located in the bustling historical city center district of Chiado, Lost Inn Lisbon is the ultimate hostel choice for travelers wanting to be in the thick of the action!
Spending a weekend in Lisbon allows you to get deep into the history of the city! Belém is the historical area in the west of Lisbon that is filled with cultural and architectural landmarks. A great place to continue to explore Lisbon, the riverside area can easily be navigated by foot, allowing travelers to better absorb the beauty of the surrounds!
- Why it’s awesome: Loved as one of Lisbon’s favorite museums, the palace was once home to the Portuguese royal family!
- Cost: €15 (USD $5,5), entrance is free for kids under 14.
- Food nearby: What better way to end off a sighting of a historically iconic attraction in Lisbon than to eat some traditional Portuguese food. Sossego is a short walk from Ajuda National Palace and serves great local food at a super affordable price!
Ajuda National Palace is perched on a hilltop and overlooks the city of Lisbon. A short walk from the Esplanade and center of Belém tourist attractions, the palace is well worth the visit for anyone interested in architecture, history, or culture. While it is possible to walk to the previous home of the Portuguese royal family, it’s best accessed by public transport.
Today, the palace is one of Lisbon’s greatest museums and filled with remnants of the past. Be sure to go past the Queen’s Chapel, which was previously closed to visitors for decades and decades!
- Why it’s awesome: A great way to break up the walk from Ajuda National Palace to the other Belém attractions!
- Cost: €10 (USD $2,2) for adults and €1 (USD $1,1) for children 12 – 18 years and adults over 65.
- Food nearby: Pão Pão Queijo Queijo is an incredibly popular spot for tourists who are willing to stand in never-ending queues to taste the delicious pastries and baked goods.
Jardim Botânico Tropical boasts a variety of tropical flora over five hectares of garden space and vintage greenhouses. Previously in neglect, the garden is constantly being groomed and improved. Despite this, it is still one of Lisbon’s most beautiful outdoor spaces.
Strolling through the grounds will give you your daily dose of greenery while exploring the city center. Visiting the garden is one of the more popular things to do in Lisbon as a brief escape from the queues of people at various attractions!
- Why it’s awesome: The massive and ornate monastery is one of the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon!
- Cost: €10 (USD $11), Sunday mornings entrance is free!
- Food nearby: Pastéis de Belém is known to serve some of the best pastries in Lisbon! A short walk from the monastery, the original recipe for their pasteis de nata is said to have been passed on from the monastery’s monks in 1830!
Jerónimos Monastery, locally known as Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, was originally built to commemorate the return of Vasco De Gama after his travels to India. The gesture resulted in an over-the-top building with intricate and ornate design.
The architecture of the building is astounding and a must-see sight for everyone visiting Lisbon! The condition of the interior and exterior of the 500-year-old building is impeccable!
Insider tip: You can purchase a combined ticket with the Belém Tower for $12 (USD $13).
- Why it’s awesome: The tower is located in an amazing setting at the mouth of the river and offers an extra special sight when the sun reflects on the water and stone!
- Cost: €6 (USD $6.70), Sunday mornings entrance is free!
- Food nearby: Take a short stroll to À margem, a restaurant on the esplanade with top-class wine and a delectable menu. Here, you can watch the ebb and flow of river traffic while enjoying a refreshing snack or drink.
Belém Tower, also known as Torre de Belém, is a popular tourist attraction due to its stunning design and historical significance. It also makes for exquisite pictures as the river offers a stunning backdrop for photographs!
Initially built to protect the city in the 16th century, travelers can visit the architectural gem between 10:00 am and 6:30 pm during peak tourist season. While the exterior is magnificent, if the queues are long to go inside, you can easily give it a skip. Some say that the interior of the tower is overpriced and overrated, so it may be best to sit on the pier and absorb its magnificence.
- Why it’s awesome: An incredible and intricate riverside monument that marks the exact spot where Portuguese discoverers historically began their voyages!
- Cost: €6 (USD $6,7)
- Food nearby: Pop into Portugália Cervejaria Belém which has a relaxing and cozy atmosphere to enjoy a casual drink and snack. The service is known to be super efficient which makes for a great drop in before continuing your discovery of Lisboa, Portugal!
Padrão dos Descobrimentos beautifully articulates voyages of discovery that Portugal conducted in the 14th century. A design feature dedicated to the explorers and adventurers of the past, the sculptured monument and educational space shares significant insight into the environment around the time of Portuguese conquests.
Be sure to take note of the world map on the marble floor which beautifully demonstrates the expanse of Portuguese explorations!
- Why it’s awesome: Get a sweeping view of Lisbon’s riverside from the perspective of the water!
- Cost: Between €15 and €38 (USD $16,7 and (USD $42,4) depending on group size and duration.
- Food nearby: For a bit of Italian flair in the Portuguese city, you can have a meal at Nosolo Italia. Your Lisbon tour will have you working up an appetite and Nosolo Italia is known to make a killer pizza!
A boat cruise or ferry trip along the Tagus River is popular for a reason! There are various boating tours in Lisbon that give travelers the chance to discover Lisbon from the water. Many of these tours last an hour to an hour and a half and give tourists historical and cultural context from a different perspective.
The cruises also offer stunning views of some of Lisbon’s most iconic attractions that you simply can’t experience another way! These boat trips are a great activity to do as a family, a couple, or even as a solo traveler!
Insider tip: For an extra special experience, book a sunset cruise and watch the sun go down over the city from the water!
- Straight out of a fairytale, Sintra is a magical village with an iconic palace.
- The ultimate day trip from Lisbon, a short one-hour train ride from the city.
- The Pena Palace and surrounding grounds have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Sintra is an incredibly quaint village just a short train ride from Lisbon and makes up the perfect day trip! The most iconic attractions in Sintra is undoubtedly Pena Palace, however, there are many other sights to see as well such as the Moorish Castle and the National Palace of Sintra. If you have time left over, you can wander the charming streets which are filled with character.
To get to Sintra, you simply need to use your Viva Viagem card and check the train timetable to time your trip well. The trains are cool in temperature and not too crowded, making the hour-long journey comfortable.
Once you arrive, there are taxis waiting to collect you, as is the case at any transport terminal, but we would definitely suggest that you first take a stroll down into the city and discover the magic before heading up to the palace!
- Take a day trip to Lisbon’s most popular beach town with a charming center and stunning coastline.
- A short 45-minute train ride from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station.
- Historically, Cascais was a fishing village and has since transformed into the ultimate summer retreat.
A trip to Cascais is the perfect day-trip from Lisbon for those looking to relax on the beach, take part in some water activities, and explore the streets of the old fishing port. Easy-to-get-to and hassle-free, travelers can conveniently get to Cascais by taking a short train ride that leaves every 20 minutes from Cais do Sodré station.
If you’ve had enough of the sand, there are also countless cafés, restaurants, shops and historical landmarks to explore throughout the buzzing city- most of which can be reached by foot! Unlike Lisbon, Cascais doesn’t have especially hilly terrain, making for a less strenuous adventure.
Be sure to explore the restored Nossa Senhora da Luz fort and Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães while you are there.
- More than 40 stalls of the most popular flavors of Lisbon.
- All stall’s foods have been sampled and rated a minimum of four stars by journalists and critics!
- The market also includes a Portuguese shop, a cooking academy, a club, a bar, and a showroom!
The open, airy food court offers a vast variety of cuisine to taste and buy. The Time Out Market is a stone’s throw away from Cais do Sodré station and considered one of the ultimate foodie experiences in Lisbon!
The market is made up of large community tables which means that you never struggle for seating, and you may even rub shoulders with a stranger who becomes a friend! Regardless of your taste preferences, you will be sure to find it at the Time Out Market.
Not only are there more than 40 stalls manned by professional chefs, but the goods at each stall have been critiqued by Time Out’s very own journalists and critics. Each product has been awarded a four- or five-star rating!
Insider Tip: Look out for the local port and give it a try! Chances are, you’ve never tasted anything quite as smooth and rich in flavor!
- The Luz Stadium is home to world-famous SL Benfica Football Club (Lisbon’s local team)
- The Luz stadium is not only a stadium but also a sports museum!
- If you are lucky enough to be in Lisbon during the time of a match – be sure to book a ticket!
A visit to SL Benfica Football Club is high up on the list of what to see in Lisbon- especially for sports fans! Although not in the very center of Lisbon, the stadium can easily be reached by a short metro ride and is surrounded by great spots to grab a bite or drink.
Whether or not you’re a sports fan, a ticket to the stadium on match day is one for the books! The vibe is absolutely incredible and the festivity is tangible. Get there earlier and enjoy a beer and prego roll from one of the many stalls surrounding the stadium. No drinks are allowed inside the stadium, which means that the game is the center of attention, and there are no hooligans to ruin a good time!
If your time in Lisbon doesn’t line up with a football game, make the effort to visit the stadium anyway! The football museum offers a great “history of Benfica” exhibition and gives travelers the opportunity to walk through the press conference room, dressing room and player’s tunnel!
- Feria de Ladra is the largest street market in Lisbon!
- The market has countless goods for sale- including charming antiques.
- It is located right by Campo de Santa Clara, which is a great place to people-watch or relax with a book.
Initially started in the 13th century, the market has moved between various locations in the city but finally settled in Camp de Santa Clara in 1882. The market is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from as early as 6 am, although the schedules are never really set.
Keep a keen eye when browsing the stores as you can find almost anything for sale, useful or not! From antiques, clothing, and houseware, the market is a great place to find some souvenirs.
Surrounding the historical market are many different attractions, such as the National Pantheon, the Church of São Vicente de Fora, and Sinel de Cordes Palace.
Lisbon is a very safe city. There is a very low crime rate and extremely low cases of violent crime. As in most European cities, it is important for tourists to remain vigilant and be conscious of the possibility of pickpockets, especially in busier, more crowded locations.
Travelers can comfortably walk most streets without worry. With that being said, there are some areas to avoid- especially when alone at night. An example of such an area is Intendente which is void of easily accessible public transport and the streets are home to some shady characters.
On the up-side, Portugal is a politically stable country with reliable healthcare in the case of an emergency. Although Portuguese is the national language, a fair amount of people speak English and the locals are friendly and always willing to help when needed.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers,or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Although spending around two days backpacking around Lisbon will keep you more than occupied, there are several day trips we suggest that will uncover more of the surrounding beauty and culture. The following trips are highly recommended when spending more than four days in Lisbon!
Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra
This tour gives you the perfect opportunity to spend a day exploring the lush green landscape of Arrábida National Park and the captivating fishing village of Sesimbra. The short 30-minute private bus from Lisbon will take you directly to the 108-acre park which is also home to the Convento de Nossa Senhora da Arrábida. This part of the tour also includes exploring the pilgrimage site of Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Cabo Espichel.
Absorb the stunning views from the cliff before heading over to the Moorish Castle at the top of the quiet fishing town of Sesimbra before returning home, or choose the optional three-hour dolphin cruise on a luxury catamaran!
Kayaking in Arrábida
A slightly different, but just as exciting, way to experience Arrábida National Park is with an extraordinary kayaking tour. The Arrábida kayaking tour gives travelers the opportunity to view outstanding views, explore the caves of the park and have a picnic on a secluded beach before heading off to discover the Sesimbra Castle!
This is the perfect tour for those that enjoy an active take on sightseeing! While the kayak, paddles and life jackets are all included in the tour, be sure to pack your costume, a towel, and sunblock as it can get quite warm.
Sintra Wine Tour
Experience Sintra with your taste buds by traveling along Sintra’s wine route. Not only do travelers get to take in panoramic views of breathtaking scenery, but they also get to taste the finest red and white Portuguese wine with the guidance of a tasting expert!
Included in the tour is delicious tapas snacks, such as fresh bread, and various cheese and meats. As an added bonus, the tour also includes a visit to some of Portugal’s oldest wine cellars for a truly authentic experience!
Don’t forget to bring some form of identification, especially if you have a young face!
Pena Palace, Cape Roca, and Cascais
For those wanting to tick off both Pena Palace in Sintra and Cascais in one day, this tour is for you! Enjoy a guided tour through the magical Pena Palace, stop for breathtaking views at Cape Roca, and visit the charming seaside village of Cascais all in one day!
This incredible tour takes travelers to the hot spots outside of Lisbon city and provides an opportunity to see a completely different side of the city’s history. Included in this tour is private transportation, which is great for saving time instead of waiting for public transport, as well as a guide and entrance into Pena Palace.
Located 142 kilometers north of Lisbon, Fátima is considered one of the most important Catholic shrines in the world. This day trip offers the opportunity to explore the medieval architecture and religious marvels without the fuss or stress!
The tour includes a stop at two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a glimpse into the romantic village of Óbidos and a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. It also includes a tasty traditional lunch in a Portuguese fishing village. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, pack a sunhat, and bring your camera!
Although an ancient city, Lisbon is full of life and opportunities to explore. Steeped in history and culture, you can expect flares of modern architecture and friendly conversation! Depending on your decision on how many days in Lisbon you want to spend here, you can chop and change the Lisbon itinerary to suit your schedule.
There are so many iconic landmarks to see and views to take in that you can easily get lost in time while exploring the city! We wouldn’t be surprised if your two-day trip becomes three, four, or more!
Whether you take advantage of the tours or choose to simply follow the smell of the pastries, we hope that this itinerary gives you some direction regarding when to go, where to stay and what to do in the charming city of Lisbon!
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.
Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking Portugal on a Budget – Maps, Itineraries, and Things To Do
- Backpacking in Europe
- Visit Porto on a Budget
Like this post? PIN ME!!!