3-day itinerary for Lisbon

Let’s talk Lisbon… Portugal’s captivating capital city effortlessly blends centuries of history with a vibrant contemporary spirit. Nestled along the banks of the Tagus River (Rio Tego), Lisbon is a city of enchanting neighbourhoods, captivating culture, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply seeking a picturesque escape, Lisbon has something to offer every visitor. I will take you on a journey through Lisbon with the perfect 3-day itinerary, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this stunning European destination. Just don’t forget your most comfortable walking shoes… Lisbon’s hills are notoriously challenging!

How many days do you need in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a city that can be savoured at a leisurely pace, but three days are ideal for exploring its iconic landmarks, immersing yourself in its rich culture, and still finding time to soak in its relaxed city vibe. If you have an extra day, I highly recommend visiting the charming beachside town, of Cascais, or spending a day lounging at the beautiful Praia Irmao beach club, hidden between the dunes of Costa da Caparica.

Is Lisbon walkable?

Lisbon’s compact size and charming neighbourhoods make it highly walkable. Most of the city’s attractions are within comfortable walking distance of each other. Stroll along narrow cobblestone streets, ride historic trams, or take advantage of Lisbon’s efficient public transportation system to explore the city with ease.

Should I visit Lisbon or Porto?

Both Lisbon and Porto have their unique charms. Lisbon offers historic sites, vibrant nightlife, and coastal beauty, while Porto boasts stunning architecture, world-class wine, and a more relaxed pace. Your choice depends on your interests, but a visit to both cities is an ideal way to experience the diversity of Portugal. Still unsure, read my Lisbon vs. Porto blog post here.

Day One

  • Brunch at Seventh Brunch Chiado
  • Stroll through Baixa-Chiado
  • Rua Augusta arch
  • Praça do Comércio
  • Santa Justa lift
  • Check out the Elevador da Bica
  • Pink Street
  • Watch the sunset from Miradouro de Santa Catarina 
  • Bairro Alto
  • A Nosso Casa for dinner


Start your day with a picture-perfect breakfast at Seventh Brunch, which will start your day right in the city centre of Baixa-Chiado. Stroll through the bustling commercial centre, lapping up the atmosphere and eventually leading you to the iconic Rua Augusta arch. This decadent structure commemorates the city’s rebirth after the 1755 earthquake and leads you to the commercial square built on the site where the old Royal Palace used to exist. From here, explore Lisbon’s riverfront – this Ribeira is perfect for aimlessly wandering down when the sun is shining. 

If you get a bit peckish, stop at Casa Portuguesa for their famous cod cakes and a port wine! Then set off towards the Santa Justa lift. Originally built to provide locals with an easy way to ascend from Baixa’s lower streets to the higher elevations at beautiful Largo do Carmo, it’s now a tourist highlight. Access to the observation deck is €1.50, while the ticket to ride up and down the elevator is €5.30 – if you don’t fancy paying, there are some lovely free viewpoints or ‘miradouros’ to visit instead. Before you move onto one of them, walk down the famous Pink Street. Once the Red Light district of Lisbon, home to the brothels and gambling houses, the street was rebuilt entirely and taken to new life in 2011. 

Top tip: I adore a walking tour! You can try a free walking tour or book ahead with GetYourGuide, where your experienced guides will take you on a tour of the city visiting most of these spots. It’s a great way to learn, ask questions, and really understand the history of Lisbon. 


Depending on how hungry you are, you might want to stop for a bite to eat. I recommend walking towards Miradouro de Santa Catarina and enjoying the view of the Tagus River from Noobai Rooftop Bar. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy a cold bevvy and some tapas – I really loved the Noobai Stuffed Bread! Now it’s time to head to the buzzing area of Bairro Alto! Brimming with bars and restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Either wander the streets and see what takes your fancy, however, if you’re looking for some entertainment, head to Manny’s Place for a fantastic drag show! Afterwards, you can eat at A Nosso Casa before grabbing a drink and immersing yourself in the atmosphere here. People pour out into the streets, drinking and chatting away. Top tip: do not stay in Bairro Alto!!! The noise is insane! Try something close to the action but not in it! 

Day Two

  • Brunch at Dear Breakfast 
  • Explore Alfama
  • Number 28 tram ride up to:
  • Castelo de São Jorge
  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia
  • Se de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral)
  • Taberna Sal Grosso for lunch
  • LX Factory
  • Pasteis de Belém
  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  • Belém Tower
  • Flores da Pampa for dinner


Start your day off with another gorgeous brunch spot at Dear Breakfast. Sample their pastries, granola bowls or hot dishes before heading off to explore the Alfama area. Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest and most photographic neighbourhoods of Lisbon. Known for its narrow, steep, and winding cobblestone streets, you can find yourself getting lost in the beauty. You can walk… although, I recommend taking the number 28 tram up to Castelo de São Jorge. This castle played an important part in Lisbon’s history and offers scenic views of the city. From here, you can walk over to Miradouro de Santa Luzia for more stunning views and visit the Lisbon Cathedral before lunch. For food, stop at Taberna Sal Grosso – a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant offering delicious Portuguese food. Make sure you book, as people started queuing before opening hours and it fills up fast. The menu is seasonal but the seafood rice and aubergine dishes stood out for us! 


After lunch, take a taxi or a bus to LX Factory. This is a collection of independent stores, galleries and cafes, where you can really get a taste of the Lisbon art scene. Then head to the famous Pasteis de Belém to try a pastel de nata! They are served fresh and slightly warm here. I enjoyed sitting down in the cafe to enjoy but you can get them to takeaway too. From here, you’ll encounter three remarkable treasures that showcase the nation’s maritime prowess and rich heritage. The Jerónimos Monastery stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whilst nearby the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, or Monument to the Discoveries, pays homage to Portugal’s intrepid explorers with its grand, seafaring sculpture. And then there’s the Belém Tower, a fortified masterpiece guarding the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour. Each of these historic sites offers a captivating glimpse into Portugal’s maritime history. For dinner, head to Flores da Pampa back in Lisbon’s city centre. This restaurant and bar brings together local products, natural wines, good food, music & plants. The dishes are unique and flavourful whilst the drinks are delicious – I tried an orange wine here! 

Day Three 

  • Pena Palace
  • Parque de Pena
  • Lunch at Dona Maria
  • Quinta da Regaleira
  • Initiation Well 
  • Sintra Old Town
  • Dinner at 20 Sabores


No fancy brunching today – we have an early start. Today, you’re exploring outside of Lisbon city and heading to the mystical region of Sintra. Sintra is often described as a fairytale town due to its lush forests, misty hills, and a profusion of colourful palaces and castles that seem straight out of a storybook. The most famous of these is the Palácio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace), a whimsical, multicoloured palace perched on a hilltop. Start your day here, exploring the palace walls bursting with history. Wander through the park that surrounds the palace before lunch. Dine at Dona Maria, where the seafood rice and steak were divine! Best enjoyed with a cold drink – the sangria here was fab! Try to get a table outside and soak in the views before getting ready for the next palace. 


The town is dotted with historic and architectural gems, including the Quinta da Regaleira with its mysterious initiation wells, Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros), and the elegant Palácio de Monserrate. These sites offer a rich tapestry of architectural styles and historical significance. We visited the Quinta da Regaleira as I really wanted to see the initiation well, and we were recommended to see the Monserrate for its beautiful architecture – however, time flies in Sintra! Be realistic with your timings and pick a couple of palaces to do in a day. For dinner, our taxi driver recommended a place called 20 Sabores. It was low-key but didn’t disappoint. We sampled a few of their local dishes, plus a green wine that’s native to northern Portugal. 


When is the best time to visit Lisbon?

Lisbon’s Mediterranean climate makes it a year-round destination. However, the best time to visit largely depends on your preferences. Spring (April to June) and early autumn (September to October) offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds. Summer (July to August) is ideal for beachgoers and festivals, while winter (December to February) provides a quieter, more intimate experience. 

Is Lisbon expensive?

Lisbon is considered one of Europe’s more affordable destinations. While prices have risen in recent years due to increased tourism, it still offers excellent value for money compared to many other European capitals. Dining out, accommodations, and transportation are generally reasonably priced, allowing you to enjoy a memorable visit without breaking the bank. The average cost of a beer is about €2, a sangria around €3 and you can dine between €10-20.

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