Spending only 2 days in Lisbon and you feel overwhelmed when you try to come up with the perfect itinerary? I can totally understand that since Lisbon has so much on display.
I had the same issue as I was trying to outline the itinerary for our trip to Portugal’s capital. However, we had 4 days to spare and we pretty much managed to tick everything off our list.
Even though 2 days might seem a short time, when you organize your trip accordingly, you can get to see more than you might be expecting. And that’s why I’m here! To help you achieve your goal.
As my husband always says, I the best at making huge lists of places to go to and see, and actually managing to see them all.
Don’t worry, you will also have time to eat and enjoy your Lisbon trip!
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2 Days in Lisbon – the ultimate itinerary
Before we dive into the actual things to do and see in Lisbon in 2 days, let’s start with the more practical information.
I’ll help you with some of the vital information anyone looks for when planning a getaway to a new place. In this part of the article, you’ll find the answers to some of your questions related to where to stay in Lisbon and how to get around town.
Where to stay in Lisbon
For me, waking up and drinking my coffee with a stunning view has always been a criterion based on which I choose my accommodation whenever I travel.
When it comes to Lisbon, finding charming places with stunning interior design, pretty views, and perfect location it’s not that hard.
All these apartments can be easily considered as Instagram spots, and you can have some incredible pictures without even leaving your house:
- Marino Lisboa Boutique Hotel – in the very heart of Lisbon, walking distance from Martin Moniz and Rossio station, this place caught my eye because of its beautiful, clean, simple design yet blending in traditional Portuguese patterns. What I’ve also liked is the rooftop terrace where breakfast is served.
- Feeling Chiado 15 – I like everything about this place, and the reviews are certainly there to support my statement. The design, the rooms with a view over Lisbon, the location right in the Chiado area, with all the stores and singing streets at your feet. Also, I’ve seen that some of the rooms are in the attic, and I’ve always had a soft spot for this kind of room, with a window in the ceiling making me feel like I can lay in my bed and stare at the stars.
- River View Alfama Historic Lisbon – One word can describe this place: royal! It is, in fact, a whole apartment, tucked on the streets in the Alfama area, with a pretty little balcony overlooking the river, and an amazing interior design.
- Casa do Jasmim by Shiadu – with a very special design, I think you can either love this place or not like it that much. I personally like it a lot, and if you are lucky to have the top floor, oh wow what a view! It can challenge any miradouro out there.
Getting around Lisbon
Getting from the airport to Lisbon city center or to the chose accommodation is not hard and there are options for anyone, regardless of budget.
- Metro – the cheapest way of getting to the city center of Lisbon, with a ticket costing only 1.95 EUR. The metro station is right in front of the arrivals terminal, and you won’t miss it since it looks like a big red dot. To use public transportation in Lisbon, you will need to buy the Viva Viagem card (0,5 euro) and add money or trips accordingly.
- AeroBus – the bus taking you from Lisbon’s Airport to its city center. To get to the city center, with the line ending at Cais do Sodré, take Line 1. The ticket costs 4 EUR ( or 6 for a roundtrip).
- Bus – several lines are passing by the Airport ( 705, 722, 744, 783, 208) and a ticket costs 1.85 EUR if you are buying it from the bus, or 1.45 EUR with the Viva Viagem card.
- Taxi – just be extra careful because as we’ve heard (not lived it since we’ve opted for Uber) they might try to scam you and ask for huge prices when taking them from the airport.
- Private transfer – with many options available, you can choose the closest to your style depending on the budget and needs. Check out options here!
For getting around town, it might be worth investing in a Lisbon Card. By using it, you get unlimited free trips by public transportation thus you won’t have to worry about how many buses or metros you take in a day.
On top of that, you get free admissions to top attractions and discounts at various landmarks. Depending on how many places you will want to visit and how many of them charge admission, it might be cheaper to buy the Lisbon Card for 24 or 48 hours.
If you choose to follow this itinerary, I would suggest opting for the 24 hours Lisbon Card. Check out the options & book your card here!
Day 1 in Lisbon
As you can notice from the map, today you will be spending your time along the sea, exploring the prettiest places in Lisbon. However, you will get to see some important landmarks in Portugal’s capital, get to taste delicious food and have a drink with a view!
Have more time? Read my 4 days in Lisbon itinerary!
Start your day by making your way to the Belem Tower and stepping on the steps of Portuguese explorers that would embark and disembark from this fortification, one of the must-see places in Portugal.
Come before it gets open to capture some pretty pictures without the crowds on the bridge.
Additionally, you will have the chance to go inside the tower, climb to the rooftop terrace without having to wait a lot for the light to change – and the stairs to be free.
Book your skip-the-line ticket for Belem Tower and make the best out of your time!
Only a few steps away from the Belem Tower, once you pass and see the Padrão dos Descobrimentos – the monument that celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery, and the Rose Compass – another monument of the discoveries – head to the Jeronimos Monastery.
The church that hosts Vasco da Gama, built in the Portuguese late Gothic style, in the period between the 15th and 17th centuries.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is one landmark you won’t want to miss.
Book your ticket in advance here and don’t worry about the lines or waiting time!
Pastéis de Belém
It is time for a break and a sweet bite. And what else to choose than the delicious traditional egg tart: parteis de nata?
This is one of the most popular cafes in Lisbon, considered to bake the best pasteis in town.
Since it is so close to the Jeronimos Monastery it would be a pity not to stop for at least 30 minutes and to taste the famous sweets with a coffee.
Congress Center of Lisbon
Take the bus for a few stops or walk all the way to the Congress Center of Lisbon.
The place itself is not much of an attraction, but the space outside offers an incredible view over the river, the 25 Abril Bridge, and the colorful houses lined up behind.
You can also bring some pasteis and enjoy the delicious treats with a view!
Jump on the bus or metro (get off at Baixa-Chiado) and make your way to the Bairro Alto neighborhood. With the literal translation of “the high neighborhood”, I could have spent hours and days exploring every little corner.
The streets go up and down and you’ll encounter countless colorful buildings, restaurants, terraces, people singing on the street, cafes, viewpoints, and popular touristic attractions.
Here is where you’ll find many of the iconic streets where you can capture the popular yellow tram in motion. Towards the top of Bairro Alto, you can get to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, and towards the bottom don’t miss out on the Arco da Rua Augusta, the Elevador de Santa Justa, the Convento do Carmo.
You can also plan to finish off your day in Chiado with an amazing fado concert at the popular “Fado in Chiado“. This is a place recommended by many travelers, with many positive reviews.
Unfortunately, we haven’t done our proper research before going, so we ended up for dinner and a Fado show at Luso. While the music was amazing, the food wasn’t so good and we ended up paying much more than we were told in the beginning.
Another Lisbon popular neighborhood, Alfama is not as lively as Bairro Alto, but it comes with the best views in town.
Here is where most of the famous miradouros are found, these magnificent free things to see in Lisbon. But I suggest choosing only one for sunset. You can see all the others on a walk before or after sunset, but you won’t want to miss this incredible nature show.
Some of the most beautiful ones you’ll want to see:
- MIRADOURO DA GRACA – maybe not as popular as the next 2, this was one of our favorite places for sunset or for watching the city light up. It is part of a square with a few terraces where you can sit and drink a glass of wine and maybe listen to some music.
- MIRADOURO DAS PORTAS DO SOL – the easiest to get to, and thus the most crowded one. It is located right in the heart of Alfama, and it offers some of the most iconic views of Lisbon. Sure, there are plenty of people playing music, the yellow tram passes by, there are people selling stuff, but there are also fancier restaurants and cafes.
- MIRADOURO DE SANTA LUIZA – I’m sure most women will love this one particular miradouro because of its beautiful blue tiles, the small pool, and colorful flowers.
Don’t leave Alfama without tasting some traditional ginjinha from the ladies selling it on the streets and stairs of this old town.
It is a sweet alcoholic drink made from sour cherries, sometimes served in chocolate glasses.
Day 2 in Lisbon
My proposal for your second day in Lisbon won’t be exactly in Lisbon, but you will take a trip to some of the most charming castles in the area.
You’ve guessed it, you’ll be taking a trip to Sintra.
Read my comprehensive itinerary for a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra and make the best out of the day less than 30 minutes outside of Lisbon.
You can always choose to take the train or bus, but it would be much harder to get around, and you will only get to see a few things.
We chose to book a private tour and we were super happy with the choice. Not only did we get to see all the most important attractions in the area, but the guide also took us to some hidden gems and suggested a really delicious seafood restaurant for dinner!
The usual tour is comprised of the Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Cabo da Roca. However, there is plenty of time to see other places, as you will see from our personal experience.
So this is it, my option for 2 days in Lisbon! This is not a trip you will regret taking and I’m sure you will want to come back and explore much more, get to take some incredible pictures, and taste some delicious food!
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