A cozy outdoor dining setup against a bright yellow wall of a quaint Lisbon restaurant, complete with lush greenery and a welcoming open door, a perfect meal stop for a Lisbon itinerary.

The Perfect 2 Day Lisbon Itinerary [2024]

Planning a 2 day Lisbon itinerary?  How exciting!  I’ve got you covered. 

Lisbon is a beautiful city full of rich history, delicious food, and stunning architecture. With only 2 days to explore, it’s important to make the most of your time.

This itinerary will help you get a taste of some of Lisbon’s finest.  Make sure you explore Bairro Alto and the Alfama District. 

You have time to take a day trip on your second in Lisbon, but I recommend spending this second full day in the city. 

Lisbon, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city, beckons with its vibrant culture, charming cobbled streets, and warm, Mediterranean climate.

From the melodies of Fado music to grand monuments like the Tower of Belém, Lisbon is a city that effortlessly blends tradition with a spirited contemporary life.

Its compact size makes it perfect for a two-day visit, allowing you to immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere and explore a substantial part of its treasures.

Whether you’re sipping on a bica (Portuguese espresso) in a sunny plaza or admiring the views from São Jorge Castle, two days in Lisbon will leave you enchanted and yearning to return.

Bairro Alto

Start your Lisbon adventure with a serene morning walk in the Bairro Alto district. This area is quieter in the mornings, allowing you to appreciate the stunning views without the crowds.

Stop by a local café for a pastel de nata (custard tart) and enjoy the beauty.

Explore Enchanting Streets

Quiet, sunlit alleyway lined with mustard and rose-colored buildings in Lisbon, reflecting the serene beauty ideal for a leisurely stroll on a Lisbon itinerary.

The neighborhood is known for its colorful buildings, unique street art, and picturesque alleyways.

It’s the perfect place to get lost and discover hidden gems!

As you meander through Bairro Alto, be sure to wander along Rua da Bica, famous for its iconic funicular that climbs the steep hill, offering a snapshot of classic Lisbon life.  It’s one of the best Instagram spots in Lisbon.  

Another street not to be missed is Rua do Diário de Notícias, lined with historic buildings and home to a vibrant mix of traditional and modern shops.

For a blend of chic boutiques and cozy restaurants, make your way to Rua Garrett, ensuring you soak in the area’s dynamic blend of the old and new.

These streets are alive with the hum of daily life, providing an authentic Lisbon experience.

Time: 1 hour ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 24 hours ⏐💲Price: Free ⏐ 

Ride a yellow tram

A classic yellow tram climbs the steep, narrow streets of Lisbon, a scene that captures the city's old-world charm and serves as an iconic means of transport for visitors crafting their Lisbon itinerary.

After exploring the charming streets of Bairro Alto, take a ride on one of Lisbon’s iconic trams.

Tram 28 is known as the “tourist tram” and will take you through some of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, including Alfama and Baixa.

The route also passes by popular landmarks such as São Jorge Castle and Praça do Comércio.

The narrow streets and colorful buildings make for a scenic trip that you won’t want to miss.

And don’t worry about getting lost, as Tram 28 is a hop-on/hop-off service, allowing you to explore at your own pace.

Time: 1 – 2 hours ⏐ 🕑 Hours: Trolleys depart every 15 minutes until 9:00pm ⏐💲Price:  ⏐ 

Miradouro de Sao Pedro

View from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Lisbon, showing a tapestry of colorful buildings with the iconic São Jorge Castle in the distance, set against a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds, a visual treat for those exploring the city on a Lisbon itinerary.

To capture a panoramic view of Lisbon, head to the Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara.

This scenic overlook offers breathtaking sights of the city stretching towards the Tagus River, with São Jorge Castle proudly standing out among the rolling hills.

The terraced gardens and the soothing sound of the water feature provide a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets.

Benches line the viewpoint, offering a comfortable spot to enjoy the vistas or to simply witness a spectacular sunset.

While there, you can also peruse the small kiosks selling local crafts and refreshments. 

Time: 1 hour ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 24 hours ⏐💲Price: Free  ⏐ 

Livraria Boltrand: Oldest Bookstore in the World

A literary gem in the heart of Lisbon, Livraria Bertrand holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest operating bookstore in the world.

Founded in 1732, this historic establishment invites book lovers to meander through its labyrinthine corridors lined with shelves brimming with literature in many languages.

The store has weathered the historical ebbs and flows of Lisbon, serving as a cultural hub for intellectuals and avid readers alike for centuries.

Step inside and you’ll feel a palpable sense of history among the stacks of books, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations—the knowledgeable staff can guide you to your next great read.

Time: 45 minutes ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm ⏐ Website  ⏐ 

Day 2: Alfama and Belem

Aflama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, is renowned as one of the city’s most famous areas!   

It’s maze-like streets, and beautiful views of the Tagus River will transport you back in time.  Marvel at the medieval architecture and explore its many hidden gems.

Sao Jorge Castle

Sao Jorge Castle by Creative Cat Studio

Sitting atop a hill, Sao Jorge Castle offers an incredible view of the city and the sparkling Tagus River.

This medieval fortress tells the captivating story of Lisbon’s history and resilience. Its walls have stood strong against sieges and natural disasters.

When you stroll through the castle grounds, you can feel the echoes of the past and enjoy the serene gardens.

Climb the towers for panoramic views!

Time: 1 hour ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm ⏐  Website  ⏐💲Price: $16.23.  Purchase online or at entrance ⏐ 

Alfama Viewpoints

For one of the most famous viewpoints in Alfama, make your way to Miradouro de Senhora de Monte.

This free lookout offers one of the most striking panoramas of Lisbon’s skyline, framed by the hills and the sparkling Tagus!  

On a clear day, you can see as far as the 25 de Abril Bridge. Relax on the benches and soak in the beauty of this city!

Rossio Square

Rossio Square by Bill Perry

Rossio Square is a historical plaza and marks the starting point for most free Lisbon walking tours. 

This popular tourist spot is surrounded by colorful and charming architecture, including the famous Rossio Station.

The square has been a central gathering place for locals since the Middle Ages and remains a bustling hub of activity today.

It’s also home to one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks – the National Theatre D. Maria II.

Time: Walk through ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 24 hours ⏐💲Price: Free Plaza ⏐ 

Santa Justa Lift

Santa Justa Lift by Kit Suman via Unsplash

The Santa Justa Lift stands as an essential stop for visitors in Lisbon, offering both a scenic ride and a striking sight from below.

Built in 1902, this fancy elevator with a Gothic style connected the lower part of Baixa with Carmo Square.

When you go up to the top, you can see amazing views of the whole city.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can ride to the top and then walk down the charming streets of Chiado.

I decided not to wait in the long line for the elevator, so I admired the detailed ironwork and tall height of the 147-foot lift from the ground. It looks like something from the 19th century, just like the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. Oui!

Time: Varies ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 7:00am – 10:45pm ⏐💲Price: 5.30€  to ride the lift

Rua Augusta Arch

With a majestic view of Commerce Square and a panoramic cityscape, the Rua Augusta Arch is an impressive structure filled with historical significance.

This fancy arch was built to commemorate Lisbon’s resilience after the massive 1755 earthquake that drastically changed the city.

Visitors can climb to the top for amazing views of the bustling streets below and the peaceful river beyond. The intricate sculptures and design details beautifully represent the strength and achievements of Portugal.

Tip: Praca de Comercial, the biggest plaza in Lisbon, is just past the arch. 

Time: Walk through ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 24 hours ⏐💲Price: Free ⏐ 

Belem Tower

Twilight descends on the historic Belem Tower, a fortified landmark by the Tagus River in Lisbon, with a walkway leading to its imposing structure, a picturesque scene for travelers compiling a Lisbon itinerary.

Next up, make your way to Lisbon’s Belem neighborhood. Hop on a Bolt, Uber, or catch public transportation from Alfama to get here.

Behold the Belem Tower, standing tall like a sentinel at the mouth of the Tagus River.

It’s a symbol of the Age of Discoveries when Portugal’s explorers fearlessly ventured into the unknown.

Built in the 16th century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site started as a fortress and now proudly stands as one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks.

Its exterior is adorned with intricate carvings and maritime motifs, showcasing Portugal’s naval might during its glorious golden era.

If you have time, climb up the narrow spiral staircase and soak in the watchtower views.

Time: 1.5 hours ⏐ 🕑 Hours: ☀️ Summer: 10:00am-6:30pm. ❄️ Winter: 10:00am-5:30pm.  ⏐  Website  ⏐ 💲Price: Free to explore outside. €6 to enter inside⏐ 

Jeronimos Monastery

The Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, with its intricate Gothic architecture and ornate spires, stands as a must-visit landmark on any Lisbon itinerary.

Around the corner is UNESCO World Heritage Site Part 2: The Jeronimos Monastery.

This is a must-see for anyone visiting Lisbon for the first time. The monastery is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture known as the Manueline style, named after King Manuel I. 

Inside, you’ll be in awe of the ornate columns and the vaulted ceilings of the church.

Time: 1.5 hours ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 9:30am – 6:00pm ⏐  Website  ⏐💲Price: Free. Paid options for garden ⏐ 

Eat Pastel De Nata

Pasteis de Nata by Ellis Garvey via Unsplash

Time for a snack after all that history.  But not just any snack- it’s pastel de nata.

These heavenly custard tarts, embraced by flaky pastry crusts, are a Portuguese delicacy and a must-try in Lisbon.

Head to the famous Pastéis de Belém bakery, just a few minutes walk from the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery.

The historic bakery has been delighting visitors with these iconic tarts since 1837.

Served warm, dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, their Pastel de Nata is where it’s at!

Psssst.  Want to enjoy more pastels de nata?  Try spending 4 days in Lisbon!

Time: 30 minutes (Depends on the wait time) ⏐ 🕑 Hours: 8:00am – 9:00pm ⏐  Website  ⏐

Swap-outs

There are some AMAZING day trips from Lisbon.  

You can alternatively use your second day to head out of the city and into the amazing palaces of Sintra or enjoy the Atlantic breeze at Sintra beaches or neighboring Cascais.

You can also combine your travels with a longer Portugal itinerary and spend 2 days in Porto before flying to the incredible islands of Madeira or Azores!

Wrap-Up: Your Lisboa Adventure Awaits!

Sneakers tied tight and your camera ready? Lisbon in just two days is totally doable!

With not one but TWO UNESCO World Heritage sites, views for days, and enchanting cobblestone neighborhoods, Lisbon has got it all. 

Sure, the hills might give your calves a good workout, but everything is close enough for a whirlwind yet unforgettable 48-hour Portuguese escapade. 

Pack your bags and get ready for a quick trip packed with history, architecture, and loads of custardy goodness. Vamos (let’s go)!

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Alyssa

As a full time employee who loves her job, learn how I honor my wanderlust while working a 9:00-5:00 (because I want to!) This blog welcomes all, and specifically provides resources for those seeking travel intertwined into a busy schedule (3 days to 5 weeks).