The Ultimate 3 Days in Lisbon Itinerary

The facade of a Lisbon building adorned with traditional Portuguese blue azulejo ceramic tiles, with ornate wrought-iron balconies, capturing the essence of Lisbon's architectural beauty for a detailed Lisbon itinerary.

Ready to begin your ultimate 3 day Lisbon itinerary

This guide will take you through three action-packed days of exploration in Lisbon, a city rich in history and charm.

To maximize your time, our itinerary is organized by Lisbon’s top neighborhoods, including Bairro Alto, Alfama, and Belem.

3 days gives you just enough time to scratch the surface of Lisbon and begin exploring the surrounding area. 

Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, has remained a hidden gem for a long time, offering reasonable prices, stunning views, and fewer crowds compared to other popular European vacation destinations.

Although tourism has increased in Lisbon over the past decade, it’s definitely worth a visit.   Let’s take on Lisbon!

Day 1: Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite neighborhood in Lisbon.

It has an irresistible charm and fascinating history that creates an authentic and captivating atmosphere I instantly fell for!  

Wander Charming Streets

A view through a narrow Lisbon street revealing the grand façade of the PalÑcio de São Bento, with its white neoclassical columns and the national flag atop, juxtaposed against the city's characteristic yellow walls, adding a touch of grandeur to a Lisbon itinerary.

Exploring Bairro Alto’s winding streets is amazing.  It’s a photographer’s paradise, with scenic views everywhere. 

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. 

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the streets are steep and you’ll be doing a lot of walking!

Time: 1 hour ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 24 hours βπŸ’²Price: Free ⏐ 

Bica Ruta

A classic yellow tram ascends the Bica funicular route in Lisbon, surrounded by charming buildings with people sitting on the steps, capturing a vibrant moment perfect for a Lisbon itinerary.

Bica Ruta is one of Lisbon’s most iconic and photographed streets.  I can guarantee it lives up to the hype!

Walking past the vibrant artworks with yellow trolleys scattered around Lisbon, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder and excitement. 

The street itself is a charming combination of colorful houses, quaint cafes, and lively bars. 

It’s been four years since my last visit to Lisbon, and this charming view is still one of my favorite European experiences.  Even a quick stroll down Bica Ruta is absolutely worth it.

Tip: The street lights up and night and will be filled with people hanging out on the steps up the hill at this time.  

Time: Walk through ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 24 hours ⏐ Trolleys depart every 15 minutes until 9:00pm βπŸ’²Price: Free ⏐ 

Pink Street

The Pink Street in Lisbon is a popular spot for taking photos.

However, it can be crowded and dirty, mainly focused on partying. For most people, it’s just a crossing from point A to point B.

Personally, I saw it as something to check off a list. Still, I’m grateful to have seen the beautiful contrast of the yellow bridge against the pink street.

Time: Walk through ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 24 hours βπŸ’²Price: Free ⏐ 

Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara 

View from the Miradouro de SΓ£o Pedro de AlcΓ’ntara in Lisbon, showing a tapestry of colorful buildings with the iconic SΓ£o 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.

The Bairro Alto has many great spots, but Miradouro de Sao Pedro might just be the best!  

If you stay for sunset, the colors light up and the atmosphere becomes magical. 

If you visit in the late afternoon or early evening, you might find some tourist stands selling delicious food and refreshing beverages.

Challenge: Dare to compare how this lives up to the best views in Porto?!

Time: Walk through ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 24 hours βπŸ’²Price: Free  ⏐ 

Livraria Boltrand

Livraria Boltrand is a hidden gem that surprises even the most knowledgeable bookworms.  It is the oldest operating bookstore in the world! 

In the back, there’s a cozy cafe where you can relax with a coffee and your new book. If you’re lucky, you might catch an author reading or a book signing event.

Thanks to its claim to Guinness Book of World Records fame, it might also be one of the best spots in town for a Lisbon souvenir.  

Time: 45 minutes ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm ⏐ Website  ⏐ 

Dinner at Time Out Market

I am a huge fan of the Time Out Market. Each market showcases local specialties from renowned restaurants in town.

The energetic ambiance footsteps away from Livraria Boltrand, makes it a must-visit spot for an amazing dinner.  The market is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike, so be prepared for some crowds.

Day 2: Alfama and Belem

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

Its 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

Sao Jorge Castle is one of the top things to do in Lisbon… but receives mixed opinions. 

If you haven’t visited many fortresses or are looking for an iconic attraction in the area, I highly recommend it.  People aren’t too impressed with the lack of interior castle rooms. 

It’s really a great spot to experience historic fortress walls from the outside and get amazing views of town. 

However, if you’re visiting Portugal on a budget and planning a day trip to magical Sintra (home to tons of forts and castles), you might need to prioritize which forts to visit.

Time: 1 hour ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm ⏐  Website  βπŸ’²Price: $16.23.  Purchase online or at entrance ⏐ 

Miradouro de Senhora de Monte

Get ready to be blown away by the amazing views at one of the most famous viewpoints in town!

Just a short stroll from the castle, you’ll come across Miradouro de Senhora do Monte, also known as Our Lady of the Hill Viewpoint.

Perched on Lisbon’s highest hill, it’s the perfect place to take a breather and soak in the breathtaking panorama.

Prepare to be wowed by the vibrant orange rooftops and the shimmering Tagus River that stretches beyond the cityscape.

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 ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 24 hours βπŸ’²Price: Free Plaza ⏐ 

Santa Justa Lift

Santa Justa Lift by Kit Suman via Unsplash

The Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon is a must-see tourist attraction, whether you choose to ride it or simply admire it from below.  

This neo-Gothic elevator was built in 1902 to connect the lower Baixa district with the upper Carmo Square.

At the top, you’ll find a viewing platform where you can take in stunning panoramic views of the city.

If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for a ride up to the top and then take a leisurely stroll back down through the charming streets of Chiado.

I decided I wasn’t in the mood to pay for an elevator ride (or wait in a crowded line to do so).  But I enjoyed taking in the neogothic architecture of the towering 147ft tall lift from ground level! 

The detailed ironwork and beautiful decorative features give off a vibe that takes you back to the 19th century, just like the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Time: Varies ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 7:00am – 10:45pm βπŸ’²Price: €5.30  to ride the lift

Rua Augusta Arch

The Rua Augusta Arch is a famous symbol located at the entrance from Rua Augusta to the Commercial Plaza.  It’s also one of the best Instagram spots!

Located on the top floor of the arch, you’ll find a museum with exhibits showcasing the construction process and historical events surrounding the arch.

From the top viewing platform, you can also take in breathtaking views of downtown Lisbon and see all the action happening on the street below.   But even if you don’t want to pay to climb to the top, the arch is still worth checking out. 

I decided to save my money and just admire the arch from ground level.

Tip: Swing through the Praca de Comerical before you leave!  You’ll be up close to the Tagus River here.  But don’t stay long, it’s super crowded. 

Time: Walk through ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 24 hours βπŸ’²Price: Free (or roughly €6 if you choose to go to the top ⏐ 

Belem is an absolute must-visit on any Lisbon itinerary. Even if you have just 24 hours in Lisbon, make sure to include this in your itinerary. It’s more than just a neighborhood; it feels like a whole new town waiting to be explored.

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.

The Belem Tower is one of the first things you see after arriving in Belem.  Its 115-foot tall structure is hard to miss!  This architectural masterpiece has stood the test of time, starting as a defense structure for Lisbon.

Today, visitors can climb to the top and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area. The tower also serves as a great backdrop for photos, especially during sunset. 

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a rich history dating back to the 1600s and stands prominently today.

Time: 1.5 hours ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: β˜€οΈ Summer: 10:00am-6:30pm. ❄️ Winter: 10:00am-5:30pm.  ⏐  Website  ⏐ πŸ’²Price: Free to explore outside. €6 to enter inside⏐ 

Jeronimos Monastery

The JerΓ³nimos 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.

The Jeronimos Monastery is a mesmerizing attraction that captivates visitors with its rich history. 

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it stands alongside the iconic Belem Tower as a testament to the era of exploration. 

This architectural masterpiece showcases the unique Manueline style, characterized by intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship. 

Its beautiful gardens beckon you to take a leisurely stroll, immersing yourself in a captivating historical experience that transports you back to the 16th century.

Time: 1.5 hours ⏐ πŸ•‘ Hours: 9:30am – 6:00pm ⏐  Website  βπŸ’²Price: Free. Paid options for garden ⏐ 

Pasteis de Belem

After exploring the Belem Tower and its surroundings, take a short walk to Pasteis de Belem, also known as the “birthplace of the famous Portuguese custard tart.”

This iconic bakery has been in operation since 1837 and is still family-owned. The interior is beautifully decorated with traditional tiles and serves up a variety of pastries and sweets.

Regrettably, I missed out on trying it during my trip. It was my mistake not to allocate enough time in Belem. Learn from my experience and don’t miss out on the delicious Pasteis de Nata!

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

Tip: If you can’t make it here, you can still try Pastel de Nata all over Lisbon (and Porto!)

Day 3: Day Trip

If you’re lucky enough to have a few days in Lisbon, you’re in for a treat!  Lisbon is situated in a prime location for taking day trips to other destinations in Portugal.

There are several other incredible day trips you can take from Lisbon. These trips offer a chance to explore new destinations and uncover hidden gems just a short distance away.

From picturesque coastal towns to charming countryside villages, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, why not venture out and discover the beauty that surrounds Lisbon?

  • Evora
  • Obidos
  • Cascais
  • Sintra
  • Click here for the best day trips from Lisbon

The two neighboring towns I explored in Lisbon were Sintra and Cascais.  Sintra is my favorite of the two due to its other-worldly architecture on top of mountains.  You know how I feel about mountains!


One highly recommended day trip is to the charming town of Sintra, located about 30 minutes away by train. This picturesque town is known for its fairytale-like palaces, castles, and lush forests.

The most famous attraction is the Pena Palace, a colorful and whimsical palace perched on a hilltop.

Other must-see attractions in Sintra include the Quinta da Regaleira, a Gothic-style mansion with beautiful gardens and secret tunnels, and the Moorish Castle, a fortified castle with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Check out the ultimate Sintra day trip for more information.  

What’s more, there are also some amazing off-the-beaten-path Sintra beaches to add some relaxation to your vacation.  


Spending three days in Lisbon is an immersive experience that takes you deep into the heart of Portuguese culture, history, and lifestyle.  

With its vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and beautiful sights, it’s easy to see why Lisbon is becoming a top destination for travelers. 

And with so many incredible day trips just a short distance away, you’ll have endless opportunities to explore the rest of this beautiful country. If it’s your first time in Lisbon, hopefully it won’t be your last!

It also makes an amazing starting point for an extended Portugal trip to rugged islands like Madeira or Azores, or the northern city of Porto.  

So pack your bags and start planning your trip to Lisbon today! “Bom caminho!” or Good Journey!

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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).