Lisbon Itinerary of 3 Days: Itinerary with Map
Are you going to visit Lisbon and want to find out what to see? Then you will have to pay particular attention to the next few lines.
In fact, you will soon find out which are the main places of interest and I will tell you how to organize your visit in a practical way by dividing the things to see in Lisbon into a 3-day itinerary (with map).
And since we love practical things on these screens, I have to start right away by telling you that the first thing you’ll have to deal with in Lisbon will be its endless ups and downs.
You’ll have to learn to navigate between artistic trams, lifts in unthinkable places (but which will save you a lot of climbing) and steep funiculars.
But this is also something that is definitely part of the charm of this beautiful city! If you, like me, love to discover cities at a slow pace, walking between one stage and another and lingering in wonderful narrow streets and local shops, you will have to put your heart at rest and rely especially on the trams.
Obviously I’m not advising you not to walk and visit Lisbon at your own pace, but simply saying that the trams will become your best friends (and not just for the cool photos you’ll take! :)).
Getting around in Lisbon
Even if it’s your first time in the city, you probably know very well that the trams in Lisbon are not only beautiful (except when they are invaded by aesthetically questionable advertisements), but that they also perform the very useful function of means of transport.
Lisbon was built on 7 hills and, if you don’t intend to walk them all, trust me and buy the Lisbon Card valid online for 72 hours (you can easily pick it up when you arrive in the city).
With this card, you not only get unlimited access to public transport, including lifts, but also free entry to some attractions and discounts on others.
The alternative you would have is to buy a day pass for the tram service only at any Carris point of sale in the city for around €6.50, but doing the math, it wouldn’t be worth it at all if you’re really interested in discovering the city and not wandering around like a top only on trams.
Day 1 of Lisbon Itinerary
The red 25 De Abril bridge is somewhat reminiscent of San Francisco, the 7 hills on which Rome was built, the large statue of Cristo Rei on the other side of the Tagus, Rio de Janeiro, but the truth is only one: Lisbon is a unique city to be discovered.
Go into the next paragraphs and save the map with the itinerary of the things to see in 3 days, divided day by day.
From here you can then continue independently and explore my itinerary step by step, changing which day to see what, based on the time available to you and your preferences.
PS: Don’t worry about saving the map now: at the end of the article you will find the links to save the day-by-day itineraries to open on your smartphone with Google Maps and use while you’re in the city.
1: Commerce Square
A huge square (Praça do Comércio) marks the entrance to the city from the Baixa, the lower part of Lisbon, will be the starting point for your visit of Lisbon.
When you set foot in this place you will probably be amazed by the symmetry of the arches of the 3 buildings that surround it, the size of the spaces (it is no coincidence that it is one of the largest squares in Europe), the clean and white appearance of the marble distinguishes it and the central statue above which is the representation of a man on horseback: the statue is dedicated to King Joseph I, who was the one who promoted the rebirth of the city after the devastating earthquake of 1755.
Well yes: the 1st November the city was razed to the ground by a devastating earthquake, so incredible that it caused the death of about 30,000 people and made Lisbon look like a desert.
It is precisely in this context that the Baixa district, the hardest hit by the earthquake, was redesigned: having eliminated the rubble of the medieval buildings, a geometric layout was chosen for the lower city and an innovative (for the time) anti-seismic system was used.
2: Arch of Rua Augusta
Overlooking the Praça do Comércio, the majestic triumphal arch with representations of famous people of Lisbon, such as Vasco da Gama, strikes with the contrast it creates with the nearby yellow buildings, the carvings and the white columns that burn ablaze at sunset and the clock (working) on the facade facing Via Augusta.
The thing that perhaps you will like even more, however, is that for a few euros you can climb the arch and admire the Rua Augusta and the square below, but also the more distant Cathedral and the Castle of São Jorge.
3: Rua Augusta
A pedestrian street teeming with eighteenth-century buildings leaning against each other, shops, restaurants, bars and street artists: Rua Augusta is the shopping street par excellence and a must-see place in Lisbon, in the morning when it is calmer, or in the evening when it buzzes with life.
4: Pastéis de Nata Factory (Butter)
Strolling along Rua Augusta you won’t even need to enter directions on Google Maps to reach this pastel de nata factory.
The reason? The external wooden cladding will certainly not let it go unnoticed.
Stop to buy some walking pastel de nata, or pop in for a more leisurely breakfast.
Here the combination of pastel de nata and a glass of port wine will give you the right welcome on this 3-day Lisbon itinerary (trust me!).
5: Convent of Carmo
If Rua Augusta is in fact flat, all you need to do is want to reach the Convento do Carmo (entrance fee €5 or €4 if you have the Lisboa Card ) to test the steep hills of Lisbon.
If you feel you don’t want to tackle this difference in height, just take the wrought iron Santa Justa lift to get a few steps away from the “church without a roof” (the price of the lift is included in the Lisbon Card ).
In fact, what remains of this convent are the remains of the 1755 earthquake. Inside you will find an archaeological museum which also houses azulejos (painted ceramic tiles) dating back to the sixteenth century.
6: Dom Pedro IV Square (Rossio)
To reach it, follow the “broad” route that you will find on the map of what to see in one day in Lisbon which will allow you to enjoy beautiful views of the Alfama in the distance (the historic district of Lisbon) and the castle of Castello di São Jorge.
You will arrive in this square with the paved floor that recreates black and white waves, in the center of which is the monument to Dom Pedro IV, and on the sides 2 twin fountains that used to be in Paris.
If you want to reach and visit Sintra by public transport, it will be right at the train station in this square that you will have to take the train.
7: Take a complete ride aboard tram 28
The trams climb the 7 hills on which Lisbon was built and “jump” into narrow streets where the risk of (literally) taking away the hats of passers-by who remain hidden in the curve is really high.
Some Portuguese “attach to the tram” and the faces of the tourists look like those of children at the amusement park.
There are various tram lines in Lisbon, but the one that makes the most complete and touristic tour is certainly tram 28 which leaves from the Martim Moniz stop and ends in Campo Ourique (Prazeres) here on the map.
By opening this link and clicking on the orange square “Tram 28E”, you will see the whole route and the tram stops with the times of the next departures.
Advice to avoid the queues: although I purposely put the tram ride as stage 7 of this first day in Lisbon (where most of the tourists are for lunch), if there is too much crowd, don’t waste your time in line.
There are so many things to see in Lisbon! Board tram 12, get off at the castle stop and then finish the ride on Tram 28 which will probably be freer.
8: Castle of Sao Jorge
On the highest hill of Alfama, the Castle of São Jorge is located and it is unquestionably a stop not to be missed if you want to discover what to see in Lisbon in 3 days.
Dating back to the time of Roman domination, crossing its entrance and walking on the defensive walls will allow you to enjoy amazing views over the roofs of Lisbon, the Tagus River and the 25 de Abril bridge.
Some rooms are dedicated to exhibiting historical artifacts, such as coins and ancient Moorish tiles.
I suggest you buy the entrance tickets in advance on the official website (from €10).
9: Tower of the Church of the Castle of São Jorge
Once the visit to the castle is over, move on to the next stage of this day spent visiting Lisbon: for a few euros you can climb the Torre da Igreja do Castelo de São Jorge and enjoy not only beautiful views from the claustrophobic bell tower, but also admire part of the castle.
Find tickets on the official website or on site (from €2).
10: Viewpoint of Santa Luzia
The Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a beautiful terrace adorned with very blue azulejos tiles and plants that create the right shade.
Stay here until sunset to watch the sky burn over the red roofs of the Alfama.
11: Watch a Fado show
There are few certainties in life, but one is that if you visit Lisbon in 3 days, you will have to attend a live Fado show at least one evening! To round off this first day of visiting Lisbon, you can’t help but attend an evening show of Fado, Portuguese popular music.
Being one of the most popular activities among tourists (for good reason!) the best solution is surely to reserve your seat to attend the show well in advance.
If you want to know more, consider joining a Fado tour in English.
PS: the Chiado district is the best place to stay in Lisbon in a strategic position.
With this in mind, you can search for properties with offers for your dates on this offers page.
If, on the other hand, you have time to learn more, read the article dedicated to where to stay in Lisbon to choose the best area for your stay.
Day 2 of Lisbon Itinerary
Assuming that you have purchased the Lisbon Card which is also valid for this second day, after breakfast get back on board tram 28 or 12 and go back to Alfama and get off at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, right where you left off yesterday’s visit.
ATTENTION : on the map below the outward and return journeys to the Museo Nacional do Azulejo are by bus 759 (although in the itinerary it is marked as a walking route for convenience).
1: Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)
Walk the road that will take you to the cathedral and, unlike yesterday when you will have seen it only by passing on the tram, visit it.
The facade of this building in front of which the trams “rush” is impressive just like its history: the cathedral was destroyed by 3 earthquakes.
At the center of the two bell towers is a circular rose window and, just below, the large entrance door preceded by a staircase.
Before crossing the threshold, you must know that the Cathedral was built on the site of a mosque and, inside, you will find a baptismal font adorned with magnificent azulejos tiles.
You can buy tickets for the Cathedral on the official website (from €5).
2: National Tile Museum
Although a bit far from the center of Lisbon, you can’t consider your visit satisfactory if you don’t reach the Museo Nacional do Azulejo (entrance is free with the Lisbon Card ), housed in a former convent.
At the end of the visit to the Cathedral, take bus 759 to the Museo Nacional do Azulejo ( directions here ) where you will be enraptured by the colors and precision of the rigorously hand-painted tiles.
Thanks to the audio guide, you will be able to take a real journey through the history of this Portuguese art, from its origins to the present day, and be enchanted in front of the 36-metre-long panel of Azulejoswhich portrays Lisbon before the devastating earthquake of 1755. You can have lunch in the kiosk inside, rigorously decorated with Azulejos tiles.
3: Luís de Camões Square
Located between the Baixa (the lower city) and the Bairro Alto, is the Chiado.
This neighborhood has been the meeting point of the city’s intellectuals for a long time.
That’s why you’ll find a life-size statue of Fernando Pessoa and the Praça Luís de Camões square is dedicated to the author of the poem “Os Lusíadas”, which tells the story of Portuguese navigators setting out to discover new lands.
From the Museo Nacional do Azulejo take the 759 bus to R. Prata and then the 28E tram and get off right in front of the square at the “Pç. Luis Camões”.
Stroll through the streets of this neighborhood, stop by the famous Café A Brasileira and then get your daily dose of pastel de nata by stopping by the nearby Manteigaria.
4: Viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara
You should know that the Luís de Camões square also marks the border with the Bairro Alto.
Stroll through its streets full of clubs, boutiques and art galleries to reach the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
Getting to this viewpoint in the heart of Bairro Alto will really be child’s play thanks to the elevador da Gloria that will take you directly to the gardens of the miradouro (but for a more authentic experience I recommend getting there on foot – get directions here).
From here you will be able to enjoy an almost 360-degree view of the city of Lisbon, admire the Alfama and easily distinguish the Cathedral and the Castle, but a set of magnificent azulejo tiles will show you all the points of interest that you can see from up here and street artists will make your stay even more suggestive.
5: Spend the evening at Bairro Alto
Covered with murals, even if during the day it can be a quiet place, the Bairro Alto changes its face after sunset: in the evening it fills with life and young Lisbonians eager to party until the first light of dawn.
It is no coincidence that this is considered the most party-loving neighborhood in the city.
Dine in one of Bairro Alto’s clubs and experience the festivity by spending the evening here (but not until dawn, we still have many things to see in Lisbon! ;-))
Day 3 of Lisbon Itinerary
This third day of visiting the city focuses on the Belém area: a little far from the city center, but always easy to reach by public transport included in the Lisbon Card.
Here is today’s itinerary:
1: Bridge April 25
For this third day of visiting Lisbon, what you could do is rent a bike and enjoy a pleasant ride on the Tejo Promenade, which runs along the Tagus River and will bring you ever closer to the red 25 de Abril Bridge.
If you prefer to stroll, reach this area by bus 732 from central Lisbon or by tram 15E from Praça do Comércio.
The area is pedestrian and cycle and runs along the banks of the river.
You will find benches along the riverside and you will be able to enjoy beautiful views of the Ponte 25 de Abril and see the Cristo Rei on the other bank in the city of Almada (if you have time, know that you can reach the statue by bus 753 and get on it to enjoy a of the best views over the city of Lisbon).
2: Pastéis de Belém
At the end of the riverside walk, reach the heart of the Belém district by setting “Pastéis de Belém” as your first stop.
Here you can taste the original pastéis! There may be a line at the entrance, so consider whether it’s worth waiting to sit at a table or get some take-away Pastéis.
If you don’t want to walk about 2km, use the 15E tram from Centro Congresses to get there ( directions here ).
3: Jeronimos Monastery
The Jerónimos Monastery is included in the Lisbon card, so this is a good reason to add it to your list of things to see in Lisbon in 3 days.
But you must know that this building will not disappoint you: it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a true masterpiece built over more than 100 years.
Commissioned by King Manuel I, to celebrate the discovery of Vasco da Gama’s route to India in 1498. Even if the building preceded by well-kept gardens is already striking from the outside, just cross the threshold to be captivated by the tall columns, with the golden light that filters through the windows and every meticulously decorated detail.
This is also the burial place of the explorer Vasco da Gama.
To visit it if you have not chosen the Lisbon Card, buy the entrance ticket online (from €10).
After the visit to the Monastery and having had lunch, it’s time to make important decisions.
4: Empire Square
The Praça do Império is one of the largest squares in all of Europe with a perimeter of 1.12 km (280 meters on each side) It was built in 1940 for the Great Exhibition of the Portuguese World and you won’t be able to miss it when you leave the Monastery dos Jeronimos.
5: Monument to the Discoveries
Located on the banks of the Tagus River, the Monument to the Discoveries (or Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Portuguese) is a fairly recent work (1960) that celebrates the discoveries of Portuguese explorers of past centuries.
It is located at the end of a square with a (in my opinion) beautiful pavement in which a huge compass rose and a world map are represented.
The best observation point is from the top: it is in fact possible to go up to the terrace of the monument thanks to an elevator and a staircase that will take you to the top, to enjoy a panoramic view of the Belém district and see the Jerónimos Monastery.
The monument represents a ship, with over 30 of the most important characters on boardwho contributed to the discoveries of Portugal.
There is also a map showing the routes and dates of exploration trips.
6: Belem Tower
The Belém Tower is a fortified building that emerges from the waters of the Tagus, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was built with the dual purpose of defending the city and as a departure point for Portuguese navigators.
The visit to the Belém Tower is also included in the Lisbon card. Alternatively, choose the single entry ticket (from €6).
7: Sunset boat ride
What could be the best way to conclude this itinerary in Lisbon in 3 days, if not with the navigation of the Tagus at sunset?
This experience will freeze your memories of this trip, giving you yet another point of observation of the districts illuminated by the twilight light and the spectacle of the Sun falling like a token below the horizon line.
It is no coincidence that it is one of the best-rated experiences in the city by travelers just like you!
Will you be using Lisbon as a starting point for a road trip? Then check out this 10-day Portugal itinerary from Lisbon to the Algarve.
Accommodation in Lisbon
If you want to have the right time to follow my itinerary that will lead you to discover what to see in Lisbon in 3 days, choosing the “right” area to stay in will make all the difference.
Opt for accommodation just above Praça Dom Pedro IV: check availability at Casa Balthazar or the cheaper Feeling Chiado 15.
Besides being in a strategic position, from here you can enjoy beautiful views of the Alfama, its castle and the houses of the old part of the city.
If you are looking for accommodations with discounted rates for your dates, start your search for your dates from the comfort of here.
When to go to Lisbon
From November to February the temperatures are cool; in March some showers can occur and the months of July and August see the peak of the tourists.
In light of this, if I had to choose the best period to visit Lisbon, I would say the months of May/June (although remember: June 13th is a public holiday for the Portuguese), or September/October.
In this period of the year the climate is mild and there are not too many tourists.
It is also true, however, that if you prepare yourself adequately, you won’t have the slightest problem visiting Lisbon in the middle of winter: it is a city with hotter temperatures than other European capitals and being able to visit it with that slightly melancholic atmosphere will only increase its charm.
FAQ: Questions with answers
1: How to reach Lisbon?
The most convenient way to reach Lisbon is its airport.
From Porto, just take the A17 and the 18. If you arrive from the Algarve, however, you will have to cross the 17.2 km long Vasco da Gama bridge and pay a toll of €2.90.
2: What are the things to do in Lisbon in 2 days?
Start from the Commerce Square and go all the way down Rua Augusta, visit the Convento do Carmo and the São Jorge.
Lose yourself in the alleys of Alfama (the historic district of Lisbon), take a complete tour aboard Tram 28, enjoy the view from the numerous viewpoints, visit the Belém district on the banks of the Tagus River and attend a Fado show, Portuguese popular music.
3: What to do in Lisbon in 4 days?
If you have at least 4 days in Lisbon, do the classic tour visiting the Baixa, Bairro Alto, Alfama, Chiado and Belém districts, but also add a visit to the Museo Nacional do Azulejo and Cristo Rei, on the opposite bank of the Tagus River, from where you can enjoy a spectacular panorama over all of Lisbon.
With this guide I hope I have given you all the information you need to find out what to see in Lisbon in 3 days.
If, on the other hand, you should have any doubts, or feel that something is unclear, leave your comment below and I will reply as soon as possible.
Are you going to Portugal? Read also:
10 Days in Portugal: Ultimate 10-Day Portugal Itinerary