Visit Lisbon in 3 days
We took 3 days to visit Lisbon but we could have stayed longer! We loved all the facets of the city, which has so much to offer. What to do in Lisbon? We will give you our must-do’s to visit Lisbon in 3 days.
What to do in Lisbon in 3 days
Lisbon is a city built on 7 hills. Some streets have such a steep drop in height that funiculars have been built there to be able to go to the heights of the city. The cost of living is rather cheap for the French wallet. Lisbon is a very secure city. The police are everywhere, residents told us there were no violent attacks in the city center. On the other hand, there are pickpockets, be especially careful in the trams! Now that you know everything, here are our must-see places for visiting Lisbon.
✈️ Airline tickets to Lisbon are often at very good prices. Find your cheap flight on Skyscanner.
Itinerary to visit Lisbon: Day 1
You can start your visit to Lisbon in the Baixa district (which means “bottom” in Portuguese, it is the lowest district of the city).
To discover the city in a thorough and free way, you can take advantage of this guide tour. Duration: 2H30.
Arco da Rua Augusta
The triumphal arch of Lisbon is located at the end of Augusta street. Apparently, since 2013 it is possible to take an elevator to get to the top of the arch (3€). Click here to book your ticket!
We managed to take this picture without tourists at 8:30 am. Know that the day, it is crowded.
Praça do Comércio
Cross the arch and you will come across Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio. It got its name because, in the past, goods arrived by boat and were unloaded directly in Praça do Comércio to be sold.
This square is very beautiful and vast. In the center, a statue represents King Joseph I, who rebuilt Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755. The earthquake was so violent that it destroyed the city and is said to have killed nearly 60,000 people.
Elevador de Santa Justa
If you have been good students so far, you have learned that Lisbon is built on 7 hills. The now famous yellow funiculars help the inhabitants to climb the slopes. This is also the purpose of this elevator that allows you to go from the Baixa district to the Chiado one, avoiding cramps in your calves! For shopping lovers, the Chiado district is very commercial. You will find most of the big brands (Zara, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius…) at the same prices as in Spain.
The architect behind this construction would have been a student of a certain Gustave Eiffel. This could explain the similarities between our iron lady and the Lisbon elevator. At least that is what our guide told us, but it seems to be a legend
Price: 5€ round trip, +1,50 to access the lookout and enjoy the view. Be careful, the wait can be very long.
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Casa do Alentejo
At 6 minutes walking distance from the Santa Justa elevator, we find the Casa do Alentejo. It is now a restaurant, but you can go in to visit this place without consuming. We loved this place because it reminds the Moroccan architectural style. An unusual and unexpected place in the heart of Lisbon!
If you are looking for a place to have lunch or dinner, find our best addresses in our article Where to eat is Lisbon?
Sunset in Ribeira das Naus
For your first sunset in Lisbon, head to Ribeira Das Naus Avenue. The atmosphere is very nice! We tried to settle on deckchairs at the bar “Quiosque da Ribeira Das Naus”, but it was crowded. So, we went along the quay to find a corner where to sit.
We were not too badly housed:
Itinerary to visit Lisbon : Day 2
Let us go for your second day in Lisbon! It’ s going to be a busy day.
The Belem Tower
To avoid the horde of tourists, we advise you to come early enough to the Belem Tower. In any case, it is not necessary to queue to visit the interior. What is interesting is the exterior and the fact that the tower is immersed in water.
As you may know, the ocean level is constantly changing with the tides. As a result, the landscape may be different from the photos we post. Quite simply, the beach will be completely covered with water if you go there during high tide.
How to get to Belem from Lisbon?
From Praça do Comércio, you can take the E15 streetcar which will take you to Belem in 40 minutes. Otherwise, an Uber will cost you a little less than 20€ round trip: if you are 3 or 4, it can be worth it!
Don’t hesitate to stroll through the streets of Belem, it’s very nice! Here you can book a free tour of the Belem district with a guide.
Taste the Pastéis of Belem
The pastel de Nata is a typical Portuguese pastry. It would have been created in Belem, by the nuns of the Hieronymites Monastery (which you can visit if you wish). It is therefore near this monastery that you will find the only store that sells Pastéis de Belem, the original recipe created in 1837. All the pastéis de Nata you will find outside this store are not real pastéis de Belem, as for us with sparkling wine and champagne!
To taste them, you will find the store called Pastéis de Belem at Rua de Belém nº 84 a 92. Be careful, there can be a lot of waiting! Indeed, this pastry is one of the 7 culinary wonders of the world. So, you can’t visit Lisbon without trying it.
For more great places to eat in Lisbon, check out our article!
The Monastery of the Hieronymites (or Dos Jerónimos)
After or before your visit to the Pastéis de Belem store, we recommend a visit to the Monastery of the Hieronymites. The interior and exterior are sublime. The only drawback of the place is that it is very crowded.
Our advice: book and buy your entry tickets here so you do not have to wait in line!
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The Sanctuary of Cristo Rei
This monument is one of the symbols of Lisbon. It can be seen from the quays of the city center since it faces it. But to see it more closely, you will have to go to Almada by boat. It is possible to climb to the top of the sanctuary. We stayed on the ground because it was too crowded and the view of the famous 25th of April bridge is incredible.
How to get to Almada?
The boat to see the Cristo Rei can be taken from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas. The crossing takes less than 15 minutes. Price per person: 3€ round trip
Once you disembark, you will have a 35 minute walk to the Cristo Rei. Otherwise, you can take an Uber for about 4€.
The 25th of April Bridge
Visiting Lisbon without noticing the 25th of April Bridge is impossible! The best view of this bridge, which looks like San Francisco, is from the Cristo Rei sanctuary. If it is so similar, it is simply because it was built by the same company: the American Bridge Company.
Cultural point: the 25th of April bridge is named after the date of the Carnation Revolution, which allowed the establishment of democracy in Portugal by putting an end to the dictatorship. This revolution was carried out without violence by the military that carried out the coup.During the operations, a florist would have slipped carnations into the rifle barrels of the soldiers who occupied the flower market in Lisbon. This act, very symbolic, gave its name to the Carnation Revolution.
Watching the sunset in Almada
We decided to wait until the end of the day to watch the sunset. The view from the Lisbon bridge is even more beautiful than from the city center. So Almada was our favorite spot to watch the sunset.
You can go to the restaurant Ponto Final. If you want to eat there, you have to book a table in advance. While you are at it, ask for one of the best tables with a full view on the bridge! Otherwise, just walk along the quay and sit quietly on the grass.
Itinerary to visit Lisbon : Day 3
Last day to visit Lisbon! Of course, our itinerary is not exhaustive – there are plenty of other things to do in Lisbon. Unfortunately, you have to make choices…
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
There are several viewpoints that allow you to take the height to admire the roofs of Lisbon. One of them is the Mirador de Santa Luzia. On the spot, there is a small church with a terrace that offers a magnificent view of the city center. The two huge bougainvilleas make the place even more magical and photogenic!
Castelo de S. Jorge
The Castelo de São Jorge reigns over the city, it is located on the highest hill of the historical center. That is why you have a magnificent view of Lisbon! Walk up to it after the viewpoint of Santa Luzia, the way through the alleys is nice.
Going back down from the castle and the mirador, you will find the Sé Cathedral. We found it very beautiful! There are many religious monuments in Lisbon, Portugal being a very catholic country.
Take the Streetcar 28
The streetcar 28 (the yellow one) above is a mythical way to visit Lisbon! So don’t hesitate to hop on for a few stops. The one-way ticket costs 2,90€.
BONUS: Day 4 – Visit the surroundings of Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais
If you decide to spend a 4th day in Lisbon, we recommend that you leave the city center to visit the surrounding area. Head to the northwest to visit Sintra and Cascais.
The National Palace of Pena
In the heart of the natural park of Sintra-Cascais, you can go to the magnificent National Palace of Pena. This place is out of the ordinary. The castle is located on the heights, so you can also admire beautiful views all around.
Tip : go early, before the opening, so you can park close to the palace. It gets crowded quickly, especially when the weather is nice.
If you want to take a guided tour of the National Palace of Pena de Sintra and Cascais, we recommend this tour, which includes the car transfer from Lisbon!
Cascaïs: heading to the west coast
If you want to swim in a nice seaside resort, you must go to Cascaïs! Its old town is full of charm, with a beautiful medieval fortress and a very photogenic lighthouse. The coastline around Cascais is splendid. It is famous for its large sandy beaches and for being home to Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point in Europe!
Visit Lisbon in 3 days: Practical Advice
Where to eat in Lisbon?
We made an article with our best addresses to know where to eat in Lisbon!
How to get around?
No, it is not necessary to rent a car to visit Lisbon! We did everything by foot or by Uber. Uber there are really cheap so take advantage of it.
You can also use public transports (streetcars, buses, metro). We advise you to buy a 24h unlimited ticket at 6,30€. Indeed, the single ticket can become expensive after many trips!
Where to sleep in Lisbon?
We spent our first nights at the Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon. For luxury and comfort, it is ideal! You will find a spa, a swimming pool, a gym with an athletic track on the roof. Also, the breakfast buffet is probably one of the best we have experienced. It’s a 10 minute walk from the center of Lisbon.
The hotel also organizes activities to visit Lisbon. We had the chance to take a sidecar tour of the city with a guide. We can say that it is a rather unusual means of transports.
Otherwise, you can find more choices of hotels here
We then stayed at the Corinthia Hotel in Lisbon. This one is a little more out of the way, which allows to be quiet and to have more space. It has the 2nd largest spa in Europe, which is definitely worth a try if you get the chance! The nightly prices are quite affordable for a 5 star hotel and for the quality of the services offered.
For other ideas of destination for a few days, here are our article on 3 days in Rome, the capital of Italy!