3-Day Lisbon Itinerary Options – Classic, Food + Adventure

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Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is the perfect place for a city break, whether you want to visit historical sites and museums, enjoy the vibrant food and nightlife scene, or are looking for adventure. Lisbon can be visited at any time of year, depending on what you are looking for in your holiday. Summers are sunny and hot so it can be exhausting if you are visiting historical buildings, but luckily, Lisbon is on the coast so you can always head to one of the nearby beaches and cool down in the Atlantic. Spring and autumn are perfect for outdoor activities as It is warm, though bring a jacket because the evenings can be cool. Winter is mild but can be wet, and the nights are cold. However, it is a good time to visit museums and art galleries especially as it is less crowded. The itineraries I have prepared are jam-packed with things to do and see and will give you an insight into the life of the locals.

Lisbon Itinerary Options and Tips

Best Places To Stay

If you want to be central, the best neighbourhoods to stay in are Chiada and Baixa.

Chiada is on a hill with fantastic views, as well as plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and historical sites.

Don’t worry that it’s high up as there is a metro station, as well as the Elevador de Santa Justa, an elevator which takes passengers up and down what is one of the steepest hills in Lisbon.

Baixa is on the flat and has a great public transportation system, with both the tram and the metro having stops there.

You will find many places to drink and eat, and if you are looking for something sweet, the pastel de nata at Manteigaria is the best in the city.


Because these neighbourhoods are central, they can be expensive but are well worth the extra for the experience.

Alfama is a beautiful district with cobbled streets and narrow lanes, and, because it is hilly, there are some fantastic viewpoints.

You can even walk on the walls of the Castelo de Sao Jorge which gives some of the best views in the city.

When the weather is good, restaurants spill onto the streets and the atmosphere is lively.

If you are looking for nightlife, stay in Bairro Alto which comes alive after sunset when people flock to the restaurants, bars, and clubs and stay until dawn.

Best Ways To Get Around

Portugal, Panoramic View Of Old Town Lisbon
Wandering around Lisbon’s Old Town is a must-do on a 2-day Lisbon itinerary.

Public transport is the easiest and most practical way to get around Lisbon as driving can be hectic and it is difficult to park.

The city has buses, trams, the metro, suburban trains, funiculars and elevators.

The Tagus River runs through Lisbon and five boat services connect the two sides of the city.

To save money, get a travel pass for access to public transport.

You top up the card with credit and swipe to pay when you get on any of the modes of transport.

You pay less than if you buy a single ticket each time.

If you plan to visit museums and other attractions, a Lisbon card is a good option.

As well as access to public transport, you also get free entry to many attractions throughout the city.

It costs 27 euros for 24 hours but the price per day goes down if you buy it for 48 or 72 hours.

Another option is to take a taxi and there are also rideshare services.

Unfortunately, public transport is generally not wheelchair friendly.

In addition, the pavements can be uneven and badly maintained so it is a difficult city to negotiate if you are disabled.

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How To Pay

Discovery Monument In Lisbon Under Blue Sky
The Discovery Monument is an interesting place to add to your Lisbon itinerary of 3 days.

The euro is used in Portugal and while most shops, restaurants, and bars take credit and debit cards, some only take cash, so having some euros with you is useful.

There are plenty of ATMs to be found in the city.

Some places will only take credit cards if you spend at least a certain amount, such as 10 or 20 euros.

There isn’t a tipping rule in Lisbon, but it is appreciated and preferred in cash. 10% is sufficient.

Lisbon Classic Itinerary

Day 1

Famous National Pantheon
The National Pantheon is a landmark to visit on your Lisbon itinerary 4 days.

To get a feel of the city, take a ride on the number 28 tram.

These yellow trams date back to the 1930s and pass through many of Lisbon’s historic districts including Alfama, Baixa, Chiado and Sao Bento.

They get busy so try and go early in the day.

Spend the rest of the day exploring the Alfama district.

Visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge which towers above central Lisbon.

It has a rich history and dates to the mid-11th century.

You can explore the towers and the beautiful gardens, and it boasts spectacular views of the city.

While you are in the Alfama district, visit the National Pantheon, also called the Santa Engracia, a stunning Baroque building housing the tombs of famous Portuguese figures.

Building started here in the 16th century but wasn’t completed until the mid-20th century.

The National Pantheon is at Campo de Santa Clara 1100-471, Lisbon.

Another interesting stop in the district is the interactive Fado Museum dedicated to traditional Portuguese Fado music.

It has a permanent exhibition, together with temporary exhibitions, and there is an auditorium which hosts Portuguese singers performing this special type of music.

The museum has a restaurant serving traditional Portuguese fare which is well worth trying.

The Fado Museum is at Largo do Chafariz de Dentrol 1100-139, Lisbon.

In the evening, take a sunset Catamaran cruise on the Tagus River.

You will see a beautiful sunset and watch Lisbon light up for the night.

A welcome drink can be enjoyed while you sail past famous sites, such as the Belem Tower and the 25th of April suspension bridge, Lisbon’s answer to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Sunset Catamaran Cruise, Drink and Music.

Day 2

Creative And Cultural Area In Lisbon
LX factory in Lisbon is a fun spot to add to your 4 day itinerary.

In the morning, take a three-hour Belem walking tour.

You will be with an experienced local guide who will tell you interesting facts about the district.

One of the highlights of the tour is the Jeronimos Monastery.

It is a perfect example of Gothic architecture, funded by the spice trade of the 16th century.

It was originally supposed to be modest, but a large budget meant that it became the most ornate and extravagant religious building in the country.

There can be long queues to get inside the monastery, but this tour allows you to skip the line.

The tour ends at Belem Tower, a stunning example of Manueline architecture, a late Gothic Portuguese style.

It has Arab-inspired watch towers and the earliest known stone statue of a rhino.

You will also have lovely views of the Tagus estuary.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Belém Walking Tour and Jerónimos Monastery Ticket.

After lunch head to the Ajuda Palace which was the royal residence in the 19th century.

It is beautiful and you will be able to visit 35 stunning staterooms, including the throne room.

The Ajuda Palace is at Largo da Ajuda, 1349 -201, Lisbon.

In the early evening, visit the LX Factory, which is the art centre of Lisbon.

It is located in a converted factory building where you will find unusual shops, stalls, and artist studios.

There are restaurants so you can enjoy a pleasant dinner.

The LX Factory is at R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300 – 501, Lisbon.

Day 3

Happy Traveler Girl In Lisbon Old City
Add a guided walking tour to your Lisbon itinerary.

In the morning, take the Secret Lisbon Walking Tour.

It lasts for two and a half hours and takes you to ancient palaces, secret gardens, crypts, cemeteries, and the Doll’s Hospital.

Your local guide will tell you stories about Freemasons and conspiracies, enabling you to see a different side of Lisbon.

Other highlights of the tour include the Independence Palace, the Roman Hippodrome, and a mediaeval hospital.

Recommended tour: Secret Lisbon Walking Tour.

In the afternoon, head to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum which houses a spectacular private art collection.

There are works from as far back as Ancient Egypt up until the early 20th century.

You will see the jewellery of Rene Lalique as well as work by such artists as Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Degas, Turner, and Renoir.

There is a separate building housing contemporary art.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is at Av. de Berna 45A, 1067 – 001, Lisbon.

In the evening, enjoy the nightlife in one or both of the main nighttime hubs.

Nights start in the Bairro Alto district where you will find trendy bars and cafes as well as traditional venues playing Fado music.

At around 2 a.m., people head to Cais do Sodre where you will find the best nightclubs in the city.

Lisbon Foodie Itinerary

Day 1

Melted Cheese And Honey
Foodies are spoilt for choice when putting together a Lisbon 2-day itinerary.

Get acquainted with the Portuguese food scene and visit places off the tourist track with a morning food tour.

You will start with a traditional breakfast of pesticos, which are similar to Spanish tapas.

Delightful morsels of different dishes such as grilled sardines and rissoles filled with fish or meat pate are served.

You will make five or six stops, including a food market.

The tour ends with lunch, served with an aperitif.

Your guide will be a food expert who will take you to authentic food venues.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Original Morning Food Tour.

In the afternoon, head to the Time Out Market, the largest food hall in the city.

Many of the popular restaurants in Lisbon have a stall here so you can try single dishes from different vendors.

You will find both Portuguese and international food and there are drink vendors as well.

It is a unique venue as every item on offer has been selected and tried by a team from Time Out, Lisbon.

It stays open until midnight so you could enjoy dinner here.

The Time Out Market is at Avenida 24 de Julho, Mercad de Ribeira, 1200 – 479, Lisbon.

If you don’t want to have dinner in the Time Out Market, the Lisbon Alfama night tour with dinner and traditional Portuguese Fado music is a great alternative.

You will tour the Alfama district where Fado music was born, have a traditional Portuguese dinner, and go and see a Fado show.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Alfama Tour and Live Fado with Traditional Dinner.

Day 2

In the morning, head to the Campo de Ourique Market which is in a 1930s building and has a central food court offering not only food, but arts, crafts, and music.

The food in the market is focused on fresh local produce and is a place where locals gather to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and to meet friends. It is a great place to immerse yourself in local life.

Campo de Ourique Market is at R. Coelho de Richa 104, 1350 – 075, Lisbon.

In the afternoon, take a port wine and tapas tour.

Port is only produced in Portugal making this the perfect place to taste different varieties.

You will be able to sample five ports, including white, tawny, and ruby, accompanied by cheeses and Iberian charcuterie.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Port Wine Tasting & Tapas.

Have dinner in a rooftop restaurant. The sunset is beautiful and later the city lights up for the night, affording spectacular views.

There are many to choose from including the Suba restaurant, located in the elegant 18th-century Verride Palacio Santa Catarina Hotel.

Here you can enjoy a la carte dining or a choice of five different tasting menus. It offers 360-degree panoramic views of Lisbon.

The Hotel Verride Palacia Santa Caterina is at R, de Santa Caterina, 1200 – 401. Lisbon.

Day 3

Streets Adorned With Garlands In Alfama, Lisbon
Discovering the delights of Alfama is a perfect addition to your 3 days in Lisbon itinerary.

Take a day food tour with a cooking class.

The tour first takes you to shops and taverns where you will learn about Portuguese cuisine.

In the cooking class, you will be taught how to cook traditional dishes using local ingredients and how to replicate them when you get back home.

Finally, enjoy a three-course lunch accompanied by local wines.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Gastronomy experience, Food tour and Cooking class.

For your last evening, I suggest a night tour with a food and drinks tasting menu.

You will travel in a vintage jeep and stop at major sights where your local guide will give you an insight into their history.

You will enjoy a six-dish tasting menu and 14 typical Portuguese drinks including wines, liqueurs, spirits, and cocktails.

Don’t worry, the drinks aren’t full measures but give you a taste of what is on offer in the country.

Recommended tour: Lisbon Night Tour – Food & Drinks Tasting Menu.

Lisbon Active Itinerary

Day 1

Tourists Cycling Through The Streets Of Lisbon
Exploring Lisbon on a bicycle is a great way to cover a 3-day itinerary in Lisbon.

Explore Lisbon on a bicycle as you are free to go wherever you want and will be able to negotiate narrow streets and park your bike with no problem.

However, if you are a little wary of cycling in a strange city, you can take an organised bike tour.

It takes you on an exciting journey which isn’t too strenuous.

A local guide will tell you about the places you pass, so it is a good introduction to Lisbon.

The tour covers 10 km (6.21 miles).

Recommended tour: Lisbon Bike Tour: Downtown Lisbon to Belém.

In the afternoon, take a segway tour of the Alfama and Mouraria districts.

Don’t worry if you haven’t ridden a segway before as you will be given instructions and a safety update.

You will negotiate the narrow lanes of mediaeval Alfama, see important landmarks such as the National Pantheon, and go to one of the city’s highest points, Nossa Sra Do Monte with its spectacular views.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Segway Medieval Tour of Alfama and Mouraria.

In the evening, enjoy the nightlife in Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré.

You will find that many clubs stay open until the sun comes up.

Day 2

Cork Oak Forest In Arrabida Mountains
Arrabida Natural Park is good place to add to your 2 days in Lisbon itinerary.

Spend the day kayaking, swimming, and snorkelling in the Arrabida Natural Park which is a 40-minute drive out of the city.

Take the organised seven-hour day trip from Lisbon which transports you to the park and provides you with wetsuits, life vests, and waterproof bags.

You will enjoy kayaking and exploring caves. Swim or snorkel in the clear waters and see what marine life you can spot.

If you are brave enough, have a go at cliff-jumping into the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Kayaking and Snorkeling Adventure.

In the evening go on a pub crawl and make new friends.

There is a great tour which includes an hour of unlimited beer, sangria or soft drinks in one of the pubs and a shot in each of the second and third bars.

The guide is great fun and will get you involved in drinking games.

The package also includes entrance to a nightclub where you can stay for as long as you like.

Recommended tour: Lisbon: Pub Crawl with Open Bar and VIP Club Entry.

Day 3

Take a trip to Cape Espichel in a 4 x 4 jeep to see dinosaur footprints along the way which are around 150 million years old and also spot wildlife in the Arrabida Natural Park.

The Cape itself has fantastic views out to the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended tour: From Lisbon or Sesimbra: 4×4 Tour to Cape Espichel.

In the afternoon, weather permitting, take a paragliding tandem flight.

There are many places close to Lisbon where you can do this, such as Bicas Beach or Fonte da Telha in the Arrabida Natural Park.

Soar through the sky with a certified instructor. You don’t need any training as your instructor does the work while you can just enjoy the sensation and the views.

Recommended tour: From Lisbon: Paragliding Tandem Flight.

In the evening climb up to one of Lisbon’s famous miradouros which are viewpoints with stunning views.

You can go at sunset to see the beautiful colours or later in the evening to see the city beautifully lit up.

Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte is the highest miradouro in Lisbon but there are plenty more to choose from.

Looking for more itineraries? Try these:

Plan Your Trip

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Irena Nieslony
Irena Nieslony was born in Windsor, England but now lives on the island of Crete, Greece, in a small village called Modi near the city of Chania. She has visited 32 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Her favourite country is Tanzania as she loves wildlife and was lucky enough to see ‘The Big Five”. She also loves Egypt, as ancient history intrigues her, the southern states of the US and the cities of Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans for music. She has a B.A. Honours degree in English and Drama from Westfield College, University of London. She has been writing for over 13 years and has 13 novels, 7 short stories and thousands of articles published.