Full of rich history, unbelievable cuisine, and beautiful sites, Lisbon is worthy of its #6 spot in the top trending destinations of 2019. If you’re planning on spending 2 days in Lisbon, this 2 day itinerary will give you plenty of opportunity to experience the best that the Portuguese capital has to offer in just a short period of time.
This 2 day Lisbon itinerary will ensure you experience the best that Lisbon has to offer, both inside and outside its city limits. Given the limited time period of your trip, we’ve broken out this itinerary to help you choose how you want to spend 2 days in Lisbon.
Day one provides you a hand-picked list of options that you can choose from. Day two gives you two day trip options that will take you just outside the city to visit some incredible historical sites, and some of the pristine beaches of the Portuguese coast.
Before getting started, we would suggest reviewing our Ultimate Guide to Lisbon, which will give you valuable information on what you should know before going, how to get around, where to stay and where to eat.
Behold, our Lisbon 2 day itinerary.
Day 1: Exploring Lisbon
Here are some great options for things to do during your 2 days in Lisbon:
1. Visit Miradouros for Best Viewpoints of the City:
One thing you’ll quickly learn about Lisbon is that it’s a very hilly city. While definitely good for your calves and glutes, its hilliness also creates one of Lisbon’s coolest attractions, the miradouros. Exploring the miradouros – which are essentially viewing points overlooking the city – on day one will give you breathtaking views of Lisbon, while also helping you get your bearings. There are a dozen or so miradouros located in Lisbon. We’d recommend choosing 2-3 to go check out. Use this guide to help you choose which ones to visit.
2. Visit the National Tile Museum
Beautifully put together, this museum shares the history of Lisbon’s iconic tiled streets and buildings. They have restored countless pieces of tile art for you to see and learn about, feature stunning tiled courtyards, rooms, and chapels for you to walk inside and experience. They are open 10am to 6pm everyday – except Monday when they are closed – and adult entry is only 5 €.
3. Check Out the Elevador da Bica
For those who don’t know, Lisbon is known for its charming all-yellow streetcars that have been used there for decades. Although today most of them now feature advertisements or lots of graffiti on the side, there are a couple that have been preserved in their unique bright yellow color. One of these is the Elevador da Bica! Every day, hundreds of tourists seek this little tramcar out to experience its charm and take pictures with it. This is absolutely a must-see during your 2 days in Lisbon. To avoid the crowds, our recommendation is to visit it as soon as it comes out of its evening hideaway, which is around 7:15 am. Here’s everything you need to know about the Elevador da Bica and how to best experience it.
4. Take a Self-guided Walking Tour of Lisbon
With just 2 days in Lisbon, there’s a lot to see in a short period of time. Since the city is so compact, taking yourself on a walking tour is a great way to do it! Walking around the city was our favorite thing to do while we were in Lisbon. We spent over a month living there and started (almost) every day with a one hour walk to a new neighborhood, cafe, or point of interest. Walking around will give you the chance to experience some of the different neighborhoods in Lisbon, as well as an appreciation for the tiled buildings and streets. Pop into any and all of the intriguing cafes and shops you pass along the way!
5. Visit LX Factory
If you don’t feel up for walking all around Lisbon, another great option is to go check out the Lx Factory area! Lx Factory is an old, abandoned industrial site that has been converted into a creative, cultural and gastronomic hub. You’ll find tons of artisans selling their creations here, along with niche food shops, quaint cafes, and inspiring art studios. It really is worth checking out and you can spend a couple of hours puttering from shop to shop to find a unique souvenir from your 2 days in Lisbon.
Where to Find Brunch in Lisbon
Lisbon’s brunch scene rivals that of anywhere else in the world – yes, even Bali – and it continues to evolve and grow every year. During your Lisbon 2 day itinerary, you’ve got two great opportunities to experience it yourself! There are countless places with incredible coffee and mouth-watering yet healthy dishes. Check out our article on the top brunch places in Lisbon and take your pick!
Where to Grab Lunch in Lisbon
Given your limited time, the best way to experience Lisbon’s incredible food scene in an efficient way is to head to Timeout Market. A very cool concept, Timeout Market is essentially an upscale food court where Lisbon’s top chefs have fast-casual style restaurants. This way, you can taste some of the city’s top chefs and top local cuisine, without the formal dining setting or formal price tag. You can also get beer, wine and cocktails here, along with some sweet treats and souvenirs.
Don’t forget to grab pasteis de nata for dessert! Yummmm. Also known as “Portuguese custard tarts,” pasteis de nata qmade fresh and enjoyed while still warm are an absolute dream. Hands-down the best 1 € you can spend! These are a can’t-miss during your Lisbon 2 day itinerary.
Visit the pasteis pros at Manteigaria at any time of day – breakfast, snack, dessert, whenever! Enjoy a tart with an espresso or a shot of Ginjinha and you’ll be in for a treat.
Where to Go for Sunset in Lisbon
Lisbon’s topography lends itself to having ample great rooftop bars with magnificent views of the city and the river. Some of our favorite rooftop bars for sunset include:
Alternatively, if you want to try something different than a rooftop bar, go check out Quiosque Ribeira das Naus right down on the river. It’s a great casual outdoor place to grab a drink and hang by the water as the sun goes down.
Where to Have Dinner in Lisbon
For dinner, you have a multitude of incredible options to choose from. Lisbon is hands-down one of the best foodie cities in the world and provides exceptional dining options for all tastes and budgets. You’ll find mouth-watering seafood options and creative dishes from some of the world’s most innovative chefs all around the city.
With so many options to choose from, making a decision can be overwhelming. Thankfully, we’ve put together a list of our must-try restaurants in Lisbon. Pick two winners from the list to experience during your 2 days in Lisbon. If it were us, we would try and hit Tapisco and A Cevicheria as our two dinner options on a Lisbon 2 day itinerary.
Whenever possible, we recommend making a reservation, just because of how competitive these restaurants can be. If they don’t accept reservations, we’d recommend going for dinner early – a lot of them open at 7pm – and you shouldn’t have trouble getting a table if you arrive right as they open. Even if you do, many of them have an outdoor bar area so that you can enjoy a drink while you wait. Nice touch 🙂
If you’re looking to mix in some partying to your Lisbon 2 day itinerary, head down to Cais do Sodre, aka nightclub central! There are plenty of great bars and nightclubs here that go late into the night. Walk the infamous pink street, enjoy a couple of drinks, and soak in the live music before popping into one of Lisbon’s iconic nightclubs.
Day 2, Option 1: Day Trip to Cascais
On your second day, we recommend taking one of two different day trips, then returning back to Lisbon for the evening. Because you’ve got to try at least one more Lisbon restaurant of course 😉
The first option is Cascais. Cascais is an elegant coastal town located about half an hour from Lisbon. Its pristine beaches, beautiful cobbled streets, and ocean views attract visitors from all across Europe. Many people actually choose Cascais as their destination when visiting the Lisbon area.
Although we recommend staying in Lisbon because of its accessibility, size, and incredible restaurants, a day trip from Lisbon to Cascais is definitely worthwhile.
Cascais has four beautiful beaches to check out, a charming city center, and some great spots for an oceanside drink or dinner.
Click here to check out our full guide to a day trip from Lisbon to Cascais. We’ve included some key information about the best way to get to Cascais and how to spend your day there.
Day 2, Option 2: Day Trip to Sintra
Also located about a half-hour from Lisbon is the alluring and historical region of Sintra. This area is famous for its many palaces, castles, and ruins, some of which you’ve probably seen in pictures across social media and google.
The most iconic of them all is the Palácio Nacional da Pena – also known as “Pena Palace.” A spectacular red and yellow palace perched upon the top of Mount Pena, Pena Palace is one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. It’s an absolute can’t-miss!
Beyond the palaces, Sintra has several beautiful beaches nearby where you can relax after a day of exploring.
Click here to check out our full guide to a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, including how to avoid the crowds, which castles you should visit, and how to save money on your tickets!
Note: if you really wanted to, it is possible to do these two day trips in one day, it would just require some hustle! If you’re looking to do both, we’d recommend starting early in the morning with Sintra, since the crowds are always crazier there compared to Cascais.
There you have it. Your guide to spending 2 days in Lisbon. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments. We hope you use this guide to build your own customized Lisbon 2 day itinerary. Enjoy!