Is 2 days in Lisbon enough? Planning a 2 day Lisbon itinerary

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

· 9 min read

Yes, 2 days in Lisbon is enough to explore the main parts of the city. Here's a 2-day itinerary for you:

Day 1: Lisbon's Historic Districts and Landmarks


  1. Have breakfast at a local café

  2. Visit São Jorge Castle

  3. Wander through Alfama neighborhood

  4. Explore Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)

  5. Admire the viewpoints of Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia


  1. Eat lunch at a traditional Portuguese restaurant

  1. Visit the National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional)

  2. Discover the Fado Museum

  3. Stroll along the Tagus River waterfront

  4. Explore the LX Factory - an artistic and creative hub


  1. Eat dinner at a trendy restaurant in Bairro Alto

  1. Experience Lisbon's nightlife in Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré

Day 2: Art, Culture, and Modern Lisbon


  1. Have breakfast at a local pastelaria

  2. Visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum - art and artifacts

  3. Explore Parque Eduardo VII and its beautiful gardens

  4. Visit the Estufa Fria - a unique greenhouse


  1. Have lunch in the Baixa-Chiado district

  1. Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium - one of the largest in Europe

  2. Discover the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology)

  3. Take a ride on Tram 28 to see various neighborhoods


  1. Have dinner at a traditional Fado restaurant

  1. Attend a Fado performance to experience Portuguese music

  2. Take a night walk along Ribeira das Naus or Cais das Colunas

Detailed 2 days Lisbon itinerary

Ah, Lisbon. Portugal's sun-drenched capital, nestled along the Tagus River and boasting a captivating fusion of tradition and modernity.

It's a city that promises vibrant neighborhoods, awe-inspiring viewpoints, historic landmarks, and mouth-watering Portuguese cuisine. Now, you might be wondering, can all this be savored in just a two-day trip? Well, the answer is a resounding yes!

Welcome to your guide for exploring Lisbon in 2 days. This comprehensive guide aims to offer you an unforgettable taste of Lisbon's best, optimizing your time and immersing you in the city's unique rhythm.

This guide won't merely suggest places to see; it will let you experience the city, feel its pulse, taste its offerings, and breathe its culture.

From wandering through narrow cobblestone lanes of Alfama, to absorbing art at the Gulbenkian Museum, to experiencing the famed Fado music, these two days will be a whirlwind of unforgettable experiences.

You'll explore, you'll discover, and you'll fall in love with Lisbon.So, let's dive into the heart of Portugal and make your short Lisbon stay one for the books!

Day 1: Lisbon's Historic Districts and Landmarks

Embarking on my journey to discover Lisbon in 2 days, I found myself immersed in an alluring blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Here’s a peek into the sights and experiences from my first day.


  1. Have breakfast at a local café

I started my day like most Lisboetas – with a hearty breakfast at a local café.

I ordered a 'galão' (similar to a latte), a 'pastel de nata' (traditional Portuguese custard tart), and a 'torrada' (grilled bread) drizzled with butter.

I can tell you, Lisbon’s cafés, such as "Café Nicola" or "A Brasileira", are cozy spots to start your day, where you can watch the city wake up while enjoying your morning meal.

have breakfast at a local cafe in Lisbon

  1. Visit São Jorge Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)

My next stop was São Jorge Castle, an ancient fortress offering sweeping views over Lisbon.

I learned that the castle was built by the Moors in the mid-11th century, making it a must-see for history buffs.

From the towering walls and ramparts, I admired the panoramic view of the city, which was truly breathtaking.

  1. Wander through Alfama neighborhood

From the castle, I strolled down to Alfama, Lisbon's oldest district.

The labyrinthine streets were filled with the sounds of locals chatting, the scent of grilling sardines, and the soulful tunes of Fado music drifting from nearby taverns.

Places like "Feira da Ladra" (flea market) and "Santo Estêvão Church" make Alfama a charming and vibrant area to explore.

  1. Explore Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa)

I then visited Sé de Lisboa, Lisbon’s imposing cathedral.

Its fortress-like exterior and serene Romanesque interior have stood witness to Lisbon's past since the 12th century.

Exploring this grand cathedral, with its beautiful rose window and Gothic cloister, made me feel like I was stepping back in time.

  1. Admire the viewpoints of Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Before lunch, I made sure to stop by the viewpoints at Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

These terraces offer some of the best vistas in Lisbon. From these vantage points, I was treated to a dazzling spectacle of the Alfama's sea of terracotta rooftops against the backdrop of the sparkling blue Tagus River.


  1. Eat lunch at a traditional Portuguese restaurant

For lunch, I ate at a traditional Portuguese restaurant. I enjoyed a 'bacalhau à brás' (codfish with scrambled eggs and fries), paired with a glass of Vinho Verde.

Traditional eateries, like "Tasca do Chico" or "Cantinho do Aziz", are where you can sample the full range of Portugal’s culinary delights.

  1. Visit the National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional)

Post-lunch, I visited the National Pantheon, the final resting place for Portugal's eminent personalities.

I marveled at the symmetrical marble interior and climbed to the terrace for yet another beautiful view over Lisbon.

  1. Discover the Fado Museum

Next, I visited the Fado Museum, which pays homage to Portugal’s national music.

Here, I learned about the history of Fado through exhibits of vintage guitars, biographies of famous singers, and listened to haunting melodies that truly stirred my soul.

  1. Stroll along the Tagus River waterfront

Then, I took a relaxing walk along the Tagus River. The riverside, dotted with sun-drenched cafés and ice-cream vendors, was brimming with life.

From here, I enjoyed splendid views of the '25 de Abril' bridge and the statue of 'Cristo Rei' on the opposite bank.

  1. Explore the LX Factory

Later in the afternoon, I headed to the LX Factory, a vibrant creative hub situated in a refurbished industrial complex.

This area, brimming with quirky shops, graffiti art, and hip eateries like "Landau Chocolate" and "Rio Maravilha", was an exciting change of pace.


  1. Eat dinner at a trendy restaurant in Bairro Alto District

As the evening approached, I headed to Bairro Alto, a district famous for its nightlife.

I dined at a trendy restaurant, savored local delicacies like 'polvo à lagareiro' (octopus with potatoes), paired with a local red wine. Restaurants like "The Decadente" and "Pharmacia" are excellent choices for a chic dinner experience.

  1. Experience Lisbon's nightlife in Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré

Finally, I experienced Lisbon's vibrant nightlife. I found that Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré are buzzing with a mix of traditional Fado houses, stylish bars, and trendy nightclubs.

"Pavilhão Chinês" and "Pink Street" are just a couple of examples where I had a fantastic time, ending my day on a high note.

In a nutshell, my first day exploring Lisbon's historic districts and landmarks was nothing short of incredible.

From historic castles and vibrant neighborhoods to trendy restaurants and vibrant nightlife, this city truly has it all.

And remember, this is just Day 1 – there’s a whole new adventure awaiting in the second half of my journey in Lisbon in 2 days.

Also, if you have only one day in Lisbon, here's a 1 day Lisbon itinerary for you.

Day 2:Art, Culture, and Modern Lisbon

On my second day, my quest to explore Lisbon in 2 days continued, taking me to the city's art and culture centers and modern marvels. Here's a recap of what the day entailed.


  1. Have breakfast at a local pastelaria

Like the first day, I kick-started my morning with a local breakfast at a pastelaria.

Lisbon’s pastelarias are famous for their 'pão de Deus' (a sweet roll topped with coconut) and I paired mine with a 'meia de leite' (half coffee, half milk).

Pastelarias such as "Pastelaria Versailles" and "Pastelaria Alcôa" are just perfect for an authentic Portuguese breakfast.

  1. Visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

After breakfast, I headed to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. This world-class art collection, ranging from Egyptian artifacts to European paintings, was a feast for the eyes.

I was particularly awed by pieces from Rembrandt, Monet, and the exquisite collection of Lalique jewelry.

  1. Explore Parque Eduardo VII and its beautiful gardens

Next, I ventured into Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon's largest park.

I ambled along the beautifully manicured gardens, watched the ducks in the ponds, and admired the panoramic view of Lisbon from the park's hilltop. It was a serene escape in the heart of the city.

  1. Visit the Estufa Fria

Inside Parque Eduardo VII, I discovered the Estufa Fria. This enormous greenhouse is filled with exotic plants, waterfalls, and even a few peacocks! Walking through this urban jungle, I felt like I had been transported to a tropical paradise.


  1. Have lunch in the Baixa-Chiado district

For lunch, I dined in the Baixa-Chiado district, a bustling area known for its shopping streets and historical sites. I indulged in a 'francesinha' (a sandwich with different meats and cheese) at a local eatery.

If you're in this district, eateries like "Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau" and "Trigueirinho" are worth checking out.

  1. Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium

After lunch, I visited the Lisbon Oceanarium, one of Europe’s largest aquariums. The main tank, mimicking the open ocean, was a wonder to behold. I saw sharks, rays, and even a curious otter. For marine life lovers, this place is a dream.

  1. Discover the MAAT

Then, I discovered the MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology). This museum, with its iconic wave-like architecture, explores the intersection of technology, art, and architecture through thought-provoking exhibits. The sunset view over the Tagus from the rooftop was stunning.

  1. Take a ride on Tram 28

Late in the afternoon, I took a ride on Tram 28. This iconic yellow tram whisked me through many of Lisbon's most scenic neighborhoods. With its wooden interiors and the bell's charming ding, it felt like a ride back in time.


  1. Have dinner at a traditional Fado restaurant

As the day turned to dusk, I enjoyed dinner at a traditional Fado restaurant. I savored 'arroz de pato' (duck rice) while listening to the soulful strains of Fado music.

Restaurants like "Clube de Fado" and "Adega Machado" offer fantastic Fado performances along with their delicious dishes.

  1. Attend a Fado performance

After dinner, I attended a full Fado performance. The emotional intensity of the music, coupled with the intimate atmosphere of the venue, made for an unforgettable experience.

It's easy to see why Fado is such an integral part of Portuguese culture.

  1. Take a night walk along Ribeira das Naus or Cais das Colunas

To cap off the day, I took a peaceful night walk along the Ribeira das Naus or the Cais das Colunas. The glistening lights of the city, the gentle lapping of the Tagus, and the sense of tranquility made it the perfect ending to a packed day.

After two days of exploring Lisbon, from its historic districts to modern marvels, it was time to say 'adeus' (goodbye).

As I found out, immersing yourself in Lisbon in 2 days is a delightful experience, filled with diverse landscapes, rich culture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a food lover, or an art admirer, Lisbon has something for everyone.

Deciding what to do for 2 days in Lisbon

Lisbon is a city that's bursting with life and activity, and planning a 2-day itinerary was an exciting challenge. Here's how to decide what to do for 2 days in Lisbon:

  1. Interests: I considered my interests first. If you're a history buff, districts like Alfama and Baixa should be on your list. Art lovers should make time for the Gulbenkian Museum and MAAT.

  2. Time Management: I ensured my itinerary was realistic, given the time constraints. It was crucial not to cram too many activities into one day.

  3. Location: I grouped activities by their location. This strategy helped me save on travel time and explore Lisbon more efficiently.

  4. Recommendations: Lastly, I checked online reviews and sought recommendations from fellow travelers. This gave me insight into which attractions were the most enjoyable and worthwhile.

Remember, when you plan your own adventure in Lisbon in 2 days, be flexible.

Some of the city's best moments are unplanned, like stumbling upon a charming café or a vibrant street performance.

lisbon, portugal, historic center

What to pack for 2 days in Lisbon

Packing for Lisbon is all about being prepared for its sunny days and cool nights. Here's what to pack for 2 days in Lisbon:

  1. Clothing: I packed lightweight, breathable clothes for the daytime. However, Lisbon can be quite breezy in the evening, so I also included a light jacket.

  2. Footwear: Lisbon's cobblestone streets can be challenging, so comfortable walking shoes were a must.

  3. Sun Protection: I included sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen to protect myself from the Portuguese sun.

  4. Essentials: Don't forget your passport, any necessary travel documents, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.

  5. A map and a Portuguese phrasebook can also be handy. Although many locals speak English, it's nice to greet them in their own language.

Getting around Lisbon

Navigating Lisbon was easier than I expected. The city offers several convenient transportation options:

  1. Metro: Lisbon's metro is efficient and covers most of the city. It's perfect for longer distances and to avoid uphill walks.

  2. Trams & Buses: The iconic Tram 28 and local buses are great for shorter trips and sightseeing.

  3. Walking: Many of Lisbon's neighborhoods, like Alfama and Bairro Alto, are best explored on foot. However, beware of the city's famous seven hills!

  4. Taxis & Rideshares: Taxis and rideshares like Uber are readily available and reasonably priced.

  5. Bicycle: Lisbon's riverfront paths are perfect for cycling. You can easily rent a bike from one of the city's many rental shops.

Traveling from central Lisbon or the Lisbon city centre is easier, and you might want to consider taking accommodation accordingly.

Best time to visit Lisbon

Lisbon is a year-round destination, but each season offers a unique experience:

  1. Spring (March to June): The city is in full bloom and the weather is comfortable. It's the perfect time for outdoor activities.

  2. Summer (July to September): While it can be hot, Lisbon's beaches and festivals make it an attractive time to visit.

  3. Autumn (October to November): The weather is mild and the city is less crowded, making it ideal for sightseeing.

  4. Winter (December to February): Although it's the coldest period, Lisbon's winter is milder than in most European cities. You can enjoy the city's indoor attractions and cozy cafés.

Where to stay for 2 days in Lisbon

Deciding where to stay depends on your budget and preferred location. I found Lisbon offers a variety of options to suit every traveler:

Budget-friendly places to stay

For budget travelers, Lisbon has plenty of affordable accommodations.

Hostels like "Yes! Lisbon Hostel" and "Travellers House" offer comfortable dormitory and private rooms in central locations.

Mid-range places to stay

For a bit more comfort, mid-range hotels provide excellent value. Hotels like "LX Boutique Hotel" and "Hotel Mundial" offer comfortable rooms and amenities in convenient locations.

Luxury places to stay

If you're seeking luxury, Lisbon won't disappoint.

High-end hotels like "Valverde Hotel" and "Pousada de Lisboa" offer sumptuous rooms, top-notch service, and stunning views. You can find a suitable place near Lisbon's city centre, too.

Remember, booking in advance can help you secure the best deals and make your journey exploring Lisbon in 2 days smoother and more enjoyable.


Lisbon, with its narrow streets and beautiful buildings is an amazing destination to visit. While this is a brief itinerary, you can do a lot more in Lisbon and do not have to stick to it.

For example, you can visit the Belem tower, a UNESCO world heritage site or Arco da Rua Augusta or the Santa Justa Lift. You can even pick a small town near Lisbon for a day trip and take a walking tour in it. If you are looking to stay for longer in Lisbon, check out this 7 days in Lisbon itinerary.

Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Lisbon

  1. What currency is used in Lisbon?

The currency used in Lisbon, like the rest of Portugal, is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments or market stalls.

  1. How safe is Lisbon?

Lisbon is generally a safe city for tourists. Like any major city, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure, especially in crowded areas.

  1. Is English widely spoken in Lisbon?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Lisbon, particularly in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases is appreciated.

  1. What is the traditional food I should try in Lisbon?

When in Lisbon, you must try pastéis de nata (custard tarts), bacalhau (codfish), and bifanas (pork sandwiches). For a sweet treat, try ginjinha, a cherry liqueur.

  1. Can I drink tap water in Lisbon?

Yes, tap water in Lisbon is safe to drink and is of high quality. Plus, it's environmentally friendly to refill a reusable bottle.

  1. Are there any tourist passes available in Lisbon?

Yes, the Lisbon Card offers free or discounted entry to many attractions and unlimited use of public transportation. It can be a cost-effective option if you plan to visit many paid attractions.

  1. Do I need to tip in restaurants in Lisbon?

Tipping is not mandatory in Lisbon, but it's common to leave around 10% if you're happy with the service.

  1. What's the best way to get from Lisbon airport to the city center?

The quickest and most convenient way is by metro. It's about a 25-minute ride. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, Uber, or an airport shuttle.

  1. Can I visit Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon?

Yes, both Sintra and Cascais are short train rides away from Lisbon. They make excellent day trips, specially if you have about 4 days in Lisbon or more. In two days, it might be a bit hectic to go on a day trip.