Julie Itinerary, Portugal 4 Comments

With its historic neighborhoods, breathtaking viewpoints, famous landmarks such as São Jorge Castle and Belém Tower, and fantastic cuisine, Lisbon is filled with unforgettable experiences. And with so much to do, there are multiple ways to spend one day in Lisbon.

Will you visit Belém and tour the amazing Jerónimos Monastery and see Belém Tower, or will you spend all of your time in the city center, exploring Lisbon’s colorful neighborhoods?

In this guide, we list two different ways to spend one day in Lisbon.

Itinerary #1 keeps you parked in the city center. You will spend the day seeing Lisbon’s main sights, such as São Jorge Castle, the Alfama and Bairro Alto neighborhoods, and a few spectacular viewpoints.

Itinerary #2 starts in Belém. Spend the morning at Jerónimos Monastery and Belém tower and spend the afternoon in Lisbon’s historic city center.

An Overview of Lisbon

Lisbon is the largest city and capital of Portugal. It is located on the Tagus River, not far from the Atlantic Ocean.

This is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is the second-oldest European city (Athens takes the #1 spot) and was first established by pre-Celtic tribes.

Julius Caesar gave the city the name Olissipo when it was part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Lisbon then changed hands between Germanic tribes and then the Moors. Afonso Henriques conquered the city in 1255 and it became Portugal’s capital.

500 years later, in 1755, a massive earthquake struck Lisbon. Many of the buildings were destroyed and the city was rebuilt. Alfama is one of the few areas in Lisbon that was relatively untouched by the earthquake and exploring these ancient medieval streets is one of Lisbon’s top experiences.

Like Rome, Lisbon is built on seven hills. To get to the hilltops, which is well worth it for the views they offer, you can ride the handy network of funiculars and trams or take an electric tuk-tuk to get from place to place. Tram 28 and the Santa Justa Elevator make this list.

Most of the must-see sights in Lisbon are located in the city center, in the Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, and Bairro Alto neighborhoods. Much farther west sits Belém, and this is where the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, the Monument of Discoveries, and a handful of museums are located.

Best Things to Do with One Day in Lisbon

With one day in Lisbon, there are multiple ways to plan your time.

Most first-timers to the city spend their time in the city center, which is easily walkable and filled with famous landmarks and memorable experiences (itinerary #1).

However, you may have interest in visiting Jerónimos Monastery (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important buildings in Portugal) and Belém Tower (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the symbol of Europe’s Age of Discovery). If so, spend the morning in Belém and the afternoon in the city center (itinerary #2).

Below is a list of things to do if you have one day in Lisbon. Note: Each itinerary below will only include a few of these…you will pick the itinerary that looks the most appealing to you. For the full list, take a look at our Things to Do in Lisbon article.

  • Praça do Comércio
  • São Jorge Castelo
  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Belém Tower
  • Time Out Market
  • Ride or photograph Tram 28 & the Bica funicular
  • Stroll through Alfama and Bairro Alto
  • Enjoy the view from the Church of Our Lady of Grace Bell tower
  • Santa Justa Lift
  • See blue and white tiles (azulejos)

Church of Our Lady of Grace Bell tower | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The view from the bell tower of the Church of Our Lady

One Day in Lisbon: Itinerary #1

Highlights of the Lisbon City Center

This itinerary is a wonderful mix of historic neighborhoods, photogenic viewpoints, famous landmarks, and some great places to sample Portuguese cuisine.

Places You Will Visit on This Lisbon Itinerary: Castle of São Jorge or the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, Alfama, the Lisbon Cathedral, Praça do Comércio, Baixa, Chiado, Bica Funicular, Bairro Alto, and the best viewpoints of Lisbon

Note: All of the times listed are rough estimates, just to give you an idea about timing throughout the day. Your times may differ, based on queues and how much time you decide to spend at each place. I did my best to anticipate waiting times and visiting times, but on very busy days (or very quiet days) these times can differ.

Here is a quick overview of the itinerary:

9:00 am: Best Views of Lisbon
10:15 am: Castle of São Jorge or Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
12:15 pm: Lunch
1:00 pm: Alfama Viewpoints
1:45 pm: Lisbon Cathedral
2:30 pm: Praça do Comércio
3:00 pm: Baixa & Rua Augusta
4:00 pm: Chiado & the Carmo Convent
4:45 pm: Bica Funicular
6:00 pm: Bairro Alto & Dinner

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (places to visit, restaurants, and the walking routes). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers (a good idea since there are multiple walking routes and which one(s) you follow depends on whether or not you visit São Jorge Castle or São Vicente Monastery. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
 
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

9:00 am: Best Views of Lisbon

There’s no better way to start your day than from not just one but two of the best viewpoints of Lisbon.

These two viewpoints are located near each other, on top of one of the tallest hills in Lisbon. To get to the first viewpoint, use Uber or Bolt or take a taxi.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

From this hilltop setting, you get panoramic views of the city. São Jorge Castle, the Tagus River, and the Sanctuary of Christ the King can all be seen from here. It is free to visit and morning is the best time to be here, as Lisbon will be illuminated by the morning sun.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The view from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

The Bell Tower of the Church of Our Lady of Grace

This is our favorite viewpoint of Lisbon. From the top of the bell tower you get unobstructed views over Lisbon. Plus, very few people seem to know about this viewpoint so there’s a chance you could have it all to yourself (we did).

Best Lisbon Views

The view from the Church of Our Lady of Grace bell tower

To get here, it is an 8-minute walk from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Enter the Church of Our Lady of Grace, pay the small fee to climb the bell tower, and enjoy the view. The church opens at 9 am. You can get updated hours and pricing on the official website (it is open every day of the week).

The Church of Our Lady of Grace sits right next to Miradouro da Graça, another very famous Lisbon viewpoint (so really you can view Lisbon from three viewpoints this morning). However, the view from the bell tower is much better, so its overall a better experience.

Miradouro da Graca

The view from Miradouro da Graça | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

OPTIONAL ITINERARY MODIFICATION: You can skip these first viewpoints and go right to the Castle of São Jorge at opening time. This allows you to visit the castle without the crowds. If you don’t mind some extra walking, you could also visit the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora before lunch.

10:15 am: Castle of São Jorge or Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Now you have a choice to make. Would you rather visit the Castle of São Jorge (another wonderful viewpoint over Lisbon with the opportunity to walk the castle walls and see a few peacocks) or visit one of Portugal’s most important monasteries (and see lots of blue tiles).

Castle of São Jorge

By 10 am, the castle can be busy, so be prepared for a wait in line. For the best experience, purchase your ticket online in advance on the official website.

To get here from the Church of Our Lady of Grace, it is a 10-minute walk to the castle.

Most visits to the castle take an hour to an hour and a half. See and photograph the peacocks, enjoy the views over Lisbon, and walk the castle walls. There is also an archaeological site to see and you can visit the museum.

On the official website, purchase your ticket in advance and get updated pricing and hours of operation. The castle is open 7 days a week and closes on just a few holidays during the year.

Castelo de Sao Jorge | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Castelo de São Jorge

 Peacocks Sao Jorge Castle

Peacocks at São Jorge Castle

 

Castelo de Sao Jorge Walls

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

With its blue and white tiles, cloister, and stunning views from the roof, this is an underrated thing to do in Lisbon. What makes this experience even better is that we shared this visit with just a handful of other people.

To get here from the Church of Our Lady of Grace, it is a 5-minute walk.

The Monastery of São Vicente de Fora is one of Portugal’s most important monasteries. It was founded in 1147, the same year as the Lisbon Cathedral.

On a visit here, you will tour many of the rooms of the monastery, including the cistern, the cloister, and the pantheon, which contains the tombs of the Patriarchs of Lisbon. As you walk through the monastery, you will get to see lots of painted murals and walls covered with historical scenes, made with blue tiles.

One of the highlights is stepping onto the roof. From here, the views of Lisbon are spectacular, rivaling those you will see in Alfama later today.

A visit here will take about one hour. For pricing and hours, visit the official website.

Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora Photo | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The rooftop view from the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

 

Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora Blue Tiles | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Murals of blue tiles in the monastery

12:15 pm: Lunch

For lunch, the #1 spot we recommend is Miss Can. We discovered this wonderful, tiny restaurant while exploring the Alfama neighborhood. They are open every day of the week at 11 am. On the menu is tinned seafood served with fresh bread, making this a quick, budget-friendly meal. You can also buy tins of mussels, octopus, sardines, and cockles to take home (we did and they are fantastic!).

To get here, it is a short, downhill walk from the castle and a 10-minute walk from the monastery.

Miss Can Lisbon

Miss Can | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

1:00 pm: Alfama Viewpoints

Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods. This tangle of narrow, hilly streets and colorful buildings make strolling this neighborhood one of Lisbon’s essential experiences.

There are two more viewpoints we recommend which offer a fantastic view of this part of Lisbon. These viewpoints are located almost side by side and just a 3-minute walk from Miss Can.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol

From this terrace, you get sweeping views of Alfama. It is free to visit and open 24 hours a day.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Less than one minute away is the History of Lisbon Mural, a mural that depicts the history of Lisbon. It’s not a must-see, but since it sits right below the Miradouro das Portas do Sol terrace, we want you to know about it. To get here, walk down the steps next to the viewpoint. You only need to go down the first set of stairs and then you’ll see the mural and tunnel to your left (don’t go to the bottom of the stairs).

History of Lisbon Mural

History of Lisbon Mural

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

This is one of Lisbon’s most famous viewpoints. This small, columned terrace is covered with grapevines and lined with beautiful azulejos (blue and white tiles). It overlooks the Alfama district, the Tagus River, and the cruise ship port.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

I think the view from Miradouro das Portas do Sol is better (the Santa Luzia viewpoint overlooks the giant cruise ships) but it is a great photography location, with the blue and white tiles and covered terrace.

1:45 pm: Lisbon Cathedral

Continue the scenic walk through Alfama by walking to the Lisbon Cathedral. It is a 6-minute downhill walk on Rua Augusto Rosa to the cathedral.

The Lisbon Cathedral is the oldest church in Lisbon. Watching Tram 28 as it travels past the front of the cathedral is one of Lisbon’s most popular photography spots.

Lisbon Cathedral Tram 28

Going inside the cathedral is optional. For a small fee, you can enter the cathedral, see the Treasury, and view the city streets from the upper, outdoor balcony (nice but nearly as good as the other viewpoints in this itinerary).

2:30 pm: Praça do Comércio

Continue on to Praça do Comércio (about an 8-minute walk from the cathedral). You will leave Alfama behind and enter the Baixa neighborhood. This is one of the lowest points of Lisbon.

Along the walk, we have a photography spot to recommend. Another great place to see and photograph Tram 28 is right in front of the Church of Santa Maria Madalena.

Tram 28 Lisbon | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Tram 28 and the Church of Santa Maria Madalena

Praça do Comércio, with its bright yellow buildings and magnificent arch is one of Lisbon’s iconic spots.

Praca do Comercio | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Praça do Comércio | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

 

Arco da Rua Augusta

Arco da Rua Augusta

Enjoy the views and while here, you have the option to climb to the top of Arco da Rua Augusta for yet another panoramic view of Lisbon. The view from the top of the arch isn’t quite as good as some of the other viewpoints you already visited, which you can see in our photo below.

Arco da Rua Augusta View

The view from Arco da Rua Augusta

3:00 pm: Baixa & Rua Augusta

Walk up Rua Augusta, one of Lisbon’s busiest pedestrian streets. Continue through Baixa until you reach the Santa Justa Lift, which will take you up to the Chiado neighborhood. Lines can be long to ride this elevator, but it is the easiest way to get to Chiado, since it saves you a big uphill walk.

Rua da Augusta | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The iconic view of the arch from Rua Augusta

 

Praca do Rossio

Rossio Square

OPTIONAL: Just before riding the elevator, you can make a quick detour to see Rossio Square. It’s a pretty spot but not essential and only worth it if you are doing great on time and energy.

From the upper terrace of the Santa Justa Lift, you get a fantastic view over the Baixa neighborhood, Sao Jorge Castle, and you can also see the viewpoints you visited this morning.

Santa Justa Lift Lisbon

Santa Justa Lift

 

Santa Justa Lift View | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The view from top of the Santa Justa Lift

4:00 pm: Chiado & the Carmo Convent

Once you exit the elevator, you will be very close to the Carmo Convent. Visiting this convent is optional.

This convent was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake. The Gothic arches still remain but the roof and some of the walls were never restored, making it one of the most unique buildings to visit in Portugal. There is also an archaeological museum with mummies from Peru and a sarcophagus from Egypt. A visit here lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Get hours and pricing on the official website.

Carmo Convent

Carmo Convent

4:45 pm: Bica Funicular

From the Carmo Convent and Carmo Square, it is an 8-minute walk to the top of Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo. This hilly street is home to the Bica Funicular, another iconic spot in Lisbon.

You have the option to walk down the full length of the street, photographing the funicular as it passes by, and then ride it back to the top of the street. This will take roughly an hour, assuming there is a line for the funicular.

Another option would be to walk down Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo (alongside the funicular tracks) two blocks to the intersection with Travessa da Laranjeira. From this spot, photograph the funicular (this is where I took the photo below).

Lisbon Itinerary

6:00 pm: Bairro Alto & Dinner

Your day in Lisbon ends with a visit to Bairro Alto, one of Lisbon’s most colorful, charming neighborhoods. It’s a great place to have drinks and dinner and watch the sunset.

The upper station of the Bica Funicular sits just outside of Bairro Alto.

Stroll through the narrow streets of this neighborhood, working your way to Miradouro do São Pedro de Alcântara. This is your last viewpoint of the day and it’s another good one. From here, you get a panoramic view of Lisbon and this is one of the city’s top places to watch the sunset.

Miradouro do Sao Pedro de Alcantara | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Miradouro do São Pedro de Alcântara

Then have dinner. The Bairro Alto neighborhood is home to some of Lisbon’s best bars and restaurants. We have three to recommend.

Los Dos Manos is located almost across the street from Miradouro do São Pedro de Alcântara. This restaurant serves a fusion of Mexican and Japanese cuisine. It’s so good we ate here twice. Make your reservation in advance for this restaurant.

Los Dos Manos Lisbon

Los Dos Manos

We also had an amazing dinner at O Barrigas. This small restaurant serves Portuguese cuisine and wine. I do not believe they take reservations (we were a walk-in) and they accept cash only.

Finally, we had a very nice lunch at Leve Leve Tapas Bar, dining on small plates of sardine bruschetta, chicken skewers, and croquettes.


One Day in Lisbon: Itinerary #2

Belém & the Historic City Center

This itinerary starts in Belém, where you will visit the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, and the Monument of Discoveries. In the afternoon, spend some time in Lisbon’s city center visiting a few must-see sights.

This itinerary requires a lot more walking and use of the public transportation network in Lisbon because you are covering a much larger area. Using Uber or Bolt to connect a few key places is the most time efficient way to follow this itinerary but I will give you options on public transportation as well.

Places You Will Visit on This Lisbon Itinerary: Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, Pastéis de Belém, Monument of Discoveries, Time Out Market, Alfama, the Lisbon Cathedral, Praça do Comércio, Santa Justa Lift, Chiado, Bairro Alto

Here is an overview of the itinerary:

8:30 am: Pastéis de Belém
9:30 am: Jerónimos Monastery
11:00 am: The Monument of Discoveries
11:45 am: Belem Tower
1:00 pm: Lunch at the Time Out Market
2:30 pm: Alfama
4:30 pm: Baixa & Chiado
6:00 pm: Bairro Alto and Dinner

8:30 am: Pastéis de Belém

Pastéis de Belém is arguably one of the best places in Portugal to try Pastel de Nata. Pastel de Nata is one of the most famous Portuguese foods and you will see it for sale quite frequently in cities throughout Portugal.

What makes Pastéis de Belém so special is that they produce Pastel de Nata with the original recipe handed down from monks at Jeronimos Monastery.

Pasteis de Belem

This is an extremely busy place to visit all day, as dining on Pastel de Nata from this small restaurant is one of the top things to do in Lisbon. This early in the morning, crowds should be relatively light. In addition to Pastel de Nata, they also sell many other pastries and breakfast foods, plus coffee, making this a wonderfully sweet way to start what is going to be an amazing day.

They open at 8:00 am 7 days a week. The easiest way to get here is by ride share app (Uber or Bolt) but you can also get here on tram 15E (Mosteiro Jeronimos stop) or the Lisbon-Cascais train line (Belem station).

9:30 am: Jerónimos Monastery

From Pastéis de Belém, it is a 5-minute walk to the Jerónimos Monastery. The monastery opens at 9:30 am but lines to enter can be very long, so I recommend getting in line earlier than 9:30 am (9:00 to 9:15 am).

I also highly recommend either purchasing your ticket in advance, which you can do through GetYourGuide (currently you cannot purchase a ticket online in advance through the official website), or have the Lisbon Card, which includes your entrance into the monastery.

Commissioned by King Manual I in 1501 to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s successful voyage to India, the monastery exemplifies the Manueline architectural style (a richly ornate and intricate architectural style). It was completed in 1601.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal.

Jeronimos Monastery | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Jerónimos Monastery | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

On a visit here, you will stroll through the cloister of the monastery and go inside the Church of Santa Maria de Belém (the final resting place of Vasco da Gama).

Jeronimos Monastery Cloister | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The Jerónimos Monastery cloister

 

Vasco de Gama Tomb

The tomb of Vasco da Gama

Note: Since you only have this one day in Lisbon, you will have to move quickly, doing your best to keep your visit to one hour. You can linger longer, but then you will have to skip the next attractions in Belém or some of the sites in Lisbon this afternoon.

How to Visit Jerónimos Monastery

 
Line to Enter: There are two different lines at the entrance to Jerónimos Monastery. The line to the left is to enter the monastery and the line to the right is to enter Santa Maria de Belém Church. There are signs indicating these lines and both are worth visiting.
 
Tickets: You can purchase an entrance ticket in advance through GetYourGuide. If you have the Lisbon Card, this serves as your ticket into the monastery. Or purchase your tickets at the ticket stand across the street from the monastery. The Santa Maria de Belém Church is free to visit and does not require a ticket.
 
Hours: The monastery is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm 7 days a week. Confirm hours before you go on the official website or Google.

11:00 am: The Monument of Discoveries

The Monument of Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Portuguese) celebrates the Portugues Age of Discovery. It is an 8-minute walk from Jeronimos Monastery.

Monument of Discoveries Lisbon | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Statues line the base of the monument, with Henry the Navigator being the main statue. The smaller statues are of other seafarers and explorers, including Vasco da Gama, Afonso V of Portugal, and Queen Philippa of Lancaster.

If you are doing well on time, you can visit the viewing terrace on top of the monument. An elevator takes you most of the way to the top (Tim counted 42 steps from the elevator to the upper terrace).

The view of Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, and the Tagus River is spectacular from this vantage point.

Get hours and pricing on the official website.

Monument of Discoveries View

The view from the top of the Monument of Discoveries

 

Lisbon Itinerary One Day

The view of Jeronimos Monastery from the top of the Monument of Discoveries

11:45 am: Belém Tower

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the symbol of Europe’s Age of Discovery.

Belem Tower | One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

Given today’s busy schedule, you only have enough time to view this iconic tower from the outside. You can climb the tower but lines are usually very long and the view is not all the great (at least not compared to the Monument of Discoveries and some viewpoints you will visit later today).

To get here from the Monument of Discoveries, it is a flat 12-minute walk along the Tagus River.

1:00 pm: Lunch at the Time Out Market

The Time Out Market is a covered market that is lined with small shops selling a wide variety of foods, from traditional Portuguese dishes to gourmet hot dogs and burgers to cakes, cookies, and donuts. You can also taste port, have a cocktail at the Time Out Bar, and try Super Bock beer. There are even a few shops selling ceramics, home goods, and souvenirs.

Time Out Market Lisbon

Time Out Market

 

Where to Eat in Lisbon

For us, Time Out Market was a highlight of our time in Portugal. Tim and I ordered lunch from Marlene Vieira, which specializes in traditional Portuguese cuisine. We had the polvo a lagareiro (octopus with potatoes and spinach), the bacalhau (codfish), and mussels with tomato sauce. It was all fantastic. If we didn’t have so many other restaurants to try in Lisbon, we would have dined here again.

How to get to Time Out Market from Belem Tower:

 
Ride share app (Uber or Bolt): 18 minutes
Tram 15E: 45 minutes; this includes an 8-minute walk to the tram stop (tram stations are marked on our map at the beginning of this itinerary)
Train: 30 minutes (this includes a 15-minute walk to the Alges station); This is the Lisbon-Cascais train line, take it in the direction of Cais do Sodre and get off at the Cais do Sodre station.

2:30 pm: Alfama

From Time Out Market, use Uber or Bolt to get to the Alfama neighborhood. You will now follow a lighter version of the afternoon of itinerary #1 in this guide. For the details of each attraction, refer to itinerary #1 above.

Spend some time strolling through Alfama, visiting Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Then walk to the Lisbon Cathedral and continue on to Praça do Comércio.

4:30 pm: Baixa & Chiado

Walk up Rua Augusta, one of Lisbon’s busiest pedestrian streets. Continue through Baixa until you reach the Santa Justa Lift, which will take you up to the Chiado neighborhood. Enjoy the amazing views from the top of the elevator.

Once in Chiado, take your pick between visiting the Carmo Convent or walking out to see the Bica Funicular. The Carmo Convent is open until 6 pm (last entry at 5:40 pm).

6:00 pm: Bairro Alto and Dinner

End your day in the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Enjoy the view from Miradouro do São Pedro de Alcântara, stroll the lively streets, and have dinner. For dinner recommendations, take a look at itinerary #1.

Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto


The Lisbon Card

The Lisbon Card is a money saving travel card. It gives you free access to some of the top attractions in the city and unlimited free travel by bus, tram, metro, and the elevators (such as the Santa Justa Lift). It also includes free transport by metro to and from the airport and free travel by train to Cascais and Sintra.

The Lisbon Card gives you free entry to Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, and the Santa Justa Lift. It also includes free entry to many other attractions, but many of them are included on our itinerary (places such as the National Tile Museum and National Coach Museum). It gives you a small discount on the Carmo Archaeological Museum and the Lisbon Cathedral.

The card has a long list of free entries and discounts, even in Sintra, Mafra, and as far north as Batalha, so its usefulness extends beyond Lisbon.

I recommend looking at the official website for pricing information and the list of what is covered (click the “Discounts” tab).

Since this card gives you free entry into Jerónimos Monastery, it saves you a wait in the ticket line, which is a huge advantage (currently, you cannot purchase tickets online in advance for the monastery). If you plan to follow the itinerary #2, it might be worth it to purchase the Lisbon Card.

You can purchase the Lisbon Card and tourist information offices in Lisbon and at attractions that accept the card.

Learn more on the official website.

Portugal Travel Guide

How to Get Around Lisbon

The city center of Lisbon is easily walkable. Many of the top sites and neighborhoods where visitors will spend their time are easy to get to on foot. However, Lisbon is a hilly city, so you will walk up and down some hills. Fortunately, there are a few elevators and funiculars that can save you a massive stair climb. The Bica Funicular and Santa Justa Elevator make this list.

Several tram lines run through the heart of Lisbon. Tram 28 is the most famous. It’s more of a tourist attraction than a useful way to travel around the city and it tends to be packed with people all day. It doesn’t make a great option for getting around Lisbon because lines to get on the tram can be very long, so it’s sometimes faster just to walk.

The metro is also a great way to travel through Lisbon.

Ride share apps like Uber and Bolt are very handy to get you to places that are farther from the city center (such as Belém and some viewpoints, such as Miradouro da Senhora do Monte). We used Uber quite a bit in Lisbon and other travelers have written in with great things to say about Bolt.

For a great article that explains all the public transportation options in Lisbon, click here.

Tram 28 Photo

Tram 28

Where to Stay in Lisbon

In our Lisbon Hotel Guide, we cover not only the best hotels in Lisbon but also the best location to stay in the city. Get recommendations for all travel styles, including mid-range travelers, budget travelers, families, and luxury travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is one day in Lisbon enough?

One day in Lisbon is just enough time to see a few essential highlights, stroll through the Alfama neighborhood, and indulge on some of Lisbon’s famous foods. Lisbon is filled with a long list of great things to do, so with one day you can’t get to everything, but it is enough time to get an overview of the city and make some unforgettable memories.

What is the best way to spend 24 hours in Lisbon?

There is more than one answer to this question. You can either spend all of your time in the city center, visiting several picturesque neighborhoods, viewing the city from its best viewpoints, and visiting famous landmarks such as São Jorge Castle and Praça do Comércio. Alternatively, you can split your time between Belém (visiting Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery) and sites in the city center.

What can’t you miss in Lisbon?

In Lisbon, Praça do Comércio, the Alfama and Bairro Alto neighborhoods, São Jorge Castle, Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, dining on Pastel de Nata, seeing Tram 28, and viewing the city from its spectacular viewpoints are not to be missed.

When is the best time to visit Lisbon?

The best time to visit Lisbon is the spring (mid-April through early June) and fall (mid-September through early November), when the weather is pleasant and crowds are below peak levels. Summer is the hottest, busiest, and most expensive time to visit Lisbon. Winter tends to be a lot quieter, with cool days and an increased chance of rain.


If you have any questions about how to spend one day in Lisbon, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Portugal

PORTUGAL ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Portugal itinerary, take a look at our 10 Day Portugal Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Portugal. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

LISBON: In our Lisbon Bucket List, we list 40 highlights and hidden gems to visit in Lisbon. Here are 14 amazing day trips to take from Lisbon. Find the perfect place to stay in our Lisbon Hotel Guide.

SINTRA: In our article Best Things to Do in Sintra, we cover the top sights to see in Sintra. In our article One Day in Sintra, we provide three different ways to plan a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.

BEST OF PORTUGAL: In our article Best Things to Do in Portugal, we list 25 amazing things to see and do in Portugal.

PORTO: Get started with our Porto Travel Guide, which lists where to eat, where to stay, and has lots of helpful tips for visiting Porto. We cover the best things to do in Porto in our Porto Bucket List. In our Guide to the Wine Cellars in Gaia, get recommendations on which wine cellars to visit and how to plan your time. See the best of Porto in our 2 Days in Porto Itinerary.

ALGARVE: Get started with our Algarve Bucket List, which lists the best things to do in the Algarve and learn how to plan your time with our Algarve Itinerary Planner. Learn how to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, one of the most beautiful walks in Europe. Don’t miss our guides to Benagil Cave and the best beaches in the Algarve. Find out where to stay in our Algarve Hotel Guide, get a list of the best restaurants in Albufeira, and learn why October is the perfect time to visit the Algarve.

We have TONS more information about Portugal in our Portugal Travel Guide, including Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, the Algarve, and the Douro Valley.

 

One Day in Lisbon Portugal Itinerary

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 4

  1. Avatar for Maja Krakowiak
    Maja Krakowiak

    Quick question about Jeronimos Monestery: You said you can’t buy online ahead of time though the official website, but that you can do so through Get Your Guide. How is Get Your Guide getting tickets? We found a couple links posted on some Rick Steves travel forums, posted in Jan and Feb, and it appears you can actually get official tickets (and maybe this is where Get Your Guide goes): https://bilheteira.museusemonumentos.pt/pos/event/list

    Do you think this is legit? It appears to be a government site. We have been disappointed by the increasingly large number of sponsored and unofficial / third party outfits (including Get Your Guide in some cases) that are prominently selling tickets and tours to places in Portugal and Spain, but which are greatly overcharging! Finding the official sites is getting harder and harder through Google and other search engines. Have you found this to be the case as well?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Maja. In most cases, I have found that it is still very easy to find the official websites. For whatever reason, for a few sites in Europe that we visited recently (such as in Portugal, Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic) the official website did not sell tickets but somehow 3rd party sellers do. In these instances, we have used GetYourGuide with success. However, for Jeronimos Monastery, we had the Lisbon Card, which covered our entrance into the monastery, so we don’t have experience with GetYourGuide in this specific case. I don’t know how legit that website is that you list and if it were me, I’d either book tickets through GetYourGuide (which we have had a lot of positive experience with) or get the Lisbon Card (which we know works from experience). I agree that more tickets should be made available directly to visitors rather than sold to 3rd party sellers and then sold at a higher price. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Maja Krakowiak
        Maja Krakowiak

        Thanks, as always, for the response and thanks for keeping this sort of detailed info as up to date as you can. We are doing Iceland-Portugal-Spain for 32 days in a few more weeks and aside from Spain (since you weren’t there yet) have clicked on your articles countless times.

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          Hello Maja. I’m happy to help! As I write this I am sitting in Tarifa on a 4 week road trip through Spain so we will have a lot of Spain content appearing on our website later in 2024. Have a great trip! Cheers, Julie

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *