3 Days in Lisbon and Sintra - Where to Go

Travel Itinerary
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Itinerary by: Sofia Abrantes
16 days ago
Culture-Castle Culture-Cathedral Culture-Historical Building Culture-Landmark Culture-Monastery Culture-Museum Culture-Palace Culture-Statue Culture-Tower Nature-Mountain Nature-Park Nature-View point Eat & Drink-Bar Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Cocktail Bar Eat & Drink-Pub Eat & Drink-Restaurant Eat & Drink-Take Away Eat & Drink-Wine Bar
Start location: Belem Tower - Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 3 days
Welcome to “Lisboa”! If you’re excited to explore this beautiful city filled with wonderful culture, music, and food, use this 3 day guide to make the best (and see the best) of your trip. From exploring ancient and intricately detailed historical buildings to wondering around the palace and castle in the mountains of Sintra (Lisbon), you will feel like you saw most of what this city has to offer. Fun fact: did you know that people from Lisbon are known as “little lettuces” or “alfacinhas”?

Day 1

Belem & the Tejo River

Start your day in Belem and enjoy local pastries, monuments, and museums. Finish off your day with a long stand-up scooter ride along the river and a nice meal at the Time Out Market.
09:00 - 10:00
Belem Tower
Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
This beautiful fort is located on a small "beach" off the coast of the Tejo River, and is now a very famous tourist location. The queues to go inside can get quite long, so it is smart to come visit the monument earlier in the day. Many years ago, this fort was used to protect the "entrance" of Lisbon through the river. It's construction dates back to 1514. Inside, you will be able to enjoy beautiful views of the river as well as explore this ancient historical monument. Guides are available for information and tours. A short 5 minute walk away from the tower you will also find a beautiful triangular monument dedicated to the "brave souls" that ventured out on ships to explore in the 16th century, called "Monument to the Overseas Combatants". Right in front of the tower is a beautiful garden, which in the busier months is bustling with people and small food trucks, offering fresh juices, traditional pastries, and small bites. This can be a great place to grab something to eat if you have not yet had breakfast.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Landmark Culture-Tower

Getting there

To get here from central Lisbon (Terreiro do Paço) you will want to grab the train from the Cais Do Sodré train station. This ticket should not cost you more than 2€ (depending on whether or not you already purchased a train ticket before). Always keep these tickets, as they are "refillable" and cost .50€. Get off at the stop "Belem" and walk for approximately 10 minutes

Travel time
0 hours 25 minutes
10:30 - 11:30
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Av. Brasília 202, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
This very tall and intricately detailed monument was built to honour the Portuguese explorers, and was built 500 years after the passing of Henry the Navigator's death to commemorate his accomplishments. A fairly recent monument, made permanent in 1960, its tower-like structure allows you to go up to the top and enjoy a beautiful view of both the river and Lisbon itself. Right in front of the monument is also a beautiful map of the world engraved in stone, featuring the different dates and places that the explorers discovered. You can usually also find a lot of musicians playing traditional Portuguese music and artists hand-painting or drawing gorgeous portrayals of the city. Here, you will find a lot of stand-up scooters which you can rent very cheaply, and will allow you to explore the city in a faster (but safe) way. They mostly use the bike lanes to drive around, and it can be a lot of fun for both adults and children.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Landmark Culture-Statue

Notes

Right across the street from this monument there is also a fantastic pizza restaurant, where you can sit outside and enjoy the wonderful view. This is a great place to grab something to eat for lunch.

Getting there

The best way to get here from central Lisbon is to take the train from Cais do Sodre to Belem. If you are at one of the nearby monuments, such as the Tower of Belem, you can rent a stand up scooter for as little as .15€/minute. To do this, you simply download an app. Detailed instructions are written on each of the scooters.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
11:30 - 13:30
Jerónimos Monastery
Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
A UNESCO World Heritage site, this beautiful monastery has so much to explore! Right outside of the monastery is a beautiful park with many details. For example, the bushes are cut and shaped into the Portuguese national symbol in many areas. There is also a beautiful fountain. In this garden, you can once again find juice and food stands in case you need something to eat. The monastery itself is gorgeous to just visit from the outside, even if you are not interested in going outside (which I highly recommend). The inside of this monastery (which many prestigious names have rented for their weddings) features beautiful statues and arches. Inside, you can find information about its history in many languages, including English. The monastery also has gardens in its center, and these are known as a very big "picture" spot in Lisbon for the gorgeous arches and carefully cared-for plants. You can see this landmark in as quickly as 30 minutes, or for as long as 2 hours: it depends on how interested in history and art you are.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Monastery

Getting there

The monastery is walking distance from Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Belem Tower. From central Lisbon, take the train from Cais do Sodre to Belem.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
13:35 - 14:35
Belem Pastries
R. de Belém 84 92, 1300-469 Lisboa, Portugal
Whilst this location is not necessarily a landmark, it is an absolute must-visit for when you are in Lisbon. As a matter of fact, many tourists come to Lisbon every year just to try this creamy pastry. It is known as being one of the best in the world, and is traditional from this particular house. The lines can get very long outside, but what many people don't know is that you can get them to-go and eat them outside in the garden, which helps avoid some of the lines. There are also usually two queues to enter, but a lot of people don't know this and therefore queue behind everyone else: make sure to walk all the way up to the door to check if there is more than one queue available. Picture credits: Pasteis de Belem Website (https://pasteisdebelem.pt/en/)
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Take Away

Notes

There are many places to grab a bite to eat near the Jerónimos Monastery, so feel free to use this opportunity to grab something to eat for lunch.

Getting there

2 minute walk from Jerónimos Monastery

Travel time
0 hours 2 minutes
14:45 - 16:45
MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology)
Av. Brasília, Portugal
The MAAT is a new and exciting addition to Lisbon's riverside, allowing not only for hours of entertainment if you enjoy art, architecture, or technology, but also a scenic new viewpoint for the city of Lisbon. I recommend coming here if you'd like a beautiful view of the river, the monuments, the 25th of April bridge and the Cristo Rei statue on the other side of the river (which can be seen in the pictures). You can also use this as your starting point for a stand-up scooter ride to the center of Lisbon. The MAAT is located next to an expansive bike lane, which will allow you to make your way to the center of Lisbon while enjoying the gorgeous views. These are easy to rent (instructions are on the scooters) and cost as little as .15€/minute, with many of them offering a first free ride or spare minutes if you repeatedly rent with them.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Museum

Notes

Start your afternoon with a quick visit to the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, or simply enjoy the view from the top of the scenic building.

Getting there

A quick walk (or scooter ride) away from the Jeronimos Monastery (take the train from central Lisbon/Cais do Sodre to Belem)

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
17:00 - 18:00
Time Out Market
Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-161 Lisboa, Portugal
Whether you've had a long day exploring Lisbon, or are simply looking for a trendy, cool and traditional place to eat (yes, it can be all three) Time Out Market is where you should go. This market used to be an old-fashioned food market, where locals would come to sell and buy their groceries. Recently, it has been transformed into a booming and busy food market where you can choose from various local restaurants and enjoy a a delicious meal. I recommend coming here for lunch or dinner because this market can accommodate everyone's tastes. From traditional Portuguese burgers and fish dishes to sushi and pizza, you will find a little bit of everything. You can also try one of the many local pastries here, or simply grab a quick cup of coffee and then continue exploring.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Eat & Drink-Bar Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Cocktail Bar Eat & Drink-Pub Eat & Drink-Restaurant Eat & Drink-Take Away Eat & Drink-Wine Bar

Notes

After you finish enjoying your riverside stand-up scooter ride (or walk), Time Out market is the perfect place to kick-back and enjoy some delicious (local) food. It has something for everyone, so you'll be sure to enjoy it.

Getting there

Time Out market is right outside the Lisbon Cais do Sodre train station

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
Day 2

Central Lisbon

Today, you'll be exploring all the best things that central Lisbon has to offer: from beautiful castles and viewpoints to traditional tram rides.
09:00 - 10:00
Praça do Comércio
Praça do Comércio, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal
Praça do Comércio is a beautiful and historical square. Currently, it is the home to many businesses and business centers. But it is also one of the biggest tourist attractions in Lisbon thanks to its gorgeous yellow arches and architecture. It features the statue of King Jose the first in the centre of it. On one side, you'll find the Tejo river. On the other, you'll be able to walk under the arch and onto one of the most popular shopping streets in Lisbon. In the winter, you'll be able to enjoy an ice skating ring and other Christmas attractions. In the summer, you'll enjoy sitting at one of the cafes and grabbing a bite to eat. It is the perfect place to start your day in Lisbon, as it is right next to the Cais do Sodre train station, accessible to all the metro lines. From here, a lot of popular trams take off and will allow you to explore Lisbon.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Historical Building Culture-Landmark

Notes

Start your day here in this bustling part of the city center, and reach pretty much any of the local tourist attractions by tram or metro.

Getting there

Take any metro or train from where you are staying to the Cais do Sodre train station. From there, you are only a short 5-10 minute walk away.

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
10:00 - 11:00
Santa Justa Elevator
R. do Comércio, 1100 Lisboa, Portugal
Once you walk under the arch of Praça do Comércio, you will encounter a busy shopping street with many traditionally Portuguese stores as well as bigger brand names. However, one of the biggest attractions of this street is actually the Santa Justa Elevator. Inaugurated in 1902, the elevator first served a more practical purpose as it bridged the gap between two neighbourhoods that were essentially separated by elevation differences. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions thanks to the fantastic viewpoint that you can find at the top of the elevator. You can also take this elevator to explore that part of the city, but I recommend taking it up and back down to simply enjoy the view. This is a very famous tourist spot and can therefore be very busy: plan ahead and make sure to come early if you would like to avoid very long (almost two hour) lines.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Landmark Nature-View point

Notes

Make your way to the beautiful Santa Justa Elevator for one of the most breathtaking views of Lisbon.

Getting there

The elevator is only a quick walk away from Praça do Comércio, which is accessible by train and metro.

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
11:00 - 13:00
St Jorge Castle
R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-430 Lisboa, Portugal
From central Lisbon (Praça do Comércio) the St Jorge Castle is only a 15-20 minute walk away. However, it is quite a steep way up through busy streets so depending on the weather (too hot, cold, or rainy) you might prefer to take public transportation. Bus 737, which is accessible from Praça da Figueira, is a great option but you can also call an Uber or a Taxi which won't cost you more than 5-7 euros. Depending on the size of your party this could be a cheaper option, since bus tickets are 2.5€/person. Once at the castle you can choose to go inside or simply admire the outside as well as the view of Lisbon. Guided tours are available and you can learn a lot about the vast history of the city of Lisbon. However, the view is absolutely beautiful and a great place to enjoy a sunset or a sunrise. Picture credits: Massimo Catarinella (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A3o_Jorge_Castle#/media/File:CastleSaintGeorge.jpg)
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Castle

Notes

The time you will take at this location depends on how you decide to get there, and whether or not you decide to go inside (or simply enjoy the views from the outside)

Getting there

To get here you can walk, take bus 737 from Praça da Figueira, or take an Uber or Taxi

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
13:00 - 15:00
Santa Luzia Observation Deck
Largo Santa Luzia, 1100-487 Lisboa, Portugal
A quick walk away from the St Jorge Castle, this is the perfect place to stop for some lunch and enjoy yet another magnificent view. Located near Portas do Sol (Gates of Sun), this observation deck is one of the best places to see downtown Lisbon from above (including the river). There are a lot of small cafes and restaurants in the area, and it is far enough away from the center of Lisbon that it will not be as crowded as everywhere else. In addition, you will find that this area has a lot of local street artists, which will allow you to enjoy not only the view but some traditional Portuguese music.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Nature-View point

Notes

Stop here for some rest, food, and a beautiful view of downtown Lisbon.

Getting there

The best way to get here is to walk, as this is very accessible from almost all the points in central Lisbon (and especially the castle)

Travel time
0 hours 25 minutes
15:00 - 16:00
Lisbon Cathedral
Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisboa, Portugal
The Lisbon Cathedral is the oldest and most important church in all of Lisbon. A short walk away from the Santa Luzia Observation Deck, this church has been standing here since 1755. Incredibly, it was one of the only churches to survive the terrible earthquake of the 18th century. Entrance to the cathedral is free, but if you would like to explore the cloisters you will have to pay a small fee of 2.5€. The church has undergone several renovations in order to stay safely standing, but all of its original architecture has been preserved.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Cathedral

Notes

On your way back down to the Lisbon city center make a quick stop at the Lisbon Cathedral, the oldest and most important of the city.

Getting there

Walking here is the best bet when you are coming from the Santa Luzia Observation Deck, but public transportation and taxis are always available.

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
18:00 - 21:00
The Pink Street
R. Nova do Carvalho, 1200-372 Lisboa, Portugal
The Pink Street has gotten its name from, you guessed it, the color of the street. The road is blocked to cars and has been painted pink, and on it you can find some incredible cafes and restaurants. This is the perfect location to end your day and grab something to eat. Later in the evening, starting around 9pm, the bars in this street take on the role of clubs and a lot of people come here to enjoy a drink, listen to some music, and dance. There are also some quieter bars, which will allow you to enjoy some more traditional music and have a slower evening. Photo credits: https://www.discoverwalks.com/blog/lisbon/things-to-do-on-lisbons-pink-street/
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Eat & Drink-Bar Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Restaurant

Notes

Enjoy dinner and a drink in this bustling street of Lisbon, famous for its pink road.

Getting there

This location is only a short 15 minute walk from the Lisbon Cathedral. You can also take bus 714 or call an Uber or Taxi.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
Day 3

A day trip to Sintra

Escape the urban city and make your way to the fairy-tale like town of Sintra, in the Lisbon District, for a day filled with palaces, castles, and local pastries.
09:00 - 11:00
Sintra
Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra, Portugal
Located in the district of Lisbon, but not necessarily in the center of Lisbon, Sintra is a hidden gem that not many people know about but that everyone should consider visiting. Getting to Sintra is cheap, fast, and easy: you simply get on a train in the Rossio train station (the Sintra Line), buy your 2.5€ ticket and you are on your way there. It takes about 40 minutes to get there as the train stops at pretty much every station on the way. Do be careful with your belongings, since, as in many tourist locations, pick-pocketing tends to be an issue. When you arrive, you will get to the train station of Sintra which is right near the city center. You'll want to make your way to the Sintra Palace, which is a 20 minute walk from the train station. One of the best aspects of Sintra is its combination of beautiful traditional architecture and the nature. It is situated on the mountains of Sintra, and at the very top of the mountains you will be able to spot the fairy-tale like Sintra Palace and the Castle of the Moors.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Nature-Mountain Nature-Park

Notes

The earlier you make your way to Sintra, the more time you will have to enjoy the beautiful city.

Getting there

Find the Rossio train station in Lisbon and take the Sintra Line all the way to its last stop. It should take about 40 minutes and cost you 2.5€

Travel time
0 hours 40 minutes
11:00 - 15:00
Pena Palace, Sintra
Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal
The Pena Palace stands at the top of the Sintra mountains. It is actually possible to see it from as far as the highway leading to Lisbon, depending on the weather, but it is definitely possible to see it from Sintra city center. The beautiful palace features colorful tones of yellow, red, and blue and makes for fantastic pictures. The palace is surrounded by vast gardens, which are also accessible to guests and worth the visit. You can purchase tickets to enter just the gardens, just the palace, or both. I highly recommend doing both. It is very difficult to get to the palace by car, so I recommend taking one of the buses (very easy to locate in the city center) or a Tuk Tuk which tends to be about 5€ per person. Make sure to come early, as this is a faily known tourist attraction and can get extremely busy; especially in the warmer summer months.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Palace Nature-Mountain

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
15:00 - 18:00
Castle of the Moors, Sintra
2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
This beautiful Castle is located only a short walk away from the Pena Palace (15 minutes), although you can also choose to take one of the hop on/hop off buses to the location. The gorgeous and historical castle will take you back many centuries, to a time in which this castle alone served as protection to the people of Sintra. Once again, this location is a very popular tourist attraction so it is important to arrive early in order to truly enjoy your experience.
Article By: Sofia Abrantes
Culture-Castle Nature-Mountain

Notes

Enjoy the rest of your afternoon at this scenic Moorish castle. After this, you can head back to the city center of Sintra for a delicious dinner.

Getting there

Bus, Tuk Tuk, or Taxi (all clearly labeled throughout the town)

Travel time
0 hours 40 minutes
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