Lisbon 3 Day itinerary
When we visit a city, we want to see everything. We always have a list of things to do, places to visit and places to eat and drink. Lisbon is a very active and dynamic city with many options to choose from and it is impossible to visit everything in one visit. We will select only what, in our experience, we consider most relevant.
There are ways to make the most of the limited time travelers have in Lisbon. You need at least three days to really get to know the city and the surrounding areas, although a “quick visits” tour can be done on a three-day itinerary in Lisbon.
Places you should know on a 3-day itinerary in the Lisbon region
Start your journey with a walking tour. The downtown offers dozens of walking companies (many of them FREE), offering tours with the most varied routes and itineraries such as Baixa, Avenida da Liberdade, Bairro Alto, Alfama. etc. Choose the tour that will best meet your expectations and you will have a unique and cultural view of the city with a local guide. To find these companies just go to Praça dos Restauradores in Lisbon where you can find plenty of options.
Then, take a ride on the famous tram 28. The Lisbon tram is one of the oldest means of transport in the city of Lisbon, used by the Lisbon population from the 19th century to the present day. Career 28 is the most famous because in addition to crossing a large part of the city, it also passes through the most emblematic and old streets and neighborhoods of Lisbon.
This is a very popular attraction for tourists, so I recommend starting at the Prazeres cemetery (Campo de Ourique) and leaving at the last station (Martim Moniz) located in the center of Lisbon. A tip: choose a seat by a window. If it is closed, open it! The experience will be much more interesting.
Tip: to avoid queues, and to avoid carrying money in your pocket, we advise you to purchase a prepaid card that you can use throughout your stay in Lisbon.
The card is called the “ Cartão Viva Viagem Card” and can be purchased at ticket offices and service stations of transport operators or at the vending machines of the Metropolitano de Lisboa (Lisbon Subway).
The card costs € 0.50 and must be subsequently charged with the amount you want. We recommend a first charge of the € 15. The card is valid for one person only. This card is valid on almost public transports in the Lisbon area.
The price of the tram ride is € 2.85.
Then, you must visit the emblematic São Jorge Castle, one of the most important historic buildings in Lisbon; Its first buildings date back to Sec. I. It was later conquered from the Moors by the First King of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques. Enjoy the historical details inside and the superb view over Lisbon.
To get there, from the downtown (Baixa), we have a little trick for you: take the elevator at number 170/178 of Rua dos Fanqueiros and get off at Largo Adelino Amaro da Costa, Then, just go up on the panoramic elevator found in the “Pingo Doce” Supermarket.
Finally, be sure to visit the eastern part of the city known as Oriente. Oriente is a new area of the city that was initially built to host the mega event that took place in 1998, known as Expo 98. In that place a new city has grown with buildings and modern and bold architecture as well as a wonderful riverside front. We recommend a walk along the river. Then take a ride on the cable car next to the river. Enjoy the parks and find a restaurant for dinner. You will find numerous options in the different avenues and gardens of this place.
Tip: be sure to visit the Lisbon Oceanarium, one of the most fantastic oceanariums in Europe with an impressive diversity of marine life.
For this tour, we advise you to rent a car. Another option is to contact Lisbononwheels for a private and personalized tour.
Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit place. Sintra is probably the place in Portugal with the most historical, cultural and architectural wealth. Sintra is not just the village, but the whole territory, from the mountains to the sea.
The first place to visit and we recommend that you arrive early is the Palácio da Pena. This monument is the most sought after by tourists, as it is considered the emblem of Sintra. Pena Palace is a 19th century palace, where you can find various types of architecture. The panoramic and sublime view and its gardens are fantastic. To avoid queues we advise you to buy tickets in advance HERE
Then stop at the historic town of Sintra. A village full of history with historical testimonies from the Neolithic period, through the Bronze Age, Roman Era, Muslim domain, Middle Ages to the present day.
Sintra is a very old town that has been influenced by many cultures, so you will find buildings and monuments in styles as diverse as the Romantic, Manueline, Gothic, Islamic and Neoclassical. Visit the National Palace of Sintra and admire its majestic rooms, kitchens and rooms.
Be sure to taste the delicious delicacies of Sintra. These are the most well-known sweets from the regional sweets: Queijadas de Sintra and Travesseiros.
The next place to visit will be Quinta da Regaleira, one of Sintra’s most incredible enigmatic monuments. This place is one of the most surprising, magical and mysterious in the region. Explore its tunnels, labyrinths and its puzzles and symbols that remind us of mythology, Olympus, Virgil, Dante, Camões and the Knights Templar of the Order of Christ.
Then head towards Colares. A small typical village at the foothill of the Sintra mountain range, where you will find the oldest cooperative winery in Portugal. We recommend visiting this magnificent place where you can do a wine tasting. The wines produced in this cellar are peculiar, as they are produced in the Sintra area where the vines grow a sandy soil.
Next stop will be Cabo da Roca. This place is the most westerly point in continental Europe. The views from this place are magnificent and you can contemplate the south coast and the vast Atlantic Ocean. In winter we recommend that you wrap up.
Next place to visit will be Guincho beach. A practically wild beach located in the natural park of Sintra-Cascais. This beach is known for the rough sea, the dunes and the almost constant strong wind. Very known by surfers and mainly by kitesurfers and wind surfers. In this location you can find a beach bar, restaurants and and a cozy hotel. Ideal place to spend a few hours. To not lose.
Cascais – A beautiful village on the Riviera in the Lisbon area, especially inhabited by the monarchy in the 19th century. and beginning of the 20th century. In this village you will find many cozy shops and restaurants, a fantastic sea wall, secular houses with unique facades, monuments and a marina. A good place to spend a morning.
The South zone of Tajo river is a natural sanctuary for those who like to enjoy nature, good restaurants including fish and seafood. In addition, you can visit a fishing village, a castle and beautiful beaches.
We will start with a visit to the Albufeira lagoon. This lagoon still in an almost wild state. This is a lagoon widely used for catching seafood, namely bivalves. This place is also widely used for kite surfing, windsurfing and paddle all year round. A surf/kite school can be found on site for those who want to learn or to rent equipment for these activities. Right in front is the ocean and of course an oceanic beach. In summer, this beach is very popular with swimmers from all over Lisbon.
We recommend a stop at Praia das Bicas- this wild beach is still unknown and less frequented by the population. Bicas is a beach placed between the great cliffs of the cliffs of Sesimbra. A good place to relax away from the hustle and bustle. This place, given the unique geographical conditions, is very popular for paragliding and surfing. There is a campsite and a bar with an excellent terrace where you can eat light meals.
Then stop at Cabo Espichel. It is a promontory located in the region of Sesimbra. It is worth taking some time to see the breathtaking view of the ocean coast up to Caparica. Here you will find the church of Nossa Senhora do Cabo, the Ermida da Memória, the Casa da Água and the Aqueduct at Cabo Espichel.
We recommend a stop at the castle of Sesimbra. A medieval Moorish castle. Conquered by the Portuguese in 1165. The view over the fishing village of Sesimbra is fantastic. We recommend a visit to the church of Nossa Senhora do Castelo which is inside. A unique church completely covered, inside, with Portuguese artistic tiles.
Nearby, we recommend a visit to the cozy village of Sesimbra.
If you like to stroll, fish and seafood, we recommend a walk by the sea in this historic fishing village. Next to the sea you will find a fantastic promenade full of excellent terraces and restaurants, particularly fish. You can pay a visit to the Fort of Santiago de Sesimbra, an interesting construction from the 15th century and whose function was to protect the village and its anchorage. You will find inside it a historical center, an esplanade and a fantastic view over the beach of Sesimbra.
We recommend a boat trip to the Ribeira do Cavalo, a beautiful beach hidden in the cliff, only accessible by land trails or by boat. There are some companies with a sea transfer service operating in the port area of Sesimbra.
For nature lovers, Arrábida is a place full of natural wonders. Beaches with crystal clear water, unique flora and breathtaking views: we recommend starting at the top of the mountain by making short stops at the various viewpoints on the top of the mountain.
Then we suggest a visit to the fantastic and unique beaches of Arrábida where we can find Galapinhos beach, considered in 2017 as the best beach in Europe by the European Best Destinations website. Don’t forget to also visit Figueirinha beach and Creiro beach.
To end the journey, visit the beautiful city of Setúbal, a city known for having the best fish market in the world where you can enjoy a fantastic meal in one of the restaurants located next to the river or on Avenida Luisa Tody.