The Perfect One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

The Perfect One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

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Welcome to Portugal’s coastal capital of Lisbon. Today, we are going to guide you through the ultimate one day in Lisbon itinerary, showing you the best this city has to offer in just one day.

If you’re staying in Lisbon longer, you will want to check out our other blog posts, 48 Hours in Lisbon, Where to Stay in Lisbon, and Best Day Trips from Lisbon. But for now, let’s get started with 1 day in Lisbon.

One Day in Lisbon Itinerary

one day in lisbon portugal

The first burning question that needs to be answered is, can you see Lisbon in just one day? While it is much more difficult to see everything in Lisbon than, say, Porto, it is possible to enjoy its highlights and top attractions in one very jam-packed 24 hours. So, we are going to show you the route that we think you should take.

Morning

Belem Tower

Where to stay in Lisbon Belem Castle

Start your one-day trip to Lisbon in the Belem district with an early morning sunrise at Belem Tower. You can go inside Belem Tower, but it doesn’t open until 10 a.m., and the crowds are fierce. This attraction can be enjoyed from the outside, and you will feel fulfilled. If you go for sunrise, it will just be you and a few photographers capturing this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of Portugal’s seven wonders.

It’s located directly on the Tagus River. This beautiful tower was built in 1515 to defend Lisbon from invaders coming in along the Tagus River.

Monument of Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

one day in lisbon portugal monument of discoveries

Leaving Belem Tower, it is just a short walk along the waterfront promenade to the Monument of Discoveries. Portugal was a land of explorers; the Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a tribute to Portugal’s legendary explorers. You can’t miss this monument as it towers over the Tagus River.

Standing 52 meters high, it is an impressive sight. It was built in the 20th century, but it is no less impressive. For a small fee, you can take an elevator up for views over the Tagus River, or you can walk up the stairs. It doesn’t open until 10 a.m., so we say to simply enjoy the views.

Make sure to stop and take a look at the Compass Rose adorning the square in front of the Monument of Discoveries. It was a gift from South Africa and pays tribute to Portugal’s journies in the 15th and 16th centuries. Within the design, look for a mermaid, Neptune, fave compass roses, and blowing faces.

If you really want to see the views of the Tagus, you can return and take the elevator directly after your stop at our next Lisbon attraction.

Jerónimos Monastery

one day in lisbon jeronimos monastery

Walking up from the waterfront, you will come across Jerónimos Monastery. This is the first stop that we suggest you go inside. Book your time entry ticket for the first entry of the day. After seeing Belem Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, it should be the perfect time to enter Jerónimos Monastery, which opens at 10 am.

Jerónimos Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it too is one of Porugal’s seven wonders as it is a masterpiece of Manueline architecture. Its beautiful marble design is not to be missed. Inside, you’ll want to find the cloisters, the courtyards and gardens, and the chapel. The monastery also houses the tomb of Vasco da Gama, who was the first European to reach India by ship.

We suggest spending an hour here and then be on your way. Because remember, you only have one day in Lisbon, and when you get home, people will ask, “Did you see this?” “Did you see that?” and you can say, “Yes, I did!”

Upgrade to a Lisbon Card for free access to public transport and top attractions, including Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, and more

Pateis de Bélem

one day in lisbon pasteis de belem

Continuing our journey through Belém, we see that it’s time for a snack break. You have been going since sunrise, and if you didn’t book a hotel with breakfast included (which we highly recommend because it saves money and time), you will be ready to eat.

Pasteis de Bélem is an icon of the city, and whether you are hungry or not, you must go inside to taste this famous Portuguese custard.

Besteis de Bélem is the original Pastel de Nata that you will eat throughout Portugal. The iconic Portuguese custard tart was started here at the Monastery when the nuns used egg whites to starch their habits. They had left-over yolks and didn’t know what to do with them, so they made a custard that they stuffed into pastries and sold to earn money for the Monastery. And thus, Pastel de Nata was born. Then, the Monastery was closed, and they gave the recipe to the bakery next door. They have been serving Pasteis de Belem ever since.

Don’t be afraid if you see a long line. The restaurant is huge, and the lines move quickly. We were inside within a few minutes.

Midday / Lunch

one day in lisbon mid-day

You can take the tram back to Placa Do Comercio (the main square located on the waterfront) from Belem and ride one of Lisbon’s historic trams while you make your way to its beautiful waterfront square. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy one of Lisbon’s top attractions – riding its iconic trams – while you make your way back to the old city.

You can hire an Uber, like we did. If you hire an Uber, have it drop you off at the Time Out Market, where you will be having lunch. If you take the tram, the Time Out Market is just a 15-minute walk from Comercio Square. Before you make your way to the market, you can check out the beautiful square and Rua Agusta Arch

Rua Agusta

one day in lisbon rua agusta

From Comercio Square walk to the Rua Agusta Arch towards the pedestrian street of Rua Agusta. Rua Agusta is 6 blocks of shops, dining and energy with street performers entertaining customers as they eat their lunch.

Pull up a chair at one of the outdoor cafes to enjoy some authentic Portuguese food. This is a beautiful street that is not to be missed, and it is right in the heart of the city. Stroll along this street, taking in the sights and going into the Bacalau, Pasteis de Nata, and Portuguese cans stores.

Afternoon

Alfama District

one day in lisbon portugal alfama

The Alfama District is Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood and a good place to round off the rest of the afternoon. If you want to walk, it is just 5-10 minutes from Rua Agusta to the start of your walking tour of Alfama. It is here that you’ll really feel the history of Lisbon as you wander its narrow streets.

Lisbon Cathedral

one day in lisbon portugal lisbon cathedral

Start your time in Alfama at the Lisbon Cathedral. It is the oldest church in the city, dating back to the 12th century. You can go inside for free, but to see its cloisters, there is a small fee of about €2

Miradouro das Portas do Sol

one day in lisbon itinerary portas do sol

Portas do Sol is the next stop, a short walk uphill. This is one of the most popular Miradouros in Lisbon, as it looks out over the river and city. See the terracotta rooftops that feels as if you are overlooking a Meditteranean village cascading into the sea.

It is located on a large balcony, offering plenty of room to take in the panoramic view. Things to keep an eye out for is the Monastery of St. Vincen and the National Pantheon.

Tram 28

one day in lisbon portugal tram 28

From Portas do Sol, you can hop on Tram 28. No trip to Lisbon would be complete without getting on one of its historic trams, and Tram 28 is iconic. Tram 28 replaced the original horse-drawn carriages in 1914. Lisbon is known as the city of hills, and these trams help locals travel through its steep hills. Tram 28 is a 7m route that takes you through the popular tourist districts of Lisbon, Graca, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Santa Catarina & Estrela.

It takes 50 minutes to ride the entire route, but we suggest using it as a form of public transport instead. If you only want to take it a couple of stops, you can hire an Uber. The tram runs until 10 or 11 pm (depending on the season), so you can always hop back later to see everything.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

one day in lisbon miradouro senorha du monte

From Portas do Sol, Tram 28 will take you next to the Monastery of St. George, where you can hop off to explore inside, or you can simply enjoy the view and wait for your next stop, the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Time is probably getting tight now, so you may want to skip it and head directly to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.

This is the highest point in Lisbon and is worth stopping for an overhead view of the city.

Castelo de São Jorge

one day in lisbon st george's castle

Take a walk along the castle’s ancient walls and enjoy the incredible views of the city from high above. Castelo de São Jorge is open until 9 pm in the summer and is a great spot for sunset.

You’ll have access to its gardens and can join a guided tour. There is a museum inside that is free to enter, and of course, the castle walls and views of the city are beautiful. This site is a significant historic destination, with settlements dating back to the 7th century BC.

Evening/Dinner

To round your one day itinerary in Lisbon, make your way to Barrio Alto. This is the place for nightlife in Lisbon, and there are several choices for dinner in Bairro Alto. We loved the Gin Lover’s Bar in Barrio Alto. We had a cocktail here before enjoying a delicious meal on the outdoor terrace.

Nightlife

After dinner, you have a few choices: you can enjoy the nightlife of Bairro Alto, go bar hopping, and search for some Fado performers. If you really want to see a Fado show, we recommend booking an organized performance in advance here. This highly rated tour

Well, that was a busy one day in Lisbon, Portugal! From historic landmarks to vibrant neighborhoods and stunning views from its miradouros, we’ve shown you how to make the most of your day AND night in this stunning city. If you are spending more time in Lisbon, check out our post 48 Hours in Lisbon, Itinerary

For even more top sights, the best places to eat, and the most efficient ways to navigate Lisbon, check out our blog The Best Things to Do in Lisbon

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