Lisbon is one of those cities you could spend a lifetime in and still not see everything. So, what are you supposed to do if you only have two days to spare?
With 2 days in Lisbon, you could wander the labyrinth of the charming Alfama neighborhood, buzz by the pastel-hued buildings on a cute yellow tram, party the night away in the lively bars tucked off the cobbled alleys of Bairro Alto, and enjoy the cultural sites of Baixa.
It’s true—there are so many things to do in Lisbon that you won’t be able to check it all off with just a two-day itinerary. And that’s okay! You don’t need to speed up your travels and have everything whiz by just so you can say you’ve “seen it.”
Without sacrificing quality or time, this guide will clue you in on how to spend the perfect two days in Lisbon!
How to Visit Lisbon in 2 Days
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Since two days is quite a short trip, you’ll want to make sure your hotel is centrally located in the city so you can quickly and conveniently get around.
Whether you are staying for just two days or are visiting Lisbon for the first time, book your hotel within the Santa Maria Maior district. This area encompasses the most central and interesting neighborhoods of Baixa/Chiado, Alfama, and Bairro Alto — click here to jump to the top-rated hotels and places to stay.
For details on where to stay, read my in-depth guide about the best neighborhoods and hotels in Lisbon.
🚋 Kickstart your 2 days in Lisbon with a Lisbon Essentials Tour: History, Stories, Lifestyle
✈️ Book your cheap flights to Lisbon on KAYAK
🚗 Need a car rental? Use DiscoverCars.com for the best rates!
🎟 Get a Lisbon Card for 48 hours and save on admission tickets & transportation
Once you have your accommodation covered, now it’s time to plan your fun 2-day itinerary! Below are my recommendations on what to do and see in such a short time.
Day 1: Discovering the Heart of Lisbon
There’s no better way to spend your first day in Lisbon than by exploring its artistic, cultural, historic center. Today, you will explore the Baixa/Chiado neighborhood right in front of the Tagus River before meandering your way through Bairro Alto and Alfama.
- Praça do Comercio (Commerce Square)
- Arco da Rua Augusta
- Santa Justa Lift
- Largo do Carmo / Carmo Archaeological Museum
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
- Miradouro da Santa Catarina
- Gloria Funicular (Elevador da Gloria)
- Avenida da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue)
- Praca do Rossio (Rossio Square)
- Praca da Figueira (Square of the Fig Tree)
- São Jorge Castle
If you want an all-in-one tour that will recount the history and local life of Lisbon, then check out this budget-friendly Lisbon Essentials Experience, which takes you on a 3-hour, jam-packed tour exploring the must-sees of Lisbon’s central neighborhoods, including Chiado, Bairro Alto (with a view from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara), and a fun tram ride that drops you off in the soul of the enchanting Alfama district.
If you’re not a walker or have difficulty with Lisbon’s seven hills, then you can also see the best of Lisbon with a 48-hour hop-on-hop-off bus ticket.
DIY Walking Tour of Lisbon’s City Center
Start your day in the flat district of Baixa, around Praça do Comercio. In this area, you can visit several monuments, such as the Arco da Rua Augusta, Santa Justa Lift, and the Largo do Carmo.
From here, follow the Calcada do Duque stairs up to Bairro Alto (or take the lift). Explore the medieval alleys, taking note of your favorite places for a fun night out on day two. Stop by the Gloria Funicular (the most photographed street), and then climb once more up to the Miradouro da Santa Catarina.
From here, follow the tram tracks into the bohemian, eclectic neighborhood of Chiado. On your way, step into the world’s oldest bookstore—Livraria Bertrand—before continuing on foot or via tram to Alfama.
Get lost in Alfama, and then finish off the afternoon with a beautiful sunset at Castelo de São Jorge (it’s one of the best sunset spots in Lisbon!). Enjoy the view with a glass of wine before heading to dinner and back to your hotel. P.S. An alternative sunset option is this sunset sailboat tour on the Tagus River.
Nightlife in Lisbon is always “on”, especially in Bairro Alto. So if you’re feeling like going out for drinks, head there!
Day 2 in Lisbon
For your second day in Lisbon, head out west to the city’s artsy, industrial, and seafaring neighborhoods of Alcântara and Belém. Today, you’ll explore the trendy LX Factory, eat the original recipe for pasteís de nata and stroll along the Tagus.
But before you do, the best way to start day two in Lisbon is with brunch! (Especially after a long first day or a late night out.) Among the best places for brunch in Lisbon is Fauna & Flora and Dear Breakfast! But check out the others just in case those are closer to your hotel.
After brunch, rent a scooter and follow the Cais do Sodré down toward the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge (the Docks). It’s a fun 5–10 minute ride that will get you closer to LX Factory.
It’s not ideal for families or children, so you might just foot the bill and hitch an Uber/Lyft instead. Either way, head to the LX Factory!
This area of Lisbon is so cool, with lots of boutique shops, ateliers and art galleries, trendy restaurants, cafés, and more. On Sundays, there is a large outdoor flea market with local artists selling vintage clothing, jewelry, artisan cork products, and more. If that sounds like your vibe, make sure to read more about what to see and do in LX Factory.
Since Alcântara is halfway to Belém, get an Uber and make it over there to visit the Jéronimos Monastery, pastel de nata house, Padrão dos Descobrimentos seafaring monument, Rosa-dos-Ventos compass, and more.
It takes around 2–3 hours to walk and visit around Belém, so definitely doable in an afternoon before heading back to finish up your second evening in Lisbon.
Don’t forget you can save on all the admission tickets & tram/metro fees with a 48-hour Lisbon Card! 🚋
Take public transportation or Uber/Lyft back to the heart of Lisbon.
For a staple dinner (or lunch) experience in Lisbon, I recommend the Time Out Market. Right around this area are tons of other food options, though, plus plenty of cocktail bars!
Finally, to put the cherry on top of the cake of this 2-day Lisbon itinerary, find a Fado bar in Bairro Alto, Chiado, or Alfama and spend your last night in Lisbon engrossed in the melancholic music of a live Fado show.
Enjoy Your 2 Days in Lisbon!
While you won’t be able to do it all, I hope this itinerary helps plan your short trip to Lisbon!
My favorite way to spend short trips in a city is to explore the heart as fully as possible and then combine a day trip on the second day. A lot of tourists will come to Lisbon for two days but then spend one away in Sintra or Cascais. Lisbon already has so much to offer that it would be a shame to spend half your time away!
That said, those places are obviously bucket-list-worthy destinations as well. However, I’d recommend including them in itineraries in which you have at least 3–5 days in Lisbon or more.
However you end up spending your time, please let me know how your trip ends up going in the comments below! Likewise, feel free to reach out with questions.
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