Explore Lisbon: 4-Day Itinerary in Europe’s Cool City

Lisbon, Portugal’s coastal capital, is one of Europe’s coolest cities – hey, it’s even known as the ‘Hipster Capital’! It’s often overlooked for its bigger neighbors like France or Spain, but there’s a lot more to Lisbon City than you think. From local wines and richly flavored foods to stunning architecture and impressive castles, there’s so much to adore. Head to Lisbon and fall ‘head over hills’ for the pastel-colored buildings, rolling hillsides, and old-fashioned charm.

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal

Because Lisbon is packed with historic monuments, delicious bites and must-see sights, you might not know where exactly you want to go. To help fill up your Lisbon itinerary, we’ve put together all the iconic landmarks you need to see while in this incredible city.

Enjoy Your 4-Day Lisbon Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon and Check in

Begin your journey from the airport

From Humberto Delgado Airport, you can take the Aerobus or book an Uber private car to Baixa (our recommended accommodation area), which is 7 kilometers way.

  • Cost: ~4 – 6
  • Duration: 20 mins

Where to stay

We recommend staying in Baixa, known as the heart of Lisbon, and one of Western Europe’s oldest towns. Conveniently located downtown, it’s home to majestic buildings encircled by the squares of Rossio, Figueira and the grand riverfront Praça do Comércio.

If you’re feeling up to it, once you’ve arrived, drop by the party district, of Bairro Alto just 10 minutes away. Or rest up in your accommodations without worrying about the late-night noise.

We recommend checking out Airbnb and hotelscombined for your accommodations.

Optional activities for leisure time:

Ginja (image via Helder Mira, Flickr)
Ginja (image via Helder Mira, Flickr)

Sample Lisbon’s famous Ginja liquor at Ginjinha Espinheira Bar

Drink in Portuguese culture – literally. Get a taste of the 1840s in Lisbon by sipping on Ginja. It’s a fortified wine made from Ginja cherries, combined with sugar, and topped with – you guessed it! – another Ginja cherry, which adds a roundhouse kick of flavor. Try this quintessential local drink that’s been passed down from generation to generation.

  • How To Get There: Take a 2-minute walk from Rossio Square, which will be within walking distance from your hotel in Baixa
  • Address: Largo de Sao Domingos 8 | Rossio, Lisbon 1150-320, Portugal
  • +351 21 814 5374
  • Cost: ~€1.20 (1 shot)
Rua Augusta: Lisbon, Portugal
Rua Augusta: Lisbon, Portugal

Enjoy the atmosphere of Rua Augusta Street

Behold the triumphal arch-like, historical building and admire its six columns and magnificent stone reliefs. Stroll the pedestrian street and admire the mustard-colored building framing the arch. Snap one for the gram at this very spot! You can opt to view the streets from the Rua Augusta Tower. This tower will give you a great view over the famous Rua Augusta street.

  • How To Get There: Take a 5-minute walk from Rossio Square, which will be within walking distance from your hotel in Baixa
  • Address: R. Augusta 2, 1100-053 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Cost: ~2.50

Party the night away at Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is the nightlife haven of Lisbon that comes to life every night. Eclectic cinema houses, wine bars, and jazz clubs line the cobblestone warren. Unwind in chill bars such as Clube de Esquina and, where you can relax to Brazilian beats, soak in the boho vibes, and meet local musicians.

  • How To Get There: Take a 10 – 12 minute walk from Rossio Square, which will be within walking distance from your hotel in Baixa
  • Address:
  • Clube de Esquina: Rua da Barroca 30-32 | Bairro Alto, 1200, Lisbon 1200-050, Portugal 342 7149
  • Portas Largas: R. da Atalaia 105, 1200-037 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Cost: Bring at least €20 for food and drinks (thinking about bringing a credit card? Play it safe instead. Check our Tips and Tricks section at the bottom of the page!)

Day 2: Discover the charms of the city

Lisbon Experience Walk: Get to know the city better with a walking tour, starting from Restauradores Square. The square is a symbol of Portugal’s 1960 independence from Spain. Glimpse lovely art deco facades and a huge obelisk. Explore the vibrant Mouraria, the medieval quarter. Cross the River Tagus on a ferry boat and glimpse the wonderful port city from the waters.

Along the way, you’ll get to taste some delicious local staples from nearby shops en route:

Pastel de Nata (image via Marco Verch, Flickr)
Pastel de Nata (image via Marco Verch, Flickr)
  • Pastel de Nata: a creamy and rich egg tart with flaky, crisp pastry. Best to eat it served fresh from the oven at bakeries like Manteigaria.
  • Address: Rua do Loreto 2, 1200-108 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Cost: 1.30
Vinho Verde (image via Susan Nilsson, Flickr)
Vinho Verde (image via Susan Nilsson, Flickr)
  • Porto from Vinho Verde: Or,  ‘green wine.’ Fresh, fruity, floral. Yes, it looks almost like white wine, but it’s actually made with ‘green’ or unripe grapes. Expect it to taste a little more tart and effervescent . Enjoy the slightly lighter alcohol percent (around 10%) compared to your ordinary white wine. Try one at Wine & Pisco or other wineries near the Restauradores Square.
  • Address: Largo do Duque de Cadaval, 1200-016 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Cost: ~3 – 15

Listen to Fado, Portugal’s melancholic music

Hear the dulcet tones and sorrowful wails of fado singers – a music style that expresses the feeling of despair. Catch it drifting in and out of nearby Alfama cafés such as Parreirinha de Alfama and A Baiuca.

  • Address:
  • Parreirinha de Alfama: Beco do Espírito Santo 1, 1100-222 Lisboa, Portugal
  • A Baiuca: Rua de S.Miguel nr.20, Alfama, 1100-544 Lisboa, Portugal
Hop aboard Tram 28: Lisbon, Portugal
Hop aboard Tram 28: Lisbon, Portugal

Ride the Tram 28

This iconic yellow trolley dates back to the 1930’s  will take you through Lisbon’s hills. Hop aboard the tram at Martim Moniz (the start of the route). Pass through quaint neighborhoods such as Sao Bento, Estrela and Alfama. Brace yourself for sudden turns and sharp brakes along narrow, cobblestone streets.

  • Service Hours: 7:00am to 10:00pm, runs 4 times per hour

Tram 28  stops at the  attractions listed below so it’s suggested to hop on and hop off along the route to make the most of your trip:

Pena Palace: Lisbon, Portugal
Pena Palace: Lisbon, Portugal

Witness amazing hilltop vistas in Alfama

Hopeless romantics and dreamers, rejoice! Something special awaits everywhere you turn in the iconic alleyway district of Alfama. Feast your eyes on pastel rainbows spreading out from charming façades and colored tiles. Peer over the azulejo panels and pink bougainvilleas adorning the lovely terrace, Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Gaze over the Moorish gateway Largo and glimpse red rooftops and brightly-colored houses, stretching all the way across to the Tagus River. Stop at Portas do Sol viewpoint to watch the sunset blaze over the domed architecture of Santo Estêvão, São Miguel and São Vicente de Fora churches.

Visit the famed St. Georges Castle

Drop by the royal palace perched on top of Alfama’s highest hill. Discover architecture from the 11th century at the fortified castle and battlements. Admire stunning views of the city and the sea. We recommend  visiting during early morning or evening to avoid the crowds.

  • Service Hours:
  • November to February: 9:00am to 6:00pm
  • March to October: 9:00am to 9:00pm (Cost: ~€8.50)

Browse the world’s oldest bookshop: Livraria Bertrand

The bookstore chain has been open since 1732, just a little before the great Lisbon earthquake struck in 1755. Uncover its fascinating history while browsing its beautiful wood-paneled walls and wide selection of books. While you’re there, purchase art books and guide maps available with English, Spanish, and French translations.

  • How To Get There: Take a 7-minute walk from Rossio Square
  • Address: R. Garrett 73, 1200-309 Lisboa, Portugal

Day 3: Spend the day exploring sites outside Lisbon

Óbidos and Fátima Day Tour:

Book a day tour from Lisbon to visit the surrounding countryside towns of Obidos and Fatima. Escape the city for a quaint landscape and historic buildings.

Obidos: Portugal (image via Paulus Langitan, Flickr)
Obidos: Portugal (image via Paulus Langitan, Flickr)

What you’ll find in Óbidos

Get caught in the romance of the medieval age in the fairy tale-like village. Thrill-seekers can walk Óbidos Castle’s surrounding barrier high above the ground. Feel the surreal atmosphere and culture of a land that seems frozen in time. Drink local Ginja (why not!) as you roam the quiet winding streets.

Sanctuary of Fatima: Portugal (image via Francisco Antunes, Flickr)
Sanctuary of Fatima: Portugal (image via Francisco Antunes, Flickr)

What you’ll find near Fatima

From the town of Fatima, head to the Batalha Monastery and take in the ornate Gothic and Manueline architecture left unfinished by seven kings before 1840. Witness Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, the world-famous Marian shrine, and gain insight about the Virgin Mary apparition to three little shepherds. Sample seafood in the quaint fishing village of Nazaré and revel in fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Day 4: Last-minute souvenirs and shopping before leaving Lisbon

Avenida da Liberdade in Baixa

Explore this trendy shopping district, the ‘Champs Elysees’ of Portugal, covered in terraces, stately monuments, and gardens. Take home Portuguese wines, olive oil, salts, and canned sardines. Here, you can also find luxury brands like Miu Miu and Prada in chic boutiques.

Souvenirs in Lisbon, Portugal (image via Sandra Vallaure, Flickr)
Souvenirs in Lisbon, Portugal (image via Sandra Vallaure, Flickr)

Bairro Alto

This district is home to a diverse range of shops. Bring a piece of Lisbon home with you through shops selling Porto wine or cork accessories (Fun fact: Portugal is the largest producer of cork!). Check out stores like Pelcor and Cork & Co. for well-crafted items like umbrellas, handbags, and shoes.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Get a SIM card Lisbon is a beautiful city to get lost in, but don’t take it literally and get separated from your friends. Grab a SIM card here and connect with your group no matter where you are
  • Prepare cash Most of the places in Lisbon only accept Portuguese credit cards
  • Wear comfortable shoes You’ll be walking everywhere, and the stone pavements can get too slippery for heels
  • Weather-proof your wardrobe Wear your layers in the months leading up to January (11°C)  and beyond, but dress light for the summer near July (24°C)

Travel to Lisbon whenever you want to remember the simple joys of travel. Come to the land where old meets new. Enjoy the juxtaposition of melancholic fado music blending in with candy-colored houses that radiate innocence and happiness. Spend days admiring art found in your immediate surroundings. Book a trip to Lisbon and add color to your life today!