Lisbon in one day
Are you coming to Lisbon but only have one day to see it all? Do you want to know what to do and where to go to? It’s quite a challenge, but I’ve designed a small “one day plan” so you can get the most out of this city. Thanks to this little guide, you will know exactly what to see and where to go to so you visit all the best of Lisbon in one day!
Have a little treat: Pastéis de Belém
You can start your visit in Lisbon by eating a Portuguese sweet specialty: the pastel de nata! So, your Lisbon in one day Challenge starts with a sweet tooth: the renowned pastéis de Belém. Located at Rua de Belém, 84 – 92, the pastry shop Pastéis de Belém is very special. Their small custard tarts are the original recipe of the pasteis de nata you can now find all over Portugal. They are served warm and straight out of the oven every minute of every day. You can’t say you’ve truly experienced Lisbon until you’ve tried one (or two) of these.
Usually, the Portuguese eat a pastel de nata with a coffee. Some like it heated, some like it cold. Some like to add a little bit of cinnamon, some like it plain. You will have to try the few different ways to eat it and find out which one you like best!
From there, you can continue to discover Lisbon in one day by exploring the area of Belém. This is the area where the sailors from the Discoveries period sailed out into the ocean to reach new territories. Belém is a patrimony that reflects the richness of that period in time, with the Jeronimos Monastery and the Belém Tower exhibiting a detailed architectural ornamentation style found only in Portugal. Join our Belém tour at 11 am to discover everything about this area’s history and about the Age of Discoveries!
Have Lunch Downtown
Continue exploring Lisbon in one day by having lunch downtown! Near Rua Augusta, one of the main streets of downtown Lisbon, you’ll find great restaurants with great grilled fish and other traditional delicacies. From Belém, you can take the tram 15 and exit at Terreiro do Paço (also known as Praça do Comércio, “Commerce Square” in English). It is one of the biggest and brightest squares in Lisbon, home of the international trade a couple of centuries ago. Walk past the arch and you’ll find yourself in Rua Augusta for lunch!
Enjoy one of the nicest views at São Jorge Castle
To continue your Lisbon in one day tour, head up to São Jorge Castle with the two elevators that help you uphill. Back in time, his monument was to defend and protect the city. It is a very well preserved castle as it was recovered in the late 20th century, so you can actually see how the walls were built. It is an extremely fun place for kids (and grown-ups) as you get to discover the old castle and let imagination take over! The São Jorge Castle stands on the highest hill of Lisbon, so it offers the greatest view ever over the city!
After visiting the castle and maybe having lunch in the restaurants around, you can join us in our Alfama tour at 3 pm to discover one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city. The tour starts right in front of the Castle’s entrance.
Get lost in the narrow streets of Alfama
After lunch, continue your Lisbon in one day Challenge by walking through the slopes of Alfama. This quirky neighborhood is known for its labyrinth-like streets and the small houses people live in. Alfama is the oldest and most traditional neighborhood of Lisbon. It is where Fado (the traditional singing) was born and where most celebrations take place. Old women lean out of their window, looking at the street and what is going on. They have conversations with each other from the balcony to balcony. Clothes are hung out to dry at the windows. Alfama has the most charming little streets! You will love it!
On your own, you will definitely get lost, but getting lost is sometimes the best way to discover the city! If you have a bad sense of direction and don’t want to lose time finding your way, you definitely should trust and follow the locals!
Go to Santa Justa Elevator
Keep exploring Lisbon in one day by taking the Santa Justa Elevator to Carmo. This old elevator is nearly a monument in itself and it offers a great view of the city. From there, you can admire the city from a birds eye view and, since you’re uphill, you can move towards Chiado. It is another typical area of Lisbon where you can find little shops and restaurants to spend your evening.
Have fun at Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real
Finally, you can finish your Lisbon in one day challenge in Bairro Alto or Príncipe Real area. These two areas offer amazing options for dinner, from traditional restaurants to international cuisine. After having a great meal, you can finish your evening with a glass or two in Pavilhão Chinês, at Rua Dom Pedro V, 89, in Príncipe Real or at any pub in Bairro Alto.
Having a drink in Bairro Alto is definitely one of the things to do. Bairro Alto is a well-known area to go for drinks (and dinner). It’s full of little pubs where you can get a drink and join your friends in the streets. Even though you can stay inside, it is more common for you to see everyone standing on the streets chatting and enjoying the night.
I also highly recommend you to take a look at our Best Day in Lisbon package. When we visit a new city for a short amount of time, we want to make sure we don’t miss out on anything important! We want to see and do as many things as possible. To fully enjoy and discover Lisbon in one day, my best advice would be to hang with the locals. They love their city and know it by heart!
By spending some time with locals, you get to explore the city and know its history but also to understand Portuguese lifestyle! When in Lisbon, you also should not forget to taste our Ginjinha, a delicious cherry liquor, and try at least one of our many different codfish dishes!
Have a great day in Lisbon!