Lisbon in two hours


Are you coming to Lisbon but only spending two hours in the city? Then, this article has been written for you! If you’re in the city for work and business matters or only for a stopover but still have time to make a quick visit of the city, you will certainly find this article useful. You probably won’t be able to discover all the best this city has to offer, but I can assure you will get to see some of its main landmarks and get a little taste of its charm!

Two hours does seem like a short amount of time to explore such an incredible city like Lisbon. But, if you plan your time right and follow the tips I’m about to give you, two hours are more than enough for you to be properly introduced to Lisbon and Portugal history, lifestyle and culture. But, of course, I highly advise you to come back to the city when you can, because there will be still so much to discover, explore and experience! Read on and find out what to visit in Lisbon in two hours!

Start your visit in Belém

Located west of Lisbon, the area of Belém has some of the major outstanding and important landmarks of the capital. It is situated on the northern bank of the Tejo River, from where Age of Discoveries ships set sail to travel around the world. From its banks, explorers and navigators of the fifteenth century, such as Vasco da Gama, disembarked to discover the world and its treasures. This historical period is celebrated in Belém neighborhood, through its many monuments and museums.

Historically, the neighborhood of Belém was the place where the Lisbon elite used to live, in order to flee from poverty of the centre of the city. Its interesting history and many attractions make Belém one of the most pleasant areas of Lisbon to visit. The best way to visit Belém is on foot. It will only take you about thirty minutes to walk the whole area, from the Torre de Belém to the Pastéis de Belém. During this walk, you will also cross other landmarks, such as the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the famous Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, while walking along a few well-preserved gardens such as the Jardim da Praça do Império and the Jardim da Torre de Belém and scrolling the banks of the Tejo River. On a sunny day, this is definitely the best walk to have in Lisbon!

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The Torre de Belém was built to protect Lisbon from attacks from seaward. It was initially located in the middle of the Tejo, but due to the changes in the river flow patterns, it is now found in the banks of the Tejo River. The design of the Belém Tower was strongly influenced by North African styles, with Moors watch towers, decorative ornaments and the first ever rhinoceros sculpture in Europe.

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After admiring the beauty of the Torre de Belém, head to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, which is an impressive monument that pays tribute to the Portuguese explorers and the Age of Discoveries. At the top of the monument, there’s an observation platform that offers magnificent panoramic views over Belém. If you have some time, seize the opportunity to enjoy this spectacular view.

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Cross the Jardim da Praça do Império and reach the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This monastery was built thanks to the riches and commerce, brought from the travels the Portuguese navegators made around the world during the sixteenth century. It is strongly associated with the first Portuguese explorations! It is the place where Vasco da Gama spent his last night, before traveling to India. The seamen wives used to come and pray in the Monastery for the safe return of their husbands. The Jerónimos Monastery is absolutely stunning, with its gorgeous sculptures!

Then, head to the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop! It is the traditional house of this delicious Portuguese pastry. No visit to Belém would be completed without eating at least one of this little mouth-watering custard tart!

Catch the Tram 28

The Tram 28 is definitely one of the best attractions of Lisbon! Besides enjoying a pleasant ride while having a look at the most romantic and oldest parts of Lisbon, the Tram 28 will get you to the highest hill of the city, to the Castelo São Jorge!

So, the question is: how do you get from Belém to the São Jorge Castle? First of all, you will need to catch the Tram 15E in Belém and go until Cais do Sodré. At Cais do Sodré, catch the green metro line and get down at Martim Moniz metro station. From there, you will be able to hop on the iconic Tram 28! Get down at the Miradouro de Santa Luzia and the Castelo São Jorge will only be a few steps from there!

These vintage trams were designed to go through the narrow alleys, and they are one of the greatest highlights of the city! They are usually a bit crowded, so you need to be aware of pickpockets!

Visit the Castelo São Jorge

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Alfama is one of the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon. It mixes an authentic irresistible charm with a daily life that hasn’t changed for centuries. The steep staircases, the small squares and narrow alleys, the clothes hung to dry on the streets and the locals chatting in the middle of the street create an incredible atmosphere. This maze is overlooked by the stunning Castelo São Jorge, that is found in the highest hill of Lisbon!

Moors and medieval details are still seen at every corner of this area. While walking towards the castle, have a look at the little stores you will find along the way, workshops, small cafés…

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I suggest you to visit the Castelo São Jorge while in Lisbon for two hours, because you will get to learn a lot about the country and to enjoy one of the best views over the city on the highest hill of Lisbon!

The Castelo São Jorge is found inside an ancient fortification, used by Romans, Visigoths and Moors. Taken from the Moors by the first Portuguese King, Afonso I of Portugal, in 1147, it became the Royal residence until the sixteenth century when it was greatly damaged by the 1755 earthquake.

It was later entirely restored! You will love its courtyards, towers, and beautiful gardens. Visit the castle and learn more about the city’s history! And, of course, enjoy the most wonderful view!

If you want to know a little more about the area around the Castelo São Jorge, I recommend you to read these two articles: a walk in Alfama and top 5 fun facts about Alfama!

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Visiting Lisbon in two hours is quite a mission, but it is possible! You will be able to see, at least some of its greatest landmarks if you manage well your time! The last suggestion and advice I can give you is to join a walking tour while in the city. It is surely one of the best ways to enjoy the best of city in such a short amount of time, because you get to walk the area in the company of a local that knows all about Lisbon, its history, customs, and culture! If you’re interested, click here to learn more about our walking tours in Lisbon! I hope you’ve enjoyed my article and that it has inspired you! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything! See you soon in Lisbon!

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There are many ways to enjoy Lisbon. You can wander around the city,  or maybe you plan to join a walking tour in Alfama or Belem?  Last but not least, you can also visit some of the greatest landmarks in Lisbon.

The Park and Pena Palace in Sintra, the National Palace and Gardens of Queluz, the Aquairum of Lisbon are some of the several activities that you can book on