Here’s How to Spend 24 Hours in Lisbon
Travelers finding themselves with just 24 hours to spend in Lisbon happens more often than you’d think. This is common when people have come to Portugal to visit places like the Algarve, or Porto, and have a day long transit in the capital.
Lisbon can definitely be adequately experienced in just one day! Here’s exactly what you need to do:
Morning in Lisbon
Assuming you’re checked into your one nights accommodation, and can enjoy an early start, I always recommend heading down to the Praca do Comercio first thing!
This public square sits at the foot of Chiado (Lisbon’s city center) and merges the water of the Tagus with the city. During the day it’s almost always packed; it is one of the city’s greatest tourist attractions.
In the early hours of the morning, however, it’s a calm, tranquil and intimate spot where you can greet the sun before the rest of the city wakes up.
8am to 9am: Breakfast in Chidao
Once the sun is in the sky, Chiado starts coming to life. You’ll walk the short distance up the hill and into the district where you’ll find criss crossed streets filled with restaurants, bakeries and retail stores.
Choosing a breakfast spot shouldn’t be a problem; go for any of the ones with outdoor seating in the center of the public walk ways.
9am to 11am: Shopping in Chiado
Like most cities in Europe, Lisbon thrives in the afternoons and evenings. To kill some time this morning let’s get your shopping out of the way.
Chiado is the shopping hub of the Portuguese capital. You’ll find everything from big brands to local boutiques, souvenir stores to thrift shops.
11am to 12pm: Visit the Convento do Carmo
Time for some history and culture. Just a short walk further up the hill is the famous Convento do Carmo; the church that lost it’s entire roof during the great earthquake.
Walls still in tact, it remains an architectural phenomenon where you’re technically indoors but the blue sky is beating down right above you.
Afternoon in Lisbon
12pm to 1pm: Walk to the Miradouro de Santa Luzia
The stroll between Chiado and one of Lisbon’s best viewpoints, the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, shouldn’t take you longer than thirty minutes but we’ll leave extra time for sights and distractions.
Once here, bask in the beauty of the view that this miradouro gives. There should even be a busker or two in the space to add appropriate soundtracks to the experience.
1pm to 2pm: Lunch in the Alfama
The restaurants are incredibly vibrant; pick the one the calls you and settle in for a hearty lunch of sardines, bacalhau or cozido.
2pm to 4pm: Explore Lisbon’s Alfama
Being so rich in history, a visit to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without properly exploring the Alfama for at least two hours. You’ll need the extra time considering the Alfama is a series of hills and narrow streets.
There are great shopping opportunities here, as well as beautiful photo ops for budding photographers.
Keep an eye out for all of the bakeries in the Alfama and grab a pastel de nata to munch while you walk.
4pm to 5pm: TukTuk Ride to Belem and Viewing of Belem Tower
While in the Alfama you’ll see many TukTuks zooming up the hills. Flag one down and opt for the ride through to Belem, another historic town further down the coast.
They’ll drop you at the Tower of Belem, the famous old port gate the marked the official entry for seamen into Lisbon. It’s beautiful to be on the coast; take some time to enjoy the view and the very touristy photographs being taken all around you.
Evening in Lisbon
5pm to 7pm: Visit the Museu Coleção Berardo
This world renowned modern art museum is situated right by the Tower of Belem, just across the highway. It’s a must see for art lovers, and is easily doable to a satisfying degree in just two hours.
Entry is just €5 per person. If you happen to go on a Saturday, entrance is free!
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 10am to 7pm
ADDRESS: Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Belem
7pm to 9pm: Drinks and Dinner at the LX Factory in Lisbon
Time to take a short taxi ride back toward the city, but still on the coast, to the LX Factory of Lisbon.
This was an abandoned factory yard that was transformed into a collection of retail stores, bookshops, restaurants, bars, art galleries and co-working spaces. It’s fast becoming the heartbeat of Lisbon’s night life.
I recommend starting with a drink at one of the rooftop bars first while the sun goes down. And the retreating into one of the restaurants of your choosing for your final meal of the day.
9pm to 11pm: Watch a Live Fado Performance in Bairro Alto
After dinner it’s time to head back to where we started: the city center.
Bairro Alto is the original nightlife heartbeat of Lisbon; a cluster of streets filled with restaurants, bars and live fado performance venues.
Fado is a big part of Portuguese, particularly Lisbon Portuguese, culture. This musical performance takes place in the streets of Bairro Alto on a nightly basis and is a must see while you’re in town.
As you walk the narrow streets you’ll be lured in by the different venues all promising the time fo your life. Go wherever feels right for you!
11pm: Dance the night away in Bairro Alto
You’s enjoyed the fado, you’ve likely had a few drinks as well, and your day in Lisbon is slowly coming to a close.
Bairro Alto, on the other hand, seemingly never closes. The night here is still young, and you can continue to roam the streets until one of the hole-in-the-wall bars tickles your fancy.
There is something for everyone whether you like reggaeton music, jazz, house and even the occasional live band. Just don’t lose track of time if you have an early morning flight out!
Something to note about Lisbon’s city center is that it is a great place for a free guided walking tour! If you think you can squeeze on into your 24 hour venture, I highly recommend doing so!