If you are planning to visit Lisbon you need to know that the distances in this city are big. The most famous landmarks are quite far apart from each other so the best way to get to know them is by renting a car. However, the centre of Lisbon also has a lot to offer by itself – and you are able to explore this by foot. Below, you will find the route that will enable you to see the best of Lisbon’s city centre in only one day:
The Morning: Belém
1. Start at Torre de Belém
This is such a stunning tower and a must-see if you are in Lisbon; the perfect way to start your day.
2. Walk to Padrão de Descobrimentos
Next to Torre de Belém you will find this also famous monument that represents the exploring soul of Portugal. You can access the top of this tower by paying only 5 Euros, from where you can get a great glance of the city’s skyline.
3. Move to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Also really close by, this monastery has beautiful gardens outside that are peaceful to walk through. You are also able to visit the inside if you wish.
4. Try pasteis de Belém
The Afternoon: Bairro Alto and Chiado
1. Lisbon Sign
Get the tram to move from Belém and get off at Cais de Sodré to take a picture with the artsy Lisbon Sign
2. Praça do Comércio / Terreiro do Paço
Walk to this square while appreciating the peaceful walk by the river side. This is a perfect spot to take a break from walking and just sit by the water to breathe and enjoy the sunshine.
3. Walk through Rua Augusta
This is the main pedestrian road and perfect to admire the portuguese architecture and lifestyle. There are lots of cafes here to also sit down, relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
4. Explore Bairro Alto, starting at Praça Luís de Camões
Only five minute walk away away from Rua Augusta is Bairro Alto – a traditional small-street district full of portuguese culture embedded in small passages and steep hills. We highly recommend exploring this! You can start at Praça Luís de Camões and walk your way up through Rua do Loreto, where, at some point (about 5 min walk) you will see on your left hand side a beautiful pedestrian alley with a tram that takes you all the way back down to the river side.
5. Sunset at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
Just another 5-10 minute walk is this stunning view point from where you can see the city from above – beautiful for sunset time. Even though the sun doesn’t set on this side of the city, the colours of the sky against the colourful sky line is worth seeing!
At night: Bairro Alto dinning and night life
1. Mercado da Ribeira / TimeOut Market
Here the atmosphere is popping at night time and it is perfect to try as much traditional Portuguese dishes as you like. However, we recommend avoiding the market on weekend nights as it tends to be overly busy. Instead, there are many restaurants just outside the market where you can also find amazing traditional food and enjoy your meal peacefully – unlike the market where you will have to fight for a seat!
2. Bairro Alto’s Night life
If you fancy a drink, make sure to explore the traditional narrow streets in this district at night and pop into some local bars where you will be able to enjoy extremely cheap local beers and immerse yourself into the portuguese nightlife!
You can see a snapshot of the places we visited in our trip to Lisbon in the below video!
If you have more time in Lisbon
This itinerary of course is missing many great landmarks in the city, but it is a great way to get to know the Lisbon centre in one day. If you have more time in this amazing place, make sure to also check out the following places:
- Parque Eduardo VII / Marquês de Pombal
- Campo Pequeno
- Cristo Rei
- Parque das Nações, the cable car and oceanarium
- Costa da Caparica
- Aqueduto das águas livres
- Castel de São Jorge