LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

How many days in Lisbon? How long to spend in Lisbon? Updated for 2024

Lisbon is a fantastic tourist destination, offering a variety of sights, activities and day trips that appeal to a wide range of visitors. Whether you're interested in exploring its historic neighbourhoods, indulging in its culinary delights, or enjoying the vibrant nightlife, Lisbon has something for everyone.

The ideal length of time to spend in Lisbon is three days, though it can be condensed into two days if you are short on time. It also makes a fantastic base from which to explore the surrounding region, with its charming towns and beautiful beaches, and you could easily fill a holiday of up to ten days here.

This guide will provide suggestions for different lengths of stay within Lisbon, catering to various interests and time constraints. Whether you have a weekend, a week, or more, you will find recommendations tailored to make the most of your time. Additionally, we offer links to further in-depth itineraries to help you plan your perfect trip to this wonderful city.
Related article: Where to go after Lisbon?

How long to spend in Lisbon

Lisbon is a vibrant city that knows how to party!

What is the ideal length of stay in Lisbon?

If you are new to Lisbon and are in the early stages of planning your trip to Portugal, we recommend dedicating three full days to exploring the city. This gives you ample time to see all the main attractions, discover its unique districts, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

A suggested three-day itinerary for visitors new to Lisbon could be:

• Day 1: Explore the Alfama and Baixa districts, with highlights including the imposing Lisbon Castle, the historic Praça do Comércio, and a delightful ride on the 28 tram.
• Day 2: Spend most of the day in the Belém district, visiting its famous landmarks such as the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. In the latter part of the day, explore the LX Factory and the Estrela district.
• Day 3: In the morning, discover the elegant Príncipe Real district and the grand Avenida da Liberdade. In the afternoon, visit the ultra-modern Parque das Nações with its impressive architecture and waterfront views.
For nightlife, we suggest spending a Friday or Saturday night in the lively Bairro Alto district for an evening filled with energy and music. Alternatively, for a more dynamic experience, head to the famous ‘Pink Street’ in Cais do Sodré. (Click here for a guide to Lisbon’s nightlife)

An interactive map for your three days in Lisbon is shown below. Day one is highlighted in green, day two in yellow and day three in blue. (Note: zoom in or out to see all of the points)

Day one: 1) Praça do Comércio 2) Rua Augusta 3) Elevador de Santa Justa 4) Rossio 5) Praça dos Restauradores 6) Igreja de Santo António 7) Se Cathedral 8) Castelo de São Jorge 9) Portas do Sol viewpoint 10) Panteão Nacional
Day two: 11) Mosteiro dos Jerónimos 12) Padrão dos Descobrimentos 13) Torre de Belém 14) Pastéis de Belém 15) LxFactory
Day three: 16) Praça Luís de Camões 17) Convento do Carmo 18) Igreja de São Roque 19) Jardim do Príncipe Real 20) Avenida da Liberdade 21) Praça Marquês de Pombal 22) Parque das Nações 23) Oceanário de Lisboa 24) Torre Vasco da Gama
Nightlife areas 25) Pink Street (Cais do Sodré district) 26) Bairro Alto
Related articles:
Lisbon in 3 days

The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belem

The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belem

Parque das Nações

The Parque das Nações is the modern side to historic Lisbon

How long for Lisbon and Sintra?

Frequently, visitors wish to include a day trip to Sintra during their stay in Lisbon. To accommodate this, your time spent exploring the city could be reduced to 48 hours (removing the Day 3 suggestions from the above itinerary), or alternatively you could extend your trip to Lisbon for an additional day.

The town of Sintra is beautiful, set within the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra, and is home to the enchanting Pena Palace, the historic Moorish Castle, and the picturesque Quinta da Regaleira. Our guide to Sintra.

Lisbon and Sintra are close together and have excellent public transport links, so the town can easily be visited as a day trip without the need to stay overnight. There is so much to see in Sintra that you could easily fill two days of sightseeing.

Note: Sintra gets very crowded during the peak season, and it is advisable to start any day trip early in the day to avoid the crowds and fully enjoy the magnificent sights.

Another popular day trip, especially in the summer, is to Cascais. This charming coastal town is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant marina and scenic promenades. Cascais offers a delightful mix of cultural sites, such as the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, and natural beauty, including the Boca do Inferno cliffs.

Pena Palace Sintra

The beautiful Pena Palace stands high above the Sintra region.

Have you booked your hotel yet?

Accommodation is in high demand during the peak season, so we recommend booking your hotel rooms now before they sell out. Check current prices and availability here.

Booking.com

Lisbon for a Short Stopover?

Many of Lisbon’s highlights can be experienced in a very short visit (5 to 8 hours), making it ideal if you have a long connection between flights. The airport is only 7km from the city centre and is conveniently connected to the metro. For your short visit, catch the metro to Rossio station (green line), which is located in the Baixa district.

From here, explore the main plazas such as Praça do Comércio and Rossio Square, then head to the historic São Jorge Castle, passing through the charming Alfama district. This quick tour allows you to capture the essence of Lisbon, even with limited time.

Note: There is an automated left-luggage storage in front of the departures building at Lisbon Airport, so there is no need to carry heavy luggage for a brief stopover.

Another reason you may have a very short stay in Lisbon is if you are visiting the city as a cruise ship passenger. The cruise terminal is conveniently located close to the Alfama district, and the city is very easy to explore on foot. A dedicated guide to Lisbon for cruise ship passengers can be read here.

Elevador de Santa Justa Lisbon

The Elevador de Santa Justa

A longer stay in the Lisbon region

The Lisbon region offers a diverse array of sights, activities, and beautiful beaches, making it an ideal destination for a longer holiday, such as a 7- or 10-day stay. The next section provides suggestions for day trips, each with links to further in-depth guides, ensuring you make the most of your extended stay in this region.

Beaches
During the summer months, a popular extension to a trip is to spend a couple of days on the beautiful sandy beaches of the coastlines surrounding Lisbon.

To the west of Lisbon is the Portuguese Riveria, a region of glorious sandy beaches and charming towns. This region is popular with both tourists and Lisbon’s residents, as it is easily accessible by train. To the southwest of Lisbon is the Costa da Caparica coastline, which is popular for surfing.

The best beach for a day trip from Lisbon is the Praia de Carcavelos, which is 17km from the centre of Lisbon. This is very easy to reach, as it is connected to an urban train service that departs from Cais do Sodré train station. Cascais and Estoril are also popular beach destinations for families, with pretty and sheltered sandy beaches.
Note: The weather is suitable for spending time on the beach from May until the end of September.
Related articles: Lisbon’s beaches

Praia de Carcavelos Lisbon beach

The Praia de Carcavelos on a busy summer’s day

Day trips
There are many fantastic day trips from Lisbon in addition to Sintra. The best day trips include:

Cascais: A charming resort town, with a mix of stunning beaches and elegant 19th-century architecture. Spend a full day exploring its scenic coastline and charming streets. Our guide to Cascais

Setúbal: A bustling dock city and major fishing port, with a gritty and non-touristy atmosphere – a great place to experience ‘real’ Portugal. Our guide to Setubal

Évora: A historic gem in the Alentejo region, boasts well-preserved medieval architecture. Explore its ancient streets, Roman temple, and the impressive medieval cathedral. Évora is a great destination, but there is a long (2-hour) train journey.

Óbidos: The classic Portuguese walled town and one of the prettiest destinations in Portugal. Óbidos is small and can be seen within 2 hours, and is often combined with Peniche. Our guide to Óbidos

obidos portugal

Obidos is the classic Portuguese walled town

Sesimbra: A delightful coastal town, is renowned for its pristine beaches and excellent seafood. Our guide to Sesimbra.

Mafra: A historic town, which is home to the magnificent Mafra National Palace, a Baroque masterpiece with a vast library and beautiful gardens. A day trip to Mafra is often combined with Ericeira.

Ericeira: A charming fishing town and surfer's paradise, offering stunning beaches and a picturesque old town.

Serra da Arrábida: A breathtaking nature park with rugged mountains and stunning coastline. Perfect for hiking or enjoy the magnificent views from the Miradouro do Portinho viewpoint.

Do You Really Need to Go to the Algarve?

Many first-time visitors to Portugal believe that the Algarve is the only region with great beaches. However, the Lisbon area boasts equally stunning beaches, eliminating the need to venture south. In summer, the Algarve often becomes crowded with package tourists and families on school holidays.

In our view, the Lisbon region offers much more than the Algarve. While the Algarve's highlights include the charming fishing town of Tavira and the historic port of Lagos, the Lisbon area provides a richer and more diverse experience.

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A complete list of all of our Lisbon articles

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LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best guide to Lisbon

top 10 lisbon
Where to stay which district lisbon
3 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Nightlife
Lisbon day trips
lisbon beaches
lisbon for families
1 week in lisbon
48 hours lisbon
Lisbon sunsets
lisbon Portugal guide
Baixa district lisbon
belem distrcit lisbon
lisbon shopping
Secret Lisbon
alfama district lisbon
Cost of a holiday to Lisbon
Parque das Nações district lisbon
Alcantara district lisbon
sintra portugal
Costa da Caparica
Cascais Portugal
24 hours in lisbon
Lisbon viewpoints
lisbon food and meals
lisbon airport guide
wet day in lisbon
Lisbon museums

We Need Your Support
The digital landscape is evolving, and small publishers like us are feeling the pressure. Search engine biases and AI plagiarism have made it increasingly challenging to thrive.
You can make a difference by bookmarking our site for easy access and sharing your favorite articles with others on social media.
If you spot an error, please let us know. With over 1,600 pages to maintain, we greatly appreciate your vigilance.
Please contact us at: [email protected]

top 10 lisbon
Where to stay which district lisbon
3 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Nightlife
Lisbon day trips
lisbon beaches
lisbon for families
1 week in lisbon
48 hours lisbon
Lisbon sunsets
lisbon Portugal guide
Baixa district lisbon
belem distrcit lisbon
lisbon shopping
Secret Lisbon
alfama district lisbon
Cost of a holiday to Lisbon
Parque das Nações district lisbon
Alcantara district lisbon
sintra portugal
Costa da Caparica
Cascais Portugal
24 hours in lisbon
Lisbon viewpoints
lisbon food and meals
lisbon airport guide
wet day in lisbon
Lisbon museums