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The best independent guide to Lisbon

LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

Lisbon in 48 hours; a 2-day itinerary and tour for 2024

Lisbon is a charismatic and vibrant city, and is one of the finest capital cities of Europe. The city combines a rich history, fascinating tourist attractions and exciting nightlife, to create a fantastic tourist destination.

Lisbon is a large and varied city, which takes three days to fully discover, but this can be condensed into an exciting and fun-packed 48 hours. Within these two days, you'll be able to visit the main tourist sights, experience Lisbon's lively nightlife, sample delicious foods, and create wonderful memories of this amazing city.

This article will provide a suggested two-day tour to help you get the most from Lisbon, and could be used for a weekend city break or as part of an extended tour of Portugal.
Related articles: Introduction to Lisbon - 3 days in Lisbon

Recommended 48 hours in Lisbon

The following itinerary has been specifically designed for visitors new to Lisbon and provides a fantastic introduction to the city.
• Day 1 Morning – The Baixa district
• Day 1 Afternoon – The Alfama district
• Day 2 Morning – The Belem district
• Day 2 Afternoon – The Parque das Nações district

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

Sights of 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 11) Time Out Market food market 12) Pink Street
Sights of day two: 13) Mosteiro dos Jerónimos 14) Padrão dos Descobrimentos 15) Torre de Belém 16) Pastéis de Belém 17) Museu Nacional dos Coches 18) Parque das Nações 19) Oceanário de Lisboa 20) Torre Vasco da Gama
Alternatives for day two 21) Sintra 22) Cascais 23) Praia de Carcavelos beach

Alternatives to the second day

The tour detailed above is purely for Lisbon, but on the second day, you may wish to visit Sintra or have a relaxing day on one of Lisbon's beaches.

Sintra is the most popular day trip from Lisbon and is the location of beautiful Palácio Nacional da Pena, the most famous tourist attraction of the Lisbon region. There is a direct train from Lisbon to Sintra, and a full guide about Sintra can be read here.

If you are on a summertime short break to Lisbon, you may prefer a relaxing day on the beach instead of a busy day of sightseeing.

There are many beautiful sandy beaches close to Lisbon, and the best if you are new to Lisbon, is the Praia de Carcavelos, and the best resort town is Cascais. (Cascais guideLisbon beach guideThe Praia de Carcavelos)

If you choose either of these alternative days, it is recommended to follow the same route for day one (visit the Baixa and Alfama districts), and see the rest of Lisbon on your next trip to Portugal.

Palácio Nacional da Pena sintra

The colourful Palácio Nacional da Pena is one of the finest palaces in Europe

Cascais beach portugal

Cascais is a delightful mix of grand 19th-century villas and beautiful sandy beaches

Praia de Carcavelos beach

The Praia de Carcavelos is the largest beach of the Lisbon coastline and is served by a train from Lisbon

The following section details the 48-hour tour of Lisbon and provides links to further in-depth guides.

48 hours in Lisbon

Day 1 Morning – The Baixa district

The Baixa district is the magnificent centre of Lisbon and is the best location to begin your discovery of Lisbon.

Baixa comprises of grand plazas, bustling shopping streets and elegant 18th-century 'Pombaline' styled buildings. The district was completely rebuilt after the devasting 1755 earthquake, and the rebuilding created the world's first grid plan layout.

The most splendid of Baixa's plazas is the Praça do Comércio, which was historically the trading centre of Lisbon and opens out on the Tejo Estuary. Leading from Praça do Comércio is the Rua Augusta, a delightful shopping street with open-air cafes and varied restaurants. At the northern end of the Rua Augusta is Rossio, a plaza that is fondly regarded by Lisbon's residents as the heart of their city.

Heading west from the Praça do Comércio is the pleasant riverside walk of the Ribeira das Naus that leads to the Cais do Sodré district and the Timeout Food Market.
Related articles: Guide to the Baixa district

Praça do Comércio lisbon

The Praça do Comércio was the historic trading centre of Lisbon

Praça da Figueira lisbon

Praça da Figueira is one of the grand plazas in the Baixa district

Ribeira das Naus Lisbon

The Ribeira das Naus overlooks the Tejo Estuary

Day 1 afternoon – The Alfama district

The Alfama district is a labyrinth of narrow streets, which extends up from the banks of the Rio Tejo to the Castelo de São Jorge.

Alfama historically was Lisbon's poorest district, being situated outside of the city walls. Today it has a trendy, artisan vibe and is one of the most characterful areas of the city.

Found within Alfama are many of Lisbon's oldest buildings, including the Se Cathedral, Lisbon Castle, and the ruins of a Roman Theatre. Cutting through the centre of the Alfama is the number 28 tram route, along which quaint yellow trams negotiate the steep hills and tight turns of the district.

While in Alfama, do expect to do a lot of uphill walking, as the district extends over two steep hills. The reward from this uphill walking are the amazing viewpoints such as the Miradouro da Graça and Portas do Sol.

Alfama is the traditional home of Fado, a melancholy style of music that was traditional sung by sailors' wives awaiting the return of their loved ones. A fado performance in an intimate venue or during an evening meal is one of the best unique experiences of Lisbon.
Related articles: Alfama guideTram 28 guide

Se cathedral Lisbon

The Se Cathedral standing high above the Alfama district

Castelo de São Jorge lisbon

Between 1255 and 1521, the Portuguese nobility ruled over Portugal from Castelo de São Jorge

Fado Alfama Lisbon

Fado is a stirring and passionate style of music sung by a solo singer and accompanied by a classical Portuguese guitar

A night out to Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré (Friday or Saturday night)

There are two main nightlife areas in Lisbon: Pink Street (in Cais do Sodré) and the Bairro Alto district.

Bairro Alto is a warren of narrow streets and the home to live music restaurants and trendy small bars. On weekends, the socialising spills out onto the streets, and the whole district becomes one giant party.

The bars in Bairro Alto close around 2am, but the night fun continues downhill in the Cais do Sodré district. Cais do Sodré was originally a red-light district, but nowadays is the late-night centre of Lisbon, with many clubs situated along Pink Street.

Pink Street lisbon

Pink Street

Have you booked your hotel yet?

During the peak season, demand for hotels and accommodation in Lisbon is very high. It is recommended that you book your accommodation as early as possible to secure the best prices.

The map below shows the location of hotels and rental rooms in Lisbon. By altering the date to suit your trip, the map will display current availability and prices:

Booking.com
Day 2 Morning – The Belem district

To the west of Lisbon is the pretty district of Belem and is one of the best tourist areas of the city.

Belem lines the banks of the Tejo Estuary and was historically the location of Lisbon's shipyards. From these harbours, 16th-century explorers discovered the sea routes to India and Brazil, and later the vast wealth from the spice trade funded the construction of the magnificent Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.

Belem is a delightful series of pretty parks and formal gardens that look across the cooling waters of the Tejo Estuary. Along this waterfront is the charming Torre de Belém, the imposing Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument and the fascinating Museu Nacional dos Coches.
There is a lot to see in Belem, and you will probably spend the majority of your day here.
Related articles: The Belem district

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos lisbon

The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was funded by a 5% tax on the spice trade, and this vast wealth meant the monastery took over 100 years to construct

Padrão dos Descobrimentos lisbon

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos commemorates the 16th century Portuguese explorers

Museu Nacional dos Coches Museum Lisbon

The Museu Nacional dos Coches exhibits a unique collection of horse-drawn carriages

Day 2 Afternoon - Parque das Nações

The Parque das Nações is the ultra-modern side of historic Lisbon, which was constructed to host the world trade fair 'Expo 98'.

The district lies along the banks of the Tejo Estuary and boasts striking modernism architecture, and the water-themed gardens and exhibits from the original Expo showground.

The standout tourist attraction is the Oceanário de Lisboa, a sea focused aquarium and one of Europe's finest aquariums. Also found in the Parque das Nações is the Ciência Viva (a fantastic science museum for children), the Casino Lisboa, a cable car, a large shopping centre and numerous restaurants.
Parque das Nações is a wonderful place to visit on a hot summer's day.
Related articles: The Parque das Nações

Parque das Nações lisbon

The theme for Expo'98 was the world's oceans

Torre Vasco da Gama  lisbon

The Torre Vasco da Gama is the tallest building in Lisbon, and the cable car runs along the length of the Parque das Nações

Garcia de Orta Lisbon

The Garcia de Orta garden in the Parque das Nações

An alternative for the afternoon is to visit the Avenida da Liberdade and the Príncipe Real district.

The Avenida da Liberdade is Lisbon's most fashionable shopping street, and the tree-shaded avenue is lined with designer stores, boutiques, and elegant hotels. At the top of the Avenida da Liberdade is the Marquês de Pombal plaza and the Eduardo VII Park, with its amazing views over the whole of central Lisbon.

The Príncipe Real district is one of the most desirable districts of Lisbon. At its centre is the Jardim do Príncipe Real garden, and the surrounding streets are filled with grand 19th-century buildings. The Príncipe Real district has a calm and distinctly Portuguese atmosphere, and feels very different to the hectic centre of Lisbon.
Related articles: Príncipe Real guide

Príncipe Real lisbon

The grand buildings in Príncipe Real

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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