Lisbon Travel Guide – The best 3 to 5 Day Itinerary

A perfect weekend in Lisbon Travel Guide - The best 3 to 5 day Itinerary

I’ve been lucky enough to spend 3 months living in Lisbon and having the opportunity to explore the city in full detail. When friends came over, I always tried to find the perfect route to show them as much as possible of Lisbon’s beauty. In this travel blog, I’ll show you the unique capital of Portugal, including the best things to do and see, the best restaurants and bars (check out the top 10 bars here!) and the best places to stay. In this Lisbon Travel Guide, I will limit my favourites to the not-to-miss places for a first-timer in Lisbon. 

Also, this was the itinerary I often used when friends visited. Furthermore, check out this guide if you seek a quick overview of the best Lisbon Neighborhoods. Lastly, if you plan on using public transport during your stay and visiting some main attractions, the Lisbon card might be worth checking out.

- Your Lisbon travel map -

The best places to stay in Lisbon

The best areas to stay in Lisbon are Principe Real, Intendente or Bica. Even though Barrio Alto is seen as the ‘centre’, Lisbon is so small everything can be done by walking. Furthermore, you’ll save yourself some money to spend in the lovely bars and restaurants when staying in a cheaper area. Find an overview of some great hotels and accommodation in Lisbon in this Lisbon Travel Guide:

The best hotels in Lisbon:

Bica: Lisbon Bica (~€70 a night), Palácio das Especiarias (~€225 per night) or Bica FLH Suits (~€160 per night).
Barrio Alto: Bairro House Lisbon Charming Suites (~€150 per night), Lisboa Pessoa Hotel (~€210 per night), Bairro Alto Hotel (~€400 per night)
Mouraria / Intendente: Lisbon 5 hotel (~€75 per night), Lisbon Serviced Apartments – Mouraria (~€150 per night), WC by The Beautique Hotels (~€175 per night)
Principe Real: Flores Guest House (~€110), Casa de Sao Mamede Hotel (~€120), PortoBay Liberdade (~€330)
Alfama: Lisbon Best Choice Apartments Alfama (~€150), Patio São Vicente (~€200), Memmo Alfama (~€300)

A 3 to 5-day Lisbon Itinerary

  • Praça Luís de Camões
  • Manteigaria
  • Mirador Santa Catarina
  • Pharmacia
  • Pensão Amor
  • Morning:

    • Brunch
    • Praça do Comércio
    • Walking tour Alfama & Mouraria
    • Pois, Café
    • Mirador Graça
    • Our lady of the Hill Viewpoint
    • Bar Josephine
    • Casa Independente
    • Topo
  • Brunch and a stroll
  • LX Factory
  • Campo de Ourique
  • Jardim da Estrela
  • Park Rooftop Bar
  • A Cervicheria
  • Pavilhâo Chinés
  • Majong
  • Morning:
  • Belem
  • Belem
  • Time Out Market
  • Grapes & Bites
  • Bar Foxtrot
  • Morning:
  • Sintra
  • Sintra
  • Topo Chiado
  • A Tasca do Chico
  • A Weekend Itinerary to Lisbon

    Day 1 In Lisbon || Explore Bica and Cais de Sodre


    Bica & Cais de Sodre

    Assuming you will have some travelling time on the first day of your weekend in Lisbon, the itinerary starts in the afternoon. If you still have time, start your Lisbon trip by visiting Praça Luís de Camões.

    This square connects the river area with the shopping street, is close to Barrio Alto and the most photographed street in Lisbon (Rua da Bica). In case you need a snack, kick off your stay with a Pastel de Nata from Manteigaria, one of the best ones in town. This famous sweet treat from Portugal can’t be missed in a Lisbon travel guide. When it gets time for sunset, head to Mirador Santa Catarina.

    Order yourself a drink from the kiosk or take one with you and enjoy the view and often live music. Once you are ready for food, the restaurant across the viewpoint Pharmacia is one of my favourites.

    Up for another drink after dinner? Don’t miss out on Pensão Amor, which is an old brothel now turned into a cosy bar, but definitely have a good look around you for all the hints, also on the toilet. Looking for other bars to visit? Check out my top 10 favourite bars.

    Day 2 in Lisbon || Marmouria, Alfama and Intendente

    MORNING – Marmouria & Alfama 

    Start with some breakfast in one of the great brunch places Lisbon has. When you still have some time, I would suggest seeing the main square called Praça do Comércio.

    Furthermore, a free walking tour is a good way to see many different things in the city. I would suggest a walking tour that covers Alfama and Marmouria as those are neighbourhoods with a lot of history and little alleys. Moreover, a guide shows you places you wouldn’t be able to find yourself. In summary, an experience that can’t miss in this Lisbon travel guide and during your trip to Lisbon.

    AFTERNOON – Mouraria & Alfama

    After the walking tour, it is time for lunch. A nice place in Alfama to sit down is Pois, Café. When you are not done walking yet, I would suggest seeing 2 of my favourite viewpoints that are both certainly worth seeing. Head to Mirador Graça first and, when the weather allows, grab a seat and a drink on the terrace at the viewpoint. If you want to go a little bit higher up, make your way to another viewpoint: Our Lady of the Hill.

    Up for a little break? Set yourself at one of the many kiosks in Lisbon. Drinks are fairly cheap and sitting on the street while seeing life go by is always a good city trip activity.

    EVENING – Intendente

    Once you are ready to grab a drink and/or some food, head to Intendente, another neighbourhood of Lisbon, close to Marmouria. Bar Josephine is my personal favourite for a meal (bistro style) with a great atmosphere.

    Afterwards, located on the same square, make your way to Casa Independente for drinks. It is a great venue with places to sit both inside and outside and you will find many locals in this bar.

    Not ready yet to finish your night? A few minutes away by foot, you’ll find Topo, a great rooftop bar.

    Day 3 || Explore Bica, LX Factory and Principe Real

    MORNING – Bica

    After a little lay-in, make your way to one of the nice brunch places. I would suggest sticking to the west side of the city, where you can find Flora & Fauna, Heim Café, Dear Breakfast or Hello, Kristof. 

    AFTERNOON – LX Factory

    After breakfast, it is time to head to LX Factory, the ‘hipster factory’ in Lisbon with many shops, bars, street art and food. Most places don’t open before noon, so make sure you don’t arrive too early. Moreover, you can’t miss out on visiting Ler Devagar, a famous bookshop that you might recognize from Instagram. Also, you can try the world’s best chocolate cake at Landeau, make an iconic picture, go for a drink at Rio Maravilha and enjoy your pizza lunch at A Mesa.

    A Weekend Itinerary to Lisbon
    Rio Maravilha Rooftop, LX Factory, Lisbon
    A Weekend Itinerary to Lisbon

    I would highly recommend passing Campo de Ourique for lunch as it is a bit more off-the-beaten-track. It is way less touristy than the famous Time Out Market.

    Afterwards, it is time to head to Principe Real, another nice neighbourhood in Lisbon. If you fancy a park on the way, make your way through Jardim da Estrela.

    When you are into craft beers, settle down for a drink at Cerveteca Lisboa with around 15 beers on tap, both local and international. Lisbon has quite a craft beer scene, and there are many other great craft beer bars. I’ve listed my top 10 in this article. Another option is to head to Park, a very nice rooftop bar on top of a parking lot.

    EVENING – Principe Real

    It’s time to go for dinner at my favourite restaurant in Lisbon. It is a little bit more expensive, but for a full meal with a bottle of wine and dessert, you will pay still not more than €40 a person. Try to be there early, I would suggest around 18:30 – 19:00, which will limit your waiting time. They don’t take reservations but use a waiting list system. No worries, there is a bar that serves great Pisco Sours outside! I’m talking about A Cevicheria. Don’t miss out on the ceviche and surf & turf burger!

    After your food, when you feel like a drink, head to the bar called Pavilhâo Chinés. Especially interesting because of its interior. Fancy some more drinks afterwards? Barrio Alto is a nightlife district. The streets are probably very busy and many bars sell beers for only €1. When you prefer a sit-down cosy bar, I personally like Majong.

    What not to do when in Lisbon?

    There are some things many tourists do, but I wouldn’t recommend them as someone who lived in Lisbon for 3 months.

    Tram 28: The tram is packed and queues are insane, even at the first stop. I wouldn’t recommend waiting for it, as the chances are big you won’t even enjoy the ride as you are barely able to see something. I would suggest exploring Lisbon on foot to explore the hidden gems. 

    Visiting the castle: The views are good, but many viewpoints in Lisbon give you a good view. I would save time and money on going here and instead enjoy the view from one of the rooftop bars or viewpoints.

    Fado in touristic places: There are many Fado places in Alfama, but most of them are tourist-focused and expensive. When you are in Lisbon on a Monday or Wednesday, I would head to A Tasca do Chico for a more local experience.

    Lisbon Travel Guide - Day 4 || Head to Belem

    When you have more time than just a weekend in Lisbon, even better! There is more to see, especially outside of the main city centre. In the morning, stroll along the river from Praça do Comércio to get a coffee along the water at for example Vestigius. Once you feel ready to go for a longer walk, I would suggest walking along the water towards the Ponto de 25 Abril and the Torre de Belém. You can also take one of the tram lines that head to Belem, for example, tram 15.

    When you are back, pass Time Out Market, the biggest market in Lisbon for a snack or something to drink. In case you fancy a cheese & wine dinner, I recommend Grapes & Bites. It is my personal favourite of the cheese & wine places I’ve tried.
    If you like a drink afterwards, visit Foxtrot or Procópio, for a bar with a more speak-easy vibe.

    Day Trip from Lisbon on day 5 || Visit Sintra

    Take the train to Sintra, a nearby city known for the impressive castles. A train departs every hour from Rossio train station and only costs around €3. I only visited Pena Palace, but there are more places worth visiting. Get yourself a bus ticket once you arrive in Sintra, as walking to the castles will take you a while. You can also book a day trip where you visit Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon to save yourself the hassle.

    A Weekend Itinerary to Lisbon - Visit Sintra, Lisbon Travel Guide
    A Weekend Itinerary to Lisbon - Visit Sintra

    When you are back early and arriving back at Rossio, head to Topo Chiado/Carmo Rooftop for sunset. I love this rooftop bar that might be a little bit tough to find at first. The entrance is on the side of Largo do Como.

    Worth seeing, when you are in Lisbon on the right days, is the Fado performance at A Tasca do Chico, on a Monday and Wednesday at 21:00. 

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    Weekend in Lisbon - Itinerary


    A weekend itinerary to Lisbon - a complete city guide