3 Days in Lisbon, Portugal- Best Things to Do

Lisbon, Portugal @shutterstock
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Lisbon, Portugal @shutterstock

Lisbon has won my heart within seconds and they are tons of reasons for that. While many beautiful places of Portugal are still on my bucket list, I am more than happy I had the chance to explore the beautiful region of Lisbon.

Lisbon, also known as the city of seven hills, has so many viewpoints to offer and among others, these observation points will make most people fall in love with Lisbon AND it has these cute, colorful houses, facades, and lovely people.

There is also the proximity to the water and….well, look and read yourself about Portugal´s cute capital and find an itinerary for 3 days in Lisbon (if you are looking for day trip ideas from Lisbon read this post).

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5 Day Trip Ideas From Lisbon

Lisbon Travel Tips

I don’t claim to have visited Lisbon extensively (unfortunately) but here are some important travel tips for your time in Lisbon and which can help you organising your 3-day itinerary for Lisbon.

Why Visit Lisbon?

Lisbon’s Beauty, its Charm, and Awesomeness Captured me Right Away

If you have read my previous posts about Lisbon´s surroundings, you’ve probably noticed that I often talk about the beauty of a place: About my passion for a city or a country.

Actually, I have hardly visited a place I didn’t like. I always find something positive about a place. Lisbon, however, has become one of my most favorite cities ever. I don’t have to put on my thinking cap to be able to name the positive aspects of that city.

In Love with Portuguese People

In love with the Portuguese – and by that I do not mean I am only in love with Cristiano Ronaldo. I was surprised to find out that Portuguese people are completely different to Spanish people. It doesn’t do any justice to call Portugal only Spain’s little brother – though it neighbors Spain.

Almost anybody we met, regardless of age, spoke English. It was easy to communicate with the natives. I perceived Portuguese as much quieter than other people of southern countries.

However, they are as warm-hearted and hospitable as you might have experienced at other Mediterranean places.

P.s. As a vegetarian, I am not the biggest fan of the Portuguese kitchen, but it seems it is not difficult to find good vegan food in Lisbon.

Best Time to Visit Lisbon

After speaking to some natives it became very clear that the best time for visiting Portugal is in spring and autumn.

In summer Lisbon is full of tourists and probably less fun (May to September). Visiting Lisbon in October spared us those crowds but also brought us some rainy days.

How to Get Around in Lisbon

There is one problem with hilly cities: they offer you awesome views of the city and they tend to be more beautiful. But “hilly” also means that strolling through the streets is more difficult. Actually, it is almost sports :-).

So, there are always two sides of a medal and if you are not a fan of too much physical exercise then you have another good excuse to use the iconic trams.

The public transport in Lisbon is pretty good and we never had issues getting around. There are also a hop-on and hop-off buses operating in Lisbon, which get you to all the important places in Lisbon.

Lisbon´s old tram @shutterstock
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Lisbon´s old tram @shutterstock

Where to Stay in Lisbon?

We stayed in a little hostel like accommodation and though it was lovely and nice (because we traveled off-season and we were basically the only one at the hostel), I normally prefer hotels near the city center.

Accommodations in Lisbon

The Four Seasons in Lisbon is one of the most luxurious and best-known hotels in the city. Check out the hotel that is centrally located and spoils you after a busy day exploring the city. Click here to find out more and get the best rates.

Hotel Santa Justa is a very well-rated 4-star hotel that offers good value for money (and is centrally located). Click here to get the best rates and find out more about the hotel.

The 3-star, Lisbon Sao Bento Hotel, is a 3-star hotel that offers (according to my research) good prices and good value for money. Find out more about its rates.

I seriously cannot remember the hostel we stayed at but this hostel looks absolutely amazing (and the reviews second it) – click here to get the best rates for your stay at Lisbon Destination Hostel.

Before talking about different areas and sight which you definitely should check out I´d love to show you some pictures from viewpoints (checking those places out is definitely a must-do in Lisbon).

Lisbon Card

What a bad traveler I was – I didn’t even know about the Lisbon Card. We probably would have saved some money with the card as you get access to many museums and you can use public transportation without any extra cost.

Click here to check if it makes financially sense for your trip!

Things to Do in Lisbon

Before talking about different areas and sight which you definitely should check out I´d love to show you some pictures from viewpoints (checking those places out is definitely a must-do in Lisbon). One of the first things to do in Lisbon is to check out viewpoints. As Lisbon is very hilly there are many great (and mostly free) viewpoints offering best views of Lisbon.

Here is a choice of the best viewpoints in Lisbon, so-called miradouros:

Miradouri das Portas

Best places to see in Lisbon
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MIRADOURO DAS PORTAS DO SOL @shutterstock

Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara

Lisbon points of interest
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MIRADOURO DA NOSSA SENHORA DO MONTE @shutterstock

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Arabian influence in Alfama - @shutterstock
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Arabian influence in Alfama – @shutterstock

Miradouro Castelo de Sao Jorge

Castelo de Sao Jorge
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Castelo de Sao Jorge. Can you spot the Jesus statue and the “Golden Gate Bridge”? @shutterstock

These are just some viewpoints – there are many more great viewpoints which you should check out.

Places to Visit in 3 Days in Lisbon Portugal

The viewpoints are great but there are more places to visit in Lisbon.

Without doubt one my most favorite spots in Lisbon is the Praça do Comércio, a beautiful market square with many cafes and historic buildings.

You can enjoy a nice view of the Tajo river, the Ponte 25 de Abril (the bridge that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco) and the Cristo Rei (Jesus Statue similar like the one in Rio de Janeiro).

Commerce Square in Lisbon, Portugal @shutterstock
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Commerce Square in Lisbon, Portugal @shutterstock

Commerce Square in Lisbon, Portugal
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Commerce Square in Lisbon, Portugal

Another great view is from the Christ Statue with a view of the 15. of April Bridge. Check out prices for a tour here.

Aerial View of Christ the King Statue, Lisbon, Portugal. @shutterstock
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Aerial View of Christ the King Statue and 25th of April Bridge, Lisbon, Portugal. @shutterstock

Belem, one of the most popular districts, is home to many sights and museums. One of them is the Belem Tower (Torre de Belem) or the Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument of the Discoveries).

I did not visit the tower but checked out the Patrao dos Descobrimentos (few € entry) and loved the view from there.

 Padrão dos Descobrimentos @shutterstock
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Padrão dos Descobrimentos @shutterstock

Walking along the Tejo River is something you absolutely have to do in Belem, too.

The most famous pastry shop for Pastel de Nata (a Portuguese egg tart pastry) is also located in Belem (called Pasteis de Belem)– but the line was soooooo long that we decided to skip trying out the delicacy there.

You can also do a boat tour and see beautiful Lisbon from the water.

Check out Prices for River Sightseeing Tours

Alfama is a popular and colorful district – probably the “It” borough – though it is actually the old part of Lisbon.

If you love discovering the hilly part of Lisbon by foot you´ll pass cute, little shops, cozy little restaurants – but you can also take the famous tram line 28 and get up to Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George’s Castle).

Alfama @shutterstock
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Alfama @shutterstock

My most favorite viewpoint is the one at Castelo de Sao Jorge (see picture above).

The castle is not only an interesting sight itself but offers a spectacular view over Lisbon. Actually, you can spot the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Cristo Rei, too.

If you don’t want to spend around 8,50€ for the entrance (adult) then just head over to one of the free observation points close to the castle.

Castelo de Sao Jorge @shutterstock
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Castelo de Sao Jorge @shutterstock in Alfama

Rossi Square in Lisbon

A pretty and popular square – it doesn’t surprise, why it so popular, right?

Rossi square in Lisbon @shutterstock
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Rossi Square in Lisbon @shutterstock

I have a thing for squares – I love those places where people meet and to just watch people. So another place I recommend is actually Praça da Figueira.

Praça da Figueira @shutterstock
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Praça da Figueira @shutterstock

If you are fast, you can do all the things in 2 days in Lisbon.

I definitely recommend visiting Lisbon for longer, though, since there are beautiful surroundings and there is so much to do around Lisbon. Find some ideas for day trips from Lisbon and check out the most beautiful places in Portugal.

You cannot leave Lisbon without a trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Sintra – if you prefer guided tours over independent ones, find out about a day trip to these beautiful places here.

Visiting Lisbon with kids? Then find out about fun things to do with kids.

Goodbye Lisbon!

Read more: Best places to visit in Portugal

I cannot wait to visit Lisbon soon again, but there are many other places I would like to see. Porto is another city I would love to visit, and Anne-Sophie tells us about 11 things to do in Porto or I would like to learn more about the 3 most beautiful beaches in Algarve.

As a vegetarian, I always love to know about great food in countries I visit, so if you want to know about vegetarian food in Portugal read this post here.

Safe Travels, Arzo
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