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Essential 2-day Lisbon visit: a complete tour

If you’re thinking of visiting Lisbon for 2 days, we’ve got an itinerary all planned out for you. Discover this unique city!

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By LSA Editor | August 24, 2021
Bearing in mind that Lisbon is considered the happiest city in the world in 2022 (according to the ranking iVisa), the Portuguese capital has become famous for its vivaciousness and unique beauty. Lisbon is known for being welcoming and warm, a city which stands out for its intense light, and of course its cultural, historic, and culinary heritage.

If you’re planning a 2-day Lisbon visit, we’ve got the perfect tourist itinerary all planned out for you.

Lisbon Tourist Itinerary: 48 hours you’ll never forget

Visiting Lisbon in just 2 days requires some forward planning. The city is rich with attractive and different places to see, and you should take your time when exploring them. However, you can stop off at some of the loveliest and feel the unique atmosphere of this European capital in just 48 hours.

From historic monuments and stunning belvederes to traditional neighbourhoods (called ‘bairros’), recreation areas, and places bursting with bustling nightlife, there are places you simply cannot afford to leave off your list when planning a 2-day visit to Lisbon. Travel with us!

Day 1

We recommend that you start your itinerary with Lisbon’s Baixa (meaning downtown) which, without a doubt, is the heart of the city. Lisbon’s Baixa is the ideal place to begin your experience discovering this capital and its extremely rich history.

Baixa and Chiado

Before even heading off to the Baixa, you can start off by admiring the magnificent view that stretches down as far as the river from the top of Parque Eduardo VII, a large and impressive green area located by one of the busiest roundabouts in the city. From there, take a stroll down Avenida da Liberdade, the most famous and sophisticated street in Lisbon, inspired by Paris’ Champs-Elysées.

As you pass luxury shops and lush gardens in the central pedestrian area, the avenue opens out to Praça D. Pedro IV square, better known as Rossio. This is one of the nerve centres of the capital with must-see monuments like the classical Queen Maria II Theatre and Rossio railway station with its distinct Manueline style of architecture.

From this central location, wander down Rua Augusta, an elegant pedestrianised shopping street leading to the square Terreiro do Paço (also called Praça do Comércio). Passing through the triumphal arch Arco da Rua Augusta, this square looks out over the Tagus river and ends at the Cais das Colunas, where in former times the Kings and Queens of Portugal would disembark after visiting their country estates.

Another obligatory stop-off for your 2-day Lisbon visit is Chiado. Start by discovering the Santa Justa Elevator, certainly one of the best places from which to take photos in the city. Then make the most of the things to see in this cosmopolitan area, and don’t forget the seated bronze of Fernando Pessoa, the Portuguese XXth century poet, by the entrance of the Brasileira café.

Alfama and St. George’s Castle

After you’ve recharged your batteries on one of the many esplanades dotted around the historic city centre, take a ride on the iconic Tram 28 from Martim Moniz.
You can get off, for example, at Largo das Portas do Sol in the distinct Alfama neighbourhood (look for the portrait of the fado singer Amália fashioned out of typical Portuguese cobble stones – known as ‘Portuguese calçada’ – by the artist Vhils). Apart from the community atmosphere in this area, you’ll find several belvederes with breathtaking views.

Then head up to St. George’s Castle, one of the capital’s most famous monuments perched on the highest hill. With its medieval look and garden spaces, it’s the ideal place to watch the sun set over the river.

Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré

Dusk is the time to raise a toast to the best in life. Lisbon’s nightlife is famous for its vibrancy. Explore the various bars and clubs around the Cais do Sodré area, particularly Pink Street (“Rua Cor de Rosa”), and bairro de Santos.

To a similar degree, Bairro Alto is famous for its bohemian atmosphere. Actually, this is the address of some of the most traditional fado houses, where this style of traditional music, which is synonymous with the identity of the city, is performed nightly.

Day 2

After a first day spent discovering the historic heart of Lisbon, it’s time to visit some other equally must-see sights. Start by visiting one of the areas of the city with the most tourist attractions – Belém.

Belém

This historic area right by the bank of the Tagus must surely be part of the answer to the question “what is there to see in Lisbon in 2-days?” You can take in, for example, the Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), one of the Portuguese capital’s iconic monuments. Built at the start of the XVIth century on a basalt island next to the former Restelo beach, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.

Moreover, there are other remarkable monuments here like the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) and the Monastery of Jerónimos, a Portuguese architectural work, also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

For a refreshment break before setting off to discover other museums in this area, we recommend another historic visit: a trip to the popular Pastéis de Belém patisserie. Founded in 1837, it is one of the oldest coffee and pastry establishments in Lisbon, famous for its custard tarts whose secret recipe delights locals and tourists alike.

Parque das Nações

If you still have some time to spare, Parque das Nações is the perfect choice to round off your tourist itinerary in Lisbon. Parque das Nações set the stage for the World Expo in 1998, and nowadays its biggest draw is certainly the Oceanarium, one of the most impressive in Europe.
Embark on a voyage across the world’s seas accompanied by 500 marine species.

Afterwards take a trip on the cable car and enjoy a panoramic view over the Sea of Straw – Europe’s widest river estuary.

On your last day, relax on one of the many esplanades peppered around this place and enjoy the grassed areas by the riverside.

Other ideas

We’re aware that two days isn’t much time to see everything that Lisbon offers, but if you already know the city, or simply want to explore further afield, we’d suggest two must-see attractions for those who seek a broader experience. So, when planning your visit, it’s worth knowing that there are other things to do and see which are equally alluring.

Sintra

One of the sites that both tourists and locals alike love to visit is the romantic town of Sintra. From Pena Palace to Quinta da Regaleira and on to the Castle of the Moors and Monserrate Palace. for example, this place is pure magic, and just 30km from the centre of Lisbon, offering visitors an unforgettable day.

Cascais

A two-day Lisbon visit could also include a trip to the charming town of Cascais. Apart from its picturesque appeal, with monuments and lovely architecture, its closeness to the sea makes Cascais the destination of choice for a stroll, and the town is just a short distance from the capital. There are several beaches along the way and Carcavelos beach is one of the most loved by surfers.

Now that you know what to see on your 2-day Lisbon trip, won’t you need somewhere to stay with all the comforts and none of the worries?
Lisbon Serviced Apartments, which has accommodation in the most elegant and centrally-located neighbourhoods in the city, has the perfect apartment to suit your needs.

We look forward to meeting you in the world’s happiest capital.

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