Planning to spend a weekend in Lisbon? You are in for a treat!
Lisbon is filled to the brim with history and rich culture — there’s no place in the world quite like it.
In fact, of the 20+ cities my husband and I have explored in Europe, Lisbon rose to #1 after our visit. It’s that magical.
To help you spend less time planning and more time enjoying this vibrant city, I created this quick weekend guide to Lisbon. I hope you enjoy!
A Perfect Weekend in Lisbon
#1. Ride Tram 28
You can’t talk about Lisbon without mentioning the famous yellow Line 28 tram. Look at this cute little thing!
Not only is it iconic, it’s functional as well. You can hitch a ride around town for a few euros but be mindful and respectful of the locals, they use it for more than just Instagram.
#2. Visit a Miradouro
You’ll be hard-pressed to find something more iconic than an easy afternoon atop a miradouro (viewpoint). The city is full of them and both locals and residents take advantage. Pick any one you’d like and enjoy a drink when you reach the top.
Not only will you get some phenomenal views of the city from a higher vantage but chances are high that you’ll pass by some cool places too – you just never know what you’ll come across. Getting from one miradouro to the next is an adventure in an of itself!
My favorite miradouro is the Miradouro de Santa Luzia.
#3. Stroll Down Pink Street
This is a very famous painted pink street in Lisbon. It sits in the heart of Lisbon’s red-light district, now referred to as the pink light district.
This area reminds me of Portland, Oregon because it’s a fun mix of quirkiness and nice restaurants. We stopped at a cafe for an Americano and a quick rest before moving on to the Praca do Comercio.
#4. Praca do Comercio
Praca do Comercio is a public courtyard full of cafes and restaurants that sits on the Tagus River. This spot is still commonly known as Terreiro do Paco (palace yard) because it used to the location of the Pacos da Ribeira, a palace that was destroyed during the great earthquake of 1755.
If you’d like to rest your legs, head to Martinho da Arcada, the oldest cafe in the city.
#5. Visit the Time Out Market
The Time Out Market is a great food hall stuffed to the brim with vendors of all sorts. We’re talking 26 restaurants and 8 bars. We had delicious ceviche and brews here.
Tip: Manteigaria (best pasteis de nata in Lisbon) is located inside the Time Out Market. The lines at this location are much shorter than the locations at the city center.
Pro-tip: use the secret ordering window outside of the Time Out Market to practically skip the line altogether!
#6. Visit St. George’s Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)
This is the castle on top of the hill, coincidentally the best spot for sweeping 360-degree views of the city below.
We caught sunset from the top during our second evening in Lisbon and highly recommend it to all. Admission to the castle is $10 per person.
#7. Elevador de Santa Justa
We stayed just a block away from this famous structure. The architect behind this masterful piece apprenticed under Gustave Eiffel (built the Eiffel Tower).
The similarities between the two structures is very evident. Visitors are allowed to use the elevator for an entrance fee of $2.
#8. Visit Santo Antonio Church
This 18th-century Catholic church is believed to the birthplace of St. Anthony. History is alive!
#9. Bike to Belem Tower
I have a special place in my heart for UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Torre de Belem (Belem Tower) is no exception. The tower is a few minutes from the city center but definitely worth a visit.
We chose to hop on city bikes and head over for sunset. This place is very popular, but the crowds were minimal toward the evening. I suggest visiting early in the morning or around dusk to avoid crowds.
On your way to Belem Tower, we passed Padrao dos Descobrimentos. This monumental monolith is a tribute to the age of discovery.
Something I wish I knew earlier is that a lot of exploratory voyages around the world originated in Lisbon. Hence, the magnificent statue to recognize discovery around the world.
#10. Get lost in Lisbon
Some of our favorite memories are the ones we spent aimlessly wandering the charming streets of Lisbon. By chance, we discovered a public elevator that allowed us to forgo taking steep stairs.
It was such a cool find and came in handy many times over. Plus, we walked by homes with the most beautiful tiles!
I was so inspired by the tiles in Lisbon (they have it down to an art) and hope to incorporate them into our home, when we buy one.
Helpful Tips during your Lisbon Weekend
Portuguese is the official language spoken in Lisbon
However, it was easy to get by speaking English. Per usual, here are the basics worth knowing:
- Hello = Ola!
- Goodbye: Adeus
- Please: Por favor
- Thank you: Obrigada
- Yes: Sim and No: Nao
Lisbon is all about enjoying the moment and taking it slow
- So don’t rush your meal and don’t expect speedy service. Our meals ranged from 2 -4 hours and the experience was pure bliss, honestly.
Lisbon is budget friendly
- Lisbon is considered one of the most budget-friendly cities in Europe. For example, a bottle of (delicious) house wine averages $15.
Public restrooms cost $1 to use
- This is not uncommon in European cities, we just weren’t accustomed to paying for public restrooms. Just a heads up.
Drugs on the street
- During our visit we noticed several folks trying to sell drugs. This mostly occurred in the evenings at main tourist attractions. A stern “no” was enough to end the conversation.
- Just want to give you a heads up so you are aware. It wasn’t an issue for us.
Best Lisbon Souvenirs
- Lisbon is known for cork, tiles and tinned seafood. All three make great souvenirs!
Lisbon Cultural Treats
Try Vinho Verde (green wine)
- Vinho Verde literary translates to “green wine,” but really means “young wine.” The wine originated in Portugal and is released 3-6 months after the grapes are harvested. It has a distinct refreshing tart flavor with a hint of fizziness. We enjoyed green wine so much, we started purchasing it in the US.
Experience the magic of Fado
- Fado is a traditional style of music often found in restaurants in certain areas. We were completely smitten within seconds of the serenade. A talented vocalist sings a soulful (oft melancholy) poetic song while being accompanied by a guitar or mandolin.
- Fado dates back to 1820 and the most common area to experience it is in Alfama. If there’s only one thing you can do in Lisbon, this should be it.
Enjoy the seafood
- Lisbon is a seafood town through and through, indulge your palate! Do not leave Lisbon without ordering salted cod.
- We were surprised to find that seafood dishes are reasonably priced (especially compared to American prices). We split an octopus between two and paid $13.
Eat (too many) Pasteis de natas
- My only regret is not eating more pasteis de natas (warm egg custard treats served with a generous dash of cinnamon). Learn from my mistake and stuff those things in your pockets if you have to.
- The most famous bakery for these treats is Manteigaria. I tried pasteis de natas from four different bakeries and concur that Manteigaria has the best, hats off to the chef!
- If you plan to visit Manteigaria, expect to see long lines but don’t worry, they move quickly.
Getting around Lisbon
Walking is the best way to see Lisbon because there are so many beautiful alleyways that would be missed otherwise.
Plus, you’ll never know when a miradouro (viewpoint) is just around the corner! Getting from point A to point B on foot is very enjoyable, just be mindful that Lisbon is hilly so remember to wear comfortable shoes.
You can’t visit Lisbon without taking Tram 28. This is a fun way to get around like a local to places that are further away.
We do not recommend taking a car into the city because the streets are narrow, the city is full of hills and the transportation system primarily focuses on pedestrian use. A car would be a headache in Lisbon!
Where to stay in Lisbon
Based on our personal experience, the two best areas to stay are Baixa and Chiado.
Baixa is a shopping district full of fun restaurants and big-name stores. We booked an airbnb in Chiado and our experience could not have been better. We were a mere three blocks from ten different bakeries and three gelato shops.
Another great area is Alfama. This is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and feels the most magical to me. Remember how I mentioned Fado earlier?
Well, Alfama is the best neighborhood in Lisbon to experience it. We plan to stay in Alfama during our next trip to Lisbon.
Best time to visit Lisbon
In terms of crowds and pleasant weather, March to May is the best time to visit Lisbon. Not only will the colorful city be less crowded, the prices will be lower.
We visited in May and can’t imagine a better time to visit because the Jacaranda trees were in full bloom. I wasn’t familiar with these trees prior to our visit because I’ve never seen them in the US before.
Note: High tourist season runs from June to August and hotel prices follow suit. Temperatures will hover in the 80’s, so if you plan to lounge at the famous beaches in the area, it would be a great time to visit.
How much time should you spend in Lisbon?
- If you’d like to add Lisbon to your itinerary, I recommend spending a minimum of two to three days in the city and adding an extra day for the town of Sintra.
- Two days is enough time to take in main attractions, enjoy local cuisine, and partake in the vibrant nightlife Lisbon has to offer.
Where to eat in Lisbon
The short answer is everywhere. Eat anything you can get your hands on, especially pasteis de natas. Oh and bring some back for me!
Lisbon has some of the most delicious and affordable cuisine we’ve had – especially in terms of seafood. Our favorite restaurant from the trip was A Cevicheria where we lingered for four hours and indulged in a hearty conversation with the American folks next to us.
Our favorite bakery was Padario Do Bairro, hands down. We started every morning stuffing ourselves with chocolate croissants, sandwiches, fresh orange juice and americanos.
But heads up, if you’re after pasteis de nata, the ones from Manteigaria are hard to beat.
Visiting Lisbon was bittersweet for me because it was the last city we visited during our road trip through Europe.
The city was a perfect way to cap off the trip because it was so relaxing. I’m already counting down the days before we visit again.
And that’s a wrap. I hope you enjoyed this weekend guide to the colorful city of Lisbon!
Lisbon Portugal weekend in Lisbon, Lisbon 24 hours, one day in Lisbon, two days in Lisbon then weekend escape to Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, spring blooms in Lisbon. Spring in Lisbon. Weekend in Lisbon Weekend in Lisbon Weekend in Lisbon
weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon,
weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon, weekend in Lisbon,