Portugal’s capital is one of my favourite places in Europe. With it’s old world charm, riverside vibe, and lively buzz of a modern city, I could easily spend weeks there. However if you’re only heading to the city for a short break or weekend away, here’s my guide on how to best spend 48 hours in Lisbon.


Day 1:

Explore Castelo de São Jorge

Castelo de São Jorge is one of the top cultural highlights of Lisbon, and a must visit during your weekend away. Here, you can learn all about the history of this ancient 11th-century fortification, the people who lived there and the city it calls home. As it’s built on one of Lisbon’s seven hills, the castle also offers a great view of the city below. There’s even a little wine kiosk there so you can enjoy a drink whilst you take in the scenery.


The details

Location: Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo

Summer opening times: 1 March – 31 October | 9 am – 9 pm (Closed – 1 May)

Winter opening times: 1 November – 28 February | 9 am – 6 pm (Closed – 24, 25, 31, December , 1 January)

Cost: € 8.50

Reviews: Trip Advisor


Wander the streets of Alfama

Exploring the spindley streets and romantic charm of the city’s old town is also a must if you only have 48 hours in Lisbon. It’s windy cobbled lanes are flanked with pastel toned buildings alive with little local cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s here, we had the best sangria we tasted in Lisbon. Yet Alfama has a creative side too, as a go to area for Lisbon’s street art scene. From large murals that cover entire walls to little doodles in corners, you’ll find plenty of art by just walking around.

Read my full guide to Lisbon’s street art


48 hours in Lisbon, Alfama


Visit Lisbon’s famous squares

Lisbon’s squares are great place to relax with a drink and soak up the city’s atmosphere. There are plenty dotted around the city, but Praça do Comércio (Palace Square), is particularly spectacular. Created by a U-Shape of refined decorative buildings, the square leads you down to the banks of the River Tagus. The other square worth visiting is Pedro IV Square (or Rossio Square). The more lively of the two, it’s home to shops, cafés and bars as well as city landmarks including the National Theatre.


Ride tram 28

Another top thing to do during your two days in Lisbon is take a ride on one of the famous yellow trams. The route 28 tram is arguably the best way to see the city, as it trundles past most of the popular attractions and through the tourist areas. It’s best to ride it either late or early in the day though, as it does get quite squashed and stuffy at peak times!


The details

Opening times: Runs daily from 7 am – 11 pm

Cost: €2.90 for a single ticket or €6.15 for 24 hours

Reviews: Trip Advisor


48 hours in Lisbon, Tram 28


Sip drinks on Lisbon’s rooftop bars

If you’re only in Lisbon for 48 hours you should spend at least some of your time relaxing on one of the city’s many rooftop bars. I would recommend Topo and PARK. The former you’ll find hidden at the top of a shopping centre, with a laid back vibe and a great view of Castelo de São Jorge. Whilst the latter is equally hidden, at the top of the car park this time, with bundles of hipster charm and views of the river.


The details


Location: Calçada do Combro, 60

Opening times: Monday – Saturday | 1 pm – 2 am

Reviews: Trip Advisor



Location: Commercial Center Martim Moniz, Praça Martim Moniz, 1100-341

Opening times: Monday – Saturday | 1 pm – 2 am

Reviews: Trip Advisor

48 hours in Lisbon, Castelo de São Jorge


Day 2:

25 de Abril Bridge

The 25 de Abril Bridge has become somewhat of a modern landmark of Lisbon. Partly due to the fact it looks like the little sister of San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate bridge. Although you can’t walk across the bridge, it’s quite impressive to look at up close and makes for some great photo opportunities too.


The details

Location: Ponte 25 de Abril

Reviews: Trip Advisor


48 hours in Lisbon, 25 de Abril Bridge


Get creative at LX Factory

LX Factory is an example of gentrification at it’s finest. Old factory turn creative hangout, this is the place to go for indie shopping, eating and drinking. Yet there’s much more to LX Factory than that, with a program of live music, art exhibitions, workshops and more also taking place each month. Make sure to check out their event calendar before you go.


The details

Location: Rue Rodrigues de Faria 103

How to get there: Get the train to Belém station, from there it’s a 15 minute walk.

Opening times: Daily 6 am – 2 am

Reviews: Trip Advisor


48 hours in Lisbon, LX Factory


Visit Belém Tower

The 16th-century Belém Tower (Torre de Belém) is a symbol of Portugal’s age of discovery on land and at sea and another must see Lisbon landmark. You can pay to go inside, but we didn’t bother as we thought the exterior was impressive enough alone. It’s best to go at low tide, when you can walk right up to the tower and get some great photographs.


The details

How to get there: Get the train to Belém station, from there it’s a 5 minute walk.

Location: Avenida Brasilia – Belém

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm

Cost: €6

Reviews: Trip Advisor


48 hours in Lisbon, Belem Tower


Eat fresh seafood at Ponto Final

Lisbon is famed for its fresh seafood, in particular its salted cod, and you can’t spend 48 hours in Lisbon without trying some of it. For somewhere reasonably priced and authentic, look no further than Ponto Final. This restaurant is placed right on the riverbank in Almada, offering a very scenic dining experience, with a menu of fantastic seafood dishes and a great Portuguese wine list to accompany.


The details

Location: Rua do Ginjal 72, Almada

How to get there: Catch the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas, then walk along the river bank.

Opening times: 12 pm – 11 pm daily (Closed on Tuesdays)

Reviews: Trip Advisor


Watch the sunset from a miradouro

As a city set upon seven hills, Lisbon has countless viewpoints (called miradouros in Portuguese) from which to watch the sunset across its sea of terracotta roofs. I would recommend Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. It’s a steep climb up to it, but well worth the effort when you see the view at the top.


The details

Location: Rua Senhora do Monte 50

Reviews: Trip Advisor


48 hours in Lisbon, Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte


If you are spending more than 48 hours in Lisbon, you can also read my unusual cool things to do in Lisbon which has even more recommendations on things to do.

Have you been to Lisbon before? Let me know in the comments below!


Interested in a weekend away in other European cities?

Read my guide to 48 hours in Prague

Read my guide to 48 hours in Budapest


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