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3-Day Lisbon Itinerary – 3 Days in Lisbon, Portugal

by Lisa Stentvedt
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Lisbon is probably one of the most visited capitals in Europe in recent years. It has lured many of the tourists with its colourful streets, diverse culture and positive vibes. In this post, you’ll get the perfect 3-day Lisbon itinerary to help you plan your trip!

The city has existed since the 2nd century BC and ruled by Celtic tribes that were spread over the lands of Portugal at that time. Since then, the city has been torn apart again and again by the numerous wars that were taking place in that region. Eventually, it grew from a small city in the Roman Empire to a huge megalopolis and one of the richest cities in Europe during the Age of Great Discoveries.

Ever since, Lisbon has been expanding and today it is the biggest city in Portugal with more than 2 millions of people living in it. A huge part of the city is spread over both sides of the river Tagus, which is considered to be longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. This makes it a city hard to conquer just by walking, so be prepared with comfortable shoes. And if you are looking for a 3-day Lisbon itinerary, keep reading to find out how to spend 3 days in Lisbon, Portugal!

That’s why the recommended time for staying in the capital of Portugal is at least 3 days. Spending 3 days in Lisbon is just enough time to explore its most famous landmarks and experience its culture, which is why this 3-day itinerary was created. However, if you have more than 3 days in Lisbon, I hope you will still find it helpful (simply spread the itinerary out across your time, or do it all in three days and spend the rest of your trip relaxing and exploring the city with no agenda)!

Where to stay in Lisbon

Before we start off with the 3-day Lisbon itinerary, you may want to know where to stay during your visit. Here are a few deals and recommendations! Of course, if you want to save some $$$ and perhaps cook a little yourself during your visit, I recommend checking out Airbnb!

Alfama viewpoing, 3-day Lisbon Itinerary
Keep reading for the perfect 3-day Lisbon itinerary!

3 days in Lisbon – Day 1

As you arrive at the airport in Lisbon, make sure to book your airport transfer in advance to save yourself both time and hassle at the airport. The AeroBus takes you from the airport to the city center every 20-25 minutes throughout the day. Book your ticket in advance here! Alternatively, you can splurge a little and book an affordable private transfer here (perfect if you are short on time, or travelling with a larger group).

Top tip: get the 72-hour Lisbon Card! The card is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours (I recommend getting the 72-hour one if you are staying in Lisbon for 3 days). With the card, you get offers and discounts on restaurants, sightseeing and activities all around the city. You also get free access to public transportation (including the underground and the trams)! Several of the recommendations in this 3-day itinerary are included in the Lisbon Card (either free or with a discount).

Visiting Alfama district

Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon and is the most picturesque one. It is also the only neighbourhood in Lisbon that will make you feel the cheerful vibe of the city, as it is always bustling with crowds. In addition to that, while climbing the paved hilly streets of the district, you will get to enjoy some good music, known as Fado. It is a well-known genre by the locals and is adored by the tourists, due to its heartfelt songs, usually describing sad love stories. If you happen to enjoy it, it is recommended to visit Mesa de Frades in Lisbon, after midnight and enjoy one of the most heartfelt songs in your life!

Alfama is also known for having one of the best views over the city of Lisbon and Tagus river (as you can see from the photo above). Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is one of the most famous spots to overlook the city of Lisbon. Just a couple of steps down the street is Miradouro da Graça offering breathtaking views over the capital of Portugal and leading to its most colourful street. Last, but not least, go to Miradouro Santa Luzia and Portas do Sol to enjoy a beautiful view over the Tagus river and Alfama. Definitely a must for your 3 days in Lisbon.

Cathedral of Lisbon

The cathedral of Lisbon is probably one of the most important religious buildings in Portugal. It is easily recognized, due to its yellowish appearance and its Romanesque architecture. On the inside the cathedral is not so impressive compared to other cathedrals in Portugal. However, it hides in its treasury some of the most impressive files and artefacts about the history of the city. In addition to that, climbing its stairway will lead you to one of the most breathtaking views over Lisbon. Thus, it is definitely a must visit!

São Jorge Castle in Lisbon

The castle of Lisbon, as it is also known, has been there since Roman times and one of the oldest buildings in the city. Over the ages, it has protected the people of Lisbon from the attacks of the Visigoths, the Moors and many others that tried to take over the city. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most important historical buildings in the capital.

Visiting São Jorge Castle is no easy task, as it is located on one of the highest hills in the city of Lisbon and it is quite exhausting to get to it. Nevertheless, the journey is worth it, as it keeps some valuable artefacts in its museum and offers great views from its defensive walls.

Want to skip the lines? Book your ticket with a guide here!

monument of discoveries, lisbon itinerary 3 days
The Monument of Discoveries

3-day Lisbon Itinerary – Day 2

Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comércio is Lisbon’s most famous square and the former residence of the royal family. It is located exactly at the waterfront of river Tagus, which makes it a good spot to stop by and watch the sunset. However, it is good to check it out from above by climbing up on Arco da Rua Augusta, which is Lisbon’s triumphal arch.

Carmo Convent

Back in the days, the Carmo Convent was the most worshipped religious building in Lisbon, if not in whole Portugal. It had huge importance for the locals and the royal family that would often visit it to claim their faith. Unfortunately, the convent was almost completely destroyed by the famous Lisbon earthquake of the 18th century.

Santa Justa Lift

The lift of Santa Justa is usually packed up with lots of tourists and that is no surprise, as it is offering one of the most picturesque vistas over the city and Carmo Convent. In addition to that, the lift offers a quick way to climb Lisbon’s steepest streets.

Rossio Square

Rossio square is the place where all of the locals gather to play games, drink something refreshing and chat for hours. It has been like that since the Middle Ages and nothing has really changes for this square, except its appearance. Back in the days, it was used as a gathering point, a place for celebrations, bullfights and even executions.

Nowadays, the square is known as the square with the wavy tiles that are almost hypnotic. In addition to that, there is the monument of Pedro the Fourth, who was a king of Portugal and emperor of Brazil.

jeronimos monastery, 3 days in Lisbon
Jeronimos Monastery is a must, whether you are spending 5 or 3 days in Lisbon.

3-day Lisbon itinerary – Day 3

Jerónimos Monastery

The Jerónimos Monastery is a religious complex that was built around the 15th century and was a favourite place for worship for the voyagers of that time. It is probably one of the most beautifully decorated monasteries in Portugal and is well-known for its extravagant appearance. However, its exterior is not what attracts many of the visitors to it, but its cloisters holding some of the most valuable historical artefacts of Portugal.

In the past, the Jerónimos Monastery was the most visited religious building by the sailors and their wives. Among them, the most famous is Vasco da Gama, who is believed to have spent his last night in the monastery, before leaving on his voyage to India. That is why, his tomb can be found at the entrance of the Jerónimos Monastery used to remind people of the great explorers of the world.

When visiting the Jerónimos Monastery be prepared for a huge line of people waiting to get in. Thus, it is advisable to go there before its opening hours or later in the afternoon, when it is usually empty.

Bonus: The Monastery is included in the Lisbon Card!

Monument of the Discoveries

Located exactly in front of the Jerónimos Monastery and next to the waterfront of Tagus rives is the monument of the Great Discoveries. It has been built in the beginning of the 20th century with the only purpose to commemorate the great explorers of the world.

In front of the monument is a huge map of the world showing the new discovered lands and the year of their discovery. To observe this fascinating masterpiece you can go up at the monument and observe it from above. Along with that you will get to see the 25 de Abril Bridge and the tower of Belem.

Belém Tower

Just a couple of steps away from the Monument of the Discoveries is the Tower of Belem famous as the last stop of the voyagers before their journey. In the past, it was used mainly as a defensive tower protecting the city from pirates and many others threatening the city.

The tower of Belem is notorious for its beautiful Gothic architecture and romantic appearance. However, exploring the interior of the tower is not as fascinating as its exterior, except for the fact it offers a nice view. Anyway, it is a nice spot to stop by on your 3 days in Lisbon trip.

3-Day Lisbon Itinerary

There you have my recommendations for a 3-day Lisbon itinerary! Whether you are spending 5 or 3 days in Lisbon, I hope this overview will be helpful! The city has so much to do and see, so whether you are looking for the best views in town or want to explore the history of the Portuguese capital; this itinerary has you covered!

Visiting Spain next? Don’t miss this ultimate travel guide to Madrid!

If you are still looking for things to do in Lisbon (whether it’s in three days or more), here is a selection of fun activities and things to do in the city:

About the guest author: Alexandrina is the travel blogger behind EarthoSea. If you want to read more about Portugal and plan your trip there, make sure to check out her 3-day guide to Porto! You can also connect with her on Pinterest.

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