Lisbon in 48 hours: A Whirlwind Tour of Portugal’s Coastal Capital

ByAndrea Thompson

April 17, 2024

Lisbon, the oldest city in Western Europe, is renowned for its sloping, winding paths that guide you through the city. The intense Mediterranean light that bathes the city is one of its most remarkable features, giving rise to its nickname “the city of light.” Whether you spend two weeks or two months here, you’ll find that there’s always more to see and do in this enchanting city.

Day 1

Morning: Historic Alfama neighbourhood, visit the bright yellow Praça do Comércio, a harbour-facing square and one of the largest in Portugal.  Featuring the statue of King José I and stunning views over the Targus River.  Walk to the top of the monument for panoramic views or take a ride on the nearby Elevador de Santa Justa, a lift that will transport you to the top of one of the steepest hills.

Afternoon: Savour a traditional seafood lunch or try one of the local dishes including fish soups, Portuguese rice abundant with seafood, bacalhau (cod) or delicious meats and cheeses washed down with a refreshing glass of Portuguese wine.

To walk this off, take in the Csatelo de Sao George. This stunning 12th century castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lisbon.  From there Rossio Square or visit the National Museum of Ancient Art or the Museum del Fado which celebrates the traditional musical style of Portugal.

Don’t leave without trying the Ginjinha, the Morello Cherry liquor it is deceptively sweet and tasty, in fact, some places serve it in chocolate cups which makes a mouth-watering treat!

Evening: Catch a sunset cruise down the Tagus River.

Day 2

Morning:  Belem district and see the Belem Tower.  Try the best breakfast that money can buy in, a Pastéis de Belém along with a good cup of Portuguese coffee. Cheap, delicious, and filling these little treats are world famous.

Afternoon:  Parque das Nações a modern and dynamic district that offers a unique blend of leisure, culture, and entertainment. Once a desolate industrial area, it was transformed into a futuristic architectural landscape for the 1998 World Exposition or visit one of the world’s largest aquariums, Oceanário de Lisboa.

Evening: Torre Vasco da Gama, a 145-meter-tall tower that offers a breath-taking view of Lisbon. The top of the tower houses a luxurious restaurant where you can dine with a view.

These activities offer a blend of relaxation, culture, and scenic beauty, perfect to enjoy your time in this enchanting city