3 Days in Lisbon

3 Days In Lisbon Itinerary

When you only have 3 days in Lisbon, you’ll want to see as much as you can without burning yourself out. 

Below is a three-day itinerary that should give you as much of a cross-section of the city as possible, while allowing you to enjoy the experience. 

About Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and its largest city, home to over half a million people. 

You’ll find colorful neighborhoods full of street art and lined with azulejos, Michelin starred restaurants, trams that trundle up and down cobble-stoned streets, seven hills with views to-die-for.

 

Views from Elevador Santa Justa

 

It’s a relaxed and generally safe city, and what is basically a small town with a cosmopolitan vibe. 

Despite its history of wars, invasions, rebellions, crusades, earthquakes, and tsunamis, it stands proudly today as a warm and lively redeveloped city, one ready to welcome tourists.

You’ll want to read our post on public transportation and on discount passes.

Then pop on some comfortable walking shoes because this city was is easy to explore on foot.

 

3 days in Lisbon Itinerary

 


Day 1

Explore Barrio Alto & Chiado in the Morning

This morning you’ll want to follow our Barrio Alto and Chiado walking tour route, which also comes in a GPS-led audio tour format.

The Bairro Alto is an unofficial district of Lisbon made up of a series of quaint streets on a steep hill.

Words like bohemian and colorful are often used to describe it.

 

Barrio Alto and Chiado Map

 

Today the streets tend to be quiet during the day and come alive at night with restaurants, bars, late-night-shops, and Fado houses bringing a festive spirit to her streets.

Chiado is first and foremost a shopping district. 

And like it’s next-door neighbor, Barrio-Alto, Chiado also has a lively nightlife, including high-end theatre and opera. 

 

Chiado Lisbon

 

Sites to visit include

  • Elevador da Bica
  • Praça Luís de Camões,
  • Chafariz do Carmo
  • Carmo Convent
  • Elevador de Santa Justa 
  • Igreja de São Roque
  • Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

Stop for Lunch

There are a number of restaurants near the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara worth visiting. 

As expected, considering Lisbon’s proximity to the ocean, there are many seafood options as well as offerings of traditional Portuguese foods.  

 

 

Only a minute’s walk away from the end of the route is Mercado Simply Portuguese. See them for generous portions and well-reviewed foods. 

Or give Lumi Rooftop Restaurant & Bar a visit, both for their tasty Portuguese & Mediterranian offerings and for their terrace with an incredible view. 

Or visit La Paparrucha, a well-reviewed steakhouse with both ambiance and a view.


Explore Baixa in the Afternoon

For your afternoon tour, you’ll want to visit our post on the Baixa neighborhood, where you can find a helpful self-guided tour. 

This neighborhood lies within the heart of Lisbon. 

 

Praça do Comércio

 

If you are taking our GPS-led audio tour of Bairro Alto/Chiado and Baixa, the route in the self-guided tour linked above is in the reverse order.

It’s made up of a series of squares and classical avenues, home to a number of restaurants, cafes, tourist-friendly shops, art galleries, museums, and pedestrianized streets. 

 

Gloria Funicular

 

After lunch, hop on the Gloria Funicular and ride down to the first stop.

Sites to visit include:

  • Teatro Eden
  • Monumento aos Restauradores
  • The Estação do Rossio
  • A Ginjinha
  • Igreja de São Domingos + Largo Sao Domingoes
  • Praça da Figueira
  • Praça Dom Pedro IV
  • Elevador de Santa Justa 
  • Igreja de São Nicolau
  • Rua Augusta
  • Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros
  • Arco da Rua Augusta
  • Lisboa Story Centre
  • Praça do Comércio
  • Cais Das Colunas 

Stop for Dinner

As you’ve by now put in a full day of walking, this the perfect time to relax with a bit of food and perhaps some entertainment.

A 2-minute walk from the Cais Das Colunas is Martinho da Arcada. Here you’ll find a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant with local cuisines and wines.  

 

Martinho da Arcada

 

A little further on is da Prata 52 which serves authentic traditional cuisine with a progressive edge.  

Or, if you’d like to experience Fado with your food, try Parreirinha de Alfama, about a 15-minute walk from Cais das Colunas. 

Here you’ll find traditional Portuguese home-style food, while musicians and some of the best fadistas in the city perform as you eat.


Baixa Nightlife 

There aren’t many Fado shows in the Baixa area, but if you wander back to Barrio Alto you’ll find a number of options geared towards tourists. (The best quality ones are in Alfama).  

There is also an endless number of bars, from artsy-styled people-watching ones to ones with walls of bric-a-brac, to jazz clubs, to traditional English style pubs, to locations that mostly locals enjoy. 


Day 2

Explore Campo de Ourique and Estrella in the Morning

Campo Ourique, one of Lisbon’s most expensive neighborhoods while Estrela is a leafy and less hilly part of the city.

Take Tram 28 (or Tram 25 if 28 is too crowded) from your stop all the way to the end Campo Ourique (Prazeres), right outside of Cemiterio dos Prazeres.

 

Prazeres Cemetery

 

This is the final resting place for many famous Portuguese. In the morning it tends to be quiet.  

Here you can wander amongst massive cedar trees, past cats sleeping in the sun, amongst the mausoleums and statues, all of it atop a hill overlooking the city.  

There are cafes and restaurants nearby if you want to stop in for a quick breakfast.

Once you’re done, hop back on Tram 28 or 25, heading back towards the direction you started. 

You’ll want to get off at Estrella (Basilica and Jardim Estrela), just four stops back down the line.

 

 

The ornate Basílica da Estrela (also known as The Royal Basilica and Convent of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus) was built by Queen Maria 1.  

She’d sworn to build the most impressive church in Lisbon if she bore a healthy male heir.
It was completed in 1790 in the baroque style, with different colors of marble and stone decorating the floors and walls inside, and a towering belled dome on the outside.  

For €4 one can climb many steps to the roof terrace for a stunning view of the city and the castle.  

Across from the cathedral is Jardim da Estrela, an English-style garden full of songbirds, exotic plants, and trees.

 

Jardim da Estrela

 

The urban park in the middle of a residential neighborhood, was first planted in 1842. 

There’s always something to be found in bloom as you wind your way along the paths, past a pond, a kids play area, a cafe, and if you’re lucky some local geese. 

It’s the perfect place to relax away from tourist crowds.

Stop for Lunch

If you’re ready to stop for lunch there are a few options in the neighborhood. 

Minha Anita is a close walk from the park. Here you’ll find homemade and inexpensive foods, made by family members, in a spot frequented by locals. 

Also nearby is A Loja do Sr. Rocha. What used to be a grocery store has evolved into a well-reviewed cafe/mini-market. 

 

 
This is the place to find delicious cakes, croissants, and Pastel de Nata. 

Also a short walk away is Bota Sal, known for its seafood, friendly atmosphere, and good service. Their white sangria receives raves. 


Explore Alfama In the Afternoon

Before you head out into Alfama, you’ll want to check out our post on the Alfama neighborhood

We have a suggested route to walk to help you discover this area.

 

 

After lunch, hop onto Tram 28 and ride it to Graca/Miradoura Da Graca. This is one of the best places in which to view central Lisbon.  

Then move on and see what other options Alfama has to offer.

 

Historic Remodelado Tram 28

 

Sites to visit include:

  • Church of São Vicente of Fora
  • Campo de Santa Clara
  • National Pantheon
  • Amália Rodrigues Mural
  • Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva
  • Miraduoro das Portas do Sol
  • Miraduoro de Santa Luzia
  • St. George’s Castle
  • Igreja de São Miguel
  • Museu de Lisboa – Teatro Romano
  • Lisbon Cathedral (Sé Cathedral)
  • Museum of Resistance and Liberation (Cadeia do Aljube)
  • Igreja de Santo António de Lisboa
  • Lisbon Army Museum
  • Museum of Fado

Stop for Dinner

After another day of exploring is done, it’s time to taste the best of Alfama. 

Restaurante Farol de Santa Luzia, across from Miradoura de Santa Luzia, gets high marks for their selection of meats and fishes, wine list (sold by the bottle), and their warm and engaging service. 

 

 

Canto da Vila, close to Lisbon Cathedral, is a hidden gem. 

Wonderful aromas pull you in where you’ll find Saltimbocca de Frango, beetroot risotto, passionfruit mousse, and much more. Don’t forget to ask them about their green wine.  

Or give Casa da Tia Helena a try. This unassuming little place gets raves for their service and home-cooked Portuguese food. 

It’s a lovely spot to sit outside while you enjoy grilled sardines and octopus salad and share a bottle of wine. Highly recommended.


Alfama Nightlife 

On the whole, Alfama is much more laid back than other more touristy areas, especially close to the castle. 

Here you’ll find several quality fado houses ( Sr. Fado de Alfama and A Baiuca), as well as spots offering jazz (Hot Clube de Portugal) and classical music.

There are wine bars, restaurants that serve as art galleries, a former bakery turned live music venue, and one of the most refined spirits bars in the city. 


Day 3

Explore Belem in the Morning

Today you’ll explore the Belem district, one of Lisbon’s most historic neighborhoods.  You could easily spend an entire day here. 

For more detail on these sites, visit our post on the Belem neighborhood

 

Things to Do in Belem

 

Take Tram 15E from either Praca da Figueira, Comercio Square, or Cais do Sodra for around half an hour towards Alges, getting off outside the Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos.

Or you could take the Linha de Cascais from Cais do Sodra, where it starts, towards Alges (12 minutes). You’ll arrive at the Belem stop, on the east side of the park. 

 

Belém Lighthouse

 

Head to your first stop, Garden of Alfonso de Albuquerque, gardens created in honor of the former Portuguese Vice-King of India. 

Sites to visit include

  • National Coach Museum
  • Belém Palace
  • Pastéis de Belém
  • Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Hieronymites Monastery (Jerónimos Monastery)
  • Museu de Marinha
  • Planetario Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Centro Cultural de Belém
  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  • Museu de Arte Popular
  • Belém Lighthouse
  • Monument Gago Coutinho e Sacadura Cabral
  • Belém Tower

Stop for Lunch

A 6-minute walk from Belem Tower is O Recanto, a cozy place hidden just off of the main street. 

Sibling owners serve simple, hearty, traditional dishes, such as Salmon steak, shrimp salad with pesto and avocado, and Bacalhau a lagareiro at inexpensive prices. 

 

 

Restaurante Anfora is just down the street in the hotel Palacio do Goverdador, a little higher end in both menu and price in lovely surroundings. 

You might give Descobre, known for its innovative cuisine, a try. Charming and knowledgeable staff will offer a wide choice of fish, purees, tapas, and wine. 


Return to Baixa

From Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos, you can return to Baixa by Tram, from Jeronimos Monastery to the Calvario stop on Tram 15E, about a 13-minute trip.

Or, if you’re up for something different and not quite ready to return, walk through the park, along Praca do Imperio, to Doca de Belem (Belem Dock), located next to the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument.  

 

 

Here you’ll find a number of boat tour companies, ones that will take you out on the Tagus and along the shore of Lisbon.

Perhaps a 2-hour private day sailing trip (or if you happen to be in the area later in the evening a sailing trip by night) would fit the bill.

Or, if you purchase a hop-on-hop-off boat ticket, you can get off at any stop along the way. 

After you’re done, walk back to the Jeronimos Monastery tram stop and head toward Calvario.


Visit LX Factory

After a lazy lunch and ride on the river, a good place to stroll about in the LX Factory

 

 

This complex houses an array of quaint restaurants and artsy retailers, more in the way of a Sunday market than a modern mall. 

Located inside an abandoned industrial site, you’ll find an amazing book shop (formerly an old press shop), a tattoo shop, open-air cafes, galleries, live music, creative wall murals, and artisanal shops. 


Stop for Dinner

If you haven’t filled up on the delicious foods to be found at LX Factory, you’ll want to stop for dinner.

For dinner with a view of the Tagus, stop by the Brazillian themed Rio Maravilha, where sharing food amongst the others at your table is suggested.  

 

 

H/T: Take a peek out on the terrace with its female version of Christ the Redeemer, facing the real one across the river. Reservations are suggested.  

Within about a 3-minute walk is O Mercado, the place for lovers of grilled fresh fish and excellent desserts. Although perhaps lacking in charming decor, it’s a local favorite. 

Or try Solar Dos Nunes, known for its caldo de cação (fish soup). Served on arrival is a starter of jamon, octopus, and goats cheese. 

Informal and traditional, you’ll find the ambiance you’re looking for and helpful staff.


Alcântara Nightlife

The area in which LX Factory is located is called Alcântara, the parts of which are quite fashionable and other’s still up and coming. 

You’ll find clubs and cafes in former port warehouses as Alcântara is a waterfront district, on the docks, under a bridge.  

As with other parts of the city, there is fado, but there is also a blues cafe serving Cajun food, dance clubs with theme nights, clubs playing African-house music, an open-air bar surrounded by shipping containers, and buses, and more.

At the end of your three days in Lisbon, you may find yourself thinking, as many do, that Lisbon is one of the best destinations in Europe.

You’ll have had a chance to visit not only her main tourist attractions, giving you a look into Lisbon’s fascinating and dramatic history, but you’ll have experienced her culture through food, music, and walks through her colorful neighborhoods.

 


Back to top


 

OTHER LISBON NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDES

OTHER RELEVANT POSTS

 

Tram 28 Lisbon Guide

This post is a guide to using Tram 28E, how much it costs, tips on how to avoid the crowds, and a map of notable stops that you might want to visit.

 
The historic Remodelado Tram 28E

Historic Remodelado Tram 28

OVERVIEW

The secret is out when it comes to Tram 28, as this has become arguably the most popular tram in all of Lisbon thanks to all the landmarks and sites you can see along the way. Read more »

Public Transport in Lisbon

Lisbon Public Transportation Options

This post will provide details about each of the public transport services available in Lisbon, including information about which areas of the city they visit, how to purchase tickets, and more. 

Thankfully, the public transportation system in this city is quite useful.  Read more »

Lisbon at Night

Things to Do at Night in Lisbon

This post will help you decide on the best things to do in Lisbon in the evenings. The city is famous for her hills, lights, and view of the river. 

We include our top 15 tips for free, cultural, and party-focused activities and points of attraction. 

Don’t forget to take a look at some of our other popular Lisbon posts: 

 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

1) Enjoy Local Fado Traditions

First things first! If we are talking about Lisbon evenings, we need to start with going to a Fado Restaurant. Read more »

Free Things to Do in Lisbon

Free Things to Do in Lisbon

This post provides several free things to do in Lisbon, including a few really cheap activities.

We have organized this post into 5 sections, one for each of the most popular neighborhoods for visitors to Lisbon and an additional section to cover some of the other fun things to do in this city. Read more »

Lisbon Walking Tour (Map, Route + Audio)

In this post, we provide you with a walking tour of Lisbon with a map, a suggested route, as well as an audio tour option.

This walking tour covers the picturesque neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and Chiado. Additionally, we have self-guided walking tours for Baixa, Alfama, and Belém.

Everything listed here is part of Day 1 of our 3-day Lisbon itinerary.

 

Barrio Alto Lisbon

What is Bairro Alto and Chiado?

The Bairro Alto is an unofficial district of Lisbon made up of a series of quaint streets on a steep hill. Words like bohemian and colorful are often used to describe it. 

It was first constructed in the 16th century to house the ship workers and sailors of the city.   

Today the streets tend to be quiet during the day and come alive at night with restaurants, bars, late-night-shops, and Fado houses bringing a festive spirit to her streets.

Chiado Lisbon

Chiado is first and foremost a shopping district, with designer labels adorning storefront throughout the district. Nevertheless, most of the sites on this tour are located in Chiado.

And like its next-door neighbor Bairro Alto, Chiado also has a lively nightlife, including high-end theater and opera.


HOW TO GET HERE 

There are several ways to get to either neighborhood and it really depends on where you want to start.

Click on the map to enlarge

Barrio Alto and Chiado Map

Although we start this self-guided tour from the Elevador da Bica, one of the city’s 3 funiculars, you can also take Tram 28 to reach the same starting point in Chiado.

You can also discover the area by taking part in one of the many free walking tours that depart daily from Praça Luís de Camões (#2 on our list).


GPS-Enabled Audio Tour

We offer an audio tour of Bairro Alto/Chiado/Baixa, researched, written, and recorded by one of our own tour guides.

Here’s a sample.

  1. Purchase an audio tour.
  2. Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf and embeddable Google Map
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

1. Elevador da Bica

This funicular (tram) runs from Rua de São Paulo to Calçada do Combro/Rua do Loreto.  

It departs every 15 minutes carrying locals and tourists up the steep and graffiti lined hills of Lisbon to the Chiado/Bairro Alto and Bica neighborhoods of the city.  

The entrance is a bit difficult to find. Look for the sign over the arch on the building of #234 on Rua de São Paulo. Choose the front or rear for the best view of the graffiti-lined streets.

Your Viva Day Pass or Lisboa Card allows you to board for free and without waiting in a queue. Single rides are. 3.80 return


2. Praça Luís de Camões

Although it may lack the grandeur of other squares in Lisbon, Praça Luís de Camões, also called Largo do Camoes, is a favorite meeting spot for locals.

The cobblestone ground is full of images of ships and mermaids, and in the center of the square stands a bronze statue of Luís de Camões, considered Portugal’s greatest poet. 

Praça Luís Vaz de Camões

At the bottom of this monument stands eight other figures from Portuguese literature representing the love the Portuguese have for the written word.

Don’t miss the Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts) from either Manteigaria or the award-winning Pastelaria Batalha, both on the square. 

Lisbon’s famous Tram 28E passes through this area.

Several free walking tours depart from here.

Take Lisboa offers a 10:30 am daily (+ 14:00 on Tues, Thurs, Sat) tour of Chiado, Bairro Alto, and Baixa. Learn more or book here. (They also offer free tours of Alfama and Belem).

Likewise, New Lisbon offers a very similar tour with more daily options: 10:00, 11:00, 14:00, and 16:00. You can learn more or book the tour here.


3. Fado in Chiado

Fado music originated in Portugal in the 1820s in the Bairro Alto, Alfama, and Mouraria districts. 

The style is one of melancholy or mournfulness with song lyrics that often grieve that which was lost or are nostalgic for the past.

Live Fado at Tasca Do Chico

It was the music of the poor – sailors, dock workers, fishwives and others from the working classes. 

Although Fado in Chiado is the most recognized spot to experience Fado music in the area, it has a significant cover charge. 

A more authentic Fado can be found in a smaller bar, one with no cover charge, called Tasca Do Chico. Reservations are suggested. 


4. Chafariz do Carmo

Chafariz do Carmo sits in the center of Largo do Carmo, a historic and picturesque square and one of the most popular in Lisbon. 

Flowering trees from South American, Jacarandas, fill the square, providing shade to those who relax beneath.

Chafariz do Carmo

This freshwater fountain is cherished because it managed to survive the great earthquake of 1755.

Four pillars rise to meet four arches, while inside dolphins sit atop the fountain itself, in a style of baroque and classical.    


5. Carmo Convent

Just off Largo do Carmo one finds the ruins of the gothic Carmo Convent, a monastic complex destroyed by the great earthquake of 1755.

5,000 books and all of the church’s artistic and religious creations were lost as well, and residing clerics were forced to abandon the building. 

Over time various restorations and repairs were made, then stopped in 1834, when religious orders were abolished in Portugal.

This left the naves and transept uncovered and chapels incomplete, with walls and buttresses left open to the sky. 

Today an archeological museum resides in the church’s nave and there are exhibition rooms in the apsidal chapels. 

Tombs of great figures such as King Dinis I (from the early 14 century) and King Ferdinand the I (from later in the same century) can be found on-site, as well as some beautiful and very old artifacts. 

Hours:

  • October to April   10:00-18:00 (6 pm)
  • May to September   10:00 – 19:00 (7 pm)
  • Closed on Sundays, January 1, May 1, and December 25

Tickets:

  • €5.00   Adults
  • €4.00   Students (full time with ID)
  • €5.00   Senior (65 and over with ID)
  • €4.00  Lisbon Card
  • €0   Children 0-14
  • Group and school tour pricing available

Visit the official website for more information.


6. The Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift)

The most ornate, neo-gothic elevator you have likely come across, the Santa Justa lift, now at over 100 years old, was built to transport folks from lower to upper Lisbon. 

The designer was a fan of Gustav Eiffel and sought to emulate the Eiffel Tower with this wrought iron structure. One makes the trip in a wood-decorated elevator car, up to one of her two levels.

For 1.50 more you can head up an additional two stories to the Viewing Deck.  It’s here you’ll find an unobstructed 360-degree view of Lisbon, including Alfama and the Castle of St. George in the distance. 

If you are already at the top in the Largo do Carmo area, you can directly enter the top-level through a series of stairs.

Entrance this way tends to be much faster, skipping the long lines that form for the elevator. Access this way is free.

Hours:  7:00 to 22:45 (10:45 PM)

Tickets:  

  • €5.15 return on the elevator to lower deck
  • €1.50 to travel on the elevator to the top deck
  • Discounts can be had with the Viva Day Pass or Lisboa Card

Visit the official website for more information.


7. Cervejaria Trindade

This historic restaurant, residing in a 13th-century convent, is popular with locals and tourists alike.

After religious orders were abolished in Portugal, this space became a beer hall and even today beer is brewed on the premises. 

Inside are two large vaulted rooms, decorated with blue, white, and gold azulejos tile panels depicting the four seasons. 

Orange and gold ceiling slope overhead and family-style tables line the room, and it’s here where you sit and enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine including seafood, meats, desserts, and regional wines. 

The restaurant suggests calling if you’d like to discover their dish of the day, served Monday-Friday at lunchtime. 

Hours

  • Monday- Thursday  12:00 – 24.00 (midnight)
  • Friday- Sunday  12:00 – 1:00
  • Wednesdays   20:00 (8:00 pm) – Fado

Pricing

  • Main courses €10.50-€27.50

Visit the official website for more information.


8. Igreja of São Roque

The austerity on the outside of this church belies the extravagant beauty found on the inside. 

With a painted wood ceiling, azulejos, inlaid marble tile, jade, amethyst, gold leaf, statues, and Mannerist, early Baroque, Later Baroque, and Roman Baroque design, one can’t help but be impressed by the extraordinary talent involved in creating this jewel.

 

 

The church, still active, was originally built to house a relic from Saint Rocco.

Because of his healing of victims of the plague, King Manuel I believed that this relic might protect his people from the Black Plague. 

A group established to care for the church, the Brotherhood of St. Roch still exists and maintains the church to this day. 

In the early 1900s, a museum was adjoined to the church. Here one finds religious artifacts, an art collection, paintings, sculptures, and a collection of reliquaries donated by a member of the Borga family.

Church Hours: 

  • 9:30 and 17:00 (5 pm).  

Museum Hours:

  • Monday   Closed
  • Tuesday-Wednesday   10:00 until 18:00 (6:00 pm)
  • Thursday   14:00-21:00 ( 2 – 11 pm)
  • Friday-Sunday  10:00 until 18:00 (6 pm)

9. Museum of Freemasonry in Portugal

This recently opened museum includes a historic archive of Freemason history in Portugal dating back to 1727.

See photos, lodge member clothes, items used in rites/rituals, and more.

 

Freemason Symbol on Wall

 

Museum Hours

  • Sunday   Closed
  • Monday-Friday   14:30-17:30 (2:30 to 5:30 PM)
  • Saturday  Closed

Tickets: €2


10. The Solar do Vinho do Porto (run by the Port Wine Institute)

Closed for construction (April 2020)

If you like Port, you’ve died and gone to a relaxed and casual heaven. Think wood-beamed ceilings, comfy oversized chairs, and every type of port you’ve ever wanted to try. 

 

Port Wine Institute Lisbon Barrio Alto

 
The waiters present you with a listing of ports ranging from €2/€3 – €20 a glass. Bottles can be purchased as well. One can match your port with a cheese and snack on nuts. 

Learn more here.


11. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

While construction has been ongoing for years, it’s well worth making a stop at the often serene terraced garden. 

It allows for one of the most panoramic views of Lisbon, with São Jorge Castle and its walls, the Alfama neighborhood and city center (Baixa), and the ocean in sightlines.

 

 

The garden was laid out in the 19th century. In the lower garden, one finds lawn beds separated by walkways and benches.

Dotted across the garden are the busts of known Portuguese figures, and small fountains line the walls. 

There is also a drinks and snacks kiosk with seating. 

The upper level, cobblestone and tree-covered, also has benches and an even larger drink and snacks kiosk with outdoor seating. 

At times a street market is set up, with vendors selling handmade art, home decor, trinkets, and traditional Portuguese food. Don’t be surprised to find artists settled there to paint the cityscape as the wow factor can’t be beat.


12. Elevador da Glória

Designed by the same man who designed the Santa Justa Lift, these cable cars carry passengers up and down the steep slopes of the city.

The Elevador da Gloria is the most popular of the cars and is often packed with tourists and locals. 

 

 

The graffiti painted trams descend a steep hill, running close to flats and local businesses, as locals walk the cobblestone sidewalks nearby. 

Hours:

  • 7:30-21:15 (9:15 pm)

Tickets:

  • €3.00 – 1 ticket. 
  • 3.80 – return.

Back to top


 

OTHER LISBON NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDES

OTHER RELEVANT POSTS

 

Self-Guided Tour of Lisbon

This post is a self-guided walking tour of Lisbon, specifically the downtown area of Baixa, along with a map and audio option.

It covers some of the most interesting things to see when you visit this picturesque neighborhood in Lisbon.

Additionally, we have self-guided walking tours for Chiado/Alto Bairro, Alfama, and Belém. Read more »

Things to Do in Lisbon in June

This post provides a list of fun and interesting activities you can do in Lisbon in June, updated for 2020, including a variety of family-friendly, nighttime and free things to do.  Read more »

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Belem

Things to Do in Belém

This post lists the top 15 things to do in Belém, a beautiful district on the Tagus River to the west of central Lisbon. It’s written in a self-guided tour format.

It is essential to visit if you want to learn about the Portuguese Age of Discovery, see most of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or try the nation’s favorite pastry in the place it was invented.

Here is an interactive map (with directions between stops), and below are some instructions to get you started!

Things to Do in Belem

Click the map to enlarge or download to a smartphone.

The walk includes 14 stops and plenty of opportunities to find a spot to rest or a bite to eat. You can click on the map below to expand it or download it to Google Maps.

TIP: If you prefer having an entertaining guide, there are multiple daily pay-what-you-like tours of Belém that you can book. 


1. Garden of Alfonso de Albuquerque

The beginning of the Belém tour starts at the Alfonso de Albuquerque Garden.

Garden of Alfonso de Albuquerque

These well-landscaped gardens were originally built to pay tribute to Alfonso de Albuquerque, who was the Portuguese Vice-King of India. 

There are open grassy spaces, footpaths with benches covered in shade.


2. National Coach Museum

To reach the National Coach Museum or Museu dos Coches, look east from the garden and you’ll see it across the street.

This beautiful museum’s lavish interior is full of one of the largest collections of historical carriages in the world.

They include coaches, sedan chairs, and carriages that were all built and decorated for royalty with all of the beautiful styles you’d expect. 

TIP: This museum is free with the Lisboa Card!


3. Belém Palace

Walk back toward the Garden of Alfonso de Albuquerque. The Palace is on the opposite side of R. de Belém. 

The President of the Portuguese Republic keeps the Belém Palace as an official residence. 

Belém Palace

There is a small museum that is open to the public and holds portraits of past and current Presidents, as well as a landscaped garden.

  • Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays from 10:00 – 18:00 (6:00 pm)
  • Closed: From 13:00 (1:00 pm) – 14:00 (2:00 pm), January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and Christmas Day
  • Price: €4 General Admission, €2.5 Concessions (Student, Senior, Teacher)

4. Pastéis de Belém

After exiting the Palace museum, turn right and continue walking west. Pastéis de Belém will be on your right.

You won’t miss it – the name is laid right into the pavement outside! 

This famous patisserie has been operating since 1837. They are the home of Portugal’s favorite custard cream tart!

Traditionally this pastry, called Pastéis de Nata, is sprinkled with cinnamon before eating them warm.

The cinnamon tradition is thanks to Vasco da Gama’s successful trade voyage to India for spices.  

TIP: Why not order your pastries to take away to the next stop and enjoy them in a relaxing garden?


5. Tropical Botanical Garden

Take a right as you leave the cafe and another right immediately on Tv. Galinheiras and take the last left. 

Just as the name says, the Tropical Botanical Garden is full of over 500 species of tropical plants and animals, including turtles, parakeets, herons, and others.

Belem Botanical Garden

Its original purpose was to give students a place to study for their veterinary and crop production courses.

Now, it is a relaxing oasis! 

  • Hours: From October – March: 9:00 am – 17:00 (5:00 pm)
  • Hours: From April – September: 9:00 am – 20:00 (8:00 pm) 
  • Closed: Christmas Day and January 1
  • Prices: 3 General Admission

6. Hieronymites Monastery (Jerónimos Monastery)

Walk west on Largo dos Jeronimos, then turn left to stay on that road. Turn right onto Praça do Império.

The Hieronymites Monastery is where the Order of Saint Jerome was based, in the year 1601. The monks gave guidance to sailors, and you’ll find maritime imagery throughout the building. 

 

It is a World Heritage UNESCO site famous for the Portuguese Gothic architecture. 

If you’re looking for a place to take striking Instagram pictures, this is it. 

You’ll also find the tombs of several important historical figures, including explorer Vasco de Gama and poet Luis de Camoes.  

  • Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays from 10:00 am – 17:00 (5:00 pm)
  • Price: 10
  • Website

TIP: Admission is free with the Lisboa Card.


7. Museu de Marinha

If you’re in the Monastery, head to the west wing.

The Maritime Museum commemorates Portugal’s history of navigation and discovery, run by the Navy. 

King Luis the I began collecting Portuguese maritime items in 1863. The collection continued to grow until the museum was given its official current home in 1963.


This photo is courtesy of Tripadvisor

You’ll find 15th-ship models, historical paintings, maps, and navigational tools.  

There’s even a globe from the most famous globe-maker in the world. 

  • Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays from 10:00 am – 17:00 (5:00 pm)
  • Prices: €6.50 General Admission, €3.25 Children and Seniors
  • http://ccm.marinha.pt

TIP: Save 33% on admission with the Lisboa Card.


8. Planetario Calouste Gulbenkian

The planetarium is also inside the Monastery complex.

They have 32 star-projectors that can display over 9,000 stars, as well as the galaxy. 

You can also check out aviation- and space-related exhibits, paintings, and artifacts in the gallery. 

  • Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm and 13:45 (1:45 pm) – 16:00 (4:00 pm)
  • Prices: 5 General Admission, 2.50 Children and Seniors
  • Closed: January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and Christmas Day

TIP: Save 50% on admission with the Lisboa Card.


9. Centro Cultural de Belém

Turn right on Praça do Império then left to stay on that road. 

The Cultural Center uses multiple art galleries and venues to display Portuguese art and culture.

They promote and help artists develop classical music, jazz, theatre, dance, literature, and film, among other mediums.

If you’re a fan of modern art and want to see the work of Portuguese artists, you should stop by. They also regularly host film screenings, musical performances, and artist talks. 

  • Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am – 20:00 (8:00 pm) and Weekends/Holidays from 10:00 am – 18:00 (6:00 pm)
  • Closed: Christmas Day

TIP: Admission is 20% off with the Lisboa Card.


10. Padrão dos Descobrimentos

It’s time to walk back toward the Tagus River. 

Padrão dos Descobrimentos is literally translated to Monument of the Discoveries. 

It sits on the north bank of the Tagus River, close to where it opens into the Atlantic Ocean where ships would leave on trade routes with India and Asia or for exploration.

The original commemoration of the Portuguese Age of Discovery was constructed for the 1940 World Exhibition. A permanent monument was not completed until 1960.

The main figure depicted on the monument is Henry the Navigator, with 33 other maritime statues behind him on the ramps.

There are two interior rooms you can access in the monument as well. 

  • Summer Hours: 10:00 am – 19:00 (7:00 pm)
  • Winter Hours: 10:00 am – 18:00 (6:00 pm), Closed on Mondays
  • Viewing Platform: €6 per adult
  • Exhibit Room: €4 per adult
  • Visit their website.

11. Popular Art Museum

Walk west and follow the road as it curves right. 

The Museu de Arte Popular, in Portuguese, was originally formed for the 1940 World Exhibition, but permanently opened in its current location in 1948.

They display and celebrate paintings, sculptures, and architecture by Portuguese creators. 

  • Hours: Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am – 18:00 (6:00 pm), closed on weekends from 13:00 – 14:00 (1:00 pm – 200 pm)
  • Closed: January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 13, and Christmas Day
  • Price: 2.5

12. Belém Lighthouse

You’ll pass the lighthouse as you keep walking west on the waterfront pedestrian road.

 

Belém Lighthouse

 

The Belém Lighthouse is an interesting reconstruction made from distinctive red brick in a spiral pattern. This particular lighthouse has never been in use. 


13. Monument Gago Coutinho e Sacadura Cabral

Take the next right, then turn left on Av. Brasilia, and left again to head back toward the waterfront.

 


This photo is courtesy of Tripadvisor

 

This statue of a biplane commemorates Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral, both pioneers of Portuguese aviation who were the first to fly over the South Atlantic.

Their 79-day journey went from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1922. 

The statue is a replica of the Santa Cruz plane to scale and is placed in the park that was the original runway. 


14. Belém Tower

You can see Belém Tower west of the monument!

Officially named the Tower of Saint Vincent, the Belém Tower was originally built in the 16th century as a defensive structure.

 

 

Later it became a ceremonial gateway to the city. Explorers and trading sailors would arrive to and leave from the tower, watched over by the patrons who funded their voyage, often members of the royal family. 

  • Hours: From October – April: Tuesdays – Sundays from 10:00 am – 17:30 (5:30 pm)
  • Hours: From May – September: Tuesdays – Sundays from 10:0 am – 18:30 (6:30 pm)
  • Closed: January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and Christmas Day

TIP: Included for free with the Lisboa Card. We also suggest arriving before noon if you don’t want to wait in line. 

 


PLAN YOUR VISIT TO BELÉM 

Belém is worth visiting and offers something for every visitor, whether you’re a history buff, photographer, or foodie.

You’ll find multiple monuments that are both beautiful and full of history, as well as peaceful gardens, and a great view of the Tagus River. 

We suggest spending at least half a day in the district, especially if you follow the walking tour laid out below.

Everything listed here is part of Day 3 of our 3-day Lisbon itinerary.


Getting Here from Lisbon’s City Centre

If you’re starting in Lisbon, you’ll need to travel west for a bit to get to Belém. The trip should take between 35-45 minutes depending on where you start from.

Our list of 14 things to see is written as a self-guided tour and starts from the Garden of Alfonso de Albuquerque (map).

This is a good starting point for your visit, as it is near the main train station and also near stops for all trams and buses.

You could also join one of the many free walking tours that travel to Belém from the city centre. Most start from here as well.

Here are a few of your options.

 

How to Get to Belem Lisbon

 

NOTE: If you purchase the Lisboa Card ahead of time, a travel pass for public transport is included!


Take the Tram

Take tram 15 or 127 from Figueira Square or Comercio Square (toward Algés) until you pass the Monastery. 


Take the Bus

The hop-on-hop-off bus is a great way to get the most of your trip from the city centre to Belém. Here are the routes that will get you there:

If you’re taking public transport, you can hop on Bus 728 from Sul E Sueste heading towards Estação Fluvial De Belém.


Take the Train

If you want to get to Belém fast, take the train for 7 minutes from Cais do Sodre Station to Belém. It’s just 3 stops! 

You might want to take a few minutes to look around Belém’s beautiful train station, too. 


Take the Ferry / Boat

There is a ferry terminal in Belém that you can reach from Cais do Sodré, Porto Brandão, or Trafaria.

The Yellow Boat Tour is an easy way to get from Cais do Sodré under the 25 de Abril bridge to the neighborhood.


BELÉM GUIDED TOURS

 

 

If you’d rather have a guide on your tour through Belém, we know some great guided walks available to take. 


Walking Tours

If you’re on a budget, there are several pay-what-you-like tours in Belém! They’ll take you to all the major sites and include some entertaining anecdotes from the local guides.

For something a little different, there are other ways to get around the district! Popular tours include bike tours and segway rides.


Tourist Passes and Bus Tours

Above, we have listed the landmarks and attractions that are included for free or at a discount on the Lisboa discount card.

There are also guided tours of the district and Lisbon at large.

If you’re looking to take guided tours or see more than one museum and historic site, check out our Lisboa Card post that explains all the perks.

Alternatively, if you just purchase a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, that gives you a great way to navigate between districts and see more with less time.


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