Lisbon in 4 days: How to Make the Most out of Your Time

About Lisbon

Lisbon, the enchanting capital of Portugal, is a city of mesmerizing contrasts. Experience the charm of its ancient streets, adorned with vibrant azulejo tiles, as you wander through historic neighborhoods like Alfama. Along the way, be captivated by breathtaking panoramic views of the Tagus River throughout the city

Lisbon seamlessly blends its rich history with modernity, transforming into a vibrant hub. Immerse yourself in the perfect fusion of Lisbon’s captivating past and its thriving present during your unforgettable 4 days in Lisbon.

portugal shops
tram 28 lisbon

Best things to do during your 4 days in Lisbon

From visiting historical sights to eating the famous Pasteís de Belém, Lisbon offers a wide range of activities and experiences, ensuring there is something to enjoy for everyone! Read along for all the best things to do for Lisbon in 4 days and to make sure you get the most out of your time.

Wander the streets of Alfama

Once the fishermen’s neighborhood of Lisbon and now the historic center of the city. Alfama is the only area in Lisbon that survived the earthquake in 1755 and therefore the oldest neighborhood full of historical sights dating back to the 12th century.

This is one of those places where you can get lost in the narrow streets and experience Lisbon’s local life in the best way possible.

Either explore Alfama in the early morning or head there in the late afternoon. Witness how the neighborhood comes to life at night with cozy restaurants and fado shows taking over the area. In fact, this old neighborhood is exactly the place where fado originated.

alfama red street
lisbon street alfama

Sé Cathedral Lisbon

The Lisbon Cathedral, or simply the Sé, is located in Alfama and is one of the main sights in the area. It holds a rich history dating back to its construction in the 12th century. Built on the site of a mosque after the Christian conquest of Lisbon in 1147, the cathedral has undergone various transformations over the centuries.

Get your entrance tickets here for €5 per adult, or simply admire the architecture from the outside.

Opening times: November – May: Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM. June – October: Monday to Saturday: from 9:30 AM to 7 PM.

Closed on Sundays and Holy Days.

se cathedral lisbon in 4 days
4 days in lisbon street

Soak up history at São Jorge Castle

Located on the summit of the São Jorge hill in Alfama, São Jorge Castle should be on everyone’s list while exploring the district.

The castle served several purposes, from a fortress to protect Lisbon in the 11th century to the royal palace. Unfortunately most of the castle was destroyed after two major earthquakes, but finally restored in the 20th century.

When visiting the castle, you can explore the grounds of the castle, learn more about the rich history in the on-site museum and enjoy the breathtaking views over Lisbon.

porto blogpost portugal

You may also like..

A Weekend in Porto: The Ultimate Guide for First-Timers

castle view

Location: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo

Opening Times: November to February every day from 9 AM – 6 PM.  March to October every day from 9 AM – 9 PM.

Entrance fee: <25 years €7,50 and 26+ €15

Tours: join this guided tour or get yourself a self-guided audio guide!

sao jorge castle
castle lisbon

LX Factory

A bit outside the city center, you’ll find the LX Factory. This industrial center is a hub filled with fusion restaurants, talented architecture, and artistic shops. It’s by far one of the coolest and most unique places to visit in Lisbon and not something you would expect in the city.

lx factory lisbon

At LX Factory you’ll find the center’s most iconic spot, the Ler Devalgar bookstore, and the remarkable flying woman on a bike. Fancy a drink or looking for a spot to watch the sunset? Go to the rooftop bar with incredible views over the bridge. Take at least an afternoon stroll around the area as you won’t get bored quickly here.

Location: Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103, close to the Ponte 25 Abril bridge.

Opening times: 6AM – 2AM

neon lights lx factory
lx factory

Miradouro Santa Luzia

Lisbon has a lot of viewpoints aka Miradouro in Portuguese. One of them lies in the old neighborhood of Alfama, called Miradouro Santa Luzia. The viewpoint has a stunning terrace filled with fountains and beautiful tiles. It’s a super romantic spot so perfect during sunset.

miradouro santa luzia

Santa Justa Elevator

Built-in the 1900s, the Santa Justa elevator was used to help the locals reach the higher areas of the city a whole lot easier. Nowadays you can still use the 45-meter-high elevator from the Baixa district to the Largo do Como in Bairo Alto.

It has become more of a tourist attraction these days and even though you’re not going inside, the architecture is still amazing and worth a visit. Do expect a long line during peak season, so it’s best to come early if you want to go inside.

You can buy tickets at the base of the elevator or use it for free with the Lisboa card!

Location: R. do Ouro

Opening Times: in summer every day from 7 AM – 11 PM and in winter from 7:30 AM – 8:40 PM

Ticket fee: €5,30 per person.

santa justa elevator

Visit Praça do Comércio

Impossible to miss when you’re wandering the streets of Lisbon, Praça do Comércio was once the exact spot where the Royal Palace was located until the earthquake of 1755 destroyed it. Now one of the most beautiful squares full of exquisite architecture, restaurants, and bars.

plaza lisbon
building lisbon plaza
praca do commercio

Belém Tower

30 minutes away from the city center of Lisbon, lies the Belém district. After skipping it on my first visit to Lisbon, it was on top of my list during my second visit. Head on the train towards Belém early in the morning and visit all Belém has to offer.

Dating back to the 18th century, the tower of Belém has served as a gateway to Portuguese explorers and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. It used to be located in the middle of the Tagus River, but after the 1755 earthquake, the river was redirected and the tower now lies on the shore of Lisbon.

Did you know you get FREE entrance for the Belém Tower including many more museums and sights with the Lisboa Card? Get yours here!

belem tower lisbon
belem portugal

If you’re not going inside the tower, a total visit to Belém will take around 2/3 hours depending on your other plans in the area. Besides the tower, you can also visit the Gothic Jerónimos monastery or have a Pasteís de Belem.

Location: Av. Brasília

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 AM to 6 PM, the last ticket sales time is at 5 PM and the last entry is at 5:30 PM.

Entrance Ticket: get your entrance ticket here for €8.

belem food and drinks

How to get to Belém

There are several options to reach Belem from Lisbon. The first option, and the one that I used, is by train. From the Cais do Sodre station you have to take the train towards Cascais that drives every 20 minutes.

I don’t recommend getting off at the ‘Belem’ stop but rather getting off at ‘Algés’. The ticket to Algés costs you less than €2 and takes 10 minutes. Another way to get to Belém is by tram 15E which stops in the center of Belém. The tram ticket costs €1,35 and takes 25 minutes from Cais do Sodre.

Try the famous Pasteis de Belem

By only walking past all the delicious bakeries, the aroma of freshly baked pastéis de nata fills the air. And what is the best place to try them? In Belém! The pasteís de belém, also known as pasteís de nata in the rest of Portugal, is the country’s most famous pastry. If you’ve visited Lisbon or Portugal in general, you basically can’t leave the country without trying the famous Pasteis de Belem.

Even though you can get them throughout the country, the original recipe is in the hands of this exact bakery. That’s why they’re the only ones to call this egg custard tart pastry, pasteís de belém.

pasteis de belem shop

At the restaurant, you can opt to sit inside to savor this delicious pastry or you can get a takeaway. Don’t be shocked if you’re seeing a long waiting line outside, everything flows pretty quickly.

pastel de nata portugal
pastel de belem

Feira da Ladra

If you’re finding yourself in Lisbon on a Tuesday or Saturday, head off to Feira da Ladra, Lisbon’s oldest flea market. Search for vintage items, cool souvenirs, or simply stroll through the market.

It starts in the morning around 9 AM and ends around mid-day. Combine a visit to the market with exploring Alfama and the São Jorge Castle.

feira da ladra flea market best things to do lisbon
flea market girl
feira da ladra lisbon

Ponte 25 de Abril

Ponte 25 de Abril is one of the most iconic landmarks of Lisbon. The suspension bridge is a look-a-like from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco. While connecting the two cities Lisbon and Almada, it’s only accessible by car, and not possible to cross it on foot.

The bridge is admirable from many areas in the city, but the best and clearest view may be from the riverside around the MAAS museum. Walk past the riverside, enjoy the views, and watch local fishermen getting their daily catch.

Note: talking about the MAAS museum, there’s an art exhibition from Joana Vasconcelos happening there until the 25th of March 2024 which is worth a visit!

ponte 25 abril
fishermen bridge portugal

Pink Street

Probably on every list of ‘Instragrammable’ photo spots in Lisbon, but this street isn’t only very photogenic but owns a few of Lisbon’s best bars. With the colorful umbrellas covering the street and bright pink grounds, it’s a beautiful place to snap some photos, but make sure to head there at night as well and enjoy some drinks.

The funny thing is that the history of this street is everything but what you would expect. Back in the days, Rua Nova do Carvalho used to be a hub for sailors, local criminals, and prostitutes. Only since they finished painting the street pink in 2013, brothels left and created space for hip bars.

For photos make sure to come early in the morning for the best lighting and only a handful of people. 

pink street girl
umbrellas street portugal

Ride the Iconic Yellow Trams

Tram 28, also known as the most beautiful tram ride in the city, rides past a lot of famous landmarks in Lisbon and therefore becomes a popular attraction for tourists.

After a few attempts, we managed to get on the tram, as most of them were packed. Of course, it was a beautiful ride, but we were stuffed against so many people in the tram, that it wasn’t that enjoyable.

On top of that, locals who use this line for their daily lives, aren’t sometimes not even able to get on because of all the tourists. Because of that I recommend not riding tram 28 during peak season, and chose one of the other lines that are just as fun and visit the popular sights on its own.

tram 28 lisbon

Day Trips from Lisbon

Lisbon offers enough sights and activities to fill up your 4 days in Lisbon, but right outside the city, there are some epic places fitting perfectly into your itinerary!

Cascais

Cascais is a small beautiful village along the coast of Portugal. It’s the perfect weekend getaway from the busy city of Lisbon only 30 minutes away.

You can either spend the day in Cascais, enjoying the beautiful beaches or what I recommend, to stay the night. Make sure to have breakfast at the House of Wonders with delicious vegetarian options and a visual menu!

Sticking around for sunset? Boca do Inferno is the perfect spot to watch the sunset within walking distance from Cascais.

cascais beach portugal
cascais daytrip lisbon

How to get to Cascais

Every 10 or 20 minutes trains will depart from Cais do Sodre station to Cascais, bringing you there in about 30 minutes. The price of a train ticket is €2,30 or free with the Lisboa Card.

Sintra

One of the best day trips you can do from Lisbon has to be Sintra. This old charming town is surrounded by beautiful nature, located 30 minutes from Lisbon.

Visiting Sintra feels like stepping into a fairytale full of colorful palaces, gardens, and castles. One of the main sights in Sintra is Pena Palace, which used to be the summer palace of the royal Portuguese family.

Get your entrance ticket to Pena Palace and Park here or join this epic day trip from Lisbon that brings you to all the highlights and even Cascais!

Other beautiful places to visit in Sintra are the Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, and the Valley of the Lakes.

pena palaca sintra daytrip

How to get to Sintra

If you’re traveling through Portugal by rental car, then Sintra is easily accessible within 30 minutes. However, there are a few public transport options as well if you don’t have your car.

By Train

Every 30 minutes trains bring you from Rossio train station to Sintra within 40 minutes, a ticket costs €2,50 one way. The train is included in the Lisboa Card!

Uber

Another option is to grab yourself an Uber that will bring you to Sintra in around 45 minutes. Usually, the price is around €25, which is way more expensive than taking the train.

How to visit all the sights in Sintra

The most convenient way to reach all the sights in and around Sintra is by hop-on-hop-off buses. A ticket costs €11 and is valid for 24 hours.

Tuktuks are also available to bring you to every sight you want, however, do expect to pay a whole lot more. As there is no parking space, it’s best to leave your rental car at your accommodation!

sintra town portugal
girl pena palace

4 Day Lisbon Itinerary

This Lisbon 4 day itinerary covers all the above-mentioned activities to get the most out of your days in Lisbon. I haven’t packed every day so there’s still space for you to add in any activity you want to do or simply take it more slowly.

 

First day of your 4 days in Lisbon:

  • Rise early in the morning and head to the oldest neighborhood of Alfama. Roam around the narrow streets and watch the city waking up. Walk past Miradouro Santa Luzia and admire the views. Have breakfast at Break Sé.
  • If it’s a Tuesday or Saturday, squeeze in a visit to Feira da Ladra, Lisbon’s best flea market!
  • Located in Alfama, admire Lisbon’s cathedral from the outside or go inside.
  • After your stroll through Alfama, head to São Jorge Castle to learn more about Lisbon’s rich history and have one of the city’s best views.
  • Make your way back to the Baixa district and head towards the waterfront. Walk around Praça do Comércio and listen to street artists along the water.
  • Take the rest of your day getting lost in the streets of Lisbon and make a quick stop at Santa Justa Elevator.

Day 2 in Lisbon:

  • In the morning, take the tram or train towards Belém and visit Belem Tower, on your way make a stop at the war memorial next to the tower.
  • After you visit the tower, walk to the Pasteís de Belém and get yourself 1 (or more ;)) pasteís.
  • Leave Belem behind you and walk along the riverside towards Ponte 25 de Abril.
  • Walk to the LX Factory and enjoy lunch in one of the fashion and trendy restaurants. Take a few hours exploring all the trendy shops, get yourself a unique souvenir, or admire all the art scattered around the area.

Day 3 of your Lisbon Itinerary:

  • Hop on the train early in the morning and head off to Sintra. Explore Pena Palace and Park, the Valley of the Lakes, or one of the other sights in Sintra.
  • Head back to Lisbon and enjoy one of the many amazing restaurants in town.
  • As the sun sets, join the locals in the lively Bairro Alto district, where the night comes alive with music and the clinking of glasses.

Last day in Lisbon:

  • Start the day with a lovely breakfast and take some photos at one of Lisbon’s most photogenic streets, Pink Street.
  • Admire the yellow trams along your final stroll through the city.
  • Optional: Spend the afternoon at the beach in Cascais.
  • Watch the sunset from Park Rooftop bar for some panoramic views and some evening drinks.
  • End your night having dinner at the Time Out Market.
lisbon girl streets
view from castle lisbon
transport lisbon 4 days

How to visit Lisbon

International Airport

Lisbon is connected to airports worldwide and even has direct connections to South America. From a lot of cities in Europe, you can find flight deals starting from €30.

From other places in Portugal

  • 🚌 Porto to Lisbon: direct trains start from €15 and take around 3 to 5 hours, buses from Flixbus take around 4 hours, starting from €5.
  • 🚌 Peniche to Lisbon: buses start from €9 and take around 1,5 hours.
  • 🚌 Lagos to Lisbon: buses from Rede Expressos start from €16 and take 4 hours.
flights to portugal

How to get around Lisbon

By foot

Like other cities in Portugal, most sights in Lisbon are within walking distance of the city center. The city is however hilly, so sightseeing might be quite the workout.

Public Transport

Walking from sight to sight might be quite the workout as I said, therefore switch things up by using the great metro and tram system in Lisbon. Besides those, there are even elevators able to bring you up to the higher parts of the city.

Viva Viagem Card

When using public transport regularly, get yourself a Viva Viagem card for €0,50. You can put credit on the card to use on the metro, trams, buses, tram, ferry, and more. Get yourself a Viva Viagem card at any ticket machine or ticket office.

viva viagem card how to get around lisbon

Lisboa Card

The Lisbon Card can be worth the price if you’re using a lot of public transport in a short amount of time and planning to visit lots of museums and attractions.

There are 3 options to choose from which are valid for, 24hrs, 48hrs, and 72hrs. Each card gives you free access to many museums and attractions, discounts on many tours, and unlimited usage of public transport, even trains that bring you to Cascais and Sintra.

Best time to visit Lisbon

Located in the south of Portugal, Lisbon is well visited throughout the whole year but the best time is from March to June and September to October. The peak season from July and August is best to avoid, due to extremely hot weather and huge crowds.

Visiting in the shoulder season leads to better flight deals, cheaper accommodation, and more enjoyable weather during the day for sightseeing.

I’ve visited Lisbon twice, once in February and once at the end of September. And even at the end of September, the weather was still perfect for beach days.

lisbon street
couple-lisbon

Where to stay during your 4 days in Lisbon

The tourist center is the best place to base yourself. Hostels and hotels are scattered around the Baixa, Alfama, Chiado, and Bairro Alto districts with each their own charm.

During my last visit to Lisbon, I stayed at the Home Lisbon Hostel and it quickly reached my top 5 hostels in Europe! Home Lisbon hostel lies in the Baixa district only a minute from Rua Augusta.

where to stay lisbon hostel
accommodation lisbon center

The hostel offers many relaxing areas, a big kitchen, a laundry room, and amazing staff. 4 times a week the hostel arranges a family dinner in the hostel made by ‘Mama’, which is such a great way to try the local food and meet other travelers!

Check current prices and availability here.

home hostel lisbon accommodation
Hostel Recommendation:

Home Lisbon Hostel
Lisbon, Portugal
Book Here!

My favorite restaurants in Lisbon

  • Break Sé, healthy breakfast/lunch
  • Ajitama, ramen
  • Roots Tapas Bar, Asian food
  • La Trattoria, Italian food
  • Confeitaria de Belem, Pasteís de Belém
  • Time Out Market, lots of food stands with food from all over the world
ramen restaurant where to eat lisbon
breakfast spot lisbon
time out market lisbon food

Where to travel to after your 4 days in Lisbon

Some might fly into Lisbon to start their 4-day Lisbon itinerary and head to other places in Portugal afterward. From Lisbon, you can go all directions and I will list a few below.

Lagos

Heading straight south to the Algarve, Lagos is your perfect base to explore the Mediterranean coast of Portugal. The Algarve is known for its stunning beaches with incredible rock formations around it. 

lagos beach portugal

Porto

Porto, also known as Oporto, is a vibrant city in northwest Portugal, situated along the Douro River. Well-known for its historic charm, port wine production, and iconic landmarks such as the Dom Luís I Bridge. Read my complete guide to Porto through the link below!

porto blogpost portugal

You may also like..

A Weekend in Porto: The Ultimate Guide for First-Timers

Peniche

The quiet surfer village of Peniche is the perfect spot to test out those surfer skills and catch some waves. Not into surfing that much? Peniche is also a good place to base yourself for a night or two to explore the Berlanga Islands, located just off the shore of Peniche.

sunset at beach

FAQs

Is 4 days enough to see Lisbon?

To see all the main highlights and do a day trip to Cascais and/or Sintra is perfectly done in 4 days. However, personally I prefer to slow down while traveling and base myself for at least 5 days in a city.

What is the budget for 4 days in Lisbon?

For the budget backpackers, you can get by with €45 to €65 a day. Although lots of the high-quality hostels (like Home Lisbon Hostel) are around €40 per night in peak season, so you’re daily budget highly depends on your accommodation option.

4 days in lisbon

Summary of 4 days in Lisbon

  • Some must-see sights in Lisbon include the Alfama district, LX Factory, Belém, Sé Cathedral, and Ponte 25 de Abril.
  • Cascais is the perfect day trip to get yourself some vitamin-d and relax on the beach.
  • The magical village of Sintra is a must on your Lisbon in 4 days itinerary.
  • Most sights are within walking distance, but there’s an extensive public transport system in the city.
  • Best visited during Spring and Autumn.

Hopefully, I was able to provide everything you need to know to embark on that journey to Lisbon. Use this guide as a base itinerary for your 4 days in Lisbon and adjust it to your own needs and interests! 

May you have any more questions about Lisbon in 4 days, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments below as I love to help you guys out!

Plan Your City-Trip to Lisbon

Share this post:
travel with simone blog

Simone Vromans

Simone is the owner and writer of Travel With Simone! By sharing these travel guides, she hopes to help you plan your epic adventures and inspire you to go on that long-overdue trip! 💛

travel with simone

About Simone

Hi there, I’m Simone and the writer behind this travel blog. By reading my guides, I’m hoping to inspire you to travel more mindfully and have epic adventures all over the globe!

Swakopmund to Walvis Bay: 13 Best Things To Do – Namibia

Swakopmund to Walvis Bay: 13 Best Things To Do – Namibia

Nestled between the vast Namib Desert and the wild Atlantic Ocean, Swakopmund offers an overload of epic activities and cultural experiences. From sandboarding down towering dunes to exploring German colonial architecture, there's something for every traveler in this...

Ultimate Self-Drive Guide to Etosha National Park for 2024

Ultimate Self-Drive Guide to Etosha National Park for 2024

Nestled in the north of Namibia, Etosha National Park is an extraordinary safari destination that offers exceptional opportunities for game viewing. From witnessing herds of majestic elephants at waterholes to observing cheetahs sprinting across the vast salt pans,...

Women Travel Essentials: Ultimate Solo Travel Packing List

Women Travel Essentials: Ultimate Solo Travel Packing List

Are you excited for your first solo trip, but have no idea what to pack and what to leave at home? I know that the task of preparing for your first backpacking adventure can feel overwhelming (trust me, I've been there). That's why I'm here with the ultimate women...

A Weekend in Porto: The Ultimate Guide for First-Timers

A Weekend in Porto: The Ultimate Guide for First-Timers

Known for its world-famous Port Wine production, rich history, and beautiful architecture, Porto offers a unique experience for a perfect European city trip! Or for some the starting point of their Portugal roadtrip. Either way, a weekend in Porto is the best amount...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *