Are you planning a trip to the picturesque Portuguese capital? In this article we will share with you a travel itinerary with the best places to see in Lisbon in 4 days, so get ready to take note.
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a coastal city whose banks are bathed by the Tagus River.
But it is not only a beach destination, it is also a mountainous city and that is why it is also known as “the city of the 7 hills“.
As you can imagine, the Portuguese capital is not only characterized by its diverse landscape, but also by its history, its architecture, its nightlife and its pleasant Mediterranean climate that invites you to visit it at any time of the year.
There is a lot to do in Lisbon, so it is not a one-day destination.
Ideally, you should be able to spend at least 2 or 3 days touring its most emblematic points and then spend 1 or 2 days exploring its surroundings.
🔝 Want to know another must-see stop on your trip to Portugal? Here we tell you things to do in Porto in 2 or 3 days.
4-day itinerary to tour Lisbon and surroundings
So that you can organize your visit in advance, below we will share with you an itinerary with the best places to see in Lisbon in 4 days.
We decided to divide this article into two sections. On the one hand we will propose you a tour of the most touristic places of the city and, on the other hand, we will tell you about the best places to see near Lisbon.
Let’s start first with our suggested itinerary for 4 days in Lisbon:
- DAY 1: Tour the Alfama neighborhood, one of the oldest in Lisbon.
- DAY 2: Visit Lisbon’s Bairro Alto and visit the Belem Tower.
- DAY 3: Tour to Sintra and Cascais
- DAY 4: Visit Fátima, Nazaré and Óbidos
Map – Things to do in Lisbon in 4 days
As we mentioned before, the idea of this article is to give you an overview of the best things to do in Lisbon and its surroundings.
The first two days of our suggested itinerary will be spent touring the city and the last two days to see the main sites to see near Lisbon.
🔝 If you travel to Portugal, you will surely be interested in knowing things to do in Guimaraes, the city where this country was born.
Remember that one of the best ways to get to know a city is to take a Free Tour, and Lisbon has a lot of topics to cover and discover.
📷 Check out here the Free Tour to do in Lisbon.
👉 Free Tours are trendy because it is a “cheap” way to get to know a place. It is an introduction to then continue touring on your own or go deeper in a paid tour. Why cheap and not free? Because FREE is actually a word with a double meaning in English. Yes, on the one hand its translation is “free of charge”, but it is also related to “freedom”. That is to say, tours are at will and the amount you will pay will depend on whether you liked it a lot or a little, and the budget you are traveling with. It is recommended to leave a minimum of 5 € per person attending.
In Lisbon, there is a pass called Lisbon Card, which includes access to different tourist attractions in the city, such as the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belem Tower or the Sintra Palace, among others. In addition, there are discounts for restaurants and stores.
📷 Buy your Lisbon Card here and enjoy more than 30 attractions and use of public transportation to the fullest.
Now, let’s get started with our tour of the Portuguese capital. First let’s talk a bit about the main things to do in Lisbon.
1) Walk through the Alfama neighborhood, one of the oldest in Lisbon.
As the title says, Alfama is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon, full of stores, restaurants and part of the route taken by the famous streetcar 28, one of the icons of the city.
Despite having survived a major earthquake, the Alfama district retains a very picturesque facade, with narrow, steep streets and old buildings with red tile roofs.
Along this area, there are emblematic places of the city such as the Castle of St. George of Lisbon, the Portas do Sol viewpoint and the Cathedral of Lisbon, among many others.
📷 Avoid the lines at St. George Castle and enter this top Lisbon attraction without delay with this ticket.
So, without a doubt, touring this old quarter is one of the top things to do in Lisbon.
Here are some of the must-see stops during your visit to Alfama.
2) Visit St. George’s Castle in Lisbon.
St. George’s Castle, located on the highest hill of the Portuguese capital, is one of the symbols of the city, one of the most famous monuments of the city and, therefore, one of the main things to do in Lisbon.
This imposing building, built in the 5th century and occupied by the kings of Portugal, has an outstanding image from the top of St. George’s Hill.
During the tour of the castle, you will find a museum, a park full of vegetation with peacocks, restaurants and several viewpoints with spectacular views of the entire city and the Tagus River.
It is highly recommended to visit it at sunset, as the views are even more beautiful as the sun goes down.
The tour along the castle can last approximately two hours.
📌 An entrance fee is required to enter St. George’s Castle. We recommend purchasing in advance through the Internet to ensure a seat and avoid long lines.
3) Appreciate the views from the Portas do Sol viewpoint.
In the Alfama area, you can find several viewpoints such as Santa Lucia, St. Esteba, Miradouro do Recolhimiento and Portas do Sol.
If you have some time, we recommend a visit to each of them.
In case you have a tight itinerary, the Portas do Sol viewpoint could be a good option to get excellent views of the city.
Next to this viewpoint, you will find the statue of St. Vincent, the patron saint of the city, who in his left arm holds a boat accompanied by two crows (symbol of Lisbon).
In addition to appreciating one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city, you can sit down to have a good breakfast, as there are several cafes and restaurants.
You can also take a streetcar ride to the viewpoint, one of the typical tourist activities to do in Lisbon.
4) Visit the Cathedral, a must-see in Lisbon.
To end this first day’s tour of the best places to see in Lisbon, we will visit the incredible Sé Cathedral.
The Lisbon Cathedral is one of the few buildings that survived one of the great earthquakes and fires that the city suffered.
On the outside, you can see a main gate crowned by a large rosette, two towers and bell towers that give the appearance of a fortress.
In the upper part is the Treasury of the Cathedral, with its four rooms where costumes, jewelry, manuscripts and relics from different periods are exhibited.
We recommend you to take a guided tour, where they will explain a little more about the history of the Cathedral and the treasures that are kept in it.
5) Watch a Fado show
If you want to know more about Portuguese culture, the best plan is to go at night to the Alfama, Alto or Chiado neighborhoods to see a Fado show.
Fado is a Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage and is an urban folk song where the performer is usually accompanied by a viola and/or a Portuguese guitar.
Many restaurants offer this show to their diners.
📷 Take the opportunity to listen to Fado and reserve your place. Or if you prefer something more complete like a tour plus Portuguese dinner and show, take a look here.
6) Touring the Bairro Alto has to be on your Lisbon itinerary in 4 days.
Our second day of our tour of the best places to see in Lisbon begins with the Bairro Alto, one of the most picturesque areas of the city, full of attractions worth visiting.
This neighborhood was built around the sixteenth century and has become one of the most modern in the city of Lisbon and also one of the most visited by thousands of tourists who come to the Portuguese capital.
Like the Alfama district, it has several viewpoints such as San Pedro de Alcántara or Santa Catalina, from which you will be able to enjoy beautiful panoramic views.
In addition, throughout this neighborhood, you can find several stores, restaurants, bars and pubs, where you can enjoy some typical food or go for a drink.
One of the ways to go up to this neighborhood is by using the wrought iron Elevador de Santa Justa. It is not only a historical monument, but also an icon of Lisbon.
7) Stroll through the Chiado neighborhood.
Going up the Santa Justa elevator, you will also reach the Chiado district, halfway between the Lower and Upper districts.
This neighborhood is considered one of the most bohemian, intellectual and artistic of Lisbon, where in addition to trendy restaurants and bars, you can find bookstores and other traditional and antique stores.
One of the most visited cafés is Café a Brasileira. We recommend visiting its interior, which is very nice with its period decoration, while having a delicious coffee and tasting some of their pastries that are incredible.
Pay attention outside that there is a statue to Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese writer and poet who has used other names in his works.
8) Do Comércio Square and Rúa Augusta Arch
A couple of centuries ago, this large square was the site of a Royal Palace with one of the most important libraries of the time, which was totally destroyed in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.
It is inevitable that you will pass by it while strolling through Lisbon and, in addition to the traffic, it can be observed:
- the Tagus River,
- the equestrian statue of King Joseph I of Portugal, the Reformer,
- the beautiful arch of Rua Augusta, through which you can access the historic center of Lisbon,
- Cais do Sodré station, from where you can get to Belem.
9) Visiting the famous Belem Tower
🔘 Check out the rest of the World Heritage Sites we have visited.
The Belem Tower is one of the most famous icons of the city and therefore one of the main sites to see in Lisbon.
It has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco due to its historical importance.
Basically, it is a large medieval fortress located on the banks of the Tagus River, which was built to protect the entrance to the port through the river.
Its exterior view is very beautiful, it has a stone façade with Islamic and oriental details and contains several marine motifs.
Inside, you will find some cannons of the time and you can tour its 5 towers that today house museums that tell the history of the place.
In addition, you will have access to the Governor’s room, the Hall of the Kings, a chapel and a terrace with a beautiful view of Belem.
📷 Buy in advance the entrance ticket to the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon and avoid the long lines.
10) Visit the imposing Jerónimos Monastery in Belem.
The Jerónimos Monastery, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, is an architectural masterpiece built to celebrate the return of Vasco da Gama from India.
In addition to its external façade, inside you will find a beautiful internal courtyard, many architectural details, a church, the figure of Our Lady of Belem and the tomb of Vasco de Gama, among many other things.
The entrance to the church is free, while to visit the monastery you must pay the entrance fee. It is also possible to access using the Lisbon Card.
11) Taste the Pasteles de Belem (Belem Cakes)
A few meters from the monastery, you will find “Pasteles de Belem“, a traditional cafeteria where you can taste this traditional Portuguese sweet. It has a huge room where you are placed as soon as you buy your cream cake.
Although if you are in a hurry, or prefer to eat this precious sweet somewhere else, don’t worry, they sell it everywhere.
12) Monument to the Discoveries
This monument was created in 1940 for the Universal Exposition of Portugal, but it was not until 1960 that the one that can be seen today was made of concrete, a more resistant material.
But that year was very special, because it was the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, a great Portuguese discoverer. In turn, it is dedicated to all the Portuguese who dedicated their lives to opening new maritime routes. In fact, one of its sides has several of them that will surely ring a bell, such as Fernando de Magallanes or Vasco Da Gama.
Inside there is an exhibition hall, an auditorium and an observation deck, while outside you can admire not only this monument with the April 25th Bridge in the background, but also the Belem Lighthouse and the Wind Rose.
Things to do near Lisbon Sites of interest around the city
Now that we have done the tour of the best places to see in Lisbon, let’s know a little about the places of interest around the city.
a) Getting to know the old town of Sintra and its most emblematic sites.
Sintra is a tourist town located just 30 minutes from the Portuguese capital and a great option when choosing places to see near Lisbon.
In order to visit it, you can do it on your own, or hire an excursion that includes a visit to the most emblematic places of the city and a tour of the Cascais Bay.
📷 Get to know Sintra, Pena Palace and Cascais on this full day tour. It includes the minibus ride, a guide in Spanish who will tell you EVERYTHING and the entrance fees. If you have the Lisbon Card, there is a discount!
Below, we tell you a little bit about the must-see places you should visit in Sintra:
- The Palácio Da Pena, declared a World Heritage Site and residence of the Portuguese Kings. It is one of the most incredible places in Portugal and it is worth visiting its interior full of relics of the time.
- Castelo dos Mouros, built in ancient times on one of the peaks of the Sintra Mountains and surrounded by lush vegetation.
- The National Palace of Lisbon, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is worth a visit to learn a little of its history and appreciate its great medieval structure.
- The Montserrate Palace, built in the mid-nineteenth century, one of the most emblematic buildings of Sintra with a structure of Portuguese Romanesque art.
If you had to choose only one place to see near Lisbon, we recommend that you opt for Sintra and its old town.
b) Walking around Cascais Bay and its beaches.
The bay of Cascais is located about 40 minutes from the city of Lisbon and contains some of the most beautiful beaches of the Estoril coast.
These beaches are characterized by golden sand, calm waters and several tourist places around them with shopping stores, bars and restaurants.
You can also find some arid beaches, with great waves and perfect for sports such as surfing, located in the Serra de Sintra on the north side.
Cascais can be reached on your own, or, as mentioned in the previous point, you can take an excursion to visit it together with the city of Sintra.
c) Visiting Fatima and its famous sanctuary
📷 For the next 3 suggested destinations, there is a complete tour that includes all of them. Nazaré, Fátima and Óbidos by minibus with English speaking guide.
We come to the last day of this travel itinerary with the best places to see in Lisbon and surroundings in 4 days.
Before we tell you a little about Fátima and the places you can visit, we want to clarify that you can visit this destination along with Nazaré and Óbidos by hiring a full day tour, which will save you some time in transfers so you can see everything.
Fatima is a small Portuguese village, located 125 km from Lisbon, which has become famous thanks to the apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917.
The famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima is today one of the best known in the world and receives every year more than four million people.
d) Enjoy the coastal gastronomy of Nazaré.
If you are a food lover, Nazaré should be on your list of things to see near Lisbon, as it is full of restaurants serving typical dishes made with fresh fish.
Nazaré is a picturesque coastal village, located one hour from Lisbon, which not only has an exquisite gastronomy, but also has some ideal beaches for those who love surfing.
In addition to strolling through its small streets and walking along its beaches, you can visit the de la República Avenue, where you can find countless stalls of all kinds, such as restaurants, souvenir stores and cafes.
e) Touring the medieval village of Óbidos
Finishing our tour of the best places to do in Lisbon and surroundings in 4 days, we arrive at Óbidos, a small medieval village that is part of the most popular tourist sites in Portugal.
It is a village of white houses inside a medieval castle, located only 84 kilometers from the city of Lisbon.
The imposing medieval castle invites you to walk through each of its streets surrounded by white houses with colorful details that contrast with its ancient walls.
An ideal place to take a walk and enjoy a typical wine of the area, made with cherries.
Useful information for your trip to Lisbon
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We come to the end of this article where we tell you things to do in Lisbon in 4 days. We hope we have done our bit to help you plan your next trip to Portugal.
You can leave all your questions in the comments, so we can help you.
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