Lisbon in One Day
Are you coming to UXLx and only have one free day to do some sightseeing and visit Lisbon? Well, for you to take advantage of your full 24 hours in the city we’ve decided to share with you what to do and where to go. So we’ve put together this little guide for you to get the most out of the city.
Tip: You can get a Lisboa Card — the card includes fee unlimited transport on all public transport systems and free and discounted entry to more than 80 attraction around Lisbon. The price of the 24 hours card is 21€.
Have a sweet treat (or two) — Pastéis de Nata
You can’t leave Portugal without tasting this delicious Portuguese sweet speciality, so why not start your visit with that right way? In Belém you’ll find an old pastry shop Pastéis de Belém that holds the original recipe of the pastéis de nata, served warm and straight out of the oven. Now let us share with you a little tip: add a hint of cinnamon and icing sugar on top of it. Yummy!
Tip: Normally there’s a long queue out the door and down the road, but don’t be frightened, that’s just for the takeaway tarts. You can go in, find a table, sit and enjoy this delicious treat.
You can find pastéis de nata all over in Portugal and it’s very common to eat it with a coffee. So during the rest of day if you get a sudden urge to eat another one, just step in any coffee or pastry shop and you’re most likely to find it.
Belém is definitely a place worth exploring. This is the place from where the Portuguese 15th century explorers sailed out into the ocean to reach new territories during the Discoveries. Reflecting the richness of that period in History are the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower, with a detailed architectural ornamentation style you can only find in Portugal.
Tip: Normally there are long queues to visit Belém Tower so if you’re on a tight schedule, we would recommend you to simply admire it from the outside. The queues to enter the Monastery can be quite long as well, but there’s never a queue to visit the church, plus the entrance is free.
Walk along the river front towards the 25 de Abril Bridge (yes, the one that looks very much like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco). Don’t forget to admire the caravel-shaped Padrão dos Descobrimentos (The Discoveries Monument) on the route along the waterfront.
From Belém you can take the tram 15 and exit at Terreiro do Paço (also known as Praça do Comércio). This 18th century square is one of the biggest in Europe and probably the most famous one in Lisbon.
Walk pass the arch and enter Rua Augusta, a pedestrian street with a variety of shops and restaurants, street artists and performers.
On a parallel street to Rua Augusta you can see the historic Santa Justa Lift, a 1902 industrial-age masterpiece. As it’s one of Lisbon’s must-see attractions there’s normally a long queue to take the elevator that takes you to the Chiado district. Once you reach the top, you can climb some narrow stairs that get you you to a viewing platform with 360º views over Lisbon. If you’re on a schedule, a long wait and an expensive short ride might not be the a great idea, but that’s up to you.
Dom Pedro IV Square
Also know as Rossio Square, it’s one of the most popular town squares dating back to the 18th century. Take a few minutes to admire the beautiful patterns on the cobblestone pavement and don’t miss the Romantic Rossio Railway Station as well.
From Alfama all the way up to the castle
After lunch, get lost in the slopes of Alfama and its charming little streets. It’s the oldest and most traditional neighbourhood of Lisbon. Discover its labyrinth-like cobblestone streets, the narrow passageways, the small houses with flowered balconies and clothes hanging on the clothes rack to dry out, and old women leaning out of their window to see who’s passing by.
Make a stop in the two famous viewpoints to get a postcard like view of the city — Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Make sure you also stop by Lisbon Cathedral.
Standing on the top of the hill there’s Castelo de S. Jorge (St. George’s Castle) one of the most iconic symbols of the city. Its oldest parts date back from the 6th century, when it was fortified by the Romans, Visigoths, and the Moors. From its battlements you can enjoy fantastic views of downtown and the river.
Finish your day in Lisbon in Bairro Alto or Príncipe Real. where you’ll find great restaurants where you can have a delicious dinner.
The Bairro Alto neighbourhood is known for its lively nightlife, with a good choice of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. So after dinner, grab a drink in one of the little pubs and mingle with locals and tourists in the street.
And there you have it. Our go-to places and tips to spend an unforgettable day in Lisbon. Hope you have a wonderful time in Lisbon and in UXLx, of course!