Lisbon Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Lisbon

Lisbon One Day Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Lisbon

Wondering how to spend one day in Lisbon? You are in the right place because I have prepared a detailed Lisbon itinerary for one day with a lot of useful travel tips.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and it has a lot to offer to its visitors, so you might be wondering if one day in Lisbon is enough. With all honesty, it is not and 2 days or 3 days would be better, however, it gives you enough time to tick off the main attractions in central Lisbon.

Considering limited time, this is going to be a busy itinerary, but I am sure you are not intimidated by that as you want to make the most of your one day in Lisbon. Also, you can easily adjust this itinerary and skip some attractions that don’t excite you.

This Lisbon one-day itinerary includes a detailed plan that covers the best of Lisbon. Under each attraction, you will find a little background of the place, entrance fees, opening times, and everything else that you might need to know.

If you are wondering about the Lisbon card, we will discuss it at the end of the itinerary so you can decide if it is a good purchase or not.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Overview of your one-day Lisbon itinerary 

  • Morning: Praça do Comércio, Rua Augusta Arch, Se de Lisboa, Miradouro Santa Luzia, and Porta do Sol, Saint George Castle or the rest of Alfama
  • Lunch: Floresta das Escadinhas or Organi Chiado
  • Afternoon: Rossio, Elevador Santa Justa, Convento do Carmo, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Elevator Bica, Pink Street

Detailed itinerary for one day in Lisbon

Praça do Comércio

Start your one-day in Lisbon itinerary in Praça do Comércio, the biggest square in Portugal, built on the Tagus riverbanks and the beating heart of Lisbon. The square is also known as Terreiro do Paço because there used to be the Royal Palace of Ribeira (Paço da Ribeira).

The square (and a great part of the city of Lisbon) was devastated by the earthquake of 1755 and rebuilt by the famous Marques of Pombal. After this great disaster, the square and the whole area were built with some of the first anti-seismic palaces in the world.

This is one of the liveliest places in Lisbon. It hosts multiple different events, attracts tourists, and serves as a meeting spot for locals. Under the porticoes that surround the square, you can find vendors, fancy restaurants, and museums.

Rua Augusta Arch

Lisbon One Day Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Lisbon
View from the top of the Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon

The Arch of Rua Augusta dominates the square and connects it with the Baixa district. It is one of the main attractions in Lisbon and your itinerary wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Arch of Rua Augusta.

From Praça do Comércio walk under the arch and appreciate its architectural structure and decoration. The arch was built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction after the earthquake and was originally supposed to be a bell tower.

From the square side, you can spot a statue of Jupiter and other important personalities of Portugal, like Vasco da Gama or the Marques of Pombal himself. From the Rue Augusta side, you can appreciate a clock. 

The top of the arch offers a panoramic view of Lisbon and it’s open to the public. The entrance fee is 4.50 euros and it opens at 10 am. If you have a Lisbon card, you can access the top of the Rua Augusta Arch for free.

—> Get your Rua Augusta Arch entrance ticket here

Once you step into Rua Augusta through the famous arch, you will find one of the most charming streets in the city and a must-visit in Lisbon. 

If Praça do Comércio is the beating heart of the city, Rua Augusta is the main artery of Lisbon. With its elegant palaces, boutiques, and cafes, Rua Augusta is a place where you could easily spend all day. But since you have only one day in Lisbon, you better hurry up!

Se de Lisboa

Se de Lisboa is one of the most important landmarks in Lisbon

From Rua Augusta go to the Rua Conceição, where the tram rails are, and turn right. Pass the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene and Church of Saint Anthony of Lisbon to reach the famous Sé, one of the best places in Lisbon.

The Sé is the cathedral of Lisbon and it is built on the ruins of an old Mosque that dates back to the Moorish domination of the city. Its construction started in 1148 and it is considered the oldest church in Lisbon.

The church is one of the few buildings that has survived the great earthquake of 1755 even though it was remodeled after that event. 

The cathedral is also one of the best places to snap an iconic Lisbon postcard. With the tram railways in front of the cathedral, it is common to see one of the yellow trams passing by. You might want to stop and wait for that perfect photo of Lisbon.

⏰ It is open from 10 am to 6 pm. The Cathedral is closed on Sundays.

💶 The entrance fee is 5 euros and you can buy your ticket here. However, this charge was implemented recently and I don’t think it is worth paying. You need to appreciate the Cathedral from the outside, but when it comes to the interior, there are better free alternatives.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Porta do Sol

Miradouro de Santa Luzia - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon
Porta do Sol - best views in Lisbon

Take a short walk from the cathedral, and head to Miradouro de Santa Luzia which is located right next to the Porta do Sol. When you visit Lisbon in one day, it’s unthinkable to miss these beautiful viewpoints of the city.

The viewing platforms offer a dramatic view of Alfama and Tagus River. You will also spot some iconic locations, such as the Pantheon of Santa Engracia and the Church of Santo Estêvão. You literally have a Lisbon postcard right in front of your eyes.

Both places are very popular among tourists and locals. My recommendation is to take a break and just enjoy the view looking at the Alfama roofs and the blue waters of the Tagus River. 

If you want to enjoy a famous Portuguese coffee, stop at the Bar Terraço de Santa Luzia to savor a “cafesinho” with a view.

History of Lisbon Mural by Nuno Saraiva

History of Lisbon Mural by Nuno Saraiva

Don’t miss this hidden spot located right in the middle of the Miradouro and Porta do Sol. As you walk to Porta do Sol, you will see stairs on your right. Take a few stairs down and you will see this beautiful spot on your left.

Saint George Castle or the rest of Alfama

View of Saint George Castle in Lisbon

São Jorge Castle dominates Alfama and overlooks the city from the top of the hill. The castle is a real must-visit if you have 24 hours in Lisbon as it is one of the most characteristic landmarks of the Portuguese capital.

The castle was originally built as a defensive system but it evolved and changed its purpose over the years. Nowadays, it is one of the most visited landmarks in the city and one of the best places in Lisbon to have a fantastic panoramic view over Lisbon.

⏰ Castle is open every day and here are the opening hours:

  • From March 1st to October 31st it is open from 9 am to 9 pm, with the last entry at 8.30 pm.
  • From November 1st to February 28/29th it is from 9 am to 6 pm, with the last entry at 5.30 pm.

💶 An adult ticket costs 15 euros. You can buy your ticket here if your trip is less than 90 days away. You will want to buy tickets online, especially during high season because lines can get crazy. Or access the castle for free with a Lisbon card.

I have to warn you that visiting the castle will take at least 2-3 hours. So in case you like to sleep in and don’t want to start your Lisbon itinerary early, I recommend you skip the castle and wander the streets of Alfama.

You don’t need a planned itinerary for Alfama, because getting lost is the best way to discover the gems of this Lisbon district. You can simply follow the tram rails for most of it.

Lunch: Floresta das Escadinhas or Organi Chiado

Floresta das Escadinhas: one of the best restaurants in Lisbon
Floresta das Escadinhas: one of the best restaurants in Lisbon

After a morning of exploring, it’s time to treat yourself to a delicious lunch. Central Lisbon is filled with tourist traps but I know just the right spot for a great Portuguese meal.

Floresta das Escadinhas is a delightful local restaurant, located in a cute staircase alley. No matter if you choose a table on the stairs or inside the restaurant, you will love the characteristic vibe.

When it comes to food, you won’t be disappointed. The menu is very limited, which means that the ingredients are fresh and local. If you are visiting Lisbon in summer, don’t miss their grilled sardines! Their octopus is also worth mentioning.

I have to say that I have visited many restaurants in central Lisbon and they rarely live up to my expectations, however, Floresta das Escadinhas always gets 5 stars from me. I am sure you will love affordable prices as well!

If you are a vegan, head to Organi Chiado. It is one of the top-rated vegan restaurants in Lisbon with more than 2000 satisfied customers.

Rossio

Rossio square in Lisbon
Rossio square in Lisbon

After a hearty meal, head to Rossio, which is another place you can’t miss when visiting Lisbon, Portugal. Rossio is the formal name of King Pedro IV Square, where his statue stands tall. Nearby you will find beautiful architecture, cafes, restaurants, and shops. 

The most iconic building is the Rossio Train Station. It is an iconic Portuguese landmark and one of the most beautiful attractions in Lisbon. Rossio station is famous for its Neo-Manueline façade, a style that characterizes several buildings in Lisbon.

It still serves as an actual train station, but it deserves a visit even if you are not planning to use the train. Also, you can visit inside of the building without a train ticket which makes it one of the best free things to do in Lisbon.

Elevador Santa Justa

Elevador Santa Justa - icon of Lisbon
Elevador Santa Justa - icon of Lisbon

Just a little walk away from Rossio, find the iconic Elevador Santa Justa. This monument serves as a lift to reach Largo Do Carmo and is a must-visit for any Lisbon itinerary. 

The elegant iron structure is built in Neogothic style and it’s one of the most recognizable buildings in Lisbon and the whole of Portugal. The stylish wooden interior will make your ride memorable.

Once your short ride is over, you can decide if you want to pay an additional ticket to climb a few stairs more to admire the panorama from the top. You will have a stunning view over Rossio Square, however, I personally think there are better viewpoints in Lisbon.

Please purchase your transport ticket at the metro station before. A single ticket or daily ticket will cover your ride, but if you purchase your ticket at the lift, it will cost you 5.30 euros, plus, only cash payments are accepted. With a Lisbon Card, you can take the lift for free.

Also, if you see a massive queue, just take the stairs as the 30-second ride won’t be worth the wait. Make sure you read how to avoid crowds or when is the best time to visit Lisbon

Convento do Carmo

Convento do Carmo is another beautiful sight of Lisbon and yet it is often missed by tourists. It is one of the best samples of the consequences caused by the earthquake in 1755.

This impressive building was founded in 1389 in Gothic Manueline Style and it is one of the rare examples of this type of architecture left in the city. After the earthquake, the convent was left without a roof to pay respect to the victims of this tragedy. 

Keep in mind that the devastating event happened on the first of November which is All Saints Day, which is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, so this place was full of locals during the earthquake.

⏰ It is open from 10 am to 6 or 7 pm depending on the season. The convent is closed on Sundays.

💶 The adult entrance fee is 7 euros, but reduced fares are available. If you have a Lisbon card, it will cost you 5 euros instead.

Extra tip! Periodically, the convent hosts an exhibition called Lisbon Under Stars, where you can learn more about the history of the city and the convent itself.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara 

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon

A few steps from the convent, find Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon. I am sure you will gain a new appreciation for the Portuguese capital once you see these views.

This viewpoint offers a lively atmosphere and attracts street performers. In December, it hosts cute Christmas markets where you can get some festive goodies. 

Under the viewing platform, you will find a peaceful garden with multiple benches. I think it is one of the most romantic places in Lisbon and a perfect place to admire the sunset. 

When on your way to Miradouro, don’t miss Ascensor Glória. It is another iconic and picturesque tram that you can ride to reach the lower part of the city and go back to Rossio Square.

Do you want to add less popular places to your one-day Lisbon itinerary? Discover hidden gems in Lisbon!

Elevador da Bica

Elevador da Bica - yellow symbol of Lisbon
Elevador da Bica - yellow symbol of Lisbon

One day in Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without snapping an iconic picture of the Elevador da Bica, as it is another important symbol of the city. It’s one of the most photographed places in Lisbon and I am sure you don’t want to miss it. 

The street is called R. da Bica de Duarte Belo and it is one of the liveliest places in the Portuguese capital. It is full of bars and restaurants. You can either explore the area as you go to your next stop or take a ride on the Elevador da Bica.

Elevador da Bica runs until 10 pm so you have plenty of time to enjoy your ride. Just like Santa Justa Lift, you should purchase your ticket before. Otherwise, you will have to pay 3.80 euros for a return ticket in cash and you won’t be using it to go back again.

It is free if you have a daily ticket for public transport or a Lisbon Card.

Pink Street and the nightlife of Lisbon

Nightlife in Bairro Alto, Lisbon
Nightlife in Bairro Alto, Lisbon

Now the sun has set, it’s the end of your one day in Lisbon. If you don’t enjoy nightlife and feel tired after such a busy itinerary, it is time to head back to your hotel. If you still have some energy and want to enjoy the nightlife of Lisbon, head to Pink Street.

Pink Street is the unofficial name of Rua Nova Do Carvalho a little street near the Cais Do Sodre Station. Hitting Pink Street is one of the best to do in Lisbon at night, as the street and surrounding areas are packed with restaurants, bars, gelaterias, and kiosks.

Pensão Amor is one of my favorite nightclubs, The Couch Sports Bar is the perfect place to watch any kind of sports event in the world, while Peixola is another restaurant that you should try if you are in the area. The area has something for everyone!

Is Lisbon Card worth it for this one-day Lisbon itinerary?

Is Lisbon Card worth it for this one-day Lisbon itinerary?
Is Lisbon Card worth it for this one-day Lisbon itinerary?

With a Lisbon card, you get free access to Rua Augusta Arch, and Saint George Castle which totals 19.50 euros. You get a 2 euros discount at the Carmo which totals 21.50 euros. 

You can opt-in for a daily ticket for public transport, which costs 6.80 euros totaling 28.30 euros. A daily ticket makes sense only if you plan to take Santa Justa Lift, Bica, and purchase 2 more tickets to reach your accommodation.

The Lisbon Card costs 27 euros and helps you save a bit of money. But if you can squeeze in your airport ride within these 24 hours, I would call it a good deal. You can pick up your Lisbon Card at the airport from 7 am to 9.30 pm.

If you are staying in central Lisbon and can walk back to your accommodation, you can simply purchase 2 single tickets at the metro station and there is no need to buy the Lisbon Card.

However, if you have some extra time and you plan to see other attractions in Lisbon, click here to see what is included in the Lisbon Card.

Final thoughts…

summer in Lisbon / Mouraria

This is the end of your one-day Lisbon itinerary and I am sure you have a clear plan on how to spend one day in Lisbon after reading this travel guide.

I would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment below. If you need further help with planning, check out these Lisbon travel tips, hotel recommendations, or food guides.

Pin it for later and save this one-day Lisbon itinerary!

Lisbon One Day Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Lisbon
Lisbon One Day Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Lisbon

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