We spent about 60 hours in Lisbon, Portugal, however, since we went to spend time in Sintra we only had about one day in Lisbon to really get to know the city. If you are looking for more things to do in Lisbon, read 13 things to do in Lisbon.
Lisbon is such a beautiful city with so many friendly locals that really want to show you their country. Portuguese people are really proud of their country and happy that it has now started to become a huge tourist spot. They love introducing people to their food, culture, history, and more.
My friends and I had such a blast and felt so welcomed on our Lisbon adventures which made our experience that much better. English is widely spoken here and we didn’t find an issue trying to communicate with locals, they are excellent at speaking English. If you are looking about visiting Sintra, Portugal, check out my Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip.
One Day in Lisbon, Portugal
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Best time to visit Lisbon
The best time to visit Lisbon is in the Spring and Fall months to avoid the summer heat and tourist season. Visiting from March to May or September to October is a great way to save money on hotel accommodations as well. If you want to visit the beaches, then the summer months are best, but be prepared for heavy crowds and hot temperatures.
Currency in Lisbon
Lisbon is part of the European Union so the form of currency is the euro in Portugal.
Where to stay during your one day in Lisbon
There are a lot of great places to stay in Lisbon, but the best, of course, is to stay centrally located so that it is easy to travel around the city.
The Most Popular Areas to Stay
- Baixa district
- The Avenida da Liberdade
- Chiado district
- Alfama district – the most touristy spot in town
- Bairro Alto
The Baixa district is probably the best location for tourists since it is centrally located and you can travel to many locations quite easily. Be sure to read about ways to get around Lisbon below before officially picking your place to stay.
Is one day in Lisbon enough?
Definitely not, however, it is doable. You are probably on this post because it is the only amount of time allotted for your trip. I think a full 2 days is the perfect amount in versus one day in Lisbon. We were able to see most of what we found interesting and eat as much as we could. However, most people want to spend more time in Sintra because of the beautiful palaces, delicious food, and get port wine. Lisbon felt like any big city to us, so we didn’t feel the need to spend too much here. Although, after leaving we wished we had more time in Portugal.
If you plan to take a trip to Porto, you may be interested in the top 10 things to do in Porto.
How to get around during your one day in Lisbon
Tuk Tuks are easy to get around all over town. I preferred riding in Tuk Tuks but it can get a little expensive so sometimes we would take the bus or subways if they were in close proximity which is super affordable. This was the most convenient to do during our one day in Lisbon itinerary.
Buses and Subways
At the subway station, you can get a “Viva Viagem” card. This card is valid for the bus and subway, however, it needs to be preloaded with cash. You can only load the card at the nearest subway station. It costs about €0.50 and can be reloaded at any time for up to a year. Pubic transportation fees are about €1.45 – One Way or €6.15 – 24-hour unlimited travel, which includes all Lisbon buses and subways.
To save money however and have something more inclusive, be sure to get a Lisboa card. This card provides unlimited free travel by bus, metro, and tram. You get access to Lisbon´s best museums and attractions, a free guidebook, and free travel to Sintra and Cascais.
Can you use Uber in Lisbon?
Uber is available in Lisbon to get around as needed. It is available throughout the city, however, we mostly used public transportation to get around. Our hotel was located fairly close to a subway station which made it easy for us to travel.
RELATED: Lisbon with Kids
What you should see in your one day in Lisbon
There are many things to see in Lisbon and you may not think one day is enough. However, I have listed some of the best things to do in Lisbon for one day below.
Pasteis de Belem is a must for your one day in Lisbon
This is the best place to get Pastels in Lisbon, Portugal hands down! This place is a must when spending 24 Hours in Lisbon. If you travel to Spain you will see all the pastels are named after the town of Belem. The coffee here was small compared to American standards, but it was amazingly well made and it must have something to do with the fresh cream they use for their pastries.
Inside the Lobby of Pasteis de Belem
They have a to-go ordering area at the front counter where most people including tourists will go when they see how long the line is. I suggest you go here first thing in the morning and I believe they open at 10:00 am before the crowd gets there. This place is huge with a ton of seating, but the place gets so packed with lines wrapping around the building and within different rooms inside because of how well known they are. You must include this in your one day in Lisbon!
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This place is practically next door to the Pasteis de Belem. So I suggest you go here first and then move on to the Monument to the Discoveries during your one day in Lisbon. I highly suggest you buy your tickets in advance especially if you only have one day in Lisbon since the lines can become very long to get inside.
Monument to the Discoveries
This place is amazing but it was warm when we arrived, you can easily walk here from the Pasteis de Belem. I suggest you walk through the gardens on the way to the Monument to the Discoveries, you can go downstairs through an underground tunnel to walk to the other side of the street. The monument was a lot bigger than I thought it would be interesting to look at. You can see the inside, but we decided to just admire it from the exterior since it looked fairly busy. This is a popular tourist destination to add to your one day in Lisbon itinerary.
You can then easily walk to Belem Tower after the Monument to the Discoveries. I made the mistake of thinking that this was too far to walk because for some reason on my map, I thought it was farther than it was. But hey, this is part of our adventures in Lisbon and mistakes are what make us human.
We took a Tuk Tuk from the Monument to the Discoveries to Belem Tower which was a huge mistake, please do not make this mistake! Near the Belem Tower is one of the best places to get souvenirs. You may have people trying to sell you necklaces on the sidewalks and whatnot, but I suggest you get your souvenirs at the stands at the side of the park. They were the cheapest we found in town and the most unique I felt like. Don’t forget to get a chicken!
This was my favorite market of all time. There were so many different food selections that it was hard for us to choose which vendor to pick. We ended up going to one of the oldest shops in the market which served Jamon, Cheese, Olives and we ended up getting a bottle of wine to share. We weren’t too hungry, but we knew we needed something small to eat. This place is definitely worth checking out.
Alfama – Most popular district to visit during your one day in Lisbon
Alfama is the oldest district in Lisbon and is a must-see for your one day in Lisbon itinerary. This little District has so much charm, beauty, and character. You will even see the locals having a blast here.
We took a stroll up and down each alleyway only to be suddenly stopped by old ladies serving Ginja. Ginja is a traditional sweet drink in Portugal that you must try. These ladies were so persuasive we ended up happily walking around the town tipsy! The ladies were so welcoming and not one of them spoke a lick of English as we tried to signal how much each shot cost.
We had so much fun and really felt part of this little town. But be careful, if you are clumsy like me try not to break their homemade containers filled with Ginja (which I almost did by the way!). Consider taking a guided tour, by booking here.
Don’t forget to stop by to get some beautiful hand-painted tiles made by a local artist.
This is a great location to hop onto the Tram in Lisbon and is a popular thing to do for your one day in Lisbon. Here is a great location to do some shopping. There are tons of local shops and little booths. We found a ton of handmade jewelry, beautiful hand-painted tiles, and cute little shops. This is also fairly close to a subway station which is great!
If you want to know about more things to do in Lisbon, check out Lexie Anime Travel’s post-Lisbon, Unforgettable Week in Portugal.
What to do in Lisbon for a few hours
Have only less than one day in Lisbon? Check out some of these ways to spend a few hours or half a day in Lisbon.
- 2 -3 hour Lisbon Itinerary – I suggest you start your time at Pasteis de Belem, be sure to be there first thing in the morning when they open or you may miss your shot on the traditional Pastels. However, don’t be worried if you show up late, you can also try and get them to go and enjoy them while walking to the other major sites. Then walk over to the Monument of Discoveries to get your picture-perfect view. Afterward, head to Belem Tower. In that area, you can easily get some souvenirs to take home.
- 4 – 5 hour Lisbon Itinerary – Do what is listed in the 2-3 hour Lisbon Itinerary and then head over to the Time Out Market to enjoy a delicious lunch and then wander in Comercio Square to do some shopping or cafe hopping. If you have additional time, head to Alfama and wander the streets there.
Day Trips from Lisbon
There are a lot of places near Lisbon you can easily day trip to. If you want to extend your trip, check out some of these places below. A lot of these day trips below are accessible within an hour of the city center, either by car, bus, or train.
- Palácio Nacional de Queluz
- Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra
- Serra da Arrábida
- Costa da Caparica
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Let me know what you thought of my 24 Hours in Lisbon, Portugal in the comments below! If you loved this post, check out A Guide to Sintra: A Day Trip from Lisbon, Portugal.
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