Planning a road trip to Lisbon Portugal? Portugal is one of my favorite countries to visit. You can easily spend two weeks in Lisbon and still not see everything. Here is a Lisbon in 3 days itinerary that will take you to all the major sites.
The country is so diverse and there are so many things to see. If you have more time, I have created the perfect Portugal road trip itinerary that was a mix of cities from Lisbon to the Algarve for the ideal Portugal itinerary 7 days.
How to Get to Portugal
Portugal is approximately a 6-hour direct flight from Toronto or NYC. There are always great airfare deals. We always check Skyscanner when looking for the cheapest flights as it compares options from other airlines and agents. I have found them to be the best. Click here to search Skyscanner.
How to Get Around Portugal
Car Rental in Lisbon
The best way to get around Portugal is to drive. Driving gives you the freedom to go where you want, whenever you want. If you are renting a car you should check the policies and age limit. Most rental companies require you to be over 21 or 25 years of age. Make sure to check with the car rental company’s policy. We usually rent our cars through Auto Europe as we find them to be reliable and they typically have the best prices. Check here for the best car rental prices.
Portugal Train Travel
If driving is not your thing, then the next best way to get around Portugal is via train. Save on your train tickets by booking your train tickets through Rail Europe. You can search for train tickets here on Rail Europe. Note that not all trains go to many beautiful parts of Portugal.
You can easily see these places where trains don’t go by making day trips with Get Your Guide. They have so many day trip options.
Lisbon Public Transportation
You can also opt to take a bus, but it is a little slower to get to your destination.
Lisbon is a very walkable city so I would recommend walking in Lisbon, using public transportation or even Uber if it’s available. We took Uber several times while in Lisbon so we wouldn’t have to look for parking and it is super cheap. If you are new to Uber, try this Uber code to get your first ride for free.
Lisbon in 3 Days Itinerary
There is so much to see in Lisbon and it may seem impossible to see everything in such a short period of time. 3 days in Lisbon is a reasonable amount of time to experience the highlights of the city.
Lisbon or Lisboa is the capital of Portugal and a great place to start your Portugal holiday.
Where to stay in Lisbon
Some of the best hotels in Lisbon, Portugal are the Ritz Four Seasons Lisbon and the Corinthia. They are both 5-star luxury hotels in Lisbon that offer top-notch service and exceptional dining and the rooms are spacious. Check here for the best prices on Lisbon Hotels.
Day One in Lisbon
Lisbon is best to be explored by walking through all the different neighborhoods. I would recommend a Lisbon walking food tour that will take you through the many different areas where you will try many different unique dishes. We love booking our tours with Get Your Guide.
Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest areas with steep, narrow cobblestone streets that are lined with shops selling traditional crafts and cafes. You can take the historic no.28 tram that winds through this hilly neighborhood. Alfama is also the birthplace of Fado. Fado is a beautiful style of music that can be traced back to the 1820s in Lisbon.
For 360-degree views of Lisbon, you must visit Sao Jorge castle. It is a steep, uphill walk, or take a taxi. You can also do a walking tour of Alfama and enjoy some live Fado and dinner. Check here for the best tour prices.
Bairro Alto, (high district) one of Lisbon’s most famous quarters is the place to be for the nightlife as the streets are lined with bars and clubs that play music into the wee hours of the morning. We walked here during the day, and it was a very different experience.
Ride Tram 28
Have you ever visited Lisbon if you didn’t ride Lisbon’s iconic trams? There is the famous tram 28 that offers the best views around the city. The tram is often crowded, so go first thing in the morning to avoid crowds. Beware of pickpockets! Keep all valuables in front of you. Check the best prices for a Lisbon Tram No. 28 Ride & Walking Tour.
Day Two in Lisbon Visit Belem
You can’t visit Lisbon without trying the authentic Pasteis de Nata. You will have to visit Belem, a tram ride away from Lisbon, or a 20-minute drive to try this signature dish.
Getting to Belem
We drove to Belem, but if you are not driving, then you will have to take tram 15 or 127 from Praca de Comercio and get off at Belem. It costs approximately EUR 2.90 each way. You can also do a hop-on-hop-off tour of Lisbon with several stops to enjoy the entire area. Check here for the best prices.
Pasteis de Natas
Visiting Belem to fill your belly with one of Portugal’s signature desserts is a must. You must visit Pasteis de Belem which was founded in 1837 and uses a secret family recipe to make the delicious egg tarts.
Although it is a large restaurant be prepared for line-ups out the door. It is worth the wait. Nothing tastes better than a warm egg tart topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. It melts in our mouth, delicious.
Monument to Discoveries
The Monument to Discoveries is an iconic sculpture that sits on the Tagus river. It was opened in 1960 as a tribute to the Portuguese age of discovery. It is in the shape of a ship with sculptures of three dozen Portuguese explorers on each side.
The Belem Tower is next to the Monument To the Discoveries. It was built to protect the city from foreign invaders.
Belém Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that played a crucial role in Europe’s Age of Discoveries. It has served as a fortress and as a port where Portuguese explorers departed to establish the first European trade in history with China and India. If you enjoy learning about the history of an attraction then you may enjoy the Belem guided tour. Check here for the best prices.
Day 3 Sintra Day Trip
Sintra is a fairytale town that is a must-visit. Since there is so much to see in one day, we did a Sintra tour from Lisbon with Get Your Guide. We loved it as it included Pena Palace, Cascais, Sintra, and Cabo da Roca.
Pena Palace is the most beautiful castle I have ever seen. The drive to the castle is approximately 40 minutes winding up the mountain then you will have to wait in a line to buy tickets.
I highly recommend buying your tickets online or joining a tour. When you see the Palace, you will be glad that you waited. Click here to get your Pena Palace and Park Skip the Line tickets.
Cabo da Roca
I love visiting lighthouses wherever we travel. This one sits on the edge of Europe. It is the westernmost tip of mainland Europe. The rugged cliffs are beautiful and are the perfect backdrop for the most Instagram worthy photos. I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes as you will be walking on uneven terrain. Keep your hat in the car as it is incredibly windy and you will likely lose it.
Getting to Cabo da Roca: You can get to Sintra by taking bus 403. The bus ride is approximately 45 minutes.
Cascais (Cash-Caish) was another stop on our Sintra Tour from Lisbon. This small, coastal town is located 20 miles west of Lisbon. We have one more day trip on our itinerary: Cascais.
Cascais is a small, coastal town less than 20 miles west of Lisbon. I loved it here and wished we had more time. This is a popular tourist destination, and it is known for its white-sand beaches.
With a limited amount of time, we did walk around the quaint streets of Cascais and had some fabulous ice cream. One of the top things to do in Cascais is to relax at Praia da Conceição beach and stroll through the colorful streets.
The best way to enjoy the area is through a small guided group tour. Check here for the best prices for a Sintra and Cascais group tour from Lisbon.
Getting to Cascais: Take the train (green line) from Cais de Sodre station to Cascais. The journey should take 30-40 minutes.
Lisbon in 3 Days Conclusion
Although there is so much to see in Lisbon, 3 days in Lisbon will give you enough time to see all the major attractions. They will be 3 packed full days of exploring Lisbon.