The Best Things To Do In Lisbon With 2 Days

You’ve booked a flight to Lisbon for a short city break. Now what? Read this post for a memorable experience in the much-loved capital.

A weekend in Lisbon will, and I can confidently say, put the Portuguese capital high on your list of most enjoyable city breaks. Why? Well, Lisbon just seems to have it all. It’s that type of destination. Insanely fresh seafood + salads, endless entertainment during both night and day, sensational views that rival a postcard, AND the warmth of locals? Sounds like a winning summer combination. One that shouldn’t be slept on.

It’s overwhelming to structure out what to do in a new location when you’ve got limited time, however the featured suggestions are ones I’d revisit in a heartbeat. If you don’t know where to start, take the below as a mini guide to expand on. You’ll find an unusual burger joint, the coolest streets for a photoshoot and a place you’ll love so much you’ll actually get upset when it closes for the evening, to name a few…

So why this post on the best things to do in Lisbon? To put it simply, I’m known as a city break connoisseur. There’s travel bloggers who focus on hiking, bloggers who specialise in beaches, and then there’s bloggers like me who actively choose city breaks all year round. You’ll find comfort knowing I’ve designed this post with you in mind, my interview confirms it.

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Things To Know Before You Set Off On A Weekend In Lisbon.

There’s a few things which you should know about Lisbon. Small pointers which end up being a ‘huh, that’s good to know’ moment prior to arrival. The first one being, the pavements are more than steep. I walk everywhere, so have no trouble with challenging roads, but I definitely gasped upon my first sighting. The levels activate the mindset of questioning whether you’ll genuinely topple over if you pause during the climb. Gym day is every single day in Lisbon.

Now, the next snippet of information only really applies if you’re flying out during June/July. Three words, Santo Antonio festival. So what does that mean for you? How about lively decorations wrapped around every major street, open spaces with influential drink stalls, booming music, and dribble-worthy BBQ’s. Your best bet is to find a park to unwind, after a few hours of adventuring, to soak up the festivities.

From personal experience, I found Lisbon to be more affordable than sister cities like BCN. This comparison was made from multiple observations, ranging from magnets costing a mere 1 euro, to meals never really reaching more than 15 euros. When torn between the two cities and on a budget, pick Lisbon. If you are going to BCN however, you’ll adore my checklist on 22 cool things to do in Barcelona. Think of it as your printable resource to have you exploring the city a bit more like a local.

With key takeaways addressed, here’s the best things to do for your upcoming weekend in Lisbon…

Grab a Pastéis de Nata As Your Breakfast.

A local mentioned how these little custard pastries lead to addiction and I can fully understand why. It’s pretty common to find dedicated bakeries whipping up these bites of divinity, but if you’re gluten-free don’t skip this section just yet. ‘Zarzuela’ sells both vegan and gluten free pastéis de nata. Yes, at 2.50 euros it’s almost double what you’d expect to pay for a standard one but trust me. My best friend and I went back the following day for another helping.

Zarzuela Address: R. Bernardino Costa 21 23, 1200-052 Lisboa, Portugal.

If you’ve got breakfast included in your accommodation package, and have no allergies, there’s a sweet chance you’ll be able to stock up. I went with ‘Hotel Príncipe Real‘ and noticed pastéis de nata being displayed daily. The hotel isn’t overly fancy, but pleasant balcony views, quality breakfast and an unbeatable location made my stay a total dream. I’d definitely vouch for this option.

Spend the Morning Roaming Around ‘Alfama District’.

A weekend in Lisbon isn’t complete without witnessing the very scenes you see on Pinterest vision boards. Alfama feels like a blend of everything you’d want a district of charming character to have. I think the colourful architecture does the talking, but imagine narrow cobbled streets, bustling restaurants, and the occasional bell of the ‘Tuk Tuk’ vehicles, to help develop the full picture.

Browse ‘Time Out’ Market For Lunch.

The concept is simple. Pick a stall from this HUGE indoor market, then cross your fingers you can find an empty seat amongst canteen-like tables. Extra points if you strike up conversation with the strangers sitting nearby. Time Out is not the place for budget street food, but you’ll still be able to pick up something satisfying without feeling like your wallet is screaming. A must-visit spot.

My personal recommendation? Libertà pasta bar. Not only do they have gluten-free pasta, but the private seating area allows you to watch the goods being made. Oh, and as a reference, the dish below was 15 euros.

Pick Up A Drink At An Epic Rooftop Bar.

Once you’ve overdone the food, head to ‘Java Bar’. There’s multiple selling points to this cute rooftop but let’s start with a big one, it’s conveniently located 30 seconds away from Time Out. Yes really. You might want to weather-check prior to attending though, as cityscapes are much more impressive without clouds. Nonetheless, an absolute gem when you’re craving drinks in a trendy setting.

This bar was suggested to me by one of my travel friends so thank you Tiffany! You’re a legend.

Snap Away At The Architecture In The ‘Príncipe Real’ Neighbourhood.

If you’re after Instagrammable locations in Lisbon, Príncipe Real will sort you out. There’s something that just oozes ‘cool’ about the neighbourhood. Whether that be due to the bougie shopping opportunities, antique-looking mansions or continuous pink buildings, I’m not sure. One thing I can be sure about though, is that these objects make for a wicked photo backdrop.

Jump Onboard The Popular ‘Tram 28’ Route.

You know the notorious yellow tram you might have spotted across social media? There’s a solid chance that it’s tram 28, one of Lisbon’s most-loved routes across the city centre. A departure from ‘Martin Moniz’ would promise an insightful overview of what Lisbon has to offer, whilst boosting your chances of getting a seat. I didn’t take a ride, but I’ll be back quicker than the queues formed for a full taster.

While you can secure a ticket inside the tram, it’s more affordable to purchase a day pass in advance if you’re planning on tram-hopping. Transport-hopping even, as the pass covers bus and metro options too.

Put Yourself In The Happiest Mood At ‘LX Factory’.

How would I describe LX factory? My best bet would be Camden in London, Kemptown in Brighton, or Digbeth in Birmingham. The theme? Good vibes. LX factory will be firmly in your interests if you’re down for chilled live music, quick eats, tempting cocktails, and weirdly-intriguing artwork. The complex might close at 10:30, but I can guarantee your night would have just got started. You’ll be hyped.

On that note, you definitely won’t find a music shortage in Lisbon. There’s always tunes entering your eardrums, wherever you turn. In fact, a core memory of mine was dancing with strangers to the music of a talented performer until midnight. I hope you can recreate this on your travels because it was magical. Everyone smiling and totally carefree? More of this please!

Built Up An Appetite? Run To ‘Café do Rio’ For Craft Burgers.

If you find yourself back down the harbour, get inside ‘Café do Rio’ to try out a notorious selection of burgers. The catch? Served without a bun. Yup, these juicy burgers are stacked with everything but the bread. You won’t feel like you’re missing out though, as the sides will tempt you enough. The homemade guacamole and nacho combo was truly something special, and the spicy dipping sauces? Next level flavour.

Café do Rio Address: Rua da Alfândega 114, 1100-016 Lisboa, Portugal.

What To Skip During A Weekend In Lisbon…

Right, this may be controversial yet the first thing which comes to mind is ‘Pink Street’. The floor feels sticky, the bars come across rowdy and the street itself is much smaller than you’d expect. Sure, there’s a buzzing nightlife, but something just feels unnatural. It’s not a place you’ll spend much time in, but the layout of the street is endearing enough to stop by for a look…

How about a country-hop into Spain? You might want to browse this post with Instagrammable locations in Barcelona. My free Barcelona E-Book also has a few suggestions. Although, if you’re planning something a little more permanent, here’s what you should know if tempted to move to Barcelona.

Or, we can travel further, with a layover in Iceland, and go right to ‘The Big Apple’ with this guide for first-time visitors to New York!

If you’re after more Lisbon visuals, I think you’ll like my vibe-y inspo videos on Instagram. I’ll catch you over there.

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