The Best Guide to Lisbon

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Lisbon in 5 Days Suggested Itinerary and Tour

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5 days in Lisbon is the ideal duration to fully discover the capital and surrounding region. A 5 day holiday allows for Lisbon to be fully explored, which takes three days and provides two days as excursions to visit the interesting towns close to Lisbon.

Praca Comercio in Baixa

The magnificent Praça do Comércio in Baixa

Popular day trips from Lisbon include the charming town of Sintra, the historic fishing port of Cascais and the glorious beaches of Carcavelos and Costa de Caparica. This guide will detail what is feasible in 5 days of typical sightseeing and will provide links to further in-depth information. The 5 day suggested tour of Lisbon does not require a rental car as public transport is extensive, inexpensive and safe.

Brief Overview of the Suggested Tour

Day 1 – Alfama and Baixa districts of Lisbon
Day 2 – Belem district of Lisbon
Day 3 – The Parque das Nações (Park of Nations) and north Lisbon
Day 4 – Day trip to Sintra.
Day 5 – Day trip to Cascais.

Day 1 - Lisbon in 5 Days

The first day is spent exploring the classic tourist sights of central Lisbon in the Baixa and Alfama districts. Baixa is the heart of Lisbon and was completely rebuilt after the devastating 1755 earthquake. The district is focused around magnificent plazas and grand avenues that boast the wealth and influence of 18th century Portugal.

magnificent Rossio square

The magnificent Rossio square in Baixa

Popular tourist sights of Baixa include:

Alfama district

A pretty church in Alfama

Alfama is much an opposite from Baixa as possible. Alfama was once the home to the poor and undesirables of Lisbon and today the maze of narrow streets of ancient buildings has a crumpling charm unique to the district. Sights of Alfama include:

  • Lisbon Castle, with the panoramic views over the Baixa district.
  • The Se Cathedral and church of Saint Anthony.
  • The Miradouro de Santa Luzia viewpoint.
  • A ride on the quaint yellow tram as it navigates the narrow streets.
  • Listening to the haunting sound of Fado being sung from the small bars.
Alfama district

The pretty and colourful Alfama district

The first evening should be spent sampling traditional Portuguese food at the many fine restaurants that are situated close to the Rossio square. Lisbon is famous for its freshly caught seafood dishes.

Day 2 - Lisbon 5 day Itinerary

The second day of the 5 day Lisbon tour is spent in the western side of Lisbon, primarily focused on the Belem district. Belem is a pretty district of parks and monuments that follows the banks of the River Tagus.

Tagus River

Belem is on the banks of the Tagus River

From the harbours that once lined the water’s edge departed the 14th century voyages of discovery, while the wealth of these expeditions and the subsequent trade with colonies funded the extravagant Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. Belem is reached by travelling on the number 15 tram. Lisbon suspension bridge

The Lisbon suspension bridge close to the Belem District

Highlights of the district include:

As a side excursion, the stunning Basilica da Estrela can be included in the second day.

The Torre de Belem

The Torre de Belem

The evening should be spent in the Bairro Alto district with its many little funky underground bars and venues. Bairro Alto is best visited during weekends, when patrons overspill into the streets and there is a sociable party atmosphere, continue to Page 2.

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The Best Guide to Lisbon