Are you heading to Lisbon and wondering can you see Lisbon in 1 day?
One day in Lisbon (Lisboa) Portugal gave us a taste for this city which is rich in culture, architecture and history. You can’t but marvel at the azulejo tiles, cobblestoned streets, outstanding views from St. George’s castle and the yummy Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese tarts).
We have put together a fun one-day itinerary for Lisbon to assist you in planning your day. Although, to be honest, one day is not enough which we found out within the first hour, but if that is all you can do you will still have a great experience.
We were travelling on a cruise from Bilbao in Spain to Colon in Panama with Lisbon being the first port of call. If you are visiting for the very first time by cruise ship ensure that you are up on deck early, and experience sailing under the famous 25 de Abril Bridge as you sail up the Targus River.
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We docked at the new terminal in Lisbon – Santa Apolonia.
As you disembark and head towards the Terminal just inside the entrance is one of the best tourist information centres we have visited. On the right-hand wall as you enter is a large map showing the highlights and sights of Lisbon including the walking distance and time from the Port. They also provide free maps.
Where is Lisbon Portugal
Lisbon is located at the mouth of the Targus River in Portugal. It is the country’s capital and Europe’s most western country. The Atlantic Ocean runs around the coast of Portugal.
Lisbon Map – Plan your Lisbon Itineraries
Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate. The summer lasts from May to October with August being the hottest. The winters are warmer than most other European cities.
Things to do in Lisbon – Lisbon Tours
Visit Lisbon in one day? You can do a tour. Not only do you have many choices of day tours within the city there are many day trips that you can do from Lisbon. Lisbon is definitely a city that we recommend that you plan to spend at least a week.
More Options: What To Do in Lisbon whether you have just one day or a few days
Lisbon Food Tours
Lisbon is a ‘foodie destination’. We would recommend taking a local food tour of Lisbon to get to understand Lisbon and its people.
Lisbon Sailing Tours
What to do in Lisbon in 1 Day
Just a short walk up the hill past traditionally tiled Portuguese homes is the Panteao Nacional. We visited on a Monday which is the only day of the week that it is closed. It houses the tombs of some of Portugal’s most famous celebrities. It is built on the site of once was the Church of Santa Engracia but it has never been used as a church. There are amazing views to be had over the River Tagus and the city from the 4th floor.
Address: Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa
Opening Hours: May to September: From 10:00 am to 17:00 pm (Last entrance 16:40 pm) · October to April: From 10:00 am to 18:00 pm
Visit Lisbon’s Parks
As you wander from Panteo Nacional to the Castelo Sao Jorge you come across local parks with fountains and several lookouts.
Castelo Sao Jorge
Built during the Moorish Period in the mid 11th century the Castle sits proudly above the city and is one of the city’s most visited sites.
The queues for entry can be long why not skip the queues and purchase your tickets before you go and enjoy your visit with a guide.
This ticket includes a 15-minute introduction by a local guide. The castle dates back to the 10th century, not only will you learn the history but the views are outstanding.
There is the Castle with 11 Towers, courtyards and ramparts to wander around, a permanent exhibition of objects dating back to the 7th Century B.C., restricted access to the Archaeological Site and a viewing point of the city.
How to get there:
Tramcar #12 or #28
Opening Times: March to October 9 am-9 pm
November to February 9 am – 6 pm
Closed 1 January, 1 May and 25 December
Ride The Trams of Lisbon
Lisbon has had trams since 1873. There is a tourist tram but beware of pickpockets as the tram is always packed. It is number #28 and takes 40 minutes to travel around the main tourist sites. Tickets can be purchased onboard – a single ticket Euros 3 or a 24-hour ticket costs Euros 6.40. Don’t expect a comfortable ride from its wooden benches.
You may enjoy a local guide that takes you on a walking tour of Lisbon plus a journey on the #28 tram across the city. Click here for the latest prices.
Mirador de Santa Luzia
After visiting the Castilo head down R. Sao Tome towards Mirador de Santa Luzia for stunning views over the River Tagus and the city.
The Cathedral was built in 1150 and houses a casket with the remains of St Vincent, the Patron Saint of Lisbon. It is the 2nd oldest building and was built on the site of a mosque after Christian forces in 1147 took the city from the moors.
Address: Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisboa
Opening hours: Daily 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. Cloister: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (Sunday from 2.00 pm). May through September until 7.00 pm. Treasury: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Closed on Sunday.
Elevador de Santa Justa
Connecting two areas of Lisbon’s historical centre Baixa and Como Square the neo-gothic iron elevator promises panoramic views if you like to queue. There was a long queue the day that we were there and as we were short of time we had to forgo this experience.
Good to know: Only 20 are allowed in the elevator at any one time. Try and go as early as possible.
Address: R. do Ouro, 1150-060 Lisboa
Entrance fee: Viewpoint – Euros 1.50 – a return ticket is Euros 5.15 which includes the entrance fee
Opening Hours: Open daily from 7.00 am to 10.45 pm from May to October
7.00 am to 9.00 pm from November to April
Shopping in Lisbon
If you have time enjoy wandering through the shopping area of Baixa (downtown) which stretches from the riverfront to the main avenue – Avenida de Liberdade. This area was completely rebuilt after the great earthquake that demolished Lisbon in 1755. The area contains some pedestrianised streets, many cafes and restaurants, shops and hotels.
You Can’t Leave Lisbon Without Eating a Portuguese Tart
Such a delightful experience! Portuguese tarts are traditional custard pastries that contain a creme-brulee-like caramelised custard in a pastry crust. They originated over 200 years ago when they were made by the Catholic Sisters from the Jeronimo Monastery in Belem in Lisbon. Try and stop at one!
Don’t leave the city without having a coffee and pastry!
Praca de Comercio
Located facing the River Tagus Praca de Comercio was once known as Terreiro de Pac before it was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1755 which was also followed by a tsunami and a fire that destroyed the city. Reconstructed and finished in the 19th century it stands proudly on Lisbon’s waterfront.
The Square was also the place where King Carlos I was assassinated in 1908 along with his eldest son Luis Felipe as they were returning from their palace to reside in their Lisbon palace.
Equestrian Statue of King Jose 1
The bronze statue of King Jose I stands in the Praca de Comercio. The statue was created by Machado de Castro, an important artist of his time in Lisbon. The equestrian statue is one of Lisbon’s most important monuments and a meeting place for locals and visitors.
We would say that Lisbon is one of the best cities in Europe for street art and graffiti. If you venture up near the Castelo and wander around the side streets you won’t miss the stunning artwork as well as the stunning blue tiles that adorn the city walls.
There is also a small courtyard near the walls around the Castelo which housed a unique art form.
We enjoyed getting lost in the back streets. The street art was incredible and definitely, a must-do in Lisbon.
If you enjoy street art you may like to take a tour around Lisbon click here for more details.
For three hours you will be led by one of Lisbon’s best street art gurus down the back streets and hidden areas that you would not know about if you walked the city on your own.
Where to Eat in Lisbon
Tripadvisor Lisbon top recommendations for where to eat in Lisbon are:
How To Travel To Lisbon
Flights are available to Lisbon from all over Europe as well as worldwide destinations.
Transfers from Lisbon Airport
Bus Travel Around Portugal
Bus travel around Portugal is safe, reliable and easy. For the latest schedules and ticket prices click here.
We always recommend travel insurance when you travel.
Our Articles on Portugal for Inspiration
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We hope you have enjoyed our Lisbon in 1 day. What will you do on your one day in Lisbon? Feel free to share our article with family and friends.