How to Enjoy One Day in Lisbon

Lisbon will be one of the most captivating cities that you will ever visit. So it would seem to be impossible to see it all in one day. While you may not see everything the fabulous city has to offer, if you follow this itinerary, you’ll get an exciting sample of and enjoy your one day in Lisbon.

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A great place to start is in the far west end of the city, where you’ll find Jeronimos Monastery and the Belem Tower. Even though it is situated away from the main tourist area of Lisbon, it’s pretty simple to reach.

You have your choice between the bus and the tram. The trams that run out to the Belem district are the more modern versions which are more like buses. You’ll need a Viva Viagem ticket which you can purchase at a metro station and load a fare that’s needed to get out there and back.

Jeronimos Monastery

Jerominos Monastery in Lisbon Portugal

This gothic marvel is quite a gem and a treat to visit. You can purchase tickets here, kids 11 and under get in for free. The complex includes the monastery as well as a church. The monastery is an intriguing indoor/outdoor space of open corridors with detailed arches and intricate features. There is a green open courtyard in the middle and along the corridors are several rooms and stairwells.

Pasteis de Belem

Just outside of the monastery sits the famous Pasteis de Belem. This is where many people decide to get their celebrated Portuguese treat. If there is a long line, you can take a seat inside and enjoy the treat inside the restaurant.

Belem Tower

Belem Tower in Lisbon Portugal

From Jeronimos Monastery to Belem Tower, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk, but on a tight one-day schedule, it’s probably best to take the bus and save time depending on the timing of the bus. The 729 comes fairly frequently and is a good option

The wait to get inside the tower can be lengthy so plan accordingly. If you want to go inside you can purchase tickets to Belem Tower here. Once inside you can climb the stairs to the top of the tower.

If you don’t have the time, you’ll still enjoy the beautiful tower as it sits just offshore. There is plenty of space to walk around near the tower including a walkway around the tower.

Praca do Comercio/Arco da Rua Augusta

Praca do Comercio in Lisbon Portugal

Taking the tram back towards the city center will lead you to this expansive square. The square is unique in that it opens towards the river and is surrounded on three sides by yellow colonnaded buildings.

Praca do Comercio in Lisbon Portugal

The openness, the color, and the view of the river make this a special area in the city.

On the way out of the square make sure to walk through Arco da Rua Augusta. Of course, this is a great spot for several pics. So as you leave the square, don’t forget to stop and look back through the arch into the square.

Arco da Rua Augusta in Lisbon Portugal

Tram 28

The famous yellow tram isn’t just a popular tourist activity, it’s a useful way to get around. Especially when you want to avoid walking up so many steep hills. This tram can be crowded at all times of day, so you can also take tram 12 to get you to where you want to go as it takes a similar route. And where you want to go is…

Tram 28 in Lisbon Portugal
Tram 12 in Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral in Lisbon Portugal

This beautiful cathedral will be your introduction to Alfama. Normally starting at the top of the hill and working down would be preferable, but since the Cathedral closes at 5 pm, this will ensure that you’re not rushed and make it in time. And that’s a good thing because it’s a pretty intriguing place to stop.

The Gothic architecture is some of the best both inside and outside of the cathedral. There is also the overlook once you go upstairs and through a narrow little passage.

It’s here that you’ll be presented with a wonderful view of Lisbon. There is also a great view of the rest of the church from upstairs as well.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia

Miradouro de Santa Luzia in Lisbon Portugal
Miradouro das Portas do Sol in Lisbon Portugal

These two wonderful miradouros (or overlooks) are mere minutes from each other by foot and are both worth a visit. Portas do Sol is the more open-air spacious option.

The area includes a square and several overlook points. Santa Luzia is a two-part overlook, both of which are more intimate and closed off with pergola-covered terraces and places to sit.

Castelo de Sao Jorge

Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon Portugal

From your visit to the miradouros, you can make the trip up the hill to my favorite spot in Lisbon, Castelo de Sao Jorge. This place has a bit of everything that there is to love about Lisbon.

It has a tremendous view (one of the best in the city), a beautiful open courtyard, intriguing architecture, labyrinthine walkways and passageways, and lots of history.

You can easily spend hours enjoying all that this castle has to offer. Even though this is at the end of the itinerary, leave plenty of time for this stop.

You’ll save time by purchasing your tickets ahead of time here.

Lisbon in One Day

It will take a lot of walking and a lot of energy, but seeing the highlights of Lisbon in one day is doable. You’ll get to sample some of the best views, food and experiences and hopefully be ready to come back for a longer visit.


  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog,, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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How to Enjoy One Day in Lisbon
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