The Perfect Itinerary For Lisbon In 5 Days With Your Family

Lisbon is full of tremendous charm with its scenic views and delightful culinary offerings, making it essential to maximize your time while visiting. Luckily, the city’s compact nature allows you to explore a considerable area in a short span. Nevertheless, having a well-thought-out plan is advisable. The following is a tried-and-true itinerary that blends our family’s experiences and research for our Lisbon trip, offering an effective way to discover Lisbon in 5 days with your family.

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DAY ONE 

Rua Augusta 

Rua Augusta stands out as one of Lisbon’s prominent streets. This distinctive pedestrian pathway is adorned with ever-present tiles and flanked by numerous shops and restaurants.

Extending from Rossio Square in the north to Praca do Comercio in the south, this street serves as an excellent starting point for your Lisbon journey, placing you at the heart of the city.

This strategic location enables you to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and vibes. Moreover, the stroll to the Arch is not a long walk from here.

Arco da Rua Augusta

Arco da Rua Augusta

Following Rua Augusta will bring you to a notable feature of this street. Originally erected to commemorate the reconstruction of Lisbon after the destructive earthquake of 1755, this arch offers an excellent photo opportunity.

As you approach Rua Augusta, the arch becomes visible, capturing your attention and creating a fascinating sight.

Praca do Comercio

Passing through the Arch unveils a genuinely captivating area in Lisbon. Once the location of the Royal Palace, the expansive square now holds a unique allure with the solitary statue of King Joseph I at its center.

The open expanse imparts a distinctive character to the square, offering splendid views from every angle. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll around the colonnade encircling the square—its beautiful symmetry creates a perfect backdrop for photographs.

Cais das Colunas

Cais das Colunas

While progressing through the square towards the river, you’ll arrive at this picturesque spot. Extending slightly into the river, it provides a delightful vantage point, offering a splendid view of the river, the April 25th Bridge, and the surrounding landscape.

The two columns, reminiscent of those from Solomon’s Temple, designate a pier that once served as the entry point from the river to the square.

National Museum of Contemporary Art

Stroll along the picturesque Avenue Ribeira das Naus as you make your way to this museum, showcasing art created between 1850 and 1950. Inside, the collection primarily features works by Portuguese artists, with some foreign art incorporated.

Consequently, the museum houses one of the world’s foremost collections of Portuguese art. While the emphasis lies on Portuguese art, the inclusion of international pieces lends a global atmosphere to the museum.

Both permanent and temporary exhibits span various genres, encompassing modernism, surrealism, expressionism, and more. While paintings dominate the collection, numerous other art forms are also well-represented.

Pink Street

Situated just an 8-minute stroll from the Art Museum, this renowned street, officially named Rua Nova do Carvalho, stands out as one of the most famous in Lisbon.

Its uniqueness stems from its transformation in 2013 when the entire street was painted pink, elevating it from a mere thoroughfare to a widely recognized tourist attraction.

An ideal spot for the occasional selfie or photo, Pink Street is conveniently located near one of the best dining destinations in the area.

TimeOut Market

Situated in the Cais do Sodre district, this well-liked market hosts over 30 restaurants, offering a diverse range of culinary delights. Renowned chefs from Portugal contribute to a menu that spans from simple, casual meals to more elaborate dishes.

The food hall not only boasts an extensive variety of delicious options but also features a food court—an open space designed for communal dining experiences, allowing groups to gather and savor their meals together.

DAY TWO

Avenue da Liberdade

Begin your day on this expansive and lush boulevard, a splendid way to kickstart your exploration. With our apartment situated in the Baixa neighborhood, we hopped on the metro and traveled a few stops up to the Avenida station. From there, we headed south toward Restauradores Square.

This broad boulevard hosts several high-end boutique shops for those in the mood to indulge in a bit of spending. While we opted not to shop, the area provided a delightful setting for a leisurely walk and exploration.

With numerous benches along the way, you can take a relaxed stroll, pause whenever you please, and simply take in the surroundings.

Restauradores Square

Nestled among a collection of stately buildings, Restauradores Square offers a delightful passage. The square is graced by a majestic monument at its center, and the expansive open space contributes to the overall charm of this remarkable area.

Praca Dom Pedro IV

While Restauradores Square is charming, the real highlight comes next (following a quick Starbucks break). This space, too, features a prominent monument at its center and is adorned with two exquisite fountains on either side.

Praca Dom Pedro IV in Lisbon, Portugal

The northern edge of the square is flanked by the magnificent Queen Maria II National Theatre. Dotted with trees and abundant stone benches, the square provided an ideal spot for us to relax, unwind, and observe the bustling square.

Along the square’s periphery, several restaurants offer the opportunity for a meal with a view.

Santa Justa Lift

Navigating from the southwest corner of the square toward Rua Aurea led us almost directly to the Santa Justa Lift. While we hadn’t intended to ascend the lift, merely witnessing its grandeur was satisfying enough for me—it’s truly an impressive structure.

It turned out to be a wise decision not to ascend, considering the rather daunting line. If you’re contemplating a ride to the top, brace yourself for a bit of waiting. Alternatively, if you’re seeking the view without the wait, you have the option of taking the stairs.

Shopping

Continuing beyond the Santa Justa Lift, we followed Rua Aurea, which led us to Rua Nova do Almada as we ventured into the Chiado neighborhood for some shopping.

Entering the Chiado area, you’ll encounter an excellent retail district featuring various stores, including well-known brands such as H&M, ZARA, Nike, Levi’s, and many more. Naturally, we were delighted to explore what eventually became our preferred store…

Bertrand Bookstore

Nestled in Lisbon is the world’s oldest operating bookstore, a true haven for book lovers, celebrated not only for its extensive collection but also for the rich history associated with its location.

The bookstore itself exudes a charming coziness, featuring a well-appointed English section. I purchased a book detailing the history of Portugal, accompanied by a souvenir bag.

Having my book stamped as a purchase from the Bertrand Bookstore added a unique touch. This bookstore is an ideal destination to buy a cool souvenir of your trip to Lisbon or find a thoughtful gift for someone special.

Carmo Convent

Carmo Convent in Lisbon, Portugal

After our shopping spree and book acquisition, we ascended the hill (Lisbon has quite a few of them) to reach Carmo Convent. Admission for adults is just 5 euros, while children aged 14 and under can enter for free. The site also hosts a museum.

Damaged during the significant earthquake of 1755, the convent’s roof was never restored, resulting in a distinctive visit where one can appreciate the church’s walls and arches while having an unobstructed view of the outside due to the absence of a roof. It truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

DAY THREE

Jeronimos Monastery

Despite being situated at the far western end of the city, reaching Jeronimos Monastery is quite convenient. We opted for the modern tram, traveling directly to Jeronimos Monastery. Having Viva Viagem tickets in hand, and providing access to the metro, bus, and tram, facilitated our journey.

Jeronimos Monastery

Following a 30-minute ride from the Praca Comercio stop, the 15E tram conveniently dropped us off right in front of the monastery. Before entering, we took another Starbucks break located just a few minutes down the street.

Despite pre-purchasing our tickets, we couldn’t bypass the line, which was different from our experience at other sites.

The tram ride and wait were worthwhile. We explored the monastery, skipped the church, and found the two levels, central courtyard, and various rooms impressive. The intricate design, monochromatic hues, and light filtering through columns fascinated us.

The broad hallways with arches and captivating stairways made it feel like a journey through time. A must-see, this place is unmissable!

You can buy your entrance tickets to Jeronimos Monastery here.

If you want to purchase an audio tour, you can purchase that here.

While we had to wait in line, it moved swiftly, and unlike other places, the advantage of pre-purchased tickets seemed less pronounced. Children aged 11 and under are free.

Belem Tower

Belem Tower

The stroll from the monastery to Belem Tower typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes. However, considering our kids were with us, we opted to spare their legs and feet by taking the bus, specifically the 729, conveniently located right in front of the monastery.

Belem Tower stands as one of Lisbon’s most iconic and recognizable structures. We not only appreciated the tower itself but also found the approach to the charming little park to be picturesque. Following a pathway lined with trees, the tower gradually comes into view, creating a delightful perspective.

While it’s possible to explore the interior of the tower, we were content to admire it from the outside. The presence of a walkway encircling the tower allowed us to view it from various angles.

The spacious surroundings made the experience enjoyable, and despite the crowd, there was ample room for taking great selfies without obstruction.

If you want to tour Belem Tower, you can purchase your tickets here.

After capturing our photos, wandering the area, and enjoying the tower’s views, we made our way back to the apartment, opting for a tram ride.

Pasteis de Belem

Despite indulging in pasteis de nata throughout our journey, we missed the opportunity to savor one from this renowned spot. If you want to try pasteis de nata from this popular location, it’s conveniently located just steps from Jeronimos Monastery.

You have the option to get in line for a purchase or, for a typically less crowded and quicker experience, opt to take a seat inside.

DAY FOUR

Tram 28

Tram 28 in Lisbon, Portugal

If your accommodation is in Baixa, like ours, and you wish to explore Alfama, the recommended mode of transport is Tram 28. Alternatively, the lesser-known and significantly less crowded Tram 12 is a viable option.

The ascent up the hill can be steep and a bit strenuous, making a tram ride in this direction a lifesaver, especially for families with young children. While Tram 28 is the more popular choice, it can become overcrowded.

Therefore, opting for Tram 12, which follows a similar route but with fewer crowds, is an excellent alternative.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Lisbon is renowned for its hills, but it’s also a city dotted with miradouros, and this one stands out as among the finest.

Offering breathtaking, expansive views of both the city and the river, it features a spacious terrace that serves as an exceptional viewpoint, along with several other delightful spots for admiring the scenery.

On the opposite side of the terrace and primary viewing area lies a quaint square.

A set of stairs descends through a narrow corridor, leading you into the heart of Alfama. If you choose this path, you’ll navigate through the intricate network of winding streets and alleyways, gradually descending from the miradouro’s heights.

The decision lies between embracing this immersive experience or venturing off to explore another spot.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

In contrast to Portas do Sol, this miradouro, Santa Luzia, offers an intimate and secluded ambiance, much different from the open and expansive feel of its counterpart.

Comprising two main sections—a higher and a lower one—the upper section takes center stage with its pergola-covered terrace.

This area features inviting spots to sit, appreciate the view, and capture memorable moments. The presence of flowers and an adjacent garden enhances the overall charm, creating an ideal setting to unwind—we certainly spent more time here than at Portas do Sol.

It’s good that these two spots are merely a 5-minute stroll from each other.

While the lower section may lack the scenic allure of the upper part, it still provides a beautiful view, with fewer visitors and just a few steps away.

Castelo de Sao Jorge

From Santa Luzia, ascend the hill via Largo do Contador Mor toward the castle—an experience that turned out to be my favorite stop in Lisbon. Unfamiliar with the castle beforehand, I was unprepared for the rich experience it would offer.

Opting to purchase tickets in advance allowed us to skip the lengthy entrance line, which was great.

Upon reaching the castle grounds, a majestic view of Lisbon unfolds immediately. While exploring the city, you might have glimpsed the castle perched atop the hills of Alfama, and being within the castle grounds provides a unique vantage point.

The panoramic view is expansive and breathtaking. We spent a considerable amount of time wandering along the castle walls, enjoying the diverse perspectives it offered.

The view from Castelo Sao Jorge

Transitioning from the viewpoint to the castle’s interior, we encountered a nice surprise—the presence of freely roaming peacocks. These majestic birds, with their distinctive and resonant calls, added a unique charm to the castle grounds.

Exploring the castle’s interior proved to be an adventure in itself—filled with staircases, open spaces, elevated walkways, and an array of pathways.

The castle boasted numerous watchtowers, lookout points, and battlements scattered throughout. Navigating the paths, climbing stairs, and uncovering hidden corners and walkways became a fun adventure. I wish we had scheduled more time to fully enjoy the castle.

Inside Castelo Sao Jorge

You can purchase your tickets to tour Sao Jorge Castle here.

If you want a guided tour of Sao Jorge Castle, grab your tickets here.

Lisbon Cathedral

Constructed in 1147, this Gothic cathedral stands as another extraordinary landmark in Lisbon. A ticket granting access to the cathedral opens the door to marvel at its incredible architecture, characterized by towering ceilings and graceful arches.

For an elevated perspective, visitors can ascend the steps, explore the upper rooms, and reach the balcony, offering a splendid view of Lisbon.

Alfama

Streets of Alfama

Arguably the most renowned district in Lisbon, this neighborhood is an ideal locale for exploration and discovery. Roaming through its winding streets and narrow alleyways offers a delightful way to spend a day acquainting yourself with the charm of Lisbon.

Beyond being picturesque, this neighborhood epitomizes the essence of the Lisbon experience, boasting some of the city’s most notable sights. It’s easy to spend an entire day enjoying a stroll, extending the exploration beyond the well-known attractions like Sao Jorge Castle, Lisbon Cathedral, and the miradouros.

DAY FIVE

Sintra

This UNESCO World Heritage site encompasses the vibrant Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, and the Sintra National Palace.

Offering a serene alternative to the bustling energy of Lisbon, Sintra is adorned with not only castles but also lush greenery, rolling hills, dense forests, and picturesque coastlines. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, Sintra provides a diverse range of experiences.

The journey to Sintra is quite easy to take. A convenient option is to take a train from Rossio Square, with a travel time of around 40 minutes. Trains operate frequently, making transportation convenient.

Alternatively, you can opt for a day trip tour of Sintra, which often includes transportation.

You have a choice of several other types of tours for Sintra from Lisbon which you can purchase here.

Some of these tours may provide a guide and cover entrance fees. This streamlined approach can offer a hassle-free way to go on your Sintra adventure.

ENJOY YOUR STAY IN LISBON

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal

Our stay in Lisbon felt like a whirlwind of fantastic experiences. Having a well-thought-out plan significantly enhanced our time in the city so that we could make the most of the time that we had. Another thing that helped us plan was knowing what to pack. Check out our essential packing guide for Portugal to help you prepare and find out what you need to know before you visit. Since you’ll already be in Portugal make sure to plan to see the epic Algarve region either as a day trip or as an extended visit

Author

  • 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, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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The Perfect Itinerary For Lisbon In 5 Days With Your Family
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