Lisbon is a vibrant city where chaos and poetry merge. It’s a Babylon of contrasts between old and new, colourful azulejos, rattling trams, clothes hanged out to dry. What are the things to see in Lisbon in four days? Find out in our latest guide.
10 Things to See in Lisbon in 4 Days
Lisbon was the last stop of our road trip to Portugal. There we spent four days, at the end of an itinerary that began in Porto and covered incredible cultural sites and wine regions: the Douro Valley, Coimbra, Óbidos, Alentejo…
For our stay in the Portuguese capital, we chose Alegria Center Apartments, in a strategic position halfway between the districts of Baixa and Bairro Alto.
What to see in Lisbon in four days? Here there are 10 attractions you can’t miss in this city of Portugal, and all our tips for the visit.
1. Arco da Rua Augusta and Praça do Comércio
In 1755 Lisbon was hit by one of the most terrible earthquakes in history, which almost burned down the whole city. The reconstruction that followed this event is visible in the modern districts of Baixa and Rossio.
Today Baixa and Rua Augusta, the shopping pedestrian street, are the beating heart of the city. Past the monumental Arco da Rua Augusta, you’ll find yourself in Praça do Comércio, the big square on the shore of river Tejo, where people use to rest with their feet soaking in the water.
2. Alfama and Castelo de São Jorge
Following a yellow tram, from Praça do Comércio on the right, you go up towards the Alfama, the ancient Moorish district of the city.
Here, among narrow alleys and cracked facades, Lisbon shows its most traditional face. Here are taverns where you can taste local specialities and listen to fado concerts, the mournful Portuguese music.
This popular neighbourhood is one of the most loved places in town, especially thanks to its outstanding viewpoints: the miradouros. Do not miss the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, a painting of white and blue azulejos and blooming bougainvillaeas, and the Miradouro das Portas de Sol, where you can shoot a dozen postcard-pictures.
The Alfama district lies at the feet of Castelo de São Jorge, an ancient fortification that dominates Lisbon from the top of a hill. A must-see, if you wish to enjoy the best view of the city.
Castelo de São Jorge
- Tickets 8,50€
- From 1st November to 28th February, open from 9 am to 6 pm
- From 1st March to 31st October, open from 9 am to 9 pm
Another reason why you should explore the Alfama? To take pictures of trams, of course! They slip through the narrow uphill alleys, and you shouldn’t feel surprised if you see some unauthorized passengers holding on to the tram’s tail in order not to pay the ticket.
3. Bairro Alto
The Bairro Alto is another picturesque Lisbon district, at the top of one of its 7 hills. If you wish to reach it, you’ll have to consider a long uphill walk, otherwise, you’ll need to take public transport:
- the cable railways Ascensor da Glória and da Bica, that look very similar to trams;
- the Elevador de Santa Justa, a lift in neogothic style, realized by a pupil of the architect Gustave Eiffel.
Nightlife, food, vintage shops and a festive atmosphere: these are the things that will make you fall in love with Bairro Alto.
4. Convento do Carmo
The Convento do Carmo is an oasis of peace in the middle of Lisbon chaos. Destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, the only things still standing of this Carmelite convent are the external walls and the high ogival arches.
Enjoy the calm of this moment, even better during the late afternoon. Look at the sky among the ruins and walk slowly along the ancient naves: you’ll feel a great sense of peace and comfort inside of you.
Convento Do Carmo
- Tickets 4€
- Open from Monday to Saturday
- From October to May, 10 am 6 pm; from June to September, 10 am – 7 pm
5. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Let’s now move to Belém, a Lisbon district 6 km away from the city centre. The easiest way to reach Belém is taking the tram n. 15 from Praça da Figueira or Praça do Comércio.
There you will find the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a UNESCO Heritage Site. This important monastery is a masterpiece of Manueline style, a maze of courtyards and decorations. The great Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama is buried inside the church of the monastery.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
- Tickets 10€
- From October to April, from 10 am to 5.30 pm
- From May to September, from 10 am to 6.30 pm
During high season, the queues to buy tickets are indeed really long, so be patient. While you wait, you might want to try some pastel de belém: this famous dessert of Portugal was born exactly here, based on a monks’ recipe.
Wanna know why it tastes so good? The secret lies within Pastéis de Belém pastry shop, located a few steps from the monastery.
6. Torre de Belém
Not far from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, you can find the Torre de Belén, an icon of Lisbon and symbol of the Portuguese geographic explorations. The tower was made in Manueline style and built at the mouth of river Tejo during the course of 1500.
From the terrace, you can enjoy a beautiful view over Belém and the riverside, but even walking and shooting pictures at the feet of this extraordinary tower is something that will make you happy.
7. LX Factory
Halfway through the city centre and Belém, you can find LX Factory, once an industrial complex, now turned into an artistic micro-district, a location for design stores, restaurants and art galleries. Once you enter LX Factory in Lisbon, you’ll feel like you’re in another city. It looks like a younger and hipster Lisbon, full of food trucks, street art and designer furnishings.
If you love books, you cannot miss Livraria Ler Devagar, considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. The winged bike suspended from the ceiling is a work of the eccentric Italian artist Pietro Proserpio.
A few steps away from LX Factory there is the Village Underground, a coworking space obtained from containers and double-decker buses. A proper must-see for graffiti lovers!
8. 25 de Abril Bridge
San Francisco? Not really. The 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon can easily make you forget where you are. In fact, this structure was inspired by the famous Golden Gate Bridge in the USA and built by the same construction company. The bridge is long almost 2 km, and it links Lisbon to the city of Almada.
9. Street Art in Lisbon
Lisbon is a true paradise for street art lovers. Walking around the city you may come across several artists working with cans and brushes: you can watch them while they’re painting and follow their progress, layer upon layer of colour.
In addition to LX Factory, two good spots for street art are Alfama and GAU, an open sky Urban Art Gallery at the complete disposition of graffiti writers. A part of GAU is located at Calçada da Glória, in the final section of the cableway towards Bairro Alto.
10. Lisbona from the Tram No. 28
An original way of visiting Lisbon is taking a tour on tram No. 28. This vintage tram is a real symbol of the city and goes across the districts of Graça, Baixa and Estrela, as well as the narrow and very steep slopes of the Alfama.
A complete ride from Campo Ourique to Martim Moniz lasts 4 minutes and costs only € 2,90. Given its popularity among the tourists, during high season it is quite difficult to hop on the tram 28: it’s better to avoid peak hours and wait for the tram at one of the two termini.
Other things to keep in mind: beware of the pickpockets and hold tight against the abrupt landslides, in case you couldn’t find a place to sit.
Alternatively, blogger and expat in Lisbon Liliana Navarra suggests tram 15 and 12, which follow an equally beautiful route and are less likely to be crowded with tourists.
Trips from Lisbon: Sintra
You can’t think of spending 4 days in Lisbon without dedicating at least one day to Sintra. This little town is a must-see, with its beautiful castles and palaces like Palácio da Pena and Quinta da Regaleira. You can reach Sintra from Lisbon by train, leaving from Rossio railway station.
Where to Stay in Lisbon
In Lisbon, we stayed at Alegria Center Apartments, near the metro stop Avenida. For 3 nights we spent € 204, a cheap enough price in high season. The apartment is nice and comfortable, equipped with a small kitchenette to cook your own meals.
Where to Eat in Lisbon
If you prefer eating out, Lisbon is the perfect place for you, since there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Write down these addresses where to eat in Lisbon!
Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho
The Mercado da Ribeira or Time Out Market is a food indoor market where you can find stands of award-winning chefs and ethnic cuisine. We tried the dishes of chef Alexandre Silva: simply outstanding and delicious.
It’s a casual and chaotic place, filled with shared tables. Inside the market, you’ll also find Manteigaria Pastry stand, known as one of the best producers of pasteis de nada in Lisbon.
Nova Pombalina, Rua da Comércio
This little place is super traditional and quite popular among the Portuguese, excellent for a fast and cheap lunch. Its highlight is the sandwich with leitão (piglet), to accompany with a fresh beer.
A Cultura do Hamburger, Rua das Salgadeiras
Hamburger is a very serious matter, and this restaurant located in Bairro Alto made a religion out of it. The pairings are very original and the meat grilled at a perfection level. Could you guess that A Cultura do Hamburger was once a tea room?
Dogs Lx Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria 103
Do you think you know how a hot dog is made? At Dogs Lx Factory this street food is something more than a sandwich with sausage. You can choose between different types of meat and refined combinations: a small work of art.
The place is super colourful and full of stamps, writings and vintage furniture. Definitely a perfect place for Instagram lovers!
How to Get to Lisbon from the Airport
In order to reach Lisbon city centre from the airport, you just need to take the metro and change line at Alameda (green line) towards Rossio and Baixa districts. Getting around Lisbon with public transport is very easy, but most of the attractions can be reached also on foot.
To travel on the metro, bus and tram, it’s worth buying the prepaid card Viva Viagem, which can be recharged at metro stations with the desired amount. Important: the card is valid just for one passenger, so you’ll need one card each.
We hope that this guide about the things to see in Lisbon in 4 days was helpful! In case you have something to ask, feel free to contact us on social media or via email.