Morning Lisbon Tram

One Day in Lisbon: A Local’s Itinerary

Welcome to Lisbon, a city of vibrant streets and stunning vistas. I’ve lived here on Almirante Reis for the past two and a half years, and before that, I enjoyed the coastal charms of Ericeira for over two years. 

My time in these locales has given me a unique perspective on both the well-known highlights and the hidden gems of this beautiful city.

This guide is crafted not just for tourists, but also for residents who want to explore Lisbon beyond the usual. 

My goal is to provide a comprehensive One Day in Lisbon tour that interweaves popular attractions with the lesser-known spots I’ve discovered while wandering these historic streets. 

Whether you’re here for a quick 24-hour stop from a cruise or planning a longer stay, this guide aims to be your accessible, go-to resource for experiencing the best of Lisbon. 

Let’s dive into a journey that covers both the famed and the secret corners of Lisbon.

⭐️ Insider Tip: Think about getting the Lisbon Card if you’re planning to explore multiple spots mentioned in this article. Not only does this card give you the freedom to travel around Lisbon with free public transportation, but it also unlocks free access and discounts at 38 amazing attractions across the city. It’s definitely worth considering to make the most of your visit – so take a little time to see if it fits your travel plans!

Early Morning: Embracing the Day

Miradouro Sunrise

Viewpoint of Miradouro Da Senhora Do Monte
Viewpoint of Miradouro Da Senhora Do Monte

Depending on where you’re staying in the city and your fitness level, you may choose to walk or take a taxi to the Graca area.

Upon arrival, why not kick off your adventure with a refreshing coffee or tea?

⭐️ Insider Tip: Just a short 2-minute walk from Graça Miradouro, the street of Largo da Graça offers a delightful selection of places to grab a drink or a bite to eat. While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to visit one of my personal favorite breakfast and brunch spots in the area, Maria Limão.

After you’re all set, head over to Miradouro da Graça and immerse yourself in the stunning panoramic views that stretch across downtown Lisbon and the River Tagus.

While you’re at Miradouro da Graça, don’t forget to take a leisurely uphill walk to Senhor do Monte Miradouro. 

Here, you’ll be treated to arguably the best view in Lisbon, featuring a picturesque vista of pastel-colored rooftops, the flowing River Tagus, and the iconic 25 de Abril Bridge.

Whoosh e-scooter
Whoosh e-scooter

⭐️ Insider Tip: If opting for a taxi, compare fares on Bolt, Uber, and FreeNow to find the most economical choice. Alternatively, for a more adventurous option, rent a Whoosh e-scooter for just €5 for the whole day.

Mid-Morning: Historical Exploration

Explore the Alfama District

Morning view of Senhor do Monte Miradouro
Morning view of Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

After soaking in the views at Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, a leisurely 10-minute walk downhill leads you into the heart of Lisbon’s history – the Alfama district. 

Here, the aroma of fresh pastel de nata and coffee emanates from local pastelerias, inviting you to indulge in Lisbon’s culinary delights.

As you meander through Alfama’s narrow, winding streets, you’re walking along paths steeped in centuries of history. 

This district is a living museum, showcasing Lisbon’s resilience and charm through its ancient buildings and vibrant cultural tapestry.

Don’t miss the chance to explore hidden corners like the quaint Vila Sousa, a tucked-away courtyard known only to locals. 

Its vibrant, flower-lined balconies and friendly neighborhood ambiance offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets.

Another personal favorite is the Miradouro de Santa Luzia. This terrace offers breathtaking views of the Tagus River and is adorned with traditional azulejos (tiles), creating a picture-perfect backdrop for your memories.

For more information check out the Maradouro de Santa Luzia guide. 

In the heart of Alfama, you’ll find the Lisbon Cathedral, a monumental symbol of the city’s rich heritage. Its impressive façade and serene interior are a testament to Lisbon’s historical and religious significance.

Lisbon Cathedral
Lisbon Cathedral – just a short 10 minute walk downhill from Senhor do Monte Miradouro.

As you continue, stumble upon the lesser-known, yet equally charming, Rua Norberto de Araújo. This narrow street, lined with local artisan shops and quaint cafes, offers a more authentic glimpse into daily Lisbon life.

Lunch: A Culinary Delight

Agulha no Palheiro / Needle in a Haystack
Agulha no Palheiro / Needle in a Haystack

As midday approaches, continue your Lisbon experience with a unique culinary adventure at Agulha no Palheiro in Alfama. 

This hidden treasure, aptly named ‘Needle in a Haystack,’ offers an intimate dining atmosphere with only five to six tables. I remember the exceptional service and quality from my visit with my girlfriend, making it a memorable experience.

Their menu boasts an array of traditional Portuguese dishes, each crafted with care and bursting with authentic flavors. 

A standout recommendation is their seafood options, which are fresh and perfectly seasoned. And don’t miss out on their cocktail selection – each one is a masterpiece of mixology.

Due to its popularity among those in the know, it’s essential to book in advance to secure a spot in this cozy, yet vibrant restaurant. 

Afternoon: Cultural Immersion

Tram 28 travelling down a road from Graca, Lisbon
To reach Belem from Tram 28, simply transfer to Tram 15E at Cais do Sodre.

Following your delightful lunch at Agulha no Palheiro, your Lisbon journey continues with a visit to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

Start your afternoon at Jerónimos Monastery, a stunning example of Manueline architecture. 

To beat the crowds, it’s best to visit either early in the morning or during lunch hours.

Next, make your way to the Monument of the Discoveries. In the late afternoon, the sun casts a beautiful glow on the monument, making it an ideal time for photography.

Conclude your tour at Belém Tower. While the tower’s interior is somewhat plain and often crowded, the exterior is a must-see. 

Belem Tower
Belem Tower

The intricate details of its Manueline architecture are impressive, and it’s worth taking the time to admire it from outside. 

Late afternoon is perfect for this visit, as the lighting enhances the tower’s beauty, providing excellent photo opportunities.

Remember, Belém is somewhat separate from Lisbon’s center, so planning your sightseeing based on geography is key. 

These landmarks are conveniently close to each other, allowing for a smooth and enjoyable afternoon exploring Lisbon’s rich history and architecture.

⭐️ Insider Tip: To journey from Agulha no Palheiro in Alfama to Jerónimos Monastery, catch the famous Tram 28 from Alfama towards Martim Moniz, then switch to Tram 15E at Cais do Sodré. This route offers a picturesque view of Lisbon, and the entire trip takes about 30-45 minutes. 

Late Afternoon: Leisure and Scenic Walks

After marveling at the architectural wonders of Belém, shift your exploration towards Lisbon’s Baixa district. 

⭐️ Insider Tip: For a scenic journey from Belém to Baixa, hop on the 15E tram from the Belém-Jerónimos stop. This route offers picturesque views along the Tagus River, and disembark at Praça do Comércio for Baixa. The trip takes around 30 minutes. Alternatively, consider a taxi or a ride-sharing service for a faster, more direct travel option.

Start at the Praça do Comércio, a historically significant square on the Tagus River. It’s a place of grandeur, once home to Portugal’s royal palace.

Praça do Comércio
Praça do Comércio

Stroll up through the Arco da Rua Augusta to enter Baixa. This area’s uniform streets are a product of the post-1755 earthquake reconstruction, contrasting sharply with Alfama’s maze-like alleys.

In Baixa, discover gems like the Manteigaria, famed for its pastel de nata, and the eye-catching Santa Justa Lift, designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel. Although riding the lift isn’t essential, the views from the top are a must-see.

Wrap up your walk by heading to Bairro Alto and Chiado, historic and less touristy neighborhoods offering beautiful views, especially from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara - One day in Lisbon itinerary
the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

These areas offer a blend of Lisbon’s historic charm and modern-day vibrancy, perfect for a leisurely late afternoon exploration.

Evening: Sunset and City Lights

After a day of exploration, embrace the enchanting evening ambiance of Lisbon. For a unique sunset experience, visit the lesser-known Miradouro de Santa Catarina. 

Miradouro de Santa Catarina. 
Miradouro de Santa Catarina. 

Discover this secret spot that unveils a stunning city view bathed in the golden glow of dusk. Plus, there’s the convenience of a nearby kiosk bar for refreshments.

Then, take a leisurely walk along the riverfront near Commerce Square. As the sky transitions into twilight, the area transforms, with the lights reflecting off the Tagus River, creating a magical atmosphere. This riverside promenade, less crowded in the evening, allows for a serene experience of Lisbon’s vibrant nightlife.

Dinner: Experiencing Lisbon’s Nightlife

Giant Langoustine at Ramiro
Giant Langoustine at Ramiro

Following your tranquil sunset experience at Miradouro de Santa Catarina, continue your evening with a taste of Lisbon’s renowned culinary scene. 

Head to Cervejaria Ramiro, an iconic seafood restaurant that has been delighting patrons since 1956. 

Located on Avenida Almirante Reis, Ramiro is famous for its lively atmosphere and exquisite seafood dishes, including their signature garlic prawns and the adventurous gooseneck barnacles. 

End your meal with their unique take on the Prego – a traditional Portuguese steak sandwich served as a savory dessert. 

Check out my 9 Best Seafood Restaurants in Lisbon, Portugal

Late Night: A Taste of Lisbon’s Charm

Madonna playing at Bar Tejo
Madonna playing at Tejo Bar, Lisbon.

After indulging in Lisbon’s seafood delights, continue your cultural journey with a visit to Tejo Bar in Alfama. 

This intimate venue, renowned for its jazz, folk, and gypsy music, offers an immersive and magical musical experience. 

Tejo Bar, known for its cozy atmosphere, encourages deep engagement with the performances. As a regular visitor, I can attest to its ever-surprising and spontaneous shows, often featuring incognito musicians. 

The unique charm of Tejo Bar lies in its subtle appreciation of music, a true reflection of Lisbon’s soulful music scene. 

Remember, here, applause is replaced by more understated expressions of enjoyment, contributing to the venue’s distinctive ambiance. 

A night at Tejo Bar is an unforgettable experience not to be missed!

One Day in Lisbon: Google Map

Here’s a handy guide for using the map! Tap on any highlighted area to see the destination’s name. Want to keep this map for easy access?

Just click the star next to the title to add it to “Your Places” in Google Maps. You can find it later in the Maps tab of your Google Maps account.

And if you’d like to view the map in a separate window, simply click the button at the top right of the map. Happy exploring!

Wrapping Up

As our day in Lisbon comes to a close, I hope you’ve found this guide both inspiring and useful. But Lisbon is a city of endless discoveries, and I’m sure there are many more secrets waiting to be uncovered.

Do you have any favorite spots or insider tips in Lisbon that weren’t mentioned in this article? Whether it’s a quaint café, a hidden viewpoint, or a cultural gem, I’d love to hear about your experiences and recommendations.

Please share your Lisbon secrets in the comments below. Your insights not only enrich our community’s knowledge but also help fellow explorers create even more memorable journeys in this beautiful city.

Until then, happy exploring and obrigado for joining me on this Lisbon adventure!

Recommended Reading:

My Top 4 English Cinemas in Lisbon

What to Do in Lisbon at Night: A Local’s 2023 Guide

The Best Indian Restaurant in Lisbon

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