Portugal was the first country I visited in Europe. The city I enjoyed the most during my first overseas trip was Lisbon, Portugal. This beautiful coast side town has a lot to offer tourists. If you’d like to see what I believe are the things you should do when in Lisbon, keep reading.
Should you visit Lisbon?
YES! This probably doesn’t come as a surprise because I did mention it was my favorite city in Portugal. But Lisbon, or Portugal in general, is a great place to visit. First off, the weather is pleasant. I won’t say it’s perfect, because it did rain a bit while I was there in April, particularly in Porto. But Lisbon was nicer, sunnier and it rained far less there.
Another reason to go to Lisbon is I found it a lot more accessible than Porto. Porto was hill city! Lisbon had a bunch of hills, but there was far more flat land than in Porto. So if you are into wandering around by foot and getting lost, Lisbon is a great bet.
The last thing I’ll mention as to why you should go to Lisbon is that it’s cheap. Seriously, this destination is an amazing bang for your buck. Flights (at least from JFK/NY airports, so perhaps from other major airports too) aren’t too expensive if you book ahead of time. Lisbon has AMAZING accommodations for unbeatable prices. Seriously, my hostel, Good Morning Lisbon, was amazing. Free breakfast, events, nice staff, great location – for such a great price. It was better than some hotels and Airbnb’s I’ve stayed in. Food is also cheap and there’s great variety.
But I’m guessing most of you don’t need convincing to go to Lisbon, Portugal. So here are my suggestions on how to spend 3 days in Lisbon.
Explore Your Area.
I arrived in Lisbon from Porto at the Santa Apolonia train station. I felt like I was in a beach destination as soon as I arrived due to the ground that looks like beach waves, the light blue walls in the train station and the nearby water. Once I checked into Good Morning Lisbon Hostel, I went on foot to explore. I do this whenever I travel. I get settled into where I’m staying and then see what’s around my accommodations from food spots to attractions to chill spots to relax.
Admire the artwork and viewpoints.
Lisbon has many streets covered in graffiti and street art. While exploring, make sure to be on the lookout for the graffiti covered walls. Also, find a miradouro, or viewpoint. You’ll likely have to hike up a steep hill to get there (how else will you get those amazing views of Lisbon?) but it’s worth it.
My first day in a new location is usually a chill one. Unless I arrive super early, I don’t tend to fit in a bunch of activities and sightseeing. So if you’re on more of a time crunch of would like to see more things than I did, you may want to add in a few more activities for your first of three days in Lisbon. Some quick options include: sitting by the water near Placa do Comercio and walking the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto or the Alfama district.
Tip: It’s a good idea to spend your first day in a new destination walking around in order to keep yourself awake as you adjust to the new timezone. Also, if you were stuck on a plane, bus or train for hours, your legs need some stretching!
Check out the ruins of the Carmo Convent.
While scouring Pinterest and TripAdvisor for things to do in Lisbon I came across the Carmo Convent. It used to be a Catholic convent until an earthquake in 1755 ruined it, leaving the remains which you can now view. There’s also a small museum to view once you’re done exploring outside. It’s not huge and is .a quick spot to add to your Lisbon itinerary for about five euros.
Walk around and shop at Praça do Comércio.
One of my favorite places in Lisbon was Praça do Comércio. It’s a tourist hub, so if you’re looking to do something more off-the-beaten-path this isn’t for you. Still, this is a nice area to shop, eat (recommend not eating directly on the square because of jacked up prices, but there’s plenty of restaurants around. My favorite place for a quick, cheap bite to eat was Romana al Taglio), sit by the water, rent bikes for the day and people watch. Additionally, it’s a must to take a photo of the beautiful yellow buildings and the Arch of Rua Augusta.
Tip: I discovered Typographia while in Lisbon. It’s a shop that sells quirky graphic tees. If you’re like me and love wearing and collecting cute T-shirts, this store is a must.
Tip: Another thing to look out for in this area are pickpockets and peddlers. You will be hounded by people asking if you want a selfie stick. And you have to stay alert for any sketchy people as with any major tourist area.
The rest of my day I spent exploring aimlessly around Lisbon, taking in more street art and also getting a taste of the city at night. Luckily, with my hostel I met a few people who I was able to hang out with.
Take a day trip to Sintra. I wrote a blog post all about my day trip to Sintra, as well as useful tips on how to make the most of it. To read more about planning a trip from Lisbon to Sintra, click here.
There you have it!
Some people like to go, go, go and see every major tourist attraction out there when they travel. I totally get that and at times I do the same. However, if you’re in Lisbon and want a chill, relaxing time there, this is a perfect plan for you. Have you been to this amazing city?