Which itinerary should you choose for a one week holiday in Portugal? If you want to stay around Lisbon, we recommend a seven-day-itinerary that allows you to take your time to visit the charming Portuguese capital city as well as the most famous cities in its surroundings, like Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril.
In our one week itinerary in Lisbon and its surroundings we have included the most famous cultural and historical attractions such as the modern areas of the city as well as the main natural points of interest like beaches and view points from where to take some amazing pictures. Oh, we haven’t forgotten to include shows and entertainment, too.
The itinerary can be customized according to your needs and interests, maybe focusing more on one specific attraction. However, we have tried to meet the needs of every traveler: couples looking for a romantic gateway, families traveling with kids, young travelers looking for some fun, and solo explorers.
Here comes the map of the one week itinerary around Lisbon and its surroundings; we recommend to have a car, maybe you could rent a car at Lisbon airport.
Itinerary: 200 km | Duration: 1 week | Best time: all year long
Take your time on your first day, just like local people do: try to fit with the way locals live their life and start the day by sipping a coffe at one of the many cafes in Rossio Square, in the Baixa district of Lisbon.
Take Rua Augusta and do some window shopping; once you have crossed Rua Augusta Arch you will access the elegant Commerce Square, which used to be the main gateway to the city.
Walk around the square and enjoy its unique atmosphere; if you close your eyes you should be able to picture many ships coming and sailing towards far away lands.
After grabbing a bite it is time to explore the historical soul of Lisbon; go up to São Jorge Castle which overlooks the city from the top of a hill. Take at least two hours to visit the castle and enjoy the amazing panoramic view from there.
Once you have finished your visit stroll around the Alfama district, the most traditional district of Lisbon; the best way to visit this mix of houses along the side of a hill is to get lost among its streets and to be seduced by the magic atmosphere of this timeless place. Admire its multitude of roofs during the sunset from one of its panoramic terraces, like the Miradouro de Santa Luiza.
You must be hungry by now; don’t leave Alfama: there is no better way to end your first day in Lisbon than to enjoy a romantic dinner at one of its several traditional restaurants, maybe followed by a concert at a casa do fado.
On your second day leave Baixa and go to Belém, a neighborhood located a few kilometers away from the old city. Start your day with a coffee and a pastel de nata at the historical Belém pastry shop, then visit the charming monuments around the area.
Along the shores of the Tagus river you will find the majestic Belém Tower as well as the Discoveries monument, a huge white stone caravel celebrating the main protagonists of the maritime adventures of Portugal. Go all the way to the top of the monument to enjoy a great panoramic view over Belém.
Not too far from here there is another famous Belém attraction, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos: this magnificent monastery, which was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built for order of King Dom Manuel I to celebrate the epic venture of Vasco da Gama.
Take the famous tram 28 to tour around the historical neighborhoods of the city, go up and down the steep streets of Lisbon, and travel so close to houses that you will feel like touching them.
Take a power nap at the hotel as you will need more energies to enjoy the movida at Barrio Alto, the nightlife district of Lisbon. Do like locals: go from bar to bar, have your drink on the street and keep chatting away until late at night.
On the next morning go back to Barrio Alto: at this time of the day it looks so different. Visit the Convento do Carmo, an appealing church without the roof; take one of the cable cars of the district, whether it is the Elevador de Bica or the Elevador de Santa Gloria and admire the panoramic view over Baixa from the Miradouro de São Pedro Alcantara.
During the afternoon change atmosphere by visiting the Park of Nations, the modern area of Lisbon built to host Expo 98. Don’t miss a visit to the Oceanàrio, one of the world’s biggest aquariums as well as one of the most visited attractions of Lisbon; here there are more than 15.000 animals, including sharks, rays, penguins, clownfishes…
Tips on your Lisbon itinerary
Do you want to shape an alternative 3 days itinerary in Lisbon? Follow our two weeks itinerary around Portugal.
To have more info to plan your visit to Lisbon, click on the links below:
Leave Lisbon and in a short time you will reach the Palace of Queluz, a splendid royal palace richly decorated in rococò style that was renamed the “Versailles of Portugal”.
After visiting the rooms and the garden, head towards Sintra, a small town surrounded by the green landscape of the Sintra-Cascais natural park. Sintra is one of the main gems of Portugal; it was acclaimed by writers and loved by nobles who decided to move here and built magnificent palaces.
Many tourists visit Sintra on a day trip; however, this romantic city deserves at least one night due to the high concentration of cultural and landscape attractions located in such a small town.
Start by visiting the most famous one, the Palacio da Pena, a fairy palace perched at the top of a steep hill from where you can enjoy a stunning view of the ocean; it can be easily identified thanks to its pastel yellow, pink, and violet walls.
Enjoy the sunset at Parque da Pena, the forest around the castle as well as an impressive landscape gardening project designed by king Don Fernando II. Finally, go to the center to enjoy your dinner. As soon as you have finished stroll around the center and enjoy the unique atmosphere of Sintra by night.Accommodation in Sintra
On the following day visit another wonder of Sintra, the eccentric Quinta do Regaleira: a 19th-century villa surrounded by Gothic-romantic gardens with statues, fountains, ponds, caves and decorative elements that relate to mythology, alchemy and masonry.
Spend the rest of your time in Sintra visiting other attractions of the city like the Palácio da Vila (o Palácio Nacional), the Castelo dos Mouros and the Convento dos Capuchos. Now you are ready to jump back on your car and reach the suggestive Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Continental Europe.
There is nothing on this cliff located 140 meters above the sea level but a 19th-century lighthouse and a small coffee bar; however, its isolated position makes Cabo da Roca so charming. Listen to the waves of the ocean crashing against the rocks and the wind blowing on you face; you will really feel like being at the edge of the world.
The sixth day is dedicated to the sea or, better said, to the ocean that plays a key role in the history and the identity of Portugal. The beaches of Portugal have a unique and very suggestive charm.
Do not miss a visit to the charming beach towns of Cascais and Estoril. Besides the two most popular coastal cities, it is worth to make a stop in the Costa da Caparica, a long sandy shore where the beaches are wilder and wilder. Stop also in Sesimbra, a fishing village that became a very popular holiday destination among Portuguese families.
Go back to Lisbon to enjoy the last day of your holiday. Go shopping along the elegant Rua do Augusta, around the streets of Baixa or in Rua Garrett, in the Chiado area. Enjoy the other numerous attractions of Lisbon.
The Portuguese capital has so much to offer; you could choose to cross the river and climb on top of the famous statue of Cristo Rei (Christ the King, which takes inspiration from the statue of Rio de Janeiro), relax on a river cruise, walk around the city park or visit one of the manu museums around the city.
Among the most interesting museums we recommend: Fado Museum, Azulejos Museum, Maritime Museum and the Lisboa Story Centre. Football lovers can’t miss a visit to Museo Benfica, housed inside the historical Luz stadium.