With a gorgeous coastline, yellow trams clattering through the centre and countless thigh-burning hills, there’s nowhere quite like Lisbon.
Probably my favourite European city, Lisbon is a feast for all the senses. The brightly-coloured streets are a marvel to look at, you’ll hear Fado music brimming from all corners and, when your feet get tired, you’ll have a chance to sit back and taste deliciously creamy pastels de nata along with incredible Portuguese wine!
There are so many things to do in Lisbon – but how do you put them all together if you only have one day? Here’s my full guide!
Breakfast at Audrey’s
Forget Breakfast at Tiffanys… in Lisbon, the only place to eat breakfast is Audrey’s!
A gorgeous restaurant with an outside seating area, this eatery serves avocado toast, bacon sandwiches and eggs done multiple ways.
With hot coffee and fresh, zesty orange juice, Audrey’s is the perfect place to tuck into breakfast.
Free Walking Tour
Once you’re fuelled up, I’d recommend kicking off your time in Lisbon with a free walking tour.
GuruWalk offers a range of free walking tours in Lisbon, the most popular being the historical walk around the city centre.
This will take you around the city, telling you intriguing tales such as when the city was flattened due to the earthquake in 1755, and how that still has impacts on the city today.
These walking tours are free, but it’s expected that you leave your guide a fairly generous tip.
Lunch cocktails at Bahr
You’ve had a dose of history, and now it’s time for lunch!
I love Bahr, a rooftop restaurant with amazing views over Lisbon and the Atlantic Ocean.
I had a delicious burratta cheese salad and washed it down with a couple of espresso martinis. Of course, along with the extensive cocktail menu, there’s a range of Portuguese and imported wines.
Half-day trip to Sintra
Although this itinerary focuses on one day in Lisbon, I am going to recommend that you head out the city for the afternoon.
Sintra is around an hour away, and trust me, it’s well worth the side trip.
A true fairytale castle, Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, built on the site of the Moorish Alcazar in the 15th century.
You can walk around the castle at your own leisure – there are plenty of spots within the rooms and the grounds.
When you’ve finished, it’s an easy train journey back to Sintra!
OR Trip to Belem
Another option is a side trip to Belem. This is closer than Sintra – in fact, it’s technically a suburb of Lisbon.
Belem is where a lot of Portuguese explorations set off from, which makes Belem Tower another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to the 16th century, this tower is one of the most important maritime buildings in Europe.
While you’re in town, check out Pasteis de Belem.
This is where the first pasteis de nata were made – and today they are still the only people with the original recipe for the egg custard tarts.
To this day, only four people know the exact recipe!
You can either explore Belem independently or by doing another walking tour with GuruWalk, who also operate in the suburb.
Alfama is the oldest district in Lisbon, and it’s a must-visit while you’re in the Portuguese capital.
As you walk around the winding streets, you’ll find curious tales of illicit sailors and be able to take in stunning views of the city.
Dinner and drinks at Damas
Sitting in the heart of Alfama is Damas, an edgy tapas restaurant.
Serving cocktails, wine and beer at the bar, you can also enjoy a range of veggie, vegan, fishy and meaty tapas dishes.
It’s a chilled out spot to soak in Lisbon’s alternative atmosphere and toast to an excellent day in the European capital!
Where to stay in Lisbon
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Lisbon, I have a few recommendations:
This budget-friendly guesthouse has cosy rooms with bright and airy windows, along with very helpful staff who will go above and beyond to ensure that you have a comfortable stay. Read more here.
Moxy Lisbon City
This hotel is a great mid-range option in the heart of Lisbon. With modern rooms boasting comfy beds and a rooftop pool, there’s all you need for a comfy stay in the heart of Lisbon here! Read more information here.
Browns Avenue Hotel
One of the best luxury hotels in Lisbon, Browns Avenue boasts stunning features like rooms with comfy beds and en-suite bathrooms with roll-top baths and an opulent swimming pool. Click here to read more about it.
There’s so much to enjoy in Lisbon – and while you need a lifetime to see it all properly, there’s plenty to enjoy in just one day too! Hopefully this guide has helped you to start planning your trip to the Portuguese capital!