One Day in Lisbon

Table of Contents

What to do in one day?


Lisbon has beautiful marble-stone sidewalks. Some of them have gorgeous wavy designs and some of them are just mixed chips. They are a little slippery when dry and they are very slippery when they are wet. Wear flat shoes and make sure that your shoes have rubber soles.


Do you like to walk? Wake up early so that you can enjoy that beautiful morning light and head over to the River Tejo and walk to Belem.

25 de Abril Bridge

25 de Abril Bridge

This walk is flat and it’s by the river so you will enjoy different views like the 25 de Abril Bridge, sail boats, the beautiful Museum of Art and Architectural (MAAST), ferries, people running and other walkers.

MAAT Museum of Art and Architecture

MAAT Museum of Art and Architecture

You can also rent a bike and ride over but you will need to find a place to drop off your rental.


Pastéis de Belém

This is the famous place that bakes those absolutely delicious Portuguese custard tart. Pastéis de Belém has other things to eat too so if you don’t want to start your morning with all that sugar you will other choices. Go inside and to the back where they have tables.

If you just want a quick coffee and custard tart you can stay at the front of the bakery where you can eat standing up.

They have been voted the best bakers for this custard for many years but… They do have serious competition from a place in the Chiado and I’ll have all the links at the bottom of this post.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimo Monastery)

Jeronimo Monastery

This beautiful monastery is about 2 blocks from the Pastéis de Belém. If you want to go inside you must get a ticket online and I suggest arriving very early for your visit because it gets packed!

Things to do in Belém by the water

Padrão dos Descrobimentos (Discoveries Monument)

Discovery Monument

Cross the park and walk over towards the water where you will see a huge monument called the Padrão dos Descrobimentos (Discoveries Monument). If you stand in front of the monument and look at the ground you will see a large map of world containing all the countries that Portugal discovered.

Torre de Belém

Torre de Belém during a low tide

Torre de Belém during a low tide

Keep walking and you will need to do a zig zag but stay by the water until you reach the Torre de Belém (Belem Tower)

Belem has many things to see and I have added a link below but:

Remember this is a one day in Lisbon so lets head on to the other side of Lisbon. Take a taxi or Uber or something equivalent to the Castelo de São Jorge

There are two options for your drop off:

1) At the actual castle or as close as possible

2) At the elevator on Rua dos Franqueiros 170-178 where you will get off on the last floor. Once you get off, go to the street and turn left and an immediate right.  You will see a building with a sign of the Pingo Doce and that is where you want to go in and take the second elevator, again to the last floor. Follow the signs up the hill to the hill to the castle.

People enjoying the castle view during sunset

People enjoying the castle view during sunset

The Castle has the most beautiful views of Lisbon. Lisbon has 7 hills from where you can view gorgeous views of the city and this is a special one! Depending on how much time you have you can just walk around and take a quick look at their collection and head down or stop for a coffee and enjoy your surroundings.

Leaving the Castelo de Castelo de São Jorge: Walk down!

Pick and choose any street and enjoy the Alfama neighborhood.  This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon where you can still see how people lived before the big gentrification in the area.

Alfama (leaving the Castelo de São Jorge)

Alfama (leaving the Castelo de São Jorge)

Things to keep an eye on as you go down the hill: The Se Cathedral, the National Pantheon and If you want to extend this visit there are museums, restaurants but keep walking down because it’s probably around lunch time.

Once you get to the bottom of the hill: Walk (about 20 minutes +) or take a taxi to a different hill: Chiado for lunch.

Lunch Time!

My favourite place is the Bairro do Avillez in the Chiado (Link with address below). This is a concept by Chef Avillez and he has several options for you.

Taberna in the Bairro do Avillez

Taberna in the Bairro do Avillez

You can have a more sophisticated meal a the Patio or a lovely tapas lunch at the Taberna. Eat at the tapas restaurant because you have some more sightseeing to do.

Largo do Carmo

When you finish your delicious lunch walk down the hill to the Largo do Carmo square and the Carmo Convent. Spend some time enjoying the Largo do Carmo square’s architecture  You will like the colorful buildings around it and it’s a festive place at times.  I have been there when there was a lively jazz band playing and other times it was just fantastic to people watch and hear historical bits and pieces shared by tour guides. I suggest a visit to the convent or what is left of it due to the Lisbon’s earthquake in the 1700’s. The structure is breath taking. They have a lovely collection and a small bookstore.

Time to go up the hill a bit. Go towards the restaurant Bairro do Avillez and keep going up until you reach the Praça Príncipe Real Square.

Praça Príncipe Real

You will enjoy another beautiful view of Lisbon but most important you can see the Castelo de São Jorge from here. So now you have just gone up your second hill in Lisbon!

The Castelo de São Jorge from Príncipe Real square

The Castelo de São Jorge from Príncipe Real square

Keep going up a bit more to visit the lovely garden: Jardim França Borges and it’s also known as the Jardim do Príncipe Real. It’s a lovely garden.

By now it’s must be getting pretty late in the day but if you still have time and if it’s still open: Go to the Botanical Garden. It’s a few blocks away from the Príncipe Real garden.

The Príncipe Real area has some nice cafes where you may want to stop for a break. If you still have some energy walk down the hill and this is what I suggest: Walk to the Príncipe Real square. This is where you could see the castle. Pass the square and to your left you will see a steep street that you can walk down or get the tram down. It’s a short tram ride and the walk may take you 10 minutes.

Avenida Liberdade, Rua Augusta Triumphal Arch, Praça do Comercio

Rua August Arch

At the bottom of the street is the Avenida Liberdade where you will see gorgeous trees, designer stores and more cafes. Turn right and about 2 blocks down you will see the unique train station: Estação do Rossio. Lovely architecture! Keep walking down towards the Rua August Triumphal Arch and then onto the Praça do Comercio.

Just a note

This is a day packed with activities and you may not be able to see it all. But if you get a taxi whenever you can I believe that this is possible because I did it! I was exhausted by the end of the day but I loved it.


If you still have energy for dinner I’ll suggest my favourite fish place: The Cervejaria Ramiro.

If you want to see lots of people and try different type of food head on over to the Mercado da Ribeira.


Some Links for you:

Google Map for the water front walk


Pastéis de Belém

Castelo de São Jorge

Praça Julio de Castilho walking Google Map

Lunch at the Bairro do Avillez

Walk from Largo do Carmo to Praça Principe Real Google

Lisbon’s Botanical Garden

Dinner: Cervejaria Ramiro , Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out)

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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