48 Hours in Lisbon

Beautiful, vibrant and fun, Lisbon is a fantastic destination to visit for a 48 hour city break. The city is packed with gorgeous old buildings, covered in ornate tiles and has some of the best city views you’ll ever see.

Food wise, the custard tarts are of course a must-try, the cheese is divine, and if you’re into fish, Bacalhau (Salted Cod) is a delicious traditional dish. The Portuguese wine is fantastic too!

There are plenty of things to do in Lisbon city centre, but if you fancy a day trip out of the city, or would like to head to the beach, this 48 hour guide to Lisbon will show you that there are options for you too!

Here’s E’s 48 hour guide to Lisbon.


Emma Spencer in front of a Lisbon Tram in her 48 hour guide to Lisbon


How To Get Around


From the airport – Located right next to the airport, the metro is the easiest and cheapest way to get into the city. It’s clean, easy to use and feels really safe, so it’s a great and quick way to get to where you need to go.

Around the city – Lisbon is quite a small city so it’s easy to walk around while you explore. Alternatively you can catch one of the trams, which the city is known for, or jump on the metro.


A tram driving up a hill in Lisbon


Where to Stay


Brown’s Central Hotel – Located in the centre of Lisbon city, Brown’s Central Hotel is a luxurious, yet affordable, place to stay. You’ll immediately fall in love with it’s charming decor as soon as you walk into the hotel, it’s so quirky, cool and perfect, it honestly looks like a movie set. Read our review of Brown’s Central Hotel.

Palacio Belmonte – Looking for something unique and elegant with a touch of history? Palacio Belmonte could be the place for you. Located within the walls of São Jorge castle, the hotel’s luxurious suites have the best views of Lisbon city.

Pessoa Lux Hotel – The words fresh, crisp and modern immediately come to your head when you see this boutique hotel in the heart of Lisbon. You’ll definitely love their rooftop restaurant/bar, which has panoramic views of Lisbon.


Emma Spencer from The Emasphere leaning back on a balcony


Where to Eat & Drink


Time Out Market – Hello foodie heaven. With Lisbon’s best restaurants under one roof, this is the place to go if you can’t decide where to go for lunch, dinner or even a drink. The options are endless, however you’d be crazy not to get a 1 Euro custard tart from Manteigaria.

Naked – Craving a healthy meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner? This all-natural, flexitarian spot is your place to go.

Bairro do Avillez – By one of Portugal’s most renowned chefs, this unique eating and drinking spot has four different areas including Taberna, for those who would like a large Portuguese meal; Pateo, a seafood lover’s heaven; Beco, high-class cuisine where you can watch a show; Cantina Peruana, where Peruvian food and drinks come to life; and the Grocery Store where you can pick up a yummy treat.

Chapito a Mesa – Enjoy Portuguese food, while taking in panoramic views of Lisbon city.

Quick tip: Check out the Instagram Lisboa.come for more delicious food/drink tips.


A hand holding an ice cream


What To Do & Where To Go


Baixa and Chaido- Best areas for historical sites

Principe Real – Great for vintage shops and the botanical garden

Bairro Alto – Old part of Lisbon; lively area for good restaurants and nightlife

Alfama – Lisbon’s oldest quarter, Alfama is very romantic and is full of windy streets, cute houses, amazing views and local restuarants.

Belem – Head to Belem for a half day and visit Tower of Belem and the Pasteis de Belem, a famous patisserie

Museu de Azulejo – The national tile museum, which is a must-see to check out the beautiful tiles Lisbon is known for

Castelo de S Jorge – Get your walking shoes on and walk up to this stunning look out point. Take in the views of the city, and get lost down the surrounding streets, where you’ll find Instagrammable spots and yummy ice cream shops.

Price:  Around 10 – If you don’t want to pay to go in, simply walking around this area is a fantastic thing to do anyway!

Elevador da Bica – A little tram, which travels up a super steep hill in Lisbon. Head here for a great photo and for a fun ride on the tram either up or down the hill.

Sintra – Head to Sintra for a day trip where you can visit the fairytale-like palace and gardens of Quinta da Regeleira, and see the mountainous views and colourful tiles at Pena Palace. 

Carcavelos Beach – Fancy a beach day? With gorgeous golden sand and fantastic surf warves,  Carcavelos Beach is one of Lisbon’s most popular beach spots.

Cascais – On the same train line as Carcavelos Beach, Cascais is a cute little coastal town, just west of Lisbon. Head here for sandy beaches, a wonderful marina and pretty white-washed houses. 

Pink Street – The old ‘red light district’ is an amazingly Instagrammable location due to it’s pink street. It’s quite appropriately named Pink Street.


Emma Spencer wearing a polka dot skirt and standing in front of a tram


Words & Phrases to Learn


This 48 hour guide to Lisbon would not be complete without teaching you a little about the Portugese language. Whilst English is spoken fairly widely, learning just a few simple Portuguese words will certainly enhance your visit to Portugal.

Saying – Hello

In Portuguese – Olá

Pronounced – Oh-la


Saying – Goodbye

In Portuguese – Tchau

Pronounced – Chi-ow


Saying – Thank you

In Portuguese – Obrigado

Pronounced – Oh-bri-ga-do


Saying – Please

In Portuguese – Por favor

Pronounced – Por-favor


Saying – How are you?

In Portuguese – Como você está

Pronounced – Co-mo vo-seh es-tah


Saying – Do you speak English?

In Portugese – Você fala inglês

Pronounced – Vo-seh fah-lah een-glez


To help you out, we’ve create a short Portugese cheat sheet for you to save to your phone and take along on your trip to Lisboa!


Portugese Language Cheat Sheet for your 48 hour trip in Lisbon

If you want to stretch your vocal chords a little more, check out 10 essential Portugese phrases over at Culture Trip.



Wondering what to wear for your trip to Lisbon? Check out my Lisbon outfit diary or head to my Travel Shop. Xx

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