Hi everyone! I recently went to Barcelona and did a day trip to Lisboa (or Lisbon) Portugal since it is a short flight. Ideally, I would love to spend more time in Lisboa but I was able to tackle all the major attraction areas I wanted in just a day. I’m going to share my itinerary below with the major attractions I did so that way you would be able to maximize your day trip 🙂
G E T T I N G T H E R E
Flying to Lisboa from Barcelona is so easy. I booked my flights online through Google Flights and it took me to the airline’s website to book it. It was about $100 roundtrip. We booked our flights literally two days before so I’m sure it would be much cheaper if you book it in advanced. The flight was only about an hour and we tried to take the earliest flight to maximize our time.
Pro Tip: Read the fine details for airline baggage. Some domestic airlines through Portugal allow only personal items only since it’s a small flight so you would have to pay extra for carry on or check in bags. I had to bring a big carry on just for the day for my outfit changes and so that I have room to shop lol. There are luggage storage places we used in Lisboa too so you can travel light. I’ll talk more about that below.
R O S S I O
S Q U A R E
This is one of the main square/plaza that we went to straight from the airport. It is near the train station and also has luggage storage areas where we put our luggage and shopping bags so we can explore leisurely without heavy luggage. In this square, there are plenty of souvenir shops, as well as restaurants and cafes. There is even an official Portugal football (soccer) store where I purchased and official Christiano Ronaldo t-shirt! Hahaha I know I know, total fangirl.
S A N T A
J U S T A
L I F T
Okay from far away, it just looks like an old elevator but the views up top are worth it! We got to Lisboa pretty early and wanted to go here first since I heard the lines get pretty long. When we got there 15 mins before opening at 9am, there were already a line of like 20 people in front of us. We waited probably about 15-20 minutes and the elevator runs every 10 mins. The elevator ride cost about $6 USD and it includes the view for the balcony. The elevator fit like around 20 people on there and it was a really short ride with basically like no views lol. When we got off the elevator, we had to go up these narrow stairs and then OH MY GOODNESS! The views were just so beautiful and amazing. They do limit how many people go up there at a time so you don’t have to worry about crowds or anything like that.
Pro Tip: If you don’t care for the elevator and the line is ridiculously long, go to the end of the line and then cross the street to their souvenir shop. If you go into the shop and go up that elevator, you can walk on the bridge past the little coffee shop to where the Saint Justa lift drops off. You would just have to pay the entrance fee of about $2USD.
A R C O
D A R U A
A U G U S T A
This is about a 7 min walk from the elevator lift which has lots of shopping and dining (outdoor dining too) so you can always stop in to explore. This is a major tourist historical monumental arch that is totally instagrammable.
P R A C A
C O M E R C I O
Keep walking past the arch towards the water and you will see this grand plaza. I actually have no idea what goes on in the building but it is so colorful and beautiful. There are bus stops here and you can even hop on and off the pretty and colorful trolleys!
M A N T E I G A R I A
E G G
T A R T S
You CANNOT go to Portugal without eating at least one of this… and trust me, you would want to eat like 5 of them. It is a famous Portuguese pastry that has a creamy custard filling with a flaky crust. They are served warm and pairs really well with coffee. You can even see them make it in the shop, which is a pretty cool process.
C A S T E L O
S. J O R G E
This is a ticketed attraction which cost about $15 USD. It is so worth it because you get to explore the historic castle and also witness pretty amazing rooftop views. As you walk around the stairs and the castle, there is one section that has “windows” you can look at from. This is where I took the picture below and it almost looks unreal… like a whole portrait! Outside the castle, there are souvenir shops as well as cafes so you can grab a bite. The castle is located on top of a hill so be careful when walking down and up.
P I N K
S T R E E T
Even if pink is not your favorite color, you have to check it out because it is super colorful and it is home to lots of bars and nightlife. It is definitely really pretty during the day because it is nice and bright out but if you prefer to go out at night, there are lights at night. If you put in “Pink Street” or “Rua Nova do Carvalho” in google maps, you can easily walk to find out. Trust me, you won’t miss the pink street.
J A N I S
C A F E
This is within walking distance to Pink Street and Time Out Market. It is a restaurant with an outdoor window cafe and dining area. I was attracted to this cafe because it has matcha lattes and if you don’t know, I am obsessed with matcha lattes and it is pretty rare to find in Portugal.
T I M E-O U T
M A R K E T
I don’t talk much about food because we usually just walk around and find food whenever we feel like it but this market is a must! If you are familiar to the Reading Terminal, this is an indoor food court with so many different food vendors. They offer more than just Portuguese food: they even have Thai and Italian. You can also grab some drinks and desserts!
M I S C
There is so much to do so if you walk around and explore, you will come across lots of restaurants, cafes, attractions and shops. If weather permits, there are lots of outside dining especially around the Arch and main plazas. For shopping, there is a store I love called “Pull and Bear,” which is kind of similar to Topshop and Zara. In addition, they do have a Brandy Melville store where they have cropped and regular t-shirts that says Lisboa on it. Perfect for souvenirs! In addition, I felt safe walking around but just be careful with your belongings. Zip up your purse and keep it in front of you.
G E T T I N G A R O U N D
For the most part, we walked around since everything was walking distance and we prefer to walk to explore shops along the way. The only thing that was further out was Castelo de S. Jorge just because it was all the way on top of a hill. For this, you can take a taxi, trolley, or even a Tuk Tuk. A Tuk Tuk is like a mini taxi/rickshaw where it is completely open. They do offer tours for this but we said we just wanted to go straight to one destination. Fair warning, they are not the safest driver and the ride gets pretty bumpy so put on a seat belt and take some motion sickness medicine if you’re prone to it. Furthermore, there are lots of taxis who understand English. They take cash and some even take
P A Y M E N T
In Portugal, they use Euros for currency. Most places accept credit cards but some are cash only. I always exchange my money when I’m home with my bank to get the best rate but there are plenty of currency exchange places in Portugal. Just do some research because some exchange rates are absurd and will rip you off.
W H A T T O P A C K & W E A R
I had a carry on luggage for my clothes and to make room for shopping. I also had a bigger backpack I carried with me to put clothes for me to change to for my outfit changes. I wanted to make it super light so I wore my leather jacket and vans with every outfit. My outfits were dresses and skirts so pretty light and easy to fold in my backpack. Please wear comfy shoes because you will walk a whole lot on cobblestones and there are a lot of steep uphills and downhills!
L U G G A G E S T O R A G E
If you’re staying for longer than a day, then this won’t be a problem. I knew we were going to have a long day so we decided to leave some stuff in a locker so we can travel light. We chose the Rossio Square Station locker storage that was inside the train station. It was super easy to use but warning: it is cash only and keep your receipt because you will need the confirmation number to open the lockers.
I know that was lots of info all at once so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me! I do recommend doing your own research and putting everything in Google Maps to calculate distance and if it is walkable. Have fun and be safe 🙂