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How to Spend 3 Days in Lisbon

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How to Spend 3 Days in Lisbon
With three days in Lisbon, you’ll have the chance to really get a feel for local culture and history, with plenty of time to explore the city’s art museums, experience its UNESCO-listed monuments, and listen to fado music. Plus you can journey into the beautiful Portuguese countryside. Here’s how to maximize three days in and around Lisbon.

Day 1: Getting to Know Lisbon
Spend today familiarizing yourself with the city and its major sights. A popular way to get your bearings is by riding Tram 28, Lisbon’s iconic yellow tram that weaves through many picturesque old neighborhoods. Note that lines to board can be long, especially during summer, so you might opt for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour or guided walking tour instead. Don’t-miss attractions include Belem Tower (Torre de Belém) and Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), UNESCO World Heritage Sites and fine examples of Manueline architecture. Other top sights include Sao Jorge Castle (Castelo de São Jorge), a Moorish castle with gorgeous city views, and Carmo Convent, a ruined church housing an archaeology museum. However, for many visitors, the real charm of Lisbon is found wandering its cobblestoned streets, particularly in the Alfama and Barrio Alto neighborhoods, both known for charming architecture and enchanting fado music performances.

Day 2: Day Trip to Sintra and Cascais
For good reason, there are loads of private and small-group day tours from Lisbon to Sintra, a city full of old gardens and villas that have collectively earned UNESCO World Heritage status. Attractions include beautiful Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena), a yellow-hued structure that mixes myriad architectural elements, from Egyptian to Gothic; the Monserrate Palace (Palacio de Monserrate); and the Gothic estate of Quinta da Regaleira. There’s enough here to easily warrant a full day, with plenty lunch and shopping spots, though many travelers who want to make the most of their time in the region choose tours that also visit Cascais. Like Sintra, this old fishing town is full of lovely (but not nearly as ornate) architecture and charming little streets, not to mention a sandy beach. It’s a popular weekend getaway for Lisboans and a great place to relax, wander, or sample fresh seafood.  

Day 3: City Museums or Countryside Excursions 
How you spend your final day depends largely on your interests. Art and history lovers may want to stick to Lisbon, checking out some of its noteworthy museums. Popular choices include the National Museum of Ancient Art (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga), full of centuries of Asian and European art, and the Berardo Museum (Museu Coleção Berardo), known for its contemporary and modern art and installations. Those who are eager to get out of the city, however, should opt for a trip to Fátima, home to one of the world’s most important Virgin Mary shrines—it marks the spot where Mother Mary allegedly appeared to three local children. Many travelers choose to hit up both attractions in a single day, and tours to the area often stop at other important religious sites en route way, including the Cistercian Monastery of Alcobaça (Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça) and the Batalha Monastery (Mosteiro da Batalha).
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Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from LisbonDay Trips

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Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon

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See Portugal's natural and architectural wonders on a small-group, guided tour of Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon. On this journey, experience the rich vegetation of Sintra Natural Park, the hidden trails and caves at Pena Park and the bluffs of Roca Cape. Tour the immaculate Pena National Palace and then drive along the Atlantic Coast to Cascais for a leisurely walk through town to its scenic beaches.
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  • 8 hours
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Best of Lisbon Guided Walking TourWalking Tours

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Best of Lisbon Guided Walking Tour

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Stroll Lisbon’s historic cobblestone streets filled with intrigue and culture during this Lisbon guided walking tour. Walk the city’s oldest quarter, Moorish Alfama and art deco-style Chiado districts. This Lisbon walking tour is exceptional for first-time visitors who want to experience rich culture and see landmarks like the Sé Cathedral and Commerce Square. Plus, stroll to the city’s best cafes and boutiques with your expert guide showing you local ‘Lisboa.’
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Booked by 9,426 travelers
  • 3 to 4 hours
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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City Sightseeing Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus TourHop-on Hop-off Tours

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City Sightseeing Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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Enjoy the best comprehensive tour of Lisbon on this hop-on hop-off tour. This tour takes you to Lisbon’s stunning attractions and allows you to sightsee at your leisure. Enjoy a relaxing drive aboard a comfy coach, plus listen to an on-board commentator deliver interesting factoids about Portugal’s capital.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
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Sintra Private Tour Half DayHalf-day Tours

Sintra Private Tour Half Day

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See a different side of Portugal during this private 4-hour tour of Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon. Your private driver will pick you up from your hotel and whisk you off to the picturesque town of Sintra, where you can wander its historical center, and visit several important monuments. Wander through the Regaleira or Monserrate palaces or tour the historic Noorish Castle. You can gaze out at the sea from the westernmost point in Europe and see the towns of Cascais and Estoril. Transport will be provided in your choice of car class.
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  • 4 hours
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Divine Fátima Full Day Private TourDay Trips

Divine Fátima Full Day Private Tour

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Experience a unique part of Portuguese history during this private full-day tour to Fátima. Famous for a sighting of the Virgin Mary experienced by three young children in 1916, Fátima has become an important pilgrimage for Catholics worldwide. Your first stop is the town of Aljustrel. Next, head to Valinhos, where the apparitions appeared. Feast on a delicious Portuguese lunch before continuing on to the Parish Church and Fátima Sanctuary. Spend the afternoon wandering other important monuments to the apparition, including the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima and the Chapel of Apparitions. Your guide returns you to your preferred drop-off destination at the end of the tour.
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  • 9 hours
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Small-Group Évora Day Trip from Lisbon with Olive Oil TastingsDay Trips

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Small-Group Évora Day Trip from Lisbon with Olive Oil Tastings

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Explore the ancient Roman city of Évora and savor an amazing olive oil tasting on this small-group guided tour from Lisbon. From Portugal's capital, venture east across the Vasco da Gama Bridge which spans the Tagus River and see top attractions in Évora such as Giraldo Square and St Francis Church. Savor smooth olive oil at a complimentary tasting and then journey to see one of the largest free standing stone monolith collections (menhirs) in the world in Almendres Cromlech. Enjoy plenty of attention from your guide on this small-group tour with numbers limited to eight people.
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  • 9 hours
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Sintra, Pena Palace and Cascais Half-Day Trip from LisbonDay Trips

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Sintra, Pena Palace and Cascais Half-Day Trip from Lisbon

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Experience Portugal’s most beautiful attractions on this half-day guided tour of Sintra, Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena) and Cascais from Lisbon. Near Sintra you must experience one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders, the spectacular Pena Palace standing atop a hillside. With a guide discover fascinating stories about this palace and Portuguese history in general. You will also visit the lovely beach town of Cascais and admire picturesque views in Cabo da Roca, the westernmost extent of continental Europe.
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  • 5 hours
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  • 5 hours
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