What To Do In 24 Hours In Lisbon - My Highlights

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Dear Aviator,

Are you planning a city trip in Europe? Then you should definitely consider Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. It is one of my most favorite cities in Europe. I like it there so much that I  would even consider living there. One of the reasons is the warm climate and around 300 sunny days in the year. My job as pilot and many vacations took me to Lisbon many times; so I know places you must visit during your trip. You will find all my recommendations in this article: “What To Do In 24 hours in Lisbon – My Highlights”. Enjoy the best Lisbon city guide! 😉

Wake up in an apartment 🏠


For the most authentic Lisbon experience, you should live like a local in an apartment and not in a hotel. At 08:00 you open your window blinds with a fresh cup of coffee and let the sunshine in. I would recommend staying in the centre of Lisbon so you can reach the main attractions on foot. Every district has its own charm but if I had to choose I would prefer the Alfama or Santa Katalina district. Don’t wake up too late. You are in Lisbon and there is so much to discover. You can sleep when you are back at home. 

Tip: Airbnb is a good place to book your apartment. Make sure to read the reviews before booking. Unfortunately, I had some bad experiences in the past as well.

Viewpoint Santa Catalina 🏙️

09:00 – 09:30

Lisbon is the city of viewpoints!  Due to the compact size of the city, you can comfortably discover Lisbon by foot. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and be ready for many ups and downs on your way, as the landscape is hilly. The viewpoint Santa Catalina gives you are a very nice first impression of Lisbon.

Breakfast in Santa Catalina 🍳

09:30 – 10:30

For me, this is the most important meal of the day. That’s why I love to have a healthy take-off into a new day. I have two places for you I totally recommend for breakfast. Both offer delicious meals and they look very fancy. 

Avocado House

Fauna & Flora

Tip: Especially on weekends, breakfast locations are very busy. I would recommend reserving a table if it is possible.

Ponte 25 de Abril & Cristo Rei 🌉

11:00 – 12:00 

You have not been to Lisbon when you have not driven over the eye-catching bridge, called Ponte 25 de Abril. Critics would say they copied the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco –  which they actually did. One could think that Portugal is a copycat 😉 The Cristo Rei statue situated next to the bridge is a copy of the one in Rio de Janeiro. You can take an inexpensive Uber ride to the other side of the river Tejo and enjoy the scenic ride of the bridge. Make a stop at the Cristo Rei, take the elevator up the statue for a one of a kind view of Lisbon. It really gives you a very good overview of the city. 

Tip: Uber and Freenow work but sometimes there is a long wait. Local taxis are inexpensive as well and they mostly accept credit cards.

Torre de Belém & Padrão dos Descobrimentos 🏛️

12:30 – 13:30

Two spectacular monuments are situated close by in the neighbourhood of Belem. 

The Torre de Belém is a 16th-century fortification located in Lisbon that served as a point of embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers and as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.  

The monument of the Discoveries is a monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon. Located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and the Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Tip: It is within walking distance to get from one monument to the other.

Pasteis de Belém 🥧

14:00 – 14:30

Sightseeing always makes me hungry! Make a stop at the famous café in Lisbon for the most famous sweet dish of Portugal – Pasteis de Nata. Definitely go inside for the full experience. You can even have a glimpse inside the bakery. Do not try asking how they make those tasty Pasteis de Belém – the recipe is a secret and lies in a vault. Only a few people know the exact amount of ingredients. 

Tip: Take a seat inside instead of queuing at the takeaway counter. Inside it is huge and you can rest your feet while having a snack and a Galão (milk coffee).

Electric scooter along river Tejo 🛴

14:30 – 15:00

Take an electric scooter (LINK). You can rent them throughout the city from different providers. The ride along the river in the direction of the old town is very beautiful. Just follow the bike road. On the way, you pass by the impressive building of the MAAT museum (a must-visit when you have more time) and the Ponte do 25 Abril.   

Praça do Comércio & Elevador de Santa Justa🗽

17:00 – 18:30

Stop with your electric scooter at the Praça do Comércio, a breathtaking square on the riverside. From this point, you can start your stroll through the centre of Lisbon. You can explore numerous architectural highlights like the Elevador de Santa Justa and the Praça do Rossio.

Tip:  If you are ready for a snack again – Stop by Feel Rio, a café that offers tasty Brazilian food like Açai bowls, traditional Coxinha and delicious Pão de queijo.

Alfama & Miradouro de Santa Luzia 🌸

17:00 – 18:30

The neighbourhood of Alfama with its steep narrow picture-perfect streets is absolutely worth visiting. Your destination should be the viewpoint of Miradouro de Santa Luzia in Alfama. You can walk your way up or if your feet are getting tired, take the iconic tram 28 up the hill. It is a vintage adventure and the ride is very picturesque. The tram is still fitted with original parts from 1930. 

São Jorge Castle 🌇

18:30 – 20:00

Now it is time for another highlight! The São Jorge Castle is a must-see place. Human occupation of the castle hill dates back to at least the 8th century BC while the first fortifications built date from the 1st century BC. Since the 12th century, the castle has served as a royal palace, a military barracks and now as a national monument and museum. The view you get from the ancient castle walls is the best you can possibly imagine. You see the river Tejo, the Cristo Rei, the bridge and the entire city. Get a drink and sit down and watch the sunset. At this moment I am getting goosebumps because it is so beautiful.  

20:30 – 22:30

Seen Restaurant 🐟

It is time for dinner! Get dressed in a fancy outfit and enjoy your evening at the Seen Restaurant. It is located on the rooftop of the Tivoli hotel. Not only the location is upscale but also the price. BUT it is worth every cent. The food, the ambience and again the views were perfect. Do remember to book this place beforehand.

Go out 🎉

22:30 – open end

You definitely would miss out on something if you went to bed now. Socializing has a very high priority in Lisbon. In the evening people gather in the narrow streets, meet in bars and party all night long. Especially on the weekend, the Bairro Alto district is crowded with young people. The famous Pink Street (the street is painted in pink) with numerous bars which are always busy. If you prefer it more relaxed, you can go back to the Alfama district to listen to the famous Portuguese music Fado.

Plan a visit in the Spring or Autumn. During the summer months, it can get extremely hot and therefore, unpleasant. My recent stay was in November, and we just had sunny weather with approximately 20 degrees – Just perfect for sightseeing. I would recommend staying at least 4 full days in Lisbon. 

I wish you a great trip to Lisbon. Till then, have a safe trip my Aviators

Happy landings

Your PilotPatrick