3 Day Guide to Lisbon – A Portugal Paradise

Whether you are a Portu-gal or a Portu-guy, you are sure to have the time of your life in Lisbon. If you don’t like stupid jokes like that, might be best to find another article. Our goal in writing this is to give you the perfect 3 day guide to Lisbon, but also to try and have a sense of humor about it!

The way we organized this guide is the exact way we experienced our 3 days in Lisbon. Why? Because we did all of our research ahead of time, and found out that this was by far the best 3 day itinerary a person could devise. Also, because we had an AMAZING time, and if you follow our guide, you will too!

Day 1 – São Jorge Castle

Here’s the first thing you’ll notice when you get to Lisbon. The city is built on an enormous hill. If you are driving in, like we did, you’ll also notice the narrow winding roads that all of Europe is known for!

Also like us, if you are driving a manual car and you kind of suck at shifting, Lisbon might not be the place for you! Or, just get an automatic. Lots of hills and stops and stops on hills.

On Day 1 of your trip, you’ll want to get your bearings straight, and seeing the Lisbon’s central castle will do just that. The São Jorge Castle is located in central Lisbon atop a perch that overlooks the ENTIRE city.

From above, Lisbon is a sea of orange roofs leading to a sea of… water. The Ocean. From the São Jorge Castle you will be able to see it all. You can point out your hotel or Airbnb. You can look at the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge and say ‘hey that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge!’, which you and every single other tourist will do.

In addition to the unbelievable view of the city spread before you, São Jorge is also fascinating to tour. How far does history go back in this bad boy? Back when years needed a ‘B.C.’ after them. Yeah, this is old.

Back when this was built, people were pooping in buckets and getting the flu meant a lot more than a few days in bed binge-watching Netflix shows. Take some time to walk-through the castle appreciating all of the history, all of the battles fought there. History-altering battles between neighboring armies over who would control Lisbon. Battles between vacationing parents and their spoiled, bored kids who didn’t get an ice cream cone. Historic.

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St. Jorge Castle had the best view in all of Lisbon. We had no idea how big Lisbon was until we arrived. Zach proceeded to stall the car up every. single. hill. All the way through town, and we wonder how people know we’re tourists?? We felt like we were back home in Chicago with the amount of times we got honked at! 🚎 Today Zach finally finished our free SEO guide! F-R-E-E as in keep that wallet firmly planted in your butt pocket and read everything we know about SEO. And all of it will be super easy to implement, guaranteed! We will be sharing it over the next few days, so please stay tuned! 💻 Joke of the day is actually just a quote, actually 2: “I find that a duck’s opinion of me is largely influenced be whether or not I have bread” and “I want to hang a map of the world in my house, then put pins into all the locations I’ve traveled to. But first i’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map, so it won’t fall down.” Anyone know the genius comedian behind these quotes?? Hint: he is from Minnesota! 🤣 ***** #lisbon #loves_portugal #unlimitedportugal #igers_portugal #visitportugal #lisboalive #lisboa #iloveportugal #traveltogether #travelingcouple #coupleswhotravel #stjorgecastle #stjorge #lisbonviews #bestcityviews #super_portugal #portugalalive #portugallovers #ig_portugal #super_lisboa #ok_portugal #amar_portugal #portugal_de_sonho #amoteportugal_ #estaes_portugal #wu_portugal #portugal_em_fotos #icu_portugal #portugaligers #lisbonlovers

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After you have finished exploring the castle, and getting a minimum of 10 pictures to flaunt on Instagram, it is probably time to get some food. Our recommendation? Head down near the waterfront. The Lisbon coast has some fantastic dining.

We found that our favorite thing to do was to not have a plan of when and where to eat. We perused the city, and when we got hungry we found a place to eat. We asked locals for their recommendations of the best food in each area, and they did not once disappoint.

Day 2 – Explore the Town

Waking up on Day 2 you’ll be thinking ‘wow, Day 1 at São Jorge Castle was pretty unbeatable, I’d better just sleep in because it is all downhill from here’. Guess again, my friend. You couldn’t be more wrong.

While it may be ‘downhill’ in the fact that the rest of Lisbon is literally down a hill from São Jorge, your trip is about to hit the jets. Day 2 is meant for exploring the city, getting into each nook and cranny that makes Lisbon one of the most unique and beautiful places in Europe.

Pink Street

Pretty literally named. It is a street. That is pink. Pink Street!

Sounds kinda funny, but in reality it is really cool! What really defines Pink Street is that the night life on Pink Street is where the extreme party animals get their rocks off. Think Amsterdam meets Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Be ready to enjoy yourself.

If you are going to Lisbon to party, you had better head to Pink Street at night. If you are planning a family getaway, head to Pink Street for some pictures during the day, and stay outside a 2 block radius after the sun goes down.

Comércio Plaza

Comércio Plaza is a wonderful waterfront plaza. One thing the pictures may betray, it is ENORMOUS! You could fit a few football fields in the plaza and still have room for all of the restaurants and coffee shops that currently call this place home.

Full disclosure: the pictures below are all over Lisbon, not just Comércio Plaza and Pink Street. We had the time of our lives walking around the city, exploring everywhere we could get our hands on! Head out with an open mind and some laced-up walking shoes, and we know you will have the time of your lives too!!

Ponte 25 de Abril

The Ponte 25 de Abril sounds like a date, or a point, we couldn’t really figure out why it was named this (update: an extremely easy Wikipedia search revealed that it was named to commemorate a revolution, the more you know!).

The bridge truly does look very similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco, but this bridge is extremely impressive in its own right. Head along the waterfront beneath the bridge and experience the power of this half-monument half-highway for yourself!

Belem Tower

Near the Ponte 25 de Abril is the Belem Tower, a monument which you really have to see to believe. This baby is over 500 years old and still proudly standing… in the water!

How did they even build this thing 500 years ago in the middle of the water?! Unbelievable! The aliens must have helped them after they finished the pyramids and Stonehenge.

We took a stroll around the tower and got the view from a few different perspectives. There was quite a line to get in, and we felt that there couldn’t be enough inside that was worth waiting in line and skipping a wonderful Portuguese meal, so we skipped the inside tour!

Day 3 – Ursa Beach and Cabo da Roca

Well well well, here we are at day 3. You’ve made it so far on this journey, maybe you’re ready to go a little bit further. We hope you do, because day 3 is going to be absolutely epic.

Rent a Scooter

The long, windy, hilly roads of Lisbon are not ideal for someone driving a manual who doesn’t know how to drive it. These roads were basically built for scooters though! Extremely maneuverable, simple-to-drive, wow-that-looks-more-fun-than-walking scooters!

We rented from Cooltra in the center of town, which we would highly recommend. The service and price were excellent, and the scooter worked perfectly!

Another recommendation we have: once you’ve rented the scooter, head down to the waterfront and cruise along the coastal road. Use this road as much as possible. It is the widest road in Lisbon (did not fact check that) and is full of beautiful views.

Okay, yes scootering around town is a blast. And it is possible to see so much in a short time. However, we’ll admit we buried the lead. Here is the main reason to rent a scooter: Cabo da Roca and Ursa Beach.

Cabo da Roca and Ursa Beach

Full disclosure: Cabo da Roca and Ursa beach are not in Lisbon proper. Also full disclosure: this was our favorite part of the trip. It is worth checking out, trust us

Here’s the rub, you are going to have to drive there, but that’s why you got the scooter! Below is a map from the center of Lisbon to Cabo da Roca. We recommend taking the coast road there, but if you prefer the direct route then you do you!

What is so cool about Cabo da Roca? Well for starters, it is the westernmost part of Europe! There is an awesome monument which the tourists congregate around, great for pictures and being able to say ‘hey, I went to the westernmost point of Europe! Here I can prove it check out this picture. Ohh hold on that one is my dog, oh that’s my dog too, here it is!’

What else is awesome about Cabo da Roca? Well, do you enjoy rocky cliffs that lead to crystal blue waters? Do you enjoy imagining the voyages that began here, sailing west to America (or Asia) with Cabo da Roca as the last land seen on the entire Atlantic Ocean? How about filling up your phone with Instagram-worthy photos? One of those had to float your boat…

Located just 1 kilometer north of Cabo da Roca is Ursa Beach (Praia de Ursa in Portuguese). An extremely quick scooter, or even a beautiful walk if you prefer.

Now, let’s get one thing out of the way: Ursa Beach is a nude beach. Of course you don’t HAVE to get naked, but if you aren’t mature enough to see some chicken breasts and polish sausages, then maybe Ursa Beach isn’t for you.

One more thing: you will have to hike down a bit to get there. After all, Cabo da Roca is on a hillside cliff, and Ursa Beach is on the Atlantic shore. Of course you have to hike down a bit. It isn’t extremely challenging, but you might break a bit of a sweat. Which is great because you can run right into the Atlantic when you get to the bottom!

We don’t say this lightly: Ursa Beach is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes on earth. Looking ahead: crystal blue water, the only thing between you and North America. Looking behind, grassy hillsides dotted with lush green trees. Looking side to side: rocky cliffs jutting out of the water, wave after wave crashing in a magical explosion of visual power. This place will knock your socks off, and maybe your bathing suit too…

Bonus – Morena Beach (Praia Morena)

If you have a free day, and want to just spend your vacation lying like a sandy log on a beach, we have the answer for you. Morena Beach is located south of Lisbon, along a sandy section of the Atlantic shore.

We wanted to spend our last half-day in Lisbon lounging about, re-charging before the hustle and bustle awaiting us back home. Morena Beach was perfect for that. We sat by the beach, got lost in a good book, and enjoyed each other’s company for a few hours. It was the perfect cherry on top of our Lisbon excursion before piling back into the car.

Aaaaaand there you have it, my friends! You have just read the (not-to-toot-our-own-horn but totally-to-toot-our-own-horn) perfect 3 day guide to Lisbon, Portugal, and are ready to have an epic adventure of your own in this wonderful city! Enjoy!

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About the author

We are Zach, Julie, and Kobe, the creators of Ruhls of the Road! We would love to hear from you, send us a message!

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