I do think that it’s worth staying in Lisbon more time to explore it properly. There are lots of nice places to be discovered in the city itself and in the suburbs too. However, I noticed that many of my clients make a stop-over in Lisbon and continue travelling somewhere else. So, they don’t have so much time to spend in the city. Thus, this is a plan I suggest if you have to visit Lisbon in 2 days.
Visit Lisbon in 2 days
First, I would suggest checking the historical area, since it’s the most symbolic part of the city. You can start with exploring the old district of Alfama, the only one that survived the earthquake of 1755 and therefore preserved its original beautiful architecture. Just stroll along beautiful narrow streets, check some viewpoints , or eat in a typical portuguese restaurant called tasca. You can also visit the Pantheon (it offers an amazing view from the top), or shop for antiques at Feira da Ladra. I have a separate post on Alfama recommendations here.
After that you can take the old tram 28 in the direction of Estrella (you can check with the driver if you feel confused), and get off at Praca do Commercio. Alternatively, you can also walk there, it’s not that far, especially if you like walking 🙂 Praca do Commercio ranks as one of the most beautiful squares in all Europe. It faces river Tagus from its southern part and opens the way to many iconic landmarks. You should also climb up the Arco da Rua Augusta to admire the symmetry of the streets and the view of the river. There are many sights in this downtown area that you should check out if there is extra time – shopping street of Rua Augusta, Rossio Square, Baixa and Bairro Alto area.
On the second day I recommend checking a more modern part of the city – Parque das Nações. You will be surprised how different Lisbon could be!
Parque das Nações is located in the northeast of Lisbon, not far from Portela Airport. This is a district of modern architecture, that was constructed in 1998, when EXPO World exhibition took place in Lisbon. Now this area includes several museums, residential buildings, an exhibition center, a park, a cable car, a commercial center and it’s just a pleasant area for a nice walk along the Tagus river.
You should also visit beautiful station Estação do Oriente, which is a work of art, created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The station connects with one of the biggest shopping malls in Lisbon – Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama.
There is a Telecabine or cable car along the Tagus River and it’s worth taking a ride at least one-way. Its duration is 1.23 km. One-way trip is 8 minutes. The opening view over the river and Lisbon is lovely.
Don’t forget to check Oceanário de Lisboa which is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. There are 2 floors with permanent and temporary exhibitions, built around a huge central aquarium, which is truly magnificent. It houses hundreds of species, including several types of sharks, manta rays and colourful tropical fish.
Afterwards, you can go for a walk along the river and enjoy the quietness of the Parque Tejo.
As you can see , when you come to visit Lisbon in 2 days, it’s possible to see the main sights, but the sightseeing would be quite intensive 🙂