There’s something magical about the city of Lisbon. With its rich history and vibrant personality, this coastal city is a must-see for history, architecture, food, and music lovers alike. Cobbled alleyways that lead to ancient ruins, rolling hills palaces are centuries-old palaces dotted with beautiful ceramic and breathtaking tile work—Lisbon is an endless source of inspiration, and this city will put a spell on you.

The Portuguese capital is conquering the spotlight with a provocative mix of centuries-old architecture and forward-thinking design. Here, all the most beautiful places you need to visit for a memorable 48 hours gateway in Lisbon.

Sunrise at the Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Getting up early while on vacation should be illegal, I know. But I promise you that the view of the sunrise over the Miradouro de Santa Luzia will literally take your breath away.

Early birds will be rewarded with the most spectacular scenery on one of the highest points of the city. The views are simply breathtaking, with the historical center, the red rooftops, and the pastel-colored houses of Alfama.

At this hour, the high chances are that you’ll have the viewpoint entirely to yourself. What a glorious way to start exploring Lisbon!

Feira da Ladra to Alfama

Suppose you want to start breathing the Portuguese essence after an early wake-up call. In that case, I can’t recommend enough a stroll in Feira da Ladra to Alfama, only two steps away from Miradouro da Senhora da Graça.

The Feria da Ladra – literally meaning “the thief’s market – is one of the most famous in the Santa Clara district. And for a good reason.

In this colorful, open-air market, I found some of the most unique gifts. Here you’ll find a bit of everything, from hand-made artisan goods, CDs, books, clothes, coins, military objects, antiques, and furniture. The fair has been around since the 13th century, and the best bargain is right around the corner!

Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte

I just couldn’t get away with Lisbon’s viewpoints! They held something magical, and their enchanted atmosphere will make you feel like you just stepped into another dimension, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte is one of the best belvederes I’ve ever visited, which is clear judging from the number of tourists and visitors waiting with their smartphones in their hands.

Cais do Sodré

After all this walking, I couldn’t help but stopping by what became one of my favorite spots in Lisbon: Cais do Sodré. Once a seedy area of Lisbon, this riverside district has been reborn as one of the coolest hubs in Lisbon, with its club, bars, original shops, and restaurants – including Time Out Market, one of the most lively points in Lisbon for food lovers, music enthusiasts and cultural fans alike.

If you’re wondering what to eat in Lisbon, let me tell you that I’m still dreaming of their delicious Bifana Sandwich. Unless you’re vegetarian, you can’t miss this iconic Portuguese sandwich made of sautéed, marinated pork packed inside a crispy roll. Add some French fries and a glass of Port wine to complete the ultimate Lisbon meal.

If you’re not that into meat, I would definitely encourage you to try the famous Bacalhau, a popular food staple and part of Portugal’s culinary heritage.

The shredded cod is mixed with potatoes, eggs, onions and garnished with chopped parsley, garlic, and olives.

Visit the MAAT

Loaded with energy (and calories!), it’s time to walk along the riverside area leading to one of the newest museums in town: the MAAT.

What I loved about this museum is the incredible selection of art and architecture masterpieces, perfectly blending with technology exhibitions and futuristic vibes.

The MAAT has become one of Lisbon’s most popular sights, also thanks to its charming, white-tiled building, which resembles a wave rising towards the river.

MAAT Museum Lisbon
MAAT Museum Lisbon

Sunset at Belem

What better way to end the first day of your trip to Lisbon than with a glorious sunset at Belem?

This corner of Lisbon is at the heart of Portuguese history and the site of maritime legends. From here, in the 15th century – Portugal’s Age of Discovery – the explorer Vasco Da Gama set sail for India, making his hometown one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Because the fortified tower in Belem lies directly on the banks of the Tagus, I enjoyed one of the most spectacular sunsets of my life. When the sun sets and the city lights start to shine, the vibrant colors of the sky will offer you an unforgettable and priceless moment to cherish forever.

Pastéis de Nata

I started my last day in Lisbon with what has clearly become an addiction: the Pastéis de Nata.

This addictive delicacy is becoming famous all over the world. And I can understand why! These eggy custard tarts, notable for their bright yellow color, caramelized crust, and creamy texture, are undoubtedly one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever had in my life.

Indulge in one of the many pastelerias throughout Lisbon: However, my favorite bakeries remain Confeitaria Nacional, Manteigaria, or Pastéis de Belém.

Ride on the electric 28

I can’t think of any better way to end your 48 hours trip to Lisbon than a ride on the electric tram 28, a scenic route passing through the popular tourists’ districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela.

These antique electric vehicles have kept their original charm and are now one of Lisbon’s most iconic symbols.

While the picturesque mustard-yellow tram rattles and screeches through the narrow alleys of the city, you will enjoy the beauty of Lisbon’s neighborhoods and hidden secrets.

The entire route from Martim Moniz to Campo de Ourique takes approximately one hour, and you can stop at Praça do Comércio, one of the most magnificent squares in Lisbon, with the southern side facing the out over the Tejo Estuary.

Lisbon is a treasure trove. Like a bottomless crate, it holds infinite surprises. Either about art, architecture, food, or culture, this magical city has stolen my heart.

For more travel tips and hacks, make sure you don’t miss our travel guides!

How to fly to Lisbon

Lisbon International Airport (LIS) is Europe’s 20th largest in the continent in terms of number of passengers.

It’s the main hub of TAP Air Portugal which offers some great rates and reward tickets thanks to Aeroplan. The airline connects Toronto and Montreal to the Portuguese capital.

Of course Air Canada has direct flights from Toronto and Montreal at good redemption rates of less than 33,000 Aeroplan points per way.

Montreal to Lisbon direct flight with Air Canada using Aeroplan points
Montreal to Lisbon reward flight with Air Canada using Aeroplan points

Where to stay

The former metallurgy factory DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lisbon – Fontana Park is steps from Saldanha metro station. The hotel is close to the historical city and major shopping areas. Rooms from 109 euros.