Day 1 in Lisbon
Welcome to Lisbon! Upon arrival, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!
Begin the afternoon with lunch in one of the many cafes to be found though out Lisbon. Afterwards, we recommend that you get acquainted with the city by choosing an optional tour such as 'Lisbon Hop-on Hop-off Tour: 48 Hour Ticket', where you will have the opportunity to discover the main sights and the beauty of this wonderful city aboard double decker open-top buses; or take a trip back in time with a ride on Lisbon's historic Tram 28. The tram route takes you through many of Lisbon's finest districts including Baixa, Graca, Alfama and Estrela, but most visitors use it to climb the steep hill from Baixa to Alfama. The tram passes the Sé de Lisboa Cathedral and the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, the most famous viewpoint in the Alfama, before reaching the Castelo de São Jorge.
This evening, after wandering the maze-like streets of Alfama, you may want to experience a performance in an authentic Fado house or continue on the tram to the Estrela district to see the magnificent Estrela Basilica. From Estrela, we highly recommend taking a taxi to 'Senhor Vinho' Fado House in the Lapa quarter. No visit to Lisbon is complete without spending a night in a local tavern listening to the melancholic sounds of this traditional folk music!
Day 2 in Lisbon
Wake up early today to see the highlights of the city with our optional tour 'Lisbon Guided Walking Tour'. Or begin the day at Praça do Comércio, where you can catch the tram to Belem to visit the cloisters of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), an UNESCO World Heritage site, before stopping for one of the famous custard tarts at 'Antiga Confeitaria de Belem'. Then take the underpass from the monastery's gardens to the Discoveries Monument and along the waterfront from there to the Torre de Belem (also an UNESCO World Heritage site). While in Belém, be sure to see one of the major sights of Lisbon, the Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum).
Afterwards, stop for lunch at one of the many hip restaurants to be found in Docas, the dock area below 25 de Abril Bridge along the river in Alcantara between Baixa and Belem. From here, head back to Cais do Sodre and hop the metro to the stunning Oriente Station. Walk along the waterfront to admire the impressive modern architecture of the Parque das Naçõs, including the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which is the longest in Europe; or ride the cable car that runs the full length of the site, parallel to the river, offering unrivaled views along the way. (Time permitting, visit the Oceanarium). Later, you may want to visit the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (Tile Museum), which is housed in the monastic buildings of the Madre de Deus Convent or São Vicente de Fora Church.
This evening, enjoy a savory kettle of fish, called cataplana, or clam stew served in the style of the Algarve at 'Café Martinho da Arcada' in Praça do Comércio (a favorite haunt of the literati since 1782). Or take in an authentic Fado performance at one of the Fado houses located in Alfama (if you have not already done so).
Day 3 in Lisbon
Begin the day back at Praça do Comércio (also known as Terreiro do Paço), designed by the Marquês de Pombal following the 1755 earthquake. From here, stroll up Rua Augusta and do some shopping in this lovely pedestrian area. To the west is the Chiado, the city's most sophisticated shopping district. Rua Augusta leads into the Rossio (formally called Praça de Dom Pedro IV), the main square of Baixa. Here you can admire the paved cobblestones laid out in wave patterns while enjoying bica (espresso) and pastries at 'Café Nicola' or join locals for shots of ginjinha (cherry liqueur) at 'A Ginjinha' on Largo de São Domingos. From the Rossio, head northwest to the adjoining square, Praça da Câmara. Then continue north to Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon's main thoroughfare, past Praça dos Restauradores, all the way to Praça do Marquês de Pombal, with its monument to the prime minister who rebuilt Lisbon.
This afternoon, stop for a picnic lunch in a 'Green Lung' (public park), like Parque Eduardo VII, before exploring the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, one of the world's finest private art collections, which includes masterpieces of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian and European art. Time permitting, you may want to visit the Campo Pequeno as well. Afterwards, head back downtown to see the splendid baroque chapels of the São Roque Church followed by a stop at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara for sunset over the city.
Finally, take the Elevador de Santa Justa from Baixa to the buzzing Bairro Alto for panoramic views over the city as well as dinner and drinks. Later, enjoy a port wine tasting at 'Solar do Vinho do Porto', near the Glória funicular. The lista de vinhos includes more than 200 types of port wine and is an amazing way to end your stay in Lisbon!
Additional Days in Lisbon
Should you be able to spend additional days in Lisbon then head for Sintra, 'glorious Eden' as Byron called it, and the most visited sight in the Lisbon area. Spend the day exploring the Palácio Nacional de Sintra and the Palácio Nacional da Pena. Or slow your pace a bit with a morning at the beach at Estoril on Portugal's Costa do Sol. Then continue along the coast to Cascais for lunch. After lunch, wander around the old fishing village, now a major resort.
Those interested in Roman Catholic sights might also want to include a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima with our optional tour 'Fatima, Nazaré and Óbidos Small Group Day Trip from Lisbon' where you will have the opportunity to visit the Basilica with the tombs of Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta; the Apparition Chapel, heart of the Shrine; the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the fountain of the Holy Water. You may also have time to attend mass. In addition, you will visit the fishing village of Nazaré and the walled city of Óbidos.
You may also consider 'Small Group Evora Day Trip from Lisbon with Olive Oil Tastings' where you will discover this historic town (an UNESCO World Heritage site) and visit some of the most important monuments: the Roman Temple, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral, Saint Francis Church with the 'Bones Chapel' and the University. Following lunch, you will depart to Almendres Cromlech, one of the largest groups of standing stones in Europe, dating back to 4000BC.
Your Last Day in Lisbon
Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel, in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.