A wonderful European city break, there are plenty of things to see in Lisbon in 2 days! No doubt, you have been wanderlusting over Lisbon’s architecture, colourful tiles and palaces on Instagram, with a folder full of the most Instagrammable places in Lisbon.
In this post, I’m sharing all the best things to see in Lisbon in 2 days, including iconic Instagram photo locations, which can be explored in as little as 2 days in Lisbon (map included too!)
Exploring the Best Instagram Photo Spots during 2 Days in Lisbon
Social media has taken over and these days more people than ever are using the app Instagram as a tool to find their perfect holiday destinations. Whilst the images portrayed on social media can often be far from the truth, it’s so satisfying being able to track down an Instagram sightseeing spot you’ve been lusting over online. In this post, I have hunted down the most Instagrammable places in Lisbon so you don’t have to!
Lisbon Itinerary 2 days
When visiting a country with a warm climate, it’s sometimes hard to get us Brits away from the beach. Prior to visiting Lisbon on a recent birthday trip, the two previous trips I’d made to Portugal, I had only stayed in the Algarve (which is beautiful.) Whilst the Southern Algarve Coastline has the most gorgeous golden beaches, I couldn’t wait to check out what else Portugal has to offer.
Whilst two days in Lisbon doesn’t sound like much time to explore, many of the main sightseeing spots are within close proximity; therefore you can really make the most of your time in Lisbon.
A favourite pastime of mine, Shopping in Lisbon is amazing! Packed full of my favourite holiday shops such as Stradivarius; Lisbon has lots of unique finds too! In terms of shopping (we all know I like to shop), Lisbon is very similar to Barcelona and with heaps of culture thrown in, it’s the perfect birthday city break.
Adam and I had a lovely time in Lisbon, but a girl’s weekend in Lisbon would also be ideal as there’s only so much shopping Adam can take!
There is so much to see and, for those looking to spend more time in Lisbon, check out this 3-day itinerary for Lisbon.
Love finding Instagram locations as much as I do? You may want to check out Instagram locations in Rome.
Santa Justa Lift Lisbon
One of the closest attractions to our Lisboa boutique hotel (bar the Carmo Convent church ruins) is the Santa Justa Lift, which gives us tourists some fantastic panoramic shots over the city. Unfortunately, queues are often quite long. With so little time, you don’t want to waste your two days in Lisbon queuing to get those Insta shots!
Luckily for you, I’ve shared a sneaky tip to avoid paying full price, as well as, shown you a way of beating those annoying queues in my Lisbon YouTube video *click here.*
In terms of Lisbon’s Instagram locations, the Santa Justa Lift is a great photo for your Lisbon holiday album, but I did not see any benefit in queueing and paying to reach the very top. I hope you find my hidden way to explore the Santa Justa Lift useful!
Rua Augusta Arch Lisbon
The beautifully constructed Rua Augusta Arch is one of many examples of the stunning architecture located in the centre of Lisbon. The Arch is the perfect backdrop for those iconic Instagram pictures.
Castelo De Sao Jorge Lisbon
Though the castle is only around 15 minutes walk from the Rua Augusta Arch, it’s an uphill climb! To save time and valuable energy during our two day Lisbon trip, Adam and I opted for a tuk-tuk up to the castle, paying our driver Pedro 10 euros for the fun ride (another highlight of my Lisbon Youtube video).
The castle has the most amazing views of the city, with the 25 de Abril Bridge (Lisbon’s Golden Gate Bridge replica) visible in the distance.
Peacocks are meandering around in the castle grounds or can be seen perched on the branches of the trees. I don’t know what it is about peacocks but they seem to be a holiday staple this year and, seeing them in Lisbon reminded me of Lokrum; the peacock inhabited island in Croatia.
The castle and grounds are an Instagram dream, but there is a Portuguese food speciality you definitely need for the gram!
If you’re feeling peckish when you leave the castle right outside is The World Needs Nata; a cafe dedicated to Portuguese speciality pastéis de nata (custard filled pastry tarts.)
Further down is a cute little ice cream parlour adorned with traditional tile walls and an amazing selection of ice cream. I chose one scoop of pistachio (my fave flavour from Croatia) and one scoop of cinnamon.
You will find azulejo tiles all around Lisbon and whilst I have not pinpointed any specific Lisbon Instagram photo spots for tiles in this post; you most definitely want to get some pictures! The best place to head for pretty pictures of the tiles I’ve been told is Alfama, which you can reach on the very Instagrammable Tram 28!
Trams in Lisbon
You can’t go to Lisbon without capturing an iconic tram pic for your Instagram and, whilst there’s plenty of opportunities, the best place I found was the Elevador Da Bica located on Rua Da Bica De Duarte Belo. This tiny street is perfect for those iconic shots.
Some of the trams even do tours, which seems like a great way to explore the heart of the city during a two day Lisbon break.
Looking for somewhere to stay in Lisbon? Check out my review of The Lisboa Pessoa Hotel.
25 De Abril Bridge Lisbon
All the San Francisco vibes with this Golden Gate worthy bridge! If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would be convinced this was California’s own Golden Gate Bridge!
I couldn’t spend two days in Lisbon without seeing this bridge and reliving our memories of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge.
The bridge is quite a way out of the city and we were lucky to see it for ourselves on a custom tour with Traveling to Portugal. If you can see it, it’s well worth a visit.
The bridge is located right next to Cristo Rei; a replica of Christ the Redeemer and given to Portugal as a gift from Brazil.
Spending more than 2 days in Lisbon? Why not check out: Things to do in Ericeira
No trip to Portugal is complete without visiting Sintra, it really is one of the most Instagrammable places in Lisbon. After lusting over pictures of Sintra on Instagram, I knew I had to see it for myself!
Full of ancient castles and fascinating history, Sintra almost looks like it’s been plucked straight out of a fairytale. Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, it’s undeniable beauty provides a welcome break from the city.
Adam and I booked the Sintra tour with Alex from Traveling to Portugal, who picked us up directly from our hotel.
Pena Palace Sintra
The first stop on the Sintra Tour is Pena Palace, which is a wonder to the eyes. This vibrant palace is adorned with beautiful Portuguese tiles and statues and is so colourful!
Easily the most Instagrammable place in Sintra, It looks like something straight out of a fairytale with turrets and sweeping views to match.
Quinta de Regaleira
Quinta de Regaleira is a complete contrast to the bright, opulence of Pena Palace. For its unique structure combines the influences of Renaissance, Egyptian and Moorish characteristics.
Whilst there are many fascinating places with myths and legends in Europe, as well as world heritage sites in Lisboa, I was most intrigued by Quinta de Regaleira‘ s gothic architecture and mysterious labyrinth of initiation wells.
Quinta de Regaleira is Alex explained the unique history of the estate, thought to be previously owned by a Freemasons leader who used the web of tunnels beneath the estate for secretive initiation rites.
The tunnels, which would be pitch black back in those days (we got the feel for it doing an evening tour) were used to determine the bravery of the initiates. Legend has it, the initiates’ destiny would be determined based on the tunnel they emerged from. Each tunnel is based on one of the four elements: fire, earth, air and water.
As we took all four tunnels, it’s hard to say what our destiny will be. Though, I’d like to think the air element meant we would be flying somewhere, fire meaning somewhere hot, water meaning we can have a dip in the sea. All in all, we will be able to see more beautiful places on earth. We can all dream!
As you’ve probably gathered, one of the tunnels will take you to water, but there are stepping stones to get across (if I can do it in a dress anyone can!)
Quinta de Regaleira is fun for all the family and reminded me of the intrigue I had with films like The Labyrinth and when I first read the Harry Potter books. Whilst completely different to Pena Palace, Quinta de Regaleira is most definitely a Lisbon Instagram photo spot you don’t want to miss!
Now, there’s one place on the Sintra Tour that we didn’t make *sad face* Cabo da Roca, which is the most westerly point of mainland Europe. It’s my own fault for leaving the trip until last minute, thus missing out on an incredible opportunity to take stunning pictures of the cliffs at sunset. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake!
I’d highly recommend the Sintra Tour and I’ve detailed Traveling to Portugal’s contact info below if you fancy booking your own trip:
Traveling to Portugal
Another Lisbon Instagram spot that caught my eye is the Belém Tower. Belém is located just outside of Lisbon and is easy to get to by train/tram. We took train number E15 from Lisbon to Belém and the stop is located over the road from the Time Out Market (a great foodie find!)
Leaving the train, you will see the stunning architecture of the Monteiro dos Jerónimos, which like the Belém Tower is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Both attractions are a wonder to see and we managed to get some fantastic shots of the Belém Tower at sunset (6pm) when the crowds are less busy.
The detail of the Monument of Discoveries is impressive up close and another benefit of visiting Belém late afternoon is that you can get some fabulous pictures of some of Lisbon’s best sunset spots.
We enjoyed a drink overlooking the water and picture perfect sunset, a very scenic way to end a day exploring Lisbon.
The tram back is located in front of the famous Pasteis de Belém, providing a good reason to tuck into more nata!
The ‘hippie’ area, LX Factory is located under the 25 de Abril bridge and not wanting to miss out on this trendy location, we made an impromptu stop on our way back from Belém by getting off the tram at stop 53.
Visiting the LX Factory at sundown is a good time to visit, as there is a bar overlooking the bridge with the most incredible views, which is where I captured this beautiful Instagram shot.
The LX Factory has a selection of restaurants, vintage shops and concepts stores as well as a very cool bookshop.
The street art at the LX Factory is a wonder to see, I captured some great photos and now I want to return to find more B0rdalo art!
Curious about how to spend 2 days in Porto? Check out the amazing street art in Porto (Portugal’s second city) – click here to read.
Where to eat in Lisbon
After all the sightseeing, we found ourselves tucking into something tasty at the Time Out Market on a couple of occasions. You choose your restaurant, find a seat and tuck in! It’s a great way to grab something quick if you’re on the go.
Want more of a feel for Lisbon? Check out my Youtube video:
Now you know where to head to capture the photos for your Lisbon Instagram feed, you’re well on your way to having a gallery full of photos! During my two day trip to Lisbon, I took in excess of 1K photos and videos!
Lisbon or San Francisco
Lisbon caught my eye as a travel destination as I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to San Francisco; which I loved when I visited last year. You may be thinking this is an odd comparison, but I’ve detailed all eight comparisons on my below guest post for icelolly.com:
Things to to see in Lisbon in 2 days
Who else is guilty of lusting over travel destinations on Instagram?! Well now you know what to see in Lisbon in 2 days, where will you be heading first?
I hope you found this Lisbon 2 day itinerary with the best Instagram photo spots helpful!
If you did, please use the sharing icons to help my blog be seen by a wider audience or pin for a later date!
Curious about exploring 2 days in Porto (click here!) Can’t choose between Porto and Lisbon for your next Portugal city break? I’ve compared the two Portuguese cities in my Porto Vs Lisbon post (click here to read.)
*The SanDisk IxPand Base was a gifted product, though as always thoughts on products received are always my own.*
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