7 Days in Portugal: Lisbon and Porto Itinerary

Planning your first trip to Portugal? This 7-day Portugal itinerary keeps it simple with visits to Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra!

All of these cities are definitely worth a visit! Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It’s a vibrant city and its charm will pull you in – think winding streets, sunny squares, and cool neighborhoods.

Porto’s got amazing wine and riverside views. And Sintra? That’s where fairytales are made!

Portugal is my favorite country in Western Europe. Even though it’s a small country, I’m always finding new things to see and do every time I go back.

porto and lisbon itinerary

My Lisbon and Porto itinerary includes the best places to visit in each of these popular, Portuguese cities, where to stay and find great food, tips from my personal experience, and the best way to get around.

Keep on reading if you want to plan an unforgettable week-long trip to Portugal.

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One Week in Portugal Itinerary

In just one week, you can see the top sights and attractions in Portugal’s two largest cities. This 7-day Portugal itinerary includes four days in Lisbon with a day trip to Sintra and three days in Porto.

You can begin your trip in Lisbon and end in Porto, or reverse this itinerary if it makes more sense to do so.

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It’s a vibrant city full of beautiful architecture, historic landmarks, colorful buildings, fun nightlife, and cool neighborhoods.

In just four days, you can experience the best of what Lisbon has to offer. This suggested itinerary includes the best things to do in Lisbon to make the most of your short stay.

Day 1 Overview

  • Arrive in Lisbon and check into your hotel.
  • Learn the history of the city on a walking tour.
  • Try a Portuguese restaurant for dinner.
  • Watch the sunset in the Alfama district.

Day 1 Lisbon Itinerary

On your first day in Lisbon, you will check into your hotel or other accommodations. If you’re arriving by plane or overnight train, you’ll probably be tired, but it’s best to stay up as long as possible to avoid jet lag!

If arriving by plane, it’s likely you’ll fly into the Lisbon Airport. There is a direct metro line from the airport to the city center. It’ll take about 20 minutes to get into downtown.

Most hotels will allow you to leave your luggage behind the front desk. It’s better to leave your non-valuables here so you don’t have to lug them up, down, and around the hills of Lisbon.

Your first activity of the day will be a walking tour. A Lisbon walking tour will help you get your bearings straight and learn some of the city’s important history at the same time.

Most walking tours will take you through Bairro Alto and Alfama. Alfama is one of the oldest and most traditional neighborhoods of Lisbon and there are many popular attractions here that should be on your Lisbon itinerary.

You’ll visit places like São Pedro de Alcântara, San Roque Church, Carmo Convent, Santa Justa elevator, Portas do So, Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, and the Lisbon Cathedral, which is the city’s oldest church.

lisbon and porto itinerary

The local guides are always amazing and will give you the best recommendations for delicious food in the area.

After your guided tour ends, head to one of the local restaurants recommended by your guide to have an early dinner.

If you forget to ask, some of the best places to eat in Alfama are Lisboa Tu e Eu 2, Taverna Alfacinha, and Alfama Cellar. All of these are open late and serve good food! For a taste of local flavors, try Arroz de Pato (duck rice) or Bacalhau à Brás (shredded cod).

Once you’ve finished dinner, it might just be time to catch the sunset. During the summer months, the sunset in Lisbon is usually between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Two of the best places to watch the sunset in the Alfama district is the São Jorge Castle, a Moorish fortress offering panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River, or Miradouro de Santa Luzia, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Lisbon.

After a long first day, it’s time for bed. But, if you’re not feeling tired just yet you can immerse yourself in the melancholic beauty of Fado, Portugal’s soulful music. Catch a live performance at a traditional casa de fado in Alfama or Mouraria.

Day 2: Lisbon (Belém & Alcântara)

On your second day in Lisbon, you will explore the Belém and Alcântara districts.

Day 2 Overview

  • Enjoy breakfast at a bakery.
  • Marvel at monuments in Belém.
  • Try a pastel de nata.
  • Shop and eat in Alcântara.

Day 2 Lisbon Itinerary

Start your day by grabbing some food at a nearby bakery. The bakeries in Portugal are phenomenal, so I recommend enjoying as many as you can.

After eating breakfast, you’ll hop on the tram to Belém, the city’s westernmost district. The E18 line will take you between Cais do Sodre and Belém.

Get off the tram and walk to the Belém Tower, one of Lisbon’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This 16th-century fortification was built to protect Portugal’s largest city and it’s my favorite monument in the Belém district.

lisbon and porto itinerary

I usually admire most monuments from the outside, but if you want to go inside the Torre de Belém, make sure to purchase a Belém Tower entry ticket in advance and expect long queues during the summer.

Enjoy the panoramic views beyond the tower of the Targus River, Cristo Rei Statue, and the 25 de Abril Bridge (sister to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco).

There are other monuments nearby, so walk in the direction you came as if you were heading into the city center to see the Belem Lighthouse (Farol de Belém), and the Monument of Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos).

25 de abril bridge lisbon itinerary

The next best thing to do in Belém is visit the Jerónimos Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was built in the early 1500s and it is one of the most decorated churches in Portugal.

You can marvel at the monument’s 16th-century Manueline architectural style with a Jerónimos Monastery entry ticket. Again, it’s better to get a ticket in advance because of the long wait times and the not-so-near location of the ticket booth.

4 day lisbon itinerary

After all this walking, it’s time to indulge in my favorite treat to eat in Portugal. Head to Pastéis de Belém, the birthplace of the famous Portuguese custard tarts called pastel de nata. I recommend getting them to go so you’re not waiting around for too long.

If you want to visit a museum, you have a wide selection in this area, including the MAC/CCB Museum, Coaches MuseumMAAT,  Maritime Museum, and the National Archaeology Museum.

things to do belem

In the late afternoon, hop on the tram again and head to Alcântara. In this Lisbon district, you’ll find the LX Factory! This creative hub is full of trendy shops and restaurants, so there are plenty of places to eat, drink, or find handmade gifts to take with you.

If you’re a book lover, don’t miss checking out the Livraria Ler Devagar bookstore. There’s a really fun puppet show on the second floor you can watch if you have time.

things to do alcantara

Just around the corner from the LX Factory is Solar dos Nunes, a small Michelin-starred restaurant.

If you are ready for dinner, this is a good place to eat and not as expensive as you think a Michelin-starred restaurant would be.

where to eat lisbon portugal

If you’re not ready to eat, take the tram back to Cais do Sodre. You’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants in this area.

Day 3: Lisbon (Bairro Alto, Chiado & Cacilhas)

On day three of this Lisbon and Porto itinerary, you will explore Lisbon’s main city center and surrounding neighborhoods.

Day 3 Overview

  • Walk around Bairro Alto and Chiado.
  • Lunch at Time Our Market.
  • Take the ferry to Cacilhas.
  • See Cristo Rei.
  • Dinner in the city center.

Day 3 Lisbon Itinerary

If you did the Lisbon walking tour on day one then you’ll have already seen a lot of the main attractions in Bairro Alto.

You can take advantage of an early morning by heading to Pink Street or Rua Nova do Carvalho. This street is painted in pink and if you arrive earlier in the day, you can get a better photo of it.

Pink Street is known for its nightlife, so you can return in the evening if you’re looking to enjoy a night out.

lisbon itinerary

For lunch, head to Time Out Market, Lisbon’s popular food hall located in the Mercado da Ribeira in Cais do Sodré.

With more than 24 restaurants, 8 bars, and a dozen shops, you’ll find some of the best food made by some of the best chefs in Portugal, including Michelin-starred chefs.

where to eat lisbon

After lunch, walk to the Cais do Sodré Station and take the ferry to Cacilhas. From Cacilhas, take the bus to Cristo Rei, a Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

The statue, which was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, is located in Almada and it’s a great place to see a panoramic view of the city.

cristo rei lisbon

This trip does take a couple of hours so by the time you make your way back to Cais do Sodré, you’ll probably be hungry.

There are plenty of restaurant options in this area. I tried a burger and fries at Dallas Burger Joint and thought it was delicious. The drinks were also really good here.

If you have a sweet tooth, I recommend trying the chocolate cake at Landeau Chocolate. It’s super moist, soft and decadent. I ate the whole thing and washed it down with an espresso.

best cafe lisbon

Don’t stay out late so you can wake up early for tomorrow’s day trip from Lisbon.

Day 4: Day Trip to Sintra

Sintra is straight out of a fairytale! It’s located about 40 minutes outside of Lisbon and it’s full of beautiful castles, palaces, and estates.

Today, you will go on a day trip to Sintra!

Day 4 Overview

  • Take the train to Sintra.
  • Wander through Sintra Old Town.
  • Hike the Villa Sassetti Trail.
  • Visit Castelo dos Mouros.
  • See Pena Palace.
  • Explore Quinta da Regaleira.

Day 4 Sintra Itinerary

Sintra is one of the prettiest cities I’ve visited in Portugal and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But this also means it’s one of the busiest places to visit in Portugal, especially on the weekends during peak season.

Since this Lisbon and Porto itinerary only includes one day in Sintra, I recommend waking up and taking the train to Sintra as early as possible.

From Lisbon, you can depart from Oriente, Rossio, and Entrecampos stations to the Sintra Train Station. From the Sintra station, take bus 434 to Largo Ferreira Castro, then walk into the historical center.

We started our day in Sintra by walking through the center before heading to the start of the Villa Sassetti Trail.

sintra itinerary

However, you can also flip this itinerary to take the 434 bus from the train station to Pena Palace and then hike down the Villa Sassetti Trail.

This trail winds through a stunning residence with gorgeous gardens. It takes 45 minutes to hike up from the Historical Centre of Sintra to the Moorish Castle. If you enjoy hiking, I recommend taking this hiking trail to get to the top of the hill.

To learn about the history of the medieval Castelo dos Mouros and explore the castle walls and towers, it will cost about €12. Get your ticket in advance so you can skip the long lines!

moorish castle sintra

After a visit to the castle, keep walking to Pena Park and Pena Palace. This is the most popular attraction to visit in Sintra.

While walking around the palace, there are many points of interest. One of my favorite areas of the palace is the Courtyard of Arches. From the windows of the arches, you get an amazing landscape view of Sintra and Pena Park.

After leaving the palace, go explore the grounds of Pena Park. The Cruz Alta (High Cross) viewpoint is the highest peak in the park and offers one of the best views of Pena Palace!

pena palace cruz alta

After visiting one of Portugal’s most iconic palaces, take the 434 bus back down into Sintra (or hike back down).

Grab some lunch while you’re in the historical center. There are only a few options to choose from, including A Praça, Tacho Real, Bacalhau na Vila, and Piadina’s, Wine & Co.

After lunch, walk to Quinta da Regaleira. This beautiful estate is often visited by those curious to explore its inverted towers, hidden tunnels, and enchanting gardens.

one day in sintra

The property was originally designed and built in the 1800s, but was recreated. It then became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

Quinta da Regaleira covers four hectares of land. There is a lot to see and explore so I recommend spending at least two hours here.

Again, if you are visiting during peak season, book your tickets online in advance. This will ensure you can visit all of the top attractions in Sintra in one day.

sintra itinerary

After your full day in Sintra, catch the train from the Sintra Train Station back to Lisbon. Go out for dinner and have an early night to prepare for tomorrow’s travel day.

Day 5: Train to Porto (Ribeira & Vila Nova)

Porto, also known as Oporto, is the second-largest city in Portugal. It’s a vibrant city full of beautiful architecture, charming squares, colorful buildings, narrow streets, fun nightlife, and breathtaking views.

In just three days, you can experience the best of what Porto has to offer. This suggested itinerary includes the best things to do in Porto to make the most of your short stay.

Day 5 Overview

  • Leave Lisbon.
  • Arrive in Porto and check into your hotel.
  • Join a free walking tour.
  • Explore the Ribeira district.
  • Visit the Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia.
  • Dinner in the city center.

Day 5 Porto Itinerary

Check out of your hotel in Lisbon and make your way to Estação do Oriente. Depending on where you are stating in Lisbon, it might make sense to catch the train from a different train station.

From the train station in Lisbon, you can get a train to Porto. This is the easiest way to get to Porto and you will arrive in about three hours.

It’s also possible to hire a rental car and plan a little road trip from Lisbon to Porto. This would only make sense if you had enough time.

After arriving in Porto, check into you hotel and ask to leave your luggage behind the counter if your room isn’t ready.

3 days in porto

You can start your first day in Porto on a free walking tour. This will ensure you see most of the city highlights in Porto. Tours are 2.5 hours long and you can choose between a morning or afternoon tour.

Start in front of the Clérigos Tower, a 75-meter-tall bell tower that’s part of Clérigos Church.

Then head to Livraria Lello, one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. Harry Potter fans frequently visit this bookstore as it’s said to be one of the inspirations for the Hogwarts Library.

one day in porto

Next on your Porto Itinerary is a trip to the São Bento Railway Station. This train station was built in 1916 and is part of the Historic Centre of Porto UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s been named one of the most beautiful train stations in the world because the walls and ceilings are covered with a 22 thousand azulejos.

São Bento Station

Azulejos are blue and white tiles that cover many buildings in Portugal. They are an iconic piece of Portugal’s architecture.

One of the most famous azulejos-covered buildings in Porto is the Chapel of Souls or Capela das Almas, which is a small church that dates back to the 18th century.

azulejos porto church

For one of the best viewpoints of Porto, continue walking to Miradouro da Vitória.

After walking around Ribeira, one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods, make your way down to the river. Cais da Ribeira is the street that runs along the riverfront.

porto viewpoint miradouro da vitoria

As you stroll down the promenade, you’ll see many restaurants and shops. If you’re hungry, you can grab a meal at a traditional Portuguese cafe.

One of the best local food to try in Porto is a francesinha, a Portuguese sandwich made with layers of toasted bread and assorted hot meats covered in melted sliced cheese and sauce.

cais de ribeira porto

Cross the Dom Luís I Bridge to reach Vila Nova de Gaia, which is where all of the famous wine cellars are.

Porto is known for being a wine region and Port wine or vinho do Porto is produced in the Douro Valley, so you’ll find no shortage of port wine cellars and houses right on the Douro River.

I really enjoyed my guided Port wine tastings at Calém, one of the largest Port cellars in Porto. Calém also has options to add a Fado show or food tasting to your experience.

port wine tasting porto

After a long day wandering the city of Porto, end the night watching the sunset over the Douro River.

I loved watching the sunset from the Monastery of Serra do Pilar or Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar. The view from here is incredible as the monastery overlooks the historic center of Porto so you can views of the city and the river.

Day 6: Porto (Douro Valley & River)

On your last day in Porto, you’ll explore the wine region of the Douro Valley, which is also another one of Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Day 6 Overview

  • See the Douro Valley.
  • Visit local wineries.
  • Indulge in a traditional Portuguese lunch.
  • Take a boat cruise on the Douro River.

Day 6 Porto Itinerary

Grab a quick coffee and some pastries before getting picked up for today’s tour because it’s going to take up most of your day!

Your day tour of the Douro Region will begin by making your way out to the Douro Valley with your local guide, who will teach you all about the local history.

During the tour, you will visit a few different wineries in the Douro Valley, enjoy a full traditional Portuguese meal, drive through the “most beautiful road in the world”, and take a scenic cruise down the Douro River on a traditional Rebelo boat.

This is one of the best things to do in Porto so I highly recommend adding it to your 3 day Porto itinerary.

Since it’s your last night in Porto, go out for a nice dinner and check out some of the local bars.

Day 7: Leave Portugal

It’s your last day in Porto and Portugal, which means it’s time to say goodbye.

If you still have a lot of time before you need to head to the Porto Airport, here are a few ideas on how to spend your final day in Porto.

Get one last pastel de nata and enjoy a delicious breakfast at a local cafe, then spend the day in the Lisbon Oceanarium or Tile Museum.

Don’t forget to go souvenir shopping and pick up some cork gifts from Portugal to share with your friends and family!

pastel de bacalhau portugal

Additional tips for planning your trip

  • Book your flights and accommodations in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak season.
  • Get a Portugal visa if you need one.
  • Get a Lisbon card or Porto card if using public transportation.
  • Pack comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Bring a camera to capture all of your memories.
  • Learn a few basic Portuguese phrases.
  • Be prepared for a bit of a language barrier, especially in rural areas.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from locals.
porto itinerary

Answering your questions

How many days do you need for Lisbon and Porto?

One week or seven days is the perfect amount of days to see the best of Lisbon and Porto.

Should you go to Lisbon or Porto first?

I recommend visiting Lisbon first as it’s usually the easiest to fly into.

Should I spend more time in Porto or Lisbon?

Porto is a small city in comparison to Lisbon so I would recommend spending more time in Lisbon.

When is the best time to visit Lisbon and Porto?

The best time to visit Lisbon and Porto is during the spring and fall seasons. You’ll avoid crowds and the summer heat at this time.

Check out my Portugal travel videos!

Watch my YouTube video on Pena Palace in Sintra!

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Do you have any questions about this 7-day Lisbon and Porto Itinerary? Let me know in the comments.

Planning your first trip to Portugal? This 7-day Portugal itinerary keeps it simple with visits to Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra!

My Lisbon and Porto itinerary includes the best places to visit in each of these popular, Portuguese cities, where to stay and find great food, tips from my personal experience, and the best way to get around.

Here are the best things to see and do in one week in Portugal.

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