Although the vibrant Portuguese capital of Lisbon is known for its historical landmarks and cultural gems, I am about to show you a different side of the city. While studying abroad in Spain, my college friends and I were looking for a laid-back European beach destination to relax and party; Lisbon checked off all of those boxes. Keep reading for a Lisbon weekend itinerary that will allow you to enjoy the city like a student on spring break, with beach outings, bar-hopping, and bliss for life. 

Where is Lisbon?

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. This city is located on the Atlantic coast. It is about a 3-hour drive from another one of Portugal’s most famous cities, Porto. 

Portugal is located in western Europe, bordering only Spain. To its west and southwest lie the Azores and the Madeira Islands, both of which are owned by Portugal. 

To plan your route to Lisbon, check out Rome2rio. I refer to this website every time I plan a trip to ensure I am aware of all of my transportation options. It will also give a rough price estimate per route; perfect for budget travelers!

How to Get to Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the easiest European cities to get to due to its western location, status as a capital, and popularity among tourists. The simplest way to get to Lisbon is to fly into the Humberto Delgado Airport (airport code: LIS). The airport has its own metro station with a direct line to the city center. If you take the ‘Aeroporto – Saldanha’ line, you’ll reach downtown Lisbon in approximately 20 minutes. 

Where to Stay in Lisbon 

The Baixa district is the most popular area to stay in, as it is the historic center of the city. However, if you are looking to party (which is probably why you are here), check out accommodations in the party districts of Barrio Alto and Cais do Sodré. 

Located in Barrio Alto and within walking distance of Cais do Sodré, I stayed in Teatro B&B. I loved this hotel and would recommend it to anyone traveling to Lisbon for any reason. The price was right, the theming was unique and luxurious, the rooms were huge, and the location was unbeatable. Besides traveling to the beaches, I had very little need for public transportation while staying at Teatro B&B. 

View from my room at Teatro B&B

Best Beaches to Visit in Lisbon

Lisbon and its surrounding areas boast some of the most spectacular beaches in Europe. From the rugged shores of Cascais to the peaceful sands of Costa da Caparica, there is something for beach lovers of all tastes. While not the prettiest of the bunch, Praia da Caxias is the closest beach to the city center. If you are willing to venture a bit further, Costa da Caparica, Cascais/Estoril, and Sintra boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the region and are located within 30 minutes of Lisbon. 

Of these beach destinations, Cascais is my favorite. Praia da Rainha and Conceição Beach are two of the fishing village’s most popular beaches. I enjoyed Praia da Ribeira, another famous beach in the region, but I found it to be a bit crowded. 

For those looking to escape the crowds, Cascais is home to many “secret” beaches and coves. Many of these locations are marked by lighthouses, castles, mansions, and other architectural beauties. I stumbled upon a few “secret” beaches on my walk down the coast to Praia da Ribeira. The beach next to Castro Guimarães Museum was stunning and not too crowded, and the cove alongside the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum was a charming place to relax on the rocks and swim. Take a stroll, and maybe you’ll find some!

Best Nightlife in Lisbon 

As I previously mentioned, Barrio Alto and Cais do Sodré are the party districts of Lisbon. Just wandering these areas will give you a taste of the city’s vibrant nightlife. If you are looking for specific recommendations, however, here are a few that made my experience unforgettable:

  • For the bar-hopper: Rua Nova do Carvalho/Pink Street, which is the central hub of nightlife in Cais do Sodré, and the surrounding streets
  • For those looking for the ultimate Lisbon club experience: Lust in Rio 
  • For those who want to drink with a view: Park Rooftop 

Enhance Your Lisbon Weekend Itinerary: Other Things to Do

A trip to Lisbon would not be complete without at least an acknowledgment of its historical and cultural gems. Hopefully, you will allow time in your Lisbon weekend itinerary to visit them! Here are some of the city’s top sights:

  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  • Castelo de São Jorge
  • Praça do Comércio
Belém Tower

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Which of these activities are you most excited to do in Lisbon? Contact me or let me know in the comments below!

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