Layover in Lisbon – the ultimate guide 2021

Published by: Bounce19 August, 2022

The Portuguese capital of Lisbon is a fascinating place to visit, whether you only have a few hours or you have months at your disposal. If you find yourself in the city with a short amount of time to kill, don’t worry. There’s lots you can do on a Lisbon layover to keep yourself occupied while you wait for your connection. Drop your bags off at a luggage locker in Lisbon to maximize your time in the city.

Lisbon Airport is connected to the city by a Metro line which will bring you to the heart of Lisbon in only 20 minutes. It also connects you to the other subway lines of the city, making it really easy to get around in a short time. For that reason, there’s no point sitting around the airport waiting for your flight. Get out and explore instead.

6 hour layover in Lisbon

A six hour layover in Lisbon doesn’t give you a lot of time to see the city, but thanks to the excellent transit infrastructure, it’s enough to get at least a glimpse. The Metro line from the airport takes you to Alameda station, and from there you can hop onto the Green line, which will take you in only a few stops to Baixa Chiado. This is the heart of old Lisbon, and contains some of the city’s most impressive architecture. Track down a suitcase storage in Lisbon where you can leave your bags, and you’ll be in the perfect place to enjoy your Lisbon airport layover.

For instance, just a three minute walk from Baixa Chiado Metro station, you’ll see the Convento do Carmo. This magnificent ruin is an icon of the city, and the perfect place to capture spectacular photos even on a very short stopover. You’ll only need around an hour to enjoy the convent, leaving you plenty of time to make your next flight.

  • Take the Metro from the airport to Alameda, then switch lines for Baixa Chiado.

  • It’s a short walk from Baixa Chiado to Convento do Carmo, one of Lisbon’s most iconic buildings.

  • Explore the convent and make it back to the airport in plenty of time for your flight.

8 hour layover in Lisbon

An eight hour layover gives you more time to explore. Once you’ve dropped off your bags at a Lisbon luggage storage, you’ll be free to explore more of the area around Baixa Chiado. After you’ve explored the convent, you could take a short walk north to the spectacular Church of Sao Roque. This 16th-century Jesuit church is known for the stunning art it contains, and it offers an oasis of tranquility in the heart of the bustling city. You can take a guided tour to help you appreciate more of what you’re seeing, or explore for yourself. Either way, you probably won’t need more than an hour, leaving you plenty of time to get something to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area.

  • Head to the Church of Sao Roque to admire the Baroque architecture and art.

  • You’ll probably have time to grab a meal, depending on what time of day it is, and there are lots of good restaurants in the area for you to try.

10 hour layover in Lisbon

With 10 hours to kill, you could treat yourself to a walk around the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. This beautiful city park is a great place to beat the heat under the shade of the trees, and it offers truly stunning views over some of Lisbon’s grandest buildings. You could even grab some food and a bottle of wine and treat yourself to a picnic on the grassy lawns while enjoying the view. It certainly beats sitting in an airport food court while you wait for your next flight. Plus, it’s a good way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for at least an hour or two.

  • Take a walk around the Miradouro de Sao Pedro for a change of pace.

  • It’s a great place to stretch your legs, and you can even enjoy a picnic on the grass or one of the many benches.

  • The views of the city alone are worth the trip, but it’s also a good way to beat the heat and crowds in the city during the summer season.

12 hour layover in Lisbon

If you have 12 hours at your disposal, you could take advantage of a long layover by adding the Rua Augusta to your itinerary. This busy shopping street is surrounded by ornate buildings from Lisbon’s heyday, ending in the massive triumphal arch that overlooks the ocean. This is a great location for people watching and shopping, and there are also lots of restaurants and bars where you can pass some pleasant hours enjoying the local cuisine.

  • Take a stroll down Rua Augusta to experience the beating heart of Lisbon.

  • You can climb to the top of the triumphal arch and enjoy views of the coastline and the city.

  • This is also good place to eat, though it can be tricky to avoid the usual tourist traps.

24 hour layover in Lisbon

An overnight layover in Lisbon? Now we’re talking! With 24 hours at your disposal, you can take advantage of Lisbon’s excellent transit infrastructure to visit some attractions that are further from the center of town, such as the Belem Tower and the award-winning Oceanarium. Or, for a more authentic adventure, take tram 28 through the Alfama district to see some of Lisbon’s liveliest streets. The Alfama district sits below the hilltop castle of Sao Jorge, and if you have two or three hours to spare, the castle is definitely worth exploring.

As night falls, head back to Baixa and take in a show or one of the many fado bars in the neighborhood. This is a classic Portuguese art form and a great way to spend a night in Lisbon. By the time you leave for your flight in the morning, you’ll feel as though you’ve packed a week’s worth of exploration into just 24 hours.

  • Take tram 28 for a lively adventure through the Alfama district.

  • Head down to the coast to visit the Oceanarium and the Belem Tower.

  • Take in a fado show in Baixa before you leave.

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