Destinations / Portugal

A Curated 10-Day Itinerary of Portugal

July 17, 2019

When I showed a friend my serial killer organized, hour-by-hour itinerary of Portugal for an upcoming trip, she asked “Don’t you think you’d have more fun being spontaneous and winging it?”

NO! Emphatically NO. I don’t think I’ll have more fun running around a foreign country like a chicken without a head. Aimlessly wandering the streets in hanger, searching for and inevitably for the familiarity of McDonalds is no bueno. I would especially not enjoy returning home only to discover that I missed out on something amazing because I couldn’t take a moment to simply Google it.

I will be the first to admit that things rarely go according to plan. Often I’ll strike up conversation with a local and they offer an insider tidbit – a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, a speakeasy bar, a neighbourhood party – and I’ll pivot. I’ll make a deliberate choice to go off course in favour of a new and improved one.

But the thing about spontaneity is that you cannot be spontaneous without first having a plan to deviate from.

It can’t be premeditated. If everything is “spontaneous” then nothing is.


➳ How To Maximize A Day Trip To The Castles of Sintra in Portugal
➳ 9 Tried-and-True Hidden Gems You Don’t Want To Miss In Lisbon
➳ 8 Gluttonous Reasons To Squeeze Porto Into Your Travel Itinerary

itinerary of Portugal


Duration: 10 Days

Days 1–3: Lisbon
Day 4: Day trip to Sintra
Day 5–7: Porto
Day 8–9: The Algarve / Lagos
Days 10: Lagos / Lisbon

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You don’t have to have an itinerary that accounts for every minute but even having a loose schedule for the day makes the difference between an amazing trip and a mediocre one. But I get it – planning is hard! That’s why I’ve curated a 10-day itinerary of Portugal to get you started:


DAY 1 – Lisbon

Lets kick off this itinerary of Portugal in the capital city, Lisbon!

🛬 Early morning arrival in Lisbon
🥞 Fight jet lag with a doppio espressio and savoury pancakes at Nicolau
🛍️ Browse O Mundo Fantástico for canned seafood souvenirs
🍽️ Peruse the countless vendors at Time Out Market for ALL THE FOODS:
                    ▪   Grilled sardine and cod nigiri from SeaMe
                    ▪   Traditional bacalhau from Miguel Castro e Silva
                    ▪   Cinnamon-infused pasteis de nata from Manteigaria (my fav!)
                    ▪   Sangria from Licor Beirão

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Grilled cod and sardine nigiri from Sea Me in Time Out Market

🛵 Zip around the charming Alfama area on an Eco Tuk Tuk tour
🎨Admire local street art by André Saraiva and the engraving artist Vhils
🥮 Stop by Fábrica do Pastel Feijão for a delightful dessert made with white beans
🎣 Dine on canned seafood petiscos at Sol e Pesca on the pink Cais de Sondre street
🌆 Sunset drinks with a view on an elevated parking garage at PARK

itinerary of Portugal

Really awesome engraving graffiti by street artist Vhils in Alfama

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Outside Sol e Pesca drinking sangria on the pink street of Cais de Sondre


DAY 2 – Lisbon

itinerary of Portugal

It’s worth getting to Bélem Tower early for the shot! Not necessary to go in.

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Impressive exterior of Jerónimos Monastery

Rise early and head to Bélem:
                    ▪   Marvel at fortified Bélem Tower, the ceremonial gateway to Lisbon
                    ▪   Stroll along the Tagus river to Jeronimos Monastery
                    ▪   Visit the Tomb of Vasco da Gama and Luís Vaz de Camões
Gobble down fresh pastéis de nata at the infamous  Pasteis de Belem
🌺 Stroll around the lush Jardim Botanico Tropical

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🏭 Roam the shops at the LXFactory
                    ▪   Coffee break at Wish Café
                    ▪   1300 Taberna for Mediterranean tapas
                    ▪   Landeau for the infamous chocolate cake
                    ▪   Ascend to the top of Rio Maravilha for rooftop drinks
                    ▪   On Sundays, there is a lively flea market to peruse
🦀 Dine on daily specials – like soft-shell crab baos – at Taberna da Rua Flores
🍷 Sip €2 glasses of bubbly vino verde at By The Wine

Wall art at LXFactory


DAY 3 – Lisbon


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🍳Wake up with avocado toast and truffled scrambled eggs at Dear Breakfast
Fuel up next door at Hello Kristof with a coffee
⬆️ For an elevated view of the city, ride the Elevator da Bica skyward
🏘️ Let your curiosity lead you around the Bairro Alto neighbourhood
🍴 Feast on healthy dishes at Prado amid flourishing greenery
                    ▪   The fresh sourdough bread with flavoured butters is a must-order
                    ▪   Loved the pleurotus mushrooms in red pepper sauce with buckwheat

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Foliage-filled interior of Prado

Miradouro Portas do Sol

🏛️ Oooh and aaaah over ornate tiles at Museo Nacional do Azulejo
🌇 Drink in the view (and a glass of sangria!) at Miradouro Portas do Sol
🤤 Explore the gustatory delights of Lisbon with new friends on a food tour
🎤 Witness traditional fado music at Tasca Do Chico
                    ▪   Music is only on Mondays and Wednesdays
                    ▪   Super tiny spot so arrive early for a seat!

DAY 4 – SIntra day trip


🚆Hop on a train to Sintra to spend the day touring ancient castles and palatial estates.
Spending at least a day in this magical town is essential to any itinerary of Portugal.
                    ▪   Beat the crowds by departing Rossio Train Station at 8am!
                    ▪   Travel time from Lisbon to Sintra is 40 minutes
                    ▪   Tickets are €2.50 each way
🏰First stop, Pena Palace – a fairytale castle complete with vibrant turrets 
⛰️Walk 10 minutes up the way to Castle of the Moors for panoramic hilltop views
🔔 Ring the doorbell at A Raposa for a gloriously serene lunch of Iberian pork jowl

🌀Marvel at the mystique of the Initiation Wells at Quinta da Regaleira
🏞️ Admire the artisan craftsmanship and lush gardens at Monserrate Palace
🍽️Back in Lisbon, dine at one of Jose Avillez’s many restaurants:
                    ▪   Mini Bar Theater
                    ▪   For a fancy gastronomic night try Belcanto or Alma
                    ▪   Pizzaria Lisboa to satisfy pizza cravings. Try the truffle butter!
                    ▪   For dinner and a risqué show, check out Beco Cabaret Gourmet
                    ▪   Sit in the pretty courtyard at Bairro do Avillez
🍸 Treat yourself to fancy cocktails at the brothel-turned-club Pensão Amor

For a complete guide on how to tour Sintra for your itinerary of Portugal, check out: How To Maximize A Day Trip To The Castles of Sintra in Portugal



DAY 5 – porto

Fitting Porto into your itinerary of Portugal may make time tight but believe me, all the drool-worthy treats to be had in this northern city will be worth your while.


🌿 Spend a leisurely morning noshing on wholesome breakfast at Fauna & Flora
🚉 Leave Lisbon on a northbound train to Porto
                    ▪   The train leaves from Apolonia Station in Lisbon to Campanha in Porto
                    ▪   Trip is approximately 2h45m
                    ▪   Tickets are around €60 one-way
🥪 After settling in, devour cheese-covered Francesinha sandwiches at O Afonso

🌉 Cross the Luis I Bridge for views and to get to the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the city
🍷 Tour a port winery or learn about its history at the Porto Cruz Space
☀️Enjoy the view from above Porto at Miradouro da Serra do Pilar
🏞 Grab a bottle of your favourite port and chill in the sunshine at Jardim do Mourro
🍺Keep the buzz going at CAL craft beer bar and grab a delicious rabbit stew
🍸 Cap off a full day of drinking with refreshing porto tonicos at local hub, Aduela

Read: 8 Gluttonous Reasons To Squeeze Porto Into Your Travel Itinerary


DAY 6 – porto


⛰ Head out for the day on a tour of the idyllic Douro Valley:
                    ▪   Explore the flourishing vineyards surrounding the village of Pinhão
                    ▪   Pop into one of the wineries and sample award-winning ports and wines
                    ▪   Enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch at a picturesque estate

🍽 After returning to the city, go to Tascö for a traditional Portuguese meal of petiscos
🀣 Swing by Sao Bento Station to admire the impressive tile work
🌅Enjoy a sunset view of the city at the popular lookout point Miradouro da Vitória
🌭 Late night munchies? Indulge in a buttery cachorrinho at Snack-Bar Gazela
                    ▪   Best enjoyed with a cold beer and a side of fries
                    ▪   Anthony Bourdain-approved spot
                    ▪   Don’t go too late. There’s usually a line and it closes at 10:30pm

Fresh and hot with the scent of butter wafting up from this beauty!


☀️ Start the day with a pasteis de nata from Cafe Majestic
🥬 Browse fresh produce at the lively Mercado Do Bolhão
🐷 Grab a classic Porto sandwich – a gooey Pernil con Queijo from Casa Guedes
📚 Geek out over Happy Potter-esque library at Livraria Lello

🚃 Ride the #22 tram for a tour of the city from Clerigos Tower
🚣 Cruise the Douro River on a traditional rabelo boat
🦑 Feast on heavenly sautéed squid and truffle beef carpaccio for dinner at Cantina 52
🍾 Make happy hour happier with champagne sangria at Champ’s da Baixa
✈️ Head to the airport to catch a flight to the gorgeous Algarve region
                    ▪   Ryanair flights to Faro are usually around 9:50pm
                    ▪   Adjust your itinerary of Portugal to arrive at the airport an hour before your flight
                    ▪   If going to Lagos, arrange for a transfer from Faro beforehand

DAY 8 – lagos

The Algarve is absolutely necessary to fit into your itinerary of Portugal if your sickly skin could use some good ol’ vitamin D!


The expansive view at Ponta da Piedade

🌊 Wake up and smell the sea salt air at Coffee & Waves
🔭 Marvel at the lookout point at Ponta da Piedade
👙Slather on sun lotion and work on your tan at the nearby Praia do Camilo
🍄 Lunch break at Cantinho do Petisco for creamy mushroom or spicy chicken livers

Praia do Camilo at 1pm – Packed! I preferred going early morning to have the beach to myself.

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🚘 Traverse rugged Algarve terrain on a Jeep Safari tour
                    ▪   Pass village of Ferragudo and roam cliffs overlooking the coast
                    ▪   Cool down at the Natural Park of Sítio das Fontes
                    ▪   Roam hills and valleys before exploring the cobblestoned streets of Silves
🌮 Give into Mexican cravings with fish tacos and jalapeño poppers at Ol’ Bastard’s
🎶 End the night with mojitos and live music at Mynt Bar

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Guinness stout gravy fries, 3 kinds of tacos + jalapeno poppers!

DAY 9 – lagos

🥑 Dig into a fruit-covered açai smoothie bowl or avocado toast at Tropical Lounge
👙 Pack a couple beers in your beach bag and get some vitamin D at Praia da Marinha

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Praia da Marinha – less busy because it’s quite far from Lagos Marina where all the restaurants are but close to Benagil Beach

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Gorgeously impressive Benagil Cave

🚣‍♀️ Kayak or SUP paddle board your way to the stunning Benagil Cave
                    ▪   Be safe and go with a tour
                    ▪   Check weather conditions before going
🦐 Friendly service and garlic butter prawns at the popular Casa do Prego

Read: How I Got Amazing Photos At The Benagil Caves In Lagos By Almost Breaking My Nose

DAY 10 – lagos / lisbon

🏖️ Before departing Lagos spend a lax morning on at Praia Dona Ana

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All the beaches kind of look the same, huh?

🏨 Back in Lisbon, treat yourself to a luxe last night at The Independente
                    ▪   Great area near bars and restaurants in Principe Real
                    ▪   Grab a pre-dinner drink on their rooftop restaurant, The Decadente
                    ▪   Breakfast and a drink is included in a night’s stay
🐙 Dine on lychee tuna ceviche and squid ink causa at A Cevicheria
🍹Digest your meal with ginja – a liquor made of sour cherry – at Pub Lisboeta
                    ▪   Tell the bartender what you like and he’ll whip up a custom cocktail
                    ▪   Their pizza is surprisingly BOMB (and great to soak up the booze)

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Alaskan King Crab, squid ink causa from A Cevicheria

Cheers-ing with ginja at Pub Lisboeta

Whew! Itineraries are so intense that they always make me go a bit cross-eyed and this itinerary of Portugal was no different. I’m trying a different layout for these guides because I felt like planning a day-by-day schedule would be helpful in terms of how to be the most effective with your time because of the location and proximity of activities and restaurants. I’ll go more in-depth with activities in future posts and update this one with links to them. Enjoy!

Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!