WATCH: Two city itineraries for a long layover in Lisbon

If you want to see the whole of Lisbon, you'll probably need about a week or two.

But sometimes life will only give you a day to spend in one of the most stunning capitals in Europe, and with its easy-to-navigate transport system and museums, monuments and palaces all snuggled close to each other, you'd be surprised to see how much you can fit into a day.

QUICK GUIDE TO PORTUGAL: For the love of Latin charm and wonder

The airport is also about an hour's public transport (shorter if you want to splurge on Uber) from the old parts of Lisbon, so when faced with a day-long layover, hopping in and out is incredibly easy - you can also store your luggage at the airport's baggage hold if you can't check it through.

You can also make your spending easier by buying a Lisboa Card for the day at the airport - it includes free transport on the busses and metro, as well as free entrance and discount to a variety of museums and attractions. Read more about it here.

But even with the public transport - this is a walking city - so wear your most comfortable shoes, load up on water and sunscreen and get a appetizing taste of a city steeped in history.

WATCH: Walking in the footsteps of African Royals on an island in Portugal

A few general things to note:

  • In summer, museums and attractions open at 9:00 and close at 17:00.
  • For lunch and dinner, rather get a take-away and sit in a park instead of wasting time in a restaurant.
  • Sometimes opt for walking rather than taking public transport - the city streets are as beautiful as the monuments and filled with street art.
  • There's free WiFi on all public transport - so always load up your directions then and take screenshots for when you're out of WiFi range (Google offline maps don't work when using public transport directions).

READ: The pros and cons of buying a tourist pass for a city

Itinerary 1: Belém

Museu do Combatente

monument to soldiers

Belém Tower

belem tower in lisboa

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

portugeuse statue

Jerónimos Monastery

jeronimos monastery

The Streets of Belém

house in belem

Museu Nacional de Arqueologia

fountain in front of jeronimos monastery

Museu de Marinha

marine museum in lisbon

Last stop: Ajuda National Palace

throne room in portugal royal palace

Itinerary 2: Bairro Alto and Alfama

Santa Justa Lift

san justa life

Convento do Carmo

convent in ruins

Museu do Chiado II - MNAC

statue of man lying down at art musem

Praça do Comércio

rides on a horse statue in lisbon

Lisboa Story Centre

puppet at lisboa story centre

Just a stone's throw away: Museu Nacional do Azulejo

tile portrtait of a monk in a church

National Pantheon

view from above of national pantheon

Castelo de S. Jorge

city view of castelo jose

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