Explore Paris, Barcelona, and Lisbon in 10 days; a cultural trip itinerary filled with sights, tastes, and vibrant city life.
Imagine zipping from the chic boulevards of Paris to the sun-drenched lanes of Barcelona and onto the cobbled alleyways of Lisbon—all in a spectacular 10 days!
This isn’t just any trip; it’s your express ticket to experiencing three of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Kickstart your journey with a croissant by the Eiffel Tower, chase it with a splash of Catalan creativity, and cap it off with a dose of Portuguese tradition.
From the artistic havens to the buzzing local markets, this is your ultimate guide to diving headfirst into the cultural kaleidoscope of Paris, Barcelona, and Lisbon.
Get set for an itinerary packed with the best sights, tastes, and sounds these cities offer. Are you ready? Let’s jet off on a European escapade that promises memories as rich as a Parisian espresso!
Day 1: Arrival in Paris – Embrace the Magic of the City of Lights
Welcome to the enchanting City of Lights! As you arrive in Paris, check into your chosen accommodation and take some time to unwind and immerse yourself in the unique Parisian atmosphere.
Explore the Seine River aboard the Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Begin your European adventure by experiencing the charm of a leisurely evening stroll along the banks of the Seine River, after a one-of-a-kind cruise aboard a vessel called Vedettes du Pont Neuf.
Witness the picturesque beauty of the city as the sun sets, casting a warm glow over historic bridges and elegant architecture.
The Seine’s romantic ambiance is perfect for capturing unforgettable memories of your first day in Paris.
Illuminated Eiffel Tower
As darkness envelops the city, prepare to be mesmerized by the illuminated Eiffel Tower.
This awe-inspiring landmark takes on a magical quality as it sparkles with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a dazzling spectacle that will leave you breathless.
Don’t forget to snap some photos to remember this enchanting moment.
Treat yourself to a delicious Parisian dinner at a nearby, welcoming bistro.
Enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of classic French dishes like escargot, coq au vin, or bouillabaisse, and enhance your meal with a glass of fine French wine.
This tasty experience will provide a genuine taste of Parisian culture.
Paris boasts a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference, from opulent luxury hotels to charming boutique properties and budget-conscious hostels.
Some popular neighborhoods to stay in include the trendy Le Marais, the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the artistic Montmartre.
Getting around Paris is a breeze thanks to its efficient public transportation system, encompassing buses, trams, and the extensive Métro network.
Opt for a Navigo pass or Paris Visite pass to enjoy unlimited access to public transportation during your stay, allowing you to explore the city with ease.
Local Customs and Etiquette
When in Paris, embrace local customs by greeting residents with a warm “Bonjour” (hello) and always remembering to say “Merci” (thank you) when leaving a shop or restaurant.
Demonstrating politeness and attempting to speak French will endear you to Parisians, who may be more inclined to offer assistance or recommendations.
Although Paris is generally considered safe, it’s important to remain vigilant. Stay aware of your surroundings, particularly in crowded areas and popular tourist destinations.
Keep your belongings secure and be on guard against pickpockets to ensure a worry-free experience in this captivating city.
Day 2: Paris Highlights – Discovering the City of Love
Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Paris as you explore its most iconic sites on a guided tour.
This full day of adventure will take you through the city’s historical, artistic, and architectural wonders, leaving you with memories to cherish forever.
Morning: Notre-Dame Cathedral and Île de la Cité
Start your day with a visit to the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and one of the most famous landmarks in Paris.
Admire the intricate details of its façade and take a moment to appreciate its majestic interior.
Next, explore the charming Île de la Cité, an island in the heart of Paris that is home to the city’s oldest and most fascinating sites.
Wander through the narrow streets, discover quaint shops, and enjoy the serene atmosphere of this historical gem.
Afternoon: The Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Garden
After lunch, head to the world-renowned Louvre Museum, where you can admire an incredible collection of art, including the famous Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
Be sure to allocate a few hours to explore this vast museum, as its collection spans over 9,000 years of history.
Once you’ve had your fill of art, take a leisurely stroll through the nearby Tuileries Garden, a beautiful public park that offers a peaceful respite from the bustling city streets.
Evening: Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur
As the sun begins to set, make your way to the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre.
This charming district is known for its artistic heritage, having been home to famous artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh.
Stroll through its winding streets, discover hidden squares, and visit the lively Place du Tertre, where local artists showcase their work.
Finally, ascend the hill to the stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This beautiful white church offers breathtaking views of Paris and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the city.
Night: The Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro Gardens
Cap off your day with a visit to the Eiffel Tower, the ultimate symbol of Paris. As evening descends, witness the tower come to life with a dazzling light show.
To capture the perfect photo, head to the Trocadéro Gardens, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower against the backdrop of the Parisian skyline.
Throughout your day of exploration, be sure to indulge in Paris’s exquisite culinary offerings. Some iconic options include:
Café de Flore: A legendary café located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, frequented by famous writers and philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Stop by for a coffee or a light meal and soak in the Parisian atmosphere.
Le Comptoir du Relais: A popular bistro in the Latin Quarter, offering traditional French dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Be sure to try their signature confit de canard (duck confit) or the mouth-watering croque-monsieur.
Le Grand Véfour: For a truly luxurious dining experience, make a reservation at Le Grand Véfour, a historic Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Palais-Royal gardens. Enjoy gourmet French cuisine in an opulent setting, surrounded by 18th-century decor.
Paris is famous for its charming cafés, where locals and tourists alike can enjoy a leisurely coffee or pastry. Some notable options include:
Angelina: A historic tearoom known for its decadent hot chocolate and exquisite pastries, such as the Mont-Blanc. Located near the Louvre Museum, it’s the perfect spot for a sweet break during your day of sightseeing.
Café des Deux Moulins: Located in the heart of Montmartre, this café was made famous by the movie Amélie. Stop by for a coffee or a light meal and soak in the nostalgic atmosphere.
Between sightseeing stops, take the opportunity to shop for unique Parisian souvenirs.
Visit the famous Galeries Lafayette department store, peruse the charming boutiques of Le Marais, or hunt for treasures at a local flea market.
To make the most of your time in Paris, consider joining a guided tour or utilizing a hop-on-hop-off bus service to efficiently explore the city’s attractions.
Alternatively, rent a bike or take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation system to travel between sites at your own pace.
Paris is a photographer’s dream, with its picturesque streets, stunning landmarks, and timeless charm.
Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone to capture your favorite moments and scenes.
For the best photos, try shooting during the “golden hour” – the hour before sunset or after sunrise – when the light is soft and warm.
To truly immerse yourself in the Parisian experience, consider participating in a cultural activity during your day of exploration.
Options include attending a cooking class to learn the art of French cuisine, visiting a local art gallery, or catching a performance at one of the city’s renowned theaters.
Amidst the excitement of your day, be sure to take some time to relax and recharge.
Stop for a leisurely coffee at a streetside café, unwind in a tranquil park, or simply soak in the city’s atmosphere as you people-watch from a bench along the Seine River.
After a day filled with sightseeing, you might be in the mood to experience Paris’s vibrant nightlife. Choose from a variety of options, such as:
Le Bar Hemingway: Located within the iconic Ritz Paris, this legendary bar is known for its classic cocktails and intimate atmosphere. Sip a French 75 while surrounded by memorabilia from Ernest Hemingway, who was a frequent patron.
Le Comptoir Général: A trendy bar and cultural center located near the Canal Saint-Martin, offering a unique and eclectic atmosphere. Sip on exotic cocktails while exploring the various themed rooms, filled with vintage furniture and quirky decorations.
Candelaria: A cozy speakeasy-style bar hidden behind an unassuming taqueria in the Marais district. Known for its creative cocktails and lively atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot for a late-night drink.
By the end of the day, you’ll have experienced the essence of Parisian culture and created memories that will last a lifetime.
With a blend of guided exploration and free time, you’ll have the flexibility to make the most of your time in the City of Love.
Day 3: Paris – Day at Leisure – Your Personalized Parisian Adventure
On your third day in Paris, take the opportunity to explore the city at your own pace.
With so many incredible sites and experiences, you can customize your day to suit your interests and preferences.
Below are some suggestions to help you create your perfect day of leisure in the City of Love.
The Palace of Versailles: Royal Opulence and Beautiful Gardens
A visit to the Palace of Versailles is a must for history and architecture enthusiasts. This UNESCO World Heritage site, once home to French royalty, boasts lavish interiors and stunning gardens.
Wander through the Hall of Mirrors, explore the royal apartments, and stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens.
Keep in mind that it can take a full day to fully appreciate Versailles, so plan accordingly.
Shopping on the Champs-Élysées: A Parisian Retail Experience
For a quintessential Parisian shopping experience, head to the famous Champs-Élysées.
This bustling avenue is lined with luxury boutiques, high-street shops, and chic cafés.
Be sure to stop by Ladurée, the legendary patisserie, for a box of their world-famous macarons.
Savoring French Pastries: A Sweet Indulgence
No trip to Paris is complete without indulging in French pastries.
Visit a local patisserie, such as Pierre Hermé or Stohrer, and treat yourself to a selection of delicacies, from flaky croissants to delicate éclairs.
Pair your pastry with a café au lait for the ultimate Parisian experience.
Exploring Parisian Neighborhoods: Discover Hidden Gems
Take the time to explore some of Paris’s diverse neighborhoods.
Each district offers a unique charm and atmosphere, from the historic streets of Le Marais to the bohemian charm of Montmartre.
Discover hidden gems, like the romantic Place des Vosges or the vibrant Canal Saint-Martin, and get a true sense of local Parisian life.
Museums and Galleries: A Cultural Immersion
Paris is home to an array of world-class museums and galleries beyond the Louvre.
Art aficionados may wish to visit the Musée d’Orsay, which houses an impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, or the Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum featuring works by Picasso, Matisse, and Kandinsky.
Relaxing in Parisian Parks: A Moment of Tranquility
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city by relaxing in one of Paris’s beautiful parks.
The Jardin du Luxembourg, Bois de Boulogne, and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont are just a few of the many tranquil green spaces where you can unwind, enjoy a picnic, or simply watch the world go by.
With a full day of leisure in Paris, the possibilities are endless.
Whether you choose to delve deeper into the city’s history, indulge in its culinary delights, or simply wander the picturesque streets, your personalized Parisian adventure awaits.
Day 4: Paris – Barcelona – A Journey Through Scenic Landscapes and Culinary Delights
Today, you’ll say goodbye to Paris and embark on your journey to Barcelona, a vibrant city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and tantalizing cuisine.
From picturesque countryside to charming villages, you’ll enjoy a scenic trip as you venture towards the capital of Catalonia.
Travel Details: Paris to Barcelona
Your journey from Paris to Barcelona covers a distance of approximately 1,050 kilometers (650 miles).
The most convenient way to travel between these two cities is by high-speed train, which takes around 6.5 hours.
Board the TGV train at Paris Gare de Lyon and enjoy a comfortable journey as you speed through the beautiful French countryside, passing through cities such as Lyon, Montpellier, and Perpignan before crossing the border into Spain.
Alternative Route: Driving and Stops Along the Way
For those who prefer to drive, the journey from Paris to Barcelona can be a delightful road trip.
The most direct route takes you through the heart of France along the A9 highway and then the AP-7 highway in Spain.
This drive can take approximately 10-12 hours, depending on the number of stops you make along the way.
Take the opportunity to stop at some enchanting destinations en route:
Orléans: Visit the historic city of Orléans, known for its beautiful cathedral and associations with Joan of Arc.
Clermont-Ferrand: Explore the lively streets of Clermont-Ferrand, a city surrounded by breathtaking volcanic landscapes.
Carcassonne: Discover the well-preserved medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site with impressive fortified walls.
Arrival in Barcelona: An Evening of Culinary Delights
Upon arrival in Barcelona, check into your hotel and spend the evening getting acquainted with the city.
Head to the lively El Raval neighborhood, a vibrant area with a diverse food scene and a bohemian atmosphere.
Here, you can indulge in some of the city’s best tapas and sangria at a local bar. Some popular choices include Bar Cañete, La Boqueria Market, or Sucursal Aceitera.
As you relax with your tapas and sangria, take the time to immerse yourself in the unique ambiance of Barcelona.
With its blend of Gothic and modernist architecture, bustling streets, and friendly locals, you’ll soon discover why this city has captured the hearts of so many travelers.
Day 4 marks the beginning of a new chapter in your European adventure, filled with unforgettable experiences in the captivating city of Barcelona.
Day 5: Barcelona – Gaudi and Gothic Treasures – A Journey Through Architectural Marvels and Historic Charm
Your fifth day in Barcelona is dedicated to exploring the architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí and the enchanting streets of the Gothic Quarter.
From the vibrant mosaics of Park Güell to the towering spires of the Sagrada Familia, you’ll be immersed in the city’s rich history and artistic heritage.
This day offers a unique opportunity to experience Barcelona’s captivating blend of ancient and modern, with a combination of guided tours and leisurely exploration.
Morning: Gaudí’s Masterpieces – A Celebration of Art and Architecture
Begin your day with a guided tour showcasing the genius of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
From his whimsical designs to his unparalleled craftsmanship, Gaudí’s works are a true testament to his vision and talent.
Park Güell: A Colorful Oasis in the City
Your first stop is Park Güell, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Gaudí’s most famous works.
This vibrant park, situated on Carmel Hill, offers stunning panoramic views of Barcelona.
Wander through its lush gardens and marvel at the colorful mosaics that adorn the park’s winding pathways, undulating benches, and iconic dragon fountain.
Park Güell is a true celebration of Gaudí’s imaginative designs and the perfect introduction to his unique architectural style.
Casa Batlló: A Modernist Gem on Passeig de Gràcia
Next, visit Casa Batlló, an extraordinary modernist building located on the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia.
This architectural marvel, often referred to as the “House of Bones,” features a striking façade adorned with colorful ceramics, intricate ironwork, and undulating balconies.
Embark on a guided tour of the building’s interior, where you’ll be awed by its organic forms, delicate stained glass, and innovative design elements that evoke the beauty of nature.
Sagrada Familia: Gaudí’s Unfinished Masterpiece
Conclude your morning tour with a visit to the iconic Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s most ambitious and renowned project.
This awe-inspiring basilica, which has been under construction since 1882, is a testament to the architect’s extraordinary vision and dedication.
Admire the intricate façades depicting scenes from the Bible, the soaring interior columns that resemble a forest canopy, and the breathtaking stained glass windows that bathe the space in a kaleidoscope of colors.
Although the basilica remains unfinished, its grandeur and complexity are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Lunch: A Taste of Catalan Cuisine
After your morning of exploration, take a break to enjoy some traditional Catalan cuisine.
Barcelona is home to a wide variety of restaurants serving delicious regional dishes, such as pa amb tomàquet (tomato-rubbed bread), escalivada (grilled vegetables), and fideuà (a noodle-based dish similar to paella).
Some popular dining options near the Sagrada Familia include La Paradeta, Bardeni, or the Gaudí Experience Café.
Afternoon: Delving into the Gothic Quarter – A Labyrinth of History and Charm
In the afternoon, set out to explore the historic heart of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter.
This enchanting neighborhood, with its narrow cobblestone streets and hidden plazas, is a treasure trove of history and architectural marvels.
Barcelona Cathedral: A Gothic Masterpiece
Begin your exploration at the impressive Barcelona Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture dating back to the 14th century.
Admire the cathedral’s intricate façade, featuring intricate sculptures and ornate carvings, before stepping inside to marvel at the soaring vaulted ceilings, beautiful chapels, and the stunning cloister.
Don’t forget to visit the rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Plaça del Rei: A Royal Plaza with a Rich History
Just a short walk from the cathedral, you’ll find Plaça del Rei, a picturesque square surrounded by historic buildings such as the Palau Reial Major, the royal residence of the Catalan monarchs in the Middle Ages.
Take some time to explore the square and its surrounding streets, where you can discover charming shops, galleries, and cafés.
Plaça Sant Jaume: The Heart of Political Life
Continue your stroll through the Gothic Quarter to Plaça Sant Jaume, an important square that has been the center of Barcelona’s political life for centuries.
The square is home to the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the Catalan government, and the City Hall, both of which feature impressive façades and richly decorated interiors.
Plaça Reial: A Picturesque Square for Dining and Entertainment
As the afternoon turns to evening, make your way to Plaça Reial, a lively square lined with palm trees, outdoor cafés, and elegant 19th-century buildings.
The square is a popular spot for dining and nightlife, making it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely dinner or a refreshing cocktail.
Evening: Tapas and Flamenco – A Taste of Spain’s Vibrant Culture
Complete your day of discovery with an authentic Spanish experience: tapas and flamenco.
Barcelona offers a plethora of tapas bars and flamenco venues, where you can sample delicious small plates and witness the passion and artistry of this traditional Spanish dance.
Some popular options include Tablao Flamenco Cordobés, Los Tarantos, and Palacio del Flamenco.
As you sip on sangria and savor the flavors of Spanish cuisine, let the rhythm and emotion of flamenco transport you to a world of passion and tradition.
This unforgettable evening will serve as the perfect conclusion to your day of exploration in the captivating city of Barcelona.
Day 6: Barcelona – Day at Leisure – Your Personalized Barcelona Experience
On your sixth day in Barcelona, take the opportunity to create your ideal day of exploration and relaxation.
The city offers a wide range of activities and experiences to suit all tastes, from the natural beauty of Montserrat to the sun-kissed shores of Barceloneta Beach.
Here are some suggestions to help you plan the perfect day of leisure in Barcelona.
Montserrat: A Majestic Day Trip to the Mountains
For those seeking a day of adventure and natural beauty, a trip to Montserrat is an excellent choice.
This stunning mountain range, located just an hour from Barcelona, is home to a historic monastery, spectacular hiking trails, and breathtaking panoramic views.
Join a guided tour or take a train from Plaça d’Espanya to Montserrat, then board the cable car or rack railway to reach the monastery.
Once there, you can explore the basilica, marvel at the famous Black Madonna statue, and hike through the surrounding mountains to soak in the awe-inspiring scenery.
Picasso Museum: A Journey Through the Artist’s Life and Work
Art enthusiasts may wish to visit the Picasso Museum, which houses an extensive collection of the artist’s works spanning his entire career.
Located in the heart of the El Born neighborhood, the museum is housed in a series of medieval palaces that provide a unique backdrop for Picasso’s iconic art.
As you wander through the galleries, you’ll gain insights into the artist’s creative evolution, from his early academic studies to his groundbreaking Cubist masterpieces.
Barceloneta Beach: Sun, Sand, and Sea
If you’re in the mood for a relaxing day by the sea, head to Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona’s most famous and lively stretch of sand.
Located just a short walk from the city center, the beach offers a variety of activities, from sunbathing and swimming to beach volleyball and paddleboarding.
Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, grab a refreshing drink at one of the many beach bars, or indulge in some fresh seafood at a nearby restaurant like La Mar Salada, Can Maño, or Xiringuito Escribà.
Exploring Barcelona’s Markets and Food Scene
For food lovers, a day spent exploring Barcelona’s vibrant markets and culinary scene is an absolute must.
Visit the iconic La Boqueria Market on La Rambla, where you’ll find a colorful array of fresh produce, seafood, cured meats, and cheeses.
Sample tapas at one of the market’s lively bars or pick up ingredients for a delicious picnic lunch.
Other markets worth visiting include Mercat de la Concepció, Mercat de Santa Caterina, and Mercat del Ninot.
With a full day of leisure in Barcelona, the possibilities are endless.
Whether you choose to venture into the mountains, immerse yourself in the city’s rich art history, or simply unwind on the beach, your personalized Barcelona experience awaits.
Day 7: Barcelona – Lisbon – A Journey from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
On day seven, bid farewell to Barcelona and embark on your journey to Lisbon, Portugal’s captivating capital.
Known for its stunning architecture, historic neighborhoods, and delectable cuisine, Lisbon promises a wealth of experiences for you to discover.
As you make your way from the shores of the Mediterranean to the banks of the Atlantic, you’ll transition from the vibrant energy of Barcelona to the nostalgic charm of Lisbon.
Flight from Barcelona to Lisbon
The most convenient way to travel between Barcelona and Lisbon is by air.
Board your flight at Barcelona-El Prat Airport and enjoy a comfortable journey of approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes to Lisbon Portela Airport.
Upon arrival, check into your hotel and prepare for an evening of exploration and culinary delights in Lisbon’s historic Alfama district.
Alternative Route: Driving from Barcelona to Lisbon
For those who prefer a road trip, the drive from Barcelona to Lisbon is approximately 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) and takes around 12-14 hours, depending on your stops along the way.
The most direct route follows the AP-7 highway in Spain and the A2 and A6 highways in Portugal.
Consider making stops at these fascinating destinations en route:
Valencia: Discover the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, the charming historic center, and the bustling Central Market in Spain’s third-largest city.
Granada: Explore the breathtaking Alhambra palace complex, wander through the narrow streets of the Albaicín district, and enjoy the vibrant tapas scene in this Andalusian gem.
Seville: Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Seville, home to the magnificent Seville Cathedral, the Alcázar palace, and the atmospheric Triana neighborhood.
Exploring Alfama: The Soul of Lisbon
In the evening, set out to explore the historic Alfama district, a maze of narrow streets, charming squares, and colorful houses that embody the essence of Lisbon.
Wander through the alleys, admire the views from Miradouro de Santa Luzia, and visit the imposing Castelo de São Jorge, which overlooks the city from its hilltop perch.
Savoring Portuguese Cuisine and Fado Music
Complete your evening with a memorable dining experience at a local Fado restaurant, where you can savor traditional Portuguese dishes while listening to the soul-stirring melodies of Fado music.
Some popular choices in the Alfama district include Clube de Fado, O Páteo de Alfama, or Sr. Fado.
As you indulge in mouthwatering dishes like bacalhau à bras (salted cod with potatoes and eggs) or caldo verde (kale and potato soup), let the hauntingly beautiful Fado songs transport you to the heart of Portuguese culture.
Day 8: Lisbon – History and Hills – A Journey Through Portugal’s Capital
On day eight of your European adventure, delve into the rich history and vibrant culture of Lisbon.
From the grandeur of the Belém district to the nostalgic charm of the city’s hilly streets, explore the best of Lisbon on a guided tour that will take you on a journey through time and space.
Morning: Belém District – Discovering Lisbon’s Age of Exploration
Begin your day in the historic Belém district, a riverside neighborhood that bears witness to Portugal’s Age of Exploration.
Here, you’ll find some of the city’s most iconic monuments and landmarks, which serve as testaments to the country’s maritime prowess and its role in shaping world history.
Jerónimos Monastery: A Masterpiece of Manueline Architecture
Your first stop is the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning example of Manueline architecture.
This grandiose monastery was built in the early 16th century to commemorate the return of Vasco da Gama from India and to serve as a symbol of Portugal’s wealth and power.
As you explore the complex, admire the intricately carved cloisters, the ornate chapels, and the impressive Church of Santa Maria, the final resting place of several Portuguese kings and Vasco da Gama himself.
Belém Tower: A Fortified Sentinel on the Tagus River
Continue your tour with a visit to the Belém Tower, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and an emblem of Portugal’s maritime heritage.
This fortified tower was built in the early 16th century to defend the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor and has since become an iconic symbol of the city.
Admire the tower’s exquisite exterior, featuring elements of Manueline, Moorish, and Gothic architecture, and take in the stunning views of the Tagus River from its terraces.
Monument to the Discoveries: A Tribute to Portugal’s Pioneering Spirit
Conclude your morning in Belém with a visit to the Monument to the Discoveries, an imposing sculpture that pays tribute to the many Portuguese explorers who shaped world history during the Age of Exploration.
The monument features 33 prominent figures, including Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, and Ferdinand Magellan, all of whom played pivotal roles in expanding Portugal’s influence across the globe.
Afternoon: The Iconic Tram 28 – A Ride Through Lisbon’s Hilly Streets
After immersing yourself in the history of the Belém district, it’s time to explore Lisbon’s picturesque neighborhoods on the city’s most famous mode of transportation: Tram 28.
This iconic yellow tram has been navigating the steep, winding streets of Lisbon since the early 20th century and provides a unique and charming way to experience the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
Alfama: The Birthplace of Fado Music
Hop on Tram 28 at the Martim Moniz stop and enjoy a leisurely ride through the historic Alfama district, the city’s oldest neighborhood and the birthplace of Fado music.
As the tram climbs the narrow, cobblestone streets, admire the colorful houses, the charming plazas, and the stunning views of the Tagus River from the various miradouros (viewpoints) along the route.
Graça and Mouraria: A Mosaic of Cultures
As Tram 28 continues its journey through Lisbon’s hilly streets, you’ll pass through the vibrant neighborhoods of Graça and Mouraria, both of which boast a rich cultural history and a diverse blend of architectural styles.
In Graça, be sure to visit the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, which offers one of the best panoramic views of the city.
In Mouraria, immerse yourself in the district’s multicultural atmosphere, where you’ll find a mix of Portuguese, African, and Asian influences.
Explore the narrow streets, sample delicious food from around the world, and discover the vibrant street art that adorns many of the neighborhood’s walls.
Baixa and Chiado: Lisbon’s Elegant Heart
As Tram 28 descends from the hills, you’ll arrive in the elegant districts of Baixa and Chiado, which serve as the heart of Lisbon’s downtown area.
Baixa, also known as the Lower Town, was rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1755 and now features wide boulevards, grand plazas, and a wealth of shops and restaurants.
Take some time to stroll along the pedestrianized Rua Augusta, browse the boutiques in the elegant Chiado district, or savor a cup of coffee at the historic Café A Brasileira.
Estrela and Campo de Ourique: Parks, Basilicas, and Neighborhood Charm
As you continue your journey on Tram 28, you’ll pass through the leafy neighborhoods of Estrela and Campo de Ourique, both of which offer a more residential feel and a glimpse into everyday life in Lisbon.
In Estrela, be sure to visit the striking Estrela Basilica and the adjacent Jardim da Estrela, a lush park perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll.
Campo de Ourique, meanwhile, is known for its food scene and offers a wide range of eateries, from traditional Portuguese taverns to trendy fusion restaurants.
Ending Your Day with a Sunset View
As your day of exploration draws to a close, there’s no better way to cap off your Lisbon experience than by enjoying a stunning sunset view.
Hop off Tram 28 at its final stop, Prazeres, and make your way to the nearby Miradouro de Santa Catarina, where you’ll be treated to a breathtaking panorama of the city and the Tagus River bathed in golden light.
As the sun sets over Lisbon, take a moment to reflect on your unforgettable journey through the city’s history, culture, and picturesque streets.
Day 9: Lisbon – Sintra Day Trip – A Fairy-Tale Escape
On day nine of your European adventure, journey to the enchanting town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the lush hills of the Serra de Sintra.
Known for its fairy-tale castles, romantic gardens, and fascinating history, Sintra promises a magical experience that will transport you to another world.
Morning: The Colorful Pena Palace – A Romantic Vision on a Hilltop
Begin your day in Sintra with a visit to the Pena Palace, a whimsical 19th-century palace perched atop a hill, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
This architectural masterpiece, once a summer retreat for the Portuguese royal family, showcases a blend of Romantic, Moorish, and Manueline styles.
As you explore the vibrant rooms and terraces, admire the intricate details, rich colors, and panoramic vistas that make this palace a must-see attraction.
Mid-Morning: The Mysterious Quinta da Regaleira – A Gothic Wonderland
Next, venture to the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira, a Gothic-style mansion surrounded by lush gardens, hidden grottoes, and mystical symbols. Built in the early 20th century by a wealthy Portuguese businessman, the estate is steeped in esoteric and alchemical symbolism.
Delve into the mansion’s many secrets and wander through its enchanting grounds, discovering the famous Initiation Well, the underground tunnels, and the various follies that dot the landscape.
Afternoon: The Moorish Castle – A Piece of Medieval History
After exploring the wonders of Quinta da Regaleira, make your way to the Moorish Castle, an imposing fortress that dates back to the 8th century.
Constructed by the Moors during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, the castle offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s medieval past.
As you walk along the castle’s ramparts and climb its towers, take in the breathtaking views of Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
A Late Afternoon Stroll: Sintra’s Historic Center
With its charming cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and lively atmosphere, Sintra’s historic center is the perfect place to spend a leisurely late afternoon.
Wander through the narrow lanes, browse the unique shops and art galleries, or relax in one of the many cafés and enjoy the ambiance of this fairy-tale town.
Delight in Sintra’s Culinary Treats: Travesseiros and Queijadas
No visit to Sintra would be complete without indulging in the town’s delectable pastries. Sample the famous travesseiros, puff pastries filled with almond cream, and queijadas, sweet cheese tarts, at a local pastelaria like Piriquita or Casa do Preto.
These scrumptious treats are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while immersing yourself in the flavors of Sintra.
Evening: Return to Lisbon and Reflect on Your Day in Sintra
As your day in Sintra comes to an end, return to Lisbon and spend your evening reminiscing about the magical experiences you’ve had in this enchanting town.
Whether it’s the vibrant colors of the Pena Palace, the mysterious allure of Quinta da Regaleira, or the majestic views from the Moorish Castle, Sintra’s fairy-tale charm is sure to leave an indelible impression on your memory as you prepare for the final day of your European adventure.
Day 10: Departure from Lisbon – Farewell to Your Unforgettable European Adventure
As the sun rises on the final day of your European journey, it’s time to say goodbye to the enchanting cities, vibrant cultures, and cherished memories you’ve experienced during your 10-day itinerary.
From the iconic landmarks of Paris and Barcelona to the fairy-tale charm of Sintra and the historic allure of Lisbon, this adventure has taken you on a whirlwind tour of some of Europe’s most captivating destinations.
Morning: Savor Your Last Moments in Lisbon
Before you depart, take some time to enjoy your last moments in Lisbon.
Head to your favorite café for one more pastel de nata or savor a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. Stroll along the Tagus River, soak in the city’s ambiance, and reflect on your unforgettable journey.
Preparing for Departure: Packing and Checkout
After breakfast, return to your hotel to pack your belongings and check out. As you gather your souvenirs, photographs, and memories, take a moment to appreciate the incredible experiences you’ve had during your European adventure.
Transfer to the Airport: A Smooth Departure
Arrange for a taxi, shuttle, or public transportation to take you to Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) for your departure. Ensure you leave ample time to navigate the airport, check in for your flight, and clear security.
Bon Voyage: Reflecting on Your European Adventure
As you board your plane and bid farewell to Lisbon, take the time to reflect on the unforgettable moments, friendships, and experiences you’ve had during your 10-day European journey.
From the glittering lights of Paris to the architectural wonders of Barcelona, and from the mystical allure of Sintra to the historic charm of Lisbon, you’ve created memories that will last a lifetime.
As your plane takes off, carry the spirit of Europe with you as you return home, enriched by the cultures, history, and beauty you’ve encountered.
And as you reminisce about your incredible adventure, remember that the magic of Europe will always be there, waiting for you to return and explore its wonders once again.
Your Brief Guide to Where to Stay on Your Paris to Barcelona to Lisbon Trip
Booking.com is an excellent partner for finding the perfect accommodation for your Paris to Barcelona to Lisbon trip. With a wide range of options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, you can find the ideal place to rest your head after a day of exploration.
Le Marais: A historic district with charming cobblestone streets, trendy boutiques, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Ideal for history and culture enthusiasts. (Stay in boutique hotels or cozy apartments)
Saint-Germain-des-Prés: A chic, upscale neighborhood on the Left Bank, known for its elegant cafés, art galleries, and shopping. Perfect for those seeking a luxurious stay. (Choose from luxurious hotels or stylish serviced apartments)
Montmartre: A bohemian neighborhood with artistic flair, home to the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica and bustling Place du Tertre. Ideal for art lovers and those seeking a more local experience. (Opt for charming guesthouses or budget-friendly hostels)
Eixample: A centrally-located district with modernist architecture, including Gaudi’s masterpieces, and high-end shopping. Perfect for architecture and shopping enthusiasts. (Stay in design hotels or stylish apartments)
El Born: A trendy neighborhood with narrow streets, fashionable boutiques, and a lively dining scene. Ideal for foodies and those looking for a vibrant atmosphere. (Choose from boutique hotels or modern lofts)
Barceloneta: A beachside district known for its sandy shores, seafood restaurants, and lively nightlife. Perfect for sun-seekers and those looking to unwind. (Opt for beachfront hotels or vacation rentals)
Alfama: The oldest district in Lisbon, known for its narrow streets, historic sites, and Fado music. Ideal for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. (Stay in traditional guesthouses or quaint apartments)
Bairro Alto & Chiado: Vibrant neighborhoods with a mix of historical charm and trendy nightlife, perfect for those seeking a lively atmosphere. (Choose from boutique hotels or fashionable apartments)
Belem: A district steeped in history, home to the Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. Perfect for those interested in exploring Lisbon’s maritime past. (Opt for elegant hotels or riverside apartments)
Visit Booking.com to explore a wide range of accommodation options in each city and book the perfect stay for your Paris to Barcelona to Lisbon trip.
FREQUENTLY asked questions when planning a Paris to Barcelona to Lisbon Itinerary
How many days in Lisbon and Barcelona?
We recommend spending at least 3-4 days in Lisbon and 4-5 days in Barcelona to fully explore and enjoy each city’s unique offerings. This will give you enough time to visit the main attractions, experience the local culture, and indulge in the vibrant food scenes. We suggest our 10 day itinerary for an immersive experience!
Where is the best place to stop between Barcelona and Paris?
The best place to stop between Barcelona and Paris is the French city of Toulouse. Known as “La Ville Rose,” it offers beautiful architecture, rich history, and a thriving culinary scene. You can spend a day or two exploring the city before continuing your journey.
How many days do you need to see Lisbon?
To see Lisbon, plan for at least 3-4 days. This will allow you to visit the city’s main attractions, such as the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and Alfama District, as well as explore the local culture, cuisine, and nightlife.
How long is the train journey from Paris to Barcelona?
The train journey from Paris to Barcelona takes approximately 6.5 hours on the high-speed TGV train. There are several daily connections, and you can choose between first and second class seating.
Should I spend more time in Lisbon or Barcelona?
It depends on your interests. If you prefer a city with a rich history, diverse architecture, and a laid-back atmosphere, spend more time in Lisbon. If you’re into vibrant nightlife, stunning modernist architecture, and a buzzing food scene, then allocate more time to Barcelona.
What is the best itinerary for Spain and Portugal?
The best itinerary for Spain and Portugal includes key cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Granada, Lisbon, and Porto. Start in Madrid, then head to Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville before moving on to Granada. From Granada, enter Portugal and visit Lisbon, followed by Porto.
Is Paris to Barcelona scenic?
The train journey from Paris to Barcelona is indeed scenic, offering picturesque views of the French and Spanish countryside, including rolling hills, vineyards, and charming villages.
What to visit between Paris and Barcelona?
Between Paris and Barcelona, you can visit Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Figueres. Toulouse boasts stunning architecture and history, Carcassonne is famous for its medieval fortress, and Figueres is home to the Salvador Dalí Theatre-Museum.
Is Barcelona to Paris train scenic?
Yes, the train journey from Barcelona to Paris offers beautiful views of the Spanish and French countryside, including lush landscapes, quaint towns, and vineyards.
Is Madrid or Lisbon better?
Both cities have their unique charm. Madrid is known for its museums, royal palace, and lively atmosphere, while Lisbon offers a mix of history, picturesque neighborhoods, and stunning views. Choose the city that appeals more to your interests.
As your unforgettable 10-day Paris to Barcelona to Lisbon adventure comes to an end, you can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment and joy.
You’ve marveled at the Eiffel Tower, embraced Gaudí’s architectural genius, and wandered through the enchanting streets of Lisbon.
Along the way, you’ve immersed yourself in the rich tapestry of European culture, indulged in delectable cuisine, and created memories that will last a lifetime.
So, as you bid adieu to these captivating cities, hold onto the cherished moments and newfound friendships that have made this journey truly special.
And remember, Europe will always be there, waiting for your return to explore its endless wonders once again.