Lisbon, Madrid and Paris in 10 days
Visit the old world and stay in some of the best-known postcards on the planet is every traveler’s dream. Check out this 10-day itinerary with the main attractions by the three European capitals – a charming Lisbon, an extravagant Madrid and an elegant Paris. Be sure, these cities have a lot to offer, just go ahead and explore them!
Begin the first day of the trip by visiting the Belém neighborhood. Here you will find the beautiful Belém Tower, a postcard of the city, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1983. Then, it is worth knowing the Monument to the Discoveries , a monument that was built in honor of the great Portuguese navigators. Do not miss the mosaic on the floor with the image of Wind Rose, which can be seen in its entirety from the viewpoint located at the top of the Monument. Close to the monument is the Jerónimos Monastery, an impressive architectural ensemble that houses a beautiful church, also classified as World Heritage by UNESCO and one of the seven wonders of Portugal, a must see! Another incredible place to visit on this day is the Castle of S. Jorge, an imposing fortification existing since the Middle Ages. Very recommended for anyone who likes history and wants to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city. In the afternoon, go to Senhora do Monte Lookout to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and witness the beautiful sunset of Lisbon. To close the first day with a golden key, in the evening stroll through the neighborhood of Alfama, famous for its alleys and excellent houses of Fado. It seems that the neighborhood has stopped in time, which is beautiful to see.
We recommend to book the second day to make a quick trip to Sintra, the little town of obligatory visit for those who travel to Lisbon. To get there, take the train that leaves from Rossio station (if you want, you can also explore the nearby Rossio Square). Arriving to Sintra, start the tour at the Sintra National Palace, which is very well maintained and full of richness of detail and history. From there, head to the Quinta da Regaleira, this place also carries an incredible history and surprises with its secret passages, underground tunnels, wells and gardens. To get to Regaleira you can walk, or take bus or taxi. The next must-see attraction in Sintra is the Dos Mouros Castle. It is a kind of ruin of a fortress erected in 1147 and restored in 1860. Arriving there, enjoy the magnificent landscape, well worth knowing! Later, head to the Pena National Palace and Park (as the palace is on the top of the mountain, the best option to get there is to take a bus). The Palace already impresses from the outside with its beauty, and the influence of the Moorish culture of the time is very noticeable. Also, the view is amazing, do not miss it!
On the last day in Lisbon the tip is to visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which is a cultural reference not only in Portugal, but also international. The museum has a large collection of ceramics and carpets from the East. The Versailles collection is very rich with furniture, paintings, sculptures from the time when the kings from Louis XIV to Louis XVI reigned. It’s worth the visit. After the museum, if there is enough time, head to the Chiado neighborhood. This typical Lisbon neighborhood is very charming, with beautiful architecture, full of shops and restaurants. What a delight to explore it! Later, continue your journey through Europe to Madrid.
The tour in Madrid we suggest starting at the Plaza Mayor, main square of the city where you will find cafes, famous restaurants, street markets and plenty of movement. From there, continue the journey towards the Royal Palace of Madrid, the official residence of the Royal Family. Nowadays, the Palace does not host the King’s family, but it functions as a space open to the public, with the right of visitation and a beautiful museum. To relax a bit after lunch, it is worth to spend some time in the Sabatini Gardens, which are next to the Royal Palace. You will be enchanted with this beautiful and very green environment, with fountain and statues that will surely make your photos even more beautiful. In the afternoon, the tip is to explore the Gran Vía, one of the main streets of Madrid. Being a sort of Spanish Broadway, it is a rather busy place where you will find theaters and cinemas, several restaurants and bars. Walking along Gran Vía, you will arrive at the Plaza de España, which is a public leisure area with a fair of local products, it is worth checking out. Also, note the Monument to Cervantes, a beautiful sculpture of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, iconic characters from Spanish and Latin literature. End your first day in Madrid with an authentic Spanish experience: an exciting flamenco show in La Quimera! It is the perfect location for a typical dinner accompanied by a glass of red that will also enchant you with national music and dance art.
In the morning of the second day in Madrid, head for the Prado Museum, one of the most famous museums in the world. The Prado Museum in Madrid has a very varied collection of works by important artists of world fame, among them are works by Picasso, Rafael, Goya, Velázquez, Botticelli, Tiziano and many others. Simply a must see! Another wonderful museum that worth every minute of time spent there is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. It also has a very rich collection of renaissance and impressionist paintings, being a must see stop for anyone who likes art. After the cultural program made in the morning, it is worth stretching your legs in the famous Retiro Park, which is next to the museums we mentioned above. Still inside the park, visit the Crystal Palace, a beautiful glass palace that formerly housed the King’s nursery and note the Alfonso XII Monument, built in 1902 as a monument dedicated to the King of Spain. Enjoy the night to discover a very curious monument that has more than 2 thousand years old, the Temple of Debod. It was built in Egypt and donated to Spain in the last century. Stone to stone, it was dismantled and rebuilt in the Spanish capital, giving rise to one of the most visited sights of the city.
Start the third day with a stroll through the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the official games stage of the all-powerful Real Madrid, the most popular football club in the city and possibly one of the most famous in the world. Take the guided tour, during it you will see the entire stadium, including changing rooms and lawn! Even for those who are not football fans, it’s a very interesting visit! Later, before continuing the trip to Paris, we suggest to visit the San Miguel Market, which houses a beautiful gourmet market where you can have lunch and sample the Spanish delicacies.
The tour in the French capital we recommend starting with the Trocadéro Square, a beautiful open-air square, which is located just in front of the Seine and with a privileged view of the Eiffel Tower. Be sure to note the sculptures of the 1930s that embellish the square and take a photo of the square with the Eiffel Tower in the background. From there, head for the most famous tourist spot in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, an immense work of architecture 330 meters high, built entirely of iron by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel. To save time, it is good to buy the ticket online to climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the most privileged view of the French capital. Leaving the Eiffel Tower, pass at the Champ de Mars, which is one of the largest green areas of Paris. From there, be sure to see the Arc de Triomphe, which is a symbol of the French nation, a monument built in honor of the victories of the military army of Napoleon Bonaparte. Within the Arc de Triomphe there is a small museum that tells the history of its construction, it is also possible to climb the monument to enjoy a panoramic view of Paris. After leaving the Arc de Triomphe, walk along the elegant Champs-Élysées, the main avenue of the French capital. It hosts the world’s leading and most exclusive brands, as well as many cafes and cinemas. Finish the day by visiting the Tuileries Garden, this garden is synonymous with nature and peace, perfect for a rest after a busy day, enjoying the beautiful scenery on the banks of the Seine.
Book the morning of the second day to visit the Louvre Museum, one of the most famous and complete museums in the world, full of works of art, archeology and paintings. It is there displayed one of the most famous paintings in the world – the Monalisa. The museum is giant and therefore it is almost impossible to see everything in a single day, so choose several works that you want to see first, or better, follow signs and maps to save time. At the exit of the museum, do not forget to take photos with the symbolic Pyramid of Glass in the background. Leaving the Louvre and following the next attraction, pass by the Pont des Arts, a place that has become popular in recent years, where couples in love fix padlocks swearing eternal love. Soon you will arrive at the Sainte-Chapelle, which surprises everyone due to its stained glass windows and its beautiful architecture. The last must-see attraction for today is the Notre Dame Cathedral. This famous cathedral has a Gothic style and is one of the oldest in France, it has been built from the year 1163 until the year 1245. If you wish, climb to the top to see another beautiful view of the city.
Reserve the morning of the third day in Paris to visit the Orsay Museum, this beautiful museum has the most complete collection of Impressionist painters. It is an interesting museum, the visit is worth even for those who are not museum fans. Another must-see site worth visiting is the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur. Unlike Notre Dame, this basilica does not have as much history, but even so, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. To get to the top of the mountain where the Basilica is located, you can choose between climbing a large staircase or using the electric train, called Funiculaire de Montmartre. Whatever your choice, beautiful panoramic photos of Paris will be guaranteed! After visiting the Basilica, pass by the Place du Tertre, which is located practically next to the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur. It is one of the most striking sites of Parisian culture and art, in this region raised the Impressionism in the early 20th century, and nowadays, in this square famous cartoonists, painters and artists exhibit their works and make paintings outdoors. Very interesting! Enjoy the night to explore the region of Montmartre, the most bohemian area of the city, full of great cafes, restaurants and of course, the cabarets of Paris like the legendary Moulin Rouge. If you want, watch a show at the Moulin Rouge, it’s a unique experience!
The morning of the last day in Paris is reserved to visit the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris’s largest public park. Here you will find works of art everywhere you look, the details and caprice in the garden are admirable. Great place to end your trip through the three European cities with the golden key!
- Arc de Triomphe
- Belém Tower
- Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
- Castle of St. George
- Gran Vía
- Louvre Museum
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Mercado San Miguel
- Moulin Rouge
- Musée d'Orsay
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Prado Museum
- Retiro Park
- Sacré-Coeur Basilica
- Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
- Trip plan