If You Have 1 Day
Take a stroll through the Alfama, the most interesting district of Lisbon. Visit the 12th-century Sé (cathedral), and take in a view of the city and the river Tagus from the Miradouro Santa Luzia Belvedere. Climb up to the Castelo de São Jorge (St. George's Castle). Take a taxi or bus to Belém to see the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) and the Torre de Belém. While at Belém, explore one of the major sights of Lisbon, the Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum).
If You Have 2 Days
On Day 2, head for Sintra, the single most visited sight in the environs of Lisbon -- Byron called it "glorious Eden." You can spend the day exploring the castle and other palaces in the stunning area. Try at least to visit the Palácio Nacional de Sintra and the Palácio Nacional da Pena. Return to Lisbon for a night at a fado cafe.
If You Have 3 Days
On Day 3, spend a morning at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, one of Europe's artistic treasure-troves. Have lunch in the Bairro Alto. In the afternoon, see the Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (Museum of Decorative Art) and the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art). At the day's end, wander through Parque Eduardo VII.
If You Have 4 Days
On Day 4, take an excursion from Lisbon. (For convenience, consider an organized tour -- see listings later in this chapter.) Visit the fishing village of Nazaré and the walled city of Óbidos. Those interested in Roman Catholic sights might also want to include a visit to the shrine at Fátima, although seeing this on the same day would be hectic.
If You Have 5 Days
On the final day, slow your pace a bit with a morning at the beach at Estoril on Portugal's Costa do Sol. Then continue along the coast to Cascais for lunch. After lunch, wander around the old fishing village, now a major resort. Go to Guincho, 6.5km (4 miles) along the coast from Cascais, which is near the westernmost point on the European continent and has panoramic views.