The Best 10 Days In Portugal and Spain Itinerary
Planning a trip to Portugal and Spain? Here’s my guide to taking a fantastic 10 day road trip in southern Portugal and southern Spain.
This 10 day Spain-Portugal itinerary takes you from Lisbon Portugal to Granada Spain. This popular road trip route is dense with exciting cities, must visit medieval villages, Moorish architecture, UNESCO-listed landmarks, and loads of old world charm.
This ten day itinerary begins in Lisbon, Portugal’s sultry capital. Lisbon is an exciting sun-kissed city with glistening azulejo facades and stunning vistas.
It’s a compact and lively collection of small villages, tapas bars, and some of Europe’s most important palaces.
From Lisbon, you’ll travel through beautiful Evora Portugal en route to Seville in sunny southern Spain. You’ll finish the Andalusia portion of your trip in Granada.
The city of Granada is home to the mighty Alhambra, the world’s greatest existing Moorish fortress.
Andalusia is a dreamy sun-kissed place. From flamboyant Seville to gritty Granada, you’ll discover a well-balanced blend of must see hotspots, hidden gems, tiny whitewashed villages, and natural wonders.
Here’s my recommended 10 day itinerary for a self drive road trip from Lisbon to Granada. You can always reverse the order and start in Granada and travel west to Lisbon. This would work if you are already in Spain visiting Barcelona or Madrid .
READ : Guide To 24 Hours in Barcelona
With this Spain-Portugal itinerary, you don’t need to pick up your rental car until day 4. You won’t want a car in Lisbon unless you have a roomy space to park.
Overview of 10 Day Spain-Portugal Itinerary
Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll see with 10 days in Spain and Portugal:
- Day 1 : Lisbon
- Day 2 : Lisbon and Belem
- Day 3 : Sintra Day Trip
- Day 4 : Drive from Lisbon to Seville, stop in Evora
- Day 5 : Seville
- Day 6 : Seville
- Day 7 : Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda
- Day 8 : Drive to Granda, stop in Antequera
- Day 9 : Granada
- Day 10 : Granada
Length : 10 days
Start and End Points : Lisbon and Granada
UNESCO World Heritage Sites : Jeronimos Monastery, Tower of Belem, Cultural Landscape of Sintra, Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira Palace, Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral, the Mezquita, Roman Bridge of Cordoba, Medina Azahara, Antequera Dolmens, the Alhambra, the Albaicin
For this Spain-Portugal road trip, you’ll have three bases: Lisbon (3 nights), Seville (4 nights), and Granada (3 nights).
This trip is best done by car. I give you tips on where to stay for each city.
But this Lisbon to Granada itinerary also also works by train. Just make sure you pre-book/catch an early high speed ATV train when moving from city to city.
A car is superior because it gives you more flexibility over your schedule and the ability to make pit stops (planned or unplanned) along the way.
There are plenty of great destinations to explore in this Portugal to Spain road trip. This super detailed 10 day itinerary is perfectly adjustable.
You can make it shorter or longer, depending on your available vacation time or personal fast/slow travel pace. I’ve tried to give you a mix of cities and leisurely villages, with day trip options as well.
Here’s my guide with tips for renting a car and driving in Europe .
10 Day Itinerary for Portugal and Spain
Day 1: lisbon.
Welcome to the start of your 10 day tour of Spain and Portugal!
You’re likely going to arrive in Lisbon in the early to mid afternoon. To get oriented, you may want to book a guided walking tour .
Begin by exploring the main city squares. Start in the Pombaline-designed Rossio Square, also known as Praça Dom Pedro IV.
It’s a lively place with flower vendors and eye catching sidewalks with an optical illusion wave style. Two Baroque fountains stand at each end.
Then head down the main drag, Rua Augusta, to the Praça de Comércio, the showy 18th century square with a triumphal arch.
But don’t dine or shop here; the squares are mostly filled with tourist traps. Be sure to walk through the arch so you can take in the views from the other side.
After poking around, head to Lisbon’s adjacent Chiado neighborhood. It’s a rather arty upscale neighborhood filled with lovely cafes, chic art galleries, bookshops, and tony boutiques. You can also book a 3 hour guided walking tour of Chiado.
Be sure to pop into the world’s oldest bookstore, Livraria Bertrand. And check out one of the most beautiful azulejo facades in Lisbon — the House of Ferreira das Tabuletas.
Take in the evocative Carmo Convent . It’s probably Lisbon’s best historical site Lisbon and a open air memorial to the worst day of Lisbon’s history, when the 1755 earthquake demolished much of the city.
After visiting Carmo Convent, settle in at an authentic eatery in Chiado, like Taberna da Rua das Flores or Cantinho do Avillez.
If you want a Michelin experience, try Alma . This tony restaurant claims to serve up “emotions, identity, knowledge.”
Then head to Alfama, Lisobn’s most charming must see neighborhood. Steeped in history, immortalized in Fado, and rising over Lisbon, Alfama is Lisbon’s most authentic district. It largely escaped the earthquake’s wrath.
Alfama is city outside a city. Steep stairways tumble down to Baixa below and Castelo São Jorge (St. George’s Castle) stands guard above on Lisbon’s highest hill. As a result, Alfama is incredibly beautiful and photogenic.
You can follow a my walking tour for the Alfama. You can book a 3 hour guided walking tour of this historic neighborhood
Or just surrender to the lively chaos and get lost in the maze of tangled streets, decorated with street art, flowers, and the residents’ laundry.
Day 2: Lisbon and Belem
On day 2, head to the architecturally-rich suburb of Belém. You’ll be cast back to the Age of Discoveries, when the world was Portugal’s colonial oyster.
This neighborhood could take up your entire day, if you’re so inclined. Here’s my guide to the top attractions in Belem .
Your top priority in Belem is Jeronimos Monastery. It’s a 500 year old UNESCO site and a mandatory destination in Lisbon. Jeronimos Monastery is the premiere example of Manueline architecture in Portugal and the #1 site in Lisbon’s Belem district.
You must pre-book a skip the line ticket or you’ll wait in incredibly long lines. You can also book a 3 hour guided walking tour of Belem that includes a skip the line ticket to the monastery.
There’s nothing like the moment you walk into the monastery’s two level cloister, honey colored and dripping with organic detail.
You’ll be wowed by the delicately scalloped arches, twisting turrets, and columns intertwined with leaves, vines, and knots. And the gargoyles and beasties on the upper facade.
READ : Complete Guide To Jeronimos Monastery
You can also visit the Tower of Belem and the Monument to the Discoveries. Both are included in Belem’s UNESCO designation.
You can admire them from the outside or explore inside. Be forewarned, crowds will be intense and there will be long lines to visit the interiors. You can also book a 2 hour skip the line guided tour the includes both the monastery and the tower.
Belem Tower is a fortress-like structure also built by Manuel I. It had a very Game of Thrones like feel to me with its filigree stonework. A very narrow spiral staircase leads you to the top for fantastic views.
>>> Click here to book a ticket for Belem Tower
When you’re done gorging on Manueline architecture and Belem’s famous Pasteis de Belem custard tarts, travel back to Lisbon.
At night, head to Lisbon’s nightlife spot, the hilly neighborhood of Bairro Alto for food and drink.
Or, take in a dinner and Fado sho w . Here’s a good list of Fado places in the Alfama and another with places in Bairro Alto.
Day 3: Day Trip To Sintra
On day 3, you’ll venture to Sintra Portugal , the most popular day trip from Lisbon. Sintra is rock star glamorous. The town is chock full of UNESCO-listed castles and palaces.
It’s dazzling, colorful, and romantic. Even the town itself is quaint, filled with artisan shops, and well worth exploring. Sintra packs a punch and delivers on its hype.
There are so many amazing things to do and see in Sintra, that I’ve written a guide with tips for visiting Sintra . You need to have a specific strategy and manage your time well to make the most out of one day in Sintra.
To avoid the wait and lines, you may want pre-book a guided skip the line tour for Pena Palace, the top attraction. Or go on a guided tour of the Sintra’s highlights with a historian .
If you don’t want to worry about transportation, book a guided tour full day tour from Lisbon or a guided day tour that includes the coastal Cascais and Cabo da Roca .
The three sites in Sintra that you can’t miss are: (1) Pena Palace, (2) Quinta da Regaleira, and (3) the Moorish Castle.
1. Pena Palace
Pena Palace is an operatic romantic palace. It’s intensely colorful, a heavy handed mish mash of different architectural styles.
The palace looks like several castles smooshed together. It’s a schizophrenic whirlwind of onion domes, turrets, crenellation, and fanciful sneering gargoyles.
Pena Palace was commissioned by King Ferdinand II in 1842. The project was possibly in an attempt to rival the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria .
Ferdinand was strongly influenced by German Romanticism, a style that emphasized the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, and the spontaneous.
>>> Click here to pre-book a Pena Palace ticket
2. Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleria is a stony Gothic palace built by eccentric and superstitious millionaire Antonio Monteiro.
It’s an eerie romantic place with stunning gardens featuring grottos, fountains, towers, and tunnels. It’s a short 10 minute walk from the historic center of Sintra.
The gardens feature a startling “initiation well” that was used for secret initiation rites. You walk 90 feet down the spiral (and somewhat slippery) staircase. Then, you enter underground tunnels that take you into the gardens.
>>> Click here to book a ticket to Quinta da Regaleira
3. Moorish Castle
The Moorish Castle is an ancient 9th century fortress perched high on the hills of Sintra. It’s only a 10 minute walk from Pena Palace. It has astounding 360 panormic views.
There aren’t a lot of good food options in Sintra for dinner. So, it may be better to head back to Lisbon where you’ll have a plethora of choices.
>>> Click here to book a ticket for the Moorish Castle
Where To Stay In Lisbon
I would recommend staying in or near the Chiado neighborhood. The Verride Palacio Santa Catarina is a boutique hotel in a renovated palace with incredible views.
LX Boutique is a pretty luxury hotel with a maritime themes and blue colors. The Memmo Principe Real is a historic hotel in a quiet area. It has limestone floors and original paintings.
Day 4: Drive From Lisbon To Seville, Stop in Evora
The drive from Lisbon to Seville is 4.5 hours. En route, to break up the journey, stop in the UNESCO town of Evora. Evora is a 1:15 drive from Lisbon and then it’s another 3.5 hours to Seville.
If you want another stop between Evora and Lisbon, pull over in Merida . Merida is an ancient Roman city and UNESCO-listed site.
The UNESCO-listed Evora is tucked away in the Alentejo region of central Portugal. Evora was untouched by the great earthquake of 1755 and its historic center is well preserved. You can book a guided walking tour of the historic city center .
Evora is topped by a grand 14th century cathedral, commonly refered to as Evora Cathedral. But its official name is the Cathedral Of Nossa Senhora Da Assuncao.
While not particularly pretty itself, it’s worth it to go inside just for the beautiful vistas over Evora from its balcony.
The star of Evora is an ossuary, the Chapel of Bones, attached to the large Royal Church of St. Francis. Franciscan monks slaved away in the early 17th century building this unusual site when cemeteries were overflowing.
Evora was also an important Roman town, lying on a trade route to Rome . In Evora’s center, you’ll see 14 Corinthian columns rising to the sky.
After you’ve seen the sites, leave Evora and head to Seville, your base for the next four nights.
Day 5: Explore Seville
On day 5 of your 10 days in Portugal and Spain itinerary, you’ll explore Seville. Seville is one of my favorites cities in Europe and and a must visit destination in Andalusia.
Seville is known for its Moorish architectural flourishes. The city is guarded by one of the world’s most colossal Gothic cathedrals. It’s a seductive mix of Mudéjar palaces, ornate baroque churches, colorful azulejo tiles, and shady cobblestone lanes.
And you can feast on inventive tapas, ice cold beer, and sweet sherry. At any hour of the day, no less.
On your first day in Seville, plan on seeing Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, and the Royal Alcazar.
1. Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral is a massive Gothic affair, an odd to excess. It’s the largest cathedral in the world. It’s essential to pre-book a skip the line ticket in advance.
Tickets include an audio guide. You can also book tickets + a guided tour of the cathedral and explore its rooftops.
Tickets include an audio guide. To enter the cathedral, you walk through the lovely Patio of the Orange Trees, decorated with a Moorish gate.
The Main Chapel, Capilla Mayor, is a glittering affair. It houses one of the world’s finest high altars, elaborately detailed and finished in gold leaf. There are over 1,000 carved biblical figures.
Along the aisles of the cathedral, there are 80 side chapels to explore. You’ll find spires and reliefs depicting biblical events dedicated to saints.
There’s a large mirror reflecting the intricate ceiling, which you’ll have to queue up to peer into. Lighting up the interior are 75 stained glass windows from the 16th to 19th century.
The Cathedral houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus in the south transept. Many places lay claim to Columbus’ bones.
But apparently DNA tests have confirmed that, in fact, a bit of him is in Seville, maybe a shin bone or something.
2. La Giralda
La Giralda, or the bell tower, dates from 1184. It’s the symbol of Seville and the oldest part of the cathedral complex.
The tower was originally constructed as the minaret of the Almohad Mosque that previously stood here, and was used to call Muslims to prayer. It was modeled after the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh.
You access the 100 meter high Giralda in the far right corner. It’s an easy climb, 35 sloping ramps to reach the top.
There are ramps instead of stairs so that horses could be ridden to the top. You’ll be rewarding with sweeping views of the cathedral and Seville.
3. Royal Alcazar
I’ve written at length about my adoration of the UNESCO-listed Royal Alcazar in Seville. It’s my very favorite spot in Andalusia, even above Granada’s incandescent Alhambra .
It’s essential to pre-book a slip the line ticket in advance or you’ll have long wait in line. You can also book a guided tour of the alcazar with priority entrance.
The Alcázar is one of the world’s greatest cultural treasures. The Alcazar is a centuries old complex of palaces and fortifications, lovely courtyards, and extensive gardens bursting with orange, purple, and green colors.
You cannot help but feel catapulted back in time.
The crown jewel of the Alcazar is the sumptuous Mudéjar Palace of King Pedro the Cruel, built around the iconic Maiden’s Courtyard.
The Ambassador’s Hall, or Throne Room, is the big showstopper. It’s nicknamed the “Half Orange” Room, in honor of its gilded cedar domed ceiling.
But perhaps the best part of visiting the Alcazar is its amazing gardens. They’re a lush, exotic, labyrinthian paradise, encompassing 80% of the Alcázar grounds.
The Baths of Dona Maria de Padilla are perhaps the most striking and frequently visited spot in the Alcázar Gardens.
4. Dinner & Drinks
In the evening, amble up to the hipster haven of La Alameda. This is Seville’s trendy bohemian district, situated around the Plaza Alameda de Hercules.
This not-so-touristy neighborhood of Seville has lively local pubs, parks, boutiques, chic galleries, and Roman era columns.
My pick for dinner in Alameda is Duo Tapa s , where you get delicious tapas under fairy lights. It’s popular and a great value.
You can also try La Taberna de Panduro Baños or the nearby Eslava , hidden behind the Basílica de Jesús del Gran Poder.
In lieu of a restaurant, you could also go on a 3 hour tapas crawl . I did this tour when I was last there and I loved everything except the orange wine. Or try this “10 tasting of Seville” walking tour or this 4 hour gourmet food tour .
Day 6: Seville
1. plaza espana.
Start your second day in Seville at the magnificent Plaza Espana. It’s a famous architectural landmark, photogenic spot, and a must visit attraction in Seville .
The plaza was built for the Ibero-American World Fair of 1929, where Spanish speaking countries enjoyed a year long mutual admiration festival. It’s open to the public and there’s no entry fee.
The park’s highlight is the Spanish Pavilion, the sweeping half circle structure with rose gold brick buildings. Designed in an Art Deco style with some Moorish touches, the Plaza has the expected Spanish flair — lots of color and lavish embellishment.
There are 49 alcoves, each decorated with tiles. They show historical scenes and maps from the 49 provinces of Spain arranged in alphabetical order.
2. Barrio Santa Cruz
Then head to Barrio Sant Cruz, Seville’s popular medieval district. The neighborhood is a mass of tangled cobbled streets with tiny palazzos and tile covered patios.
You may want to book a guided walking tour of the pretty barrio.
Some streets are so impossibly narrow, they’re called “kissing lanes.” There are also orange trees everywhere. You can get lost and stumble across secret squares, pretty churches, and tapas bars.
Plaza de la Santa Cruz is the heart of the barrio. But I liked Plaza de Dona Elvira best, and stopped for a delicious lunch there at Vinela Street Food.
Be sure to stroll along the winding and romantic Calle Agua, which runs along the walls of the Alcazar to Plaza Alfaro. In Plaza Alfaro, you’ll see a Juliet balcony said to have inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet .
If you like old masters, pop into the Hospital de los Venerables. The pretty baroque building was founded in 1675.
Now, it’s a museum with a few carefully guarded masterpieces by Zurburan, Murillo, and Velasquez. And some gorgeous ceilings.
In the afternoon, cross the Puente de Isabel II bridge over the Guadalquivir River and head to the colorful Triana neighborhood. Triana is a small soulful village within a big city and the old gypsy quarter of Seville.
What was once considered the “wrong side” of the river, is now the fun and funky part of town. Locals still call it the “Independent Republic of Triana.”
Triana is steeped in romance and myth. It was home to many of Spain’s best flamenco dancers and bullfighters.
Once over the bridge, you’ll be greeted by the Capilla del Carmen with its bell tower and chapel. The main commercial street in Triana is the pedestrianized Calle San Jacinto where you’ll find shops and cafes.
For lunch, get off the main drag and head left. Have some modern fusion (Venezuelan and Spanish) tapas at Vega 10 in Triana.
Located at Calle Rosario, its specialty is bull’s tail cannelloni. Or, get some tapas at Casa Cuesta or Las Golondrinas.
If you want to assemble your own dinner, head to Triana’s famous Mercado de Triana, or covered market, located on Capilla del Carmen in the Plaza del Altozano.
Stroll the stalls filled with meats and cheeses. Or try a smoothie or fresh squeezed juice. When you’re done, take a stroll along the river on Calle Betis.
>>> Click here to book a flamenco show in Triana
Where To Stay In Seville
Air Bnb is a good option in Seville. There are also some beautiful boutique hotels.
My picks would be: Hotel Colon Gran Melia , Suites Machado , or Hotel Casa del Poeta .
I also think Barrio Santa Cruz is a great, and more quiet, place to stay. In this area, you could book at Hotel Casa 1800 Seville (timeless elegance) or the EME Catedral Hotel (sumptuous hotel with a roof terrace, Michelin restaurant, and spa).
Day 7: Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda
On day 7, take a day trip to Cordoba or Ronda. If you want a city with a lot of attractions, pick Cordoba. If you want to experience a classic white pueblo village, pick Ronda.
I’d recommend Cordoba just to see the UNESCO-listed Mosque Cathedral called the Mezquita .
1. Option 1: Cordoba
You can take the train from Seville. Or you can book a full day guided tour from Seville . Or a guided tour that includes both Cordoba and Carmona .
Cordoba is an exotic stone paved city with both a Roman and Moorish past. Cordoba is a natural film set, it’s just so beautiful. Cordoba has an authentic Spanish vibe with fewer tourists than Seville or Granada.
Most people come just for Cordoba’s #1 site: the magnificent Mezquita , the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. Dating from the 10th century, it’s a UNESCO site and one of the world’s most well-preserved Islamic buildings.
Here’s my one day in Cordoba itinerary . Click here to pre-purchase a ticket. Click here to book a 1 hour guided tour of this magnificent edifice.
The courtyard is free to visit. And you can climb the minaret for views.
In the 16th century, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella converted the interior of the mosque into a cathedral, calling it the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption.
I expected the combination to be discordant and perplexing. But I found it a fascinating place, a snapshot of the sophisticated dual culture that once existed in Spain.
You walk into the Mezquita from a courtyard of orange trees via the Porte de las Palmas. You’re immediately amidst an overpowering forest of 1,000 candy cane horseshoe arches.
They’re constructed from granite, onyx, jasper, and marble. A highlight is the Mihrab, or high altar. It’s a prayer niche covered in an intricate design of gold leaf and mosaic fragments.
The Renaissance cathedral is built right in the center, sharing marble and space with the Islamic arches. The soaring vaulted ceilings are stunning.
Be sure to go up the minaret for spectacular views of Cordoba. You buy tickets for the tower at a separate ticket booth below the bell tower.
But there’s so much more to Cordoba than the Mezquita. Just downhill from the Mezquita is the Guadalquivir River. Stroll across the stunning Roman Bridge , both a UNESCO site and a Game of Thrones filming location.
Amble around the narrow languid streets of the charming old Jewish Quarter, with its brilliantly white walls and delicate filigreed window grills. You may even want to a 2 hour guided walking tour of this romantic area.
Skip the Instagram popular Calleja de las Flores, or just stroll by. It’s overrated and crammed with tourists. There are beautiful flowers and patios everywhere in Cordoba.
Go into the Jewish synagogue. Say hello to the nearby statue of Maimonides, an influential medieval Jewish philosopher.
Visit the beautiful Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. This Alcazar can’t hold a candle to Seville’s UNESCO-listed Royal Alcazar, but I thought it was still well worth a visit. Click here if you’d like to book a 1 hour guided tour of the alcazar.
2. Option 2: Ronda
Ronda is Andalusia’s third most visited city. It’s one of Andalusia’s most beautiful towns .
You can take the train from Seville. Once there, you may want to take a 2 hour guided walking tour to get oriented.
If you’d prefer to leave the transportation to someone else, you can book a guided day tour from Seville . You can also book a guided full day tour of the white pueblo villages that includes Ronda .
Ronda is not so much a white pueblo town as a sophisticated city. Ronda has a dramatic setting.
It’s perched on a mountainous gash, 1000 feet above the plain below. Ronda is synonymous with its dramatic 18th century bridge, the Puente Nuevo.
The famed bridge connects the old and newish parts of the town over the 328 feet El Tajo gorge. There’s a staircase leading to the floor of the gorge, for a different viewing perspective.
Ronda is also famed as the birthplace of bullfighting. The city’s Plaza de Toros is one of Ronda’s most popular attractions, thanks to its beautiful architecture. The bullring is ringed with double rows of columns, lending it a Neo-Classical look.
If you want to delve more deeply into Spain’s bullfighting culture, head to the Museum of Bullfighting. You’ll even find some sketches depicting the “art” (not sport) of bullfighting by Francisco Goya , the renowned Spanish artist.
Aside from the bridge, Ronda itself is beautiful — plenty of cozy town squares, cobblestone alleys, balconies everywhere, and lovely architecture. You can visit the Mondragon Palace and the Arabic Baths, if you’re feeling ambitious.
Day 8: Drive from Seville to Granada, Stop in Antequera
The Spanish-Baroque town of Antequera is fittingly dubbed the “Florence of Andalusia.” Antequera is a hidden gem in Andalusia. You’ll have the place mostly to yourself, which is a singular joy in southern Spain.
Since you’re day tripping, there’s a lot to do. Park your car on the outskirts of town and walk up Calle Don Infante. Antequera boasts an impressive Moorish Alcazaba, almost like a mini Alhambra.
It also has a lovely Renaissance church and a stunning medieval and baroque historical core. You’ll have an eyeful of swoonful scenery.
>>> Click here to book a guided walking tour of Antequera
Antequera’s ancient megaliths/dolmens are outside the old town. You’ll see signs. The dolmens date from the Bronze Age and are among the oldest things on the planet. They are essentially Spain’s Stonehenge.
The dolmens are ancient burial grounds that were declared a UNESCO site in 2016. They’re one of the most remarkable engineering and architectural works of European prehistory and an important example of European Megalthism.
For more details and information, check out my two guides to visiting the town of Antequera and to Antequera’s UNESCO dolmens .
History buffs may want to book a guided tour of the dolmens .
Day 9: Granada
Granada will sweep you away with its authentic Spanish vibe and dazzling attractions. Lorded over by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s an absolutely beautiful ancient city with historic architecture. For its size, it’s surprisingly cosmopolitan.
Granada boasts many atmospheric neighborhoods, each with an earthy distinct character. It’s home to the mighty Alhambra, a Moroccan souk, a massive cathedral, flamenco music, and — perhaps best of all — free tapas.
Start your day at Granada’s marquis site, the UNESCO-listed Alhambra. This amazing Granada attraction requires more than half a day at a bare minimum.
The Alhambra is one of the most popular and best sites in southern Spain, and even in the world. In fact, you might want to split your visit to the Alhambra in two, with separate morning and evening visits.
READ : Top Attractions In Granada
Here’s my complete guide to visiting the Alhambra . More than any other attraction I’ve mentioned, you MUST have a ticket to visit the Alhambra and reserve it well (weeks) in advance. They sell out so fast.
You may want to book a guided tour of this magnificent UNESCO site. Tours are also another way to nab the valuable ticket. They also sell out fast.
Here are some guided tour options:
- a 2.5 hour small group guided tour
- a 3 hour private tour
- a 3 hou r tour of t he Alhambra and Generalife Gardens
- a 3 hour t our with a historian
- a 2 ho ur ni ght visit
- a 6 hou r tour of the Alhambra and the highlights of Granada
The Alhambra stands on a stunning piece of real estate, high on Sabika Hill, with panoramic views over Granada and the beautiful countryside. The Alhambra is a tranquil place with burbling fountains and beautiful mosaics.
The highlights of the Alhambra are the Alcazaba, the Charles V Palace, and the jaw dropping Nasrid Palace. The Nasrid Palace is the world’s finest example of the refined, intricate, and elegant architectural style of the Moorish civilization.
The Court of the Myrtles, the Hall of the Ambassadors, and the Hall of the Two Sisters are a succession of intricate tile work, honeycomb cupolas, and cursive script.
The wonder of wonders is the Court of the Lions, named for the antique fountain of 12 lions in the center. Around the edge runs an arcade of arches supported by white marble columns.
When you’re done with the lavish palaces, head over to the beautiful Generalife for its soothing water gardens.
Later, wander around and explore the old Arab neighborhood of the Albaicin, or Albayzin. Built on a steep hill, it’s an ancient area with tight tangled winding streets and a bohemian feel. The lively place was declared a UNESCO site in 1984.
The main drags in the Albaicin, which both run parallel to the River Darro, are Paseo de los Tristes and Carrera del Darro.
Amidst a jasmine scented breeze, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, tapas bars, and even street performers. You can enjoy a sunset view at Mirador San Nicolás.
To explore this beauty of the Albaicin and the neighborhood of Sacromonte, you can book a guided walking tour . I did this tour and thought it was amazing. Sacromonte is a good place to book a sunset walking tour .
Day 10: Granada
On your second day in Granada, visit the ornate late Gothic tombs of the ambitious dynasty-builders Ferdinand and Isabella. They reigned over the Christianization of Granada and the exploration of the “new” Americas. In the sacristy hangs Queen Isabella’s personal art collection.
10 minutes away, visit Granada Cathedral in Granada’s historic center. Click here to book a guided tour of the cathedral and the Royal Chapel.
The cathedral is the second largest cathedral in Spain after Seville Cathedral.It’s the fourth largest cathedral in the world.
The edifice is a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles. Inside, there’s a towering interior, a grand altar, and side chapels.
Don’t miss Granada’s otherworldly barrio of Sacromonte, home to Granada’s Roma community. Time stands still in this unusual rustic quarter of Granada.
For centuries, Sacromonte was the home of gypsies, bohemians, artists, and foreign refuges. Sacramonte also sports one of the most mesmerizing views of the Alhambra.
Click here to book a flamenco show in Sacromonte, which has the best venue for performances in Granada.
Where To Stay In Granada
The Eurostars Catedral is a lovely hotel housed in a 16th century manor, just a short walk from the cathedral. The Catalonia Granada is a lovely hotel that comes complete with a plunge pool and open air terrace.
If you want a place where tradition and avant garde style meet, check out the Hospes Palacio de los Patos . It’s housed in a UNESCO-listed palace, with sprawling gardens, a spa, and mosaic floors.
More Time in Spain?
If you want some time to relax after your 10 day Portugal-Spain road trip, head to the Costa del Sol for a few days of beach time and coastal views.
If you want a big city, head to Malaga. If you want a more laid back beach town, try Marabella or Nerja. Don’t miss the pretty mountain villages of Frigiliana en route.
To read about these towns and other villages in Andalusia, check out my guide to the 27 most beautiful towns in Southern Spain .
You may enjoy these other Portugal travel guides and resources:
- 10 day itinerary for Portugal
- Historic landmarks in Portugal
- 4 day itinerary for Lisbon
- Guide to the Alfama neighborhood
- Guide to the Belem neighborhood
- Day trips from Lisbon
- Hidden gems in Lisbon
- Best sites and photo spots in Porto
- Best azulejo tiles in Porto
You may also enjoy these other Spain travel guides and resources:
- 33 secret towns in Spain
- 10 day itinerary from Madrid to Seville
- 10 day itinerary from Barcelona to Bilbao
- 1 week itinerary for northern Spain
- 10 day itinerary for Basque Spain
- 2 day itinerary for Madrid
- Most Beautiful Cites and Towns in Andalusia
- 3 day itinerary for Seville
If you’d like to spend 10 days in Portugal and Spain, pin it for later.
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Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Leslie Livingston
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13 Best day trips from Lisbon by train, bus, and car that you’ll love!
Lisbon is the perfect city to base yourself with so many lovely things to do, vibrant nightlife, and charismatic cobblestoned streets climbing up the city’s hills to the city’s best viewpoints.
If you plan on staying a while, you might want to head out for a few day trips from Lisbon to discover the rest of central Portugal too.
But where do you even begin?
Throughout the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time in Lisbon and that means I’ve also explored a number of the absolute best day trips from Lisbon that you can take.
Whether you’re driving or prefer to go on day trips from Lisbon by train or bus, there are incredible places to discover like great cities, small charming towns, and nature destinations.
If you’re curious about where to go, make sure to read on to find out more about my absolute favorite Lisbon day trips.
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Table of Contents
Best day trips from Lisbon
One of the most quaint coastal towns near Lisbon is Cascais. Only 30 kilometers west of Lisbon, this is certainly one of the most popular day trips. Lisbon is so close, you hardly realize you exit the city.
Being such a small town, there are so many great things to do in Cascais , like relaxing at the beach, heading to Boca do Inferno, and walking along the promenade back to the town.
You should consider visiting museums like Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães which looks like a fairy tale castle with its stone tower. Just across the street, you find Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum.
The old town of Cascais is also incredibly cozy with small shops, cafés, and restaurants. You can easily find vegan eats there too. Particularly Tanah Vegan captured my tummy!
You will not regret going on a day trip to Cascais from Lisbon !
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 30 minutes by car, you can park for a fee in town or at any outdoor parking lot, but it can be hard to find space, especially in the summer months. By train: Trains from Lisbon to Cascais leave every 20 minutes approximately from Cais do Sondré train station and the journey takes about 40 minutes. By bus: N/A
One of the most hyped and best day trips from Lisbon by train is Sintra after the colorful fairytale Pena Palace gained Insta-fame. Yet the whole area is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Is it worth it though, a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon ?
While you won’t be able to experience all the things to do in Sintra in only a day, you can easily explore the Pena Palace and one more.
If you travel by car it is a lot easier to get around to the different castles. There are not many parking places near them, but personally, I have never had problems parking.
If you prefer to go by public transport, there are local buses in Sintra taking you past the different sites. Take the 434 bus that loops from Sintra train station past both Castelo dos Mouros and the Pena Palace.
Bus 435 passes Quinta da Regaleira and Palacio de Monserrate.
An alternative is to go on a guided tour to get the most out of the day without the hassle. Check out this tour that includes the Pena Palace and the Quinta da Regaleira.
No matter which way you choose to travel or which castles you decide to see, get ready for a day of fairytale castles, impressive gardens, sweeping views, and a journey back in time.
Few places are as magical as Sintra so if you only have time for one day trip from Lisbon during your stay, this should be it!
HOW TO GET THERE:
By car: 30 minutes drive on the A37 or A16, though it can take more time to get out of the city during rush hours. By train: Around 40 minutes train ride from Rossio Station and Oriente Station . The trains leave every 30 minutes. By bus: There are no direct buses from Lisbon to Sintra. You can take the bus to Cascais and change there to get to Sintra. However, I recommend going by train if you don’t have a car.
One of the most underrated one day trips from Lisbon is to the charming surf town of Ericeira. Being Europe’s first World Surfing Reserve, you can only imagine the amazing surfing opportunities there.
For the same reason, it has also achieved a status as one of the most sustainable travel destinations to visit.
Besides surfing, there are a lot of wonderful things to do in Ericeira . Wander around the cobblestoned streets between whitewashed houses where laundry is flopping in the wind.
Walk along the waterfront taking in the impeccable views and grab a drink in the sun while you watch surfers ride the waves. There is also cool rock art and street art to be seen.
If you plan on spending the day on the beach, make your way to Foz do Lizandro beach where the Rio Lizandro flows out into the ocean. This makes it perfect for paddle boarding.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: It takes around 45 minutes to drive to Ericeira and parking is easy in the little town. By train: N/A By bus: Buses run every hour from Campo Grande and take between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Another epic one day trip from Lisbon is to Mafra. Many tours will take you on a tour of Ericeira and Mafra in one day as the main attraction there is the Mafra National Palace.
However, if you travel independently, you can visit the impressive palace before lunch and head to Tapada Nacional de Mafra , a former royal hunting ground.
Now, there are trails throughout the park and wild roaming deer and boars. There is a visitor center once you arrive where you buy tickets for entering and you can get information about the different trails.
Both the palace and the Tapada are declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 44 minutes drive along the A8, you can park for free in some streets or for a fee at the public parking by the palace. By train: N/A By bus: There are frequent buses to Ericeira that stop in Mafra. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
When looking for day trips around Lisbon, Fatima is a wonderful option. The town is an important pilgrimage destination as devoted from all over the world come to the Fátima Sanctuary.
Especially between the 13th of May and the 13th of October is busy since it was during this period that Mary appeared in front of six shepherd children several times and led up to the Miracle of the Sun that was witnessed by thousands of people.
This resulted in building the sanctuary and in my opinion, religious or not, you should take the trip to this place. Pictures simply don’t do this place justice.
Its grandeur reminded me of the St. Peter’s Church in Rome (which I’ve been visiting since I was a child as my family is from the Italian capital.) I would clearly say that pictures don’t make this place justice.
If you prefer to travel on an organized tour, check out this full-day tour from Lisbon to Fatima and Obidos.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 1 hour and 25 minutes. There is a large, free parking lot behind the sanctuary where you should be able to park easily. However, it might fill up during the most important dates which is the 13th of each month from May to October. By train: N/A By bus: There are buses that take 1 hour and 20-35 minutes from Lisbon Sete Rios and Santa Apolonia bus stations.
Pegadas de Dinossáurios da Serra de Aire Natural Monument
This is one of the top day trips from Lisbon for small and big kids (like myself!) I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I could see real dinosaur footprints only a day trip from Lisbon. This is truly a hidden gem in Portugal !
To see the dinosaur footsteps you must embark on a 2-kilometer roundtrip to the quarry where the 175 million years old footprints of sauropods are. In fact, they are the longest sauropod tracks ever recorded. There is a wooden walkway taking you alongside the footprints and it’s truly amazing that they are left by the giant extinct creatures.
The interpretation center has more information about the dinosaurs and how the footprints were found as well as a little gift shop where you can get everything dinosaurs for the kids in the family.
This site is only reached by car and can easily be combined with a visit to the nearby Sanctuary of Fatima or exploring one of the lesser-known hikes in Portugal along the trails from the interpretation center.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 1 hour and 30 minutes. There is parking at the site. By train: N/A By bus: N/A
Famed for its big waves, Nazaré is the best day trip from Lisbon for those who want to see big wave surfing. In the winter months, the waves can reach 30 meters and it’s an incredible experience to witness a big wave surf competition whether you are a surf fanatic or not.
In fact, Nazaré has the biggest waves in Europe due to a large underwater canyon reaching thousands of meters below sea level. This creates a swell swirling up the giant waves that have put Nazaré on the surfing map of the world.
But there are other t hings to do in Nazaré than surfing giant waves. The traditional fisherman’s town still uses traditional fishing techniques and dries fish on racks outside. Walking along the seaside you will witness women drizzling salt on the drying fish.
Take the funicular to the upper part of town where you will be rewarded with sweeping views of Nazare’s moon-shaped beach protecting one of the best coastal towns in Portugal.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. You can usually find parking along the streets is usually easy outside the summer months and the big wave competitions in winter. By train: N/A By bus: Buses leave regularly from the Sete Rios bus terminal in Lisbon and the journey takes 1 hour and 50 minutes.
One of the most beautiful day trips from Lisbon is to the enchanting town of Leiria. With a hilltop castle and cozy cobbled streets leading through old white buildings to quaint squares full of restaurants and bars, there is nothing not to like about Leiria.
There are many things to do in Leiria, but on a day trip you should not miss out on Leiria Cathedral. If you drive, I suggest you make a stop at the Monastery of Batalha on the way there or back.
The UNESCO site is an impressive melting pot of archaeological styles that King John I ordered built to commemorate the victory of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota against the Moors.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: Just over 1 hour and 30 minutes drive. There is free parking along the street below the castle and take the funicular up. By train: Train journeys take from 3 hours and 30 minutes and up, so I don’t recommend taking the train for a day trip. By bus: Buses to Leiria take between 1 hour and 30 minutes and 2 hours from Sete Rios bus terminal.
Yet another of the most popular Lisbon Portugal day trips is to the town of Évora. Famous for its bone chapel, there are more things to do in Evora .
The main church of Sao Fransisco, which is next to the Bone Chapel’s entrance, is beautifully decorated with white and blue azulejo work and, though not as gruesome, just as much worth seeing as the Bone Chapel itself – where the bones and skulls of over 5000 monks make out the ornaments on walls, altars, and columns.
Évora Cathedral is a stunning blend of Romanesque and Gothic and it’s a must to climb up the winding stairs to the rooftop for epic views of the town and surrounding countryside.
You can also see the remains of the Roman Temple that has possibly stood there since the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD and visit the Roman Baths from the 1st century.
There are enough things to see in the charming town to keep you busy on a Lisbon to Evora day trip . You can also visit the megaliths of the Cromeleque dos Almendres outside Évora if you drive or join a group tour from Lisbon to Évora that includes the interesting archaeological site.
I recommend this tour if you don’t hire a car.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive and it is fairly easy to find parking close to the old town, considering it is walkable. By train: The train journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. They leave from both Entrecampos and Santa Apolonia By bus: 1 hour and 30 minutes journey with 1-2 departures an hour.
One of the most incredible day trips from Lisbon by train is to Aveiro, also recognized as Portugal’s Venice. Charming and welcoming with its canals and colorful Moliceiros it is surely one of the most attractive towns in Portugal .
Besides taking a river cruise in a Moliceiro, there are a few nice things to do in Aveiro like visiting the Sé Cathedral and Aveiro Museum.
You can go shopping in small, eco shops in the charming cobblestoned pedestrian streets and cross the river for a lovely lunch. Pay attention to the beautiful Art Nouveau houses along the canal.
If you drive, it’s worth taking an evening stroll along the Passadiços Ria de Aveiro to take in the calm saltwater rivers and bird life surrounding the wooden boardwalk.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 2 hours and 30 minutes drive. It is easy to find parking in Aveiro either in paid street parking or in underground parking lots. By train: By high-speed train, you can reach Aveiro in 2 hours and 8 minutes. Trains leave from Santa Apolonia station direction Porto- Campanha By bus: The bus to Aveiro takes a minimum of 3 hours and is the least recommended option for a day trip.
Rio Maior is one of the most underrated, yet best day trips from Lisbon that you can take by bus or by car. I highly recommend taking this day trip by car as the most popular things to do in Rio Maior are spread around – also outside the town.
See the Villa Romana de Rio Maior and take a stroll around the town before heading out of town to see the Salinas de Rio Maior. These are the only inland salt pans that produce enough salt to make it a business. It is a cute little space of wooden shacks selling salt in different ways as souvenirs.
During the Christmas period, it turns into a lovely little Christmas village and even Santa appears on his sleigh. They also host a yearly nativity scene made of salt.
Next, discover the medieval storage chambers at Silos de Alcobertas and the interpretation center of the Forno Medieval de Alcobertas which was the community kiln where ceramics would be baked back in the day.
There are also many grottos in the Serras de Aire Natural Park that you can include in your day trip, like Gruta de Alcobertas.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: 1 hour and 10 minutes by car on the A1. The sites in Rio Maior are spread and are easiest reached by car. Parking is available on all sites. By train: N/A By bus: The bus takes from 1 hour and 10 minutes from Terminal Rodoviário de Sete Rios
You might think it’s crazy to consider doing a Lisbon to Porto day trip , but you would be surprised how many travelers opt for this if they don’t have the time to spend a few days in both cities.
This is surely a Lisbon day trip that will be long and you should plan your Porto itinerary carefully before you reach the city.
Due to its size and numerous incredible attractions, it’s a good idea to focus on sites that are close to each other – because you won’t be able to see nearly as much as you want from Porto in a day .
Among the best things to do in Porto that are close to the train station (I recommend taking the high-speed train for a day trip from Lisbon) are climbing the Clerigos Tower, visiting the Lello Library, and entering the Carmo Church.
Around there, you can get lunch or you can walk down to the Ribeira district by the Douro River to grab a bite on the riverfront.
Cross the Louis I Bridge to visit one of the port wine cellars and museums on the other side of the river or take a Douro River Cruise before heading back to the train station – which is a tourist attraction on its own with its incredible azulejos artwork.
You can alternatively take an organized day tour by bus with a guide that takes you through Nazaré and Óbidos on the way to Porto. This tour will get you through a lot of places and you will get a feel of Porto, but at the end of the day, you only get a couple of hours in a city that in my opinion deserves an entire week.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: Driving to Porto takes around 3 hours. However, it can be complicated to park for free or cheap in Porto. By train: High-speed train only takes 2 hours and 35 minutes. There are multiple daily departures from Oriente train station. By bus: The fastest bus trips take 3 hours and 15 minutes and most buses depart from Sete Rios or Oriente bus terminals.
One of the longest day trips from Lisbon that is surprisingly popular is to the far southern region of the Algarve. The best way to travel down on a day trip to Algarve from Lisbon is by car or by high-speed train to Faro, depending on what you want to explore.
By train, explore Faro old town, the bone chapel, Faro beach, and go for a hike in Ria Formosa Natural Park where you might spot flamingos. You can also take a boat tour to explore the incredible Benagil Cave .
If you go on a road trip , you are free to visit different towns in Algarve like Tavira, Albufeira , or Lagos . Exploring the incredible beaches and walking the golden cliffs (my favorite hike is the Seven Hanging Valley’s Trail !) are just some of the many things to do in Algarve , so make sure you plan your itinerary carefully so that you get the most out of the day.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car: Driving to the Algarve takes 2 hours and 40 minutes and is the best way to see the most of Algarve during a day. By train: The high-speed train to Faro takes 3 hours one way. By bus: There are hourly buses from Lisbon Sete Rios and the journey takes from 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Reflections on Lisbon day trips
As you see, there are so many spectacular day trips from Lisbon that you can take that you can easily use this wonderful city as a base taking advantage of its vibrant nightlife, listen to the best Fado shows, and immerse yourself in dreamy sunsets from Lisbon’s many viewpoints.
Lisbon has, and will always have a special place in my heart, even though I totally fell in love with Porto too!
Make sure you read my 2 days in Lisbon itinerary and complete guide to Lisbon in winter too. If you travel with a drone, you might want to check out this post to find out what you need to know.
21+ Absolute Best Day Trips From Lisbon (+ How to Get There!)
Beaches, monasteries, small towns, palaces, and even islands: there is truly no shortage of incredible day trips from Lisbon, Portugal!
After spending more than a year living in Lisbon, I’m convinced that it offers more variety and beauty in its day trip options than most capital cities in Europe (which is quite the high bar).
Whether your tastes run toward history and architecture, food and wine, or beaches and sunshine, we have some incredible Lisbon day trip ideas here for you.
We’ve also included details on the best ways to get to each place, whether a tour is worth it for that particular destination, and the best things to see while you’re there.
As a result, this guide to the best places to visit near Lisbon got a bit long–feel free to use the table of contents underneath this introduction to navigate as you narrow down which day trips from Lisbon are best for you.
Table of Contents
A Quick Note On Structuring Your Day Trips From Lisbon
Quick decision: an epic + easy lisbon day trip idea, top day trips from lisbon, portugal, cities + small towns to visit near lisbon, coastal + beach towns for lisbon day trips, palaces + monasteries to visit on lisbon day trips, more of the best day trips from lisbon, beaches near lisbon for laid-back day trips, can you take a day trip from lisbon to porto, map of the best day trips from lisbon, portugal.
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If you take a look at the Lisbon day trips map that we included at the bottom of this blog post, you’ll probably notice something interesting: many of these destinations are tantalizingly close to each other!
In certain cases, it’s not uncommon to combine 2, 3, or even 4 of these places near Lisbon into one epic day trip (typically, we recommend choosing no more than 2 if you’re traveling independently, organized day tours often visit 3-4).
Some combinations, like Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca , or Fátima, Batalha Monastery, Óbidos, and Nazaré , are popularly offered by tour companies, and others are more of a do-it-yourself endeavor.
We’ll go into more detail under each individual destination, but generally speaking, if you want to visit multiple destinations in one day, we’d recommend either booking a tour or renting a car for the day .
Navigating public transportation can get stressful when trying to visit multiple destinations near Lisbon in one day, and most (not all) of these day trips are very car friendly.
If you’d like to drive, we recommend searching for your rental car through Discover Cars , which will allow you to sift through all your options and choose the right car for you based on price, the reputation of the company that is renting it, and the terms of the rental contract.
Shop rental cars for your day trip from Lisbon today!
Want to take an epic day trip from Lisbon, but don’t want to overthink it or sort through 20+ options?
If so, this incredibly popular day trip to Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca is perfect for you!
Variations of this tour are among the most popular things to do in all of Portugal, and booking this tour will allow you to sample the iconic Pena Palace, beautiful downtown Sintra, the beach town of Cascais, and the incredible coastal views from Cabo da Roca–all without worrying about dealing with transportation.
Given the packed schedule, you won’t be able to visit any of the destinations as in-depth as you would with more time, of course–but consider this Lisbon day trip a sampler platter of the region.
By the end of the day, you’ll have had a full taste of what makes the area surrounding Lisbon so beloved among visitors and locals alike!
Book your day trip to Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca today!
Without a doubt, Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca are the most popular day trips from Lisbon–hence why they’re covered in our quick-decision day trip option above!
If you want to visit just 1 or 2 of them, though, or hope to plan your day independently, this round-up will help you know exactly which of these top Lisbon day trips is right for you.
Sintra, with its array of fantastical, whimsical palaces and beautiful views, is absolutely the most popular day trip from Lisbon.
Here’s the catch, though: you can’t see all of Sintra’s palaces in one day, let alone see them and also visit the town and nearby attractions like Cabo da Roca or the Capuchin Convent.
You can definitely get a taste of Sintra in a day either independently or with a tour , though!
If you visit independently, you’ll have time for 2-3 palaces plus perhaps sample the town–but not all of the palaces are within walking distance of each other, so you’ll need to plan your day carefully!
Pena Palace (the iconic red and yellow one), Quinta da Regaleira (home to the Instagram-famous well and Alice in Wonderland vibes), and the Moorish Castle (epic views) are the most popular.
Monserrate Palace (one of my personal favorites) and the Sintra National Palace (arguably the best interior) are a bit lesser-known but also wonderful, and you can mix and match.
If you’re visiting independently, be sure to book your tickets for Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira in advance!
Alternatively, a tour like this ( this one is similar but visits 2 palaces ) can give you a wonderful taste of Sintra.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Sintra
Traveling from Lisbon’s Rossio Station to Sintra takes about 40 minutes by train, and there are plenty of trains to choose from each day.
From there, you’ll hop on one of a couple of bus routes to head to the palace of your choice.
Though you can take the train back as well, we’ve gotten in the habit of hailing an Uber once we’re ready to leave for the day, which is a bit pricier, but more efficient.
Lisbon’s favorite beach escape, the idyllic coastal town of Cascais is easy to access, fun to explore, and offers a fun mix of beaches, viewpoints, museums, shopping, and restaurants.
And, this beautiful coastal gem lies less than an hour from Lisbon by train!
With a package like that, it’s not surprising that Cascais is one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon for locals and visitors alike.
While you’re there, be sure to explore the Old Town, visit a beach or two (Praia da Rainha is small but incredibly picturesque), and stop by one of Cascais’ museums (we loved the Castro Guimarães Museum).
By walking out to Boca do Inferno from the train station, you’ll not only meander past most of the best things to do in Cascais (including getting the postcard-worthy view of the Santa Marta Lighthouse) but you’ll also be treated to stunning views of the coast along the way.
You can easily spend a whole day in Cascais, especially if you’re visiting during the summer and want to enjoy the beach, but Cascais can also be combined with Sintra and/or Cabo da Roca, or even lesser-known nearby spots like the Cresmina Dunes.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Cascais
Cascais is extremely accessible from Lisbon by train!
Simply take one of the many trains per day from the Cais do Sodré Station near the Time Out Market directly to Cascais.
If you only want to visit Cascais, there’s no reason to book a tour–but if you’d like to see as many places as possible during your Lisbon day trip, booking a tour like this that combines Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais can be a great option.
Cabo da Roca
Once believed to be the westernmost place in mainland Europe, and now just a beloved, gorgeous viewpoint near Lisbon, Cabo da Roca is one of the most popular day trips from the Portuguese capital!
Cabo da Roca is technically part of Sintra–and one of the Sintra tourist bus routes does travel here–but it’s about a 30-minute drive from the city center.
This beautiful viewpoint still feels like it exists at the end of the world.
There’s a lighthouse to admire, a coffee shop if you get thirsty, toilets at the visitor’s center, and a parking lot… but that’s about it!
Trails lead along the coast from Cabo da Roca, so visiting can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as a full day, if you want to hike down to Praia da Ursa or another beach to while the day away (though this is not the best option for travelers with a fear of heights).
While it may seem excessive to catalog a viewpoint as a day trip–and you can and should combine Cabo da Roca with at least one more nearby destination–we have absolutely loved each and every one of our visits and highly recommend appreciating the beauty of the coastline for yourself.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is about a 45-minute drive from Lisbon, and by far the simplest ways to visit are to rent a car and drive there (we’ve done this a few times) or visit as part of a combined day trip like this .
There isn’t direct public transportation between Lisbon and Cabo da Roca, but you can connect through Sintra or Cascais (bus 403).
The list of beautiful cities and small towns near Lisbon that make excellent day trips expands far beyond Sintra and Cascais!
If you’re looking for a gorgeous inland city or town to visit, this section is for you.
If your idea of the perfect day trip from Lisbon is climbing along the walls of a medieval castle, shopping in unique bookstores, and sampling sips of ginjinha served right on the street, Óbidos is the place for you!
This gorgeous small town is famous for being fully encircled by its medieval castle walls, and you can walk freely along the tops of them.
Be sure to stroll along Rua Direita and step inside to see the azulejo -covered interior of Igreja de Santa Maria while you’re there, too.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Óbidos
By far the simplest way to get from Lisbon to Óbidos is to rent a car and drive there , which is what we typically do.
However, there’s also an express bus service that will help you travel between Lisbon and Óbidos in about an hour.
If you’d like to combine Óbidos with other popular day trip destinations in central Portugal like Nazaré and Batalha Monastery (more about those and other potential options further down in this guide), a tour like this is a great option.
Shop organized day tours to Óbidos today!
If you’re a practicing Catholic, Fátima is arguably the most significant of all of these day trips from Lisbon–and if you’re not a practicing Catholic, it may not be on your priority list at all.
Either way, though, it’s worth keeping Fátima in mind, especially since many multi-stop day tours like this include Fátima among their locations.
Fátima is most famous for the fact that in 1917, an officially-recognized-by-the-Vatican miracle occurred: the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to 3 children in town.
Multiple popes have visited, and the location of the miracle has become a significant Catholic pilgrimage location.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Fátima
To visit Fátima from Lisbon, you’ll need to either rent a car and drive , take a bus (about an hour and a half each way), or book a tour .
It only takes a couple of hours on average to see Fátima’s major pilgrimage sites, so it is typically one stop on a greater day trip from Lisbon.
Did you know that the home of the legendary Order of the Knights Templar is found less than 2 hours north of Lisbon?
Tomar, Portugal is most famous for its Convent of Christ complex, which is a UNESCO site that was once the seat of the Knights Templar, featuring a castle, church, convent, and more.
It’s beautiful, memorable, and a bit mysterious–exactly what you would expect from a place tied to the Knights Templar!
If you plan to drive to Tomar, you can also walk along the top of the city’s aqueduct just outside of town–if you don’t mind the lack of handrails in some places, that is!
How to Travel From Lisbon to Tomar
You can reach Tomar from Lisbon by train, car, bus, or tour, making it a very versatile option for day trips from Lisbon.
Tomar is about 1.5-2 hours north of Lisbon, depending on which transportation option you pick.
Portugal’s “third city” lies conveniently on the train line between Lisbon and Porto–but this lovely city is far more than a stopover.
Coimbra is incredibly beautiful and mixes ornate architecture and lengthy history (it was the capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1385) with youthful energy.
It’s most famous for being home to the UNESCO World Heritage-recognized University of Coimbra, which is partially housed in a former royal palace and well worth touring during your day trip .
Don’t miss the stunning Biblioteca Joanina while you’re there, which just may be one of the most beautiful libraries in the world!
How to Travel From Lisbon to Coimbra
Coimbra is located about 2 hours north of Lisbon by direct train, which is by far the easiest way to get there.
As the capital of Portugal’s Alentejo region, the delightful yellow-and-white city of Évora is known for many things: wine, architecture… and bones.
Évora’s most famous attraction, its Chapel of Bones, is already enough of a reason to take a day trip from Lisbon to Évora .
Add in the stunning Évora cathedral (and the views from its rooftop), Évora’s very own Roman Temple, and plenty of other churches and attractions to explore, and this beautiful city makes for a packed day trip.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Évora
Évora is about 2 hours east of Lisbon by train (though there are only a couple of trains per day, so you’ll need to plan your time carefully) or a bit longer by bus.
If you choose to rent a car or book a tour , though, you’ll also be able to visit the 7,000-year-old megaliths that lie outside of town, which are incredible to visit.
Book your day trip to Évora and its megaliths today!
Lisbon lies tantalizingly close to the Atlantic Ocean–and as a result, there is an enormous number of charming beach towns near Lisbon that are well worth a day trip.
If you’re looking to enjoy coastal views, take a hike along the ocean, or (if you’re open to dealing with the cold water, that is) go for a swim, these day trip ideas are for you.
The beautiful beach town of Nazaré has a seasonal personality: by summer, it’s merely a charming beach town, with winding streets, a long stretch of sand, and great views.
But by winter, it’s one of the most unique day trips from Lisbon around–because this is where expert surfers ride the biggest waves in the world.
“Big wave” season runs from November to February, and visitors flock to Nazaré to admire the surfers at work (the phenomenon doesn’t happen every day, but you can track your odds of seeing giant waves here ).
How to Travel From Lisbon to Nazaré
Nazaré is about an hour and a half north of Lisbon by car or a little under 2 hours (on average) by bus.
It’s also popularly included on multi-stop day trips like this one , which also visits Fátima, Óbidos, and Batalha Monastery.
Berlengas Islands (+ Peniche)
While the town Peniche itself makes for a fun day trip, with a beautiful coastline and a local fort to explore, there’s another reason that this makes the list of the best day trips from Lisbon: it’s the launching pad to the Berlengas Islands.
The Berlengas Islands are a picturesque archipelago lying about a 45-minute ferry ride away from Peniche, perfect for quick summer getaways.
If you don’t have time to make it to the Algarve during your trip to Portugal but are craving island vibes, this is the day trip for you!
Featuring sea caves, swim spots, beaches, a lighthouse, and the picturesque São João Baptista Fort, the Berlengas Islands make for an incredibly memorable day trip.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Peniche
Due to the time-sensitive nature of catching a ferry and the goal of making the most of your limited time on the Berlengas Islands, this is one Lisbon day trip that’s better accomplished with a tour.
This can be accomplished in one of a couple of ways: first, you could either drive or take a bus to Peniche (which is about an hour and a half north of Lisbon) and then join a Berlengas Islands tour leaving from Peniche .
Alternatively, you can avoid worrying about transportation entirely by booking a full Berlengas Islands day tour like this that leaves right from Lisbon!
Book your day trip to the Berlengas Islands and Peniche today!
Azenhas do Mar
As you’ve been planning your trip to Portugal, odds are pretty high that you’ve come across a photo or 2 of the beautiful town of Azenhas do Mar!
This picturesque beach town is perched on a cliff over the Atlantic, giving the impression that its jumble of cliffside buildings is tumbling into the sea.
It’s also home to some beautiful beaches, complete with tidal pools, and restaurants serving up seafood with ocean views.
Azenhas do Mar is tiny–it’s generally combined with a multi-stop day trip to the area , which we recommend unless you’re just looking for a beach day–but definitely worth seeing.
There’s a reason that wealthy people from Lisbon and Sintra have long chosen to build luxurious summer homes on this spot!
How to Travel From Lisbon to Azenhas do Mar
While you can technically reach Azenhas do Mar from Lisbon via public transportation (many people take the train to Sintra and then catch a bus to Azenhas do Mar from there), this is a day trip destination that will be infinitely more laid back by renting a car (which is what we do) or booking a tour.
This well-reviewed tour includes Azenhas do Mar as a stop on a broader Sintra and Cascais day trip, which trades time in the other places for this extra peek at the beauty of the Portuguese coast.
Book your day trip featuring Azenhas do Mar today!
Right along the coast between Lisbon and Cascais, you’ll find the beautiful beach town of Estoril.
Above all, Estoril is famous for one thing: its casino was Ian Fleming’s inspiration for writing the first James Bond book, Casino Royale , which launched a character that has now been around for generations!
Beyond this connection, though, Estoril is a lovely resort town in its own right, with many similarities to Cascais (though often a bit less crowded).
Don’t miss Praia do Tamariz when you visit!
How to Travel From Lisbon to Estoril
Estoril is one of the easiest day trips from Lisbon to access.
A roughly 35-minute train ride from Cais do Sodré Station (with trains leaving multiple times an hour) will take you to this resort town!
Alternatively, if you want to visit both Cascais and Estoril, you can take the train all the way to Cascais and then walk along the sea until you reach Estoril.
The walk only takes about 30 minutes (depending on how many times you stop to enjoy the view, that is).
If you’re looking for a laid-back fishing and surfing village to enjoy a relaxing day trip from Lisbon, Ericeira might be the place for you!
Ericeira features a small, walkable downtown center packed with restaurants and cafes, but its main draw is simple: the beaches.
From Praia dos Pescadores to Praia do Sul and beyond, Ericeira is positively surrounded by beautiful beaches, several of them located within walking distance of town.
It’s also part of the World Surf Reserve, and a very popular place to learn to surf.
Whether you’re hoping to swim or surf (or both), Ericeira has beaches for you.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Ericeira
You can reach Ericeira by bus in less than an hour from Lisbon’s Campo Grande bus station, and buses run very regularly.
However, for maximum flexibility and in order to visit beaches outside the center (like the famous Praia de São Julião), renting a car can be very helpful.
This is especially true if you’re visiting on a weekday, when parking is less competitive than on the weekend.
The palaces and monasteries covered in this section of our guide are much less visited than some of the top day trips from Lisbon.
That’s not because they’re less worthy, but simply because they are less famous and have so many amazing places to compete with!
If you want to get a bit further off the beaten path with your Lisbon day trip choices, these are excellent options.
National Palace of Mafra
In 1717, construction broke on the National Palace of Mafra under the reign of King John V–and more than 300 years later, visitors are still streaming through the doors of this UNESCO World Heritage Site!
The opulent, expansive Mafra Palace was originally intended as a modest friary, but thanks to newfound wealth, it quickly expanded into the palace that we know today.
The National Palace of Mafra is a slightly off the beaten path day trip from Lisbon, but it delights those who make the trip.
While there are many facets of the building to admire, from the basilica to the royal apartments and beyond, the Rococo library is particularly memorable.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Mafra Palace
The National Palace of Mafra is accessible from Lisbon by bus, along the same route as the surf town of Ericeira.
The ride takes about 30-45 minutes, or alternatively, you can drive there.
Queluz National Palace
The beautiful Queluz National Palace , with its dazzling Rococo architecture and expansive gardens, is technically one of the official palaces of Sintra… but a much less crowded one than, say, Pena Palace.
Located in Queluz between central Lisbon and Sintra, the Queluz National Palace is an excellent alternative day trip for those intrigued by Portuguese palaces but concerned about Sintra’s crowds.
Queluz’s story is as interesting as its opulent rooms are beautiful.
One of the final Rococo palaces to be built in Europe, this 18th-century palace served as the retreat of a queen in declining mental health, and was once the official residence of the Portuguese royal family.
It’s also where the royal family fled from in 1807 when they moved the court to Brazil in order to avoid Napoleon.
Thanks to being one of the more unusual Lisbon day trips, it’s also marvelously uncrowded: we practically had it to ourselves on the afternoon that we visited!
How to Travel From Lisbon to Queluz National Palace
To get to Queluz National Palace from Lisbon, you can either take a train about 20 minutes and then walk 15 minutes from the station to the palace, or take a car (which takes about 20 minutes door-to-door).
We opted to use Uber to visit the palace, since it is geographically so close to central Lisbon.
The stunning Alcobaça Monastery is not only Portugal’s first-ever Gothic religious building, but it’s also one of my favorite places in Portugal and–best of all–generally uncrowded.
We had the monastery almost to ourselves when visiting on an August afternoon!
Consecrated in 1252, the Alcobaça Monastery is famously home to Portugal’s real-life star-crossed lovers, King Pedro I and his longtime lover Inês de Castro, who was eventually robbed of her life by King Pedro I’s father (but not before the couple had several children together).
Sad history aside, Alcobaça features gorgeous cloisters, a soaring nave in its church, and ornate detail throughout the structure.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Alcobaça Monastery
Alcobaça Monastery is located about an hour and a half north of Lisbon by car, or a bit longer by bus.
It’s also included on a handful of multi-stop tours through central Portugal, like this one that also visits Óbidos, Batalha, and Fátima !
Dating to the 14th century, Batalha Monastery is (like Alcobaça), both absolutely beautiful and one of Portugal’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Located in the town of the same name, Batalha Monastery is a soaring Gothic complex, featuring intricate details and Manueline influences.
Don’t miss the Unfinished Chapels, which are–exactly as the name implies–ornate chapels that were never roofed in.
The effect is stunning, but you can only access them from outside the monastery, making them easy to miss if you don’t keep an eye out!
How to Travel From Lisbon to Batalha Monastery
Batalha Monastery is located about an hour and a half north of Lisbon by car, or a bit longer by bus.
Alternatively, it’s a popular inclusion on multi-stop day tours from Lisbon, like this one that also visits Óbidos, Nazaré, and Fátima !
Arrábida Natural Park
Less than an hour south of Lisbon and a hop, skip, and jump across the Tagus River, you’ll find one of the best hidden gems in Portugal: Arrábida Natural Park.
Arrábida Natural Park is a haven for outdoor lovers, whether you want to enjoy a hike, hit the beach, go kayaking , or even just enjoy a scenic drive.
Nature isn’t the only draw of the area, either: the town of Azeitão offers plenty to wine-lovers (and cheese lovers: Azeitão cheese is one of my favorites in the world), and Sesimbra’s castle is well worth seeing.
In short, this catch-all day trip from Lisbon is an excellent option for those looking to enjoy beautiful views, delicious wine, and the great outdoors.
How to Travel From Lisbon to Arrábida Natural Park
While you can technically reach Arrábida Natural Park by bus, seasonal routes and the expansive area make this one place where first-time visitors will definitely benefit from signing up for a tour .
If you’d rather explore independently, renting a car is also an option–but with so many places to visit over a fairly wide area, you’ll likely see more by letting a local take the reins.
Book your tour of Arrábida Natural Park today!
Surfing Day Trips From Lisbon
Portugal is a magnet for surfers from across the world–and there are plenty of fantastic places to surf close to Lisbon!
Whether you’re a beginner hoping to sign up for a surf lesson for the first time or an experienced surfer who just wants to spend a day with a like-minded group visiting the best surf spots near Lisbon, there’s an option nearby for you.
If you’d rather set off independently, some surf schools also offer rentals.
Book your surf lesson or surf-focused day trip from Lisbon today!
We’ve focused this day trip guide primarily on sightseeing destinations.
However, if you’re instead looking for a little sun, sea air, and relaxation, there are plenty of excellent beaches near Lisbon to visit, too (just keep in mind that this is the Atlantic, after all: the water here is not warm!).
Praia de Carcavelos is one of the most popular beaches near Lisbon, thanks to its wide stretch of sand, often calm water, and the fact that it can be accessed by train.
The beaches in central Cascais, including Praia da Rainha, Praia da Duquesa, and Praia da Conceição, are also great options that you can easily access by train.
Praia do Guincho is popular with surfers, and there are also surf schools located here!
The nearby town of Costa da Caparica, located across the Tagus River from the capital, is also a top option for beach days near Lisbon thanks to its expansive, sandy coastline.
Of course, if you look at a map of Portugal, you’ll easily be able to see that these are just a few of the many, many beaches close to Lisbon.
We specifically chose to highlight these, though, because they’re excellent options for visitors hoping to get a taste of the coast, especially without needing to rent a car.
As Portugal’s second-largest and second-most-famous city, Porto is a delight to visit–so it’s not surprising that many visitors consider taking a day trip to Porto from Lisbon!
However, we don’t recommend it.
Is it technically possible to take a day trip from Lisbon to Porto (or vice versa)?
Yes, technically–it’s about a 3-4 hour direct train ride between the two cities, and if you pre-book your train tickets in order to ensure you can access the trains you want, it’s theoretically possible.
However, it makes for an incredibly long day, and you’ll barely get a taste of Porto on a day trip.
If you find yourself considering a day trip to Porto, strongly consider choosing one of the many closer day trips from Lisbon instead–after all, there are plenty to choose from!
If you’re determined to take a day trip to Porto, though, here’s exactly how to make the most of it .
Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to “Your Places” on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. You’ll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.
About Kate Storm
In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.
2 thoughts on “21+ Absolute Best Day Trips From Lisbon (+ How to Get There!)”
Is there a one or two day boat trip from Porto on the Douro?
There are many, though fair warning that visiting the Douro Valley by boat is a bit slower than driving! The trade-off is the beautiful views. 🙂 Many day trips, like this popular one, opt to drive out to the valley and then hop on a shorter boat cruise from there: https://www.getyourguide.com/porto-l151/around-the-douro-valley-all-included-t73660/?partner_id=1OI4D21&utm_medium=online_publisher&cmp=LisbonDayTrips
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19 Best Day Trips from Lisbon (+ How to Visit, Top Tours & Map)
By Author Jurga
Posted on Last updated: January 20, 2023
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is a fantastic city with so much to offer that you could easily spend days and still not see it all. But in addition to all the top sights and attractions in Lisbon , there are also so many beautiful places nearby, many of which can easily be visited as a day trip from Lisbon.
However, with so many possibilities, how do you choose the very best day trips from Lisbon that are worth your time the most?
In this article, we feature the absolute best places that you can visit as a one-day trip from Lisbon, Portugal . This guide includes all the ‘musts’, the very best day trip destinations near Lisbon for first-time visitors. In addition, we also share some lesser known places for those who rather get a bit off the beaten path or for repeat visitors who want to (re)discover some amazing sights near Lisbon.
All these places are located less than 2 hours drive from Lisbon, with one exception – Porto, which is about 3 hours away. At the very end of this guide, you can find more information about visiting Porto as a day trip from Lisbon.
At the bottom of this article, you can find a map indicating all the places that you can easily visit as a day trip from Lisbon mentioned in this guide. It will give you a better idea of where everything is.
How to use this guide: To help you decide where to go if your time is limited, we indicate whether the place is a must-see , highly recommended , or nice to see if you have more time.
In addition, for each place, we include recommendations on how to visit on your own (by car or public transport, where possible) and also the best organized day tours from Lisbon .
Often, you will be able to see so much more if you go on a tour. Many of the best day tours from Lisbon cover several of the nicest destinations in a day, allowing you to make the most of your time and see a lot in a short time. Furthermore, going with a local guide is a great opportunity to explore deeper, scratch beneath the surface, and discover things you didn’t even know existed…
Good to know: While we have been to Lisbon and all over Portugal multiple times, for this guide, we also asked for recommendations from an ‘insider’. A fellow travel writer Alisa of AlisaGoz.com has recently spent 5 weeks in Lisbon, traveling around Portugal and soaking up everything the beautiful and diverse country has to offer. In this guide, we share all the best options for a day trip from Lisbon, coupled with our personal tips and recommendations. Take a look!
These are the best & most popular day trips from Lisbon:
If you take just one day trip from Lisbon, make it Sintra!
Nestled among rolling hills and forests just a short train ride from Lisbon, Sintra is home to numerous breathtaking palaces and castles . The town also has a thriving artist community and transports you into centuries past.
If you take the time to visit Sintra – even if just for (half) a day – you’ll be awestruck by its remarkable castles in the most beautiful natural setting.
There is a lot to see and do in Sintra. Depending on how much time you have, we recommend visiting one or several of its most impressive castles:
- Park and National Palace of Pena . The fairytale-like Palace of Pena is one of the most iconic landmarks in Sintra. This brightly-colored palace sits on a hill in the middle of a 350-acre park filled with cedar trees, eucalyptus trees, and winding hiking trails. The inside of the palace is just as breathtaking as the outside, with ornate paintings, tapestries, and ceiling frescoes. You can spend a few hours exploring this magic kingdom come to life.
- Quinta da Regaleira . A visit to Quinta da Regaleira is like stepping into a storybook. This 19th-century romantic palace and its 200 acres of lush gardens are filled with hidden tunnels, grottoes, and fountains. The highlight of the Quinta da Regaleira is the Initiatic Well, a 93-foot-deep spiral staircase that leads to an underground labyrinth. Rumor has it that the well was used for ceremonial rituals and secret initiations.
- Moorish Castle . For 360° views that will take your breath away, head to the 9th-century Moorish Castle. It’s perched atop a hilltop overlooking Sintra and offers you a great view of Pena Palace too. You can explore the castle’s ramparts, towers, dungeons, and chapel. Be sure to take the time to stroll around the surrounding gardens for even more stunning views of Sintra.
- Monserrate Palace . Monserrate Palace and gardens is another stunningly beautiful place to see in Sintra. This 60-acre park is home to an exotic garden filled with palm trees, camellias, and rhododendrons brought back from Monserrate’s travels around the world. The highlight of the park is undoubtedly the luxurious mansion built in the 19th century in Neo-Gothic style with Arab influences. It’s like stepping into a fairytale!
- Sintra National Palace. Located in the center of Sintra town, this is the oldest palace in Portugal. It might not look as impressive from the outside as the other castles, but the interior is absolutely stunning and well worth a visit as well.
READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Sintra
TIP : The queues at the palaces can get pretty long, so plan in advance which ones you want to visit and get your tickets online. It’s also best to arrive early and head to one of the most popular places – Pena Palace or Quinta de Regaleira first. Pena Palace works with a timed entry , so for this one, you should really get your ticket in advance! Alternatively, if you visit Sintra with an organized tour, most of them will bypass the queues and will help you maximize your time.
How much time do you need? There’s so much to see and do in Sintra that it’s truly impossible to fit everything into one day trip (you’d need about 3 days for that). But even if you only have 4-6 hours, Sintra is still worth it! So if you are visiting Sintra on a day trip from Lisbon, plan well, pick the places that interest you the most, and make the most of the time that you have.
LEARN MORE: Sintra Itinerary Suggestions for 1-3 Days
How to get to Sintra from Lisbon: Driving to/in Sintra can be a nightmare. Luckily, Sintra is easily accessible by public transportation. The best way to visit on your own is by taking a direct 40-min train from Lisbon’s Rossio station to Sintra (tip – this train ride is also included with Lisbon Card ). Most of the town’s landmarks are within walking distance of each other. However, we definitely recommend taking a bus or a taxi to Pena Palace which is located high on the hill. You’ll also need some kind of transportation if you decide to visit Monserrate Palace.
Food tip: Don’t leave Sintra without trying the city’s traditional pastry, Queijada de Sintra ! This sweet treat is made with fresh cheese, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon and can be found in most bakeries around town. Enjoy with a glass of wine or a coffee. It’s a perfect afternoon treat!
Good to know: Be sure to wear sensible shoes when visiting Sintra. Cobbled streets and hilly gardens require sturdy footwear. In summer, travel sandals should be ok, and otherwise comfortable sneakers.
Best tours from Lisbon: Sintra is the most popular day trip destination near Lisbon, so there are many organized (half) day tours that can bring you here. The biggest advantage of going with a tour is that you can see a lot more in a short time than on your own. Most day tours that visit Sintra also include one or several other nice places nearby too. It’s perfect for those who are short on time and want to make the most of their day.
To save you time researching hundreds of tours, here are the best options for visiting Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon:
- This popular tour is the most booked day tour from Lisbon to Sintra. It brings you to Pena Palace, Sintra town, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais. With this tour, you visit just one – most impressive – palace in Sintra, but you also get to see some other amazing places nearby and this tour gives you quite some free time to explore the towns on your own.
- If you rather just concentrate on Sintra and visit a few of the best palaces, this highly-rated tour includes Pena Palace, Quinta de Regaleira, Monserrate Palace, and a few other highlights in Sintra.
- Small-group tours . If you rather go with a smaller group or with just your own family and friends, you’ll find various options of tours that visit Sintra. Be sure to check the itinerary as there are quite some differences in the places that they visit. This is the best-rated private tour and its itinerary is really great.
- If you are really short on time and are looking for a half-day tour from Lisbon, it’s possible to visit Sintra too. In that case, definitely go with a tour! You can find half-day tours here .
2. Cabo da Roca
Sitting at the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca is a must-see for anyone visiting Lisbon. With its dramatic cliffs, tranquil beaches, and beautiful views, Cabo da Roca is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Cabo da Roca is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Portugal. The sweeping views here are truly unforgettable. In addition, check out the Cabo da Roca Lighthouse. Built in 1772, this is the oldest functioning lighthouse in Portugal. It’s also the second-tallest lighthouse in the country.
The area is also home to a variety of plant and animal life. Keep your eyes peeled for gulls, eagles, and iguanas as you hike along the trails.
TIP: If you are visiting here by car, be sure to also drive to the nearby Azenhas do Mar village . Its stunning clifftop location is absolutely picture-perfect.
How much time do you need? If you’re only interested in taking in the view, then Cabo da Roca is just a short photo stop. However, if you’re planning to do some hiking or check out the nearby towns, you can easily spend half a day in the area.
TIP : Cabo da Roca is just a 25 minutes drive from Cascais and 30 minutes drive from Sintra, so you can see all these places together.
How to visit Cabo Roca from Lisbon: Cabo da Roca is approximately 40 km (25 miles) away from Lisbon. The easiest way to get there is by car or tour; the drive should take around 45 minutes. You can also take public transportation, but there are no direct buses and the journey takes about 2 hours (not recommended unless you have lots of time).
Best tours from Lisbon: The easiest way to visit Cabo da Roca without a car is by taking a tour. Many of the organized tours that visit Sintra also include Cabo da Roca in their itinerary. Here are the best options:
- This is the most popular day tour that visits Cape Roca in combination with Sintra and Cascais.
- This is a very similar tour , but it limits the group size to just 8 people. So if you are looking for a small-group experience, check it out!
3. Queluz National Palace
NICE TO SEE
Just near Lisbon, about halfway to Sintra, you can visit another stunning palace – Queluz National Palace and gardens .
This elaborate Baroque palace was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for Portugal’s royal family. The staterooms, the royal apartments, and the huge ballroom are breathtaking. But the exterior of the palace is just as impressive as the interior, and the gardens are among the nicest you’ll see in Portugal. It’s like a mini-version of Versailles in Paris, but also totally unique!
If you’re interested in learning more about Portugal’s royal history or just want to see a beautiful royal residence and enjoy a walk through the gardens, make sure to add Queluz National Palace to your trip itinerary. Furthermore, it’s so easy to get here from the city and there are hardly any tourists. Queluz National Palace could be a great half-day trip from Lisbon as well.
Good to know: The palace and the gardens are open daily. You can opt for a ticket that includes the palace and the gardens, or gardens-only. If you have time, we highly recommend both. If you come here without a guide, you’ll be glad to know that they have audio guides available for your phone, in various languages. For more information, see the official website .
How much time do you need? We recommend planning to spend at least 2-3 hours on a visit to Queluz National Palace and gardens. However, if you want to explore the grounds and gardens at a more relaxed pace, you’ll likely need 3-4 hours.
How to visit Queluz National Palace from Lisbon : Queluz National Palace is located just a 15-20 minutes ride from the center of Lisbon. You can also get here by public transport, but the easiest is probably to just take a taxi (or Bolt or Uber) for a reasonably affordable price.
Best tours from Lisbon: Some tours that visit Sintra include Queluz in their itinerary. Most tours that come here are private tours and each one offers a very different itinerary. Be sure to check which places they visit and pick the one that seems most interesting to you. For example, this highly-rated tour visits Queluz Palace, Moorish Castle and Pena Palace in Sintra, Cabo da Roca, passes the towns of Estoril and Cascais, and also includes a visit to a local wine cellar. Of course, it will be a lot more rushed than if you would visit each of these places separately, but it’s a great way to see a lot in a day.
About 1.5 hours drive east of Lisbon, you’ll find one of Portugal’s most beautiful towns , Évora . Whether by car, by train, or on a tour, Evora is a great choice for a day trip from Lisbon!
Good to know: Because of its location, Evora is not easy to combine on a one day trip with other destinations, which means that there are fewer tourists or tour groups here. So if you are looking for a somewhat quieter day trip destination from Lisbon, definitely consider coming here.
There’s no shortage of things to see in Evora. For starters, be sure to visit the Roman Temple of Diana . Built in the 1st century AD, this well-preserved temple is one of the best examples of Roman architecture in Portugal.
Another must-see is the Chapel of Bones ( Capela dos Ossos ), probably the most quirky place you can visit near Lisbon. The interior of the Chapel is entirely covered in skulls and bones, but it’s done so tastefully and the place has such a tranquil atmosphere that it’s really nothing to worry about. We visited here with our kids when they were 7-9 years old and they also found it fascinating!
We also highly recommend visiting the Cathedral of Evora and climbing to the top of its roof for some beautiful views of the surroundings.
Food tip: If you need a break from all the history, stop by one of Evora’s many cafes for some delicious pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tart).
How much time do you need? We recommend planning to spend at least half a day in Evora. However, if you want to explore everything the city has to offer, you can easily spend an entire day here.
Good to know: Because of its inland position, Evora is one of the hottest cities in Portugal. If you go in the peak summer months, make sure to bring lots of water and plan on keeping a slower pace.
How to visit Évora from Lisbon: Evora is located about 1.5 hours drive from Lisbon. If you are renting a car , Evora is truly one of the best places to drive from Lisbon for a day. Driving on a highway is easy and parking isn’t a big issue. You can also take a train from Lisbon – it takes almost 2 hours one way.
Best tours from Lisbon: While not nearly as popular with tour groups as many other destinations near Lisbon, Evora can be visited with an organized tour as well. One of the best options is this day tour that – in addition to visiting Evora also includes a visit to Almendres Cromlech, an impressive 7-8,000-year-old megalithic complex.
Cascais is a charming coastal town located just outside of Lisbon. It’s one of the nicest places to visit on a day trip from Lisbon if you are looking to escape the hustle and the bustle of the city without going too far.
This former fishing village has transformed into a chic resort town with a beautiful beach, nice hotels, and restaurants serving fresh seafood. Despite its facade of a vacation town, Cascais still retains its small-town charm.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Cascais! If you’re looking for a relaxing day, spend some time lounging on the beach or exploring the town’s quaint streets. For something more active, go surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, or windsurfing.
TIP: Be sure to visit Boca do Inferno (‘The Mouth of Hell’), impressive cliffs just about 20 minutes walk from Cascais town center. The coastal scenery here is stunning!
Cascais is also home to a variety of museums, including Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, an art museum housed in a beautiful Art Deco building. Also the area around Cascais Citadell is not to be missed. Here, you’ll find a former fortress that now houses several art galleries and a beautiful hotel. No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something to do in Cascais.
TIP : The beaches in Cascais can get pretty busy in the peak summer months. It can be a fun atmosphere – people watching and maybe some good music. But if you’re looking for a more secluded spot, consider heading to Praia do Guincho . This is a huge sand beach on the Atlantic coast, about 15-minute drive from Cascais.
How much time do you need? You can easily spend a full day in Cascais. However, for the first visit, an hour or two is sufficient as well. If you only have a few hours, we recommend spending some time on the beach or strolling through the town’s streets. Plan to stay for a nice meal and maybe even catch a sunset.
TIP: Cascais is a very nice place to visit at sunset. You can easily come here from Lisbon for a few hours in the late afternoon – evening. In that case, you may want to consider a sunset cruise in Cascais as well.
How to visit Cascais from Lisbon: Cascais is just about 30 km (18 miles) from Lisbon. The easiest way to get there is by public transportation. Trains depart from Lisbon almost every hour and the journey on this urban railway will take about 45 minutes (also this train ride is included with Lisbon Card ). Cascais is very walkable, so you don’t need a car here.
Best tours from Lisbon: Since Cascais, Cabo da Roca, and Sintra are all located relatively close to each other, many organized tours visit 2 or even all 3 of these places together. So if you are looking to do just one day trip from Lisbon, then such a tour is probably the best use of your limited time. Here you can find many options for tours that visit Cascais . Small-group and private tours are available too. See also the recommendations we shared higher above.
The coastal town of Estoril is located just next to Cascais, a few train stops closer to Lisbon. It makes for another great day trip destination from Lisbon. Or you can also easily visit these two towns – Estoril and Cascais – as one relaxing day trip from the city.
Estoril is best known for its casino (one of the largest in Europe), but there’s plenty to see and do for tourists too.
Start your day with a stroll along the promenade, where you’ll get great views of the Atlantic Ocean. For lunch, stop by one of the many seafood restaurants for some fresh fish or grilled sardines. Visit Estoril’s casino or explore the town’s beautiful gardens. If you have more time, head to Praia do Tamariz for a swim or sunbathe on the golden sands.
How much time do you need? Depending on what you want to see and do and on the time of the year, you can visit Estoril for an hour or two or you can spend the entire day here.
How to visit Estoril from Lisbon: Estoril is just about 25 km (15 miles) from Lisbon. You can easily get here by urban railway from Lisbon in about 35 minutes (this train is included with Lisbon Card ). Alternatively, you can also take a car or taxi. Parking is available near the casino and along the promenade, but it can be very busy, especially on the weekends and in the summer.
Best tours from Lisbon: You really don’t need a tour in order to visit Estoril. That being said, many tours that visit Sintra include a stop at Cascais and some also in Estoril. So if you just want to quickly see these places in a short time, then yes, you can visit here with a tour .
7. Batalha Monastery
You may have heard about the most amazing monasteries of Central Portugal. Many of them can be visited on a day trip from Lisbon. Furthermore, because they are located very close to each other, it’s easy to visit a few of them on the same day.
Probably the most impressive of them all is Batalha Monastery . This is one of Portugal’s most remarkable landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The magnificent Gothic-style building dates from the early 16th century and took over 130 years to build. In fact, the construction of the monastery was never really finished and you can see this by visiting its Unfinished Chapels . For us, seeing these chappels was really a ‘wow’ moment – absolutely incredible! The cloisters are magnificent too.
How much time do you need? You only need about 1 hour to visit Batalha Monastery. In addition, you can walk around the tiny town, have lunch, etc. But there are so many amazing places to visit in this area that we highly recommend combining your trip to Batalha with a visit to one of the monasteries and/or towns nearby (e.g. Alcobaça, Fatima, Nazare, Obidos, or Tomar – all of these are mentioned further below).
How to visit Batalha Monastery from Lisbon: Batalha is located about 145 km (90 miles) north of Lisbon. It’s about 1h40-2 hours drive. The easiest way to visit here is by car. Public transport would take you forever and it’s really not an option for a day trip. If you don’t have your own transportation, you can easily visit here with a tour.
Best tours from Lisbon: Many organized day tours from Lisbon include Batalha Monastery in their itineraries (see all the options here ). As already mentioned, this area is home to many interesting places and world-famous landmarks, so all tours visit at least 3 or 4 of them on the same day. One of the best options is this highly-rated tour that includes Batalha, Fatima, Obidos, and Nazaré.
You’ll also find private tours to this area – it’s a great way to see a lot without having to plan or arrange anything yourself or worry about driving, tolls, or parking. This is one of the best-rated private tours that include Batalha in the itinerary. You get to see three of the best abbeys and the charming town of Obidos.
A day trip from Lisbon to Alcobaça is an inspirational journey through Portugal’s history. The town is home to the 12th-century Alcobaça Monastery , which was once one of the most important and largest in the country.
The monastery is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its architecture is simple yet breathtaking. The cloisters, the ornate kings’ tombs, and a Renaissance water basin are breathtakingly beautiful.
In addition, you can also explore the town’s medieval streets, which are lined with charming cafes and shops. Alcobaça is a great place to shop for souvenirs, especially ceramics. There are several shops in town that sell locally made pottery, and it’s the perfect way to take a piece of Portugal home with you.
How much time do you need? You can visit the monastery in less than an hour. But plan on spending a few hours if you are also planning to explore the town. As mentioned before, we recommend combining a trip to Alcobaça with that of Batalha or other monasteries and/or nearby towns like Obidos or Nazare.
How to visit Alcobaça Monastery from Lisbon: Alcobaça is located about 1.5 hours drive from Lisbon. The easiest way to visit is by car or with a tour. If you take public transportation plan for at least 2.5 hours. Also here, if you don’t have a car, just book a tour. This way you can relax and enjoy the scenery and see many amazing places in a day.
Best tours from Lisbon: Although not as popular as Batalha, many day tours from Lisbon include Alcobaça Monastery in their itinerary (see here ). This highly-rated tour is the best price-quality option. And if you rather take a private tour and see a bit more, then consider this excellent tour . It covers the same sites as the group tour (Batalha, Alcobaca, Fatima, and Obidos), but in addition also visits Nazaré.
9. Mafra National Palace
Mafra National Palace is located in the town of Mafra, about 40 minutes’ drive north of Lisbon. Once a royal residence of various Portuguese Kings, this massive Baroque palace was built in the 18th century.
With 1,200 rooms, over 150 stairways, and 29 inner yards and courtyards, this is the largest palace in Portugal and one of the biggest in all of Europe. It has a 232-meter (253 yards) gallery, the largest palatial corridor in Europe. There are almost 5,000 doors and windows in the palace – can you imagine having to clean them?! 🙂
The Mafra Palace complex includes a huge basilica, several royal apartments, extensive gardens, and even a royal hunting park. The two carillons with 98 bells were the largest of their time. But probably the most impressive feature in the palace is the large library , one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s said to hold about 36,000 books.
Despite its proximity to Lisbon and to Sintra (or maybe because of that), Mafra National Palace isn’t widely known. For now, it remains a bit of a hidden gem where it’s incomparably quieter than in most other popular places near Lisbon.
Good to know: Mafra National Palace is open daily except on Tuesdays and some public holidays. At the moment, they don’t have a good website, but you can find a bit more practical info on the website of the commune of Mafra .
How much time do you need? There’s so much to see at Mafra National Palace that you could easily spend half a day here. As a minimum, we recommend planning about 2 hours for a visit. If you want to explore all of the palace’s highlights without feeling rushed, you’ll likely need at least 3 hours.
How to visit Mafra National Palace from Lisbon : The best way to get from Lisbon to Mafra National Palace is by car. The drive takes just under an hour, depending on traffic. Without a car, you’ll have to take a tour.
Best tours from Lisbon: Mafra Palace is just recently being noticed by international visitors, so there aren’t that many organized tours that visit here yet (definitely if you compare to nearby Sintra). Nevertheless, there are some nice tour options – both with a group or private – and most of the tours include a few other landmarks and villages nearby. This would make an excellent day trip from Lisbon for those who are looking to escape the crowds and discover some amazing hidden gems near Lisbon.
NICE TO SEE (highly recommended if you are religious)
Fátima is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Catholics and the most famous one in Portugal. The town became world-known following the multiple reports of religious apparitions in 1916-1917. Every year, millions of people from all over the world come to Fatima to pay homage to the Virgin Mary.
The last and the most famous of the sightings was the “Miracle of the Sun,” which allegedly occurred on October 13, 1917. On that day, thousands of people gathered in Fatima to witness the Virgin Mary appear in the sky. As they watched, the sun seemed to spin and dance in the sky before disappearing altogether. When it reappeared, it was so bright that everyone had to cover their eyes. The event was witnessed by people of all ages and religions, many of whom converted to Catholicism afterward.
Today, Fatima is home to a beautiful basilica and several other churches, as well as a museum dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Regardless of your religious beliefs, Fatima is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Portugal and it can easily be done on a day trip from Lisbon!
Don’t miss the Sanctuary of our Lady of Fátima (aka Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima ), the most important pilgrimage site built in the 1950s. Don’t miss the modern Basilica of the Holy Trinity . Dedicated in 2007, this massive basilica is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world and can hold up to 9,000 people.
Also the Chapel of Apparitions – built on the spot where the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children – is worth seeing. In town, you can also visit Francisco and Jacinta’s house , now a museum. This is where two of the shepherd children who saw the Virgin Mary lived.
And if you just can’t get enough of the story of apparitions, there’s also a wax museum that features the Marian apparition & other scenes from the history of Fatima.
How much time do you need? If you are very religious and are interested in the history of the place, you could probably spend half a day or even a day in Fatima. But you can also just see the highlights in 1-2 hours. Start with a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, followed by the Chapel of Apparitions. Then wander around town and pop into some of Fatima’s other churches.
How to visit Fatima from Lisbon: The easiest way to get from Lisbon to Fatima is by car or tour bus. The drive takes about 1.5 hours.
Best tours from Lisbon: Fatima is an important pilgrimage site, but also a popular tourist attraction. So there are many tours that can bring you here from Lisbon. If you are only interested in visiting Fatima, then this half-day tour is probably the best option. However, if you have a full day to spare, we highly recommend taking a tour that visits some of the other places in that area. This tour is the most popular option, but there are countless others, so pick one based on the itinerary that appeals to you the most.
Óbidos is a beautifully preserved medieval town that feels straight out of a fairytale. With its white-washed buildings and cobblestone streets, Obidos is one of the most picturesque towns in Central Portugal, attracting lots of tourists.
Thanks to its small size, it’s easy to see everything the town has to offer in just an hour or two. This makes it a popular stop for many tour groups visiting the famous monasteries nearby.
Some of the highlights you won’t want to miss in Obidos include the 12th-century Castelo de Óbidos, the Santa Maria church, and Rua da Talhada, which is lined with colorful houses. For views of the entire town, be sure to walk up to the top of the city walls . To us, this is the most special experience in town!
You can also sample some of the local food specialties and do some souvenir shopping.
Food tip : Make sure to try the most famous drink of Obidos, Ginja . This is a cherry liqueur that is served in a chocolate cup! A perfect sweet treat to keep you going on your afternoon adventure.
How much time do you need? You should count at least 1.5-2 hours for Obidos. If you want to take your time and savor all that the town has to offer, you can probably fill half a day here.
How to visit Obidos from Lisbon: The easiest way to get from Lisbon to Obidos is by car or with a tour. The drive takes just over an hour. You can also take a train from Lisbon, but the journey will take you at least 2.5 hours.
Best tours from Lisbon: There are tons of organized day tours from Lisbon that include Obidos in their itineraries (see the selection of tours here ). Most tours combine a visit to Obidos with that of 1 or 2 monasteries, sometimes also with a stop in Nazaré town (more about it below). If you are not interested in the monasteries and just want to visit a few nice towns, take a look at this highly-rated tour that visits Obidos and Nazaré, allowing you more time in each place than tours that also go to the monasteries.
Nazaré is a coastal town with some of the best beaches in Central Portugal. It’s best known for its dramatic cliffs which tower over the Atlantic Ocean and is also world-famous for its giant waves, which attract surfers from all over the world.
Nazaré is a fishermen’s town that has retained centuries-old traditions. Many locals (especially older generations) still wear traditional clothing. You can see fishermen coming back from the sea with their catch and women drying fish on wooden racks on the beach. At the same time, Nazare is also a popular vacation destination attracting lots of people in the summer months.
Make sure to walk along the seafront promenade (Praia do Norte) for some stunning ocean views. you can also take a funicular to O Sitio district on the hill. The views from here are stunning! And don’t forget to try some delicious fresh seafood while you’re in town!
TIP: Nearby, you can also visit São Martinho do Porto , another cozy seaside village overlooking a shell-shaped bay. For the nicest view, head to Miradouro do Cruzeiro viewpoint.
How much time do you need? You can spend just an hour in Nazaré or a full day, so it really depends on your preference and on how you visit. If you are traveling by car and have plenty of time, plan at least half a day here. This will give you plenty of time to explore all the sights at your leisure without feeling rushed.
How to visit Nazaré from Lisbon: The best way to get from Lisbon to Nazaré is by car—the drive takes about 1.5 hours. Local bus companies also run daily trips between Lisbon and Nazaré (just be sure to check schedules in advance). Once you’re in Nazaré, everything is within walking distance, so there’s no need to worry about finding parking or public transportation.
Best tours from Lisbon: Nazaré is also a popular stop for various organized tours from Lisbon. Most of them visit several places in a day and only foresee a bit of time in Nazaré – to check out the best viewpoints and see the place where the waves are the most impressive. So be sure to check the itinerary of the tour you choose so that you know what to expect. As already mentioned before, this Obidos – Nazaré tour gives you the most time in both towns. These tours also pass São Martinho do Porto.
READ ALSO: What to See & Do in Nazaré
13. Sanctuary of Christ the King
Sanctuary of Christ the King, aka Cristo Rei statue is another popular place to visit near Lisbon. It’s located in the town of Almada, across the River Tagus from Lisbon center.
The giant statue overlooking Lisbon was inspired by the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Inaugurated in 1959, it was built to thank God for sparing Portugal during WWII.
There’s a viewing platform at the bottom of the statue, but for a small fee you can also go to the upper deck, at Jesus’ feet. Both viewpoints offer great panoramic views of Lisbon, the river, the April 25th bridge, and the surrounding countryside.
TIP : Plan your trip for the late afternoon and, after visiting the statue, enjoy dinner by the riverside in Almada. From the south bank of the river, you’ll have a beautiful view of Lisbon during sunset.
How much time do you need? Depending on how you plan on getting here, you can visit the Cristo Rei statue in 1-3 hours.
How to visit Cristo Rei Statue from Lisbon: You can get here by car, taxi, or a combination of a ferry and a bus. The nicest way is to arrive by ferry which provides great views of both the statue and the city.
Best tours from Lisbon: Since Cristo Rei is so close to the city, you don’t really need a tour to visit here. However, visiting here on your own will likely take a few hours. If you join a tour that includes a stop here, you’ll also visit many other places nearby. So if you want to see as much as possible near Lisbon, you may want to consider a tour (see some options here and be sure to check the itineraries!).
This excellent tour is one of the best options if you are looking for a more authentic day trip from Lisbon that also includes the Sanctuary of Christ the King in their itinerary. It brings you to the less-known areas next to Lisbon that most tourists never see. You visit Arrábida Natural Park, the castles of Setúbal, have lunch in the fishermen’s town of Sesimbra, and taste wine at a local winery. They end the day with a stop at Cristo de Rei.
TIP: If you don’t have time for a visit or a day tour, you can see Cristo de Rei statue (in the distance) by taking a sailing cruise on the River Tagus . A sailing cruise is one of our personal favorite things to do in Lisbon, and especially if you do it around sunset. It’s such a great and relaxing way to see more of the city and its surroundings from another perspective!
14. Berlengas Islands
NICE TO SEE (summer season only)
The Berlengas is a small archipelago located off the Atlantic coast of Portugal. It’s a designated UNESCO Biosphere World Heritage Site.
The largest and most well-known island is Berlenga Grande , which is home to the 16th-century fortress São João Baptista . The other islands are uninhabited and only scientists are allowed to visit these nature reserves.
On Berlenga Grande, you can see several historic sites such as the fort or the lighthouse. You can also go hiking or spend some time on the beach swimming and snorkeling. You can also go kayaking to explore sea caves and take in the views from the water.
If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing nature getaway, the Berlengas Islands are the perfect day trip destination, and you can visit here from Lisbon too. It’s especially nice in the summer.
TIP: Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and don’t forget a water bottle, towel, swimsuit, and sunscreen. You can bring a picnic, but there is a restaurant on the island and also a small coffee shop.
Good to know: Since the seas get too rough here in winter, boats to the island only run in the summer season (+-mid-May to mid-October).
How much time do you need? If you’re visiting in the summer and want to spend some time on the beach, you can easily spend an entire day here. Either way, you’ll be dependent on the ferry schedule, so you have to plan almost an entire day for a visit here.
How to get to Berlengas: The closest town from where you can take a boat to Berlengas is Peniche, about 100 km (63 miles) north of Lisbon. Here, you’ll find several local companies that operate boat tours to the islands, or you can just opt for a ferry and explore on your own.
TIP : During the peak summer months (and definitely if visiting on a weekend), be sure to book your ticket at least a week in advance. The number of tourists they allow on the island is limited.
Best tours from Lisbon: By far the easiest way to visit Berlengas Islands from Lisbon is by taking an organized tour that includes all the transportation and a guided tour/activities on the island. This is one of the best day tours that can bring you here for a day.
One of the most important medieval sites of Portugal, Tomar is filled with centuries of history waiting to be explored. The town is home to the UNESCO-listed Convent of Christ , a former fortress and headquarters of the Knights Templar. The convent is one of the best-preserved examples of Portuguese Manueline architecture and it’s well worth coming here just to see it!
Other landmarks of Tomar include the Church of Santa Maria do Olival and one of the oldest synagogues in Portugal.
Just like the Convent, the Church of Santa Maria do Olival was also built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. It is notable for its octagonal design, which is unique among Portuguese churches. Inside, you’ll find intricate tilework and beautiful stained glass windows.
The Synagogue of Tomar dates back to 1430 when it was built by Portugal’s first community of Jews. It is one of only four synagogues in Portugal that still exists today. The synagogue has undergone restoration in recent years and now houses a museum dedicated to Judaism in Portugal.
If you have some extra time, it’s nice to just stroll around Tomar’s quaint old town where you’ll also find lots of local cafes and restaurants.
How much time do you need? A visit to Tomar is often combined with that of Almourol Caste nearby (more info below). A day trip from Lisbon is the perfect amount of time to explore the castle and everything that this historic town has to offer. If you just want to see the Convent of Christ in Tomar, plan on spending at least 1 hour here.
How to visit Tomar from Lisbon: Tomar is located about 80 kilometers northeast of Lisbon, making it an easy day trip by car. You can also take a (slow) train from Lisbon directly to Tomar, but there are just a few trains a day and the journey takes around 2 hours. In Tomar, everything is within walking distance so there’s no need for public transportation. However, if you also want to visit Almourol Castle, it’s best to come here by car or with a tour.
Best tours from Lisbon: There are a few nice day tours from Lisbon to Tomar. One of the best options is this popular tour which is focused on the history of the Knights Templar. You get to see the Convent of Christ in Tomar and Almourol Castle, but also visit the nice village of Constância, taste some local specialties, etc.
16. Almourol Castle
Almourol Castle is a medieval castle located on a small island in the Tagus River, about 1.5 hour’s drive northeast of Lisbon. The origins of this site are somewhat mysterious, but the castle already existed in 1129.
The castle was rebuilt in 1171 during the Knights Templar’s reign and still contains many of its original architectural and design features. It was later abandoned and ‘rediscovered’ in the late 19th century.
Almourol Castle is a place full of history and mystery that continues to fascinate people from all over the world. But most people just come here for the impressive architecture and picturesque surroundings.
Good to know: The castle can only be reached by boat which you’ll find on the northern shore of Tagus River. There is a large car parking area here and a cafe. The boat ride only takes 2 minutes and a visit is just a few euros. However, you need to check the boat hours in advance, especially if visiting in the low season.
TIP: Come here before noon or later in the afternoon. At lunch (+- 1 pm to 2.30 pm) the boats are not running.
How much time do you need? After dropping you off at the castle, the boat usually comes to pick you up about 40 minutes later. This should give you enough time to walk around the castle grounds and take some photos of the beautiful view. So all in all, you need about 1 hour for a visit here.
How to visit Almourol Castle from Lisbon: The easiest way to visit here is by car or with a tour. You can also take a train from Lisbon to the nearby town of Almourol (it takes about 1.5 hours). From the station it’s a 15-minute walk to the boat. Several local companies also operate tours from the nearby town of Tomar. It’s best to book these tours in advance, as they often sell out during the high season.
Best tours from Lisbon: The easiest way to visit Almourol Castle from Lisbon without a car is by taking an organized tour. There are several nice tour options , and almost all of the tours that come to the castle will also include Tomar in their itinerary.
17. Sesimbra – Arrábida Natural Park
Another nice place to visit near Lisbon is the beautiful coastal area around Sesimbra , about 40 km (25 mi) south of the city. Here you can enjoy some really nice coastal scenery of Arrábida Natural Park, see some wild beaches and impressive cliffs, and visit some wonderful secret caves.
If you are visiting Lisbon in summer and are looking for an outdoorsy day trip not too far from the city, then definitely consider this area!
Good to know: A boat tour is the best way to explore Arrábida Natural Park. You’ll find all kinds of boat tours in Sesimbra, which is a former fishing town turned a popular seaside resort. The town and its beaches are well worth a few hours of your time too, and you’ll also find some excellent seafood restaurants here.
How much time do you need? You’ll need at least half a day to enjoy this beautiful area. If coming from Lisbon, count 5-8 hours for a visit, including the time to get there and back.
How to visit from Lisbon: The best way to get to Sesimbra is by car. For the nicest scenery, book a boat tour . If you don’t have a car, there are some really nice tours that can bring you here from Lisbon. You can opt for a tour that includes kayaking along the coast . There are also tours that go dolphin-watching .
If you rather not take any boats and want to simply enjoy the scenery from the coast, take a look at this highly-rated tour that also visits a local winery and stops at Cristo Rei statue.
18. Beaches & Wineries near Lisbon
In addition to the most popular day trip destinations near Lisbon, there are lots of local experiences for those who have plenty of time in the area or are looking for something less touristy to do.
If you’re looking for a great beach to visit for a relaxing summer day trip from Lisbon, we recommend Praia do Castelo . This beach is located about half an hour drive south of Lisbon and is less crowded and has more space than the beaches near Cascais. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants here and several surf schools. You’ll need a car or a taxi to get here.
Another nice option for a day at the beach near Lisbon is Praia do Guincho , northwest of Cascais. This vast sandy beach is usually quite windy and is perfect for surfing or for a nice walk.
If you would like to visit some local wineries, consider the area around Azeitão , a small town located about 40 minutes drive south of Lisbon. This area is among the most important wine regions in Portugal and there are several wineries where you can taste and buy some local wines. You might also want to consider booking a tour from Lisbon so that you can enjoy the wine without worrying about the drive back. Here are some tours – that among other nice places nearby – also include a visit to the wineries.
19. Porto from Lisbon in a day?
MUST-SEE (but ideally on a longer visit)
You may be wondering whether you can visit Porto on a day trip from Lisbon. Yes, it is definitely possible. If you take a train early in the morning and get back late in the evening, you can see some of the main landmarks in Porto on a day visit.
However, even the ‘fast’ train takes about 3 hours to get from Lisbon to Porto, which is about the same or even longer as by car. Plus, you need some extra time to get to the station, etc. And then you also have to do the same in the evening… So keep this in mind!
TIP: If you only have a day and are determined to see Porto from Lisbon, take a look at the organized tours that offer this kind of day trip . At least you won’t have to worry about transportation and you can rest along the way. Plus, your tour might include a stop or two at some of the other smaller towns halfway between Porto and Lisbon, which helps to break the long drive.
This small-group tour is a good option – it includes a stop in Nazare on the way to Porto and a stop in Coimbra on the way back. Also, it costs about the same as round-trip train tickets.
Alternatively , if you go by train, why not stay at least one night? Porto has a lot to offer, and visiting for 2 days/ 1 night should give you enough time to cover all the ‘musts’ in Porto and enjoy some of the famous Porto wine in a more relaxed way.
If you plan well and take a late train back to Lisbon on the second day, you could even add a day trip to the famous Douro wine region to your itinerary.
Map of the best places to visit on a day trip from Lisbon & practical info
To give you a better idea of where all these places are located, we created a map indicating all the best day trip destinations from Lisbon mentioned in this guide. You can click on the map below in order to see it on Google Maps.
Good to know: As already mentioned, many of the most popular day trip destinations from Lisbon can be visited with organized tours or by car, and some also by train/bus. We don’t recommend renting a car if you are basing yourself in Lisbon city; it would make better sense if you are planning a longer road trip, and are staying outside the city. Car hire is usually not too expensive in Portugal ( see here for the best options and be sure to book in advance!). However, there are many toll roads and they aren’t cheap. On one of our road trips in Portugal, we paid less for the rental of the car than we spent on toll roads…
For organized tours , we recommend booking via the GetYourGuide website . They have a great selection of tours at the most competitive rates and the best cancelation policy and customer service out there. We personally book all tickets and tours via this website when we travel anywhere in the world.
So, this is our guide to some of the most popular day trips and tours from Lisbon. I hope that this helps you choose a few nice places to visit near Lisbon and make your trip to Portugal even more memorable.
For more travel inspiration for Lisbon, Portugal’s mainland, and the islands, please see our featured articles below. Check it out!
More travel inspiration for your trip to Portugal:
- 10 days Portugal Itinerary
- One day in Lisbon
- Best beaches in Algarve
- Best things to do in Lagos
- Benagil Cave
- Portugal with kids
- Best things to do in Madeira
- Best things to do on Sao Miguel Island, Azores
- … for more destinations, see our Portugal travel guide .
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15 Top-Rated Day Trips from Lisbon
Written by Paul Bernhardt and Michael Law Updated Apr 13, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )
Author Paul Bernhardt lives in Portugal and is based in Lisbon.
Beyond Lisbon and its long list of attractions lies a wealth of day trip options. Some of the most rewarding tourist destinations can be reached within an hour of the city center, either by car, bus, or train. Surrounding Lisbon are ancient castles , sumptuous palaces, and a host of other historic monuments waiting to be discovered.
Along the coast, you'll find traditional fishing villages where the way of life has changed little over the centuries, as well as some of the region's liveliest resorts fringed with beaches of golden sand . Away from the crowds are unspoiled nature reserves, rivers, and estuaries teeming with colorful flora and fauna — havens of wildlife that can be explored on foot or by boat.
Whether heading north or south from Portugal's capital, discover the best places to visit with our list of the top day trips from Lisbon.
2. Palácio Nacional de Queluz
7. mosteiro pálacio nacional de mafra, 8. costa da caparica, 9. serra da arrábida, 10. sesimbra, 11. reserva natural do estuário do sado, 14. alcobaça, 15. peniche, tips and tours, map of day trips from lisbon, more must-see destinations beyond lisbon.
Arguably the most rewarding day trip from Lisbon is to Sintra. About 30 kilometers northwest of the city center, the town is easily reached by train with direct connections operating daily out of Lisbon's Rossio railway station. The journey takes around 40 minutes .
Sintra's rugged, verdant beauty; its ancient castle; and its collection of historic palaces are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape .
You can begin your day of sightseeing by visiting the Palacio Nacional de Sintra . Centrally located in the old town, this impressive late-14th-century palace is characterized by its tapering twin chimneys. Once the summer retreat of the kings and queens of Portugal, this former royal residence is a great first stop before exploring Sintra's many other attractions . Allow a good hour to absorb its numerous halls, rooms, and salons.
Unless you're up for some hill walking consider taking a shuttle bus up to the Castelo dos Mouros . Dating from the 8th century, the Moorish Castle stands prominently above the old town. You can walk the ancient battlements, and the views across the Serra de Sintra mountain range and the Lisbon plains below are breathtaking.
Crowning the Serra is the fantastical, Disneyesque Palácio da Pena . Considered by many to be the highlight of their visit to Sintra, the Pena Palace can also be reached by bus or on foot by following the nature trail that meanders steeply through a blanket of picturesque woodland. Built in the mid-19th century by the German Baron von Eschwege, this also became a favorite retreat for vacationing monarchs, a fact reflected by the lavish interior and opulent décor. You could easily spend a couple of hours up here, soaking up the atmosphere and taking in more incredible views.
If you've purchased a shuttle bus ticket it's quite easy to call in on Sintra's other great palace at Monserrate . Here, it's the gardens that dazzle rather than the building itself, landscaped in the late 18th century by the English author William Beckford.
Back in the old town and within pleasant walking distance of the central square along a relatively flat road is Quinta da Regaleira . Again, it's the actual grounds that delight, although the turreted mock-Manueline Palácio dos Milhões is certainly worth investigating.
With plenty of cafés and restaurants to choose from, you'll certainly want to have lunch in Sintra. But dinner here can be particularly memorable, especially given that the great romantic poet Lord Byron once declared the destination a "glorious Eden."
If you are not the do-it-yourself type and don't want the hassle of catching a train and a bus and finding your way around, book a Sintra and Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon . This tour takes you to Sintra, the Sintra Natural Park, the Pena National Palace and Pena Nature Park, the cliffs of Roca Cape at the westernmost point of continental Europe, and a drive along the Atlantic Coast, with a stop at the town of Cascais.
The National Palace of Queluz lies around 14 kilometers northwest of Lisbon and 16 kilometers southeast of Sintra. Built between 1747 and 1794 for King Pedro and his wife, later Queen Maria I, this is one of Portugal's most sumptuous palaces.
Originally designed by Mateus Vincente, a pupil of Johann Friedrich Ludwig, who built the Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra , the Palácio Nacional de Queluz is a landmark of both Portuguese architecture and landscape design , although French architect Jean-Baptiste Robillon later added lavish interior flourishes and the formal gardens.
As much a museum as a historic monument, the significant collection reflects the extravagant taste of the 18th- and 19th-century courts and includes Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical pieces. Tour highlights include the elegant Throne Room, which dates from 1774. Embellished with mirrors, paintings, and gilded statues all set under a beautiful ceiling, this is the largest of the palace's three staterooms.
The grand Sala do Embaixadores , with its carved gilt pinewood decoration, porcelain chinoiserie, and stunning trompe l'oeil ceiling is where diplomats and foreign ministers were received. The exquisitely ornate Dressing Room and Dom Quixote Room , where King Pedro VI was born and died are especially exotic in their decoration.
Outside, the serene gardens , which were used for hosting concerts and other royal get-togethers, are adorned with topiary, fountains, and the largest collection of sculptures by English John Cheere (1709-1787) outside of England. On certain days, the grounds provide the setting for virtuoso demonstrations of horsemanship by the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art , which is based at the palace. In addition, the palace also hosts displays of falconry .
Palácio Nacional de Queluz can be reached by taking the Sintra line train from Rossio to Queluz-Belas station. A 15-minute walk following the signs will lead you to the palace and gardens.
Address: Largo do Palácio, Queluz
The lively coastal resort of Cascais lies 25 kilometers west of Lisbon. It's a popular day trip destination for residents and visitors alike and is conveniently located at the end of the Cais do Sodré-Cascais railway line. The excursion itself is a pleasant experience, with the line hugging the coast, and trains calling at various seaside towns along the way, including Carcavelos and Estoril .
Draped around a shallow bay with its own sandy beach, Cascais combines tradition with nobility. A busy fishing port since medieval times, Cascais evolved in the 19th century when King Luís I moved his summer activities to the Palácio da Cidadela , the town's 17th-century waterfront fortress. Soon afterward, a slew of grand mansions sprang up in and around the town as Cascais took advantage of the royal seal of approval.
Today, these opulent properties stand side by side with rows of former fishermen's cottages. The citadel is now a plush hotel and a thriving cultural space open to the public, and Cascais still enjoys a rather glamorous, cosmopolitan reputation.
The resort is easily explored on foot, and the old town is particularly alluring. Get lost on purpose by wandering the narrow lanes that snake away from the harbor before heading for the leafy Parque do Marechal Carmona and the nearby spruce and engaging Museu do Mar-Rei D. Carlos , where the association between the town and the sea is imaginatively illustrated by a collection of model boats, ancient maps, and treasure salvaged from ships wrecked along the coast.
Nearby is the modernist landmark Casa das Histórias , a museum dedicated to Paula Rego , Portugal's most controversial living artist. The permanent collection of vivid pastels, engravings, and collages are compelling but sometimes disturbing and better suited to a mature audience. Works by Rego's late husband, Victor Willing , are also displayed. The Sea Museum and the Paula Rego House of Stories and Pictures are both free to enter.
From the park, it's a pleasant walk to the Marina de Cascais . The marina esplanade sits under the impressive walls of the fortress and is lined with an assortment of cafés and restaurants. After admiring the expensive yachts and motor boats, carry on to the Santa Marta Lighthouse , which houses a modest but engaging museum. It's possible to climb the distinctive blue-and-white striped tower for a splendid coastal panorama.
Nearby, another free-to-enter visitor attraction, the Museu-Biblioteca Conde Castro Guimarães , is worth a diversion for its ornate rooms decorated with beautiful Indo-Portuguese furniture, paintings, and antiques. The library houses some rare, illuminated 16th-century manuscripts , with one dating from 1505.
About three kilometers west of Cascais town center, along the broad Avenida Rei Humberto de Itália coastal road, is Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell), a chasm carved out of the cliffs. Seawater crashes into the caves below sending a spectacular plume of spray high into the air. The accompanying boom resembles the sound of cannon fire.
Farther north is Praia do Guincho, one of the region's most spectacular beaches and famed as a world-class surfing and windsurfing destination . In the distance, along the Sintra coast, is Cabo da Rocha , the most westerly point of mainland Europe. A lighthouse tops the windblown headland.
Long a favorite with tourists and just an hour's drive from Lisbon, Évor a, the Alentejo's regional capital, is blessed with some of the most impressive attractions in Portugal . Indeed, UNESCO has awarded the old center World Heritage status for the wealth and rarity of the historic monuments.
The Old Town is small and compact and a delightful place to spend a morning or afternoon wandering around the slightly confusing warren of ancient streets. Several of Evora's must-see attractions include the Sé , its 12th-century cathedral; the Museu de Évora ; and the iconic Roman Temple . You'll find them off the main square, along with a pleasant park offering fantastic views out over the surrounding countryside.
Make your way down to the Praça do Giraldo and snag a patio table here under the shadow of the 16th-century Igreja de Santo Antão . Other wonderful al fresco dining options are mere steps away down Alcarcova de Baxio.
All these sights and more can be explored at leisure by joining the Small-Group Évora Day Trip from Lisbon with Olive Oil Tastings — a wonderful introduction to the destination.
One of the jewels in Portugal's cultural heritage crown is located in this quiet provincial town — Mosteiro da Batalha (Battle Abbey). A UNESCO World Heritage Site attraction, Santa Maria da Vitória, to give its full name, stands as a magnificent example of Portuguese Gothic architecture replete with dazzling Manueline flourishes.
Built from honey-hued limestone to commemorate João I's 1385 victory over Castile at Aljubarrota, construction began in 1388 and took almost a century to complete.
You enter through an impressive portal decorated with religious motifs and statues of the apostles in intricate late-Gothic style. The Gothic character is further underlined in the Claustro Real (Royal Cloister). Note the Capelas Imperfeitas , and look out for the towering 15-meter-high portal with its filigree latticework.
Another highlight is the Capela do Fundador (Founder's Chapel), which houses a royal pantheon. It contains the tomb of João I and his English wife, Philippa of Lancaster, as well as the remains of Prince Henry the Navigator .
Afterward, if time permits, make a point of visiting the small hamlet of São Jorge , four kilometers south of Batalha. It's near here that the Battle of Aljubarrota took place and the reason the abbey was commissioned in the first place. A useful interpretation center explains the background behind the bloody encounter.
One of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the Catholic world, the Santuario de Fatima (Sanctuary of Fátima) is a devotional shrine that attracts thousands of devotees on the 12th and 13th of May and October during the annual pilgrimage to this little farming village, set deep in the heart of Portugal's Estremadura region.
This is the biggest religious event of its kind in Spain and on par with Lourdes in France. It commemorates the widely-believed appearance of the Virgin to three shepherd children on May 13, 1917. The children, Lúcia Santos and her young cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, were ordered by a shining figure in an oak tree to return to the same tree on the same day for six months, with the apparition appearing a further five times. By now word had spread of the divine visit, and on their final appointment, the youngsters were accompanied by 70,000 pilgrims.
The sanctuary is dominated by the mighty Neo-Baroque Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima , which holds the tombs of the revered threesome in the Capela das Aparições (Chapel of the Apparitions), built on the spot where the Virgin supposedly appeared.
In front is a huge esplanade twice the size of St. Peter's Square in Rome . It's on this gargantuan concourse that the faithful gather every year to celebrate the apparition's earthly jaunt. Every hotel, hostel, campsite, café, and restaurant in the vicinity heaves under the weight of the throng. The basilica, however, attracts a steady flow of worshippers and religious tourists throughout the year, drawn by their faith and a desire to stand in one of the most venerated destinations in Christendom.
One of Portugal's most impressive historic monuments — and certainly one of its largest — the Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra overwhelms the small town of Mafra, 40 kilometers northwest of Lisbon.
This mighty Baroque palace dates from the early 18th century. It was commissioned by King Joao V and originally intended as a simple monastery, but as royal coffers began to overflow with wealth from Brazil, the extravagant monarch extended the floor plans to include a sumptuous palace and a magnificent basilica.
Exploring Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra requires a good two hours of your time, but you can draw out the day by combining a tour with a visit to the lively seaside town of Ericeira , just 12 kilometers west of Mafra. Blessed with a series of fine sandy beaches and a picturesque waterfront, Ericeira's association with Mafra is tangible — Portugal's last king, King Manuel II, fled the palace on October 5, 1910, and boarded a ship in the harbor bound for England, fleeing into exile as Portugal's monarchy finally collapsed.
An irregular bus service connects Lisbon and Sintra with Ericeira and Mafra, so it's more practical to travel by vehicle.
The long, broad band of sand known as the Costa da Caparica is Lisbon's most popular summer playground . At its hub is the seaside resort of Caparica. During the high season, and on weekends, this place is packed with locals escaping the heat of the city. A laid-back, family atmosphere prevails, and if you don't mind crowds, this is certainly a holiday destination worth investigating.
Caparica is located across the river, 18 kilometers south of Lisbon. Regular express buses depart from Cacilhas, on the south bank, and the journey (traffic permitting) takes around 30-40 minutes. A slower service that will get you there in around an hour leaves from Praça de Espanha, in the city center.
If you're driving , be aware that parking space at Caparica is fiercely contended. The stretch of sand is immense and backed by rolling dunes. Those beaches nearest the resort fill up quickly, and if you're seeking solitude, you'll need to head for the costa's southern reaches. A mini-railway (Comboio da Praia) runs along the dunes to Fonte da Telha . Alight at the end of the line for peace and quiet.
Some excellent beachfront cafés and restaurants serve Costa da Caparica, and many stay open during the slower winter months. Off-season, the water is too chilly to swim in, although that doesn't deter die-hard surfers. The upside, however, is that the blissfully empty beaches make for some exhilarating walks.
The south bank of the River Tagus is also the location of one of Lisbon's more unusual visitor attractions: the giant Cristo Rei (Christ the King) monument , a mirror image of the more famous and much larger Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro. Near the town of Almada and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge, the towering statue, inaugurated in 1959 as part of a chapel and library complex, was commissioned by the church in 1940 in recognition of Portugal's decision not to enter the Second World War.
Standing 28 meters tall, the statue of Christ, arms outstretched like its Brazilian counterpart, is itself mounted on an enormous 82-meter pedestal. The monument is visible from various viewpoints in the city and is illuminated at night.
But to really appreciate this mini Christ the Redeemer, take the lift and then climb the few steps to the top of the pedestal. From here, the panorama across the bridge, the river, and the Portuguese capital are truly dramatic (the best time to photograph the city is during the afternoon, when the sun is behind you).
The easiest way to get to the monument is via the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas . You can then catch a bus or hail a taxi up to the statue. Alternatively, you can walk four kilometers from the harbor.
A road trip through the starkly beautiful Serra da Arrábida is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a day out of Lisbon. The wild, craggy mountain range rises 500 meters over the bay of Setúbal , some 38 kilometers south of the Portuguese capital, and encompasses the protected Parque Natural da Arrábida .
Blanketed with verdant woodland and scrub, this stunning landscape is home to a fascinating variety of flora and fauna, and it's possible to park the car and follow a number of signed nature trails. While the region is served by bus, public transport is limited, so to do the region justice, you really need a vehicle.
For the most dramatic views, follow the Estrada de Escarpa (N379-1), a narrow winding coastal road that snakes past Sesimbra all the way to Cabo Espichel , a precipitous headland topped by a lighthouse.
The traditional fishing village of Sesimbra is an enchanting day-trip destination that is immediately appealing for its busy little harbor and the 17th-century Fortaleza de Santiago, which houses the lovely Museu do Mar (Museum of the Sea). Sesimbra is a working port and is the base for a colorful fleet of trawlers and smaller boats.
The attractive old town center is a warren of narrow streets and winding alleys brimming with restaurants, where the aroma of grilled sardines floats on the salt-laced breeze. Hemmed in on either side by inviting golden-sand beaches , the harbor and its quayside is a delight to explore, especially in the late afternoon when the boats return with the day's catch.
This is also the departure point for adventure tourism attractions, including diving expeditions and sea kayaking excursions .
Sesimbra is a good day trip destination from Lisbon if you are looking to spend some time on a beach. The water is often fairly calm, clear, and shallow for a reasonable distance.
The Romans occupied Sesimbra, but it was the Moors who built the castle high above the town . Dating from the 10th century, it can be reached by vehicle or a stout pair of legs. Either way, the views from the weatherworn battlements, which encircle the 18th-century church of Nossa Senhora do Castelo , are inspiring, especially at sunset.
Sesimbra is 40 kilometers south of Lisbon and lies on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean under the lip of the Parque Natural da Arrabida mountain range . The drive here is straightforward and the better option if you're intending to explore the outlying area. However, arriving by bus is more convenient if all you want is to meander around town on foot and perhaps investigate the beach.
There are all sorts of reasons to visit the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, not least to watch the amazing variety of birdlife that congregates along the shore and across the mudflats.
The estuary, though, is equally celebrated for the resident bottlenose dolphins that patrol the shallows and the mouth of the estuary. These graceful and intelligent mammals can be seen in all their playfulness by joining a sightseeing cruise that brings passengers to within a few meters of these amazing beasts. A dolphin seafari can be combined with discovering Sétubal , where the cruise boats depart.
This busy port is noted for two architectural draws, the Igreja de Jesus and Castelo de Sao Filipe , perched on a bluff high above the city. The city lies on the northern flank of the estuary, opposite the Península de Tróia , and you can extend your day trip by packing a picnic and catching the ferry to this largely untouched spit of sand, where the ruins of the Roman town of Cetóbriga can be visited.
Setúbal is well connected with Lisbon — the A2 motorway will get you here in about 30 minutes. A light railway also serves the destination, as does a regular bus service.
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Setúbal
Few destinations in Portugal are as enchanting as Óbidos. Achingly pretty and exuding fairy-tale charm, this picturesque walled town set 80 kilometers north of Lisbon dates back to the 12 th century, and its romantic medieval character is quite bewitching.
To the Portuguese, it's known as the "wedding gift town" after King Dom Dinis gifted what was then an important port in the 13 th century to his wife, Queen Isabel of Aragon. Completely enclosed by crenelated walls (where once boats moored before the sea retreated), historic Vila da Óbidos, or village, is distinguished by the massively towered castle that looms over a warren of lanes and whitewashed cottages. Today, it is a charming pousada (hotel).
The main entrance to Óbidos is the grandiose Porta da Vila, an impressive gateway that opens onto Rua Direita, the village's main street lined with traditional houses, authentically styled shops, and a host of cafés and restaurants.
Of the must-see period attractions, the most evocative is the Igreja de Santa Maria, the church where in 1444, 10-year-old king, Afonso V, married his eight-year-old cousin, Isabel of Coimbra.
Not surprisingly, such an attractive and history-laden destination can get very busy. So to get the best out of a visit consider joining a small-group day trip from Lisbon led by an expert guide.
For years, the fishing town of Nazaré was, for the most part, the preserve of visiting locals, drawn in summer to the glorious town beach that fronts this traditional seaside resort located 122 kilometers north of Lisbon. But all that changed in November 2011, when U.S. professional big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara tamed a monstrous 24-meter wave off North Beach near the lighthouse to set a world record for the largest wave ever surfaced.
In 2022, Sebastian Steudtner from Germany set a Guinness World Record by riding an incredible 26.21-meter (86.1-feet) wave. To see the waves in their enormity, it's best to get up high and look down. The best spot in Nazaré is just to the north of the lighthouse on the high bluff.
Always a favorite surfing destination, Nazaré today is arguably the world's most famous big-wave hot spot. Every year, usually in November , this sleepy resort greets boarders from around the planet, who come here to witness this spectacularly fearsome phenomenon, when these awesome waves are formed by a unique underwater canyon off Nazaré.
Despite its global fame, Nazaré still manages to retain a modicum of tradition. Along the beachfront fisherwomen can be seen drying fish on wire racks, while their menfolk mend nets. High on a cliff above the town is Sítio, an older extension of the town. A funicular climbs the 110 meters to the top of the headland to afford visitors a jaw-dropping perspective of the Nazaré coastline.
To savor this extraordinary Atlantic Ocean landscape and more, why not join a small-group day trip from Lisbon and catch all the sites as part of a guided tour?
A 15-minute inland drive from Nazaré brings you to Alcobaça and Portugal's largest church, the Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça. Founded in 1153, the monastery is one of the country's greatest monuments, a masterpiece of early-Gothic architecture whose heart is the beautiful Claustro do Silencio - one of the largest medieval Cistercian cloisters in Europe.
The abbey church is the burial site of 14 th -century King Pedro I and his doomed lover, Inês de Castro. You can't miss their elaborately carved tombs, placed foot to foot as if together for all eternity.
Deserving of its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monastery deserves a couple of hours of your time. Come here in mid-November and join the festivities surrounding the Mostra de Doces Conventuais, a weekend of feasting on conventual sweets, pastries, and other divine treats.
If the tight confines of Lisbon have you looking and craving wide-open spaces, head north to the beach town of Peniche. Here, you'll find massive beaches fronting the wild Atlantic Ocean. Take a stroll along the pancake-flat beaches and feel the cool breezes off the water refresh your spirit.
The beaches here are also well-known hot spots for surfing if you dare brave the icy waters. Two of the most popular surfing beaches are Medão Grande Beach and Lagido Beach , the latter being a stop on the World Surf League Tour.
The small city is one of the country's major fishing centers, so be sure to wander through the Old Town and settle in for a lunch of the freshest seafood you'll find anywhere. Just offshore is the Island of Berlengas , one of Portugal's top scuba diving locations.
Peniche is about 75 minutes north of Lisbon.
- Multi-Stop Tour: If you want to visit multiple destinations near Lisbon on a day trip, the Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha Day Trip is an excellent choice. This well-organized full-day excursion takes in several historic and photo-friendly locations, including two World Heritage-listed sites. Entrance fees for some of the attractions and convenient pickup and drop-off at select hotels is included.
- Public Transport: Lisbon is well connected to several surrounding regions. A modern road and rail network serves the city, and an efficient and inexpensive coach and bus service can be relied upon for reaching outlying towns and villages.
Many tourists choose Lisbon as their vacation base, and while there are plenty of things to do in the Portuguese capital , exploring farther afield can add tremendous value to your vacation experience. The aforementioned Évora is an hour's drive southeast and is best visited in spring, when the countryside is flecked with colorful blooms. The region is also known for its abundance of evocative castles .
An hour or so north is Tomar , a city forever associated with the mysterious Knights Templar and the magnificent Convent of Christ, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more ideas on where to go and what to see consult our detailed itineraries page and inspire your wanderlust using our best places to visit in Portugal article.
More on Portugal
6 of the best day trips from Lisbon
Apr 5, 2023 • 9 min read
See more of Portugal with these top day trips from Lisbon © BONDART PHOTOGRAPHY / Shutterstock
When you’d like a break from meandering the hilly, cobblestoned streets of Lisbon , head to one of these destinations for a great day trip.
From surfing hubs and romantic mountain towns to emerging art destinations and heritage sites, be inspired to explore beyond the capital of Portugal with this list of places that are only a short journey away.
1. See the medieval castle and eclectic palace in Sintra
Travel time: 40 minutes
Mystic and romantic, Sintra is one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon. With several Unesco World Heritage sites, the small town is nestled amid lush mountains, surrounded by ostentatious palaces, and is home to an estate with a history of esotericism and secret rituals.
Take the bus or brave the climb uphill to visit two of Sintra’s best-known landmarks: medieval Castelo dos Mouros and 19th-century Palácio Nacional da Pena . Walk down the main road that leads to the historic center, snaking through the virtually untouched slopes of Serra de Sintra. Split your time between exploring the heart of the picturesque city on foot, visiting the Palácio Nacional de Sintra , and exploring Quinta da Regaleira and its Initiation Well, the root cause of legends and myths surrounding the estate.
Regardless of where you go for lunch, no trip to Sintra is complete without a stop for the typical pastries. Since 1862, Casa Piriquita has baked the famous travesseiros (a light puff pastry with an egg and almond filling, shaped like a pillow) and the bite-size tarts known as queijadas de Sintra .
How to get to Sintra from Lisbon: Take the suburban train (Sintra Line) from Rossio. If you prefer to drive, the shortest route is on A37, but you should bear in mind only residents’ cars, buses and taxis are allowed in the historic center. Sintra is 40 minutes from Lisbon by train and 30 minutes away by car. Trains depart every 15–20 minutes on weekdays and every half-hour on weekends.
2. Hit the surf or chill on the beaches in Peniche
Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Surfers headed north to Peniche long before the giant waves of neighboring Nazaré put Portugal on the map. This small city with a rugged shore is a great beach destination during the summer and a surfing hot spot all year long. Whether you surf or not, the beaches are one of Peniche’s main attractions, where Baleal and Supertubos are the best-known breaks amongst those who love to ride the waves.
The city’s historic center is easy to explore on foot, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. In the summer, take the 45-minute boat trip to Berlenga Grande island to roam its beaches and nature reserve. Visit the fortress, a former political prison during the Conservative Dictatorship (1930–74), which has been turned into a museum dedicated to the anti-regime resistance.
In a seaside city where fishing is still one of the main economic activities, seafood dishes abound. Whether you’re looking to try caldeirada (fish stew) or want to stick to grilled sardines, restaurants with catch-of-the-day on the menu are easy to find. Just search for a marisqueira (seafood restaurant) near the shore.
How to get to Peniche from Lisbon: Travelers can catch buses from Lisbon’s Sete Rio bus station and tickets are available with Rede Expressos . For those who want to drive, Peniche is 100km (62 miles) north of Lisbon. It’s about 1¼ hours away via the A8 and 1½ hours via the A1.
3. Explore Roman sites and eat delicious local food in Évora
Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Known as the capital city of the Alentejo region, Évora ’s distinctive whitewashed houses with yellow baseboards fit the typical image of the center-south. Ideal as a short road trip from Lisbon, head to sunny Évora for great food, wine and historical landmarks.
Évora's Roman temple is every visitor's first stop. The marble building from the 1st century is well-preserved, despite its age, and one of Portugal's most significant traces of the Roman Empire. Gruesomeness aside, the 17th-century Bone Chapel is also a must-visit in Évora. That section of São Francisco church was decorated top to bottom with bones and skulls to remind Catholic church-goers that life is fleeting. Afterwards, head to Praça do Giraldo for a well-deserved breath of fresh air.
Alentejo cuisine is typically rich in flavor but with humble origins. Go to Café Alentejo for petiscos (finger food and snacks) like scrambled eggs with farinheira (a meatless sausage) or Taberna Típica Quarta-Feira for typical dishes like fried pork meat. If you’re in Évora mainly for the wines, head to Cafetaria Páteo de São Miguel, for Cartuxa wine by the glass, or to Ervideira Wine Shop for a wine tasting, with or without a food pairing.
How to get to Évora from Lisbon : Buses depart from both Oriente and Sete Rios stations and can be found on the Rede Expressos website . If you want to drive, it’s 135km south of Lisbon. Take the A2 to cross the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge and then continue along the A6 on the south bank. If you’re driving to Évora from the east side of the city, take the A12 to cross the Vasco da Gama bridge and then continue along the A6. It’s about a 1½ hour drive either way. Parking inside the city walls is limited to residents, hotel guests, and people with reduced mobility. Outside the walls, the parking lot closest to the historic center (10 minutes' walk) is near Porta Velha da Lagoa.
4. Wander the cobblestone streets of Óbidos
Travel time: 1 hour 15 minutes
While Óbidos may draw in crowds of tourists, it’s not hard to see why this town enchants so many people. It boasts cobbled streets flanked by whitewashed homes, and its core is surrounded by medieval walls that visitors can walk along (if they dare). Follow these unprotected walls for amazing views of the town below and up to the Castelo de Óbidos, a 13th-century structure that is now a hotel called the Pousada do Castelo . Rua Direita – the town’s main road – is lined with chocolate and sour cherry–liqueur ( ginjinha ) shops to entice its many visitors, but make time for a rewarding wander deeper into the town's winding streets too.
However, the real draw of this town may be for bibliophiles. This historic town is a Unesco City of Literature and punches far above its weight in the number of amazing bookstores to visit. Step into Livraria de Santiago , a bookshop within the 18th-century São Tiago church, which was originally built in 1186 and rebuilt after it was destroyed by the 1772 Lisbon earthquake.
While this is a popular day trip, visitors may be tempted to stay the night at The Literary Man . The book-lined hotel also boasts the Literary Gin Bar, where even casual visitors can sip cocktails with suitably bookish names.
How to get to Óbidos from Lisbon: Óbidos is about 1¼ hours away from Lisbon via the A8. Take exit 15 and follow the signs to Óbidos. Travelers can take this same expressway to continue west to Peniche. For those who want to take public transit, there is a bus that departs from the Campo Grande bus station. Operated by Rodoviária do Oeste , departure schedules can be found online but tickets are purchased on the bus.
5. See how industrial Barreiro has become a hub of creativity
Travel time: 25 minutes
A former industrial city on the south bank of Tagus River, Barreiro is slowly coming out of the smoky shadows of its factory-heavy past and is now an up-and-coming day trip destination. Most attractions and tours pay tribute to its industrial heritage, and well-known street artist Vhils moved his workshop to Baía do Tejo, a former factory-turned-business hub.
As you come out of the ferry, walk to the left until you reach the old train station. Beyond the building, you'll notice the white-sand beach, Alburrica, famous for its windmills and occasional river surfers. Riding waves on the river, with the help of ferries during rush hour, is a trend that was started by local sports organization Gasoline . Look for street art alongside Av Bento Gonçalves, where the back wall of creative center Escola Conde Ferreira has the most eye-catching mural. Book a tour with a local company to learn more about Barreiro’s industrial heritage or know the story behind Vhils’ largest piece yet at Baía do Tejo. On your way back to the ferry station, have a peek at ADAO , a local arts organization that refurbished the former firefighters' headquarters.
Barreiro’s cuisine is heavily influenced by the Algarve and Alentejo roots of former factory workers. Most restaurants alongside “beach avenue” (officially Av Bento Gonçalves) serve typical Portuguese food, and fish dishes prevail. For a lighter meal, head to àPortuguesa; with occasional live music, this cafe-bar serves only Portuguese products.
How to get to Barreiro from Lisbon: Take the ferry boat from Terreiro do Paço. A one-way ticket costs around €2.45. Ferries depart every 30–60 minutes on weekends and every 10–20 minutes on weekdays. It will take 20–25 minutes by ferry.
6. Linger in Cacilhas for art, culture and traditional restaurants
Travel time: 10 minutes
While most people travel through Cacilhas en route to the Cristo Rei viewpoint , this colorful riverside borough of Almada is worth more than a pit stop. Follow the calling of freshly grilled fish at riverside restaurants and stay for the picturesque small-town houses to observe local amateur fishers, and discover a thriving cultural scene.
Stroll alongside the Tagus River on the street right of the ferry boat station, and soak in the view of Lisbon on the north bank. Take the free panoramic lift to see the city from another angle or simply to skip the climb uphill. Head to the cultural center, Casa da Cerca, a five-minute walk from the lift, for contemporary art exhibitions or coffee with a view at its outside terrace (weather permitting). Walk down to your starting point, passing by Rua Cândido dos Reis, Cacilhas’ famous street full of bars, shops, cafes, and restaurants (where fish dishes prevail). Pop inside Meia Volta de Urano to browse old books and art, and for a chance to catch an impromptu jam session.
Traditional restaurants closer to the ferry boat station, like the famous Ponto Final, serve mainly fresh seafood. At Rua Cândido dos Reis you'll find a greater variety of restaurants, from pizzas and artisanal hamburger joints to ice cream shops and spots serving typical Portuguese cuisine.
How to get to Cacilhas from Lisbon: Take the ferry boat from Cais do Sodré. A one-way ticket costs around €1.30 and it takes 10 minutes. Ferries depart every 10–20 minutes, depending on the time of the day and day of the week.
This article was first published March 2020 and updated April 2023
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Day Trips From Lisbon
4 Great Day Trips to Take From Lisbon
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While the Portuguese capital offers more than enough to keep visitors entertained , venturing even a little outside it brings rich rewards. From secret tunnels to raging surf, fishing villages to Roman ruins and more, these are some of the best day trips you can take from Lisbon.
All of these destinations can be easily reached by public transport within 90 minutes, thanks to an efficient, inexpensive bus and train network. Renting a car gives extra comfort and flexibility.
TripSavvy / Jamie Ditaranto
Undoubtedly the most popular day trip from Lisbon, Sintra’s UNESCO World Heritage status is well-deserved. While the most popular attraction is the Palácio de Pena, a former summer palace for the royal family, there’s much more to Sintra and its surroundings than that.
Both the Palácio Nacional de Sintra and Castelo dos Mouros are impressive in their own right, with sweeping views and fewer visitors than the bustling Pena Palace.
Quinta da Regaleira is a must-visit. This eclectic palace and gardens sit on the edge of town, crammed full of Masonic symbols, lakes, waterfalls, secret tunnels and more. In the hills above, the Convento dos Capuchos is a stark contrast, the former home of Franciscan monks who avoided all creature comforts.
Trails cross the forests and mountains surrounding the town, and hiking up to the hilltop palaces is a peaceful alternative to the taxis and tuk-tuks offering rides. It’s also not far to Cabo da Roca , the westernmost point in Europe. If you can, try to visit the lighthouse there at the end of the day to take in the sunsets.
Suburban trains run to and from downtown Lisbon all day, or it’s a half-hour drive along the A37 motorway. Visiting on mid-week mornings helps avoid the worst of the crowds.
If you’re looking for a beach break, check out the former fishing village of Cascais. It’s transformed into a vacation spot for Lisbon locals and international visitors alike in recent years, so can get busy. Don’t expect much space to yourself on the main beaches during summer weekends!
Fortunately, it’s easy to take a taxi to quieter patches of sand like Praia do Guincho further along the coast if things get too crowded. You can also rent city bikes for free (with ID) to explore the coastline via a dedicated cycle path.
Once you’ve tired of the sunshine, Cascais has plenty of excellent seafood and other restaurants, as well as souvenir shopping options that differ from those in the capital. Fishermen still mend nets and sell their catch in the harbor, and the town retains its laid-back vibe, especially outside the summer peak.
Cascais sits at the end of one of the suburban train lines, with services from Cais do Sodré every 20-30 minutes throughout the day. It’s also an easy half-hour drive from Lisbon along the N6 or A5, although parking can be a challenge.
Around an hour and a half from Lisbon by bus or train, Évora is a historical and gastronomic delight. The town dates back to Celtic times, but it was the Romans and later rulers who left the most visible marks.
The remains of the Templo romano de Évora is the most famous attraction, standing on a raised platform in one of the town squares. A section of the original city wall also still remains intact in the current city center and the towering arches of a medieval aqueduct stretch from the downtown area for nearly six miles through the countryside. A signposted walking path runs alongside or near the aqueduct and is an ideal way to see a little of rural Portugal.
Attached to the bright-white Igreja de São Francisco , a church worth seeing in its own right, is the macabre Capela dos Ossos . Literally the ‘chapel of bones,’ this small chapel is covered from floor to ceiling with thousands of bones exhumed from local cemeteries.
The city’s cathedral is also worth the visit, particularly for the rooftop views of Évora and its surrounds.
Once the sightseeing is done, it’s time to enjoy the food and wine that make the Alentejo region famous. There are plenty of open-air restaurants in and around the main square, serving regional dishes like black pork and mussels. For more variety, however, follow your nose through the narrow residential streets a few minutes away. Many houses have been converted into small restaurants, with top-quality dishes at very reasonable prices.
Given the travel time and midday heat, it’s best to leave Lisbon early in the day and return in the late evening. This allows a few hours of sightseeing either side of the extended (1-3pm) lunch break when most attractions are closed.
Nazaré is regularly home to some of the biggest waves on the planet. A record may have been set there in 2013 , and when conditions are right, top surfers from around the world descend on this small town.
You’ll get a great view of the action from beside the lighthouse at the top of the cliffs, although be prepared for strong winds when you’re up there. If you’d prefer less of a gale, watch from the adjacent Praia do Norte (North Beach) instead.
Praia de Nazaré offers a much calmer beach experience, with sun umbrellas and paddling in the ocean replacing the pounding surf. There’s a funicular joining the beach and the clifftop area of O Sítio , if you don’t fancy climbing up and down the cobbled path.
The town is a popular vacation spot but retains many of its traditions. Locals often wear handmade, patchwork skirts and trousers, and many of the town’s fishing boats are in an ancient Phoenician style, including painted eyes on the bow. It’s also a great place to try some of Portugal’s seafood dishes, including its rightly-famous sardines.
Buses run regularly from Sete Rios station, taking around two hours. If you’re driving, expect to cover the 80-mile distance in about ninety minutes.
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The Best 21 Day Trips From Lisbon
So, you have made your base in the capital of Portugal and are now looking for places to visit for different day trips from Lisbon? If you like to get away from traditional itineraries and get adventurous, you should know that there are several historical places and charming villages across the country that are easy to get to, either by car or public transport
Lisbon, which is situated on the banks of the Tagus River and stretches over several hills, is a must on any Portugal itinerary . The Portuguese capital city is a fantastic holiday destination if you are looking to immerse yourself in culture and history while visiting a cosmopolitan metropolis.
Lisbon is also a great place if you seek good weather and delicious food . Well-known for its vibrant nightlife and dynamic atmosphere , Lisbon’s attractions are diverse in terms of culture and color, all with a sense of uniqueness.
And whenever they ask me how many days to stay in Lisbon , I find it hard to give a unique answer. And that is no wonder as from Lisbon it is possible to make several short trips.
So, if I were to answer thinking only in Lisbon, I would say that two days in Lisbon would be the minimum time to get to know the city. But considering that there are so many possibilities in the surrounding area, I think 6 days is a very reasonable amount.
From gorgeous beaches and small villages to royal palaces and medieval castles, there is so much to discover around Lisbon. There are also several cities nearby Lisbon that are worth a visit, either on a day trip or even to include in a road trip itinerary around Portugal .
So, stick around as I show you that you can discover a lot on 21 days trips from Lisbon!
Table of Contents
How to get from Lisbon Airport to your hotel
From Lisbon airport, there are many ways to get to your hotel, and if the cheapest is of course by bus, the most comfortable is by taxi. I found a company with which you can prebook your taxi from Lisbon Airport so that you can have a smooth arrival.
This is the best option especially if you are coming from a long-haul flight and you are dead-tired.
- Safety first policy
- English-speaking drivers
- Hassle-free Airport arrival
How to move around Lisbon
Although the Portuguese capital is relatively small, the city’s public transportation is very well connected. As are the closest cities you might want to visit on a Lisbon day trip . In this case, I strongly suggest you purchase the Lisboa Card .
Besides public transport in Lisbon itself, this card includes entrance to some monuments as well as train tickets to Sintra and Cascais .
The price of this card is around 17,50€ for a 24h period and 36€ for a 72h period.
However, for some destinations and more convenience, you may need to have your own means of transportation and the best idea is to rent a car if you plan on visiting smaller villages or further destinations such as Dornes .
If you choose to rent a car, I recommend doing some research on various rental companies. You can compare rates using an aggregator like DiscoverCar Rentals .
Find the best car rental deals and explore around freely, at your own pace. My favorite way to enjoy a destination!
But what if you are traveling alone and cannot be bothered planning and going away by yourself? Do you just want to sit back and relax?
Well, then hiring an organized tour departing from Lisbon might be the best option. These package tours usually include round-trip transportation on a private bus, as well as a guide to explain the history behind the monuments and some very curious fun facts.
21 incredible day trips from Lisbon
Here I will share with you 21 Lisbon day trips that are up to 2 hours by car from Lisbon. In many cases, extending the drive to a long weekend in the region, also involving other adjacent cities, can be a good idea! Anyway, all the options below allow you to go and come back to Lisbon in a single day.
Costa da Caparica – 11 miles from Lisbon
First on this list is the closest day trip from Lisbon, Costa da Caparica . Ideal if you want to have a quick beach getaway, without compromising too much of the time available in Lisbon.
Costa da Caparica is very close to the center of the capital, on the other side of the Tagus River crossing the 25 de Abril Bridge . Besides 10 miles of beaches, Costa da Caparica also has natural attractions such as Arriba Fóssil and Mata dos Meados , which is a wooded area ideal for hiking and walking.
Another highlight of Caparica is the Convent of Capuchos . Built in the 16th century, it belonged to the Order of São Francisco and today is used for exhibitions and cultural shows .
There are three main ways to get to Costa da Caparica. You can take the 161 bus from Praça da Espanha in Lisbon or go by boat. That’s right, you can take a boat either in Belém or in Cais do Sodré. Just search for the nearest option from your accommodation in Lisbon.
“It was there that Ian Fleming bumped into Dusko Popov, the Serbian spy who inspired the writer to create James Bond.”
Cascais and Estoril – 19 miles
Located 19 miles from Lisbon, the charming town of Cascais is considered the “Portuguese Riviera” and one of the most valued regions in Europe due to its trendy city center and beautiful beaches.
The town that used to be the summer destination of the Portuguese royal family is still known for being frequented by the rich and famous, with several million-euro mansions and luxury resorts.
When you arrive in Cascais , leave at least two hours to walk around the historic old town , which is super charming and full of cute stores. Also, do not forget to visit the Marina de Cascais . Boca do Inferno is yet another attraction that deserves your attention.
On the way to Cascais, you will find Estoril . Its main attraction is the Casino Estoril, the largest casino in Europe and a place that holds an interesting fact.
It was there that Ian Fleming bumped into Dusko Popov, the Serbian spy who inspired the writer to create James Bond. Cool, right?
Interestingly, both Cascais and Estoril are part of Greater Lisbon. If you are driving, I suggest you take the N6 instead of the A5 as it takes you along the coast on a scenic drive with spectacular views. But it is also very easy to get there by train as it takes less than one hour from Rossio train station.
Guincho and Cabo da Roca – 21 miles
The natural landmark of Cabo da Roca is by far one of my favorite day trips from Lisbon. This is the westernmost point in Europe and is located in Colares , right at the base of the Sintra Mountain range. From there you have an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean below huge cliffs.
Besides the view itself and the most beautiful sunset in Portugal , the cliff is home to a red lighthouse filled with history and the perfect background for your photos.
And precisely because of its location at the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park , Cabo da Roca is a place that should be included in the Sintra-Cascais itinerary and on a short drive from Lisbon.
Because there is not that much to do there many organized tours combine Cabo da Roca with nearby destinations such as Sintra and Cascais.
But if you are driving, know that between Cascais and Cabo da Roca is the famous Guincho Beach . A popular spot amongst surfers, it is worth a stop, even if it is only a quick one to enjoy the beautiful view.
Sintra – 19 miles
The most classic of the getaways from Lisbon is for sure a visit to the Sintra castles . Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site , Sintra is an enchanting and charming town that transports you to a fairy tale scenario. Filled with castles , palaces , farms, and villas, the town blends historical heritage with a mountain range of natural beauty.
Sintra hosts some of the most historical Portugal Landmarks you might have heard of: Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Pena Palace , Montserrat Palace , Moorish Castle , and Quinta da Regaleira , each with its own particularity.
Besides many historical buildings from different times, you will find several charming restaurants to enjoy the magical vibe of the town. Be sure to try the famous sweet in Sintra: “ travesseiro de Sintra” , made of dry puff pastry and filled with soft eggs and almonds.
And, the best thing is, to get to Sintra and walk around there you do not need a car! Check out how to get from Lisbon to Sintra on a day trip as this is the perfect getaway for anyone, even solo travelers!
Many people want to do Sintra and Cascais on the same day. Despite the short distance between the two cities, I do not recommend that.
There are a lot of things to see in Sintra and it is not worth rushing through the day there just to check Cascais off the list.
But for a short trip of a few days , Sintra can be combined in an itinerary with Cabo da Roca, Cascais, and Estoril.
Azenhas do Mar – 24 miles
Situated 24 miles from Lisbon, Azenhas do Mar is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Portugal . One of those places to enjoy a relaxing day in a very charming setting . It is a small seaside town, full of picturesque white houses, cobblestone streets, and a natural pool that is usually busy in the summer months.
If you are visiting Cascais and Sintra on different days, it might be interesting to add Azenhas do Mar to the day you have planned for Sintra.
Perched on a cliff and bathed by the sea, this quaint fishing village is also a good place to try some delicious fresh fish at the Restaurante Azenhas do Mar .
Besides the restaurant with a panoramic view and a viewpoint from where you can take nice pictures, there is not much to do in town. The idea is really to have lunch, relax, and enjoy the view.
Lagoa da Albufeira – 24 miles
Located on the western edge of the Setúbal Peninsula , Lagoa da Albufeira is a place of unusual beauty where the sea mixes with the lagoon and an extensive pine forest.
And, actually, there are two lakes to be visited there. Lagoa Pequena is more inland and less deep. And Lagoa Grande is up to 49 ft deep, meaning it is the deepest lake in Portugal !
Formed by the fresh water from the streams and also by the saltwater from the sea, Lagoa da Albufeira is another perfect setting to relax or practice water sports.
The landscape is exuberant, and you can still take the opportunity to visit the National Ecological Reserve, a delimited territory to promote environmental conservation.
Setúbal – 31 miles
The city in itself is an excellent trip from Lisbon. Whether you want to visit historic monuments, take a stroll along the charming Setubal bay , or try the Setubal sardines (one of the 7 Gastronomic Wonders of Portugal) and the famous fried cuttlefish, it is worth escaping there.
A visit to Setúbal always begins on Avenida Luísa Todi , the city’s main avenue, ideal if you want to indulge in the local food and do some basic shopping. After exploring the Livramento Market and the Bocage Square, check out the São Filipe Fort and the Church of the Convent of Jesus .
Azeitão and Arrábida – 31 miles
You have probably heard of Sesimbra, right?! If not, this is a beautiful fishing village right in the heart of the Arrábida Natural Park , very close to Lisbon.
With breathtaking landscapes, it is composed of the beautiful contrast between the clear blue of the beaches with the green of the local vegetation.
It is difficult to be quick when talking about the Arrábida Mountains . Portinho da Arrábida beach is perhaps the main beach in the region, but since Galapinhos was voted the most beautiful beach in Europe in 2017, they have been sharing the attention.
Coming back from the beach, stop in Azeitão if you are interested in getting to know the J osé Maria da Fonseca winery . The guided tour is brief, and they do not go into too much detail. But it is interesting and the place is beautiful!
Ah, an important tip is to leave Lisbon very early in the morning. The Serra da Arrábida does not have much infrastructure (actually, almost none!), so it is good to guarantee your place.
Queluz and Mafra – 25 miles
Many times combined in a trip with the Sintra castles , Queluz National Palace is known as the “ Portuguese Versailles “. Of undeniable beauty, the palace was the official summer residence of Portuguese royalty at some point. And because of its location on the outskirts of Lisbon, it is the perfect stop on a day trip to Mafra.
Besides the proximity to Lisbon, what attracts so many visitors to Mafra is its imposing palace and one of the most beautiful libraries in the world .
However, the city has received more and more tourists and people interested in living there due to its nature, location, and proximity to the beach.
To get to Mafra, take the Lisbon subway (green line) to Campo Grande . From there, go to the terminal and take the bus to Mafra Convento , of the Mafrense company, which leaves once an hour and takes about 30 minutes to the destination.
When in Mafra, visit the National Palace of Mafra , the Garden of the Siege , and the Tapada Nacional de Mafra, the largest walled natural area in the country, with approximately 819 hectares.
Ericeira – 30 miles
Also in the municipality of Mafra, less than an hour from Lisbon, lies the charming town of Ericeira , with its incredible energy!
The jagged coastline, the smell of the sea in every corner, and the atmosphere of those who live by and for the sea, from fishermen to surfers, all make this village one of the special places on the coast of Portugal .
Also, Ericeira is a very old and picturesque village that every year hosts several international surf championships. In 2011, Ericeira was recognized as a World Surfing Reserve , the first in Europe! So, you can imagine how many young people and surfers visit the town every year…
Some of the best things to see in Ericeira include Praça da República, Ericeira World Surfing Reserve Interpretation Center, Casa da Cultura Jaime Lobo e Silva , and of course its 13 sandy beaches with clear waters.
Óbidos – 52 miles
With less than 12 thousand inhabitants, the Portuguese medieval town of Obidos is surrounded by a wall from the Roman era, which gave origin to its name that means fortified town.
This is actually one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal and you should make sure to include it in your Portugal itinerary , especially if you are driving from Lisbon to Porto .
An interesting fact is that Óbidos is so stunning that it was a wedding gift from King Dinis to his wife D. Isabel. In this way, the town has always been very well taken care of.
As the town is small, it can be explored in a few hours on foot. Walking around the town you will be surprised at the number of churches and chapels . The streets look like mazes of beautiful white houses with flowered windows !
At every corner, a new square enchants visitors. The village also has many little shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it a delightful place to spend the day.
Note that it is possible to visit Óbidos on a combined tour with Fátima or Batalha in case you do not want to dedicate an exclusive day to the city.
Peniche and Berlengas Island – 63 miles
Located on a peninsula with a coastline of about 6 miles, Peniche is another popular surfing destination.
And this is all thanks to Praia dos Supertubos which is nicknamed the “ European Pipeline ” because it is one of Europe’s best-surfing spots .
The less popular Baleal Beach , on the other side of the peninsula, is a little less crowded and has calmer waters. It is great for learning or practicing outdoor activities such as windsurfing .
Peniche was once home to a significant fortification that served as both military defense and a prison. So, be sure to visit the Peniche Fortress . Nonetheless, this town is primarily known for its coastal connections, which include a prominent fishing industry.
And a visit to Peniche is only complete if you also visit the Berlengas Islands , an incredible place that is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve .
To do the tour, go to the Embarque Pier and catch a boat to Berlenga Grande . I suggest booking the trip in advance, especially in the summer, when many tourists go to visit this paradise.
Nazaré – 76 miles
Going a little further north from Lisbon, along the Atlantic coast, you will find Nazaré , mainly known for having some of the biggest waves in the world, Nazaré hosts several surf championships every year.
If you want to see the giant waves , know that the best time to visit Nazaré is during winter and the best view is from Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo .
However, during the rest of the year, Nazaré has a calm and greenish sea and is a very pleasant town to shop and walk around the town centre.
But Nazaré is much more than just a beach destination . This fishing village is full of charming little white houses, excellent gastronomy, and a lot of tradition.
The Nazaré Lighthouse , from where you can see the megalomaniac waves, is also the scenery for an unforgettable sunset. Besides the Lighthouse, visit Sítio da Nazaré, a neighborhood on top of a cliff overlooking the sea.
There you will find the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Nazaré . The Miradouro do Suberco and the chapel Ermida da Memória are also must-see attractions.
Nazaré can be visited on a combined tour with Óbidos and Fátima, but a full day can also be reserved to enjoy the beach and the town.
Comporta – 82 miles
If Portugal continues with the popularity it’s been getting over the past decade, Comporta will soon become the new St. Tropez . It is already a stronghold of the rich and famous like Christian Louboutin – who even bought a house there.
It is also in Comporta that Madonna loves to ride with her family. So take advantage while the region is still kept secret and include this escapade in your Lisbon itinerary .
With more than 28 miles of sand, Comporta is part of the largest stretch of beach in Europe . Besides having clear water and a super calm sea, Comporta has incredible restaurants and beach bars .
And if you want to feel like you are once and for all in St. Tropez, just visit Lavanda , an amazing store for clothes, accessories, and decoration. The charming hotels also stand out there!
Besides relaxing at the beach, other possible activities are dolphin watching tours, balloon flights, and even a game at the Troia Casino. This is all without mentioning the walk through the little village, which is an attraction in itself with so much concentrated charm.
Évora – 83 miles
Évora is the main city of the Alentejo and is included in most Portugal itineraries out there. And when you visit Évora you will understand why as you walk through the narrow streets. With every step, you will breathe history and delight in the whitewashed houses, with iron balconies decorated with beautiful colorful tiles.
Evora is a passionate and welcoming city, which had its origin in the Roman era. In the 15th century, it was chosen by the Portuguese kings as their residence , a fact that contributed to its development and historical importance.
In 1986, its Historical Center was elected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Besides visiting the Capela dos Ossos , the Roman Temple, and Évora Cathedral , you cannot fail to include some wine tours .
That is because Alentejo is one of the largest wine regions in Portugal, having 8 Controlled Denomination of Origin (DOC) areas. The Adega da Cartuxa and the L’ And Vineyards offer several options of visit with wine tasting.
As the Alentejo corresponds to one-third of Portugal , the distances can be great when we are talking about a round trip. The best way to get to know the region in depth is to stay one night in Évora so you can explore the surrounding region.
Check out the 10 reasons why you should visit Alentejo .
Tomar – 84 miles
If there’s something I love about central Portugal , it is being able to drive a few miles between its villages and find attractions completely different from each other. Tomar is an excellent example of just that.
Once an industrial center, Tomar is now famous for its handicrafts, gastronomy, and tourism. Also, its landscape is beautiful, with cornfields, olive groves, and vineyards.
But what attracts thousands of tourists every year is the Convent of Christ located inside the Tomar Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal .
The city is also important as a base for the Templars , who marked not only the history but also the architecture of Tomar . Besides the convent, some of the main attractions in Tomar are the Church of St. John the Baptist and the National Forest of the Seven Hills.
F rom Lisbon to Tomar , it is possible to arrive by train, taking the train to Entroncamento and from there changing to the regional train to Tomar.
But I suggest you rent a car because then you can include a visit to the Almourol Castle , an ancient medieval construction located by the Tagus River . And if you want to add Tomar to another tour, it is possible to do it with Fátima or Batalha . But in this case, you need to speed up the pace…
Fátima – 80 miles
Going to Fátima is a trip especially dedicated to those of great faith, mainly because it is one of the largest Catholic centers in the world where the virgin mary supposedly appeared. But, regardless of religion, the Sanctuary of our Lady turns out to be an interesting visit and of an energy that is worth being contemplated.
Considered one of the most famous landmarks in Portugal , the Sanctuary itself is a work of art, architecturally speaking. Half a day is enough time to visit the churches.
The journey between Fátima and Lisbon is easy: take the Rede Expressos bus and in 1h30 you will be in the city – there are several bus schedules throughout the day.
However, keep in mind that Fátima is a very popular destination for organized tours , with several options departing daily from Lisbon . And this is the best and easiest way to travel if you are alone but cannot bring yourself to figure out every single detail, every day of your trip.
Dornes – 100 miles
Dornes is a beautiful village in the Zêrere valley and a nice destination for a great day trip from Lisbon . With a beautiful river beach and some trails nearby, it allows you to relax in an idyllic and peaceful place.
Surrounded by a magnificent landscape and stories and myths related to the formation of the nationality and the Order of the Knights Templar , Dornes sits on a peninsula in the middle of the river.
Today, the history of Dornes, the sailing landscape, and the aquatic activities turn the peaceful village into a tourist destination sought after by national and foreign visitors in search of contact with nature.
The main testimonies of Dornes’ history are the Pentagon Tower and the Nossa Senhora do Pranto Church. Both are located high up in the city center of the picturesque town and from where there are panoramic views of the river.
Although it is possible to get to Dornes by bus, I do not recommend it because you will have to change buses, the trips are long, and the connections are infrequent. So, the best option is to rent a car since the trip from Lisbon takes only 1h45min.
Batalha and Alcobaça – 108 miles
Now, this is a day trip for history fans . Located only 12 miles from each other, Batalha and Alcobaça have two of the most beautiful monasteries in Portugal . Both of which have plenty of history to tell.
The Alcobaça Monastery , or Santa Maria de Alcobaça Monastery, is very famous because it is home to the graves of D. Pedro and D. Inês , the Portuguese king and queen whose love story is so full of twists and turns that Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t even compare.
The visit to this monastery takes about 1h30.
As you arrive in Batalha, it is not difficult to see its very own monastery as soon as you enter the small town. Majestic, the Monastery of Batalha is also called Santa Maria da Vitória , built in 1386 to commemorate the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota .
The problem with this trip is that the bus schedules are bad, which means that it is not possible to get there in time to see the Monastery of Batalha open. So, renting a car or hiring an organized tour might be your best bet.
And a tip which is worth gold… It might be worth buying the integrated ticket for Batalha, Alcobaça, and Tomar (costs 15 euros, valid for 7 days), in case you are going to include Tomar in your itinerary for another day.
Estremoz – 106 miles
I mentioned that Alentejo is full of unique destinations, such as Évora itself. And due to the extension of the Alentejo, not all of them are possible to drive to, which is why the region is such an appropriate destination for a long weekend trip.
But since the idea is to bring recommendations of the best day trips from Lisbon, Estremoz appears like an excellent candidate.
Curiously enough, Estremoz is considered the white city of Alentejo. You have already noticed that Portugal is full of white cities, right?
But Estremoz is different from all the others because the presence of the white color goes beyond the color of the houses.
And this is all because of its marble which has given Estremoz international recognition . The city contributes about 90% of the total amount of marble produced in Portugal, the second largest exporter of this raw material in the world.
Estremoz is high on a hill, embraced by the ancient walls of the Estremoz Castle , which today houses a luxurious hotel.
Even if you do not stay there, go inside, and visit the Tower of Menagem . Another important point of the city is the Church of the Convent of the Congregates.
Porto Covo – 107 miles
Porto Covo is a beautiful village located on the Alentejo coast . With just over a thousand inhabitants, the village is the first destination north of the Costa Vicentina .
The cozy village has a cluster of white houses, with colorful doors and windows, all merged together. The charming main street (reserved for pedestrians only), Marquês de Pombal Square , is lined with cafes, restaurants, and small shops.
In Porto Covo, Praia da Samoqueira and Praia do Serro da Águia are breathtakingly beautiful!
When the tide is low, a delightful little pool is formed in Praia da Samouqueira . The access is by stairs on the cliffs, so it’s not advisable if you are not slightly fit.
Ah, if you want to stretch a little further, Vila Nova de Milfontes is also worth a visit.
Best time to travel to Lisbon
If you are traveling to several areas within the country, it is good to know when is the best time to visit Portugal . But when it comes to Lisbon, there is no ideal time since the weather there is pleasant all year.
Obviously, the months between April and September are ideal for those who want to take advantage of all of the city’s attractions, as the weather is consistently sunny and the days are longer.
It is also worth noting that rain is not a problem in Lisbon , and people do not stay at home because of it. Rainfall in Lisbon is usually light and infrequent. So, as long as you know what to pack for Portugal , this should not be a problem for you.
Be aware that summer (June to August) and winter (December to January), are the peak seasons in Portugal. Because of school vacations and end-of-year celebrations, airline tickets and hotels are more expensive throughout Europe during these months.
As a result, there is significantly more tourism in Lisbon at this time, making everything more crowded and expensive. If you want to get the most out of your visit to Lisbon while saving money, go during the off-season , when everything is cheaper and less crowded.
But if I had to choose, I would say that spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Lisbon. A new city appears to blossom, and Portuguese society seems to be more cheerful, in a more peaceful and pleasant climate.
So, have you already planned your trip to Lisbon and its surroundings?
About the Author
I’m Camila, an Oceanographer from Brazil which is where my journey began. My studies have taken me to unique places around the world since I was a teenager. I found in my academic career the chance to come across different cultures and languages while working as a scientist. By having lived in several countries I have been able to share my experiences as a travel content writer for the last 4 years and I still have plenty more to tell. I have a great passion for the outdoors and animals, especially dogs and seals (which, let’s be honest, are basically sea dogs!).
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There are no daytime trains and the bus schedules are so infrequent that a day trip is almost not feasible.
The 0915 departure of Avanzabus would get you to Badajoz at1330 Spanish time. The 2030 return trip gets you back to Lisbon Oriente bus station at 2300 Portuguese time. See http://www.avanzabus.com and that one costs €21,95 each way.
You could I suppose take the 0830 am coach from Lisbon Sete Rios bus station to Elvas (arrival at 1110) which is a few km from Badajoz but still in Portugal , then take a taxi over the border. Remembering that Spanish time is 1 hour ahead of Portugal, you need to make it back to Elvas for the last return trip to Lisbon at 1830. That costs €33.40 return plus the taxis.
Times and on line ticlets at http://www.eede-expressos.pt
But I must ask why anyone would want to do so!
In Madrid you can take the metro into the city.
This would only give you a couple of hours in Madrid!
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.
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19 Best Day Trips from Lisbon (with Map by Region)
Get away from the bustling Portuguese capital and enjoy amazing day trips from Lisbon . Depending on what type of day trip you would like, you can choose from cultural, natural, sightseeing and wine tasting.
Portugal goes from medieval castles to captivating cities, cobblestone villages, spectacular golden beaches and beyond. Great food and the awe-inspiring scenery is just the beginning!
Want to know the best day trips from Lisbon ? Find out all about how much they cost, their duration, what to see, what to do, what to eat, and more!
2. Templar Knights region
- 3. Aveiro, Coimbra, Ilhavo
4. Fatima, Nazare, Obidos, Batalha
5. mafra & ericeira, 6. cascais & cabo da roca, 7. costa da caparica, arrabida national park & sesimbra, 8. berlenga islands, 9. palmela & evora.
Cultural day trips from Lisbon
Experience Portugal’s natural and historical beauty on a day trip from Lisbon to the beautiful Sintra . Well-recognized for its magic where locals and tourists get away from the city. You can start your day trip from Lisbon to the historic town of Sintra, where you will be able to discover the main attractions.
Visit Pena Park, where you will immerse yourself into the variety of paths, trees and other plants. Walk up to Pena National Palace where you will be astonished by the views and inspired by Manueline art. Pena Palace is on a steep hill but there is a bus that takes you from the entrance up to the Palace for 3€, very advisable for the elderly. The same with Castle of the Moors, you can reach atop getting bus line 434.
Visit the National Palace where the Portuguese royal family used to spend their summers between the 15th and 16th centuries. The National Palace is in the heart of the old town so it is easy to find. Explore Quinta da Regaleria situated in the park of Sintra accessible by car or bus.
Sintra is easily accessible by train from Cais do Sodré or Rossio station, it takes around 30 minutes and the views you get overlooking the seaside are beautiful. Also easily reachable by car from Lisbon by taking the A16 motorway following the signs to Sintra for about 25 minutes approximately.
There are many day trips from Lisbon to Sintra down to its proximity, just a half an hour ride you can spend your day in Sintra to unwind. Usually, the day trips last for 8 hours and you can choose from private tours to group tours, or you can also have the option of complementing the trip by visiting another village such as Cascais.
The prices are very reasonable considering it includes transportation there and back, tickets to enter as many attractions as you desire, a lovely informative explanation of all the exciting facts Sintra has to offer. Consider a price range between 45 and 80€ depending on what tours and day trip you choose.
If you prefer visiting the attractions independently that is also an option. There are tickets for visiting the Park and Pena Palace , the National Palace of Sintra , the Castle of the Moors available online which are the best idea to skip the line.
Head over to TourScanner and compare the best prices for tours.
Sintra day trips from Lisbon
- Compare prices
On this cultural-historical day trip from Lisbon you can get to know the villages of Constância and Tomar, to discover the history of the Knights Templar (the elite fighting force back in their days).
Not only this but also you can visit the Almourol Castle which was built by the Knights Templar and is an excellent example of the military architecture from the medieval times; or the Convent of Christ, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are numerous day trips from Lisbon to the historic Templar region, offering from private tours to small group tours where they ensure you with a personalized and valuable experience. Depending on which tour you book, you can take a look at TourScanner and compare prices.
If you prefer to go by yourself, getting to Tomar and Constância are easy to reach by train. The railway station is conveniently located near to the historic centre and is connected to Lisbon from Santa Apolonia and Lisbon Oriente railway stations just 2 hours away approximately. If you are wondering how to get there by bus, this option is easily cost-effective. Rede Expressos and Rodoviária do Tejo are the best companies.
Tomar is a small city so getting around by foot is good but if you prefer other alternatives, there are plenty of tuk tuk’s or a touristic city bus which takes you to the main touristic points.
Templar Knights region day trips from Lisbon
3. Aveiro, Coimbra, Ilhavo
Explore three of Portugal’s picturesque central cities on a full-day trip from Lisbon. Aveiro, often called as the “Venice of Portugal”, it’s a city filled with canals and delicious traditional pastries.
Easily navigable by foot but there is also an Aveiro City Tour bus that passes by the main tourist zones and monuments. For bicycle lovers there is also a convenient way to see Aveiro using BUGA service.
On the way to Coimbra you can visit the town of Ílhavo, there you can visit the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo where you can learn the history of the maritime tradition of the Portuguese.
Head to the highly-recognized University town of Coimbra and get to know one of the most beautiful libraries worldwide, Joanina’s Library. Wandering around you will encounter Santa Clara-a-Velha’s Monastery or “Portugal dos Pequenitos” where you can find the greatest monuments of Portugal and some from all over the world in miniature.
Hot tip; Make the most of your visit by checking out our recommended list of fun things to do in Coimbra .
Getting around Coimbra is also possible and the advantage is the main attractions are in walking distance to each other. Nevertheless, it is hilly so you might like to travel around by local buses, trolleys or electric cars.
Getting a train or bus to each of these places is possible if you prefer going independently, all three cities have good connections by train operated by Comboios Portugal or by coach if you prefer with Red Expressos and Renex.
This day trip from Lisbon lasts for a day approximately and there are many different tours to choose from, whether you want to visit Aveiro and Coimbra or you would like to try going on a “Moliceiro” along the canal in Aveiro.
This may be a convenient option due to the fact there is quite a distance between each city and travelling by car, train or bus might take you longer.
Have a look on TourScanner and find which tour/day trip is better suited for you!
Aveiro, Coimbra, Ilhavo day trips from Lisbon
Book an entrancing day trip from Lisbon to the towns of Fátima, Nazaré, Óbidos and Batalha. Head north to these small villages cobblestone streets. You should try the traditional Ginja liqueur served in a small cup of chocolate which you can eat!
There is also a train connection between Lisbon-Entrecampos station that can take you directly to Óbidos .
Getting around is easily done as it’s largely pedestrianized. Next stop could be Nazaré , a traditional fishing village and also very renown for being a famous place to surf. You can enjoy a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean from there and the beaches are amazing.
You can get there by bus operated by Rede Expressos catching the bus from Sete Rios bus station in Lisbon; or a train runs through Linha do Oeste line from Oriente station in Lisbon.
Getting around on foot is okay but if you would like to get the views of the Atlantic Ocean there is a funicular that can take you up to the mountain where you will be rewarded by the views.
Continue to Batalha, a singular town which holds a Gothic masterpiece monastery, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Connected with Lisbon by Red Expressos bus company or the nearest cities such as Leiria and Fátima are connected with Rodoviária do Tejo.
Your last stop could be in Fátima , once an important pilgrimage site where you can visit the Sanctuary of Fátima, a basilica that attracts millions of Catholic pilgrims every year.
There are buses every hour from the bus station Sete Rios in Lisbon run by Red Expressos. Once you get there Fátima is easily navigable and famous Sanctuary is easy to find.
If you prefer to be taken to each of these cities on a day trip from Lisbon where you will be able to see all these towns on the go, there are tours available! Compare prices on TourScanner to find which day trip is better suited for you.
Fatima, Nazare, Obidos, Batalha day trips from Lisbon
Just 30 km from Lisbon, take a day trip from Lisbon to Mafra and Ericeira. Mafra , a small town which holds one of Europe’s largest palaces: Palacio de Mafra. You can take a coach service operated by Mafrense which leaves from Campo Grande. Just a 10 km ride from the coastal village you can find Ericeira, a quaint fishing village.
The best way to reach Ericeira by public transport is by bus, departing from stop number 5 at Campo Grande bus station in Lisbon. The cost is 6.25€.
There are tours available for mountain biking from Mafra Palace to Ericeira which takes you through lush green valleys. Not only this, but there are also surfing lessons available to do in Ericeira if you are looking for something more exciting! Head over to TourScanner to compare prices and see if any catch your attention!
Mafra & Ericeira day trips from Lisbon
Nature & beach day trips from Lisbon
Take a scenic drive along the coast to Cascais , known as the “Portuguese Riviera” where you can walk around the old town, Cabo da Roca, bike (possible to rent from the old town) or walk along the promenade overlooking the Atlantic Ocean towards Guincho beach and stop on your way to see the famous Boca do Inferno and Cresmina Dunes.
Continue to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of the European Continent where you will be astonished by is 140-meter cliffs over the Atlantic Ocean.
Cascais is easy to get to from Lisbon by car or by train which takes 30 minutes from Cais do Sodré railway station. A return ticket costs 5€.
Maybe Cabo da Roca and Guincho Beach can be harder to reach so usually booking a tour is a convenient option.
The duration of this day trip is around 5-6 hours. Head over to TourScanner where you can compare prices.
Cascais & Cabo da Roca day trips from Lisbon
Get away from the bustling city and book a day trip from Lisbon to Arrabida National Park , Sesimbra and Costa Caparica. Discover the beauty of Arrabida Natural Park and gaze over the lush green forests towards the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful golden beaches below.
Stop in Sesimbra, a typical fishing town where you can stroll along lively streets and walk along the beaches. You can also visit the castle which is the national monument. Drive up on the way to Lisbon and stop in Costa da Caparica where you can find spectacular long golden beaches perfect for walking or surfing.
You can also easily reach these spots by car or bus.
By car is the quickest option if you cross the 25 de Abril bridge towards the south and follow the signs that direct you pretty easily.
There are also direct buses departing daily from Praça de Espanha and Praça de Areeiro to Costa da Caparica.
There are no direct trains so I wouldn’t contemplate that option. To get to Sesimbra is tricky by train as it doesn’t exist but there are direct buses from Lisbon to Sesimbra operated by TST bus company.
There are buses from Setubal that leave you close to the Arrabida National Park but still difficult to reach.
As you can see, reaching these places by public transport can be tedious. That’s why there are many day trip tours from Lisbon that give you the chance to visit these 3 places in a whole day. Perfect for not getting into such a hassle having to work out how to get there and back. You can check prices and tours on TourScanner.
Arrabida National Park day trips from Lisbon
If you want to visit the perfect postcard island, head over to the fishing village of Peniche where you can board a boat to Berlenga Islands . Explore the Nature Reserve of Berlengas and wander along the beautiful paths of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. You can also explore the island’s caves if you would like to book some extra activities such as kayaking or a glass-bottom boat.
If you’d like to get to Berlenga Islands by yourself, by bus is perfectly reachable. Catch a bus departing from Sete Rios bus station in Lisbon, operated by Rede Expressos.
Book a private tour or a group tour for a more personalized and valuable experience. It is known to be a very touristic attraction so the prices can be a bit high, head over to TourScanner and search for the perfect day trip. Berlenga Islands is a must!
Berlenga islands day trips from Lisbon
Sightseeing & Wine tasting day trips from Lisbon
Want to experience the Alentejo Region? Pass by the beautiful city of Palmela and head over to Évora , one of the oldest and most enchanting cities of Portugal. Évora is known for being full of different architectural styles, from Moorish, Renaissance to Gothic style.
There you can visit the most emblematic site of Évora: the Roman Temple, also known as the Temple of Diana. A Roman-Gothic Church of the XIII century where you can climb up to the tower and have a panoramic view of the city and surroundings.
Évora is also renown for producing some of the best Portuguese wines. So its recommended to visit a local farm where you can taste the best Alentejo wine. A private tour is well suited for this kind of trip so you can have a more personalized and valuable experience of all the history Évora has to offer. If you prefer another type of tour, search on TourScanner and compare prices, tours that adjust to your budget.
Évora is reachable in several ways:. You can either catch a direct bus operated by Rede Expressos, by car taking the A2 and then A6 following the signs to Évora or there are trains that go daily to Évora and are known to be very comfortable. You can check the timetables on the website of Comboios de Portugal.
Evora day trips from Lisbon
Hope you enjoyed my selection of day trips from Lisbon. Wishing you a great time in Portugal. Have fun!
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Best Day Trips from Lisbon – 15 Epic Lisbon Day Trip Destinations
Posted on Last updated: June 10, 2023
If you’re planning a trip to Portugal but don’t fancy a moving itinerary, changing hotels and cities every night, worry not! You can easily base yourself in the Portuguese capital, and go on lots of epic day trips from Lisbon.
Geographically located about mid-way across the country, Lisbon is perfectly positioned to act as base for your day trips.
There are lots of beautiful places that are a 90-minute journey away from Lisbon at most, which you can visit during a day tour.
Whether you want to explore unique castles, surf at picture perfect beaches, wander around medieval towns or admire stunning monasteries, you can do all of that and more on a Lisbon day trip.
In this guide I put together all the best day trips you can do from Lisbon, and useful information about them like how to get there, the best things to see, journey times, what to expect and more.
So without further ado, let’s dive in and discover the best Lisbon day trips!
- 1 How to travel to these Lisbon day trip destinations
- 2.1 Lisbon to Belem
- 2.2 Boca do Inferno
- 2.3 Cascais
- 2.4 Costa da Caparica
- 2.5 Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip
- 2.6 Cabo da Roca
- 2.8 Lisbon Trip to Ericeira
- 2.9 Lisbon to Obidos
- 2.10 Lisbon Tour to Peniche
- 2.11 Évora Day Trip from Lisbon
- 2.12 Lisbon Tour to Cabo Espichel
- 2.13 Nazare to Lisbon in a Day
- 2.14 Batalha & Alcobaça Monasteries
- 2.15 Fatima
- 3 Where to stay for your Lisbon day trips
- 4 What to pack for your day trips from Lisbon
- 5 Do you need travel insurance for these Lisbon day trips?
Walking next to the famous Elevador da Bica in Lisbon, Portugal
How to travel to these Lisbon day trip destinations
You can reach these Lisbon day trip destinations by car, train, bus or with an organised tour. Some destinations will be easier and more fun to visit by simply renting a car , getting there and exploring alone.
Others, for example Sintra or Evora, where there is either a lot of history to learn about, complicated logistics or a fairly long drive, then you are probably better off joining one of the many day tours from Lisbon.
That way all the travel will be taken care of, and you will have a local guide telling you about the places you are visiting.
One thing to take into account if you rent a car is that parking in central Lisbon can be quite complicated, so make sure to book your accommodation somewhere with easy access to parking and the highways.
Public transport in Portugal is pretty good, and you could also organise your day trips from Lisbon by train. Just make sure to book your Lisbon accommodation close to the train station, to limit travel within Lisbon.
However you choose to travel to these Lisbon day tour destinations, you will have a great time! For each destination I have outlined the best ways to get there, so that you can plan accordingly.
The castle walls of Castle of the Moors in Sintra, Portugal
The best Lisbon day trips
Want to know where to go for your epic day trips from Lisbon ? All the best locations to visit during a day out from the Portuguese capital are listed below.
I have listed them starting with those nearest to Lisbon first, and the furthest away last.
Lisbon to Belem
Since Belem is only 10km’s away from the coastal capital city, it’s one of the most popular destinations people visit from Lisbon. It’s so close that I included it also in my two day Lisbon itinerary.
The two places here that you absolutely can’t miss here are Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery.
Located near the harbour, these two sites stand as reminders of Portugal’s incredible maritime history and are protected as World Heritage sites .
The monastery has exuberant art typical of the Portuguese late Gothic period. With their intricate decorations, the cloisters of the monastery are one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and a must on any Europe bucket list .
Admiring Belem Tower in Lisbon
Being so close to Lisbon it probably won’t be a full day trip. Uber is very cheap in Lisbon, the journey from central Lisbon to Belem would only take around 20 minutes and cost around 8 EUR.
You can then join a guided tour there to learn about the history of these beautiful sights. Or if you’re feeling sporty, you can join a bike tour that will take you from Lisbon to Belem, all while cycling along the river.
If you don’t join a tour, make sure to purchase entrance to Jeronimos Monastery online beforehand , as the queue at the ticket entrance to buy it on the spot can be huge.
On your return route to Lisbon, consider stopping to sample a popular Portuguese cherry-like liqueur in the tiny, yet historic, A Ginjinha bar.
The drink is typically served in a shot form in a tiny chocolate cup with a piece of the fruit inside. It has a mixture of a bitter and sweet taste with a twist of cinnamon.
Check out prices & availability for your Lisbon to Belem trip below!
The beautiful Geronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal
Here are some of the best Belem guided tours from Lisbon that you can join.
Belem Hop-on / Hop-off Bus with Optional Boat Tour – If cycling isn’t your thing, you can join a classic hop-on / hop-off bus tour that will take you to all the famous sights in Belem.
Lisbon to Belem 3-Hour Bike Tour by the River – Starting in Lisbon, this bike tour will cycle all along the river and take you all the way to Belem, where a guide will show you these gorgeous sights.
Belem Guided Tour – The classic tour, seeing all the sights with a local guide telling you about their history.
Jeronimos Monastery Entrance Ticket – This one isn’t a tour, it’s just the entrance to Jeronimos for those who want to head there independently.
The beautiful courtyard of Geronimos Monastery in Lisbon
Boca do Inferno
Boca do Inferno is a unique cliff formation with a sea arch. This natural wonder is close to the town of Cascais and is best viewed when the swell is large enough to produce a striking spray of water.
We viewed the ‘Mouth of Hell’ from above before following the short path down to watch it from sea level. When the ocean is particularly aggressive during winter, this attraction requires caution.
Stay on the dedicated paths to ensure your safety and the preservation of this exhilarating cliff face. The easiest way to reach this destination is by car and the drive takes less than an hour from Lisbon.
This unique natural formation is a 35-minute drive from Lisbon. While being a beautiful place to visit, there isn’t a huge amount to do here. You can visit Boca do Inferno in 30-45 minutes, including a bit of a walk along the coast.
If you want to make a full day trip out of it, you can pair it with a visit to the town of Cascais and Sintra, like this tour does.
See prices and availabilities for your tour to Boca do Inferno and Cascais on GetYourGuide and Viator , or in the calendar below!
The unique rock formations of Boca do Inferno in Portugal
The cliffs and coastline by Boca do Inferno
This is the most upmarket resort town along Portugal’s coastline. The grand mansions and attractive parks developed from years of noble families visiting Cascais’s shores in the summer.
You can relax on the fine sand beaches after seeing the town’s top attractions on a day trip from Lisbon. Visit the statue of King Pedro I in the main plaza outside of the town hall.
From here, head along the coast past the fishing harbour to reach the artisan centre in the Fortress Nossa Senhora da Luz de Cascais. Simply wandering along the cute streets of Cascais is an experience in itself.
One of the beautiful city beaches in Cascais
While you can reach Cascais in less than an hour, I suggest driving along the coastline to include the sights of Belem. If you have time to spare after Cascais, you can also drive on further to Boca do Inferno.
If you want to explore the town and then relax at one of the beautiful city beaches of Cascais I recommend travelling here independently.
If you want a more action packed itinerary, you can also join an organised tour to Cascais , which usually includes also Sintra and Cabo da Roca.
See prices and availabilities for your Cascais tour on GetYourGuide and on Viator , or in the calendar below!
Wandering the cute streets of the Old Town of Cascais
Costa da Caparica
Located within the Setubal district, Costa da Caparica is a small yet lively town. It is an easy place to visit near Lisbon, just a short drive over the Golden Gate style bridge.
It offers long sandy beaches suitable for swimming or, if you are feeling brave, surfing. The beachfront features some superb bars ideal for a cocktail at sunset.
After a scuba dive to see marine life, head to the Marisqueira So Tavento to enjoy a Portuguese seafood dish mere meters from the sea. This bright and airy restaurant offers delicious traditional shrimp from Espinho.
If you are staying for sunset and need a homely place to stay, consider the Fonte da Telha Beach House . It is less than one hundred meters from the beach, letting you fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing.
The most direct route takes half an hour by car from Lisbon to Costa da Caparica. While there isn’t really any need for a Costa da Caparica tour, you can join one of these fun surfing experiences.
Surf Experience in Costa da Caparica – Take a surf lesson with a local surf instructor, perfect for any surf level!
Surf & yoga in Costa da Caparica – If you want to relax and stretch after your surf lesson, this surf and yoga experience is perfect to do just that!
One of the beaches in Costa da Caparica
Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip
This magical town is located on Serra de Sintra’s pine tree-covered hills. It has a charming number of castles and palaces that you simply have to see with your own eyes.
The 19th-century buildings, exotic gardens, and quaint streetside café’s make it one of the most romantic places in Portugal. Sintra is one of the destinations in this Lisbon day trips guide that you really have to plan for.
It’s one of the busiest places I have ever visited. The easiest way to visit is on a guided tour , so that they will manage all the transfers and you can skip the line.
If you don’t want to do a tour, you still have to make sure you purchase your castle entrances online, or you will find yourself wasting your precious day trip time queueing.
The palace of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra
The places you absolutely have to visit in Sintra are Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, Sintra town and Quinta da Regaleira.
Whether you visit Pena Palace and Park independently or hire a guide, you will feel like you have fallen into a fairy tale.
The romantic style of architecture is breathtaking, and azulejos tiles cover the church’s walls, cloister, and 16th-century monastery. The unique yellow and red facades of the palace stand out amongst the green surroundings.
Pena Palace is surrounded by an exotic park consisting of thousands of plant species from all around the world.
Click here to book your skip the line entrance to Pena Palace!
Getting up close to the gorgeous architecture of Palacio Nacional da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
The Castelo do Mouros is is probably my favourite castle in Sintra and is definitely worth visiting.
This Moorish castle sits proudly on the hilltop and provides you with unrivalled coastal views from its defensive towers. On a clear day, you can see the coastline to Peniche.
Click here to book your fast track entrance to Castle of the Moors!
Exploring Castle of the Moors in Sintra, Portugal
Sintra is not only a pretty place. A handful of incredible restaurants can be found here too. Sample the octopus with spinach and sweet potato at Incomum, a contemporary restaurant with a seasonal tasting menu.
If you are vegan, consider a delicious yet affordable dish from Bosque de Sintra in the town’s centre.
Quinta da Regaleira is composed by a Romantic palace and chapel, as well as a beautiful park dotted with grottoes, lakes and fountains.
It was designed by the Italian architect Luigi Manini. It’s home also to the famous Initiation Well.
The famous Initiation Well in Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal
If you join a guided tour they all tend to start very early in the morning. If you’re travelling there independently, I recommend going with public transport, not by car.
This because the roads are open only to local residents and you won’t be able to drive to the individual castles, you’ll have to pay for the tourist bus anyway, plus parking is a nightmare.
The train can take up to one hour, so make sure to take the earliest train from Lisbon. If you’d like to know more, I have a post covering everything you need to know for a perfect day trip from Lisbon to Sintra .
Click here to book your day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, or check out prices & availability in the calendar below!
Exploring Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal
Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is a rugged headland and is the westernmost point of the European continent. It provides an impressive viewpoint from where you can watch the ocean crash into rocky cliffs.
I suggest doing the forty-minute drive from Lisbon to visit Cabo Da Roca followed by a swim at the nearby Guincho beach if the weather is pleasant.
It remains an undeveloped area, offering a coffee shop, gift shop, and lighthouse. We loved visiting for the dramatic landscapes and raw natural beauty.
If you are in search of an adventure, I suggest tackling the hiking trails along the ancient paths that lead to Praia da Ursa. While it takes less than an hour to reach, it is worth bringing a picnic and water with you.
It’s the perfect place to come for a day out in nature from Lisbon. However if you’re tight on your Portugal itinerary , you can also combine it with a visit to Sintra or Cascais as they’re along the way, as many of the guided tours do.
See prices and availabilities for your tour to Cabo da Roca on GetYourGuide and on Viator !
The iconic sign of Cabo da Roca in Portugal
Mafra is a lovely day trip destination, best paired with other sights. The city is famous for the extravagant Mafra National Palace. A magnificent 18th-century Baroque Palace with the most exquisite library.
The palace’s monastery features thousands of windows and countless grand staircases. Mafra is a forty-five-minute drive from Lisbon and a car is the easiest way to get there.
Visit the Fort of Zambujal on a Sunday, and you’ll hear the Mafra National Palace’s two bell towers ringing in the distance. The collection of 114 bells can be heard from more than 10 kilometres away.
This well-preserved fort is part of the defence system built to protect Lisbon from the 3rd Napoleonic invasion during the 19th-century Peninsula War.
While Mafra National Palace is without a doubt stunning, there isn’t much else to Mafra. That’s why most tours pair a visit to Mafra with more sightseeing, either in Ericeira, Obidos or other coastal towns.
Whether you decide to join one of these tours or drive and do it yourself, adding more stops to your itinerary is always a good idea!
Click here to book your Mafra and coastal villages tour on GetYourGuide or Viator !
Mafra National Palace from outside
Lisbon Trip to Ericeira
This cute coastal town is full of surfers, surf shops, and quaint bars and cafés. It has a small yet trendy town centre with cobbled stone streets and a handful of swimming beaches.
Wander through the town’s narrow streets before savouring a seafood lunch at the tiny and delicious Mar d’Areia. While the locals tend to fish, the area’s great surf breaks attract salty-haired travellers from around the world.
Enjoy a coffee on the viewing deck at Ribeira D’ilhas while watching the world’s best surfers compete in October each year.
You can get here either with an affordable bus or drive to Ericeira. However, a car is significantly quicker and takes only forty-five minutes.
If you love beaches and surfing, Ericeira can be a day trip in and of itself, without needing to pair it to other sights.
It’s the perfect place to go to escape the Lisbon city life for a bit, soak in some sun, catch some waves and enjoy delicious local cuisine.
Click here to book your surf lesson in Ericeira!
Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas in Ericeira seen from above
Lisbon to Obidos
Obidos is a town positioned on a hilltop and surrounded by a fortified wall. This medieval village has an undeniable romance about it. You’ll love the small town’s winding streets, taverns, and bookstores.
Walking down the streets of Obidos will feel like stepping back in time.
Make sure to visit Igreja de Santa Maria, a unique church with the interior entirely covered by azulejos, and to go for a walk on the castle walls. From here you will get an epic view over Obidos and the surrounding countryside.
If you visit in July, the Óbidos castle hosts a traditional market to celebrate the spirit of medieval Europe with handcrafts, jousting, and heraldic flags.
View over Obidos from the castle walls
The interior of Igreja de Santa Maria in Obidos, Portugal
Drinking from a pewter beer jug and eating from a wooden plate at the market is a memorable medieval experience you will not soon forget.
You can save yourself from driving the hour-long route by taking a bus tour to Óbidos . These often pair Obidos with other sights like Fatima, Nazare and some monasteries.
It’s a good idea to do so even if you drive there yourself, as exploring Obidos won’t take up the full day.
Click here to book your tour of Obidos, Fatima and Nazare on GetYourGuide or Viator ! (Or maybe book a private tour to Obidos ?)
Wandering the cute streets of Obidos in Portugal
Lisbon Tour to Peniche
Peniche is a popular fishing town with a rustic atmosphere. Getting there takes about an hour and a half and is best travelled in a car. It has a fort to guard the harbour and a world-class surf break called Supertubos.
While you may not want to learn to surf in the strong barreling waves, the nearby Baleal Beach is suitable for beginners. Peniche is the perfect destination for a beach day trip from Lisbon.
Click here to book your surf lesson in Peniche on GetYourGuide or Viator !
I visited Peniche as a quick stop during my Portugal road trip and sadly didn’t make it to the Berlengas. The Berlengas are a group of small rocky islands off the coast of Peniche, notorious for shipwrecks. You can visit them on a fun boat tour.
Here you can see the iconic Fort of Sao Joao Baptista, as well as fascinating animal and plant life such as the Bocage lizard and Lobularia maritima. Look out for common bottlenose dolphins during your boat trip from Peniche Marina.
See prices and availability for your Berlenga Island boat trip with GetYourGuide and Viator !
One of the beaches in Peniche, Portugal
Évora Day Trip from Lisbon
Évora is an ancient city in Portugal you simply don’t want to miss. It has historical buildings around every corner and the impressive Temple of Diana in its centre.
This Roman ruin helps to tell the story of a city that has been shaped over more than twenty centuries of occupation.
I suggest doing the ninety-minute trip to Évora by train so you can relax along the way, or with a guided tour so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Walking through the streets, you’ll notice houses with whitewashed walls and wrought-iron balconies. Head to the top of the towers of the Cathedral of Évora to experience expansive views of the city and the neighbouring wine farms.
The Roman Temple in Evora, Portugal
Taste the local wines and sample the delicious olive oil grown in Évora. The St Francis Church is world renown for the carefully arranged skulls and bones of about 5000 people.
Due to overcrowding, the 17th-century monks exhumed skeletons from the city’s graveyard and assembled them in the Chapel of Bones.
While it may be morbid, the building features painted death motifs and is one of Évora’s most-visited attractions.
Evora is a truly unique place and one that I loved visiting. I loved walking through the narrow cobbled streets lined with white houses, as it made me feel like I was stepping back in time.
Click here to book your day trip to Evora on GetYourGuide or Viator , or check out prices & availability in the calendar below!
The famous Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal
View over Evora and the countryside from the rooftop of Evora cathedral
Lisbon Tour to Cabo Espichel
Cabo Espichel is a wind-swept headland on the southwestern tip of Portugal. Its coastline consists of breathtaking cliffs, barren landscapes, and isolated beaches.
Visit the 18th-century church, Santuário de Nossa Senhora, which attracts visitors and religious pilgrims to the area. It is flanked by two long rows of derelict accommodation initially constructed to house pilgrims.
Walk the coastal paths to the tiny chapel on the cliffside and the Farol do Cabo Espichel lighthouse to appreciate the barren nature. The Pedra da Mua and Lagosteiros sites are easy to miss and offer visitors a chance to see dinosaur footprints.
If you want to experience wide-open spaces on a day trip, a Lisbon bus tour to Cabo Espichel may be for you.
The coastline of Cabo da Roca in Portugal
Nazare to Lisbon in a Day
Marvel at the giant waves and savour a meal of freshly caught seafood in this coastal town.
Nazare has historical monuments, glorious beaches, and a social holiday atmosphere. I suggest driving from Lisbon to the Sitio headland (90 minutes).
Here, you can visit the Forte de Sao Miguel, where the lighthouse and a museum display the history of big wave surfers in Nazare.
Due to a vast undersea canyon leading out to sea, the waves arriving at Praia do Norte can reach an impressive size. So large that the beach is famed for repeatedly having the largest wave ridden by the world’s best big wave surfers.
When standing on the headland, you’ll feel when a 60-foot wave crashes below (if you visit in winter, if you’re in Portugal in summer like me, then the sea will very likely be flat).
The famous Faro de Nazare in Portugal
Some of the surf boards on display at the museum in the Faro de Nazare, Portugal
Soak in the view of the colourful fishing boats before setting foot in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazare.
This shrine was founded in the 17th-century to memorialise the intercession of the Virgin Mary. The church is decorated in Dutch azulejos and is home to the much loved Virgin Mary statue made by Saint Joseph.
You can easily spend the whole day in Nazare, wandering the old town, admiring the surf museum at Nazare Lighthouse and then relaxing at the beach.
The funicular leading down to Nazare from the old town
However if you don’t have long in Portugal or join a guided tour, these will often take you to see other iconic sights like Obidos, Fatima and the monasteries.
These guided tours are a great way to squeeze as much as possible in only one day trip from Lisbon, and avoid driving back and forth along the same roads.
Click here to see prices and availability for your day trip from Lisbon to Nazare, Fatima, Obidos and Batalha on GetYourGuide and Viator !
Sunset on the beach in Nazare
Batalha & Alcobaça Monasteries
I’m not usually much of a church person, but I found the monasteries of Alcobaca and Batalha genuinely jaw-dropping.
The town of Alcobaça lies in central Portugal, it’s home to the magnificent Alcobaça Monastery and is an attractive day-trip destination. Batalha is a bit further away, almost a 2-hour drive if you include a stop in Alcobaça, but it’s well worth it.
Alcobaça monastery is the oldest Gothic building in Portugal, established in 1153 by the first King of Portugal to commemorate a victory against the Moors in Santarém.
It has the decorative tombs of King Pedro I, King Afonso II, Queen Urraca, and King Afonso III.
The imposing facade of Alcobaca Monastery in Portugal
The monastery in Batalha is equally exquisite and functions as a museum. It commemorates the Battle of Aljubarrota and remains one of Portugal’s finest examples of Flamboyant Gothic architecture.
The architectural style is visible in the portals, windows, columns and intricately carved stonework.
Of the two, Batalha is the one I personally found more intruguing and interesting. The cloisters are a work of art and a must-see on any Lisbon day trip bucket list.
Most guided tours will include stops in Obidos, Fatima or Nazare to break up the drive. If you don’t join a tour and just drive there yourself, make sure to purchase entrance to the monasteries online beforehand to avoid the queues.
Batalha Monastery Entrance Ticket – This one isn’t a guided tour, just the ticket entrance to Batalha so that you can skip the queues and crowds.
From Lisbon: Fatima, Batalha, Alcobaca and Obidos Tour – This tour will take you to see both monasteries, as well as some other iconic sights along the way.
Discovering the cloisters of Batalha Monastery in Portugal
Fatima is a central Portuguese town with a must-see pilgrimage site and a museum containing impressive religious artefacts. Follow in the footsteps of religious pilgrims during a visit to the Sanctuary of Fatima.
The route from Lisbon takes 90 minutes to drive and is most relaxing when experienced during a guided full-day tour.
This Catholic pilgrimage complex includes a chapel, shrine and two basilicas. You may attend Mass at the Chapel of Apparitions if you are so inclined.
Opposite the shrine stands the more modern Basilica of the Holy Trinity, a Roman Catholic church. Construction began with laying a cornerstone donated by Pope John Paul II.
The marble stone is significant as it was brought from the Apostle Peter’s tomb in the Vatican city.
Most guided tours pair a visit to Fatima with the Alcobaca and Batalha monasteries, Obidos, Nazare and / or other coastal towns.
Click here to see prices and availability for your day trip from Lisbon to Fatima, Nazare, Obidos and Batalha on GetYourGuide and Viator !
The unfinished chapels of Batalha Monastery in Portugal
Where to stay for your Lisbon day trips
I stayed in a couple of different places in Lisbon , both with their pros and cons in terms of being used as bases for day trips.
Lisbon Destination Hostel – Located inside Rossio train station, this hostel is the perfect place to stay if you plan to travel by train to your various day trip destinations. They have a cool communal area with lots of plants, and offer both dorms and private rooms. It’s also in a very central position in Lisbon, so that you can easily explore also the city.
Click here to book your stay at Lisbon Destination Hostel!
This is Lisbon Hostel – Located in Alfama, this hostel has an incredible rooftop with views over Lisbon. It’s also an easier place to stay if you plan to drive for your day trips, as there are more parking areas closeby.
Click here to see prices and availability at This Is Lisbon!
The common area at Lisbon Destination Hostel
If you’re not a hostel person, here are some accommodation options for higher budgets.
Mid-range: Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is perfect for those who want something nice, centrally located and cosy, without breaking the bank.
Click here to book your stay at Alegria A Lisbon Boutique Hotel!
Luxury: Lisboa Pessoa Hotel – If you want to treat yourself, this is the perfect place to do so. With their spacious rooms and gorgeous rooftop terrace, it’s the perfect place to relax after a Sintra day tour.
Book your stay at Lisboa Pessoa Hotel here!
The view from the rooftop of This Is Lisbon hostel
What to pack for your day trips from Lisbon
Besides the usual travel essentials there are a few things you won’t want to forget.
Camera – Given how beautiful these Portuguese destinations are, you want to make sure you capture them in all their beauty!
Reusable water bottle – I always suggest bringing one of these. You save money and use less plastic, it’s a win all round!
Walking shoes – You will probably do a lot of walking in all of these day trip destinations, so make sure you have comfortable shoes on hand!
Power bank – Especially if you’re driving to these places yourself, you’ll need your phone to map your way around, and probably to take photos. You don’t want it running out of battery half way through the day!
Enjoying the sunset over Lisbon from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Do you need travel insurance for these Lisbon day trips?
After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.
You might not end up needing it, but for a small fee you can travel without worries. Personally, I suggest getting your travel insurance with Heymondo .
Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).
Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.
Plus, as a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance !
Click here to get your 5% off Heymondo travel insurance!
The beautiful arches and details of Geronimos Monastery in Lisbon
Final thoughts on the best Lisbon day tours
There you have it, the ultimate guide to all the best day trips from Lisbon! Have you been on any Lisbon day trips before? How did you find them? Let me know in the comments below!
In this guide I included all the places you can realistically visit on a day trip from Lisbon, without spending hours and hours travelling there and back.
Some travellers like visiting Porto or the beaches of the Algarve on a day trip from Lisbon, but I wouldn’t personally recommend it.
While beautiful, they’re quite far from Lisbon, and you would end up spending all your time driving there and back, without enjoying the beautiful places as much.
You should plan a proper Algarve itinerary and stay in the Algarve for that part of your trip, so you can properly explore all the beautiful places around Lagos .
The same goes with Porto, stay in Porto and take your time exploring this epic city and its surroundings (like the Douro Valley !) with fun day trips from Porto .
Besides where to actually go on a Lisbon day trip, I included everything you need to know about the destinations. For example the best way to get there, how long it takes, what to do once there and the best tours you can join.
I hope you will find this Lisbon day tours guide useful in planning your own day trips from Lisbon! If you have any questions just let me know in the comments below.
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15 Best Day Trips from Lisbon (with map!)
- Post author By Melissa
- Post date August 14, 2023
- No Comments on 15 Best Day Trips from Lisbon (with map!)
Lisbon, Portugal is a fun and lively place to visit. There is plenty to keep you entertained in Lisbon with kids for several days or even a week. But the city also makes for a great place to base yourself if you want to explore more of Portugal. In fact, there are numerous easy day trips from Lisbon that are less than 2-3 hours from the city center.
This guide to the best Lisbon day trips includes 15 places to visit from Lisbon, how to get there, what to do, and tips for visiting.
Whether you are wanting to spend a day at the beach, tour historic palaces, take in the beauty atop scenic cliffs, or visit a small, relaxing village, there are several incredible places that can easily be reached as a day tour from Lisbon.
Here are the best Lisbon day trips and how to get there.
FIND AND BOOK GUIDED DAY TRIPS FROM LISBON HERE .
Incredible day trips from Lisbon, Portugal
Whether you have just a few days to explore Portugal or several weeks, Lisbon is conveniently located within a short drive or train ride to several great day trip destinations.
While some of these places are accessible by train, others are great additions to a Portugal road trip and are easier to visit by car.
You could even combine Portugal, Spain and Morocco into a longer trip to explore the Iberian Peninsula and the North African country just 8 miles away across the Strait of Gibraltar.
You can’t write about day trips from Lisbon without immediately mentioning Sintra. Sintra is by far the most popular excursion from Lisbon.
From the colorful Pena Palace, to dreamy Quinta da Regaleira, and the historic Moorish castle ruins, the draw to Sintra is an obvious one.
What to see and do in Sintra
Most visitors to Sintra start their day tour at the Pena National Palace . This bright yellow and red palace perched on a hill overlooking Sintra is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
Adjacent to the palace, you’ll find the Moorish ruins, or Castelo dos Mouros , which was once a major defensive fortress for the region. The ruins of the castle date back to the Moorish era in the 8th through 12th centuries when the Iberian Peninsula was under Islamic rule.
During your Lisbon day trip to Sintra , walk along the defensive wall of the ruins, enjoy the views of the valley below, and envision life so many centuries ago.
After exploring these two historic sites in Sintra, head to the Sintra National Palace museum, or Palacio National, and grab lunch in Old Town.
If you are short on time, go directly to Quinta da Regaleira , which is approximately a 10 minute walk from Sintra National Palace.
The mansion was built in the early 1900s by an eclectic businessman who had a deep interest in symbols, the Knights Templar, Freemasons, and alchemy.
You can find symbols, including the Knights Templar cross, throughout the estate, including at the bottom of the initiation well – one of the most popular features of the estate.
Pro tip for day tours from Lisbon to Sintra
It’s important to note, while Sintra is a popular day trip destination from Lisbon, the charming mountain town can get very crowded – particularly in the summer months. In fact, constantly fighting the crowds can make a visit to Sintra almost unenjoyable.
It is also one of the most expensive, albeit beautiful, places near Lisbon simply because it is a huge tourist destination. Still, if you want to take in the beauty of this stunning tourist town, it is only 35 minutes away by train from Lisbon’s Rossio Station.
While Sintra is worth visiting, be prepared for the crowds. Here are a few tips for a Lisbon to Sintra day trip that will make the experience more enjoyable.
Where to go from Lisbon: Sintra
- Highlights: Pena Palace, Moorish Ruins, Quinta da Regaleira
- How to get there: Take the train from Rossio Station and the Tourist Bus 434 through town
- Best Lisbon day tours to Sintra : click here
- Day Trip Tip: Arrive in Sintra as early as possible in the morning to avoid the extreme crowds.
The spectacular Costa Vicentina is one of the many beautiful places around Lisbon that can be visited as a day trip from the city. The coastline 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Lisbon is a part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park .
You’ll need a full day to explore the area.
What to see and do in Costa Vicentina
The Costa Vicentina offers breathtaking scenery; rugged cliffs, dramatic drops, sandy beaches, charming fishermen’s villages and many possibilities for outdoor activities like hiking, surfing or kayaking.
There is a wide network of hiking trails along the coast called the Rota Vicentina that includes many day hikes and two multi-day treks. Many trails follow the coastline that take trekkers past unspoiled beaches, stunning look-outs, flower fields, and charming villages.
Visitors can combine hiking with chilling on the beach and enjoying delicious local food.
The area is famous for fresh fish and seafood dishes.
Porto Covo , a small town 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Lisbon, is the best place to start the trip. The town is beautiful with cobbled streets, colorful houses, great restaurants, a couple of hidden beaches nearby, and a stunning walking trail along the coast.
You can spend all day exploring Porto Covo and its surroundings.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Costa Vicentina
The easiest way to visit Costa Vicentina is to rent a car. You’ll be able to move around and visit several attractions in the area within an hour and a half drive.
It’s also possible to get there by public transport from Lisbon. There are several daily buses from Sete Rios bus station to the towns along the coast (Porto Covo, Zambujeira do Mar, Odemira, etc.).
Campbell & Alya – Stingy Nomads
Where to go from Lisbon: Costa Vicentina
- Highlights: Porto Covo, hiking in Vicentine Coast Natural Park
- How to get there: rental car or bus
- Day Trip Tip: rent a car to easily access different villages and dress for hiking as the natural park is best explored on foot.
If you are looking for mesmerizing city views, a unique history, and pastel-colored houses, then Porto, Portugal is the place for you.
As the second-largest city in the country, there are a ton of things to do in Porto that will absolutely enchant you.
The best thing about Porto is that it is located only a short distance from Lisbon and is reachable quickly and easily by train! There are over 30 trains running from Lisbon to Porto each day and the journey takes only 2 and a half to 3 hours.
What to see and do in Porto
Upon arrival you will be overwhelmed by the beauty and excitement that Porto holds. One highlight you will need to check out is the Luis I Bridge that crosses the Douro River , which is open for people to walk across and get stunning views of the city.
Beside the bridge is Ribeira Square , which holds restaurants and street vendors and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Porto
While a day trip from Lisbon to Porto is doable, Porto is one of the farther day trip destinations from Lisbon. For this reason, you’ll want to get an early start on your day.
There is much more to see and do in Porto, and with one full day you can see quite a bit, but 2 days in Porto will give you even more time to admire the city.
Samantha – Sam Sees the World
Where to go from Lisbon: Porto
- Highlights: Luis I Bridge, Ribeira Square
- How to get there: train
- Best Lisbon day tours to Porto : click here
- Day Trip Tip: start your day early and plan for a long day – or better yet – spend one night in Porto
Óbidos is a beautiful whitewashed town surrounded by medieval walls and guarded by an imposing castle. Its stunning architectural heritage is largely due patronage of the queens of Portugal, who had a special connection with the town.
For several hundred years, it was a tradition for the king to give Óbidos to his new queen as a wedding present.
What to see and do in Obidos
Most visitors just come for a couple of hours to stroll along the Rua Direita (the main street), shop for souvenirs, and drink a shot of ginjinha — the local cherry liqueur. But there are actually more things to do in Óbidos than people realize, including a medieval castle you can visit.
So, it’s best to allow a full day if you can. This will give you time to explore the small medieval town’s many bookstores, some of which are hidden in unusual locations, such as a former church.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Obidos
To get to Óbidos from Lisbon, you could either drive or take the bus. There’s also a train, but it’s not recommended, especially for a day trip, because it takes more than twice as long as the bus and is pretty infrequent.
If you drive, park in the parking lot outside the town walls. Don’t make the mistake of trying to drive through the main gate, or else you’ll get stuck!
Wendy Werneth – The Nomadic Vegan
Where to go from Lisbon: Óbidos
- Highlights: Rua Direita, Town Gate, Town Walls, Sample Cherry Liqueur, Obidos Castle
- How to get there: Rent a car or take the bus
- Best Lisbon day tours to Obidos : click here
- Day Trip Tip: Park outside the town walls
There are some truly amazing Lisbon beaches , but if you’re searching for a unique refuge unlike anything you’ll see in continental Portugal, add a trip to the Berlengas islands to your Portugal bucket list.
The Berlengas Islands make up a small archipelago, located off the coast of Peniche , a beautiful fishing town in Portugal’s central region.
What to see and do in the Berlengas Islands
The archipelago has been a protected area since the 15th century.
Once you get to the main island there are plenty of things to do during your visit. There are easy hike trails that show you around the island, a dreamy white sand beach, and a historical fortress that seems to be out of a movie.
One of the best activities in the Berlengas Islands is taking a boat tour around the island, where guides will show you secluded beaches and magical caves.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Berlengas Islands
For such a unique destination, it’s actually surprising how easy it is to access the archipelago’s main island, Berlenga Grande .
It’s easily doable as a day trip from Lisbon, especially if you have access to a car. There are also public transportation options and private tours that will take you to Peniche in a bit over an hour.
From there you need to get a boat to the main island. It’s best to reserve the boat tickets online , as there is a limit to how many people can visit the island per day.
Maria and Rui – Two Find a Way
Where to go from Lisbon: Berlengas Islands
- Highlights: boat tour to beaches and caves, Fort of São João Baptista das Berlengas, hiking trails
- How to get there: drive to Peniche and take a boat to Berlenga Grande or book a private tour
- Best Lisbon day tours to Berlengas Islands : click here
- Day Trip Tip: reserve boat tickets online
Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha
An easy day trip to take from Lisbon is to visit the monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, which make up two of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites within easy reach of Lisbon (the other being the convent at Tomar). In fact, all three could be visited in one day.
You will need your own transport as public transport is not very efficient to these parts of Portugal.
What to see and do on this Lisbon day trip
Batalha Monastery is the furthest away from Lisbon and will take approximately one hour and 30 minutes to reach by car from the Portuguese capital.
Alcobaça lies 30 minutes south of Batalha so can be visited as you start returning south towards Lisbon, while Tomar lies 30 minutes east of Batalha.
Both monasteries are stunning buildings. It is free to enter the main nave of the church attached to the monastery but you simply must pay the extra fee to go behind-the-scenes and visit the cloisters areas, as that is where you’ll find even more stunning architecture.
You can discover how the monks lived by visiting their dormitories and kitchens with huge ovens. The inner courtyards are a haven of tranquility, and both monasteries are simply beautiful.
Tickets for each cost just €6 and are worth it in my opinion. If you want to add the convent of Tomar, a ticket (valid for 7-days) to visit all three sites once costs just €15.
Visiting all three can be done in one day (with a car) but you could make your visits part of a longer road trip in Central Portugal .
You will need at least an hour or two at each site to fully appreciate them and allow time for a pit-stop at one of the cafes outside either monastery for a coffee and pastel de nata. But if you are in Lisbon and planning some day trips from the city, these monasteries are well worth visiting.
Cath – Passports and Adventures
Where to go from Lisbon: Alcobaça and Batalha
- Highlights: Tour two monasteries with UNESCO World Heritage status
- How to get there: Rent a car or book a guided tour
- Best Lisbon day tours to Alcobaça and Batalha: click here
- Day Trip Tip: Pay the admission to visit the cloister areas of the monasteries, which is well worth the cost.
One of the most popular day trips from Lisbon is certainly the lovely coastal town of Cascais. May it be for a surf, a day at the beach, or just a walk around the Portuguese riviera, Cascais is always a great idea.
Cascais is located only about a 30-minute drive from Lisbon , and about 40 minutes by train. A return ticket would cost you no more than 5 euros and trains run regularly on a daily basis.
What to see and do in Cascais
Some of the highlights include the picturesque Praia da Rainha beach, the promenade, the Mercado da Vila market, and the Castro Guimaraes Museum .
Once you’re in Cascais, do not miss to go Boca do Inferno – a chasm, located in the seaside cliffs. The view is absolutely spectacular and totally worth the 2km (1 1/2 mile) detour out of Cascais.
Do not forget to stop for a lunch break at one of the many restaurants in the city center and try some of the local food. After all, the town is very famous for its fishing port.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Cascais
Cascais is quite compact and can easily be explored within a day, which is also the recommended amount of time to spend there. It would be an even more unforgettable experience to rent a scooter and drive along the seaside road, which reveals some absolutely mesmerizing views.
Lyubomira – Bulgarian on the Go
Where to go from Lisbon: Cascais
- Highlights: Praia da Rainha beach, Mercado da Vila Market, Castro Guimarães Museum, Boco do Inferno
- How to get there: take the 40-minute train from Lisbon
- Best Lisbon day tours to Cascais: click here
- Day Trip Tip: Rent a scooter and drive along the coast for mesmerizing views
Coimbra is a university city and UNESCO World Heritage Site just a few hours away from Lisbon.
What to see and do in Coimbra
When you’re in Coimbra, you’ll want to explore the historic parts of the university that comprise the World Heritage Site. The university has been operating for over seven centuries and the historic buildings that make up its core span hundreds of years.
According to UNESCO’s inscription of the site: Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages.
The most impressive is the Joanine Library , which dates back to the eighteenth century. Guided tours explain the history of the library and its holdings. You’ll also want to spend some time in the Royal Palace of Alcáçova and St. Michael’s Chapel .
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Coimbra
If you’re traveling Lisbon on a budget , you can keep your budget low by opting for the bus, which takes less than three hours and leaves multiple times per day.
However, if you want to combine a stop in Coimbra with a few other Portugal UNESCO sites, you can easily rent a car and drive. Just make sure to pay for parking so you don’t end up with a ticket!
Stephanie – History Fangirl
Where to go from Lisbon: Coimbra
- Highlights: Royal Palace of Alcáçova, St. Michael’s Chapel, Joanine Library
- How to get there: Take a bus or rent a car and drive
- Best Lisbon day tours to Coimbra: click here
- Day Trip Tip: If renting a car, be sure to pay for parking in Coimbra or you’ll end up with a ticket
Cabo da Roca
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Portugal capital for one day, we recommend visiting beautiful Cabo da Roca for some fresh air and awesome views.
Cabo da Roca is the name of the westernmost point of Portugal and continental Europe. If you look at a map of Portugal, Cabo da Roca corresponds to the “nose” of the country.
Cabo da Roca is located 42 km (26 miles) west of Lisbon so it can be done on a half-day trip from the capital. However, most people like to combine Cabo da Roca with Sintra or Cascais for a full-day trip from Lisbon.
What to see and do in Cabo da Roca
At Cabo da Roca visitors will find an information center and a monument with the inscription “westernmost point of the European continent” and of course, the awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean!
How to get to Cabo da Roca from Lisbon? The best (and cheapest) way to reach Cabo da Roca is by a combination of train + bus.
Trains leave Lisbon to Sintra or Cascais and from there public buses connect these two sites to Cabo da Roca. The journey lasts 2 hours (one way), that’s why people are happy to visit Sintra or Cascais in between.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca seems to be always windy so mind your step, and avoid caps or other accessories that can easily fly away.
Elisa – World in Paris
Where to go from Lisbon: Cabo da Roca
- Highlights: the westernmost point of continental Europe
- How to get there: train and bus or guided tour
- Best Lisbon day tours to Cabo da Roca: click here
- Day Trip Tip: Avoid caps or other accessories that can easily fly away in the wind.
Mafra is a small town approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) northeast of Lisbon. Trains running from the Portuguese capital’s Santa Apolonia railway station, in the direction of Caldas da Rainha , take approximately 53 minutes to reach Mafra.
Driving there is by far the easiest way of traveling from Lisbon. The journey along the A8, then A21, takes around 40 minutes.
There’s a parking lot in front of the vast Mafra National Palace and Convent , which is one of the reasons why Mafra is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
What to see and do in Mafra
The Baroque Mafra Palace and convent date from the reign of King João V in the early 18th century.
Plan at least a couple of hours to explore the building’s interiors, which includes an impressive library containing around 36,000 leather-bound books. If you appreciate historic details and architecture, set aside the best part of a day for your visit.
Plan time for strolling in the adjacent garden, a beautifully laid-out space with shaded footpaths and fountains.
Additionally, a park designed as a royal hunting ground, stands on the edge of Mafra.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Mafra
The town has a smattering of good cafés and restaurants serving traditional Portuguese cakes and cuisine, so you may enjoy sauntering along its streets to seek out something to eat before returning to Lisbon.
Stuart Forster – Go Eat Do
Where to go from Lisbon: Mafra
- Highlights: Mafra National Palace, Tapada Nacional de Mafra
- How to get there: train or rental car
- Best Lisbon day tours to Mafra: click here
- Day Trip Tip: Enjoy authentic Portuguese cuisine in a cozy café before returning to Lisbon
Costa da Caparica
One of the best day trips from Lisbon has the distinction of being the longest continuous stretch of beach in Europe.
Costa da Caparica is at the northern end of 24 kilometers (15 miles) of uninterrupted shoreline along the Setubal Peninsula.
Getting to Costa da Caparica from Lisbon is easy. If you have a car, you can drive there from central Lisbon in about 20 minutes.
You can also take the 161 bus directly to Costa da Caparica or the ferry from Cais do Sodre across the river to Cacilhas , followed by the 135 bus.
What to see and do in Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica is primarily a surfing town, and you will see surfers here year-round. During the summer months, Costa da Caparica is a very popular escape from the heat of Lisbon.
The vibe in Costa da Caparica is very laid-back, and some of the best restaurants are informal beachfront bars where you can get cheap, delicious food with a priceless view of the ocean.
There are no major sites to see here, as Caparica is a “local” destination that is more popular with Portuguese tourists than foreign travelers. Go to Caparica to enjoy the beach and the seafood.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Caparica
If you’ve never surfed before, take a surfing lesson from one of the many schools in Caparica.
Stephanie – Poppin’ Smoke
Where to go from Lisbon: Costa da Caparica
- Highlights: surf, water sports, beach activities
- How to get there: rental car
- Best Lisbon day tours to Caparica: click here
- Day Trip Tip: if you’ve never surfed, take a surfing lesson from one of the Caparica surfing companies.
When the Lisbon bustle has wicked you up, rent a car and head south. Specifically, towards the Setubal and Comporta area.
If the almost virgin- and-deserted beaches attract you and the estuaries make you curious, it is a perfect destination to reconnect with nature as there are hardly any tourists and the municipality has just over a thousand inhabitants.
What to see and do in Comporta
In addition to beaches like Comporta, you can discover places as exciting – and different – as the Tróia peninsula, the Sado estuary, and the Cais palafítico da Carrasqueira, a network of boardwalks where the fishing boats of the area are moored.
This tangle of walkways goes into the estuary and will delight photography enthusiasts when the tide is high. It’s perfect for long exposures, so don’t forget the tripod!
From there, watching the sunset accompanied by the most absolute calm and the birds that come to have a snack nearby is, simply, a pleasure of which there are few left.
On the way back, you can stop for a coffee or beer in the small town approximately one kilometer away. It will seem impossible to you how cheap everything is.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Comporta
Bring a camera and tripod, as Comporta is incredibly scenic and perfect for photography lovers.
Enjoying the area can easily be a Lisbon day trip or part of a cool Alentejo road trip .
Inma – A World to Travel
Where to go from Lisbon: Comporta
- Highlights : Tróia peninsula, Sado estuary, Cais palafítico da Carrasqueira
- Best Lisbon day tours to Comporta: click here
- Day Trip Tip: unwind and reconnect with nature
It might be hard to leave Lisbon and go on a day trip, but it’s worth it. Just a nice 2-hour-drive away, you will end up in a sleepy town right at the Atlantic Ocean: Baleal.
Start in the early morning, cross the picturesque Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon – one of the most famous bridges in Europe – and head up North.
Mostly, the roads in Portugal are quite empty. Also, they are easy to drive and you won’t have any problems seeing the exit.
What to see and do in Baleal
The little town of Baleal is closely located to the much more famous beach town, Peniche . Most tourists will stay in Peniche and surf here. But if you prefer serenity, Baleal may be more your speed.
It is calm, it’s beautiful, and it has some of the best beach bars you can imagine.
Start your day by renting out some surfboards at Bruno’s beach bar . Hit the waves until you’re ready for a much-needed drink. Bruno’s is an awesome place for coffee, cake and, well, a refreshing glass of beer.
Once the sun sets, you might want to walk down the beach and check out the “Taberna do Ganhao”. This cute little restaurant does not only serve the best octopus salad, but it has also been the very first restaurant here. Enjoy an amazing dinner, while you watch the ocean and refuel before you head back to Lisbon.
If you are not keen to drive to Baleal, you can also take a bus from Lisbon to Peniche, which takes around 1.5 hours and costs 9€ ($10 USD).
From Peniche you then need to get a taxi to Baleal.
To escape crowds head to Baleal instead of the more popular town of Peniche. Clemens and Anne – Travellers Archive
Where to go from Lisbon: Baleal
- Highlights : surfing, beach activities, relaxing in the quiet town
- How to get there: rental car or bus & taxi
- Day Trip Tip: to avoid the crowds along the coast, skip the more popular Peniche and head to Baleal
Nazaré is a popular seaside town on Portugal’s Silver Coast. Nazaré is picturesque and known for the giant breaking waves at Praia do Norte (the North Beach) caused by Europe’s largest underwater canyon, the Nazaré Canyon .
The best months to view these waves are November through January.
What to see and do in Nazare
Many surfing records have been set in Nazaré. French surfer, Justine Dupont, surfed the tallest wave ever by a female in Nazare, breaking the Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira’s 2018 records.
One of the best things to do in Nazare is simply let yourself be mesmerized by the gigantic waves and watch world-class surfers catching waves.
In addition to watching the waves, you can also visit the Nazaré Lighthouse and check out the memorabilia and 360 degree view.
Nazaré is located between Lisbon and Porto. You can hire a driver for the day or rent a car and stop in Obidos on the way home. But it is also possible to travel to Nazaré via bus or train.
Pro tip for day trips from Lisbon to Nazare
Make sure to check the surf report when planning a visit to ensure you get to see some of the most impressive waves and increase your odds of seeing some incredible surfing.
Catherine D’Cruz – We Go With Kids
Where to go from Lisbon: Nazare
- Highlights : watching surfers and crashing waves, Nazare Lighthouse
- How to get there: guided tour, rental car or public transport
- Best Lisbon day tours to Nazare: click here
- Day Trip Tip: Check the surf report before your visit to see the best waves
Day trips from Lisbon mapped out!
Day trips can be a great way to see a regional area without having to change hotels or worry about hauling your luggage with you to each new town. However, day trips can also be exhausting if you try to travel too far.
All of these day trips from Lisbon are within a 3-hour drive or train ride, with many of them being an hour or less from Lisbon.
To give you an idea of how far each place is, and where they are in relation to each other, we’ve mapped out these 15 day trip destinations in Portugal below.
Regardless of which one of these day trips from Lisbon you take, your trip to Lisbon, Portugal is sure to be greatly enhanced by any of these wonderful places.
Have a question or comment about any of these trips around Lisbon day tours? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Like it? Pin this list of day trips from Lisbon to save for later!
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Attractions, Tours & Trips in Lisbon
The best attractions, tours and trips for guests and locals alike from lisbon..
Dali Cybernetics Lisbon
- 21 nov. - 30 dez.
Impro nights: The best of improvisation in Lisbon!
- 19 nov. - 17 dez.
Magical Garden Aladdin Sintra
- 18 nov. - 30 dez.
Visit to the Jerónimos Monastery
- 01 dez. - 05 jan.
The Death of the Raven - Immersive Theater
- 18 nov. - 21 dez.
3D Fun Art Museum: a fun experience for the whole family
- 18 nov. - 22 jun.
Entrance to the Marine Museum
- 18 nov. - 31 dez.
Guided tour of the Amália Rodrigues House-Museum
- 19 nov. - 30 dez.
Paint in the Dark: Paint & Drinks in the Dark
- 23 nov. - 14 jan.
Impressive Monet & Brilliant Klimt by Ocubo
- 18 nov. - 31 mar.
Percurso Pedestre pela Lisboa Maçónica
- 10 - 08 dez.
Walking Tour of Lisbon's Patios, Villages between the Walls
- 19 nov. - 15 dez.
Entrance to the Fragata D. Fernando II and Glória
Percurso Pedestre pela Lisboa Judaica
- 03 - 01 dez.
Pairings at the Viscount's Palace
- 18 nov. - 07 dez.
Lisbon of Spies Walking Tour
- 26 - 24 nov.
Street Art | Lisboa 3-Horas de Street Art Tour
- 22 nov. - 29 dez.
The slave trade in Lisbon: historical walking tour
- 23 - 30 nov.
NYE Pub Crawl
João Portugal Ramos: visit to the vineyards and winery with premium tasting
- 20 nov. - 22 dez.
Session at the Marine Planetarium
Lisbon: Live fado show with appetizers
- 19 nov. - 31 dez.
Walking tour of Alfama with fado and dinner included
- 19 - 28 nov.
Excursão guiada à Arrábida e Sesimbra com degustação de vinhos
- 20 - 29 nov.
Excursão a Sintra e Cascais com visita ao Palácio da Pena
- 18 - 30 nov.
Passeio de veleiro no Rio Tejo: uma experiência inesquecível
Visit to the Vasco da Gama Aquarium
- 18 nov. - 31 jan.
Mysterious Egypt: audiovisual show by Ocubo
Dino Parque Lourinhã
- 18 nov. - 14 jan.
Hotel da Estrela: estadia com pequeno-almoço e almoço
Lisbon Pub Crawl
Visit to the Pharmacy Museum
Cruzeiro de duas horas: uma maneira diferente de ver Lisboa
- 18 nov. - 01 dez.
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