Visiting Lisbon? Explore more of Portugal with these 9 day trips!
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There’s more to Portugal than just the capital city of Lisbon. From castles to beaches to wine country, Portugal has so much to offer visitors. With the help of my fellow travel bloggers, we’ve rounded up 9 day trips from Lisbon easily accessible by bus, train or car. So if you have the time, add these cities to your Portugal itinerary!
- Related reading // Travel Guide: Lisbon, Portugal
Sintra is probably the most famous day trip from Lisbon, and for good reason. It’s home to beautiful castles and palaces built in a lot of different styles and time periods, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Although I recommend taking 2 days to visit Sintra, it’s a perfect day trip from Lisbon.
To get to Sintra, take the Linha de Sintra to the last stop. If you’re staying in the center of the city, it’s only about 40 minutes.
Once you get to Sintra, you’ll have a few different bus routes you can take to get up to the palaces and castles. Each bus has a pamphlet in different languages, so it’s really easy to navigate. You can either wing it or plan out your visit to a tee. However, I don’t recommend walking up to the castles unless you have way more than just a day
The beach resort town Cascais is located west of Lisbon and is one of the wealthiest communities of the country. The beaches of Cascais especially attract tourists and are a popular day trip from Lisbon because of the easy accessibility by public transport. I took the train from Lisbon to central Cascais, and the train station in Cascais is conveniently located walking distance to the beach.
The two main beaches in the town (Praia da Conceição and Praia da Duquesa) are easily accessible by foot; however, they tend to be rather crowded, especially in high season. Nevertheless, I enjoyed walking along the coast to the harbor and through the beautiful and tiny streets of the beach town.
If you leave the main area, you’ll also find some quieter beaches, but you’ll probably need a car to reach them. On the way back to Lisbon, you’ll pass through Belem and the Portuguese “Golden Gate Bridge,” so if you have some time left in your day, you can hop off the train and explore these areas as well!
—Patrick of German Backpacker
Lovingly nicknamed The Portuguese Venice, Aveiro is the perfect city to visit on a day trip from Lisbon. This famous maritime city is a comfortable 2 hour train ride away from Lisbon and as soon as you arrive, you’ll feel like you have been transported to another country. The best way to experience Aveiro is by gondola, or moliceiro in Portuguese.
Take a 45 minute moliceiro tour of the city’s canal system to admire the Instagrammable pastel houses and Art Nouveau architecture of the houses and shopfronts that line the canals. If you have time after, head to the nearby resort village of Costa Nova to see the cute, striped beach houses and to sample some of Portugal’s freshest fish direct from the fishermen in this village.
End your day with a visit to a bakery to sample Ovos Moles, a sweet pastry that is famous to Aveiro that is still made to this day. The recipe is the original one thanks to a protection law by the European Union.
—Kate & Leesa of Wanderlust Chronicles
The Alentejo region of Portugal feels like a lifetime away from Lisbon. In only a couple of hours drive from the city, it is possible to visit during a day trip from Lisbon. Alentejo is mostly known for its wine, and taking a tour of the wineries is a perfect way to get to know Alentejo. But, it’s a rough countryside as well with hiking opportunities and parklands. It’s also possible to visit hilltop towns, like Monsaraz, where you can practically see Spain from the edge of the village.
During a day trip from Lisbon, stop first at the Adega Ervideira for a big wine tasting and tour. They offer an amazing array of Portuguese wines, including a fabulous sparkling wine that is made in the same way as champagne. Although white wines like Vinho Verde are popular in the north of Portugal, in the south the reds are more popular, particularly ones that go with a lovely Portuguese meal. After the wine tasting tour, continue on to Monsaraz and take in the view from the top. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and marvel at the white-washed houses. After, enjoy a lovely lunch at Xarez, with a view of the valley and vineyards below.
—Amber of With Husband in Tow
The town of Batalha is just under 2 hours drive north of Lisbon and is home to the magnificent Batalho Monastery, one of Portugal’s 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its name means Monastery of the Battle and it was built to thank the Virgin Mary for the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. The monastery is also one of the best examples of Late Gothic and Manueline architecture unique to Portugal.
We loved the soaring ceilings and the way the colored light dances through the interior when the sun streams through the beautiful stained glass windows. A visit to the monastery includes the main church, the Royal Tombs, the cloisters, and the unfinished chapels.
While in Batalha, dine at the Restaurante Burro Velho, an authentic Portuguese village restaurant with traditional food and a fantastic wine list, for the best meal in town!
—Elaine & David of Show Them The Globe
If you’re looking for a long day trip out from Lisbon, heading south to the Algarve is a fabulous idea. The Algarve is home to some of Portugals best beaches, and have even said themselves that they are Europe’s “best-kept secret.”
Lagos is one of the main cities of the Algarve and well worth a day trip. At just under 3 hours away you will definitely need a rental car and some time on your hands to make the most of it.
Visiting the city center in Lagos is like stepping back in time. The whole area is infused with colors from the region and sculpted with traditional architecture. In the summer, there is a huge backpacking and surf scene off the coast. There are plenty of beautiful beaches all around Lagos, some even accessible by foot right from the city center. I recommend just relaxing under the sun at Praia do Camilo. If you like sushi, my favorite place to eat is My Sushi (all you can eat for €10).
Fátima is a small nondescript town of 8,000 people and yet it is one of the pilgrimage sites for Catholics around the world. This is where the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary happened in 1917. The apparitions took place at noon on May 13, 1917 and the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 shepherd children.
The area where the apparitions occurred is now known as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, which consists of basilicas, churches, chapels, shrines, rectories, museums, tourism office, and gift shops. The Sanctuary area looks almost similar to the expansive plaza and colonnades of St. Peter’s Square in Rome. If you plan to visit Fátima, especially outside of the annual pilgrimage seasons, spend time soaking in the atmosphere of the square.
Fátima is easy to travel from Lisbon by car or bus as the journey is only an hour and a half. If you would like to travel by bus, the bus terminal in Fátima is located just a five-minute walk from the Sanctuary. However, I wouldn’t recommend the train from Lisbon to Fátima as the train station is located over 12 miles away from the main town, which requires you to take a taxi to the sanctuary costing about €25-30.
—Kathleen of Kat Pegi Mana: Where Is Kat Going
Obidos is a small well-preserved medieval town about an hour north of Lisbon with lots to do. First, walk on the city walls around the town. It takes about an hour and the views of the city and the countryside are spectacular.
Then, treat yourself to the local cherry-flavored liquor, Ginja, served in a chocolate cup. You’ll find many stands selling Ginja along with other gifts along the town’s main road. History buffs will want to peek inside the Santa Maria Church where King Afonso V married his cousin Isabel in 1444.
If you are lucky enough to be in Obidos in the summer when they have the Medieval Festival, you are in for a treat. You can bring your own medieval costume or rent one there. You’ll find knights, minstrels, jugglers, noblemen, beggars, dancers, and stalls selling just about everything close to the castle.
Whether the Medieval Festival is going on or not, you should make time for an excursion to Obidos when you’re visiting Lisbon. You’ll love this hidden gem! Since Obidos is only served by regional trains, your best options to get there are to take a bus or drive.
—Anisa of Two Traveling Texans
If you want to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Lisbon that isn’t packed full of tourists, look no further than Évora. Évora is a medieval walled town located less than two hours away from Lisbon by bus, making it perfect for a day trip.
Cross the threshold of the city walls and step back in history. Évora’s architecture is beautiful, featuring a prominent look of white-and-yellow-walled buildings topped with tile roofs. The quiet, narrow alleys of the town are a photographer’s delight.
Highlights of Évora include the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in Igreja de São Francisco (Church of St. Francis). This unique 16th century chapel was built from human bones. Nearby is the Roman Temple and Cathedral of Évora, as well as small gardens and scenic overlooks. Other highlights include Palacio of Dom Manuel and the public gardens.
For lunch, Restaurante Dom Joaquim features excellent Portuguese cuisine made from local ingredients, all at a reasonable price. Architecture and history lovers will love a day trip to Évora, making it a great escape from Lisbon.
—Jonathan of Everybody Hates a Tourist