Lisbon is a beautiful and amazing city to explore and an ever-increasingly popular destination. I honestly fell in love with it while I was there! Once you’ve exhausted yourself of the sights in Lisbon (hard to do when you could wander for days) you may be wondering what to do next. Luckily, there are plenty of day trips from Lisbon which mean that you can continue to enjoy your time in the city while also exploring nearby areas.
You could easily spend another few days in the city with affordable public transport like trains and buses available, or day tours from Lisbon if you want to have a guide or see somewhere more remote. The proximity of many of the locations means you can even see more than one within the same day, although each is deserving of its own day trip if you have the time while you’re in Lisbon!
I asked some fellow travel bloggers to let me know their favourite day trips from Lisbon and to give advice on how you can follow in their footsteps.
Read on for the best Lisbon day trips below!
Table of Contents
By Tiago from The Wise Travellers
Óbidos is this little town located on the Atlantic Ocean coast, in the centre region of Portugal, that makes for an enjoyable day trip from Lisbon. The town has well-preserved medieval architecture making it one of the most beautiful places to go in Portugal.
From museums to churches, there are so many things to see here. The castle is now a luxurious hotel, the ‘Porta da Vila’ entrance gate with a tiled chapel and the aqueduct constructed in the 16th century are just some of the incredible sites you can’t miss.
Óbidos lagoon is the most extensive laguna system in the coast of Portugal. It is rich in fauna and flora and is also a good place for water activities. You can choose from windsurfing, kiteboarding, jet skiing, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing and rowing. The locals use the lagoon to go fishing and catch mollusks with the typical boats from the region, called ‘Bateiras’.
You can’t leave Óbidos without walking the fortified town walls and watching the sunset. Then if you feel thirsty after try the traditional ‘Ginja’, cherry liquor.
Óbidos is a town full of life, with so many events throughout the year. In July the castle hosts a traditional ‘Medieval Market’, recreating the spirit of medieval Europe. Generally, in March/April there is a ‘Chocolate Fair’, and at Christmas, the town has decorations and activities for families.
If you want to reach Óbidos from Lisbon, there is an inexpensive bus service (Green Express) daily, operated by Rodotejo company for €6-8. The train is between €7-14 or you can rent a car.
Visit soon as this little corner of Portugal has seen a large increase in tourism in recent years!
Alentejo Fishermen Villages
By Inma from A World To Travel
I still can’t get my head around the fact that it took me so long to discover the Portuguese southern region of the Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, that begins just outside Lisbon towards the South, and continues before reaching the Algarve. Whether it is for the fishing villages that dot the coast, the seafood and finger-sucking fish, the people that invites you to connect in any tavern, the charming accommodations or the many routes to discover it on foot; please believe me if I tell you that the Alentejo is well worth a visit.
To uncover some of the best coastal spots and fishermen villages, we’d like to propose you a route from North to South, visiting towns and coastal places such as Comporta, Cais Palafitico da Carrasqueira, Troia, Sines, Porto Covo, Vilanova de Milfontes, Cabo Sardao, Porto das Barcas and Monte do Zambujeiro.
For a day trip from Lisbon, choose 3 to 5, depending on how much time you’d like to stay in each one. You’ll either need to hire a car for the day or join a day tour from Lisbon.
Best of all is that this area, being away from the main tourist circuits of the country – such as Lisbon, the Algarve, Oporto and the islands of Madeira and the Azores; is still not too expensive and can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.
Here you have a short Alentejo guide to get you started.
By Elisa from World in Paris
Lisbon is a great city with many things to see and do. However, the surrounding areas are as beautiful as the capital so if the weather is nice, I recommend hopping on a train and visiting Estoril for some sun and sea.
Estoril is cute coastal town located in the municipality of Cascais, 18km West of Lisbon. It is less popular than its neighbor Cascais but this is great because you can enjoy the same sea and beach but without the crowds.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Estoril was one of the chic places to be in Southern Europe. Places like its beautiful casino or the spa (Termas do Estoril) were frequented by elegant and glamorous people.
Apart from the beautiful Casino de Estoril, the town has other interesting sights like four forts and beautiful houses designed by Raul Lino da Silva. Raul Lino da Silva was a Portuguese architect famous for combining successfully the Portuguese tradition with the most innovative European trends of the beginning of the 20th century.
Given that Estoril is by the sea, you won’t want to miss a fine lunch or dinner based on seafood in one of Estoril’s many restaurants. If you are traveling on a budget, go for tapas or grilled sardines and if you combine them with a bottle of vinho verde, then it’s heaven.
Estoril is an easy day trip from Lisbon by train. Trains leave Lisboa Santos station every half an hour. The journey takes only 34 minutes and the train ticket costs around 2-4€.
Palace of Queluz
By Pamela from Travel Like a Chieff
The Palace of Queluz is the perfect stop if you are planning a day trip from Lisbon. This 18th century Royal residence is also known as the Versailles of Portugal. It is located in Sintra and can be visited on your way to the Palace of Pena. You’ll need about 2 hours to see the exterior and interior of the Palace.
I recommend purchasing your ticket for the Palace of Pena while at the Palace of Queluz since it is less crowded. I visited while on a private tour from Lisbon, but you can also get there by taking a taxi or by train. You can hop on the train heading to Sintra via Queluz at Rossi Station in Lisbon’s city center. The service runs frequently and is only a 20-minute ride, plus it’s only €1-3!
There is a fabulous collection of baroque, rococo and neo-classical pieces inside the palace that are worth seeing. You can also stay at the Pousada Palácio de Queluz, a historic hotel, where you can channel your inner royal. The exterior of the Palace does not showcase the opulence of the estate rooms that make up the interior.
Once you’ve seen all these incredibly ornate rooms inside the palace, you can make your way onto gardens. This is where you’ll see fountains, grandiose statues, beautifully groomed landscapes and stroll amidst the lakes.
The Palace of Queluz shouldn’t be missed, and since it is only 20 minutes from Lison, it makes for the perfect day trip!
By James from Portugalist
Every weekend during the summer months, Lisboetas flee the sweltering city and head towards the cooler coast. Some head to nearby seaside locations like Cascais and Estoril, but many head a little further afield and often towards Setúbal.
Setúbal is located just under an hour by car from Lisbon City Centre, and it is home to some picturesque towns, scenic countryside, and natural parks, beautiful beaches, and great seaside restaurants. As great as the first three things are, the thing that really drives many people from Lisbon here is the food.
Setúbal is known for its seafood, and in particular for its chocos fritos (fried cuttlefish). These are similar to squid but thicker and often chewier. They’re usually battered and then fried in much the same way as calamari is. Often it’s not as delicate as calamari though, so, if your teeth don’t feel like braving it, consider ordering something else like grilled fish.
If you want to try this popular Portuguese seafood dish, though, Setúbal is definitely the best place to do it. Afterward, there’s plenty to see and do nearby such as visiting the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park, Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, and the nearby São Filipe Fortress.
By Anisa from Two Traveling Texans
Sintra was once Portuguese Royal Family’s favorite area to escape the heat in Lisbon. Now, it’s a place where tourists flock to see palaces and beautiful gardens. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Start out your visit at the oldest castle in Sintra, the Castle of the Moors. It dates back to the 8th or 9th century and is now just ruins, but definitely worth a visit. You get amazing views doing the castle wall walk, plus you can visit the cistern that was built in the 12th century to catch and store rainwater.
The most famous palace in Sintra is the colorful Pena Palace, which has been transformed from ruins of a monastery. The surrounding park includes a statue of King Fernando II overlooking his palace, lush fern gardens, and amazing views over the palace.
In the historical town center, you will find the National Palace of Sintra, the summer residence of the monarchs from the 15th to the 19th century. Its two conical chimneys can be seen for miles. Inside, you will see some impressive tile work and period pieces.
If you have any additional time, you could also visit Quinta de Regaleira, Monserrate Palace, Chalet and Garden of the Countess of Edla, Capuchos Convent, Palace of Seteais, or the Sintra Museum of Modern Art.
You can easily do a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon (or you may want to stay longer). The best way to get there is to take the train which takes less than an hour. Catch the train from the Rossio Train Station in Lisbon, it runs every 30 minutes and costs about €2-4.
By Julie from Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
Located at the mouth of the River Tagus, Cascais is close enough to Lisbon for an easy day trip and appealing enough to be a seaside resort town in its own right, thanks to King Luís who turned the citadel into his summer residence back in the 19th century. The wealthy elite soon followed suit and the town quickly sprouted a number of little palaces and villas.
A string of small sandy coves surround the historical town centre, attracting beachgoers, and there’s a pleasant coastal path for strolls, bike rides and jogging. If it’s surf you’re after, simply continue a little further along the coast to Guincho. Even if you’re not into riding waves, you can watch them pound against the rocky shore and through a blowhole at Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth).
Cascais has far more to offer than beaches. There are several quality art galleries and museums, such as the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães and Paula Rego’s Casa das Histórias. The patterned cobbled streets are fun to walk around and lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants to suit all tastes. The revamped market comes alive twice a week with a massive farmers’ market to complement the permanent produce stalls and the food hall. Another popular spot is the charming Marechel Carmona Park with paths, ponds, and sculptures.
Trains to Cascais run every 20 minutes from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre station with a journey time of around 40-45 minutes and cost €2-4.
By David from Travel with Little One
Évora is an easy and very rewarding day trip from Lisbon. It’s the capital of the rural Alentejo region that covers much of the south of the country. The historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with layers of Roman, Moorish and medieval Portuguese history to be uncovered.
It’s also very compact, and you could comfortably walk around the main sights in a few hours.
The best place to start is the Templo de Diana, a beautiful ruined Roman temple dating from the 2nd century AD. It’s in a lovely quiet square, opposite a kiosk in a park, with a wonderful whitewashed church, the Convento dos Loios to one side and the Cathedral behind.
Portugal’s favourite form of decoration seems to be the azulejo, or tile. The Convento church is a great place to see them, with azulejos covering the walls. It’s a stunning sight.
The Capela dos Ossos – the Chapel of Bones – has a very different form of decoration. The bones of around 5,000 exhumed monks cover the ceiling and walls, and the sign above the door states, ”We bones await your bones.”
After this, head for the Praça do Giraldo, the busiest square in the city which has some lovely outdoor cafes.
Regular Rede Expressos buses run from Lisbon’s Sete Rios bus station and take 1 hour 45 minutes for around €11-14, and four trains make the journey to Évora daily from Oriente station in 1 hour 25 minutes for around €9-18.
By Clemens from Travellers Archive
Leaving the beautiful city of Lisbon behind is a tough one. But going on a day trip towards the countryside is absolutely worth it. Just a nice 2-hour-drive away, you will end up in a sleepy town that lives off the beach, waves, and surf. I’d recommend you hire a car for this trip if you want to complete it in one day because the train and bus take around 3 hours 20 minutes each way.
We started in the early morning, driving across the picturesque bridge in Lisbon and headed up North. Mostly, the roads in Portugal are quite empty. Also, they are easy to drive and you won’t have any problems missing the exit.
The little town Baleal is closely located to the much more famous beach town Peniche. Most tourists will stay in Peniche and surf here. We, however, prefer Baleal way more. It’s calm, it’s beautiful and it has some of the best beach bars you can imagine.
A day here will pass by easily but with our few tips, you can definitely make most of it. 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 not only serves the best octopus salad, but it is also the very first restaurant here. Enjoy an amazing dinner, while you watch the ocean and refuel before you head back to Lisbon.
By Priyanko from Constant Traveller
Fatima is one of the most religious places in Europe. The Christian place of pilgrimage is where three little shepherd children reported seeing apparitions of Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. The atmosphere around the entire religious complex is quiet and sombre. You will find nuns in deep prayer, devotees walking barefoot, some of them haunched on their knees and giant flames of candle smoke in a corner.
The place is divided into different places of which the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary that contains the tomb of two of the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco is the most important place to visit.
A little further away from the main complex is the Chapel of the Apparitions that marks the exact spot where the shepherd children saw the apparitions. A modern church is also located within the Fatima Sanctuary where services are held at fixed timings.
It is the outside environs that attracted me the most though. The giant rosary, Christ on a cross, the constant stream of devotees and the charring black smoke of molten wax are etched in my mind forever. Take some time and just witness the devotion of those who come to Fatima not as tourists but as part of a pilgrimage to truly feel the heft of this place. Fatima is one of those places that will always be with you if you decide to make the journey in the first place.
Getting here is easy from Lisbon’s main bus station Sete Rios with buses on the hour to Fatima. The cost is between €10-14. You will be dropped half a mile from the sanctuary with shops and souvenirs directing you to the entrance. Do not go to Fatima train station as its quite further away from the main sanctuary. Alternately, take a guided tour to Fatima for half a day from any reputable tour company in Lisbon.
Cabo da Roca
By Frankie from As the Bird Flies
Cabo da Roca is the most western point of mainland Europe and is easily accessible from Lisbon either on an organised tour (that usually takes in Sintra too), by public transport (on a bus from Sintra or Cascais) or by hiring your own car. The journey from Lisbon is about an hour in total and it’s definitely worth the time in the car as you will be rewarded with quite some views at Cabo da Roca.
Once upon a time it was called “The End of the World” because those who stood on the shores of Cabo da Roca – which literally translates to Rocky Cape and you’ll see why! – had no idea that other lands existed beyond the ocean’s horizon, and you can see what they meant as the blue seas stretch for miles and miles and miles.
Once at Cabo da Roca, you can walk along the peninsula’s edge to take some photos or you can pop up to the red-roofed lighthouse to find out more about the history of the landmark. Personally, after a few hot and busy days in Lisbon where temperatures were high and the streets busy, I found it a very welcome escape and enjoyed just wondering along, taking photos and breathing in the sea air. You may not want to spend a whole day at Cabo da Roca but an hour or two added on to the end of a day trip to Sintra or Cascais is well worth doing because it won’t be every day you see the “end of the world”.
By Bruno from Amass Cook
Peniche is a sunny coastal city in the district of Leiria, idyllically set upon a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and within a day trip from Lisbon. The region has a strong maritime and fishing tradition, so the local gastronomy specializes in seafood dishes like the famous grilled sardines and the caldeirada de Peniche (fish stew).
Peniche is also known for its magnificent beaches, namely Baleal and Almagreira. The Supertubes (formally Medão) beach is home to some of the world’s most impressive waves—known as the European pipeline—and hosts several international surfing championships.
But the trip you simply cannot miss is a visit to the archipelago of Berlengas. A 30 to 40-minute boat ride will take you to the main island of Berlenga, a jaw-dropping paradise that is a UNESCO protected nature reserve. Here you can also visit the Forte de São João Baptista, an imposing 17th-century fortification accessed by a stone bridge over the sea, where you can also stay overnight. Moreover, you can discover the impressive rock formations and grottos by boat, or dive into the crystal-clear waters and spot the local marine fauna and flora.
Back to the mainland, at the very edge of Peniche, you’ll find Cape Carvoeiro, where the dramatic limestone pavement landscape offers amazing views over the ocean. Local cultural traditions include the complex art of Renda de Bilros (bobbin lace), and the region features the only school in Portugal dedicated to this technique. Peniche is around 2 and a half hours by bus from Lisbon at a cost of €8-11.
Costa da Caparica
By Kaila from Nom List
This amazing beach located only 10 kilometers from Lisbon is loaded with things to do. No matter if you want to stay active or just relax, Costa da Caparica has it in store for you.
It’s only a half hour ride by bus from Lisbon, which is an easy mode of transportation and only costs €2-3. You can enjoy the scenery while you ride.
You definitely need to go here because of all the options for fun. Surfing is huge here. Even if you’ve never been surfing, you can easily sign up for a lesson or even a surf camp. Another great tourist attraction is called Transpraia, which is a beach train. You simply buy a ticket and ride along the coastline, taking in the scenery. I found it a bit bumpy though, so keep that in mind.
If you are traveling with kids or even young teens, be assured that this beach certainly has lifeguards on duty. The beach itself is clean and well-maintained. Bring your camera to capture the beauty.
Once you have worked up an appetite, take a visit to Princesa restaurant. It’s got a full menu and is open until 10 pm for even the latest of adventures. Eat on the outdoor patio for more fun!
Although Lisbon is an awesome city to explore, there are also so many beautiful areas and places to see around it. So plan in at least one of these day trips from Lisbon to your itinerary!
By Mikkel from Sometimes Home
I wanted a day trip from Lisbon that was a little bit lesser known and visited than other cities, like Sintra. The history of Tomar has was so appealing: the hundreds of years old connection to the Knights Templar was intriguing and mystical and so it’s where we went.
It was very easy to get there. We hopped aboard the regional train line from Lisbon in the morning, traveled about two hours, or 20 to 25 stops, to Tomar and hopped off. It costs between €8-17, or the bus is €11-14.
The town of Tomar is incredibly walkable from the moment you arrive at the train stop and we enjoyed a city with very limited tourists and congestion for the day. Castelo de Tomar and the Convent of Christ are two absolutely not-to-miss sites.
If you have the time it’s certainly worth a trip out to the famous Pegoes Aqueducts from the 16th and 17th centuries. We had the place to ourselves after a tuk-tuk tour drove us there! Lastly, I recommend stopping at Praca de Republica. Its black and white “checkered” stone floor is beautiful and definitely deserving of several photos.
I have such wonderful memories of Tomar. We were thrilled with this day trip and would recommend it to anyone looking for an area a bit quieter than key tourist cities near Lisbon, who can engage in a bit of walking throughout the day, and who appreciates the beauty of historic architecture!
By Denise from In Het Vliegtuig
Troia is only a 40 minutes drive, 50 minutes bus, or 55 minutes by train away from Lisbon. It’s a small village with beautiful cliffs, nice beaches, and a charming harbor. Go golfing or take a relaxing boat tour. Troia is one of the few places in Europe where you can spot wild dolphins. And that’s something that only a few people know!
From the harbour, you can take the boat with Vertigem Azul. They will show you the beautiful beaches in the area and the wonderful fortress of Santiago do Outão. After an hour you will hopefully begin to see the first dolphins. It’s a group of 29 bottlenose dolphins, with some really young ones, that have been coming back to the area since 1998. They like the surroundings so you have a 99% chance of spotting them. The captain can recognise each and everyone one of them by their fin!
The boat leaves 2 times a day from Troia, so make sure to book your seat. It will take 3 hours to do the whole tour and you can do it all year round. The tour is eco-friendly, as they only observe the dolphins for research, and they don’t get too close. Otherwise, the dolphins can get stressed out.
Planning a Portugal trip? Check out these posts!
- 21 Things to Know Before You Visit Lisbon
- Best Stops on a Road Trip on the Algarve Coast
- 7 Things to Do in Porto That Don’t Involve Port Wine
- How to Visit the Port Wine Cellars of Porto
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