Most Beautiful Day Trips from Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and vibrant energy. However, the magic doesn’t stop within the city limits. Venture beyond, and you’ll discover a plethora of enchanting destinations. Let’s delve into the best day trips from Lisbon and unveil the nearby beauty.

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While Lisbon’s charm is undeniable, there’s much more to explore around the capital. Find out about the best day trips from Lisbon, Portugal, including Sintra, Cascais, Porto, Fatima, Coimbra and the Algarve.

Lisbon day trips: Map

Sintra: a fairy-tale escape

Why visit Sintra?

Sintra is a magical retreat nestled amidst lush hills, offering a fairytale-like experience just 40 minutes from Lisbon. Its enchanting palaces and mystical forests make it a must-visit. So, it’s no wonder that the day trip to Sintra from Lisbon is, by far and large, the most popular excursion. It is somehow similar to the tour to the Douro Valley, one of the unmissable day trips from Porto.

Sintra Pena Palace
The Pena Palace – One of the top attractions in Sintra

Sintra: Best Things to Do and See

  1. Pena Palace: Marvel at this romantic palace’s vibrant colors and unique architecture.
  2. Quinta da Regaleira: Uncover the mysteries of this mystical estate with hidden tunnels and magical wells.
  3. Moorish Castle: Explore the ancient fortress with panoramic views of the region.

These are Sintra’s main attractions, although this fascinating city offers much more to do and see. If you want to know more, read my article on the Best things to do in Sintra, Portugal.

How to plan a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon

Sintra is one of the easiest day trips from Lisbon by train. Getting to Sintra from Lisbon is quite easy. The journey takes about 40 minutes, and there are regular connections. Check the timetable and prices.

Once there, you can select the Sintra attractions you want to see and discover them on your own or book a guided tour. If you decide to visit Sintra on your own, buying your ticket in advance – especially in peak season – can help you save some time. Tourists favor tours to Sintra from Lisbon, so there are good chances to find long queues at the main palaces.

Here’s a selection of the

Best guided day trips from Lisbon to Sintra

  • Day trip to Sintra from Lisbon: Tour with Pena Palace & Regaleira Tickets Included. Start your adventure with a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed Pena National Palace, a stunning burst of colors perched atop Sintra Mountain. Afterward, enjoy some free time to independently explore the mystical Quinta da Regaleira, my favorite palace. In Sintra’s historic center, venture out on your own, grab lunch, and later meet with your guide. On the way back to Lisbon, you’ll take a different route and have the chance to admire Cabo da Roca, the dramatic collection of cliffs marking Europe’s westernmost point.
    • Why take this tour? Small group (max 8 participants), tickets included, two palaces, a good combination of guided visits, and free time to explore on your own.
Sintra Quinta da Regaleira, Photo by Raja Sen on Unsplash
  • Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon: Get ready for an exciting day to discover some of the most beautiful sights close to Portugal’s capital. You’ll first discover the colorful Pena Palace and its lush gardens. Then, you’ll have some free time to visit the Sintra historical center at your own pace. Later on, you’ll head to the scenic Cabo da Roca. Get your camera ready for the cliffs of Roca Cape (Cabo da Roca), the westernmost point of Europe. After a lunch break, explore with your guide the center of Cascais, once a fishing village and now a sought-after holiday destination. Alternatively, unwind and enjoy some leisure time at the beach.
    • Why take this tour? Small group, Pena Palace ticket included. A good combination of culture (Sintra), landscapes (Cabo da Roca), and typical towns (Cascais).
Sintra, Portugal - Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca, Photo bt Michiel Annaert on Unsplash
  • Discover Sintra Pena Palace and Regaleira. Admire the dramatic coastline around Cascais: Embark on a (long) full-day, small-group tour to uncover Sintra’s rich history and architecture. Explore two magnificent palaces, Pena National Park and Palácio, and the fascinating Quinta da Regaleira. Hear captivating stories about these landmarks during a guided tour. Round off your experience with a visit to the marina in Cascais, the sea arch known as Boca do Inferno, and the charming seaside town of Praia das Azenhas do Mar.
    • Why take this tour? Small group (max. 12), comprehensive tour of Sintra and the dramatic coastline. Beware that the admission tickets for the Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira are not included.

The tours mentioned above are only a small selection. Day trips from Lisbon to Sintra are extremely popular, and there’s an abundant offer, including private day tours to Sintra, a great option if you travel with friends or as a family. Unless you have no other choice, I don’t recommend the half-day tours from Lisbon. It’s a big rush to visit a beautiful place that deserves enough time to fully appreciate it.

Porto: a City of Bridges and Port Wine

Why visit Porto?

Venture north to Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, known for its historic charm, delicious cuisine, and renowned wine. I visited Porto when I spent 10 days in Portugal, a fabulous trip I thoroughly enjoyed. No wonder it’s one of Europe’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is beautiful, and certainly worth staying a couple of days. However, if you’re short on time, a day trip from Lisbon to Porto will allow you to discover at least some of the city’s main attractions.

Porto Ribeira
Porto, Ribeira

Porto: Best Things to Do and See

  1. Ribeira District: troll along the scenic and colorful riverfront and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
  2. Port Wine Cellars: Indulge in a wine-tasting experience in the birthplace of Port wine.
  3. Livraria Lello: Visit one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores that, according to rumors, inspired J.K. Rowlings to write Harry Potter.

Of course, Porto offers many more attractions. Therefore, if you get the chance to stay longer, read my post on What to do in Porto in 2 days.

How to plan a day trip from Lisbon to Porto

To be honest, while a day trip to Porto from Lisbon is feasible, you’ll end up spending a lot of time just to travel back and forth. The distance between Lisbon and Porto is slightly more than 300 km, and the journey takes at least 3 hours (3h30min by train). The distance would not be an issue if there were high-speed trains. But there aren’t. Just to give you an idea, the distance between Porto and Lisbon is the same as between Milan and Florence, or between Florence and Rome. The difference, though, is that the journey from Milan to Florence takes a little less than 2 hours, while the train from Florence to Rome is even a few minutes faster.

Here’s a selection of the

Best guided day trips from Lisbon to Porto

  • A Full-Day Private Tour to Porto from Lisbon. You’ll learn about Porto and its main attractions from your knowledgeable driver during the journey. Once there, you’ll visit Porto’s main landmarks, including the Se Cathedral, Sao Bento station (decorated by beautiful azulejos), and the Ribeira district.
  • Why take this tour? It includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. As a private tour, you can customize the itinerary according to your needs and interests.
  • Private Day Tip from Lisbon to Porto, with Douro Cruise and Wine Tasting: This tour is similar to the previous one, but it also includes a boat cruise on the river Douro and Porto wine tasting. The view from the river of the colorful houses perched on the steep hill is charming, and a visit to a Porto wine cellar with tasting is certainly a plus. It will be a long but rewarding day.
    • Why take this tour? Pick-up and drop off at your hotel in Lisbon. Private tour.

Fatima, Nazaré, and Óbidos: a Unique Journey of Spirituality, Architecture, and Landscapes

Why visit Fatima, Nazaré and Obidos?

Although you don’t have to visit Fatima, Nazaré, and Obidos together, the three destinations are often grouped as a day trip from Lisbon, as they are in the same area, north of Portugal’s capital. Furthermore, Fatima, Nazaré, and Obidos make for a fantastic excursion, combining spirituality, beautiful coastal landscapes, and a charming medieval town.

Fatima is one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage sites. In Nazaré, a lovely fishing village (with seafood restaurants aplenty), you’ll enjoy stunning ocean views. Obidos is a delightful medieval town that is very well preserved. There, you can admire the fortress and stroll in the alleys lined with lovely whitewashed houses.

Portugal, Obidos
Portugal, Obidos. Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash
Portugal Obidos
Obidos colorful allyes. Photo by ZS on Unsplash

Fatima, Nazaré and Obidos: Best Things to Do and See

  1. Fatima:
    • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima: Witness the religious fervor at this revered pilgrimage site.
    • Chapel of the Apparitions: Reflect in the place where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared.
  2. Nazaré:
    • Nazare Beach: Enjoy the golden sands and vibrant atmosphere.
    • Sitio: Visit the old town and its panoramic viewpoint.
  3. Obidos:
    • Obidos Castle: Explore the medieval fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
    • Rua Direita: Wander through the charming cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses.

How to plan a day trip from Lisbon to Fatima, Nazaré and Obidos

Unless you hire a car, visiting the three towns independently as a day trip from Lisbon using public transportation is impossible.


However, you can travel to just one of them.

If you wish to have a day trip from Lisbon to Fatima, there are regular buses from Lisbon Sete Rios terminal, operated by Redes Expresos. The journey takes about 90-120 minutes, depending on traffic, and the Fatima bus station is only a short walk to the Sanctuary.

Organizing an independent day trip from Lisbon to Obidos is also possible. The express bus, operated by Rodotejo, leaves from the Campo Grande terminal and takes about 1 hour. If possible, avoid the weekend since there’s a limited number of rides.

Once again, the bus is the best (and sole) option for a day trip from Lisbon to Nazare. The Rede Express buses leave from the Sete Rios terminal and take about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

The only possibility to visit Fatima, Nazaré, and Obidos from Lisbon in a day is to take a guided tour.

Portugal, Nazare
Portugal, Nazare. Photo by Sven on Unsplash
Nazare, Portugal
The alleys of Nazare, Portugal. Photo by Aurelien Thomas on Unsplash

Best excursions to Fatima, Obidos and Nazaré

  • Enjoy a small-group tour (max. 8 participants) with a knowledgeable guide. Visit Fàtima, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Europe. Marvel at the Batalha Monastery, a jewel from the late 1300s and one of Europe’s most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stroll in Nazaré, a charming fishing village. Finally, explore Obidos, a lovely medieval town.
    • Why take this tour? It’s a small group tour that is culturally rich and offers the opportunity to see the countryside and the coastline.
  • The Full-day Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Tour from Lisbon itinerary is similar to the previous excursion but does not include the Batalha Monastery and instead allows more time on the coastline.
    • Why take this tour? Small group tour (max 8 participants), knowledgeable guide.
  • If you’re having a family trip to Lisbon or are traveling with friends, you may want to look at a private tour. On the private excursion to Fatima, Batalha, Nazaré, and Obidos, your guide will provide insightful information on Portugal’s history and tips.
    • Why take this tour? Pick-up and drop-off from your hotel or apartment. Personalized experience.

The tours mentioned above are only a selection. There are a few more to choose from, although most of them are rather similar.

The scenic coast of the Algarve

Why visit the Algarve?

The Algarve is renowned for its picturesque coastline, which features golden sandy beaches and stunning cliffs. Must-visit places include Praia da Rocha, Benagil Cave, Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse, and Cape Saint Vincent.

It is such a beautiful area, and there’s so much to do and see (dramatic cliffs, coastal hikes, charming whitewashed towns) that one should spend at least a few days there. Sadly, more often than not, people have limited time, thus needing to get the best out of their vacation. Therefore, it is better to have a glimpse than nothing! I

Algarve: Best Things to Do and See

  1. Ponta da Piedade is a coastal site whose beauty is stunning. Undoubtedly, its rugged cliffs and iconic lighthouse are worth a visit.
  2. Benagil Cave is the most impressive sea cave in the Algarve. The best way to see it is on a boat tour.
  3. Cape Saint Vincent is the southwesternmost area of Europe and was once believed to be the world’s end. Enjoy the mesmerizing view while listening to the sound of waves crashing on the cliffs.

How to plan a day trip to Algarve

The only way to take an independent day trip from Lisbon to the Algarve is to hire a car (check prices and best offers). Alternatively, private day tours allow you to taste this beautiful region, if only a little. Get ready for a long but rewarding day!

Best day tours to the Algarve from Lisbon

  • The “Best of Algarve” is unquestionably the most popular private day tour from Lisbon to the Algarve. During the trip, you’ll visit some of the most scenic spots along the coastline: Marinha Beach, Benagil, Ponta da Piedade Lighthouse, and more. Your driver/guide will also provide interesting information and tips to help you get the most out of your day.
    • Why take this tour? Knowledgeable guide, hotel pickup and drop-off, and private air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Private Tour from Lisbon with Benagil Caves Boat. The itinerary is similar to the one mentioned above, but it includes a boat trip to admire the Benagil cave and the coastline from the sea. You’ll also have a short walk on the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. I hiked the entire trail during my 10-day Portugal trip and loved the breathtaking views of the coastline.
    • Why take this tour? Private air-conditioned vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide, hotel pickup and drop-off.

You may want to look at a few more tours, although they’re all similar.

Unveiling Coimbra: A Day of Discovery from Lisbon

Why visit Coimbra?

A day trip from Lisbon to Coimbra is a captivating journey into Portugal’s rich history and vibrant academic culture. Nestled along the Mondego River, Coimbra is renowned as the country’s ancient capital and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, dating back to the 13th century. Thanks to its large student population, the city exudes a unique charm, blending medieval architecture with youthful energy.

The city’s main draw is the captivating University of Coimbra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting this prestigious institution feels like stepping into a bygone era, with its magnificent Joanine Library adorned with intricate Baroque designs and the stunning Royal Palace of Alcáçova. Additionally, a stroll through the old town’s narrow streets reveals picturesque plazas, cozy cafes, and historic churches like the Sé Velha (Old Cathedral) with its Romanesque beauty. For panoramic views, climb up to the University’s bell tower for a breathtaking vista of the city and the Mondego River.

Coimbra University

Coimbra: Best Things to Do and See

  1. The University of Coimbra, including the stunning Joanine Library. i
  2. Wandering through Coimbra’s charming alleys.
  3. Santa Cruz Monastery, dating back to the 12th century.

For a more detailed overview, read my post on the Best things to do in Coimbra.

How to plan a day trip from Lisbon to Coimbra

Coimbra is an easy day trip from Lisbon by train. There are frequent departures from Santa Apolonia station and two classes of trains: Express and High Speed. The Alfa Pendular, as the high-speed train is called, is slightly more expensive but also a little faster and more comfortable. The journey takes 1 hour and 45 minutes with the Alfa Pendular and a little more than 2 hours with the Express (Intercidades). Coimbra-B station is a 20-minute walk from the city center. If you prefer, you can take a taxi at affordable prices.

In conclusion, if you get the chance, embark on an enriching day trip from Lisbon to uncover the diverse beauty that Portugal has to offer. Whichever destination you choose, you can’t go wrong, for they’re all beautiful!

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Most Beautiful Day Trips from Lisbon, Portugal


About Me

Travel addict and passionate about photography, Simon Falvo started Wild About Travel back in 2009. Leveraging her strong PR background, she developed an extensive knowledge of Digital Communications and Content Creation. Besides travel writing Simon holds workshops and trainings, she collaborated with tourism boards for digital marketing campaigns and participated as a speaker at several events.

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