A visit to Lisbon offers visitors a multitude of things to see and do.  Its proximity to many other destinations in Portugal is one of the many reasons it is such an attractive destination.  Simply use Lisbon as your home base and do day trips from Lisbon.  Read on for some of the best day trips from Lisbon.

Best Day Trips From Lisbon

Portugal has a wealth of places to see and many can easily be reached from Lisbon.  Porto is a popular destination in Portugal and is only a three-hour train ride from Lisbon.  And while that is doable as a day trip, this article is going to focus on locations that can be reached within two hours from Lisbon.  The frequent and reliable mass transit system in Portugal means you can forgo a car and travel easily by trains or bus.  

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Be sure to purchase a Viva Viagem card to use on public transportation within Lisbon as well on trains to Cascais and Sintra and/or the Lisbon Card for free admission to top attractions and discounts at numerous landmarks. Available for 24, 48, or 72 hours, the card also provides unlimited free access to the public transport system.

Sintra

With ten national monuments in the city, Sintra is a must-do day trip from Lisbon.  And there is so much to see in Sintra, you could easily spend a day or two here.  But if your travel plans only allow a day from Lisbon, do yourself a favor and decide on two or three attractions in Sintra.  Spending more time at a couple of places will be a better experience and you won’t be worn out by midday. 

Bus 434 is a tourist bus that does a loop around Sintra and is the best way to get around.  The bus route connects the train station in Sintra with Pena Palace and The Castle of the Moors.  Located uphill, walking to these sites is discouraged as the hike is very steep and will take some time.  Visitors are also discouraged from driving in Sintra as the parking is limited and traffic can be bad near the palace and the castle.  Note that the Bus 434 route only operates in one direction.  Once up the hill, you can easily walk from Pena Palace to the Castle of the Moors or vice-versa.

Pena National Palace

Pena Palace or the Palacio Nacional Da Pena is a castle straight out of a fairytale.  One of the most popular tourist attractions in Portugal, expect lots of people.  But also expect to fall in love with the colorful terraces and exquisite tilework.  

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal day trip from Lisbon

Pena Palace in Sintra

Castle of the Moors – Castelo dos Mouros

The Castle of the Moors or Castelo dos Mouros is a medieval palace situated high on a hill overlooking Sintra.  Built by the Moors in the 8th and 9th centuries it features a castle where you can walk along the walls and see breathtaking views of Sintra and the surrounding countryside.  The Moorish Castle is a National Monument and part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sintra.

Castle of the Moors in Sintra, Portugal

Castle of the Moors

Tower of Belem

Tower of Belem

Other Attractions in Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira is a 19th-century gothic mansion surrounded by some beautiful and interesting gardens.  A visit here is well worth your time and you can walk here from the center of Sintra.

The National Palace or the Palacio Nacional de Sintra sits in the middle of Sintra.  It was a royal residence from the 15th-century until the monarchy fell in 1910.  Its location in the city center makes it a great addition to your day-trip in Sintra.

Getting to Sintra 

Sintra is a quick 40-minute train ride from the historic center of Portugal with trains departing every 30 minutes from Lisbon’s Rossio Station.

Best Tours of Sintra including Day Trips from Lisbon

Belem

Belem is technically located in the municipality of Lisbon.  But there is so much to do in this area you can easily spend a day here.

Pasteis de Nata 

Pasteis de Nata are reason enough to visit Lisbon and many believe the best version of this custard tart is found at Pasteis de Belem.  This bakery has been making Pasteis de Nata since 1837 using the original recipe from the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.  You will leave with a box (or two) of these delicious treats.

Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery is a former monastery located in Belem.  Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monastery features extraordinary Manueline architecture.  The religious building has housed sailors and explorers and Vasco da Gama spent a night here before setting off on a voyage to the Far East.

Jeronimos Monastery outside of Lisbon

Jeronimos Monastery

Tower of Belem 

The Tower of Belem sits on the River Tejo and was built as a fortress.  It is now a UNESCO World Heritage monument and a popular tourist destination.  Its location on the water is stunning and The Tower appears to be dipping its toe in the water as it keeps watch for Lisbon.

Getting to Belem

Take the Tram 15E which departs from Paca da Figueira near Rossio Square or the Cais do Sodre station.  The tram runs every 10-15 minutes and takes about 25 minutes.  Exit at the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos stop and walk to Belem Tower after visiting the monastery. You can also take a train from the Cais do Sodre station to Belem.   

Best Tour of Belem

Belém Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour – 24-Hour Pass that takes you along the leafy avenues from the old center to historical Belem, where you will find many museums and grand monuments erected in honor of Portugal’s seafaring past.

Caiscais

Looking for a beach day?  You can be in the Portuguese Rivera in 30 minutes by hopping on a train from the Cais do Sodre station.  There are three beaches in Cascais and all will be busy as this is a popular getaway for residents in Lisbon.  But the golden sand, blue water, and breezes blowing off the Atlantic will distract you from everything.

Cascais was once a fishing village and the summer home for the Royal family.  The town has many restaurants feature a variety of fresh seafood.  Take a break from the beach and enjoy the resort-like feel of the town.

If you want some adventure, head to the Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth).  The natural arch was formed by waves and can be reached in 15 minutes by walking from the marina.

Caiscais, Portugal; day trip from Lisbon

Getting to Cascais 

Cascais is a great day trip from Lisbon. You can take a train from the Cais do Sodre train station and Cascais is the last stop.  Trains leave several times an hour and the journey takes about 30 minutes.  

TIP – Sit on the left-hand side of the train leaving Lisbon to enjoy the gorgeous coastal views.

Best Tours of Cascais including Day Trips from Lisbon

Evora

Evora is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in the area.  The Roman ruins are the main attraction here and are also known as the Temple of Diana.  The Evora Cathedral is across from the temple and the Church of St. Francis includes a chapel made of bones (Capela dos Ossos).  Another popular attraction is the Aqueduct of Silver Water where houses, shops, and cafes have been built into the arches.

Getting to Evora

Evora can be reached by train or bus and will take about 2 hours either way.  Buses run about every hour from Sete Rios bus station in Lisbon and trains leave from the Oriente Station.  Once in Evora, it is a short walk into town.

Best Tour of Evora

  • Évora and Megaliths Full-Day Tour from Lisbon Journey through the history of Portugal on this tour of Évora and the dolmens of Almendres Cromlech. Discover hidden gems from Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance times. Marvel at stone formations from the Stone Age.

Fatima

Fatima is a pilgrimage destination and makes a great day trip from Lisbon.  The story is that on May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared in a flash of light to shepherd children in a field near Fatima.  She told the children to return to the same spot on the 13th of each month.  Then in October of that year, Mary revealed the three “Secrets of Fatima” to one of the children.  The three secrets related to peace and world events. 

Pilgrimages are now held on the 12th and 13th of each month, with May being the most popular month.  If you’re not in Fatima on the 12th or 13th of a month, you can visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima and see the national shrine’s religious features.

Getting to Fatima

The quickest option to get to Fatima from Lisbon is by bus.  The Rede Express bus runs from Lisbon’s Sete Rios station and takes about 90 minutes.  Tickets can be purchased at the bus station or online at www.rede-expressos.pt.

Best Tours of Fatima including Day Trips from Lisbon

  • Full-Day Fátima Tour from Lisbon Explore Portugal on a day trip tour that takes you to some of the most popular medieval and 20th-century architectural and religious marvels including Fátima, a major center of global Catholic pilgrimage.
  • Fatima, Batalha, Nazare and Obidos Tour Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the world’s most popular religious pilgrimage destinations. You’ll also stop to see the Monastery of Batalha, the most fascinating Gothic monument in Europe.

Sesimbra

Sesimbra is a charming beach town a short 45 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon.  As if the beach isn’t enough of an attraction, Sesimbra also features the Fortalexa Santiago Fort, The Castelo de Sesimbra, and the Museo do Mar.  A day trip from Lisbon is a great way to enjoy warm ocean breezes and enjoy some of the seafood the area is known for. 

Getting to Sesimbra

Sesimbra can easily be reached by catching bus 207 or 260 from the Praca de Espanha station in Lisbon.  The bus station is connected to the blue metro line in Lisbon making it easy to get to. 

Best Tours of Sesimbra including Day Trips from Lisbon

  • Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting Head south from Lisbon, crossing the Tejos River and passing the Portuguese Golden Gate Bridge. Stop at beautiful beaches, tall cliffs, dinosaur footprints, a medieval castle, a fishing village, a natural park, and a local winery tasting 4 local wines.
  • Sesimbra: Dolphin Watching Tour Enjoy the wonderful world of the dolphins in the wild while visiting the bays and secluded beaches of the Arrabida coast.
  • Sesimbra: Hiking Tour to Espichel Cape A guided hike around the mysterious Espichel Cape, the second most western cape of Europe where you will encounter the incredible footprints of dinosaurs, fossils of tracks left over 150 million years ago.

Obidos

The medieval walls in Obidos and the main attraction here and you can walk the perimeter.  The walk will take between 1-2 hours and is best for those travelers not afraid of heights as it is steep and there are no handrails.  In addition to the walls, this little town has become a popular day trip from Lisbon because of its whitewashed buildings and laid back vibe. 

Getting to Obidos

The best way to Obidos from Lisbon is by bus.  The bus to Obidos is the Rapida Verde (Green Express) and leaves from the Campo Grande metro station.  Tickets must be purchased on board from the driver and the journey will take about an hour.  

Best Tours of Óbidos including Day Trips from Lisbon

  • Discover Amazing Óbidos and Historic Mafra Step back in time and see the Museum Village of Óbidos and Mafra from Lisbon. Wander the streets of a walled town with a history dating back to the 4th century, and the biggest 18th-century baroque palace in Europe, the Palácio Nacional de Mafra.
  • Obidos: Medieval Tales and Secret Spots Tour Explore a Medieval castle, before walking through the mythical “Rua Direita” of Óbidos village. You will also get to visit the Saint Mary Church and drink a local liqueur from a chocolate cup.

Cheleiros and Bucelas Wine Regions

Portugal is known for port, but it also produces some delicious wines.  You can tour vineyards in the wine regions of Cheleiros and Bucelas by heading north of Lisbon  Sampling wines at the many small wineries in the area makes a great day trip.

Getting to Cheleiros and Bucelas

The wine regions of Cheleiros and Bucelas are less than an hour from Portugal.  A private tour is your best option for visiting Cheleiros and Bucelas wine regions. 

Best Tour of Cheleiros and Bucelas Wine Region

Cheleiros and Bucelas Wine Tasting Tour from Lisbon Taste the wines of Portugal on a tour of Cheleiros and Bucelas, and discover small wine cellars north of Lisbon. Sample rare wines, including one thought to be extinct at a selection of wineries, and hear the local history along the way

Batalha

The monastery in Batalha is another UNESCO World Heritage site.  Built as a celebration of winning the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, the monastery features Gothic and Manueline styles of architecture.  Visitors can see the actual site of the battle just outside of town.  Batalha is near Fatima and Obidos and you could add a visit to one of those towns to your itinerary.  

Getting to Batalha

There is a direct bus that departs Lisbon’s Sete Rios Station five times a day and takes about two hours.

Best Tours of Batalha including Day Trips from Lisbon

  • Fatima, Batalha, Nazare and Obidos Tour Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the world’s most popular religious pilgrimage destinations. You’ll also stop to see the Monastery of Batalha, the most fascinating Gothic monument in Europe.

Interesting Facts about Portugal

  • The Vasco da Gama Bridge spans the Tagus River in Lisbon and is the second-longest bridge in Europe.
  • Batalha means battle in Portuguese.
  • The Manueline style of architecture takes its influence from maritime shapes and voyages taken overseas.
  • Construction on the Jeronimos Monastery was only supposed to take 8 years but it took almost a century to complete.
  • Where to Stay in Lisbon: Find the Best Hotel for Your Budget
  • Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city and it is both hilly and coastal. 

Hotel Choices if Lisbon is Your Homebase

The main tourist districts in Lisbon are contained within a relatively compact area and include; the Baixa district (the grand and historic center of Lisbon), the Chiado district in central Lisbon and the Alfama district known for its steep hills, narrow streets.

Ultra Budget Hotels in Lisbon

For backpackers who need to find a budget-friendly place to stay for a night or two, you can find budget accommodation in the Lisbon area from around USD $20-30 a night. 

Many hostels in Lisbon offer unique accommodations, free breakfast, and organized tours.  The most popular  Backpacker joints are Lost Inn Lisbon, Lisboa Central Hostel, and Nest House Lisbon Hostel 

Check Out Best Prices on Hotels.Com: Lost in Lisbon | Lisboa Central HostelNest House Lisbon Hostel   

Budget to Mid Range Hotels in Lisbon

Your low range hotel choices start from around USD $150 per night. However, you’ll get a room with a queen-size bed, a private bathroom, television, and tea & coffee facilities. The best-rated Budget hotels to choose from include Holiday Inn Lisbon – Continental, Residencial Florescente, and Rossio Garden Hotel.

Check Out Best Prices on Hotels.Com: Holiday Inn Lisbon – Continental | Rossio Garden Hotel

Luxury Hotels in Lisbon

If you’re seeking luxury, you’ll find many five-star hotels offering high-class facilities and services, making your stay more inviting. The popular choices of luxury hotels include, but not limited to, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa, and Valverde Hotel.

The best time to visit Portugal

Portugal is a fabulous country to visit all year round, but the best time to visit is from March to May or September or October when the weather is warm but there are fewer visitors than during the summer months. 

Winters, especially in Lisbon are fairly mild with lows only dropping to the mid-40s making this a great city to visit during the off-season.

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