If you are planning a trip to Portugal and planning to spend a few days in the capital, you will be glad to know that there are many excellent day trips from Lisbon. Once you are done exploring the Alfama district, wandering the streets of the capital and have paid your visit to Jeronimos Monastery, getting out of town is definitely a good idea.
You can visit castles, quaint villages and natural sites – beaches, river estuaries and more, where you can admire local wildlife. And whether you are looking to travel independently by car, bus or train or join a guided tour, there will be something for you.
Continue reading to discover the best places you can visit places you can visit on day trips from Lisbon, as selected by travel bloggers.
The Best Day Trips From Lisbon
Arrábida Natural Park
*Submitted by Julie of Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
Arrábida Natural Park lies across the River Tagus from Lisbon and is an oasis of greenery lined with some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. As well as several hiking trails, this is where you’ll find turquoise waters and white sand backed by rocks and bushes. Some beaches are easier to reach than others so consider whether you can cope with steps or need somewhere that’s more accessible, like Praia Figueirinha. If steps aren’t a problem, try Praia Galapos or walk a bit further to reach Praia Galapinhos, which is wilder.
Even if you don’t have time to stop at a beach, the scenic drive through the natural park is worth leaving Lisbon for. If possible, try to time your trip to coincide with the opening times of the Convento da Arrábida, built into the limestone massif by Franciscan monks in the 16th century.
Alternatively, head to Cabo Espichel at the western tip of the park where you’ll find a sanctuary complex with the cute hermitage, Ermida da Memória, built in the 13th century around a legend involving the Virgin Mary, a mule and dinosaur footprints in the cliffs.
If you want to see some actual dinosaur footprints from the cretaceous period, make your way to Jazida dos Lagosteiros (signposted off the N379 between Cabo Espichel and Sesimbra).
Sesimbra is a lovely fishing village at easy distance from the Portuguese capital. Its main landmarks are the harbor, the 10th century Moorish Castle; the 17th century Fortaleza de Santiago, where the Museu du Mar (Museum of the Sea) is located and the 18th century Nossa Senhora do Castelo church. It’s old town center is a maze of narrow alleys packed with fabulous fish restaurants. There are several beautiful beaches you can visit.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Sesimbra is located 40 kilometers south of Lisbon and close to Parque Natural da Arrábida, so you could visit on the same day. The best way to get there is by car, but there are also buses taking you there. Alternatively, you could visit on guided day trips from Lisbon. For more information, click here or here.
GOOD TO KNOW: Sesimbra is a good starting point for boat tours around the area. Not far from it, Setubal is a good place to visit if you want to do some wine tasting or as a starting point to explore Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado, a wonderful place for birdwatching and to spot species such as the bottlenose dolphins. For more informations and tours, click here.
*Submitted by Sarah of CosmopoliClan
While tourists flock to the Algarve in spring and summer, the Portuguese elite tends to spend their vacation in Comporta, in the Troia Peninsula, where you’ll find one of the best beaches in Portugal.
Comporta is sophisticated beach town, often referred to as the Hamptons of Portugal. It is part of the Alentejo region and enjoys a central location next to the Atlantic and at the base of the Sado estuary. This natural abundance is what makes this chic retreat so attractive: miles of unspoilt beaches, dunes dotted with wildflowers, tastefully converted fisherman’s cottages and endless rice paddies. It may be a playground for the rich but there’s plenty to do for day-trippers as well – it really is one of the best day trips from the capital!
Go horse-riding on the beach, relax on the powdery white sand of Carvalhal beach or Comporta beach, explore the coastline on a SUP, take a surf lesson or join a catamaran cruise to go dolphin-watching. Comporta is also known as the heart of Portuguese rice cultivation. Visit the Museu do Arroz or take a kayak tour through the Vala Real rice paddies to learn more about this traditional activity.
Comporta beach is home to several fancy beach restaurants. So, before heading back to Lisbon, watch the sunset with your toes in the sand while enjoying a grilled fish platter.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Comporta is located about one hour 30 minutes south of Lisbon. You could get there by train but renting a car is recommended because the highlights are a bit spread out. To get there, drive to Setubal from where you can take the car ferry.
GOOD TO KNOW: Troia is a nice holiday resort at a quick distance from Comporta. It has fabulous beaches and it’s a good starting point to explore the Sado Esturary and to go Dolphin watching.
*Submitted by Paulina of Paulina On The Road
Costa Vicentina is a remarkable destination that starts just outside the south of Lisbon. If you are looking for one-day trips from Lisbon, Costa Vicentina is a must-visit. It is surrounded by fishing villages, amazing seafood, finger-licking fish, and welcoming locals. You can enjoy charming accommodations and many undiscovered routes.
There are diverse things you can do upon reaching there. It’s the largest protected coast park in Europe. Popularly known as Parque Natural Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, the park has over 100 Kilometers of pristine coast, gentle valleys, and green hills. On your expedition, you will be able to spot more than 50 species per day while hiking.
A Costa Vicentina road trip offers you a lot of adventure including hiking through the white villages and country tracks, where you can witness the beautiful pink petals swayed against the blue sky. Not least, tasting the wine there is a not-to-miss thing.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can reach Costa Vicentina by car which is a 2-3 hour drive from the South of Lisbon, while it’s a one and a half-hour drive from Algarve. Whatever route you are following, the visit is worth it.
*Submitted by Alya & Campbell of Stingy Nomads
Porto Covo is a small charming town on the Costa Vicentina, 170 km south of Lisbon. It’s a great place to visit on day trips from Lisbon. Porto Covo is a typical Portuguese fishermen’s town with white houses lined along the cobblestone streets, the main square with a church, and a couple of restaurants that serve fresh fish and seafood.
The town has a very relaxed holiday vibe. It’s a perfect escape from the busy and bustling Lisbon. The area around Porto Covo is truly spectacular; unspoiled sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, rugged coastline, breathtaking lookouts, hidden bays, and white-sand dunes.
Porto Covo is a fantastic place for hiking. Several routes including the famous Fishermen’s Trail take hikers along the amazing Costa Vicentina offering some of the best views of the Atlantic coast. The area is good for practicing other outdoor activities such as kayaking, surfing, cycling, and diving.
May – June are the best months for visiting Porto Covo to see hundreds of storks nesting on the cliffs along the coast.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: To get to Porto Covo from Lisbon you can rent a car or use a regular bus. Buses leave daily from Sete Rios Terminal in Lisbon. A bus ride takes about 2 hours.
*Submitted by De Wet & Jin of Museum of Wander
The stunning white and yellow town of Evora is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and makes an excellent day trip from Lisbon.
Evora is the main city in the Alentejo region, which is well known for its cork trees, red wines and rustic cuisine. The UNESCO recognized historic centre of Evora is completely surrounded by a medieval city wall, and inside the wall you’ll find more than enough to keep you entertained during your day trip.
Strolling along the narrow cobbled streets will take you to a Roman temple, an aqueduct, the Evora cathedral, several other churches, sunny squares, cosy cafes and mouth watering restaurants. Evora’s most famous sight, the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) is completely covered on the inside with human skulls and bones.
Being the center of the Alentejo wine region, there are ample opportunities to go wine tasting both at cellars in town, or at wineries just outside town. If you need a break from egg tarts, you should try the local delicacy, a Queijadas de Évora, which is a little cheese tart. For the best meal in town, head to Taberna Tipica Quarta Feira (reservations are a must).
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Evora is located about an hour and a half’s drive from Lisbon and is also well served by both direct buses and trains from the capital. You can go there independently or book your guided tour departing from Lisbon here.
GOOD TO KNOW: On your way back from Evora, you can stop in Palmela to visit the gorgeous castle.
Palácio Nacional de Queluz
14 kilometers northwest of Lisbon, Queluz Nacional Palace was built between 1747 and 1794 for King Pedro and his wife, later Queen Maria I – who lived there until their escape to Brazil when Portugal was invaded by France, in 1807 – and designed by Mateus Vicente. Known as the Portuguese Versailles, the highlights of the palace include the grand Sala do Embaixadores; the Dressing Room and Dom Quixote Room; the Throne Room and the beautiful gardens, decorated with fountains, statues and more. It’s a great place to visit on a day trip from Lisbon.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can reach Palácio Nacional de Queluz by train from Rossio to Queluz-Belas station (the Sintra Line). rom the station, it’s a 15-minute walk. You can get your entry ticket to the palace here.
*Submitted by Anda Bartos of Travel For A While
Estoril is one of the most popular destinations for a day trip from Lisbon. It is part of the luxurious Portuguese Riviera and it’s small enough to explore in one day. A typical seaside town, Estoril has its share of beautiful beaches. Praia do Tamariz is the most picturesque of those beaches, overlooked by Estoril Castle. The castle is by the beach, dominating the area with its sand-colored towers.
You can also relax in the park nearby, visit the Estoril Casino, or take a walk on the coastal path to nearby Cascais.
If you’re a Formula 1 aficionado, you might also be interested in seeing the former F1 circuit in Estoril at Autodromo do Estoril.
One other thing you shouldn’t miss is a spectacular lunch. Fresh seafood is always a good choice in a town by the Atlantic Ocean, so pick a restaurant with a view and enjoy the amazing Portuguese cuisine.
GOOD TO KNOW: For a quick beach getaway from Lisbon, check out Carcavelos. It’s not the best beach in the country, but it’s easy to reach.
*Submitted by Chrysoula of Historic European Castles
Situated 25 kilometers from Lisbon, Sintra is a popular day trip! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with hills, woods, lavish palaces, and ancient castles.
The highlight is the Palácio da Pena with its brightly painted red and yellow towers. It was built in 1855 from the ruins of an old monastery as a summer palace for the Portuguese royal family and it has opulent staterooms and Parque de Pena is beautiful – especially in springtime. Palácio Nacional de Sintra is instantly recognized by its two white conical chimneys and inside it has beautifully painted ceilings and elaborate tile work.
Quinta de Regaleira is a 15 minutes walk uphill from the center (or hop on the 435 bus). It is a private estate with extensive gardens that have grottoes, fountains, and the fascinating Initiation Well. Other good places to visit include the 9th-century ruins of Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors) for the views and the beautiful Palácio de Monserrate (on the 435 bus route).
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The easiest way to Sintra is by train from Rossio station (central Lisbon). The trains run every 30 minutes. From the center in Sintra, take the 434 bus as this visits all the main sights. You can also go on guided day trips from Lisbon to Sintra. Find out more here or here.
Cabo da Roca and Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
*Submitted by Kenny of Knycx Journeying
Located between Sintra and Cascais, the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is a perfect day trip that offers beautiful forest, parks, ancient ruins, and dramatic coastlines.
If you look at a map of the European continent, the Iberia peninsula is like the head of a man glazing toward the Atlantic Ocean: Spain is the hair that was blown by the wind, and Portugal is a man’s face. If you look more closely, the tip of the “nose” is Cabo da Roca – also known as the westernmost point of Europe’s mainland.
Start your day walking leisurely on one of the many hiking trails in the Nature Park: explore the deep valleys, visit intimate farms, or simply appreciate the unique flora and fauna. Then, enjoy a refreshment or an afternoon tea in one of the exotic resorts on the South Coast. Finally, head to Cabo da Roca in the evening and look at the glorious sunset, as it is one of the best locations to view the sunset in Europe.
At the cape you’ll find a lighthouse and a monument that says “Aqui, onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa…” (Where the land ends and the sea begins). The unique location and poetic inscriptions hold dear to many visitors’ hearts.
*Submitted by Elisa of World In Paris
Cascais is a small town on the coast located 25 km west of Lisbon. Its proximity to the Portuguese capital and direct connection by train (a 40-minute ride, one way) makes of Cascais the perfect destination for day trips from Lisbon or a relaxing weekend getaway by the sea.
Cascais is a great destination for sightseeing and eating good fish and seafood. It has a beautiful historic center, with narrow and winding streets, whitewashed houses, and some craft shops. The main square, located in front of the old port, is beautifully paved with mosaics.
Coastal walks are one of the best things to do in Cascais. You can walk east to Estoril to see its beautiful private mansions and casino or west to enjoy a good meal in one of the numerous seafood restaurants. Marechal Carmona Park is also worth the detour, especially during the hottest hours of the day. It has palm trees, picturesque ponds, and some places to sit in the shade.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Direct trains connect Lisboa Cais do Sodre station to Cascais. Some people like to combine Cascais with a visit to Cabo da Roca, Europe’s most western point 15 km west of Cascais. From Cascais bus station, it’s a comfortable 25-minute ride. For organized tours, click here or here.
*Submitted by Jorge Bastos of Portugal Things
Mafra has one of Portugal’s most beautiful and biggest Palace complexes, including a stunning Basilica and a convent – it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.Near the Palace, you will find the national hunting grounds of Mafra (Tapada de Mafra), an 8 square kilometers park.
Mafra is huge, occupying 4 acres with 1200 rooms. It should take a few hours to explore as you have plenty to visit like the Convent, the Basilica, the throne room, the guards’ room, the hunting room. The library is considered one of the grandest in the world.
The Tapada de Mafra is one of the most fun places to visit in Portugal and the place to go if you want to see animals: it has deers, wild boars, foxes, and several kinds of birds including birds of prey, that all run wild in the park.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Mafra is very close to Lisbon, only 30 km north, making it the ideal destination for a day trip from Lisbon. You can easily reach Mafra – by bus it takes about 1 hour, from Campo Grande station, or by car which takes only 30 minutes. Alternatively, opt for guided day trips from Lisbon such as this one.
GOOD TO KNOW: 12 Km from Mafra, Ericeira is another lovely place to visit, with great beaches perfect for catching waves and lots of great restaurants. For nearby wine tasting, head to Cheleiros or Bucelas.
*Submitted by Milene and Paul of Surf & Unwind
Nestled on a peninsula along the Silver Coast, Peniche is a fishing town located approximately 100km north of Lisbon and sits half-way between the Portuguese capital and Nazaré. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to take a quick break from traditional azulejo-covered façades and explore the country’s unspoiled coastline.
There’s plenty of stunning landscapes like Baleal beach, a surfers’ favorite; the uneven rock formations at Cabo Carvoeiro and Berlengas Islands, a UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve, where you can enjoy breathing-taking views of the mainland. Make sure to stop by São João Batista’s Fortress, a building dating back to the 16th century or learn more about the traditional lacework at the Museu de Renda de Bilros.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can reach Peniche by joining an organized day trips from Lisbon such as this one, which usually include a stop in neighboring cities like charming Óbidos, or by jumping on one of the regular coach services that link both cities. If you wish to do it at your own pace, it’s recommended that you drive up there to make the most of your day in the area as, although the Old Town is walkable, the local beaches are quite spread out.
*Submitted by Anisa of Two Traveling Texans
Obidos is a small well-preserved medieval walled town about an hour north of Lisbon. You can easily explore Obidos as a day trip from Libson on your own or with an organized tour. If you have time to spend the night, you can stay at the town’s castle which has been turned into a luxury hotel.
Start your visit to Obidos with a walk on the city walls. It takes about an hour and the views of the town and the countryside are spectacular.
Then, you must try the local cherry-flavored liquor, Ginja. You will find many stands selling Ginja in chocolate cups along with other gifts along the town’s main road.
Art lovers should venture inside the beautiful Santa Maria Church which has been rebuilt after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1535. It has an impressive painted ceiling, sculptures, and baroque paintings.
Additionally, Obidos hosts a Medieval Festival for two weeks each summer. You can bring your own medieval costume to wear or rent one there. The highlight is the medieval feasts held on Friday and Saturday nights.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: It’s easiest to drive from Lisbon to Obidos, but you can also take the “Rapida Verde” bus from the Campo Grande bus station. For guided day trips from Lisbon click here or here.
*Submitted by Inma of A World To Travel
An hour and 20 minutes short drive away from Lisbon, Nazaré (Leiría) is an excellent choice if you are looking for a beautiful coastal town to spend the day. Nazaré is a well-known spot for big-wave surfers around the globe since McNamara surfed a 78-foot wave there setting a world record in 2011. But there is a lot more to do there on top of surfing as a recent Porto to Lisbon road trip by van showed me.
Foodies can taste the catch of the day in one of its many restaurants at fair prices, photographers and grammers will find its upper part – on top of a cliff overlooking the lower part and the main beach – incredibly photogenic, and lovers of all things Portugal can enjoy a chill walk by the Atlantic ocean to contemplate how the fish fillets dry in the sun when the weather allows. And then, going into its narrow streets and between the whitewashed houses, it is still possible to see a clad woman or two with the typical seven skirts and seven petticoats.
What’s not to love?
GOOD TO KNOW: A 15-minute drive from Nazaré you can visit Alcobaça, where you will find the 1153 the Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça, Portugal’s largest church. A fantastic example of early-Gothic architecture, its highlight is the Claustro do Silencio.
Alcobaça, Batalha and Tomar
*Submitted by Cath of Travel Around Ireland
One of the best day trips from Lisbon is to the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Alcobaça, Batalha and Tomar. These three sites form a sort of triangle and can be visited in one day from the Portuguese capital.
Alcobaça and Batalha are two monasteries and both are equally beautiful. Batalha Monastery – AKA the Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitoria – is a splendid example of Portuguese Gothic architecture. Built entirely in limestone as a commemoration of João I’s 1385 victory over Castile at Aljubarrota, constructions started in 1388 and lasted for almost a century.
Tomar is a convent perched on a hill overlooking the town. The Convent of Christ in Tomar is a former convent and Templar castle which is both historically important and architecturally stunning.
At the monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, visitors can enter the main nave of the church for free. Both are architecturally stunning. You must pay to visit the cloisters area. You can visit other areas of the monasteries, see how monks lived and view more beautiful architecture as well. The inner courtyards and gardens are peaceful and you can imagine the monks walking through them while singing.
Of the three, you might want to allow more time for the convent de Cristo in Tomar than the other two sites.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Batalha is located 1 and a half hour drive north of Lisbon. You can get there by bus (there are a few daily connections) or by car so you can reach the other places more easily. There is a combined ticket which gives entry to all three sites for a small discount compared to buying separate tickets to each.
An important Catholic pilgrimage destination, the Santuário de Fátima (Sanctuary of Fátima) is located in a small village in the region of Estremadura. It is an extremely popular place to visit on 12th and 13th of May and October, when commemoration of the appearance of the Virgin to the three shepherd children takes place to recollect the events of 13th May 1917.
The main point of interest is the sanctuary dominated by the Neo-Baroque Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima, where the three shepherds are buried in the Capela das Aparições (Chapel of the Apparitions), supposedly where the Virgin made her appearance.
GOOD TO KNOW: At easy driving distance from Fatima, Constância and Tomar are lovely villages that deserve a quick visit. Tomar is where the Tomar Convent, a Templar site and UNESCO World Heritage Site is located. Not far from it you’ll find Almourol Castle.
Other easy day trips from Lisbon
If you are looking for even more day trips, there are a few more places worth checking out.
CACILHAS AND CRISTO REI – To visit the 70 meters statue of Christ spreading its arms towards Lisbon you have to cross Tejo river. Just take a cacilheiro ferry and then hop on bus 101 or simply walk to the statue.
COSTA DE CAPARICA – Easy to reach by car or by bus from the center of Lisbon, it’s a wonderfully long beach that is also a perfect sunset spot.
Some will say that you can also visit Porto, Aveiro and Ilhavo during a day trip – but to be honest, I feel these are a bit too far to be enjoyed in just a day, and definitely deserve more time.
Make sure to check my other posts about Portugal:
- 21 Incredible Things To Do In Lisbon That Are Totally Hassle Free
- The Best Restaurants In Porto For The Best Porto Food
- 10 Fantastic Day Trips From Porto
- 18 Cool Things To Do In Porto
- The Best Places To Visit In Portugal