If you need a break from the frenzied streets of Portugal’s capital city, then there are plenty of exciting day trips from Lisbon to scratch that itch. Within just two hours of Lisbon, you can find an outstanding assortment of towns and attractions.
Ancient cities, romantic palaces, local wineries, world-class surfing, and tons of natural beauty. There is no shortage of interesting, beautiful, and relaxing places to visit in Portugal near Lisbon.
With such a bounty of options, it gets a little tough deciding on the right Lisbon day trip for you. When I spent a month in Portugal, I embarked on a bunch of different day trips from Lisbon and now I’m here to share a few of the best ones to explore when you’ve finished checking off all the things to do in Lisbon on my list.
Table of Contents
- 17 Best Lisbon Day Trips
- FAQs About Lisbon Day Trips
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17 Best Lisbon Day Trips
A small medieval town with colorful historic palaces deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sintra is one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon, and also one of the most famous attractions in Portugal. This mystical mountain town features several stunning castles scattered among the foliage just 30 minutes from the Portuguese capital.
The brightly colored Pena Palace is the one it’s mainly known for. But, there is also the National Palace of Sintra, the Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, and Quinta da Regaleira.
The easiest way to see Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and all the others in just one day is by joining a small group tour. Like this Sintra Small Group Tour from Lisbon. Otherwise, you’ll need to catch a flat-rate tuk-tuk to get up the mountain to the castles for $10 per person.
Once you’re done exploring the palaces, there are lots of places to grab a delicious bite near the train station. My favorites were A Praça and Metamorphosis.
Arrabida Natural Park
A massive protected zone with panoramic views of the oceanic landscape and beautiful beaches.
About an hour south of Lisbon, you’ll find an untouched natural wonder called the Arrabida Natural Park. It’s the ideal Lisbon day trip if you have a car at your disposal. Unfortunately, without a car, this day trip is difficult to impossible unless you join an Arrabida guided tour.
This day trip feels like an exotic getaway even if all you do is soak up all the amazing cliffside views. If you tire of driving along the winding roads through the landscape, make a pit stop at one of Arrabida’s beaches. Galapinhos Beach, for instance, is one of the most beautiful private beaches I’ve ever been to.
Cabo da Roca
A historical viewpoint on the westernmost edge of continental Europe with beaches and hikes to explore.
If you want to swap the busy metropolis of Lisbon for expansive ocean views and nature hikes, visit Cabo da Roca. The fun fact that put this spot on the map is its status as the westernmost point of mainland Europe. So, you can literally walk along the edge of the continent.
Depending on the time of year you visit Europe, I recommend putting out a towel and relaxing on Cabo da Roca beach. Alternatively, you can stroll along one of the area’s hiking trails. Like the Praia da Ursa trail for beginners or the Praia Grande trail for experienced hikers.
A magical small town denoted as one of the country’s seven wonders known for its lagoon and special cherry liquor.
Approximately an hour and a half north of Lisbon is the charming village of Óbidos. The cobbled streets and refined atmosphere make it one of the top day trips from Lisbon. Especially if you’re searching for that small-town vibe.
Despite its quaint size, there are lots of different things to do in Óbidos that can appeal to all types of preferences. There are tons of historical attractions such as the Castle of Óbidos and the Aqueduct of Óbidos, along with outdoor activities at the Lagoon of Óbidos.
If you happen to visit in July, you can even partake in the big Medieval Market of Óbidos Festival.
👉 Pro Tip: There are so many fun guided tours that make a stop in Óbidos. Joining a day tour makes the experience easier and allows you to visit multiple locations in a single day. One of the best tours for visiting Portugal’s small towns, including Óbidos, is this Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small Group Tour.
A Catholic pilgrimage site turned quaint village with tons of impressive religious attractions.
Many people feel a deep sense of connection when they get the chance to visit a real site of religious history. If you’re in Lisbon, one of the most incredible religious sites in Catholicism is less than two hours away – Fatima.
Here you’ll find several jaw-dropping pieces of religious architecture. Including the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, and the Chapel of Apparitions. Fatima is also home to a bunch of interesting museums including the Interactive Museum, the Wax Museum of Fatima, and Lucia’s House.
When dusk falls, don’t miss the candle procession in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. It takes place every night from April to November or on Saturdays during the winter. Even if you’re not Catholic or religious at all, it’s an enchanting experience.
An exquisite seaside town that’s home to some of the biggest surfing waves in the world and an array of delicious restaurants.
If I had to imagine the ideal beachy town, a picture of Nazare would pop into my mind immediately. It’s one of my favorite day trips from Lisbon for its convenient location from Lisbon and overflowing charm. There are many fun things to do in Nazare.
The town offers a bit of history at the 16th-century Fort of São Miguel Arcanjo and beautiful views over the area from Mirador del Suberco. However, the thing people really come to Nazare for is the golden sand beaches, which include some of the top beaches in Portugal.
There are lots of beachgoers who hang out with their family or kick back in the sand. Nazare’s beaches are also popular surf spots for their huge waves. It was here that McNamara actually beat the world record for the largest wave ever surfed.
👉 Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on Nazare’s tasty variety of restaurants in the town center. My top recommendations are O Casalinho for seafood and Bonta Bistro for authentic Italian.
A coastal city on the Sado River less than an hour south of Lisbon with glorious beaches, wine, and tons of fresh fish.
Located less than an hour from Lisbon on the train, Setubal has a little of everything that people come to find in Portugal. There are beaches, mountains, traditional markets, and historical attractions. Plus, lots of delicious local wine, of course!
Setubal is one of Portugal’s celebrated wine regions of the south. So, if you’re a fan of the libation it’s a fantastic place to join a wine tour or tasting at one of the area’s wineries.
My favorite winery in Setubal is Casa-Museu José Maria Da Fonseca. Beyond serving high-quality local wine, the grounds are just stunning and they put on a very informative tour.
This lesser-known destination famous for bullfighting hosts a variety of bird species and has spots for shopping.
If you’re a fan of day trips that aren’t overrun with a bunch of other people, consider a getaway to Alcochete. It’s a less common day trip from Lisbon. Since it’s only an hour away from Lisbon, it’s easy to reach on public transport like the trains or regular bus service.
The Old Town of Alcochete is a great place to simply walk around and take in the typical Portuguese lifestyle. While you wander, you might catch a glimpse of some unique birds because the area is a nesting ground for a bunch of species.
Hungry for a shopping spree but sticking to a budget? Check out Alcochete’s Freeport Fashion Outlet to score some incredible pieces at bargain prices. For food, try the Balcalhau, or basically any fish, from O Marítimo.
🎒 Need a day pack? We love the Osprey Daylite for day trips and excursions.
A historic city filled with the well-preserved ruins of a Roman temple and a 13th-century cathedral.
The ancient city of Évora is one of the oldest in Portugal and it has managed to maintain much of its historical ambiance. The historic center within these city walls is so significant that it’s designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dubbed “the museum city”.
There are lots of well-known attractions in Évora like the famed 1st-century Roman temple and Aqueduto da Água de Prata. But, the thing that I found really unique was the Chapel of Bones, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Once you’re finished getting to know about the area’s glimpses of history, sit back and relax with a glass of wine at Rota dos Vinhos do Alentejo. The city is also rich in restaurants for all types of palettes. Personally, the best meal I had in Evora was dinner at Momentos.
Costa da Caparica
An ocean lover’s paradise in the Setubal district known for its long stretch of clean, sandy beaches.
Costa da Caparica is the perfect day trip for people who don’t want to stray too far from Lisbon but need a total change of pace. Located less than 30 minutes away from the capital, Costa da Caparica is known for its many expansive, spotless beaches. This area receives far less overwhelming crowds than some of the more popular beach destinations.
Praia da Morena is a really fun beach for solo travelers or groups because it has a couple of bars and provides a picturesque view of the sunset. Praia da Mata is a calmer alternative that’s a bit better for families with young kids. Finally, Praia da Riviera is best if you’re interested in taking beginner surfing lessons.
A fishing village with mindblowing seafood, bright blue beaches, and July carnival festivities.
Sesimbra is a nearby Lisbon day trip that offers visitors a diverse array of activities to do.
Of course, like many of the cities in southern Portugal, Sesimbra has no shortage of lovely beaches. The calm waters of Praia da Califórnia are the city’s most popular beach, but it can get a little crowded here. If you’re craving a more private (and adventurous beach experience), go for Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo instead.
Then, there are the historical attractions of Sesimbra. Including the hilltop Castelo de Sesimbra and Forte de Santiago. It’s not necessarily the biggest nightlife destination in the country. But, Sesimbra has quite a few entertaining bars right by the sea, such as the Tap House.
An upscale vacation destination featuring some of the country’s top dining establishments and the best weather.
Cascais has blossomed from a small fishing town into one of the most popular places to vacation in the entire country of Portugal. So, if you’re taking a relaxing beach day in Cascais, be prepared for dense crowds during the summertime. Luckily, its popularity has made it a very easy destination to reach from Lisbon on public transport.
From the famous Boca do Inferno cliffside to the warm sands of Tamariz Beach, Cascais is chock-full of scenic places that will leave you in awe of mother earth. There are also a number of manmade wonders, like the interesting architecture of the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego museum.
Alternatively, Cascais is a retreat for fine dining and upscale bar experiences. Out of the long list of high-end restaurants in the city, my favorite for authentic Portuguese food is A Nova Estrela. After dinner, sip some local wine at the Tasting Room.
A chill, cozy town in the Leiria region that’s home to one of Portugal’s most incredible monasteries.
Searching for a day trip that will provide some much-needed peace and quiet from a buzzing city like Lisbon? Look no further than the small town of Batalha in the Leiria region.
Batalha isn’t one of those cities in Portugal that’s overflowing with attraction options. However, it is home to one of the most impressive ones in the entire country; the 150-year-old gothic Batalha Monastery. Photographers and history buffs alike will adore this massive, intricate monastery.
Foz Do Arelho
A sunny, small town on the Silver Coast with a sizable white sand beach where the Obidos Lagoon meets the ocean.
If you’re planning on taking a day trip to Obidos, another good stop nearby is Foz Do Arelho. It’s situated in that sweet spot right where the Obidos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean meet.
Praia da Foz do Arelho is a beautiful beach whose conditions are ideal for a bunch of watersports, like sailing, surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking. Even if it’s your first time trying the activity, there are a bunch of places nearby with lessons for beginners, such as Foz Surf Camp & Surf School.
👉 Pro Tip: I’m a sucker for a good sunset after a day of exploring. If you are too, take a short walk along Passadiços da Foz do Arelho to finish off your day trip.
A tiny town on the Alentejo coast offering several phenomenal beach options, cultural museums, and historic sites.
Let’s venture off to the charming village of Sines tucked into the Alentejo region of the Atlantic Coast. Yes, I know. There are almost too many incredible beaches to choose from in Portugal, but Sines is another one of the best places to travel for beach days.
Personally, I prefer beach towns with lots of room and fewer people, which is what you’ll get with Sines most of the year.
If you’re just spending the day, I’d recommend spending most of your time around Praia Vasco da Gama. It’s only a few blocks from the historic center and arts center of Sines. The medieval Castle of Sines and the Museum of Sines are both very close by, too.
An idyllic family getaway with tons of fun activities for kids that’s one of the country’s top wine-producing regions.
If you’re looking for a day away with exciting activities for children, Lourinhã (an hour north of Lisbon) might be the place for you.
There is the immersive Dino Parque Lourinhã theme park for people who want a fun-filled day outdoors. Or, if you’re looking for a more educational experience that’s still super kid-friendly, head over to the Lourinhã Museum. You may even have enough time to do both in one day if you head out early.
Don’t worry. There are plenty of activities for adults around Lourinhã, too! Mainly, wine-related activities. This area is one of the biggest wine producers in Portugal. So, make sure you sign up for a wine tasting or even just some of the local wines at the Adega Cooperativa da Lourinhã winery before you return to Lisbon.
A Lisboa district town with a diverse variety of attractions from vineyards and beaches to palaces and parks.
Located about an hour north of Lisbon, the town of Mafra’s central feature is the enormous National Palace of Mafra. This attraction alone is worth taking the trip out of Lisbon for a day. It is truly a spectacular construction that allows you to walk through Portuguese history.
Once you’re done getting to know the National Palace, take some time to wander the well-maintained Jardim do Cerco right next to it. Then, indulge in some of the area’s top-notch restaurants. Like Casa Das Parras for pastries and Beija-me for dinner.
🛎️ Need a Hotel in Lisbon? See our list of the best hotels in Lisbon!
FAQs About Lisbon Day Trips
Can Porto be a day trip from Lisbon?
While Porto is at the opposite end of the country, it’s still possible to visit the city as a day trip from Lisbon. The best way to accomplish this excursion as a day trip is by taking the train. It takes a little less than three hours to reach Porto from Lisbon by train.
How many days in Lisbon is enough?
The average tourist spends around three to four days in Lisbon. This gives visitors enough time to explore the major sites, try the food, and wander around the city without rushing. While three days is enough time to see most of Lisbon, it’s easy to spend as long as a week getting to know the Portuguese capital if you have the time.
Is Porto more fun than Lisbon?
Porto and Lisbon are both fun in their own way. The big city of Lisbon is a better destination for people who want famous tourist attractions and excellent weather during most of the year. Alternatively, Porto is a smaller city in the north that’s ideal for travelers who want a more chill experience with fewer crowds and more wineries.
Luckily, it’s easy to get from Porto to Lisbon or vice versa, even for travelers backpacking in Europe. There is plenty of affordable public transportation that runs daily.
Are 2 days enough to see Lisbon?
Two days in Lisbon is enough time to get a basic introduction to the city. Public transportation around the city is very comprehensive and affordable. So, it’s simple to get around Lisbon’s neighborhoods even with only a couple of days.
You officially have the inside scoop on all the best day trips from Lisbon. What day trip are you most excited to embark on? If you’re currently planning a vacation to the country of Portugal, don’t miss our guide to the best time to visit Portugal.
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