20+ Best Day Trips From Lisbon & How To Visit

Scoping out the best day trips from Lisbon?

Lisbon is undeniably an enchanting city, and it ranks high on my list of favorite European destinations. Its picturesque beauty and old-fashioned charm are so alluring that leaving becomes difficult.

With an abundance of entertaining activities, one can easily be occupied for days and never run out of things to do.

Lisbon skyline view over Rossio Square.
Lisbon skyline view over Rossio Square.

Should you feel the urge to explore beyond the city limits, fret not. There are plenty of day trips and weekend getaways from Lisbon that are well worth the effort.

These destinations include quaint villages, UNESCO heritage sites, magnificent beaches, and awe-inspiring architectural wonders. The best part is that with so many options, there’s bound to be something that caters to everyone’s interests and preferences.

Pinterest pin for best day trips from Lisbon
Pinterest pin for best day trips from Lisbon

I’ve found it easiest to drive around Portugal. With a car, you have ultimate flexibility and can sometimes combine a couple sites in one day. Just be sure not to drive into the center of an ancient town. Park on the outskirts.

READ: Tips for Renting a Car and Driving in Europe

You can also visit these by bus, train, and guided tour. I also explain how some of the Lisbon day trip destinations can be combined in a single day for maximum sightseeing punch.

Here’s a complete guide to all the train stations in Lisbon. You can click here to check bus schedules for the Rede Espressos buses.

entrance of Rossio Train Station in Lisbon
entrance of Rossio Train Station in Lisbon

Day Trips From Lisbon At A Glance

Here are the 21 best day trips from Lisbon that we’ll explore in this blog post:

1. Obidos
2. Sintra
3. Batalha Monastery
4. Alcobaca Monastery
5. Evora
6. Coimbra
7. Queluz Palace
8. Marvao
9. Cascais
10. Tomar
11. Fatima

12. Aveiro
13. Mafra
14. Conimbriga
15. Monsaraz
16. Abrantes
17. Estoril
18. Montserrate Palace
19. Alcacer do Sal
20. Porto
21. Belem

view of Obidos, one of the best day trips from Lisbon
view of Obidos from the city walls

20+ Best Day Trips From Lisbon

1. Obidos: the Queen’s Present

Located just an hour’s drive north of Lisbon, lies the charming and cobbled old-world town of Óbidos Portugal, which boasts a cornucopia of medieval architecture. It’s a perfect and effortless day trip from Lisbon.

Compared to the bustling tourist hub of Sintra, the town of Óbidos has a more laid-back vibe. In fact, I believe that Óbidos may be the most adorable and authentic village in Portugal.

This UNESCO-designated town is situated atop a fetching hill, encircled by sturdy medieval walls.

The town’s whitewashed homes are adorned with splashes of blue and yellow paint and covered with bougainvillea, creating a picturesque and romantic aura.

Its beauty and shabby chic ambiance are sure to captivate you.

Rua Direita in Obidos, one of the best day trips from Lisbon
Rua Direita in Obidos

What You Can’t Miss In Obidos:

You can check out my guide to the best things to do in Obidos, but here are some things you can’t miss.

 Rua Diureita: After entering the gate, you arrive at the cobbled main drag, Rua Direita. It runs from the Porta da Vila to Óbidos Castle. It’s stuffed with whitewashed buildings, quirky bars and cafes, exquisite shops, and ginjinha stands.

City Walls: The fortified walls give you stunning views over Obidos’ pretty town center and tiled rooftops.

Obidos Castle: Though the doughty castle is dominates the skyline. The fortress-like castle is one of the seven wonders of Portugal. It’s been converted into the luxurious Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos, which is a great place to stay in Obidos.

Bookstores: Obidos is a UNESCO city of literature and overflowing with adorable bookstores.

Óbidos Castle, now a luxury pousada
Óbidos Castle, now a luxury pousada

Ginja: Ginja is the local specialty in Obidos, a cherry flavored liquor served in shots. The one from Óbidos is renowned for its quality and strength and is typical served with chocolate.

How To Get To Obidos From Lisbon:

Obidos is a one hour drive from Lisbon. There are car parks outside the town.

An express bus service leaves from the Campo Grande bus station in Lisbon. The train is not a good option because it takes 2 hours.

Taking a guided day tour is a great way to explore Obidos as well and makes logistic easier. This full day trip tour from Lisbon takes you to Obidos, Fatima, and Nazare. This full day tour also includes Batalha Monastery.

Sintra's Pena Palace, an incredibly popular day trip from Lisbon destination
Sintra’s most famous castle, Pena Palace

2. Sintra Portugal: UNESCO Palaces Galore

Sintra undoubtedly holds the top spot among the most popular day trips from Lisbon. Its irresistible charm and rock-star allure draw visitors from all over the world.

The town is dotted with ancient castles and palaces, each more impressive than the last. Its vibrant colors and romantic ambiance enhance its appeal, while the artisan shops and hidden gems scattered throughout the quaint town offer endless opportunities for exploration.

Despite living up to its reputation as a must-see destination, Sintra can be overwhelming due to its immense popularity. With so much to see and do in just one day, careful planning i

To help you along, here are my must know tips for visiting Sintra.

the Moorish Castle in Sintra Portugal
the Moorish Castle in Sintra

What You Can’t Miss In Sintra:

Quinta da Regateira: This is absolutely my favorite palace in Sintra. It’s divine and bewitching, a misty Gothic building seeped in opulence and mysticism and set amid leafy palms and hot pink bougainvillea.

Pena Palace: The romantic and colorful Pena Palace is a must see Sintra site, one of the seven wonders of Portugal. Built by King Ferdinand II, it’s a Disney-like mishmash of architectural styles that still dazzles.

Moorish Palace: The Moorish palace is a 9th century fortress-castle that offers the best views in Sintra. It’s a hike up to the ramparts, but well worth it.

Sintra Historic Center: The town is lovely. There’s not an abundance of food. But you can wander the cobbled streets and snap up some souvenirs.

National Palace of Sintra
National Palace of Sintra

Sintra National Palace: Dominating the old town, this is Portugal’s oldest palace. The 800 year old edifice, with superb decorations from the Manueline period. The patio has a stunning grotto with walls faced in azulejo tiles.

How To Get To Sintra From Lisbon:

You can drive, park outside the town, and walk into the town.

Alternatively, you can take the 434 train from Rossio Station in Lisbon and walk 15 minutes into town from Sintra’s train station.

If you’d understandably want to go on an organized tour for this must see city, here’s an excellent full day trip to Sintra from Lisbon tour.

Sintra can be combined with: nearby Monserrate Palace, a beautiful palace just 10-15 minutes away, or with Queluz Palace, which I discuss below.

the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria de Vitoria, a great day trip from Lisbon
the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria de Vitoria in Batalha

3. Batalha Monastery: A Gothic Masterpiece

If you’re exploring Portugal’s monastery trail, make sure to add a day trip from Lisbon to Batalha to your itinerary.

The highlight of this small town is the Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria de Vitoria, a breathtaking masterpiece that is sure to leave you in awe.

This UNESCO-listed complex is a beautiful fusion of Gothic and Manueline architecture. Construction began in 1388 and continued for several centuries. The resulting historic structure still stands today and is a testament to the skill of the builders.

The monastery was built to commemorate the pivotal Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, where Portugal emerged victorious against the powerful Spaniards. King Joao I, a renowned builder in Portugal, oversaw the construction of the monastery and its church, where his tomb can be found today.

cloister of Batalha Monastery
cloister of Batalha Monastery

As you explore the monastery, you’ll be amazed by the intricate floral and marine elements that characterize Gothic-Manueline architecture. This landmark is a must see for anyone interested in history, religion, architecture, or warfare.

You can visit the church for free, but must pay to see the beautiful cloisters.

How To Get To Batalha Monastery From Lisbon:

It’s a 1.5 hour drive from Lisbon. It’s over 2 hours by bus from Lisbon’s Sete Rios station.

You can also book a guided day trip from Lisbon that includes both Batalha and Alcobaca monasteries.

Batalha can be combined with: Fatima, Obidos, or Alcobaca Monastery

the grand entrance of Alcobaca Monastery
the grand entrance of Alcobaca Monastery

4. Alcobaca Monastery: Portugal’s First Gothic Building

If you love history or architecture, the UNESCO-listed Alcobaça Monastery is a must see site in Portugal. Alcobaca is a pretty town on the Silver Coast.

It lies between Coimbra and Lisbon and can be accessed as a day trip from either city or visited en route between them.

The town is dominated by the austere and atmospheric 800 year old Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça. It’s the largest Gothic religious structure in Portugal.

Alcobaca is one of Europe’s oldest and best UNESCO sites. Alcobaça is a 12th century masterpiece of Gothic Cistercian art. Its vaunted architecture and history are bewitching.

the ornate tomb of Inês de Castro in Alcobaça Monastery
the ornate tomb of Inês de Castro in Alcobaça Monastery
reliving the love story in the arched stairway of the Refectory of Alcobaça Monastery
reliving Alcobaca’s love story in the arched stairway of the Refectory of Alcobaça Monastery

I found it more beautiful and compelling than the vastly more crowded Jeronimos Monastery outside Lisbon. Inside, you’ll fine the ornate tombs of King Pedro I and Ines de Castro, Portugal’s own star crossed Romeo and Juliet duo.

How To Get To Alcobaca Monastery From Lisbon:

It’s about a 1:20 minute drive from Lisbon. There’s a parking lot in front of the monastery. It could be full in high season. If so, just park on a street nearby.

If you’d prefer to take a guided tour, this 8 hour full day trip from Lisbon covers Alcobaca, Obidos, and other monasteries.

Alcobaca can be combined with: Fatima, Batalha, Obidos, or Coimbra.

decorative stone torches on the balcony of Evora Cathedral
decorative stone torches on the balcony of Evora Cathedral

5. Evora: Strategic Roman Town

The UNESCO-listed town of Evora is a wonderful day trip from Lisbon. The attractive town is tucked away in the Alentejo region of central Portugal.

Evora was untouched by the great earthquake of 1755 and its historic center is well preserved.

Evora is topped by a grand 14th century cathedral, commonly refered to as Evora Cathedral.

While not particularly pretty itself, it’s worth it to go inside just for the beautiful vistas over Evora from its balcony.

the eerie Chapel of Bones in Evora
the eerie Chapel of Bones in Evora

The star of Evora is an ossuary, the Chapel of Bones, attached to the large Royal Church of St. Francis. Franciscan monks slaved away in the early 17th century building this unusual site when cemeteries were overflowing.

Evora was also an important Roman town, lying on a trade route to Rome. In Evora’s center, you’ll see 14 Corinthian columns rising to the sky.

What You Can’t Miss In Evora:

Praca do Giraldo: This is Evora’s atmospheric main square. Sit in the sun and watch the world go by, preferable while sipping a suitably chilled beverage. You can admire the 16th century fountain and the Church of Santo Antao.

Historic Center: Evora is a maze of cobbled streets where you’ll easily get lost. Around each corner, there’s a piece of exceptional Gothic, Renaissance, or Manueline architecture.

the Roman Temple of Evora
the Roman Temple of Evora

Igreja de São Francisco: This Gothic-Manueline Church dates from the years of Manuel I and Joao II. As a result, it has some beautiful Manueline decorations.

Chapel of Bones: But the highlight of São Francisco is the Chapel of Bones. 17th century monks created this chilling chapel to solve the problems of overflowing cemeteries. The bones and skulls of 5,000 people line the chapel.

Evora Cathedral: Guarded by rose granite towers, Evora’s fortress-like medieval cathedral boats fabulous cloisters and religious relics.

Roman Temple: The temple, erroneously dedicated to Diana, is regarded as the best preserved Roman ruin in Portugal.

medieval street in Evora
medieval street in Evora

How To Get To Evora From Lisbon:

Evora is a 2 hour drive from Lisbon, the best way to get there. There’s free parking right outside the historic center. Four trains per day go to Evora.

Evora’s train station is a beauty, decorated with azulejos. It’s a 20 minute walk into the town center.

If you’d rather take a guided day tour from Lisbon, click here to book one.

Evora can be combined with: Monsaraz, a stunning town just 50 minutes away. which has spectacular pottery. It’s whitewashed homes nestle in a hill topped by Monsaraz Castle.

University of Coimbra
University of Coimbra

6. Coimbra: The “Athens of Portugal”

You should definitely put the charming town of Coimbra on your list of the best day trips from Lisbon. Known as the “Athens of Portugal,” Coimbra’s unique and melancholic beauty sets it apart from other destinations.

Coimbra is famous for its distinctive pottery style, its own version of Fado music, and an irresistible attitude. The town boasts a stylish vibe, with black-caped students, elegant cafes, and ancient monuments all coexisting harmoniously.

The UNESCO-listed Coimbra University, perched atop the town’s hill, is the main attraction.

It is one of the oldest universities in the world, predating even Oxford University. Its ornate and richly decorated buildings are a sight to behold, leaving visitors in awe.

Coimbra's Old Town
Coimbra’s pretty Old Town

What You Can’t Miss In Coimbra:

Coimbra University: Be sure to see the Royal Palace, the Hall of Great Acts, the Private Exam Room, and the glorious Baroque Joanina Library. Climb the 18th century bell tower for panoramic views.

You can also book a guided tour of this magnificent UNESCO site. Or book a private tour here.

 Coimbra’s Old Cathedral: The austere 12th century Sé is Portugal’s finest example of Romanesque architecture. The Sé has a crenellated fortress-like exterior and narrow slit-like lower windows. There’s also a delightful 13th century Gothic cloister.

Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha: This 17th century Gothic convent was founded in 1330 by the saintly Queen Isabel.

Coimbra pottery shops: Stop in at Carlos Tomás Studio to inspect the unique style of Coimbra pottery.

central square in Coimbra
central square in Coimbra

 Santa Cruz Church: This grand church sits in a lovely square, Praca 8 de Maio. It was founded in 1131 by the canons of St. Augustine. The interior has beautiful blue and white azulejo tiles, which line both sides of the church. 

How To Get To Coimbra From Lisbon:

Coimbra is a 2 hours drive from Lisbon on the A1. High speed trains run every hour, taking 2 hours. You can also book a 9 hour guided day trip from Lisbon to Coimbra.

Coimbra can be combined with: Coimbra really merits an entire day. The best attraction to combine it with is the Conimbriga Ruins, just 30 minutes away.

Coimbra also makes a good base in Portugal. From there, you can easily access Tomar, Batalha, Alcobaca, or Aveiro.

the Baroque facade of Queluz Palace
the Baroque facade of Queluz Palace

7. Queluz National Palace: the “Versailles of Portugal”

Discover one of Portugal’s hidden gems just 15 minutes from Lisbon or Sintra — the stunning 18th-century palace known as “Lisbon’s Versailles.” Queluz Palace is a national monument that should not be missed on your trip.

Originally commissioned as a hunting lodge by Dom Pedro III in 1747, the palace was later transformed into a lavish Rococo residence by an architect. Over time, it was expanded to include a pavilion, gardens, a throne room, and a music room.

While Dom Pedro and his wife Maria resided in Queluz Palace, their history was a tragic one. Maria suffered from severe melancholy.

After her son Jose passed away from smallpox, she was overcome with grief and went mad. She was subsequently confined to the palace and experienced hallucinations.

interior of Queluz Palace in Portugal
interior of Queluz Palace in Portugal

The palace facade is stately and sober. It overlooks the spectacular Neptune’s Fountain.

The formal gardens were decorated with mythological statuary and used for entertaining. There’s also a canal decorated with azulejos depicting the royal family.

The highly decorated interiors are stunning. The highlights are the Ambassadors Hall, the Throne Room, and the Music Room. Click here to purchase skip-the-line tickets for the palace.

How To Get to Queluz Palace From Lisbon:

Queluz is located between Lisbon and Sintra. It’s a 20 minute drive from Lisbon. The train ride from Rossio Station is 20 minutes, with a 15 minute walk from Queluz train station.

Queluz Palace can be combined with: Sintra, although it’s best done as a day trip from Sintra or Lisbon.

historic walled city of Marvao Portugal, one of the best day trips from Lisbon
historic walled city of Marvao

8. Marvao: Hidden Gem in the Alentejo Region

Looking for a scenic day trip from Lisbon? Look no further than Marvao, a stunning medieval hamlet perched on a craggy escarpment overlooking Spain.

Marvao has a rich history, having been occupied by the Romans, Moors, and Christians in turn. The village is enclosed by ancient city walls and features a collection of charming, whitewashed sugar cube homes.

Dominating the village is the well-preserved Marvao Castle, built in 1299 by King Dinis to help drive out the Moors.

Today, visitors can explore the castle and even visit the artist’s shop located inside. With breathtaking views from its lofty perch, Marvao Castle is a must see for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Portugal’s rich history and culture.

Marvao Castle
Marvao Castle

What You Can’t Miss In Marvao:

Marvao Castle: Built by King Dinis in 11299, Marvao Castle is a perfect example of a crusader era medieval castle. It’s impressively set among granite mountains.

Marvao Museum: The museum is housed inside St. Mary’s Church. It houses quirky artifacts, including archaeological finds from Paleolithic to Roman times.

How to get to Marvao from Lisbon: The easiest way to get to Marvao is by car. It’s a 2.5 hour drive.

Marvao can be combined with: Marvao is pretty remote. But the pretty spa town of Castelo de Vide is just 20 minutes away. It’s a better spot to find restaurants and such.

Cascais Portugal
Cascais Portugal

9. Cascais: Beachy Paradise

Cascais, just 19 miles away from Lisbon, is a breathtakingly beautiful destination adorned with shades of blue and yellow. It’s an ideal spot for a day trip from Lisbon, especially if you’re seeking a relaxing day at the beach.

There are some incredible beaches near Cascais, such as Carcavelos Beach and Guincho Beach, that offer stunning views and excellent sunbathing opportunities.

Apart from its pristine beaches, the historic town center of Cascais is also a sight to behold. You’ll find 19th century villas belonging to the Portuguese nobility, adding to the town’s charm.

For art lovers, Cascais has plenty of museums and artsy enclaves to explore. And if you’re a foodie, the culinary scene in Cascais will surely delight your taste buds.

the main square in Cascais
the main square in Cascais

What You Can’t Miss In Cascais:

Cascais Fortress: The Cidadela de Cascais is a 15th century fortress. It sits on a promontory overlooking the bay and harbor, offering up lovely views. The fortress is now home to a Pousada and fashionable restaurants.

Condes de Castro Museum: This museum is housed in a Revivalist style mini-palace. The sumptuous interior displays paintings, decorative arts, period furniture, and ancient artifacts.

Boca do Inferno: This is the most visited site in Cascais. It’s a scenic spot where white waves tumble through a gorge.

Parque Marechal Carmona: Pretty park in Cascais, the perfect place for a stroll amid peacocks and turtles.

the Mouth of Hell, Boca do Inferno, in Cascais
the Mouth of Hell, Boca do Inferno, in Cascais

How To Get To Cascais From Lisbon:

Cascais is a 35 minute drive from Lisbon. Use one of the public car parks.

Trains leave frequently from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre train station, which is connected to green line metro. Get off at the last stop, Cascais Station. Once there, you can book a ticket on the Sintra-Cascais hop on hop off bus.

You can also visit Cascais on a guided day trip tour from Lisbon, along with Sintra.

Cascais can be combined with: Estoril, another resort town with gleaming white sand beaches, is only 15 minutes away.

  Aerial view of Tomar Convent of Christ and aqueduct near the Templar castle in Portuga
Tomar’s Convent of Christ

10. Tomar: Architectural Wonderland

Tomar is a hidden gem in central Portugal. It’s often overlooked, but is a fantastic day trip from Lisbon.

For those who love history, Tomar is a paradise. It was the headquarters of the Knights Templar, an elite crusading force, for 700 years until they were later renamed the Order of Christ.

One of Portugal’s most important buildings is located in Tomar – the complex of the Convent of Christ. It has Gothic, Renaissance, and Manueline architectural elements as an ancient building. It became a UNESCO site in 1983.

Palace of the Knights Templar in Tomar
Palace of the Knights Templar in Tomar

Tomar itself is a charming town, split in two by the Nabao River. Republic Square is the main square, filled with lovely homes, a 15th-century church, and black and white checkerboard pavement.

Take a picturesque stroll down Via Rea de Serpa Pinto while trying one of Tomar’s special sweets, Beija-me Depressa (kiss me quick).

What You Can’t Miss In Tomar:

Here’s my complete guide to the best things to do in Tomar. But here’s a quick summary.

Convent of Christ: Founded in 1160, the UNESCO-listed convent is a magnificent complex consisting of a medieval castle, churches, and Manueline cloisters.

The Templar Church has a massive Gothic nave, ornate ribbed vaulting, and an intricate altar. You can book a small group guided tour or a private tour of the convent.

Basilica Nossa Senhora da Conceicao: This is a beautiful 16th century basilica on the slopes of a hill. It’s the oldest medieval cathedral in Portugal. The interior boasts three towering naves, Corinithian columns, and Manueline designs.

Pegoes Aqueduct: Dating from the 17 century, this is a four mile aqueduct that was used to transport water from Pegoes to the Convent of Christ.

Tomar Synagogue: This 15th century building is also a Portugeuse national monument.

Pegoes Aqueduct near Tomar

Tomar Castle: This castle was the headquarters of the Knights Templar, the most important Portuguese military building from the 12th century. The castle walls actually wrap around the convent and are adorned with the Cross of Malta and other arcane symbols.

How To Get To Tomar Fom Lisbon:

To day trip from Lisbon to Tomar, it’s a 1:30 drive on the A1 and IC9. You can also take a 2 hour train ride from Lisbon’s Santa Apolonia and Oriente stations.

You can also book a full day guided day trip from Lisbon.

Tomar can be combined with:

A visit to the nearby Almourol Castle, a hidden gem on an island of the Tagus River just 20 minutes from Tomar.

You can also combine Tomar with a visit to Portugal’s other must see architectural/religious sites: Fatima, Batalha, or Alcobaca.

the Sanctuary of Fatima
Sanctuary of Fatima

11. Fatima: Modern Religious Architecture

The tiny town of Fatima, like so much else in Portugal is steeped in legend. This particular legend holds that three shephard children saw visions of Mary, the so- called Marian Apparition.

They returned to the same spot and learned three secret prophecies. The final one was stored in the Vatican until 2000.

From 1928-54, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima was built on the miraculous site. It’s now a popular pilgrimage stop for Catholics.

The architecture is impressive with a sweeping circular courtyard, a basilica housing the children’s tombs, and the chapel of apparitions.

arcade of the famous sanctuary of Fatima, a great day trip from Lisbon if you're on the monastery trail
arcade of the famous sanctuary of Fatima

How To Get To Fatima From Lisbon:

Fatima is a 1.5 hour drive from Lisbon on the A1. Rede Express buses run from Lisbon’s Sete Rios station, taking about 90 minutes.

There are no train stations in Fatima. You can also book a guided tour from Lisbon.

Fatima can be combined with: Batahla or Obidos. Or channel your inner paleontologist and visit the Natural Monument of Dinosaur Footprints, Pedreira do Galinha.

the town of Aveiro filled with Art Nouveau architecture

12. Aveiro: Art Nouveau Lagoon Town

Situated on a lagoon, Aveiro is a charming town that attracts visitors traveling from Lisbon to Porto. The town is bustling with Art Nouveau architecture and high-end restaurants that offer a delightful culinary experience.

Upon arrival, the ornate train station adorned with azulejo tiles will leave you mesmerized.

Although often referred to as the “Venice of Portugal,” Aveiro has a small canal network, and unlike Venice, it does not have gondolas. Instead, colorful boats known as moliceiros are used to take tourists on scenic cruises.

Take a leisurely stroll through the town’s lovely patterned streets and admire the pretty pastel architecture. Make the most of your time in Aveiro by indulging in the local cuisine at one of the town’s charming eateries.

Art Nouveau facade in Aveiro
Art Nouveau facade in Aveiro

What you can’t miss in Aveiro:

 Canal ride in a moliceiro: You can take a canal ride in one of Aviero’s colorfully decorated gondolas. The rides last 45 minutes and, from the boat, you can see some of Aveiro’s landmarks.

Igreja da Misericórdia de Aveiro: A pretty 16th century church completely tiled in blue and white azulejos.

Mosteiro de Jesus: Built between the 15th to 17th centuries, this is Aveiro’s prized historic monument.

moliceiro boats on the canals of Aveiro
moliceiro boats on the canals of Aveiro

Art Nouveau Museum: Aveiro has six museums, but I liked this one best. It’s worth it just to see the highly decorated interior. There, you can pick up a map of Aveiro’s Art Nouveau buildings.

How To Get To Aveiro From Lisbon:

It’s a 2.5 hour to Aveiro on a day trip from Lisbon. You can also visit Aveiro on a guided day tour from Lisbon to Porto.

Aveiro can be combined with: Costa Nova Beach, with its pretty striped homes and fresh seafood, is only 20 minutes from Aveiro. Or combine Aveiro with Coimbra, only 50 minutes away.

intricate floors of Mafra Palace
intricate floors of Mafra Palace

13. Mafra: Grand Palace Town

There’s really one reason to visit Mafra — to see the enormous, extravagant and grand Palace of Mafra.

It’s one of Europe’s most beautiful palaces. Built in the mid 18th Century by the Portuguese ruler King John, it was intended to impress and intimidate.

A lavish display of wealth and power, the palace was built when Portugal’s maritime fortunes were at their zenith. You can spend hours exploring the chambers, corridors and rooms.

How To Get To Mafra From Lisbon:

Mafra is an easy day trip, just 45 minutes from Lisbon by car. Buses to Mafra depart from Campo Grande station and take 1:20. You can also book a guided tour that includes Mafra and Obidos.

Mafra can be combined with: Obidos, which is about 30 minutes away. Ericeira, a seaside resort famous for its beauty and surf break, is 10 minutes away.

2,000 year old mosaics in the House of the Fountains in Conimbriga
2,000 year old mosaics in the House of the Fountains in Conimbriga

14. Conimbriga: Ancient Ruins

If you’re a fan of history and archaeology, the Roman Ruins of Conimbriga are a must-see day trip from Lisbon. These ruins are some of the best-preserved remains of the Roman Empire and are sure to captivate visitors.

Conimbriga dates back to the first Iron Age and was one of the largest Roman settlements outside of Italy. As early as the 9th century B.C., the Romans built an amphitheater for over 10,000 people, city walls, three bathing complexes, temples, and several residences in the town.

Although it wasn’t excavated until the late 19th century, about 20% of the entire city is still visible today.

The highlight of Conimbriga is its stunning and well-preserved collection of colorful mosaic floors. The House of Fountains boasts some of the most remarkable mosaics.

How To Get To Conimbriga From Lisbon

It’s a 2 hour drive to Conimbriga on a day trip from Lisbon. The train takes 2 hours and the bus take 2.5 hours.

village of Monsaraz, a secret day trip from Lisbon
village of Monsaraz

15. Monsaraz: Pretty Alentejo Town

Monsaraz is a tiny hilltop village near Evora in the Alentejo region. It’s full of lovely whitewashed homes set against Guadiana Valley.

The stunning walled enclave is known for producing some spectacular pottery. So Monsaraz is a good day trip from Lisbon for ceramic lovers.

You can book a 1.5 hour guided walking tour to find out all the secrets of the town. This is also a common place for a balloon ride over the Alentejo.

What You Can’t Miss In Monsaraz

Monsaraz Castle: The town castle sits at the town’s tallest point. It was controlled by the Knights Templar and later the Order of Christ. From the top of the keep, you’ll have glorious views of olive groves and the river.

the whitewashed village of Monsaraz
the whitewashed village of Monsaraz

Church of Santa Maria da Lagoa: This is the village’s parish church. Though it dates from the 13th century, the church was rebuilt in the 16th century and then again after the great earthquake of Lisbon in 1755. It has an austere facade and some 14th century marble tombs.

Museum of Sacred Art: The museum is right next to the church. It’s housed in the Gothic Pacos da Audience palace. It houses a collection of religious artifacts and a notable 14th century fresco.

How To Get To Monsaraz From Lisbon

The best way to get to Monsaraz is by train, which takes 2:15. If you’re driving, Monsaraz is also a 2:15 hour day trip from Lisbon.

You’ll need to park in a lot some distance from the main gateway, the massive Porta da Vila.

view of Abrantes from its castle
view of Abrantes from its castle

16. Abrantes: Castle Town

Abrantes is a medieval town on the banks of the Tagus River. The old town has quaint squares and cobbled streets. It’s known for its renovated 12th century castle and nationally listed churches.

What You Can’t Miss In Abrantes:

Abrantes Castle: The castle crowns a plateau in the narrow streets of Abrante’s medieval quarter. Within the castle walls, you’ll find a Visigothic necropolis, a governor’s palace, and the beautiful 15th century Santa Maria Church (now a museum).

Santa Maria Church: The church houses some exceptional Manueline tombs, Roman artifacts, and a Gothic-Manueline retable. 

Abrantes Castle
Abrantes Castle

Igreja de Sao Vicente: This is another church worth visiting. The church was built by the Order of Christ. It’s a Mannerist style structure with nine altars inside.

How To Get To Abrantes From Lisbon

It’s a 1.5 hour drive to Abrantes on a day trip in Lisbon. You can also take the bus in 1:45 or the train in 1:50.

Abrantes can be combined with: Tomar is just 30 minutes away.

aerial view of Estoril coastline near Lisbon
aerial view of Estoril coastline near Lisbon

17. Estoril: Beach Resort

Estoril is a lovely resort town if you need a city break. You can hit the beach and relax on an easy day trip from Lisbon.

Estoril has a similar vibe to Cascais and a magnificent riviera-like golden beach promenade. Across from the beach is a palm-lined park flanked by grand buildings.

Estoril also has a popular casino (the largest in Portugal) that attracts high rollers. It’s thought to have inspired Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.

How To Get To Estoril From Lisbon

Estoril is a 30 minute drive from Lisbon. You can also take the train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre train station. It takes 36 minutes.

Estoril can be combined with: Cascais, Sintra, or Montserrate Palace

Monserrate Palace
Monserrate Palace

18. Monserrate Palace

Looking for a romantic day trip from Lisbon? Look no further than the Palace of Montserrat, a hidden gem that offers a unique experience compared to other palaces near Lisbon.

Built in 1790, this Gothic Revival mansion was owned by several Anglo owners throughout its history.

The palace was first owned by an English merchant, and then later became the home of English novelist William Beckford, followed by English millionaire and art collector Sir Francis Cook. Over time, the palace fell into disrepair and almost became a ruin until it was rescued and restored by the Italian state in 2000.

The Palace of Montserrat is a beautiful blend of architectural styles, including Neo-Moorish and Neo-Gothic.

The dome, inspired by Brunelleschi’s dome on the Florence Cathedral, crowns the ornate palace. Inside, visitors can explore the library, chapel, and music room, all of which feature stunning walls and ceilings.

Moorish hallways in Monserrate Palace

The palace’s highlight is its lush and lovely garden, landscaped in the 18th century by Beckford.

The romantic green space is a veritable jungle of exotic flowering trees and shrubs. There’s a rose garden, Mexican and Japanese gardens, and subtropical plantings.

How To Get To Montserrate Palace

Montserrate Palace is just 30+ minutes drive from Lisbon. You can also take the bus, Line 403.

You can also visit the palace from Sintra by taking the 435 tourist bus or by bus from the Sintra train station.

The palace can be combined with: You could easily visit the palace in 1-2 hours and combine it with a visit to Sintra, Cascais, or Estoril.

Alcacer do Sal
Alcacer do Sal

19. Alcácer do Sal: Hidden Gem In Alentejo

Alcácer do Sal is an off the beaten path day trip from Lisbon. The ancient town sits peacefully on the bank of the Sado River in the Alentejo region.

The town has an imposing medieval castle, a superb museum, and pleasant cafes along the riverside promenade.

What You Can’t Miss In Alcácer do Sal

Alcácer Castle: The imposing castle was a hill fort as early as the 6th century B.C. It was used by the Romans, rebuilt by the Moors, and conquered by Afonso II in 1217.

Castle Archaeological Crypt: Beneath the castle lies 27 centuries of subterranean galleries. The collection includes artifacts from the Iron Age, Roman, Moorish, and Medieval periods.

Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo: This is a simple whitewashed church within the castle dating from 1217. It has a striking stone pulpit and other works of Manueline, Gothic, and baroque design.

How To Get To Alcácer do Sal From Lisbon

By far the easiest way to Alcácer do Sal on a day trip from Lisbon is to drive. The drive takes approximately 1 hour. The trains and buses are closer to 3 hours.

Praça da Ribeira in Porto
Praça da Ribeira in Porto

20. Porto: Postcard Perfect Azulejo City

If you’re a photography enthusiast, Porto is the ideal Lisbon day trip for you. With its vintage charm and vibrant scenery, it’s currently one of Europe’s most popular tourist spots.

While it’s possible to explore Porto as a day trip from Lisbon, keep in mind that it may be a long day, so it’s best to start early.

Porto has an abundance of cultural sites, and its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be awestruck by the magnificent Baroque churches, exquisite azulejo tiles, and enchanting cobblestone streets.

Be prepared for a bit of a workout, as there are many hills in Porto. However, these hills offer the best viewpoints for capturing the city’s visual wonders.

Capela das Almas and its Instagrammable exterior
Capela das Almas and its Instagrammable tiled exterior

Explore the winding streets and alleys of Miragaia, Ribeira, and Massarelos, and discover the Porto’s top photography spots, including sky-high miradouros (lookouts) and rooftop bars.

Don’t forget to cross the iconic Luis I bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia to savor a glass of port and relax in the serene Jardim do Morro.

What You Can’t Miss In Porto:

Porto Cathedral: This hilltop cathedral boasts one of Porto’s best views from its terrace and has a pretty Gothic cloister.

pretty facades in Porto
pretty facades in Porto

Bolsa Palace: This Neo-Classical monument was Porto’s former stock exchange. Inside, you’ll be dazzled by the Hall of Nationals and the gilded Arabian Hall.

Livraria Lello: This bookstore is a neo-Gothic fantasy full of carved wood, boasting a stunning stained glass ceiling and a Harry Potter association.

Igreja de São Francisco: Outside its austere, but inside this ornate church is smothered in gold.

Capela das Almas: This little charmer of a church is completely wrapped with an ornate blue and white tile mural on its entire exterior.

Porto Cathedral
Porto Cathedral

How To Get To Porto From Lisbon:

It’s a 3 hour drive from Lisbon to Porto. Frequent trains leave from Santa Polónia and Oriente stations. The high speed train takes 3 hours.

Buses leave from the Sete Rios bus terminal or Oriente station and take 3.5 hours.

You can also book a guided day trip tour to Porto. Or, once there, you can book a guided walking tour of Porto, which includes Lello bookstore.

Porto can also be combined with: A visit to Vila Nova de Gaia across the river.

the UNESCO-listed Tower of Belem
the UNESCO-listed Tower of Belem

21. Belem: Lisbon’s UNESCO Suburb

Belem is a charming suburb that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon, with a rich architectural heritage to explore.

In Belem, you’ll find a refreshing Atlantic breeze and grandiose Manueline monuments. Belem is associated with Portugal’s Age of Discoveries, as many of the country’s famous explorers departed from here to chart new lands across the globe.

The top attraction is Jeronimos Monastery. It was built in the 16th century and is known for its stunning Manueline architecture and ornate decoration.

Here’s my guide to the top attractions in Belem. You may want to book a small group walking tour.

the marina in the Belem neighborhood of Lisbon
the marina in the Belem neighborhood of Lisbon

What you can’t miss in Belem:

Jeronimos Monastery:

The monastery is a glorious 500 year old UNESCO site. It’s the premiere example of Manueline architecture in Portugal and the #1 site in Belem. The church is free.

But you have to pay to visit the absolutely dazzling cloisters. There will be long lines. You can pre-book a skip-the-line ticket here.

the UNESCO-listed Jerónimos Monastery
the UNESCO-listed Jerónimos Monastery

Tower of Belem: UNESCO has listed the bewitching Game of Thrones-like building as a World Heritage monument. There will long lines for this attraction too. But you can pre-book a skip-the-line ticket here.

Monument to the Discoveries: Monument to the Discoveries is the cement and rose-tinted stone monument poking out over the Tagus River. It honors Portugal’s maritime age.

Pasteis de Belem: Portugal is famous for its custard tarts. The best place to taste these treats is at the Pastéis de Belém.

Bernardo Collection Museum: A hidden gem museum just packed with modern and contemporary art.

tram in Lisbon Portugal
tram in Lisbon Portugal

How To Get To Belem From Lisbon:

Take the number 15E tram or 729 bus from Praca do Comercio. This journey takes 20-30 minutes. It’s a quick drive, but you need to leave early to secure a parking space.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the 21 best day trips from Lisbon Portugal. You may enjoy these other Portugal travel guides and resources:

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2 thoughts on “20+ Best Day Trips From Lisbon & How To Visit”

  1. Leslie, in one of your itineraries concerning leaving Portugal on train and traveling into Spain to a town. Once you cross over into Spain, there was a place ,you can pick up a rental car and drive around in Spain. Then you could turn it back in at a designated place of your choosing in Spain.
    I have searched and searched for that article but have been unable to find it.
    Any suggestions?
    thank you,
    Kathy

    Reply
    • Hmm … That does not ring a bell to me. I have a Portugal-Spain 10 day itinerary. But that involves picking up your car in Lisbon and just getting hit with a drop off charge in Spain. You can take the train from Lisbon into Spain. But off the top, it doesn’t look like there’s any easy and fast way. They all involve transfers.

      Reply

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