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16 Cool Day Trips from Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon is such an incredible city with its lively culture, old streets, and beautiful waterfront. But did you know there is also lots of beauty and history to see outside the city, too? Here are 16 best day trips you can take from Lisbon.

Explore the UNESCO Sites of Sintra

For an easy day trip from Lisbon, we recommend Sintra, a charming city full of amazing palaces and gardens that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s just a train ride from Lisbon, making it an easy trip to take.

Pena Palace and Park

If you visit Sintra, you need to visit Pena Palace. This bright and colorful palace shows a mix of different architectural styles and we enjoyed looking at all the old furniture and decorations telling stories of the Portuguese monarchy.

Don’t miss the amazing views of Sintra’s green hills from the terraces of Palácio Nacional da Pena.

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is an estate with beautiful gardens, mysterious tunnels, and unique buildings. The main attraction is the Initiation Well, a deep spiral staircase surrounded by greenery.

The estate also has a lovely palace, grottoes, and fountains with mystical designs. It’s a great spot to explore!

Moorish Castle

The Moorish Castle in Sintra is a must-visit for its historical significance, stunning views, and unique atmosphere. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries by the Moors, the castle played a key role during the Reconquista.

Its ancient stone walls and towers showcase Moorish military architecture, and from its battlements, you can enjoy gorgeous panoramic views of Sintra, the surrounding forests, and even the Atlantic Ocean.

For us, exploring its ruins feels like stepping back in time – so cool!

Sintra National Palace

Sintra National Palace in Portugal offers a peek into Portugal’s royal history in the main town of Sintra. It’s hard to miss – check out the twin chimneys and beautiful tile work!

Enjoy a Beach Day at Cascais or Estoril

You can hop on the regional train at Cais do Sodré station and quickly reach the beautiful towns of Cascais and Estoril. With sandy beaches and charming waterfront promenades, it’s the ideal place to relax. Come ready to lounge with a book, take a dip in the clear waters, or enjoy gelato by the marina.

  • Cascais – Viva Viagem card (€0,50 for the card)
  • Estoril – Easy access via Comboios do Portugal (CP) train

Surf at Praia do Guincho and Carcavelos

If you love surfing, head to Praia do Guincho and Carcavelos. Praia do Guincho is famous for its big Atlantic waves, perfect for experienced surfers. Carcavelos offers consistent waves, great for both pros and beginners. Grab your board, suit up, and enjoy the thrill of surfing at these top spots.

  • Praia do Guincho – Known for strong winds and surfing challenges
  • Carcavelos – Great for beginners and surf schools

Visit the Seaside Town of Nazaré

You can’t miss Nazaré when considering a day trip from Lisbon. This seaside town is known for its huge waves, especially at Praia do Norte, where pros surf the monster waves. You can stroll along the town beach promenade, enjoy the lively atmosphere, and watch traditional fishermen at work.

Walk Around Óbidos

Start your journey in Óbidos, a medieval village with cobblestone paths that transport you back in time. You’ll enter through the main gate, Porta da Vila, and feel the history in the walls!

P.S: Castelo de Óbidos dominates the skyline and is a must-see. Walk along the castle walls for panoramic views of terracotta roofs and whitewashed houses. It’s like stepping into a real-life storybook!

Explore Mafra

Visit the Palace of Mafra, an impressive baroque monument. It includes a monastery and a grand basilica. The palace also has one of Europe’s most significant baroque libraries with over 36,000 volumes—a paradise for book lovers. The opulent rooms and intricate architecture will leave you amazed.

Head to Ericeira

Ericeira is a refreshing seaside getaway to take as a day trip from Lisbon. This fishing village has become a lively coastal town known for its surf scene and charm. Stroll along the waterfront, enjoy fresh seafood, and soak in the laid-back atmosphere.

Adventure in Arrábida and Setúbal

Arrábida Natural Park is a hidden gem where mountains meet the sea, which means stunning views and peaceful beaches!

Then head to Setúbal, a quaint city just 15 minutes across the Sado River from the park. You can hike through lush greenery and look out for dolphins in the waters on your way there.

Don’t miss Praia da Figueirinha, a perfect beach for a relaxing swim or quick break!

The Westernmost Point at Cabo da Roca

At Cabo da Roca, you’re at Europe’s westernmost edge, where rugged cliffs drop into the Atlantic Ocean. The view is breathtaking and the feeling is exhilarating.

Nearby, Azenhas do Mar offers picturesque retreats with white houses on the cliffs.

For a secluded spot, visit beaches like Praia da Ursa and Praia das Maçãs to enjoy untouched natural beauty. Don’t miss Praia Grande, perfect for surfing or simply enjoying the views.

Pilgrimage to Fátima

A day trip to Fátima from Lisbon is peaceful and spiritual. The journey takes about 1.5 hours by car or bus. In Fátima, visit the Sanctuary, famous for the 1917 apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Explore the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Chapel of the Apparitions.

Walk through the large plaza and enjoy the serene environment. If you stay in the evening, don’t miss the Candlelight Processions. You can also visit Valinhos, the village where the shepherd children lived.

Appreciate Gothic Artistry of Batalha Monastery

A day trip to Batalha Monastery from Lisbon takes about 1.5 hours by car. The Batalha Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for its stunning Gothic architecture and intricate details.

Built to commemorate the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota, it houses the tomb of King João I and his wife, Philippa of Lancaster. Explore the beautiful cloisters, the Founder’s Chapel, and the impressive Royal Cloister.

The Monastery’s architectural beauty and historical significance make it a must-visit destination. After your visit, you can enjoy a meal at a local restaurant and take a stroll through the charming town of Batalha.

Learn About Knights Templar Legacy in Tomar

A day trip to Tomar from Lisbon is about 1.5 hours away by car.

Tomar is home to the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a key Templar stronghold. Here, you can explore the stunning architecture, including the Charola, the knights’ rotunda, and the Manueline window in the Chapter House.

Walk through the historic center of Tomar, visit the Templar Castle, and learn about the rich history of the Knights Templar. This trip provides a fascinating glimpse into medieval history and the lasting impact of the Templars in Portugal.

Eat in Évora

Évora is a historic city in Portugal’s Alentejo region and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s known for the well-preserved Roman Temple and medieval walls. The city has a mix of Roman, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. Stroll its cobblestone streets and enjoy regional wines and dishes like Açorda Alentejana. Visit local markets and explore historical landmarks!

Must-try dish: Açorda Alentejana, a traditional bread-based dish with local herbs and garlic.

Sip on: Local Alentejo wine with a plate of cured meats, near the Roman Temple.

Don’t miss: The region’s famed cherry liqueur, Ginjinha, to sweetly end your meal.

Enjoy Fresh Seafood in Sesimbra

With stunning coastal views, this fishing village offers the freshest catch of the day.

Restaurant recommendation: Choose places with seaside terraces where grilling fish is what they do best. The smell of grilled sardines or seafood cataplana stew is delicious!

What to eat: Enjoy a seafood feast with shrimp, clams, and lobster.

Visit Coimbra

A day trip to Coimbra from Lisbon, about a 2-hour drive or train ride, offers a good mix of history and culture. Coimbra is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Coimbra, founded in 1290. Visit the stunning Joanina Library, known for its ornate Baroque design and vast collection of ancient books. Explore the beautiful campus, including the Royal Palace of Alcáçova and the University Tower.

Stroll through the medieval streets of the old town, visit the Romanesque Old Cathedral (Sé Velha), and admire the Manueline architecture of the Santa Cruz Monastery. Enjoy a relaxing walk along the Mondego River and try local dishes at a traditional restaurant.

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