From the waves of Nazaré and the rustic charm of Ericeira, to the unspoiled beauty of Arrábida Natural Park, these day trip destinations from Lisbon offer a unique glimpse of Portugal.
In this Lisbon day trips guide, I’ll share useful tips to plan awesome day trips from Lisbon, and of course, the beautiful destinations near Lisbon you can’t miss.
How to get around for Lisbon day trips
You can navigate Lisbon and its surroundings with the city’s reliable public transportation system.
Take the train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station to Cascais for a day trip to the charming seaside town, or hop on the bus to Sintra to explore the historic castles and palaces.
For those looking for a bit more freedom, renting a car in Lisbon is a great option to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations like Arrábida Natural Park.
For a hassle-free experience, you can join Lisbon day trips with a guided tour.
When you join a day tour from Lisbon, you can enjoy the convenience of transportation, knowledgeable guides, and a thoughtfully planned itinerary, making your exploration of the region’s highlights stress-free and rewarding.
When is the best time to visit Lisbon and its surroundings?
The best time to visit Lisbon and its surroundings is spring and fall, when temperatures are comfortable, and the crowds are thinner.
In spring, you’ll witness the city’s vibrant blooms and enjoy milder weather, while fall brings beautiful autumn foliage and wine harvests in the surrounding regions.
Avoid the summer months when temperatures soar, and the city is packed with tourists.
What to pack for Lisbon day trips?
The warm Portuguese climate calls for comfortable and light clothing.
Don’t forget your sun hat and sunscreen – the sun can be surprisingly intense! I never leave without my reusable water bottle, a couple of locally sourced snacks, and my trusty pair of comfortable shoes.
And, of course, carry a camera – or at the very least, make sure your phone’s charged. You’ll want to capture the mesmerizing sights you’ll come across on these trips.
Best day trips from Lisbon
Without further ado, let’s explore these beautiful day trip destinations from Lisbon.
Just a short drive from Lisbon, the scenic town of Sintra feels like stepping into a fairytale.
The town’s beautiful landscapes, historic charm, and captivating palaces are a feast for the eyes.
As you wander through Sintra, you’ll be charmed by its many palaces and castles. My favorite is the whimsically colored Pena National Palace, which feels like it’s been plucked from a storybook.
For those seeking a touch of romance, the Quinta da Regaleira, with its secret tunnels and mystic gardens, is an absolute must-visit.
I also recommend hiking up to the Moorish Castle, which offers panoramic views of the town below.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes, as Sintra is set on hills and requires some uphill walking.
The town tends to get busy during peak season, so arriving early helps avoid long queues.
Getting to Sintra from Lisbon is a easy with a direct train from Rossio Station or a bus ride from Sete Rios Station. You can also opt for a day tour from Lisbon to Sintra.
Just half an hour’s train ride from Lisbon, Cascais perfectly blends historical allure and modern charm.
Cascais’s gorgeous beaches, such as Praia do Guincho, Praia da Rainha, and Boca do Inferno, are true havens for sun lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
After a day of sunbathing or riding the waves, you can explore the rich history of Cascais.
Don’t miss the Cascais Citadel, a 17th-century fortress turned museum, and the Palácio da Cidadela, a royal palace that now operates as a luxury hotel.
When in Cascais, treat yourself to some of the local seafood specialties. My go-to choices are the grilled sardines and octopus salad – truly a feast for the senses!
To make the most of your day trip to Cascais, I recommend renting a car or strolling along the scenic coastal promenade.
The narrow streets of the historic center, peppered with colorful buildings and quaint cafes, are also worth exploring.
Tips: You can explore stunning coastlines of Cascais and Sintra’s romantic Pena Palace, with day tour from Lisbon. It’s a great choice for those have a tight schedule and want a stress-free experience.
For those seeking a deeper understanding of Portugal’s religious and cultural heritage, Fátima is a must-visit destination.
This medieval town is home to the revered Sanctuary of Fátima, one of the world’s most important Catholic pilgrimage sites.
The shrine’s centerpiece is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, housing the tombs of the three shepherd children who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in 1917.
Beyond its religious significance, Fátima offers breathtaking natural scenery, especially in the nearby Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park. This park, with its caves, waterfalls, and hiking trails, is a perfect picnic spot.
Getting to Fátima from Lisbon involves a bus from Campo Grande terminal or a train from Oriente station, taking around 1.5-2 hours.
Once you arrive in Fátima, the town is easily navigable on foot or by local transport.
You can also opt for a day tour from Lisbon to Fatima, which also include a visit to the romantic village of Óbidos.
Nazaré is a picturesque coastal town merely a two-hour drive from Lisbon, making it a perfect day trip destination.
The Praia do Norte beach in Nazaré is world-renowned for its giant waves, providing a thrilling spectacle for adrenaline junkies.
While I wasn’t brave enough to surf these skyscraper-like waves, walking along the beach and enjoying the raw beauty of the coastline was pure bliss.
For a different perspective of Nazaré, take the funicular ride that ascends from the beach to the town’s upper area.
You can enjoy panoramic views of the town and the surrounding landscape.
Nazaré’s local cuisine is a treasure trove of delights. Fresh seafood dishes are the town’s culinary signature, promising a gastronomical journey that complements the visual one.
To make your way to Nazaré from Lisbon, you can choose between a train, bus from Lisbon’s Sete Rios station, or a scenic coastal drive in a rented car from Lisbon.
The UNESCO World Heritage site, Évora, is another excellent day trip destination from Lisbon.
With a rich tapestry of history dating back to Roman times, this city is a living, breathing museum of time.
Amongst numerous architectural masterpieces, the Templo Romano, a Roman temple from the first century AD, holds a unique charm. Its well-preserved structure offers a vivid glimpse into a bygone era.
In contrast, the Cathedral of Évora is a captivating blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles, dating back to the 13th century. Its magnificent architecture will take your breath away.
One cannot visit Évora without stepping into the Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos). Despite its macabre design of human bones, the place holds a peculiar fascination that draws visitors.
Comfortable footwear is a must, as Évora’s cobbled streets can be uneven, and don’t forget to pack sunscreen and a hat for those intense summer days.
A train or bus ride from Lisbon’s main stations will get you to Évora in about an hour and a half.
You can also drive there. The scenic journey itself is a delightful addition to the city’s charm.
Otherwise, you can opt for one of the day tours to Évora from Lisbon:
- Private tour Évora
- Évora and Almendres Cromlech with olive oil tasting
- Évora and Monsaraz with wine tasting
A two-hour train ride north from Lisbon brings you to Tomar, a hidden gem nestled amidst serene natural beauty. It provided me with a much-needed escape from the city’s frenzy.
The town’s crown jewel is the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the former headquarters of the Knights Templar. This majestic site is an architectural wonder that transports you back in time.
Apart from the convent, Tomar is also home to other historical sites such as the Synagogue of Tomar, the stunning Mouchão Park, and its charming city center.
I loved getting lost in its labyrinthine streets, each turn revealing a new surprise.
One of my favorite activities in Tomar was visiting the local markets and sampling the local cuisine, the fresh river fish being a particular delight.
Getting to Tomar is convenient with regular bus and train connections from Lisbon, promising a tranquil getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Or opt for a day tour from Lisbon to Tomar Knights Templar to explore the highlights effortlessly.
As soon as you arrived at Óbidos, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to medieval times.
This town’s charm lies in its cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, stunning castle walls, and rich history.
Meandering through the narrow lanes, I was particularly captivated by the flowers adorning the quaint, colorful houses.
Óbidos Castle is a definite highlight. This mighty fortress grants a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding countryside, which simply takes your breath away.
Equally charming is the Santa Maria Church, a blend of Gothic beauty with a Baroque altar.
One cannot leave Óbidos without tasting the famous cherry liqueur, Ginjinha. This sweet libation, coupled with the heavenly Pastel de Nata, a traditional custard tart, makes for an irresistible gastronomic delight.
I recommend setting off from Lisbon early in the morning to make the most of your day in Óbidos.
You can take a train from the Oriente Station or drive along the A8 highway.
A visit to Sesimbra is like stepping into a postcard. With its stunning beaches, rich history, and sumptuous seafood cuisine, this town had me mesmerized.
Its heart lies in the 12th-century Moorish castle, from where the sweeping views are nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Another gem is the Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo, a secluded beach accessible only on foot. Its crystal clear waters and white sands were a perfect setting for a relaxing day.
For seafood lovers, a visit to the Sesimbra Fish Market is a must. You’ll find the most flavorful Arroz de Marisco, a regional seafood rice dish.
Among the activities, visiting the Cape Espichel lighthouse, or taking a dolphin-watching boat tour, are must-dos.
Reaching Sesimbra from Lisbon is a breeze with a bus from Praça de Espanha or Sete Rios stations, or you could rent a car for a scenic coastal drive.
For a full indulgent, consider taking a day tour from Lisbon to Sesimbra with wine-tasting session.
9. Arrábida natural park
Arrábida Natural Park is among my favorite day trips from Lisbon.
The park offers a diverse variety of flora and fauna, with the Mediterranean monk seal and Bonelli’s eagle being rare treats for wildlife enthusiasts.
One cannot miss Portinho da Arrábida, a quaint fishing village in the park. It boasts a beautiful beach, charming cafes, and a mesmerizing backdrop of cliffs.
The 16th-century Convento da Arrábida, perched atop a hill, offers panoramic views of the park and ocean.
You can hike, sunbathe on the beach, or even scuba dive. I particularly enjoyed exploring caves and coves of Arrabida Natural Park while kayaking.
With just a 40-minute drive from Lisbon or a bus from the city center, you can see the natural splendors of Arrábida Natural Park.
10. Batalha and Alcobaça Monasteries
If you’re looking for a day trip from Lisbon that combines history, architecture, and stunning natural beauty, then Batalha and Alcobaça Monasteries are a must-visit.
These 12th-century monasteries are marvels of Portuguese Gothic architecture, transporting you back in time.
At Batalha Monastery, you’re bound to be awestruck by the ornate stonework and carvings embellishing the Gothic cloisters and the Royal Cloister. The Unfinished Chapel remains a haunting symbol of the monastery’s unfulfilled past.
Meanwhile, Alcobaça Monastery houses the tombs of King Pedro I and his lover, Inês de Castro. Their tragic love story resonates throughout the halls.
For the adventurous, a trek through the nearby Serra de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park offers spectacular views.
So, arrive early, wear comfortable shoes, and prepare yourself for a day steeped in rich history and culture.
Lisbon to Batalha and Alcobaça Monasteries is around 1.5 to 2 hours by car, train, or bus. The journey is well worth the remarkable, historical experience that awaits.
I highly recommend joining a day tour from Lisbon, where you can visit all 3 three UNESCO-listed Moansteries in one trip – Convent of Christ (Tomar), Batalha and Alcobaça.
Just a 50-minute drive from Lisbon is Setúbal, a lovely coastal town that is an excellent choice for a day trip.
With a vibrant port, extensive history, and beautiful natural surroundings, this is one town that shouldn’t be missed.
Setúbal boasts a stunning marina and waterfront, the perfect place to take a leisurely walk and soak up the local atmosphere.
The old town, with its cobbled streets and distinctive tiled buildings, offers an insight into the town’s historical past.
The town is home to several remarkable landmarks, including the Fort of São Filipe, a 17th-century fortress that provides magnificent panoramic views of the town and its surroundings.
The Monastery of Jesus, a prime example of Manueline architecture, is another notable attraction that’s definitely worth a visit.
To reach Setúbal from Lisbon, you can drive, take a bus from Praça de Espanha, or a train from Roma-Areeiro station. The journey will take you less than an hour, depending on your mode of transport.
Also, there are several fun tours to Setubal from Lisbon:
- Private wine tasting tour in Setubal
- Setubal & Comporta with horseback riding
- If you stay in Setubal, consider taking a Dolphin watching boat trip.
Located just an hour from Lisbon, the Tróia Peninsula is an idyllic escape known for its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and stunning natural beauty.
If you’re seeking relaxation, head to one of Tróia’s pristine beaches such as Bico das Lulas or Praia Atlântica.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a group of dolphins in the Sado Estuary, which is a common occurrence here.
Besides the beautiful beaches, Tróia is also known for its rich historical past.
Don’t miss the Roman ruins of Tróia (Cetobriga Roman Ruins), which date back to the first century and provide a glimpse into the area’s ancient history.
One thing I absolutely love about Tróia is its delicious seafood. I suggest visiting a local restaurant and trying out some fresh Choco Frito, a popular fried cuttlefish dish, or Açorda de Marisco, a traditional seafood bread stew.
To reach Tróia from Lisbon, take a train or bus to Setúbal, and then catch the ferry across the Sado River. The journey is as beautiful as the destination, with a chance to see the estuary’s diverse marine life.
13. Costa Da Caparica
Seeking a brief escape from Lisbon’s lively rhythm? Costa da Caparica, merely 20 km to the south, is an excellent day trip destination from Lisbon.
It offers pristine beaches, spectacular cliffs, and an easy-going atmosphere that imparts an immediate sense of tranquility.
Whether you prefer lounging on the sand, bathing in the clear waters of the Atlantic, or engaging in water sports like surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing, Costa da Caparica’s beaches have something for everyone. You can book a surfing lesson here.
History buffs can explore the old town’s 17th-century Capuchos Convent or the São Sebastião Fort, both offering unforgettable views of the coastline.
Reaching Costa da Caparica from Lisbon can be as simple as hopping on a bus or enjoying a scenic drive, typically taking anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
Once there, you can get around on foot, rent a bike, or even a scooter, a fun way to explore the town.
Located 50 km northwest of Lisbon, Ericeira is a charming coastal town, a paradise for food and history lovers.
It is one of the best-preserved fishing villages in Portugal, and its vibrant culture, traditional houses, cobbled streets, and colorful harbor boats are truly captivating.
Exploring local museums, lazing around on sandy beaches, and enjoying the vibrant local culture filled my day.
I particularly loved the town’s seafood offerings, such as grilled sardines, octopus salad, and shrimp curry, all perfectly paired with a glass of local wine or traditional Ginjinha.
For thrill-seekers, Ericeira offers some of Europe’s best surfing opportunities.
Buses and car rides from Lisbon will get you there in around 45 minutes to an hour, and the town itself is easily navigable on foot or bike.
Another fantastic day trip from Lisbon is Mafra, a quaint town with a rich cultural history.
The town is known for the massive Mafra National Palace, one of Portugal’s most significant baroque buildings. The palace is impressive with its majestic basilica, beautiful library, and royal apartments.
While you’re here, do not miss the Tapada Nacional de Mafra, a wildlife and nature reserve where you can hike, take a guided tour, or even picnic amidst the serene surroundings.
For the foodies, I highly recommend trying the local pastries – the Fradinhos de Mafra are delicious. Also, don’t miss out on the local bread, Pão de Mafra, which has a unique and satisfying taste.
You can easily reach Mafra by bus from Campo Grande station in Lisbon, which typically takes about 45 minutes.
With our guide to these fantastic day trips from Lisbon, Portugal, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
There’s something for everyone, from the charming coastal towns to the rugged mountains.
You can discover hidden gems, explore historical landmarks, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Portugal.