So, you have made your base in the capital of Portugal and are now looking for places to visit on for different day trips from Lisbon? If you like to get away from traditional itineraries and get adventurous, you should know that there are several historical places and charming villages across the country that are easy to get to, either by car or public transport.
Lisbon, which is situated on the banks of the Tagus River and stretches over several hills, is a must on any Portugal itinerary. The Portuguese capital city is a fantastic holiday destination if you are looking to immerse yourself in culture and history while visiting a cosmopolitan metropolis.
Lisbon is also a great place if you seek good weather and delicious food. Well-known for its vibrant nightlife and dynamic atmosphere, Lisbon’s attractions are diverse in terms of culture and color, all with a sense of uniqueness.
And whenever they ask me how many days to stay in Lisbon, I find it hard to give a unique answer. And that is no wonder as from Lisbon it is possible to make several short trips.
So, if I were to answer thinking only in Lisbon, I would say that two days in Lisbon would be the minimum time to get to know the city. But considering that there are so many possibilities in the surrounding area, I think 6 days is a very reasonable amount.
From gorgeous beaches and small villages to royal palaces and medieval castles, there is so much to discover around Lisbon. There are also several cities nearby Lisbon that are worth a visit, either on a day trip or even to include in a road trip itinerary around Portugal.
So, stick around as I show you that you can discover a lot in 21 days trips from Lisbon!
How to move around Lisbon
Although the Portuguese capital is relatively small, the city’s public transportation is very well connected. As are the closest cities you might want to visit on a Lisbon day trip. In this case, I strongly suggest you purchase the Lisboa Card.
Besides public transport in Lisbon itself, this card includes entrance to some monuments as well as train tickets to Sintra and Cascais.
The price of this card is around 17,50€ for a 24h period and 36€ for a 72h period.
However, for some destinations and more convenience, you may need to have your own means of transportation and the best idea is to rent a car if you plan on visiting smaller villages or further destinations such as Dornes.
If you choose to rent a car, I recommend doing some research on various rental companies. You can compare rates using an aggregator like DiscoverCar Rentals.
Find the best car rental deals and explore around freely, at your own pace. My favorite way to enjoy a destination!
But what if you are traveling alone and cannot be bothered planning and going away by yourself? Do you just want to sit back and relax?
Well, then hiring an organized tour departing from Lisbon might be the best option. These package tours usually include round-trip transportation on a private bus, as well as a guide to explain the history behind the monuments and some very curious fun facts.
21 incredible day trips from Lisbon
Here I will share with you 21 Lisbon day trips that are up to 2 hours by car from Lisbon. In many cases, extending the drive to a long weekend in the region, also involving other adjacent cities, can be a good idea! Anyway, all the options below allow you to go and come back to Lisbon in a single day.
Costa da Caparica – 11 miles from Lisbon
First on this list is the closest day trip from Lisbon, Costa da Caparica. Ideal if you want to have a quick beach getaway, without compromising too much of the time available in Lisbon.
Costa da Caparica is very close to the center of the capital, on the other side of the Tagus River crossing the 25 de Abril Bridge. Besides 10 miles of beaches, Costa da Caparica also has natural attractions such as Arriba Fóssil and Mata dos Meados, which is a wooded area ideal for hiking and walking.
Another highlight of Caparica is the Convent of Capuchos. Built in the 16th century, it belonged to the Order of São Francisco and today is used for exhibitions and cultural shows.
There are three main ways to get to Costa da Caparica. You can take the 161 bus from Praça da Espanha in Lisbon or go by boat. That’s right, you can take a boat either in Belém or in Cais do Sodré. Just search for the nearest option from your accommodation in Lisbon.
Cascais and Estoril – 19 miles
Located 19 miles from Lisbon, the charming town of Cascais is considered the “Portuguese Riviera” and one of the most valued regions in Europe due to its trendy city center and beautiful beaches.
The town that used to be the summer destination of the Portuguese royal family is still known for being frequented by the rich and famous, with several million-euro mansions and luxury resorts.
When you arrive in Cascais, leave at least two hours to walk around the historic old town, which is super charming and full of cute stores. Also, do not forget to visit the Marina de Cascais. Boca do Inferno is yet another attraction that deserves your attention.
On the way to Cascais, you will find Estoril. Its main attraction is the Casino Estoril, the largest casino in Europe and a place that holds an interesting fact.
It was there that Ian Fleming bumped into Dusko Popov, the Serbian spy who inspired the writer to create James Bond. Cool, right?
Interestingly, both Cascais and Estoril are part of Greater Lisbon. If you are driving, I suggest you take the N6 instead of the A5 as it takes you along the coast on a scenic drive with spectacular views. But it is also very easy to get there by train as it takes less than one hour from Rossio train station.
Guincho and Cabo da Roca – 21 miles
The natural landmark of Cabo da Roca is by far one of my favorite day trips from Lisbon. This is the westernmost point in Europe and is located in Colares, right at the base of the Sintra Mountain range. From there you have an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean below huge cliffs.
Besides the view itself and the most beautiful sunset in Portugal, the cliff is home to a red lighthouse filled with history and the perfect background for your photos.
And precisely because of its location at the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Cabo da Roca is a place that should be included in the Sintra-Cascais itinerary and on a short drive from Lisbon.
Because there is not that much to do there many organized tours combine Cabo da Roca with nearby destinations such as Sintra and Cascais.
But if you are driving, know that between Cascais and Cabo da Roca is the famous Guincho Beach. A popular spot amongst surfers, it is worth a stop, even if it is only a quick one to enjoy the beautiful view.
Sintra – 19 miles
The most classic of the getaways from Lisbon is for sure a visit to the Sintra castles. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra is an enchanting and charming town that transports you to a fairy tale scenario. Filled with castles, palaces, farms, and villas, the town blends historical heritage with a mountain range of natural beauty.
Sintra hosts some of the most historical Portugal Landmarks you might have heard of: Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Pena Palace, Montserrat Palace, Moorish Castle, and Quinta da Regaleira, each with its own particularity.
Besides many historical buildings from different times, you will find several charming restaurants to enjoy the magical vibe of the town. Be sure to try the famous sweet in Sintra: “travesseiro de Sintra”, made of dry puff pastry and filled with soft eggs and almonds.
And, the best thing is, to get to Sintra and walk around there you do not need a car! Check out how to get from Lisbon to Sintra on a day trip as this is the perfect getaway for anyone, even solo travelers!
Many people want to do Sintra and Cascais on the same day. Despite the short distance between the two cities, I do not recommend that.
There are a lot of things to see in Sintra and it is not worth rushing through the day there just to check Cascais off the list.
But for a short trip of a few days, Sintra can be combined in an itinerary with Cabo da Roca, Cascais, and Estoril.
Azenhas do Mar – 24 miles
Situated 24 miles from Lisbon, Azenhas do Mar is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Portugal. One of those places to enjoy a relaxing day in a very charming setting. It is a small seaside town, full of picturesque white houses, cobblestone streets, and a natural pool that is usually busy in the summer months.
If you are visiting Cascais and Sintra on different days, it might be interesting to add Azenhas do Mar to the day you have planned for Sintra.
Perched on a cliff and bathed by the sea, this quaint fishing village is also a good place to try some delicious fresh fish at the Restaurante Azenhas do Mar.
Besides the restaurant with a panoramic view and a viewpoint from where you can take nice pictures, there is not much to do in town. The idea is really to have lunch, relax, and enjoy the view.
Lagoa da Albufeira – 24 miles
Located on the western edge of the Setúbal Peninsula, Lagoa da Albufeira is a place of unusual beauty where the sea mixes with the lagoon and an extensive pine forest.
And, actually, there are two lakes to be visited there. Lagoa Pequena is more inland and less deep. And Lagoa Grande is up to 49 ft deep, meaning it is the deepest lake in Portugal!
Formed by the fresh water from the streams and also by the saltwater from the sea, Lagoa da Albufeira is another perfect setting to relax or practice water sports.
The landscape is exuberant, and you can still take the opportunity to visit the National Ecological Reserve, a delimited territory to promote environmental conservation.
Setúbal – 31 miles
The city in itself is an excellent trip from Lisbon. Whether you want to visit historic monuments, take a stroll along the charming Setubal bay, or try the Setubal sardines (one of the 7 Gastronomic Wonders of Portugal) and the famous fried cuttlefish, it is worth escaping there.
A visit to Setúbal always begins on Avenida Luísa Todi, the city’s main avenue, ideal if you want to indulge in the local food and do some basic shopping. After exploring the Livramento Market and the Bocage Square, check out the São Filipe Fort and the Church of the Convent of Jesus.
Azeitão and Arrábida – 31 miles
You have probably heard of Sesimbra, right?! If not, this is a beautiful fishing village right in the heart of the Arrábida Natural Park, very close to Lisbon.
With breathtaking landscapes, it is composed of the beautiful contrast between the clear blue of the beaches with the green of the local vegetation.
It is difficult to be quick when talking about the Arrábida Mountains. Portinho da Arrábida beach is perhaps the main beach in the region, but since Galapinhos was voted the most beautiful beach in Europe in 2017, they have been sharing the attention.
Coming back from the beach, stop in Azeitão if you are interested in getting to know the José Maria da Fonseca winery. The guided tour is brief, and they do not go into too much detail. But it is interesting and the place is beautiful!
Ah, an important tip is to leave Lisbon very early in the morning. The Serra da Arrábida does not have much infrastructure (actually, almost none!), so it is good to guarantee your place.
Queluz and Mafra – 25 miles
Many times combined in a trip with the Sintra castles, Queluz National Palace is known as the “Portuguese Versailles“. Of undeniable beauty, the palace was the official summer residence of Portuguese royalty at some point. And because of its location on the outskirts of Lisbon, it is the perfect stop on a day trip to Mafra.
Besides the proximity to Lisbon, what attracts so many visitors to Mafra is its imposing palace and one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
However, the city has received more and more tourists and people interested in living there due to its nature, location, and proximity to the beach.
To get to Mafra, take the Lisbon subway (green line) to Campo Grande. From there, go to the terminal and take the bus to Mafra Convento, of the Mafrense company, which leaves once an hour and takes about 30 minutes to the destination.
When in Mafra, visit the National Palace of Mafra, the Garden of the Siege, and the Tapada Nacional de Mafra, the largest walled natural area in the country, with approximately 819 hectares.
Ericeira – 30 miles
Also in the municipality of Mafra, less than an hour from Lisbon, lies the charming town of Ericeira, with its incredible energy!
The jagged coastline, the smell of the sea in every corner, the atmosphere of those who live by and for the sea, from fishermen to surfers, all make this village one of the special places on the coast of Portugal.
Also, Ericeira is a very old and picturesque village that every year hosts several international surf championships. In 2011, Ericeira was recognized as a World Surfing Reserve, the first in Europe! So, you can imagine how many young people and surfers visit the town every year…
Some of the best things to see in Ericeira include Praça da República, Ericeira World Surfing Reserve Interpretation Center, Casa da Cultura Jaime Lobo e Silva, and of course its 13 sandy beaches with clear waters.
Óbidos – 52 miles
With less than 12 thousand inhabitants, the Portuguese medieval town of Obidos is surrounded by a wall from the Roman era, which gave origin to its name that means fortified town.
An interesting fact is that Óbidos is so stunning that it was a wedding gift from King Dinis to his wife D. Isabel. In this way, the town has always been very well taken care of.
As the town is small, it can be explored in a few hours on foot. Walking around the town you will be surprised at the number of churches and chapels. The streets look like mazes of beautiful white houses with flowered windows!
At every corner, a new square enchants visitors. The village also has many little shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it a delightful place to spend the day.
Note that it is possible to visit Óbidos on a combined tour with Fátima or Batalha in case you do not want to dedicate an exclusive day to the city.
Peniche and Berlengas Island – 63 miles
Located on a peninsula with a coastline of about 6 miles, Peniche is another popular surfing destination.
And this is all thanks to Praia dos Supertubos which is nicknamed the “European Pipeline” because it is one of Europe’s best-surfing spots.
The less popular Baleal Beach, on the other side of the peninsula, is a little less crowded and has calmer waters. It is great for learning or practicing outdoor activities such as windsurfing.
Peniche was once home to a significant fortification that served as both military defense and a prison. So, be sure to visit the Peniche Fortress. Nonetheless, this town is primarily known for its coastal connections, which include a prominent fishing industry.
And a visit to Peniche is only complete if you also visit the Berlengas Islands, an incredible place that is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
To do the tour, go to the Embarque Pier and catch a boat to Berlenga Grande. I suggest booking the trip in advance, especially in the summer, when many tourists go to visit this paradise.
Nazaré – 76 miles
Going a little further north from Lisbon, along the Atlantic coast, you will find Nazaré, mainly known for having some of the biggest waves in the world, Nazaré hosts several surf championships every year.
If you want to see the giant waves, know that the best time to visit Nazaré is during winter and the best view is from Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo.
However, during the rest of the year, Nazaré has a calm and greenish sea and is a very pleasant town to shop and walk around the town centre.
But Nazaré is much more than just a beach destination. This fishing village is full of charming little white houses, excellent gastronomy, and a lot of tradition.
The Nazaré Lighthouse, from where you can see the megalomaniac waves, is also the scenery for an unforgettable sunset. Besides the Lighthouse, visit Sítio da Nazaré, a neighborhood on top of a cliff overlooking the sea.
There you will find the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Nazaré. The Miradouro do Suberco and the chapel Ermida da Memória are also must-see attractions.
Nazaré can be visited on a combined tour with Óbidos and Fátima, but a full day can also be reserved to enjoy the beach and the town.
Comporta – 82 miles
If Portugal continues with the popularity it’s been getting over the past decade, Comporta will soon become the new St. Tropez. It is already a stronghold of the rich and famous like Christian Louboutin – who even bought a house there.
It is also in Comporta that Madonna loves to ride with her family. So take advantage while the region is still kept secret and include this escapade in your Lisbon itinerary.
With more than 28 miles of sand, Comporta is part of the largest stretch of beach in Europe. Besides having clear water and a super calm sea, Comporta has incredible restaurants and beach bars.
And if you want to feel like you are once and for all in St. Tropez, just visit Lavanda, an amazing store for clothes, accessories, and decoration. The charming hotels also stand out there!
Besides relaxing at the beach, other possible activities are dolphin watching tours, balloon flights, and even a game at the Troia Casino. This is all without mentioning the walk through the little village, which is an attraction in itself with so much concentrated charm.
Évora – 83 miles
Évora is the main city of the Alentejo and is included in most Portugal itineraries out there. And when you visit Évora you will understand why as you walk through the narrow streets. With every step, you will breathe history and delight in the whitewashed houses, with iron balconies decorated with beautiful colorful tiles.
Evora is a passionate and welcoming city, which had its origin in the Roman era. In the 15th century, it was chosen by the Portuguese kings as their residence, a fact that contributed to its development and historical importance.
In 1986, its Historical Center was elected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Besides visiting the Capela dos Ossos, the Roman Temple, and Évora Cathedral, you cannot fail to include some wine tours.
That is because Alentejo is one of the largest wine regions in Portugal, having 8 Controlled Denomination of Origin (DOC) areas. The Adega da Cartuxa and the L’And Vineyards offer several options of visit with wine tasting.
As the Alentejo corresponds to one-third of Portugal, the distances can be great when we are talking about a round trip. The best way to get to know the region in depth is to stay one night in Évora so you can explore the surrounding region.
Check out the 10 reasons why you should visit Alentejo.
Tomar – 84 miles
If there’s something I love about central Portugal, it is being able to drive a few miles between its villages and find attractions completely different from each other. Tomar is an excellent example of just that.
Once an industrial center, Tomar is now famous for its handicrafts, gastronomy, and tourism. Also, its landscape is beautiful, with cornfields, olive groves, and vineyards.
But what attracts thousands of tourists every year is the Convent of Christ located inside the Tomar Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal.
The city is also important as a base for the Templars, who marked not only the history but also the architecture of Tomar. Besides the convent, some of the main attractions in Tomar are the Church of St. John the Baptist and the National Forest of the Seven Hills.
From Lisbon to Tomar, it is possible to arrive by train, taking the train to Entroncamento and from there changing to the regional train to Tomar.
But I suggest you rent a car because then you can include a visit to the Almourol Castle, an ancient medieval construction located by the Tagus River. And if you want to add Tomar to another tour, it is possible to do it with Fátima or Batalha. But in this case, you need to speed up the pace…
Fátima – 80 miles
Going to Fátima is a trip especially dedicated to those of great faith, mainly because it is one of the largest Catholic centers in the world where the virgin mary supposedly appeared. But, regardless of religion, the Sanctuary of our Lady turns out to be an interesting visit and of an energy that is worth being contemplated.
Considered one of the most famous landmarks in Portugal, the Sanctuary itself is a work of art, architecturally speaking. Half a day is enough time to visit the churches.
The journey between Fátima and Lisbon is easy: take the Rede Expressos bus and in 1h30 you will be in the city – there are several bus schedules throughout the day.
However, keep in mind that Fátima is a very popular destination for organized tours, with several options departing daily from Lisbon. And this is the best and easiest way to travel if you are alone but cannot bring yourself to figure out every single detail, every day of your trip.
Dornes – 100 miles
Dornes is a beautiful village in the Zêrere valley and a nice destination for a great day trip from Lisbon. With a beautiful river beach and some trails nearby, it allows you to relax in an idyllic and peaceful place.
Surrounded by a magnificent landscape and stories and myths related to the formation of the nationality and the Order of the Knights Templar, Dornes sits on a peninsula in the middle of the river.
Today, the history of Dornes, the sailing landscape, and the aquatic activities turn the peaceful village into a tourist destination sought after by national and foreign visitors in search of contact with nature.
The main testimonies of Dornes’ history are the Pentagon Tower and the Nossa Senhora do Pranto Church. Both are located high up in the city center of the picturesque town and from where there are panoramic views of the river.
Although it is possible to get to Dornes by bus, I do not recommend it because you will have to change buses, the trips are long, and the connections are infrequent. So, the best option is to rent a car since the trip from Lisbon takes only 1h45min.
Batalha and Alcobaça – 108 miles
Now, this is a day trip for history fans. Located only 12 miles from each other, Batalha and Alcobaça have two of the most beautiful monasteries in Portugal. Both of which have plenty of history to tell.
The Alcobaça Monastery, or Santa Maria de Alcobaça Monastery, is very famous because it is home to the graves of D. Pedro and D. Inês, the Portuguese king and queen whose love story is so full of twists and turns that Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t even compare.
The visit to this monastery takes about 1h30.
As you arrive in Batalha, it is not difficult to see its very own monastery as soon as you enter the small town. Majestic, the Monastery of Batalha is also called Santa Maria da Vitória, built in 1386 to commemorate the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota.
The problem with this trip is that the bus schedules are bad, which means that it is not possible to get there in time to see the Monastery of Batalha open. So, renting a car or hiring an organized tour might be your best bet.
And a tip which is worth gold… It might be worth buying the integrated ticket for Batalha, Alcobaça, and Tomar (costs 15 euros, valid for 7 days), in case you are going to include Tomar in your itinerary for another day.
Estremoz – 106 miles
I mentioned that Alentejo is full of unique destinations, such as Évora itself. And due to the extension of the Alentejo, not all of them are possible to drive to, which is why the region is such an appropriate destination for a long weekend trip.
But since the idea is to bring recommendations of the best day trips from Lisbon, Estremoz appears like an excellent candidate.
Curiously enough, Estremoz is considered the white city of Alentejo. You have already noticed that Portugal is full of white cities, right?
But Estremoz is different from all the others because the presence of the white color goes beyond the color of the houses.
And this is all because of its marble which has given Estremoz international recognition. The city contributes about 90% of the total amount of marble produced in Portugal, the second largest exporter of this raw material in the world.
Estremoz is high on a hill, embraced by the ancient walls of the Estremoz Castle, which today houses a luxurious hotel.
Even if you do not stay there, go inside, and visit the Tower of Menagem. Another important point of the city is the Church of the Convent of the Congregates.
Porto Covo – 107 miles
Porto Covo is a beautiful village located on the Alentejo coast. With just over a thousand inhabitants, the village is the first destination north of the Costa Vicentina.
The cozy village has a cluster of white houses, with colorful doors and windows, all merged together. The charming main street (reserved for pedestrians only), Marquês de Pombal Square, is lined with cafes, restaurants, and small shops.
In Porto Covo, Praia da Samoqueira and Praia do Serro da Águia are breathtakingly beautiful!
When the tide is low, a delightful little pool is formed in Praia da Samouqueira. The access is by stairs on the cliffs, so it’s not advisable if you are not slightly fit.
Ah, if you want to stretch a little further, Vila Nova de Milfontes is also worth a visit.
Best time to travel to Lisbon
If you are traveling to several areas within the country, it is good to know when is the best time to visit Portugal. But when it comes to Lisbon, there is no ideal time since the weather there is pleasant all year.
Obviously, the months between April and September are ideal for those who want to take advantage of all of the city’s attractions, as the weather is consistently sunny and the days are longer.
It is also worth noting that rain is not a problem in Lisbon, and people do not stay at home because of it. Rainfall in Lisbon is usually light and infrequent. So, as long as you know what to pack for Portugal, this should not be a problem for you.
Be aware that summer (June to August) and winter (December to January), are the peak seasons in Portugal. Because of school vacations and end-of-year celebrations, airline tickets and hotels are more expensive throughout Europe during these months.
As a result, there is significantly more tourism in Lisbon at this time, making everything more crowded and expensive. If you want to get the most out of your visit to Lisbon while saving money, go during the off-season, when everything is cheaper and less crowded.
But if I had to choose, I would say that spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Lisbon. A new city appears to blossom, and Portuguese society seems to be more cheerful, in a more peaceful and pleasant climate.
So, have you already planned your trip to Lisbon and its surroundings?
About the Author
I’m Camila, an Oceanographer from Brazil which is where my journey began. My studies have taken me to unique places around the world since I was a teenager. I found in my academic career the chance to come across different cultures and languages while working as a scientist. By having lived in several countries I have been able to share my experiences as a travel content writer for the last 4 years and I still have plenty more to tell. I have a great passion for the outdoors and animals, especially dogs and seals (which, let’s be honest, are basically sea dogs!).