Lisbon is not only filled with some of Portugal’s most iconic sights, but it also makes a fantastic home base for exploring the nearby towns and beaches. There is a long list of day trips from Lisbon, from quick visits to coastal towns to full day excursions to Sintra, Nazaré, and Óbidos.
In this guide, we list the best day trips from Lisbon, with practical information about the best way to get around and how to plan your trip. At the end of this guide, we also list our four favorite day trip options, which allow you to explore some of Portugal’s most famous places, all from one spot.
Table of Contents
When planning which day trips from Lisbon you will take, one of the biggest factors to consider is how you will get around.
Lisbon is well connected to other Portuguese cities by train and bus. In addition to these buses and trains, you also have the option to rent a car, hire a driver, or join a tour.
Getting Around by Train
Getting around by train is one of the fastest and convenient modes of transportation in Portugal. Within an hour, you can travel to Sintra, Cascais, and Évora. Plus, Portugal’s high-speed trains can get you to cities farther away, such as Coimbra, faster than you can drive there.
However, not every place we list in this guide is easily reachable by train. Some small towns and coastal sites do not have a train station, so you will be better off renting a car or hiring a driver to get to these sites (we provide the details for each day trip option later in this guide).
You will also have to pay attention to the speed of the train. In Portugal, there is a high-speed train, the Alfa Pendular (Portugal’s bullet train with a max speed of 220 km/hr, making it one of the fastest in Europe), and there are the regional trains, which are much slower.
The official website for the Portugal Rail service is Comboios de Portugal. You can look up train timetables and book your tickets directly on this website.
Rail Ninja also has lots of useful information about the various railway lines, with popular routes and travel times. We have no experience using Rail Ninja to book train tickets in Europe but they get good reviews. I think they are a handy resource for learning more about your railway travel options in Portugal.
The best day trips from Lisbon by train:
- Palace of Queluz
Getting Around By Bus
Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to day trip from Lisbon. It is also the slowest mode of transportation and can take several hours to reach some towns, with the possibility of a transfer along the way. However, buses travel to some towns the trains do not reach, so the bus can be useful for several day trips from Lisbon.
The best day trips from Lisbon by bus:
- Marfa National Palace
- Alcobaça Monastery
Getting Around by Rental Car
Getting around by rental car allows you to travel at your own pace. You can pack as much into a day as you want, and since you won’t be traveling with a tour group, can spend as long or as little in each place you visit.
Rental cars give you a lot more freedom but they still have a few disadvantages. Driving in Lisbon is a bit challenging but if you have city driving experience, you should be fine.
However, there are low emission zones in Lisbon (called Emission Reduced Zone or ZER) and only those vehicles that correspond to set emission standards are permitted to drive in these zones without incurring a fine. Learn more here.
All of the day trips from Lisbon can easily be done with a rental car.
Getting Around by Private Driver
If you want the freedom of the rental car but don’t want the hassle of driving and parking, hiring a driver is the way to go. This is the most expensive way to travel, but it eliminates most of the headaches and hassles…no long waits for a bus and no need to research where to park in advance.
Each of the day trips below can be done with a private driver.
Getting Around on a Tour
Joining a tour is perfect for those with limited time and those who don’t want to go through the hassle of planning a day trip. Tours include your transportation and a knowledgeable guide, and some also include lunch.
Here are some of the most popular day trip tours from Lisbon:
Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Here is a list of the best day trips from Lisbon, starting with locations closer to Lisbon and working out from there.
Sintra is one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon.
Easily reachable by train, car, and ride share app like Uber or Bolt, the palaces and castles in Sintra are some of Portugal’s most visited sites.
The town of Sintra is located to the west of Lisbon and it is the gateway for visiting several famous palaces and castles. Here’s a list of the top sights to visit from the town of Sintra:
- Pena Palace
- Quinta da Regaleira
- Castle of the Moors
- The National Palace of Sintra
- Monserrate Palace
This area is also home to a stunning stretch of coastline, which we cover in our next entry.
Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira
Palace of Monserrate | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Room of the Coat of Arms in the National Palace of Sintra
Plan Your Sintra Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes a full day to visit the town of Sintra and visit three to five palaces and castles.
TRANSPORTATION: The best way to travel from Lisbon to Sintra is by train. It takes 40 minutes to travel from Lisbon (station: Lisboa-Rossio) to Sintra (station: Sintra). Check train timetables here.
You can also get from Lisbon to Sintra by rental car or Uber (or another ride share app), with a travel time of 30 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic and your starting point in Lisbon.
Once in Sintra, use the public bus, a taxi, a tuk-tuk, or a ride share app (Uber or Bolt) to get around.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: There are several ways to plan your day, depending on how much you want to see and do. We list several daily itineraries in our Sintra Day Trip Guide.
TOURS OF SINTRA: If you prefer to take a tour, this guided tour from Lisbon includes Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Monserrate Palace.
2. Cabo da Roca & Nearby Coastal Towns
Sintra is also home to a beautiful stretch of coastline. The palaces and castles are located in the hills around the town of Sintra. These hills run to the western coast of Portugal and it is here that you can visit several picturesque coastal towns and beaches.
Here are the coastal sights in and around Sintra:
- Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of mainland Europe)
- Praia das Maçãs (the header photo for this guide)
- Praia da Ursa
- Praia das Azenhas do Mar
Azenhas do Mar
Praia da Ursa | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Plan Your Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: You need a half to a full day to visit these coastal sites and hike to Praia da Ursa.
TRANSPORTATION: To reach these coastal sites, you will need to rent a car, hire a driver, or take a tour. The train does not run to these beaches and small towns and the buses can be slow and challenging to link together.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: These coastal sites can be visited together as one day trip from Lisbon or you can combine them with the Sintra palaces or Cascais. Visit Cascais OR 2 to 3 Sintra palaces in the morning and then visit the coastal sites in the afternoon. It is best to have a rental car or driver to do this, but this highly rated tour includes Pena Palace, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca.
Cascais is located on the Portuguese Riviera, not far from Lisbon. It is a small, picturesque town with a short to-do list, so it can be done in half of a day. With more time, relax on the beach or combine Cascais with the Sintra coastline or two or three palaces in Sintra.
Things to do in Cascais:
- Stroll through the town center
- Visit Praia da Rainha
- Photograph the Santa Marta Lighthouse
- Tour Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães
- Boca da Inferno
- Visit nearby Estoril
Santa Marta Lighthouse
Plan Your Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: You can zip through the town of Cascais in half of a day.
TRANSPORTATION: The best way to travel from Lisbon to Cascais is by train. The Linha de Cascais railway connects these two cities, with a travel time of 35 to 40 minutes. If you want to visit the nearby beaches, you can do so from Cascais using Uber or another ride share app. If you have a rental car, it takes 35 minutes to drive to Cascais and there is plenty of parking in town.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Cascais takes about half of a day. With your remaining time, you can return to Lisbon for more sightseeing, visit Cabo da Roca and the coast, or visit the town of Sintra and a few nearby palaces (such as Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira). We visited Cascais in the morning and Cabo da Roca and the coast in the afternoon, getting around by rental car.
TOURS OF CASCAIS: Tours of Cascais usually also include sites in Sintra, such as this guided day tour of Sintra, Pena Palace, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais.
4. Queluz National Palace
Queluz National Palace is an 18th century palace that is located 15 km west of Lisbon, in the Sintra municipality. It is one of the last great Rococo buildings to be constructed in Europe and was the residence and summer retreat of members of the royal family.
Queluz Palace | Benny Marty/shutterstock.com
Plan Your Queluz Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes one to two hours to tour the palace.
TRANSPORTATION: The train is the best way to get here, with the journey taking 20 minutes from Lisbon. Once in Queluz, it is a 15-minute walk to the palace. You can also drive to Queluz.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Since the palace only takes 1 to 2 hours and is located on the same train line to the town of Sintra, the Palace of Queluz can be combined with other sites in Sintra, such as Quinta da Regaleira, Pena Palace, and the Castle of the Moors.
5. Mafra National Palace
Located in Mafra, about halfway between Lisbon and Óbidos, is the enormous Palace of Mafra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal was constructed in the 18th century by King John V of Portugal as a royal residence.
On a visit here, you’ll tour the royal apartments and the basilica. But the highlight is the library, which contains over 30,000 books, making it the largest 18th century library located in one room (according to the sign in the Palace of Mafra).
Mafra National Palace | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Library in Mafra National Palace | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Plan Your Mafra Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes one to two hours to tour the National Palace of Mafra.
TRANSPORTATION: By car and by bus, it takes 35 minutes to travel from Lisbon to Mafra. Check bus timetables here. If you have a rental car, there is parking next to the palace.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Since it only takes an hour or two to visit the palace, you can combine Mafra with Ericeira (mentioned next), Óbidos, Alcobaça Monastery, or Batalha Monastery.
TOURS OF MAFRA: On this day trip from Lisbon, visit Mafra National Palace, Ericeira, and Azenhas do Mar.
This seaside town sits 35 km northwest of Lisbon. It is the surfing capital of Europe and a popular coastal retreat for those living in Lisbon. Whitewashed buildings sit on the cliffs overlooking the beaches, making this a picturesque spot to visit from Lisbon.
Ericeira | NunoGplus/shutterstock.com
Plan your Ericeira Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Plan on spending half of a day in Ericeira, longer if you plan to go surfing.
TRANSPORTATION: By public transportation, the bus is your best option. It takes 45 minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Ericeira by bus from Lisbon. If you have a rental car, it takes 45 minutes to drive on Ericeira and you will drive right past Mafra.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Spend half of a day in Ericeira, visiting Mafra on the way to or from town. Ericeira can also be combined with Cabo da Roca and the coastal sights if you have a rental car.
TOURS OF ERICEIRA: This day tour from Lisbon visits Ericeira, Mafra, and Queluz.
Óbidos is a compact, walled, medieval town. If you have been to Tuscany, Italy, a visit to Óbidos will feel very much like exploring one of Italy’s smaller hill towns.
Stroll the picturesque streets, walk the castle walls, drink ginja in a chocolate cup, and shopping all top the list of things to do in Óbidos.
Óbidos | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Plan Your Óbidos Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes about half of a day to visit Óbidos.
TRANSPORTATION: By train, it takes roughly 2 hours to travel from Lisbon to Óbidos. Check timetables here. It is faster to take the bus (about one hour, buses leave from the Campo Grande station in Lisbon) or drive from Lisbon to Óbidos (about one hour). There are parking lots located right outside of town.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: If you spend half of a day in Óbidos, you have enough time to also include Mafra National Palace, Alcobaça Monastery, or even Nazaré in your day trip, if you don’t mind a longer day.
LEARN MORE: In our Guide to Óbidos, we cover the best things to do, where to eat, and how to get here.
LONGER DAY TRIPS FROM LISBON: From here on, the day trip destinations we list are beginning to move farther from Lisbon. For the remainder of these entries, one-way travel times are now an hour or longer.
8. Alcobaça Monastery
The Alcobaça Monastery is a Gothic monastery that was built by monks of the Cistercian Order.
There is a lot to see here, but the highlights are the church, the multiple cloisters, the royal tombs, the old and new kitchen, and the dormitory.
The Alcobaça Monastery is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Alcobaça Monastery cloister
Plan Your Alcobaça Monastery Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes 1 to 2 hours to tour Alcobaça Monastery.
TRANSPORTATION: Alcobaça Monastery is located 120 km north of Lisbon. By car, it takes an hour and twenty minutes to drive here. By public transportation, the bus is the best option, taking one hour and 35 minutes on the fastest journeys.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Since Alcobaça Monastery sits so far north of Lisbon and you’ll spend a lot of time on a bus or car to get here, it’s best to make a full day of it, also visiting nearby Batalha Monastery, Fátima, Tomar, and/or Nazaré.
TOURS OF ALCOBAÇA MONASTERY: This day trip tour from Lisbon includes Alcobaça, Óbidos, Batalha Monastery, and Fátima.
9. Batalha Monastery
Batalha Monastery is located 145 km north of Lisbon and 20 km (30-minute drive) from Alcobaça Monastery, so on a day trip from Lisbon, these are perfect to combine together.
This Dominican convent was constructed between 1386 and 1517, in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. It later became a burial church for Portuguese royalty.
On a visit here, you will see the church (the nave is incredible to see), visit the Founder’s Chapel (the first royal pantheon in Portugal), the royal cloisters, and the unfinished chapels.
The Batalha Monastery is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Batalha Monastery cloister
The unfinished chapels
Plan Your Batalha Monastery Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes one to two hours to visit the Batalha Monastery.
TRANSPORTATION: From Lisbon, the best way to day trip to Batalha Monastery is by car or on a tour, since it is very challenging to get here and nearby destinations using public transportation.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Plan on spending an hour or two at the monastery, combining this visit with Alcobaça Monastery, Fátima, Tomar, Nazaré, Óbidos, or Mafra National Palace.
TOURS OF BATALHA MONASTERY: This 8-hour tour from Lisbon includes several great destinations, including Batalha, Nazaré, Fátima, and Óbidos.
Fátima is an important pilgrimage site in Portugal. Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three children reported seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary. The Chapel of Apparitions stands on the place where this occurred. Also in Fátima are the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity.
Plan Your Fátima Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Depending on how many sites you visit in Fátima, a visit here can last anywhere from one to two hours to most of a day. For the average visitor, plan on spending one to two hours here. But since this is an important pilgrimage site with multiple places to visit, it’s possible to spend a full day in Fátima.
TRANSPORTATION: By public transportation, the bus is the best option, with several buses traveling per day and transit times of one and a half hours. By car, it also takes about an hour and a half to drive the 130 km between Lisbon and Fátima. There are no train stations in Fátima.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: If you want to combine Fátima with nearby Tomar, Batalha Monastery, Alcobaça Monastery, or Nazaré, plan to spend one to two hours here. For those who want to fully experience Fátima, plan on spending half to a full day here.
TOUR OF FÁTIMA: This full day tour from Lisbon also includes Batalha Monastery, Nazaré, and Óbidos.
Tomar is home to the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to 1160 and the Portuguese headquarters of the Knights Templar.
Convent of Christ | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Plan Your Tomar Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: It takes 1 to 2 hours to tour the Convent of Christ in Tomar.
TRANSPORTATION: Tomar is located 140 km north of Lisbon. By regional train, it takes 2 hours to get here from Lisbon. Buses are infrequent and not a good option. If you want to visit the nearby sites of Fátima, Batalha, and Alcobaça Monastery, your best option is to drive (1 hour 30 minutes driving time) or join a tour.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Plan on spending one to two hours to visit Tomar, using the remainder of the day to visit the nearby sites.
Nazaré is famous for its giant waves. During the winter months, the largest surfable waves in the world crash on Nazaré’s shore, making this a surfing mecca. Seeing the giant waves tops the list of things to do in Nazaré, but you can also learn about its surfing and fishing traditions, visit a few historic churches, and dine on fish fresh from the sea.
Praia da Nazaré | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
A view of the fort from Praia do Norte
Plan Your Nazaré Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: With just an hour or two, you can walk out to São Miguel Arcanjo Fort to see the waves and explore the historic town center. With more time, hike down to Praia do Norte to see the beach cave, visit Praia da Nazaré, and have lunch/and or dinner. You could easily spend a full day in Nazaré.
TRANSPORTATION: The best way to get to Nazaré is by rental car (1 hour 30 minutes). The bus is your best option if using public transportation (1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours on FlixBus). There are no direct trains.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: If you plan to visit nearby destinations, such as Óbidos, Mafra, Alcobaça Monastery, etc., you will only have a few hours in Nazaré. Visit Sitio and see the waves from the fort and have lunch in town.
LEARN MORE: See our article Best Things to Do in Nazaré, for a longer list of things to do, where to eat, and what to do on a day trip from Lisbon.
TOURS OF NAZARÉ: This small group tour from Lisbon visits Nazaré, Óbidos, and Fátima and gets near perfect reviews.
Coimbra is an ancient Roman city and is famous for being home to one of the oldest academic institutions in the world. The university is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and touring its library is one of the most popular things to do in Coimbra.
It sits 200 km north of Lisbon, which is quite the distance. However, a high-speed train connects Lisbon to Coimbra, making the travel time just over an hour and a half, so it is possible to visit Coimbra on a day trip from Lisbon.
Plan Your Coimbra Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Plan on spending half to a full day in Coimbra.
TRANSPORTATION: The best way to get here is by the high-speed Alfa Pendular train, with a travel time of 1 hour 36 minutes on the fastest journey. Learn more here. By car, it takes just over 2 hours to drive to Coimbra.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: Catch a morning train to Coimbra. Spend the day sightseeing with a break for lunch. In the late afternoon, take the train back to Lisbon.
Located 140 km east of Lisbon, Évora is famous for its well-preserved city center and Roman Temple. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Things to Do in Évora:
- Visit the Chapel of Bones
- Explore the public gardens
- See the Roman Temple
- Visit Giraldo Square
- See the Aqueduct
- Stroll the historic city streets
Roman Temple in Évora
Chapel of Bones
Plan Your Évora Day Trip from Lisbon
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Évora needs a half to a full day to see all of the sights, so it works perfectly as a day trip from Lisbon.
TRANSPORTATION: By bus, car, and train, you are looking at transit times of 1 hour 30 minutes. The Rede Expressos company runs the bus line between Lisbon (station: Lisboa Sete Rios) and Évora. The train runs from the Oriente station in Lisboa. Bus tickets and second class train tickets come in around the same price, so which one you choose depends on your preference and the timetables for the date of your visit.
By car, it also takes 1 hour 30 minutes to drive to Évora. Parking is outside of the city center.
PLANNING YOUR TIME: In the morning, drive or take the train or bus to Évora. Spend the day in Évora and return to Lisbon in the evening.
TOURS OF ÉVORA: On this full-day tour of Lisbon, visit Évora and the nearby Megaliths of the Cromeleque dos Almendres.
Best Day Trips from Lisbon: On a Map
How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each day trip option. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
Best Day Trips from Lisbon: Our Recommendations
Without a doubt, Sintra is a must-see on a visit to Portugal. You can either visit three to five sites around Sintra town (Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, the Moorish Castle, the National Palace of Sintra, and Monserrate Palace) or split your day trip between a few palaces and the coastal sites. We cover your options in our Sintra Day Trip guide.
Castle of the Moors in Sintra | Best Day Trips from Lisbon
#2 Cascais & the Coast
In one day, you can visit Cascais, Cabo da Roca, Praia da Ursa, Azenhas do Mar, and Praia das Maças. This is a great day trip option for beach lovers and those who want to be active and adventurous.
#3 Mafra National Palace & Óbidos
Óbidos is super fun to visit, with its castle walls and medieval streets. It can easily be combined with the National Palace of Mafra if you have a rental car.
#4 Alcobaça, Batalha, Fátima & Nazaré
This is a long day trip with a lot of travel time, but you get to visit an important pilgrimage site (Fátima), two historic monasteries (Alcobaça and Batalha), and spend some time in the seaside town of Nazaré. You can do it independently with a rental car or take this tour.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best day trips from Lisbon?
Without a doubt, visiting Sintra and its collection of palaces is the best day trip from Lisbon. Other popular day trips include Cascais, Cabo da Roca, Azenhas do Mar, Óbidos, Alcobaçca Monastery, Fátima, and Nazaré.
Can you day trip from Lisbon to Porto?
By car and by high-speed train, it takes about 3 hours one-way to travel between Lisbon and Porto. With six hours of travel time, that does not leave much time to explore Porto. It’s possible to visit Porto from Lisbon, but since you will have very limited time, it is not a good day trip option.
Can you day trip from Lisbon to the Algarve?
From Lisbon, it takes 2 hours 30 minutes to drive to the Algarve. It is possible to visit the Algarve on a long day trip from Lisbon, but with so much to do in Algarve, it is best to save it for a time when you can spend more time here (3 days to a full week).
How many days do you need in Lisbon?
At a minimum, plan on spending two days in Lisbon, which gives you just enough time to visit the highlights. Each day you add on gives you time for day trips from Lisbon and more time to visit off the beaten track places in the city and indulge in its fabulous food scene.
If you have any questions about the best day trips from Lisbon, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Portugal
PORTUGAL ITINERARY: If you have 10 days in Portugal, here are 5 different ways to plan your trip.
LISBON: In our Lisbon Bucket List, we list 40 highlights and hidden gems to visit in Lisbon.
ALGARVE, PORTUGAL: Here are 10 gorgeous beaches to visit in the Algarve. Learn how to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, one of the most beautiful walks in Europe. Don’t miss our guides to Ponta da Piedade and Algar Seco, find out where to stay in our Algarve Hotel Guide, get a list of the best restaurants in Albufeira, and learn why October is the perfect time to visit the Algarve.
PORTO: We cover the best things to do in Porto in our Porto Bucket List. In our Guide to the Wine Cellars in Gaia, get recommendations on which wine cellars to visit and how to plan your time. See the best of Porto in our 2 Days in Porto Itinerary.
EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Get more travel ideas in our article 10 Days in Europe itinerary, which has 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.
We have TONS more information about Portugal in our Portugal Travel Guide, including Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, the Algarve, and the Douro Valley.
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