Lisbon is the vibrant Portuguese capital – a hotspot for culture and Moorish architecture. Its reddish terracotta roofs and constant silhouette of Sao Jorge Castle cut a stunning backdrop against the Atlantic Ocean, and its coastal location means plenty of access to incredible beaches. Regarding cities in Portugal, Lisbon comes out top or in the top three every time.
Of course, just because a city is so entertaining doesn’t mean you should knuckle down there and not venture outside city limits. One of the best things to do in Lisbon is to escape the (albeit beautiful) narrow streets and city limits and head out on a day trip. Day trips from Lisbon are among the most rewarding activities when visiting the Portuguese capital.
22 Best Day Trips from Lisbon
This guide will cover the best day trips from Lisbon – including some serious inspiration for day trip ideas, ranging from medieval old town settings to beautiful beaches. If you want incredible day trips, you’ve chosen the correct city to base yourself in. Lisbon day trips are some of the country’s best, and a day tour or two will be on your cards after finishing this guide. Read more about Lisbon at How to Spend a Layover in Lisbon, Portugal
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Top Day Trips and Tours from Lisbon:
Pretty Sintra gets all the attention, and if you are looking for a tried-and-tested day trip from Lisbon, this charming village gets the top trump. You can admire gorgeous royal residences, including the Pena National Palace. Pena Palace is famous for its bright colors and bold architecture and takes over 2.5 hours to tour because of all its grandeur and scale.
However, Sinta has plenty of palaces and castles, so don’t limit yourself to one. Sintra is the place you visit to stop by a romantic palace or two and satisfy your inner childhood dreams of princes and princesses. Book your Pena Palace entry ticket in advance.
Sintra is just 30 minutes from Lisbon, making it half as popular as it is. It is a convenient yet epic day trip for anyone wanting a magical day tour from Lisbon. And you can enjoy the novelty of palaces and romantic architecture in just half a day. Read more: 14 Best Things to Do in Sintra, Portugal
You can also book this popular day tour to Sintra from Lisbon. Explore Sintra in your free time and visit Quinta da Regaleira with an expert guide. You’ll also visit Pena Palace, Regaleira, and Cascais. Check rental car prices here.
How far from Lisbon: 30 minutes by car
2. Wine Tasting
Wine tasting is the perfect Lisbon day trip. The Lisbon wine regions have three main groups, Bucelas, Colares, and Carcavelos. It is famed for its whites and reds. If you are looking for specific grape types, Trincadeira, Tinta Miuda, and Baga are best for their reds, while Alvarinho and Malvasia Fina are best amongst their whites.
Lisbon is a fascinating place to book a wine tour, thanks to its countryside variation. You can have low-alcohol wines along its coastline with typically crisp notes that perfectly match its seafood dishes. You can also find heavier inland vines that you can reach in about an hour from Lisbon city center.
You can take public transportation to go wine tasting on a day trip from Lisbon. However, we’d suggest booking an organized tour. The tour will handle all your transfers and transport – leaving you to kick back and enjoy the best bit, tasting all the local wines. Book this food and wine tour to sample Portuguese food and wine.
How far from Lisbon: Less than an hour – Check rental car prices here.
3. Cabo da Roca
If you visit Lisbon, you should visit Cabo da Roca. Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of all of Europe and has incredible coastal views and panoramas over the ocean. The best way to enjoy Cabo da Roca is with a coastal hike – so grab your hiking boots and get ready to traverse some rugged cliffs, stopping at little hidden beaches for picnics.
You’ll pass the Cabo da Roca Lighthouse on your way, which was built in 1772 and is one of Portugal’s most traditional and oldest lighthouses. Cabo da Roca is ideal if you fancy a windy day out to escape the occasionally oppressive heat of Lisbon in summer.
Cabo da Roca is just 30 minutes by car and one of the most accessible day trips from Lisbon. It is also dreamy for sunset. You can perch along the rocky coastline and admire pinks and soft oranges, preferably with a glass of one of the aforementioned wines.
How far from Lisbon: 30 minutes by car – Check rental car prices here.
Peniche is a world-class surfing destination over an hour’s drive from Lisbon. For small-town surfer vibes, you really can’t beat it. This beach town is one of the best day trips from Lisbon if you are an avid surfer or just fancying a beach day. The long stretch of Praia dos Supertubos or Praia Baleal-Sul is perfect for beach bums happy to sit on the sand and paddle gently in the shallows. The waves are enormous, so this isn’t a swimming destination, but it is a fantastic place to surf or watch the exciting display of surfer skills.
There are plenty of boards to rent in the Peniche town center. You won’t struggle to find equipment, so don’t let that hold you back. And if you are a novice, you can easily invest in a surf lesson.
How far from Lisbon: 1 hour and 20 minutes by car – Check rental car prices here.
5. Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica is the opposite of the traditional old town and rural setting vibe. Instead, this extroverted resort town is full of modern fads and the trendiest eateries. Costa da Caparica is the place for you if you want a place to sip aesthetic cocktails and mingle amongst fun crowds.
The town is set along the Costa da Caparica coastline – 26km of sandy beaches, and it is equally suitable for those wanting a beach day with so much space that you don’t need to worry about finding a spot in peak season. Fun and outgoing, Costa da Caparica has room for everyone and is a friendly face when researching day trips from Lisbon. Read more: 18 Best Beaches in Portugal to Visit
Costa da Caparica is just a 25-minute drive or Uber from Lisbon city center. It is one of the closest Lisbon beaches and a feasible day trip if you want to catch an Uber without renting a car or public transport.
How far from Lisbon: 25 minutes by car or 1 hour by bus – Check rental car prices here.
Beautiful Obidos is an ultra-traditional and small medieval town that makes an epic day trip for history lovers. It is the sort of place you should head to if you are vying for a traditional Portuguese dish or a quaint little souvenir. But equally, it also has plenty of oomph for attractions. The Queen of Portugal previously owned it.
It remains one of the finest examples of Portuguese walled towns. Obidos is one of the best day trips from Lisbon if you want the perfect mix of history and aesthetics and the convenience of having everything within walking distance. Read more: 7 Reasons You Should Visit Obidos, Portugal
Obidos is easy to reach from Lisbon, taking just 2 hours by train or one hour by car. We suggest driving, as this way, you can detour to the Reserva Natural do Estuario do Tejo and Serra de Montejunto. There’s some stunning countryside en route, and you can get into the rural aesthetic before arriving in the white-washed town of Obidos.
How far from Lisbon: 2 hours by train or about an hour north by car
Evora is the historical gem of the day trips from Lisbon and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has over 2,000 years of history and Roman history that draws in the crowds, although it is a little less well known than Sintra amongst your in-and-out tourist crowd, so it shouldn’t get as busy. It has a beautiful Roman temple and an aqueduct – stunning examples of Roman-period architecture.
It is a miracle that you can also admire these ruins today since an earthquake flattened almost all of the surrounding area, Lisbon included, in 1755. Evora is like a lucky charm. And if you fancy a day amongst Roman ruins and pretty cobbled streets, it is the perfect place to visit.
By bus, it is an hour and 40 minutes from Lisbon, which might sound daunting. However, since this is a direct service, it’s a breeze. Download a good playlist or audiobook before you go, and you’ll pass the time quickly. Check rental car prices here.
How far from Lisbon: 1.5 hours by car or 1 hour 40 minutes by bus
Fancy an authentic Lisbon day trip? This small fishing town is situated on the famous strip of surfing coastline just north of Lisbon. Of all these day trip ideas, Ericeira is best for those wanting a lowkey and authentic experience. The town center is full of seafood restaurants selling locally caught catch, while its beaches are sleepy apart from the frantically zigzagging surfers cutting up waves. It is the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe, but not as many people get the memo as they do for nearby Peniche. Erceira is a little more off the beaten track and slightly closer – a huge win-win.
We’d recommend driving to reach this spot, as taking public transport more than doubles your travel time. If you detour through Sintra, Ericeira takes 40 minutes to get to by car or an hour.
How far from Lisbon: 40 minutes by car – Check rental car prices here.
Cascais is a small town but an extremely fun day trip. Moreover, this is one of the only day trips from Lisbon you can take by train versus bus, as Cascais has its own train station connected by the ‘Linha de Cascais.’ It is a scenic ride, taking you past sandy beaches and coastal scenery, and it only takes 40 minutes from Cais do Sodre station in southwest Lisbon. The seaside resort is bubbly, with a fun vibe and a mixture of shopping streets and beachfront restaurants. Its old town is where you’ll find the more ‘serious sightseeing’ opportunities, with the Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and Citadel Palace.
Cascais is a fun allrounder with an outstanding balance of things to do if you want a quick escape from Lisbon’s city center.
How far from Lisbon: 40 minutes by train
Nazare is one of our favorite off-the-beaten-track places to visit in Portugal. It is famous for its huge waves – actually holding a World Record for the size of its waves on its glorious beaches. Some experienced surfers attempt these waves, but it isn’t for the faint-hearted. People have lost their lives surfing Nazare, so this is a phenomenon best experienced from the dry ground for most people. Sit on one of the sandy beaches and enjoy nature’s show without participating.
The reason behind these big waves? A huge canyon – the largest underwater canyon in Europe, to be exact – allows for giant swells to form. It is a fantastic day trip destination to appreciate nature’s power while enjoying a gorgeous beach day.
How far from Lisbon: 1.5 hours by car – Check rental car prices here.
Fatima is a Catholic pilgrimage site and one of the most unusual day trips from Lisbon. Fatima is the perfect day trip to take on your Lisbon trip if you are religious- or even just interested in religious history. Just an hour and a half north of Lisbon, it is within a realistic driving distance to travel there and back on the same day, even cutting through Caldas da Rainha, another day trip feature in this guide. Fatima is another term for the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary was coined Our Lady of Fatima after she appeared before three children in the village and made some pretty drastic predictions that transpired to be true.
You can visit the Sanctuary of Fatima, the site of the Virgin Mary’s appearance at the Capela das Aparicoes, and explore Catholic-related museums. Fatima is just 1.5 hours from Lisbon by bus or car, so you’ll have plenty of time to spend in the town.
How far from Lisbon: 1.5 hours by bus or car – Check rental car prices here.
12. Castelo dos Mouros
Castelo dos Mouros is stunning; seriously stunning. The Moorish castle dates back to the 10th century and sits on a clifftop overlooking the surrounding towns and villages on the outskirts of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. If you want a day trip from Lisbon with a ‘wow factor,’ Castelo dos Mouros is one of the most impressive day trips you can take. You can walk through the ancient castle walls and enjoy some dramatic views over the landscape. Be prepared for many steps and some rather dizzying views, but if you’ve got relatively good fitness, you’ll be absolutely fine tackling this exciting Portuguese attraction.
Castelo dos Mouros is 45 minutes from Lisbon by car or 1.5 hours using public transport. If you choose to go by car, you’ll be passing through some quaint suburbs with plenty of attractions – even indoor skydiving facilities and historic palaces. It is also well-combined with a visit to nearby Sintra.
How far from Lisbon: 45 minutes by car or 1.5 hours by public transport – Check rental car prices here.
Estoril is a popular day trip from Lisbon, and its major claim to fame is that it was one of the On Majesty’s Secret Service filming locations – a classic old-school James Bond movie. Estoril is affluent as an area and has that glitzy coastal vibe. The glamorous appeal is ideal for anyone wanting a mix of high-end cuisine and luxury facilities, plus all the enjoyment of your standard beach day experience. Estoril is also super close to Lisbon’s city center, making it one of the most convenient places you can visit on a day trip.
Estoril is just a 25-minute drive from Lisbon. You can rent a car or book a taxi or Uber, making it a feasible detour for any traveler. You can also reach Estoril on the Cascais train line, with services running directly from Cais do Sodre station.
How far from Lisbon: 25 minutes by car or 40 minutes by train – Check rental car prices here.
Setubal is best known for its Arrabida Natural Park and ferry service to Praia Troia Mar. It is more of a launchpad destination for many, but not for you; you now know better. This town is well worth visiting in its own right, and it has an impressive draw – delicious restaurants and yummy dishes. It is famous for many dishes (if you ask the right crowd). You could try sweet Moscatel wine, traditional sardines, and grilled seafood. If you need somewhere for dinner, Setubal is the ideal spot. As a huge bonus, it is just under an hour from Lisbon by car or 1.5 hours by public transportation, so you won’t struggle to get back on a full stomach.
Setubal is popular as a launchpad, but you’ll be well-impressed if you discover its tremendous food scene.
How far from Lisbon: 45 minutes by car or 1.5 hours by public transport – Check rental car prices here.
15. Azenhas do Mar
Azenhas do Mar is a tiny seaside town that sits in quite a Cinque Terre fashion on rugged sea cliffs, with houses slowly spilling down the cliff face and towards the beachfront. The houses are traditionally bright white with orange roofing, and a vast sea pool is at the base near the beach.
Of all the day trips from Lisbon, Azenhas do Mar is the least likely to come up on a tourist radar. However, those who clock this fantastic addition to our Lisbon day trips are rewarded with photogenic streets, an Insta-appealing seawater pool, and delicious seafood. This is an authentic little seaside community with a timeless sense of style. If you are still getting excited, you should be.
Azenhas do Mar is just north of Lisbon. Please don’t confuse it with the tiny Azenha do Mar further south, closer to Lagos. This Azenhas is just a 45-minute drive or 2 hours by public transport. It is dreamily easy to reach, especially if you hire a rental car. And for a quiet afternoon out of busy Lisbon, you can’t beat its classy, peaceful vibe.
How far from Lisbon: 45 minutes by car or 2 hours by public transport
Lagos is an ambitious day trip from Lisbon, but we love including extra day trip ideas for those wanting to push the boat out a little. Lagos is the gateway to the northern end of the Algarve, a famous section of bright orange cliffs, sea caves, and endless beaches. Book this Lagos Kayaking Tour to explore the caves and beautiful coastline.
It has some beautiful beaches in the city’s limits, with Praia do Camilo being a firm favorite thanks to its steep wooden steps providing clifftop access to the beach below. However, the walled town also has plenty of cultural attractions. You have the cutesy vibe of the old town, the Castle of Lagos, and the Museum of Lagos, Dr. Jose Formosinho. You can easily spend a week in Lagos, let alone a day. But if you want to experience another region of Portugal, Lagos is fabulous to squeeze in as a day trip. Read more: 19 Best Things to Do In Lagos, Portugal
If you plan on driving from Lisbon to Lagos, you should insure multiple drivers in the same car. This is vital to make the journey safe, as a 6-hour drive and a day of sightseeing is enough to make anyone woozy on the road. Rotating drivers, you can undoubtedly manage the journey, though, and Lagos is so fun that it’s worthwhile. Lagos
How far from Lisbon: 3 hours by car and 3.5 hours by bus – Check Rental Car Prices Here.
17. Porto Covo
Out of all our day trips from Lisbon, Porto Covo is one of the quietest. The little former fishing village is sleepy, but all the best places make the most of a siesta here and there, right? Porto Covo is a brilliant – and beautiful – spot to kick back and embrace the sleepy coastal culture. The village was demolished by an earthquake in 1755, but it was rebuilt excellently, and you can still find tradition in every corner. A nice touch is the painted houses. Once, blue-painted houses signaled that the house belonged to fishermen open to trading supplies. You can also visit Pesseguerio island to see the 15th-century fort and Roman ruins just off the Porto Covo shorelines.
Porto Covo is where to head to zen on a beach, eat delicious food, and learn more about Portuguese traditions and culture. It is a low-maintenance day trip with minimal sightseeing unless you want to venture out to Pesseguerio Island.
How far from Lisbon: 2 hours by car
18. Jeronimos Monastary
Jeronimos Monastery is beautiful – whether you care about religious history or architecture. The Gothic Manueline architecture results in substantial vaulted ceilings and stunning ornamental designs. You could easily spend hours just walking the monastery halls and corridors, so cast away any church-style visions and instead get looking at the gorgeous pictures of this spot. Once you’ve finished admiring the Jeronimos Monastery architecture, you also have two museums inside its grounds. You can head to both the archaeology and maritime museums.
You may think this sounds like a lot of sightseeing on a day trip from Lisbon. That’s where the Jeronimos Monastery’s convenient location comes in. The monastery is just a 20-minute drive (or Uber) from central Lisbon or 30 to 40 minutes by bus. You have barely any travel time, so take your time with the sightseeing.
How far from Lisbon: 20 minutes by car or 30-40 minutes by bus
Aveiro is Portugal’s Venice, and if that didn’t get your attention, the pictures of it sure will. The whole city is set on canals; traditionally, barcos moliceiros were the prime transportation method for harvesting seaweed. These colorful boats still drift around the streets, and you can book certain barcos moliceiros for boat rides, precisely like the gondolas in Venice. A city set on water is an easy sell, and Averio has a definite sense of serenity and water-caused novelty. So, where does all this water come from? Well, Averio is set within the Ria de Averio lagoon. It is a beautiful region to visit, and you should dedicate a day trip to it.
Aside from barcos policers, there’s also the Salinas de Aveiro museum – a working museum showing the process of salt harvesting. Just 2 hours away by fast train or 2.5 hours by standard train or car, Averio is well worth visiting from Lisbon.
How far from Lisbon: 2.5 hours by car or 2 hours by fast train
Tomar is a dream; laidback and full of narrow walkways and mosaic tiles. It has the sort of aesthetic that you see in movies, with cutesy bright-white buildings and turreted orange roofs. There’s even a checkerboard floored public square. The whole town is perfect for wandering or sitting outside with a coffee. It also has some medieval-style attractions, including the Convent of Christ and Almourol Castle. Almourol Castle is the most distinctive caste ruin in the Lisbon ‘day trip region,’ built on an island and only accessible by water.
Tomar is perfect to wander around and drop into a few different picturesque attractions. Plus, it is accessible via public transportation in just a little longer than it takes by car. This means you can kick back, read a book, and not worry about renting cars and driving licenses.
How far from Lisbon: 1 hour and 40 minutes by car or 2 hours by train
Batalha is most famed for Batalha Monastery – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and is just an hour and 40 minutes north of Lisbon by car. As a day trip from Lisbon, it has some impressive buildings and Gothic grandeur, and its main attractions each justify a day tour in their own right. Coin Caves are another popular reason to visit Batalha, and the limestone cave has stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Batalha is a historic town with an excellent pick and mix of attractions with a strong sense of oomph and identity. Batalha is perfect if you fancy a day out learning about caves and stalactites in the morning and religious history and architecture in the afternoon.
It takes an hour and 40 minutes to reach Batalha by car from Lisbon. However, don’t be put off by this. Depending on your route, you’ll pass some incredible spots, including Fatima, Obidos, and Nazare.
How far from Lisbon: 1 hour and 40 minutes
22. Arrábida Natural Park
Arrábida Natural Park is beautiful. The natural park is nicknamed the Silver Coast and has white sand beach after white sand beach tucked along its shores. If you want a beautiful beach, Arrábida Natural Park has many candidates. The natural park covers a huge area of around 69 square miles and, in true Portuguese Catholic style, is home to a convent dating back to the 1500s. Spirituality is never far from areas of natural beauty, especially in Portugal. You can also find diverse native wildlife, including caves full of rare species of bats.
Hiking trails best explore Arrábida Natural Park. However, don’t get put off by the prospect of huge, daunting walks. There are plenty of shorter routes if you just fancy a short walk and then a beach day – get browsing through the route options.
How far from Lisbon: 1 hour and 15 minutes by car
Day Trips from Lisbon: FAQs Me
Lisbon day trips are something special, as you now know. And with these top-day trips from Lisbon, you can embrace so much more Portuguese culture and boost your tourist experience. Before you go, check out these commonly asked questions so you are as prepared as possible.
What is the most popular day trip from Lisbon?
Sintra is the most popular of the Lisbon day trips. This popularity is thanks to its colossal palace – Pena National Palace – and also its cobbled street aesthetic. It is seen as a place of history and lingering heritage, and as a huge bonus, it is less than an hour north of Lisbon.
What cities can I visit from Lisbon?
On a day tour, you can visit the ancient city of Evora and the medium-sized city of Caldas da Rainha from Lisbon.
Can you do a day trip from Lisbon to Spain?
If you are feeling ambitious, sure. Badajoz is the easiest Spanish day trip destination from Lisbon, and it takes 2.5 hours to reach one way by car. It could be a fun day trip to organize if you want to combine two countries in one trip.
Should I do a day trip to Porto from Lisbon?
We didn’t include Porto amongst our primary recommendations for day trips from Lisbon because it takes 3.5 hours to get there by train. Furthermore, you should allow a few days to explore Porto. However, if you are okay with spending 6-7 traveling in a day, it is possible to take a day trip to Porto from Lisbon. Within a day, you could see several museums, the iconic Ponte da Arrabida, and sample some ports.
Whether you head to the National Palace or Evora’s Roman temple, taking day trips from Lisbon will open you up to even more natural beauty, culture, and Portuguese history. It is one of the best ways to maximize a visit to Lisbon. Even with just a layover in Lisbon, you could plan a day trip – so get creative with squeezing day trips into your itinerary.
As you can see, there are loads of options. And because Lisbon is located in central Portugal, it is convenient to take day trips using public transport because everything is so well-connected. You could head over into Spain even if you wanted – the Spanish border towns and cities are just 2-3 hours away by car. A city break is never just a city break, and when visiting Lisbon, you should maximize your stay with remarkable day trips. The surrounding areas have everything from natural parks to beach towns, mountain-top forts, and monasteries.
Have a wonderful time visiting Lisbon, and enjoy sampling all these different day trips. Depending on how many you choose, you should look into car rentals to make life easier for yourself. Portugal is a fantastic place to embrace road trips and day trip detours. The options are endless.