Looking for the best day trips from Lisbon…that are actually worthwhile?
You’ve come to the right place if you want to get beyond Lisbon to see:
- ⛰️ Magical mountains.
- 🏰 Enchanting castles.
- ⛱️ Stunning beaches.
- 🚶♀️Cobblestone streets.
- 🌊 Pristine ocean waters.
And all of that within a few hours’ distance!
A lot of tourists will typically only stay in Lisbon, BUT there is so much more to Portugal than this capital city. As soon as you leave the city, you’ve got many charming palaces, stunning shorelines along the coast and plenty of different landscapes to discover.
There’s something for everyone beyond Lisbon – history buffs, foodies, nature lovers and beachgoers will love exploring the different towns just a few hours away. And it doesn’t matter whether you are visiting for a few days, a few weeks or a few months – there are day trips from Lisbon that can fit into any itinerary!
We spent a month living in Lisbon as digital nomads and we were able to tick off these Lisbon day trips! Now, there’s a LOT that you can do – but don’t get overwhelmed. We recommend first deciding how many days you’ll spend in Portugal and you can go from there.
In this article, we wanted to make it super EASY for you to organize your plans. That’s why we have listed the day trips from Lisbon based on travel time – 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours away. Most people who are in Lisbon for only a short time can focus on the destinations under an hour away, but if you have more time, you can certainly choose the day trips that are further away!
Let’s get to it!
19x Fun Day Trips From Lisbon You’ll Enjoy In 2023
Want to escape the city and take some day trips from Lisbon?
Within only 1-3 hours from Lisbon, you have at least 19 different charming towns, beaches and natural beauty waiting for you. That’s one of the best things about Portugal – you have almost every kind of landscape you want to see.
For some, you may want to visit the beach, long shorelines and surf in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. For others, you’ll want to learn about the history of these medieval towns and palaces. And some might want to simply immerse themselves in nature and escape the hustle of a city!
The point is this: There’s awesome day trips from Lisbon for every kind of traveler!
Key Takeaways Of The Best Day Trips From Lisbon
- The most popular day trips from Lisbon are Sintra, Belém and Cascais.
- Costa da Caparica, Adraga and Boca da Inferno are perfect spots for beach lovers.
- History buffs will love visiting Óbidos, Evora and Tomar.
- The shortest day trips from Lisbon are Sintra, Cascais, Cacilhas and Belém.
- The longer day trips from Lisbon are Tomar, Óbidos, Evora and Lagos.
- Algarve coast and Porto are just a tad too far for a day trip but a weekend trip is perfect.
There are many transport options available: bus, train or car rental. If you want to get further from Lisbon, the fastest and easiest way to do that is by renting a car. The drives are usually shorter travel times and it’s also a more direct route.
However, if you want to solely take public transport – it’s still a great option for day trips from Lisbon. Public transport is pretty well-connected across Lisbon, making it very easy to transfer and get to where you’re going! The bus and the trains are pretty consistent and mostly reliable.
If you’re in Portugal for less than 5 days, we suggest doing 1-2 day trips maximum from Lisbon. If you’re staying longer than that, you could try to visit a new town or shoreline every weekend and cover this list more extensively. The most important thing is that you get to see the places you dreamed of and create the best itinerary that works for you!
Here are the best day trips from Lisbon based on the shortest to longest travel time.
Day Trips From Lisbon Under 1 Hour Away
There are 6 great day trips from Lisbon that are all less than an hour away! You can take public transport to reach any of them or you can rent a car to have a little more independence. You’ve got a great mix of destinations less than an hour away from Lisbon, like the enchanting Sintra palaces, the gorgeous beaches of Cascais or the popular Belém town with many famous monuments.
Here’s 6x awesome day trips from Lisbon, all under an hour away!
1. Belém (Famous Tower, Monastery & Pastel de Nata)
🚋 Travel time: 30 minutes by bus, tram or train
This charming town has to be one of the most famous day trips you can take from Lisbon. The best part? You don’t need a whole day to explore this town as it’s very close to Lisbon and easy to access by public transport!
Belém is full of historical sites and iconic monuments of Portugal such as the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. You can buy tickets to take a tour of each place or you can admire them from the outside. If there’s one day trip from Lisbon you should do, it has to be Belém. It’s super close and quick to get there, plus there’s a lot to see and eat. You’ve also got the LX Factory halfway to Belem which you can stop and check out cool libraries, the market and crafts.
More than that, the birthplace of the famous dessert, Pastel de nata (a sweet, custard tart), is found in the heart of Belém! You can buy them from Pastéis de Belém which has a dine-in or take-out option. We loved going here, ordering a Pastel de nata and sitting by the gardens near the Monastery.
2. Cascais (Beaches, Scenic Walks)
🚋 Travel time: 40 minutes by train or car
Want to put your feet in the sand, swim in the ocean or just tan on the beach? Cascais is the perfect day trip from Lisbon to do just that!
This coastal town is worth visiting for its beaches, cobblestone streets and fresh seafood restaurants. It’s a very popular place for tourists and locals to go on holidays! You can easily get to Cascais from Lisbon by train. It only takes 45 minutes from Cais do Sodre station.
TTA Top Tip: Getting from Lisbon to Cascais is a breeze. Make sure you stop at Estoril for a beautiful coastal walk. You can go all the way to Cascais station, but in Monte Estoril they have this scenic promenade which, if you walk along, takes about 15-20 minutes to get to Cascais. Totally worth it for the stunning views of the coastline!
3. Sintra (Magical Palaces, Beautiful Scenery)
🚋 Travel time: 55 minutes by train or car
The second most famous day trip from Lisbon has to be Sintra. It has grown in popularity in recent years and there are plenty of day tours that you can take now.
Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site with 6 beautiful castles to explore such as the Pena Palace, Moore Castle, Palace of Monserrate and Quinta da Regaleira. This town is something out of a fairytale book and in only 1 hour – you can fully immerse yourself in it. You can learn about the history of these palaces or walk around the beautiful parks, towns and lush gardens.
It’s easy to spend ALL day at Sintra and it’s definitely worth the day trip from Lisbon. You can do the whole trip on your own using public transport or you can book a day tour which will take you to most of the palaces. We did it on our own because it’s easy to get from Lisbon to Sintra by public transport. But we wish we booked a tour because we would have learned way more and the logistics once you’re in Sintra to get from each palace can be a little expensive and confusing!
⛴️ Travel time: 30 minutes by ferry
Cacilhas is a small municipality located just south of the city center on the southern side of the Tagus River. This charming town is famous for some of the best seafood restaurants, historic naval ships and the Sanctuary of Christ the King monument.
You can wander around the neighborhood, visit the interesting Fernando II Gloria naval ship and walk around the Cristo Rei landmark. If you want to have the freshest seafood, Cacilhas is the best and shortest day trip from Lisbon to do just that…and I’ve got the best spot for you!
Ponto Final is this beautiful restaurant that serves delicious dishes along the water. The views are absolutely stunning and it’s very romantic if you can snag a table at sunset (you will need to make reservations months in advance).
5. Costa da Caparica (Relaxing Beach Day, Beach Clubs)
🚋 Travel time: 1 hour by public transport
Want to visit a beach near Lisbon? While we were living in Lisbon as digital nomads, Costa da Caparica (specifically Praia de São João) was a favorite amongst our local friends. The beaches are great and there’s plenty of cafes, restaurants and beach clubs to spend the day!
There is an endless stretch of shoreline making it easy to find your spot on the beach! It takes about 1 hour by public transport to reach Costa da Caparica, making it the perfect beach escape from Lisbon city. Unwind, relax and you can even watch the sunset from this beach town.
6. Barreiro (Small, Waterfront Town)
🚋 Travel time: 1 hour by public transport
Want to venture on the path less traveled? Barreiro is a cute, small town with beautiful views of the Tagus River and the iconic April 25 bridge. You can walk around the area and visit the many interesting windmills scattered across the town.
Expect a tranquil atmosphere and calm waterfront areas perfect for strolling, dining, and unwinding.
Day Trips From Lisbon Under 2 Hours Away
Don’t mind traveling an extra hour on your day trips from Lisbon?
Then these suggestions are for you!
A lot of these can actually be combined with other day trips from the list above and we will mention it each time. You can still use public transport to get to these destinations from Lisbon, but a rental car can also start to come in handy if you want to be a little more independent.
7. Peniche (Historic Fortress, Stunning Beaches)
🚋 Travel time: 1 hour, 45 minutes by bus
Want to check out a Portuguese seaside town? Peniche is a beautiful coastal area famous for its unique fortress, its beaches with world-class surfing and its picturesque fishing port. The fort of São João Baptista is very cool because you can take a boat tour around it and a guided tour through the fort to learn all about it!
Peniche is a great day trip from Lisbon if you are a history buff, surfer AND a nature lover! You can take a Flix Bus to get to Peniche from Lisbon however, a rental car might be a better option as it’ll be faster and more direct.
8. Boca do Inferno (Rock Formations)
🚋 Travel time: 1 hour, 45 minutes by bus
Whenever you see photos of Portugal, you will always see some of the rugged and dramatic coastlines. Boca do Inferno (aka Hell’s Mouth) is one of the best destinations that encapsulates the stunning rock formations of Portugal’s coast.
The best part? You can combine visiting Boca do Inferno with your trip to Cascais. It’s only an extra 20 minute walk, or you can take a bus. It’s a perfect break from laying on the beach all day!
9. Fátima (Famous Pilgrimage Site)
🚋 Travel time: 1.5 hours by bus or car
Fátima is a town located 74.5 miles (120 km) north of Lisbon. It’s most famous as a pilgrimage site where religious pilgrims and tourists visit. People travel from all over the world to see the Shrine of Fatima.
If you’re interested in religious history, this is one of the most important landmarks in Portugal for it. The Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário is also a magnificent landmark to witness!
10. Mafra (Baroque Architecture, Lively Markets)
🚋 Travel time: 45 minutes by car | 1.5 hours by public transport
Mafra is a stunning town with some of the most beautiful architecture in Portugal. The Mafra National Palace is quite remarkable as it is the former royal residence that displays the intricate Baroque architecture style. The Mafra Palace also has an impressive 1,200 rooms and the world’s biggest bell collection!
The true beauty of the Mafra Palace is actually once you step inside. If you’re a fan of architecture, Mafra is one of the best day trips from Lisbon for you! They’ve also got a vibrant market in the town center you can visit. The fastest way to get to Mafra is by car – it cuts the travel time in half!
11. Cabo da Roca (Dramatic Cliffs, Ocean Views)
🚋 Travel time: 50 minutes by car | 2 hours by public transport
Want to learn a fun fact?
Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of mainland Europe! This has become a popular spot for travelers because of the incredible views of the ocean from the top of the cliffs. If you love nature, the ocean, photography or hiking – this is a great spot to enjoy the viewpoint and walk around the national park.
A lot of day tours to Sintra will actually include a visit to Cabo da Roca. It’s best to double-check because you can tick off both spots in 1 day (one LONG travel day but nevertheless doable).
12. Coimbra (Academic Town, Hilltop Views)
🚌 Travel time: 2 hours by bus or car
Coimbra is a charming, prestigious university town located 2 hours north of Lisbon. The buildings atop a hill along the shores of the Mondego River make this town picturesque for any travelers visiting on a day trip from Lisbon.
This town has also risen in popularity amongst expats moving to Portugal – affordable housing and peaceful strolls through the streets make this an attractive town for those moving abroad. More than the academic atmosphere, you can also try the well-known Pasteis de Santa Clara which are sweets native to this town.
13. Adraga (Beautiful Beach, Hidden Gem)
🚗 Travel time: 50 minutes by car | 2 hours by public transport
You’ve got golden sand, cool caves and pristine waters with fewer crowds — that’s Adraga!
I’ve heard about Adraga from local friends who regularly visit this stunning beach. It’s not easy to access by public transport and that’s why there aren’t too many foreign tourists visiting Adraga. If you want a fun beach time with friends, Praia da Adraga is one of the best day trips from Lisbon where you can spend all day enjoying the ocean and admiring the unique rock formations.
The best way to get from Lisbon to Adraga is by rental car which only takes 50 minutes. Public transport is possible, but it involves 3 transfers and takes 2 hours to get there! We recommend renting a car instead!
Day Trips From Lisbon Under 3 Hours Away
These day trips from Lisbon are a little further away as it takes about 3 hours to get to each destination. For this, we suggest renting a car from Lisbon because it’s much faster and you can take more direct routes!
We have also included destinations like Lagos and Porto which – if you want to stretch it and you’re short on time but want to tick these spots off – you can kind of make into a day trip from Lisbon. However, it’s best to spend at least one night at either of these 2 destinations!
Here are some cool day trips from Lisbon that take less than 3 hours to get there.
14. Nazare (Biggest Waves, Surf-Spotting)
🚗 Travel time: 1.5 minutes by car | 2.5 hours by public transport
Nazaré has become a famous spot because you can see the biggest waves in the world. The craziest part? You can spot the brave surfers riding those waves. If you want to catch the REALLY big waves, the best time to visit the Praia do Norte beach is from October to March.
It’s so impressive that there’s been a documentary made about the waves and surfers who have the courage to ride at Nazare called 100 Foot Wave. You’ll also get to see beautiful panoramic views at the Miradouro do Suberco of the long and narrow coastline.
15. Evora (Historical Site, Medieval Vibes)
🚗 Travel time: 1.5 hours by car | 2.25 hours by public transport
History lovers will enjoy visiting the city of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the city, visit the intricate medieval cathedral and gaze at all the Roman ruins scattered around.
One of the best things to do in Evora is visit the Chapel of Bones. Yes, it’s very cool and probably what you’re imagining. If you’re curious or want to see something unique like that, then this historic town is a great day trip from Lisbon for you!
16. Óbidos (Medieval, Romantic, Fairy-Tale Town)
🚗 Travel time: 1.10 hours by car | 2.5 hours by public transport
Once you arrive in Óbidos, you will be enchanted by the character each corner holds. This medieval, walled town has charming narrow cobblestone streets that you can wander along. The Óbidos Castle (which was built in the Moorish era) is a well-preserved building that’s worth checking out.
This is one of the cutest day trips from Lisbon, especially if you visit in the spring, as the bougainvillea flowers bloom along the whitewashed houses. It’s honestly a fairy-tale town! We highly recommend booking a rental car because it makes the travel time only about an hour.
17. Tomar (Knights HQ, Castles & Convents)
🚗 Travel time: 1.40 hours by car | 2.5 hours by public transport
On your day trip from Lisbon to Tomar, visit the UNESCO-listed Convent of Christ. This impressive complex has high fortified walls and intriguing history waiting for you to discover.
History lovers will enjoy learning about the Knights of Templar at the Tomar Castle which was actually their headquarters. The old town of Tomar is also a great place to wander, get lost and soak in all the charming streets.
The best way to get from Lisbon to Tomar is by rental car. However, if you don’t mind an extra 40 minutes of travel time, there is actually a train that takes you from Santa Apolonia to Tomar directly – no transfer necessary!
18. Lagos (Beaches, Dramatic Cliffs, Caves)
🚗 Travel time: 3 hours by car | 3.5+ hours by public transport
I had to add Lagos to this list because it’s too iconic not to! Lagos is the most popular beach town on the Algarve coast. Most people in Lagos prefer to spend time on the beach, explore the caves and visit the famous viewpoint at Ponta da Piedade.
Lagos is right on the edge of 4-hours’ travel by public transport from Lisbon. It’s the furthest from Lisbon but it’s definitely worth the visit. If you leave super early, you can get to Lagos by 10am to explore the beaches and towns. After a day of touring, you can make your way back to Lisbon before dinner and arrive before midnight! It’s a BIG day trip, but if you’re short on time and really want to visit Lagos – it IS somewhat possible.
It’s honestly even more possible if you book a rental car because it’s only a 3 hour drive and you can go to each spot in your own time. This makes the trip more worthwhile and hassle-free!
19. Porto (Riverfront City, Port Wine)
🚗 Travel time: 3 hours by car | 3 hours by train
Most people visit either Lisbon or Porto – not usually both. But they aren’t too far from each other and that’s why it’s become one of the most popular weekend trips from Lisbon.
But can you do a day trip to Porto from Lisbon? Technically, yes you can. If you take public transport, it takes about 3.5 hours to get to Porto and only 20 minutes less by car. You can squeeze in a day trip from Lisbon to Porto but it will be tight – and you might want more time to enjoy this riverfront city with plenty of charm to offer and numerous wine bars!
Conclusion: Which Are The Best Day Trips From Lisbon?
Now you’ve got 19 awesome day trips from Lisbon to choose from…but that might seem a little overwhelming right?
The first way to decide which day trips are right for you is by figuring out how many days you’ll spend in Portugal. If it’s 5 days or less, we highly recommend visiting Belém and Sintra as they are less than an hour away. If you are staying for a week (or more), you can visit one of the further day trips like Cascais, Óbidos or Evora.
Which day trips from Lisbon do Matthew and I recommend if we had to narrow the list down? Here’s our top 5 choices:
Portugal is an amazing destination for every kind of traveler. Whether you are visiting Lisbon for a short amount of time or you’re moving there, you’ve got plenty of day trip options for when you feel like getting out of the city!
Frequently Asked Questions – Fun Day Trips From Lisbon
What Is The Most Popular Day Trip From Lisbon?
Sintra is the most popular day trip from Lisbon because it’s only an hour away and you will be transported back in time. Visiting castles and palaces and learning about the history makes Sintra a worthwhile trip!
What Are The Best Day Trips From Lisbon By Public Transport?
Cascais, Tomar and Coimbra are great day trips from Lisbon if you are traveling by public transport. There are trains and buses that connect these cities with Lisbon and it’s still very cost-effective!
Are There Any Recommended Half-Day Trips From Lisbon?
Belém and Cascais are great half-day trips from Lisbon that you can get to via public transport. It takes less than an hour to get to both destinations and the buses/trains are very frequent!
Can You Do A Day Trip From Lisbon To Porto?
Yes and no. It’s technically possible, BUT it would be a big, tiring trip!
The travel time takes just on the edge of 3 hours if you drive a car. You can easily rent a car in Lisbon too! It can take closer to 3.5 hours if you take a bus or train. We recommend spending at least one night, or even better – a whole weekend to fully experience Porto!
How Many Days In Lisbon Is Enough?
We recommend spending 3-4 days in Lisbon, especially if it’s your first time. If you want to go on a few day trips from Lisbon, we recommend more like 5-7 days.