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19 Best Day Trips from Lisbon (+ How to Visit, Top Tours & Map)

19 Best Day Trips from Lisbon (+ How to Visit, Top Tours & Map)

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is a fantastic city with so much to offer that you could easily spend days and still not see it all. But in addition to all the top sights and attractions in Lisbon, there are also so many beautiful places nearby, many of which can easily be visited as a day trip from Lisbon.

However, with so many possibilities, how do you choose the very best day trips from Lisbon that are worth your time the most?

In this article, we feature the absolute best places that you can visit as a one-day trip from Lisbon, Portugal. This guide includes all the ‘musts’, the very best day trip destinations near Lisbon for first-time visitors. In addition, we also share some lesser known places for those who rather get a bit off the beaten path or for repeat visitors who want to (re)discover some amazing sights near Lisbon.

All these places are located less than 2 hours drive from Lisbon, with one exception – Porto, which is about 3 hours away. At the very end of this guide, you can find more information about visiting Porto as a day trip from Lisbon.

At the bottom of this article, you can find a map indicating all the places that you can easily visit as a day trip from Lisbon mentioned in this guide. It will give you a better idea of where everything is.

 

How to use this guide: To help you decide where to go if your time is limited, we indicate whether the place is a must-see, highly recommended, or nice to see if you have more time.

In addition, for each place, we include recommendations on how to visit on your own (by car or public transport, where possible) and also the best organized day tours from Lisbon.

Often, you will be able to see so much more if you go on a tour. Many of the best day tours from Lisbon cover several of the nicest destinations in a day, allowing you to make the most of your time and see a lot in a short time. Furthermore, going with a local guide is a great opportunity to explore deeper, scratch beneath the surface, and discover things you didn’t even know existed…

Good to know: While we have been to Lisbon and all over Portugal multiple times, for this guide, we also asked for recommendations from an ‘insider’. A fellow travel writer Alisa of AlisaGoz.com has recently spent 5 weeks in Lisbon, traveling around Portugal and soaking up everything the beautiful and diverse country has to offer. In this guide, we share all the best options for a day trip from Lisbon, coupled with our personal tips and recommendations. Take a look!

Best day trips from Lisbon, Portugal
 

These are the best & most popular day trips from Lisbon:

1. Sintra

MUST-SEE

If you take just one day trip from Lisbon, make it Sintra!

Nestled among rolling hills and forests just a short train ride from Lisbon, Sintra is home to numerous breathtaking palaces and castles. The town also has a thriving artist community and transports you into centuries past.

If you take the time to visit Sintra – even if just for (half) a day – you’ll be awestruck by its remarkable castles in the most beautiful natural setting.

There is a lot to see and do in Sintra. Depending on how much time you have, we recommend visiting one or several of its most impressive castles:

  • Park and National Palace of Pena. The fairytale-like Palace of Pena is one of the most iconic landmarks in Sintra. This brightly-colored palace sits on a hill in the middle of a 350-acre park filled with cedar trees, eucalyptus trees, and winding hiking trails. The inside of the palace is just as breathtaking as the outside, with ornate paintings, tapestries, and ceiling frescoes. You can spend a few hours exploring this magic kingdom come to life.
  • Quinta da Regaleira. A visit to Quinta da Regaleira is like stepping into a storybook. This 19th-century romantic palace and its 200 acres of lush gardens are filled with hidden tunnels, grottoes, and fountains. The highlight of the Quinta da Regaleira is the Initiatic Well, a 93-foot-deep spiral staircase that leads to an underground labyrinth. Rumor has it that the well was used for ceremonial rituals and secret initiations.
  • Moorish Castle. For 360° views that will take your breath away, head to the 9th-century Moorish Castle. It’s perched atop a hilltop overlooking Sintra and offers you a great view of Pena Palace too. You can explore the castle’s ramparts, towers, dungeons, and chapel. Be sure to take the time to stroll around the surrounding gardens for even more stunning views of Sintra.
  • Monserrate Palace. Monserrate Palace and gardens is another stunningly beautiful place to see in Sintra. This 60-acre park is home to an exotic garden filled with palm trees, camellias, and rhododendrons brought back from Monserrate’s travels around the world. The highlight of the park is undoubtedly the luxurious mansion built in the 19th century in Neo-Gothic style with Arab influences. It’s like stepping into a fairytale!
  • Sintra National Palace. Located in the center of Sintra town, this is the oldest palace in Portugal. It might not look as impressive from the outside as the other castles, but the interior is absolutely stunning and well worth a visit as well.

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Sintra

Pena Palace in Sintra - one of the best places to visit on a day trip from Lisbon
Pena Palace in Sintra truly looks like a fairytale castle.
 

TIP: The queues at the palaces can get pretty long, so plan in advance which ones you want to visit and get your tickets online. It’s also best to arrive early and head to one of the most popular places – Pena Palace or Quinta de Regaleira first. Pena Palace works with a timed entry, so for this one, you should really get your ticket in advance! Alternatively, if you visit Sintra with an organized tour, most of them will bypass the queues and will help you maximize your time.

How much time do you need? There’s so much to see and do in Sintra that it’s truly impossible to fit everything into one day trip (you’d need about 3 days for that). But even if you only have 4-6 hours, Sintra is still worth it! So if you are visiting Sintra on a day trip from Lisbon, plan well, pick the places that interest you the most, and make the most of the time that you have.

LEARN MORE: Sintra Itinerary Suggestions for 1-3 Days

How to get to Sintra from Lisbon: Driving to/in Sintra can be a nightmare. Luckily, Sintra is easily accessible by public transportation. The best way to visit on your own is by taking a direct 40-min train from Lisbon’s Rossio station to Sintra (tip – this train ride is also included with Lisbon Card). Most of the town’s landmarks are within walking distance of each other. However, we definitely recommend taking a bus or a taxi to Pena Palace which is located high on the hill. You’ll also need some kind of transportation if you decide to visit Monserrate Palace.

Food tip: Don’t leave Sintra without trying the city’s traditional pastry, Queijada de Sintra! This sweet treat is made with fresh cheese, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon and can be found in most bakeries around town. Enjoy with a glass of wine or a coffee. It’s a perfect afternoon treat!

Good to know: Be sure to wear sensible shoes when visiting Sintra. Cobbled streets and hilly gardens require sturdy footwear. In summer, travel sandals should be ok, and otherwise comfortable sneakers.

Best tours from Lisbon: Sintra is the most popular day trip destination near Lisbon, so there are many organized (half) day tours that can bring you here. The biggest advantage of going with a tour is that you can see a lot more in a short time than on your own. Most day tours that visit Sintra also include one or several other nice places nearby too. It’s perfect for those who are short on time and want to make the most of their day. 

To save you time researching hundreds of tours, here are the best options for visiting Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon:

  • This popular tour is the most booked day tour from Lisbon to Sintra. It brings you to Pena Palace, Sintra town, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais. With this tour, you visit just one – most impressive – palace in Sintra, but you also get to see some other amazing places nearby and this tour gives you quite some free time to explore the towns on your own.
  • If you rather just concentrate on Sintra and visit a few of the best palaces, this highly-rated tour includes Pena Palace, Quinta de Regaleira, Monserrate Palace, and a few other highlights in Sintra.
  • Small-group tours. If you rather go with a smaller group or with just your own family and friends, you’ll find various options of tours that visit Sintra. Be sure to check the itinerary as there are quite some differences in the places that they visit. This is the best-rated private tour and its itinerary is really great.
  • If you are really short on time and are looking for a half-day tour from Lisbon, it’s possible to visit Sintra too. In that case, definitely go with a tour! You can find half-day tours here.
Quinta da Regaleira Initiation Well - Sintra Portugal
Initiation Well of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.
 

2. Cabo da Roca

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Sitting at the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca is a must-see for anyone visiting Lisbon. With its dramatic cliffs, tranquil beaches, and beautiful views, Cabo da Roca is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Cabo da Roca is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Portugal. The sweeping views here are truly unforgettable. In addition, check out the Cabo da Roca Lighthouse. Built in 1772, this is the oldest functioning lighthouse in Portugal. It’s also the second-tallest lighthouse in the country.

The area is also home to a variety of plant and animal life. Keep your eyes peeled for gulls, eagles, and iguanas as you hike along the trails.

TIP: If you are visiting here by car, be sure to also drive to the nearby Azenhas do Mar village. Its stunning clifftop location is absolutely picture-perfect.

Cabo da Roca Lighthouse - best excursions from Lisbon
Cabo da Roca Lighthouse.
 

How much time do you need? If you’re only interested in taking in the view, then Cabo da Roca is just a short photo stop. However, if you’re planning to do some hiking or check out the nearby towns, you can easily spend half a day in the area.

TIP: Cabo da Roca is just a 25 minutes drive from Cascais and 30 minutes drive from Sintra, so you can see all these places together.

How to visit Cabo Roca from Lisbon: Cabo da Roca is approximately 40 km (25 miles) away from Lisbon. The easiest way to get there is by car or tour; the drive should take around 45 minutes. You can also take public transportation, but there are no direct buses and the journey takes about 2 hours (not recommended unless you have lots of time).

Best tours from Lisbon: The easiest way to visit Cabo da Roca without a car is by taking a tour. Many of the organized tours that visit Sintra also include Cabo da Roca in their itinerary. Here are the best options:

  • This is the most popular day tour that visits Cape Roca in combination with Sintra and Cascais.
  • This is a very similar tour, but it limits the group size to just 8 people. So if you are looking for a small-group experience, check it out!
Cabo da Roca, Portugal
The scenery at Cabo da Roca.
 

3. Queluz National Palace

NICE TO SEE

Just near Lisbon, about halfway to Sintra, you can visit another stunning palace – Queluz National Palace and gardens.

This elaborate Baroque palace was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for Portugal’s royal family. The staterooms, the royal apartments, and the huge ballroom are breathtaking. But the exterior of the palace is just as impressive as the interior, and the gardens are among the nicest you’ll see in Portugal. It’s like a mini-version of Versailles in Paris, but also totally unique!

If you’re interested in learning more about Portugal’s royal history or just want to see a beautiful royal residence and enjoy a walk through the gardens, make sure to add Queluz National Palace to your trip itinerary. Furthermore, it’s so easy to get here from the city and there are hardly any tourists. Queluz National Palace could be a great half-day trip from Lisbon as well.

Good to know: The palace and the gardens are open daily. You can opt for a ticket that includes the palace and the gardens, or gardens-only. If you have time, we highly recommend both. If you come here without a guide, you’ll be glad to know that they have audio guides available for your phone, in various languages. For more information, see the official website.

Queluz National Palace - best places to see near Lisbon
Queluz National Palace.
 

How much time do you need? We recommend planning to spend at least 2-3 hours on a visit to Queluz National Palace and gardens. However, if you want to explore the grounds and gardens at a more relaxed pace, you’ll likely need 3-4 hours.

How to visit Queluz National Palace from Lisbon: Queluz National Palace is located just a 15-20 minutes ride from the center of Lisbon. You can also get here by public transport, but the easiest is probably to just take a taxi (or Bolt or Uber) for a reasonably affordable price.

Best tours from Lisbon: Some tours that visit Sintra include Queluz in their itinerary. Most tours that come here are private tours and each one offers a very different itinerary. Be sure to check which places they visit and pick the one that seems most interesting to you. For example, this highly-rated tour visits Queluz Palace, Moorish Castle and Pena Palace in Sintra, Cabo da Roca, passes the towns of Estoril and Cascais, and also includes a visit to a local wine cellar. Of course, it will be a lot more rushed than if you would visit each of these places separately, but it’s a great way to see a lot in a day.

Interior of the National Palace of Queluz near Lisbon in Portugal
Interior of the National Palace of Queluz.
 

4. Évora

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

About 1.5 hours drive east of Lisbon, you’ll find one of Portugal’s most beautiful towns, Évora. Whether by car, by train, or on a tour, Evora is a great choice for a day trip from Lisbon!

Good to know: Because of its location, Evora is not easy to combine on a one day trip with other destinations, which means that there are fewer tourists or tour groups here. So if you are looking for a somewhat quieter day trip destination from Lisbon, definitely consider coming here.

There’s no shortage of things to see in Evora. For starters, be sure to visit the Roman Temple of Diana. Built in the 1st century AD, this well-preserved temple is one of the best examples of Roman architecture in Portugal.

Another must-see is the Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos), probably the most quirky place you can visit near Lisbon. The interior of the Chapel is entirely covered in skulls and bones, but it’s done so tastefully and the place has such a tranquil atmosphere that it’s really nothing to worry about. We visited here with our kids when they were 7-9 years old and they also found it fascinating!

We also highly recommend visiting the Cathedral of Evora and climbing to the top of its roof for some beautiful views of the surroundings.

Food tip: If you need a break from all the history, stop by one of Evora’s many cafes for some delicious pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tart).

Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos) in Evora, Portugal
Chapel of Bones in Evora.
 

How much time do you need? We recommend planning to spend at least half a day in Evora. However, if you want to explore everything the city has to offer, you can easily spend an entire day here.

Good to know: Because of its inland position, Evora is one of the hottest cities in Portugal. If you go in the peak summer months, make sure to bring lots of water and plan on keeping a slower pace.

How to visit Évora from Lisbon: Evora is located about 1.5 hours drive from Lisbon. If you are renting a car, Evora is truly one of the best places to drive from Lisbon for a day. Driving on a highway is easy and parking isn’t a big issue. You can also take a train from Lisbon – it takes almost 2 hours one way.

Best tours from Lisbon: While not nearly as popular with tour groups as many other destinations near Lisbon, Evora can be visited with an organized tour as well. One of the best options is this day tour that – in addition to visiting Evora also includes a visit to Almendres Cromlech, an impressive 7-8,000-year-old megalithic complex.

Roman Temple of Evora, aka Templo de Diana, Évora
The Roman Temple of Evora.
 

5. Cascais

NICE TO SEE

Cascais is a charming coastal town located just outside of Lisbon. It’s one of the nicest places to visit on a day trip from Lisbon if you are looking to escape the hustle and the bustle of the city without going too far.

This former fishing village has transformed into a chic resort town with a beautiful beach, nice hotels, and restaurants serving fresh seafood. Despite its facade of a vacation town, Cascais still retains its small-town charm.

There’s no shortage of things to do in Cascais! If you’re looking for a relaxing day, spend some time lounging on the beach or exploring the town’s quaint streets. For something more active, go surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, or windsurfing.

TIP: Be sure to visit Boca do Inferno (‘The Mouth of Hell’), impressive cliffs just about 20 minutes walk from Cascais town center. The coastal scenery here is stunning!

Cascais is also home to a variety of museums, including Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, an art museum housed in a beautiful Art Deco building. Also the area around Cascais Citadell is not to be missed. Here, you’ll find a former fortress that now houses several art galleries and a beautiful hotel. No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something to do in Cascais.

TIP: The beaches in Cascais can get pretty busy in the peak summer months. It can be a fun atmosphere – people watching and maybe some good music. But if you’re looking for a more secluded spot, consider heading to Praia do Guincho. This is a huge sand beach on the Atlantic coast, about 15-minute drive from Cascais.

Santa Maria Lighthouse in Cascais.
Santa Maria Lighthouse in Cascais.
 

How much time do you need? You can easily spend a full day in Cascais. However, for the first visit, an hour or two is sufficient as well. If you only have a few hours, we recommend spending some time on the beach or strolling through the town’s streets. Plan to stay for a nice meal and maybe even catch a sunset.

TIP: Cascais is a very nice place to visit at sunset. You can easily come here from Lisbon for a few hours in the late afternoon – evening. In that case, you may want to consider a sunset cruise in Cascais as well.

How to visit Cascais from Lisbon: Cascais is just about 30 km (18 miles) from Lisbon. The easiest way to get there is by public transportation. Trains depart from Lisbon almost every hour and the journey on this urban railway will take about 45 minutes (also this train ride is included with Lisbon Card). Cascais is very walkable, so you don’t need a car here.

Best tours from Lisbon: Since Cascais, Cabo da Roca, and Sintra are all located relatively close to each other, many organized tours visit 2 or even all 3 of these places together. So if you are looking to do just one day trip from Lisbon, then such a tour is probably the best use of your limited time. Here you can find many options for tours that visit Cascais. Small-group and private tours are available too. See also the recommendations we shared higher above.

Boca do Inferno coastline near Cascais in Portugal
Boca do Inferno on the coast near Cascais.
 

6. Estoril

NICE TO SEE

The coastal town of Estoril is located just next to Cascais, a few train stops closer to Lisbon. It makes for another great day trip destination from Lisbon. Or you can also easily visit these two towns – Estoril and Cascais – as one relaxing day trip from the city.

Estoril is best known for its casino (one of the largest in Europe), but there’s plenty to see and do for tourists too.

Start your day with a stroll along the promenade, where you’ll get great views of the Atlantic Ocean. For lunch, stop by one of the many seafood restaurants for some fresh fish or grilled sardines. Visit Estoril’s casino or explore the town’s beautiful gardens. If you have more time, head to Praia do Tamariz for a swim or sunbathe on the golden sands.

Estoril town near Lisbon in Portugal
Estoril coastline.
 

How much time do you need? Depending on what you want to see and do and on the time of the year, you can visit Estoril for an hour or two or you can spend the entire day here.

How to visit Estoril from Lisbon: Estoril is just about 25 km (15 miles) from Lisbon. You can easily get here by urban railway from Lisbon in about 35 minutes (this train is included with Lisbon Card). Alternatively, you can also take a car or taxi. Parking is available near the casino and along the promenade, but it can be very busy, especially on the weekends and in the summer.

Best tours from Lisbon: You really don’t need a tour in order to visit Estoril. That being said, many tours that visit Sintra include a stop at Cascais and some also in Estoril. So if you just want to quickly see these places in a short time, then yes, you can visit here with a tour.

Estoril beach near Lisbon, Portugal
Estoril beach.
 

7. Batalha Monastery

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

You may have heard about the most amazing monasteries of Central Portugal. Many of them can be visited on a day trip from Lisbon. Furthermore, because they are located very close to each other, it’s easy to visit a few of them on the same day.

Probably the most impressive of them all is Batalha Monastery. This is one of Portugal’s most remarkable landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The magnificent Gothic-style building dates from the early 16th century and took over 130 years to build. In fact, the construction of the monastery was never really finished and you can see this by visiting its Unfinished Chapels. For us, seeing these chappels was really a ‘wow’ moment – absolutely incredible! The cloisters are magnificent too.

Batalha monastery in Portugal
Batalha Monastery.
 

How much time do you need? You only need about 1 hour to visit Batalha Monastery. In addition, you can walk around the tiny town, have lunch, etc. But there are so many amazing places to visit in this area that we highly recommend combining your trip to Batalha with a visit to one of the monasteries and/or towns nearby (e.g. Alcobaça, Fatima, Nazare, Obidos, or Tomar – all of these are mentioned further below).

How to visit Batalha Monastery from Lisbon: Batalha is located about 145 km (90 miles) north of Lisbon. It’s about 1h40-2 hours drive. The easiest way to visit here is by car. Public transport would take you forever and it’s really not an option for a day trip. If you don’t have your own transportation, you can easily visit here with a tour.

Best tours from Lisbon: Many organized day tours from Lisbon include Batalha Monastery in their itineraries (see all the options here). As already mentioned, this area is home to many interesting places and world-famous landmarks, so all tours visit at least 3 or 4 of them on the same day. One of the best options is this highly-rated tour that includes Batalha, Fatima, Obidos, and Nazaré.

You’ll also find private tours to this area – it’s a great way to see a lot without having to plan or arrange anything yourself or worry about driving, tolls, or parking. This is one of the best-rated private tours that include Batalha in the itinerary. You get to see three of the best abbeys and the charming town of Obidos.

The Unfinished Chapels in Batalha Monastery in Portugal
The Unfinished Chapels of Batalha Monastery
 

8. Alcobaça

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

A day trip from Lisbon to Alcobaça is an inspirational journey through Portugal’s history. The town is home to the 12th-century Alcobaça Monastery, which was once one of the most important and largest in the country.

The monastery is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its architecture is simple yet breathtaking. The cloisters, the ornate kings’ tombs, and a Renaissance water basin are breathtakingly beautiful.

In addition, you can also explore the town’s medieval streets, which are lined with charming cafes and shops. Alcobaça is a great place to shop for souvenirs, especially ceramics. There are several shops in town that sell locally made pottery, and it’s the perfect way to take a piece of Portugal home with you.

Alcobaca Monastery in Portugal
Alcobaça Monastery.
 

How much time do you need? You can visit the monastery in less than an hour. But plan on spending a few hours if you are also planning to explore the town. As mentioned before, we recommend combining a trip to Alcobaça with that of Batalha or other monasteries and/or nearby towns like Obidos or Nazare.

How to visit Alcobaça Monastery from Lisbon: Alcobaça is located about 1.5 hours drive from Lisbon. The easiest way to visit is by car or with a tour. If you take public transportation plan for at least 2.5 hours. Also here, if you don’t have a car, just book a tour. This way you can relax and enjoy the scenery and see many amazing places in a day.

Best tours from Lisbon: Although not as popular as Batalha, many day tours from Lisbon include Alcobaça Monastery in their itinerary (see here). This highly-rated tour is the best price-quality option. And if you rather take a private tour and see a bit more, then consider this excellent tour. It covers the same sites as the group tour (Batalha, Alcobaca, Fatima, and Obidos), but in addition also visits Nazaré.

Alcobaca monastery refectory with a vaulted ceiling
Refectory inside Alcobaça Monastery.
 

9. Mafra National Palace

NICE TO SEE

Mafra National Palace is located in the town of Mafra, about 40 minutes’ drive north of Lisbon. Once a royal residence of various Portuguese Kings, this massive Baroque palace was built in the 18th century.

With 1,200 rooms, over 150 stairways, and 29 inner yards and courtyards, this is the largest palace in Portugal and one of the biggest in all of Europe. It has a 232-meter (253 yards) gallery, the largest palatial corridor in Europe. There are almost 5,000 doors and windows in the palace – can you imagine having to clean them?! 🙂

The Mafra Palace complex includes a huge basilica, several royal apartments, extensive gardens, and even a royal hunting park. The two carillons with 98 bells were the largest of their time. But probably the most impressive feature in the palace is the large library, one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s said to hold about 36,000 books.

Despite its proximity to Lisbon and to Sintra (or maybe because of that), Mafra National Palace isn’t widely known. For now, it remains a bit of a hidden gem where it’s incomparably quieter than in most other popular places near Lisbon.

Good to know: Mafra National Palace is open daily except on Tuesdays and some public holidays. At the moment, they don’t have a good website, but you can find a bit more practical info on the website of the commune of Mafra.

Mafra National Palace - best places to visit near Lisbon, Portugal
Mafra National Palace.
 

How much time do you need? There’s so much to see at Mafra National Palace that you could easily spend half a day here. As a minimum, we recommend planning about 2 hours for a visit. If you want to explore all of the palace’s highlights without feeling rushed, you’ll likely need at least 3 hours.

How to visit Mafra National Palace from Lisbon: The best way to get from Lisbon to Mafra National Palace is by car. The drive takes just under an hour, depending on traffic. Without a car, you’ll have to take a tour.

Best tours from Lisbon: Mafra Palace is just recently being noticed by international visitors, so there aren’t that many organized tours that visit here yet (definitely if you compare to nearby Sintra). Nevertheless, there are some nice tour options – both with a group or private – and most of the tours include a few other landmarks and villages nearby. This would make an excellent day trip from Lisbon for those who are looking to escape the crowds and discover some amazing hidden gems near Lisbon.

Mafra Palace Library
The library inside Mafra National Palace.
 

10. Fátima

NICE TO SEE (highly recommended if you are religious)

Fátima is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Catholics and the most famous one in Portugal. The town became world-known following the multiple reports of religious apparitions in 1916-1917. Every year, millions of people from all over the world come to Fatima to pay homage to the Virgin Mary. 

The last and the most famous of the sightings was the “Miracle of the Sun,” which allegedly occurred on October 13, 1917. On that day, thousands of people gathered in Fatima to witness the Virgin Mary appear in the sky. As they watched, the sun seemed to spin and dance in the sky before disappearing altogether. When it reappeared, it was so bright that everyone had to cover their eyes. The event was witnessed by people of all ages and religions, many of whom converted to Catholicism afterward. 

Today, Fatima is home to a beautiful basilica and several other churches, as well as a museum dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Regardless of your religious beliefs, Fatima is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Portugal and it can easily be done on a day trip from Lisbon!

Don’t miss the Sanctuary of our Lady of Fátima (aka Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima), the most important pilgrimage site built in the 1950s. Don’t miss the modern Basilica of the Holy Trinity. Dedicated in 2007, this massive basilica is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world and can hold up to 9,000 people.

Also the Chapel of Apparitions – built on the spot where the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children – is worth seeing. In town, you can also visit Francisco and Jacinta’s house, now a museum. This is where two of the shepherd children who saw the Virgin Mary lived.

And if you just can’t get enough of the story of apparitions, there’s also a wax museum that features the Marian apparition & other scenes from the history of Fatima.

Sanctuary of Fatima in Portugal
The Sanctuary of Fatima
 

How much time do you need? If you are very religious and are interested in the history of the place, you could probably spend half a day or even a day in Fatima. But you can also just see the highlights in 1-2 hours. Start with a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, followed by the Chapel of Apparitions. Then wander around town and pop into some of Fatima’s other churches. 

How to visit Fatima from Lisbon: The easiest way to get from Lisbon to Fatima is by car or tour bus. The drive takes about 1.5 hours.

Best tours from Lisbon: Fatima is an important pilgrimage site, but also a popular tourist attraction. So there are many tours that can bring you here from Lisbon. If you are only interested in visiting Fatima, then this half-day tour is probably the best option. However, if you have a full day to spare, we highly recommend taking a tour that visits some of the other places in that area. This tour is the most popular option, but there are countless others, so pick one based on the itinerary that appeals to you the most.

Aerial view of the Sanctuary of Fatima in Portugal
Aerial view of the Sanctuary of Fatima.
 

11. Óbidos

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Óbidos is a beautifully preserved medieval town that feels straight out of a fairytale. With its white-washed buildings and cobblestone streets, Obidos is one of the most picturesque towns in Central Portugal, attracting lots of tourists.

Thanks to its small size, it’s easy to see everything the town has to offer in just an hour or two. This makes it a popular stop for many tour groups visiting the famous monasteries nearby.

Some of the highlights you won’t want to miss in Obidos include the 12th-century Castelo de Óbidos, the Santa Maria church, and Rua da Talhada, which is lined with colorful houses. For views of the entire town, be sure to walk up to the top of the city walls. To us, this is the most special experience in town!

You can also sample some of the local food specialties and do some souvenir shopping.

Food tip: Make sure to try the most famous drink of Obidos, Ginja. This is a cherry liqueur that is served in a chocolate cup! A perfect sweet treat to keep you going on your afternoon adventure.

Obidos - a popular day trip destination from Lisbon in Portugal
Obidos.
 

How much time do you need? You should count at least 1.5-2 hours for Obidos. If you want to take your time and savor all that the town has to offer, you can probably fill half a day here.

How to visit Obidos from Lisbon: The easiest way to get from Lisbon to Obidos is by car or with a tour. The drive takes just over an hour. You can also take a train from Lisbon, but the journey will take you at least 2.5 hours.

Best tours from Lisbon: There are tons of organized day tours from Lisbon that include Obidos in their itineraries (see the selection of tours here). Most tours combine a visit to Obidos with that of 1 or 2 monasteries, sometimes also with a stop in Nazaré town (more about it below). If you are not interested in the monasteries and just want to visit a few nice towns, take a look at this highly-rated tour that visits Obidos and Nazaré, allowing you more time in each place than tours that also go to the monasteries.

Obidos city gate with beautiful Portuguese azulejos
Obidos city gate.
 

12. Nazaré

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Nazaré is a coastal town with some of the best beaches in Central Portugal. It’s best known for its dramatic cliffs which tower over the Atlantic Ocean and is also world-famous for its giant waves, which attract surfers from all over the world.

Nazaré is a fishermen’s town that has retained centuries-old traditions. Many locals (especially older generations) still wear traditional clothing. You can see fishermen coming back from the sea with their catch and women drying fish on wooden racks on the beach. At the same time, Nazare is also a popular vacation destination attracting lots of people in the summer months.

Make sure to walk along the seafront promenade (Praia do Norte) for some stunning ocean views. you can also take a funicular to O Sitio district on the hill. The views from here are stunning! And don’t forget to try some delicious fresh seafood while you’re in town!

TIP: Nearby, you can also visit São Martinho do Porto, another cozy seaside village overlooking a shell-shaped bay. For the nicest view, head to Miradouro do Cruzeiro viewpoint.

A big wooden boat on a beach in Nazare, Portugal
Nazare beach.
 

How much time do you need? You can spend just an hour in Nazaré or a full day, so it really depends on your preference and on how you visit. If you are traveling by car and have plenty of time, plan at least half a day here. This will give you plenty of time to explore all the sights at your leisure without feeling rushed.

How to visit Nazaré from Lisbon: The best way to get from Lisbon to Nazaré is by car—the drive takes about 1.5 hours. Local bus companies also run daily trips between Lisbon and Nazaré (just be sure to check schedules in advance). Once you’re in Nazaré, everything is within walking distance, so there’s no need to worry about finding parking or public transportation.

Best tours from Lisbon: Nazaré is also a popular stop for various organized tours from Lisbon. Most of them visit several places in a day and only foresee a bit of time in Nazaré – to check out the best viewpoints and see the place where the waves are the most impressive. So be sure to check the itinerary of the tour you choose so that you know what to expect. As already mentioned before, this Obidos – Nazaré tour gives you the most time in both towns. These tours also pass São Martinho do Porto.

READ ALSO: What to See & Do in Nazaré

Nazare town in Portugal - city view from funicular
Nazare.
 

13. Sanctuary of Christ the King

NICE TO SEE

Sanctuary of Christ the King, aka Cristo Rei statue is another popular place to visit near Lisbon. It’s located in the town of Almada, across the River Tagus from Lisbon center.

The giant statue overlooking Lisbon was inspired by the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Inaugurated in 1959, it was built to thank God for sparing Portugal during WWII.

There’s a viewing platform at the bottom of the statue, but for a small fee you can also go to the upper deck, at Jesus’ feet. Both viewpoints offer great panoramic views of Lisbon, the river, the April 25th bridge, and the surrounding countryside.

TIP: Plan your trip for the late afternoon and, after visiting the statue, enjoy dinner by the riverside in Almada. From the south bank of the river, you’ll have a beautiful view of Lisbon during sunset.

Sanctuary of Christ the King - a popular excursion from Lisbon
Sanctuary of Christ the King is just over the river from Lisbon city center.
 

How much time do you need? Depending on how you plan on getting here, you can visit the Cristo Rei statue in 1-3 hours.

How to visit Cristo Rei Statue from Lisbon: You can get here by car, taxi, or a combination of a ferry and a bus. The nicest way is to arrive by ferry which provides great views of both the statue and the city.

Best tours from Lisbon: Since Cristo Rei is so close to the city, you don’t really need a tour to visit here. However, visiting here on your own will likely take a few hours. If you join a tour that includes a stop here, you’ll also visit many other places nearby. So if you want to see as much as possible near Lisbon, you may want to consider a tour (see some options here and be sure to check the itineraries!).

This excellent tour is one of the best options if you are looking for a more authentic day trip from Lisbon that also includes the Sanctuary of Christ the King in their itinerary. It brings you to the less-known areas next to Lisbon that most tourists never see. You visit Arrábida Natural Park, the castles of Setúbal, have lunch in the fishermen’s town of Sesimbra, and taste wine at a local winery. They end the day with a stop at Cristo de Rei.

TIP: If you don’t have time for a visit or a day tour, you can see Cristo de Rei statue (in the distance) by taking a sailing cruise on the River Tagus. A sailing cruise is one of our personal favorite things to do in Lisbon, and especially if you do it around sunset. It’s such a great and relaxing way to see more of the city and its surroundings from another perspective!

Christ the King (Cristo Rei), Lisbon, Portugal
Christ the King (Cristo Rei).
 

14. Berlengas Islands

NICE TO SEE (summer season only)

The Berlengas is a small archipelago located off the Atlantic coast of Portugal. It’s a designated UNESCO Biosphere World Heritage Site.

The largest and most well-known island is Berlenga Grande, which is home to the 16th-century fortress São João Baptista. The other islands are uninhabited and only scientists are allowed to visit these nature reserves.

On Berlenga Grande, you can see several historic sites such as the fort or the lighthouse. You can also go hiking or spend some time on the beach swimming and snorkeling. You can also go kayaking to explore sea caves and take in the views from the water.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing nature getaway, the Berlengas Islands are the perfect day trip destination, and you can visit here from Lisbon too. It’s especially nice in the summer.

TIP: Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and don’t forget a water bottle, towel, swimsuit, and sunscreen. You can bring a picnic, but there is a restaurant on the island and also a small coffee shop.

Good to know: Since the seas get too rough here in winter, boats to the island only run in the summer season (+-mid-May to mid-October).

Berlengas islands in Portugal - a wonderful day trip destination in summer
Berlenga Grande.
 

How much time do you need? If you’re visiting in the summer and want to spend some time on the beach, you can easily spend an entire day here. Either way, you’ll be dependent on the ferry schedule, so you have to plan almost an entire day for a visit here.

How to get to Berlengas: The closest town from where you can take a boat to Berlengas is Peniche, about 100 km (63 miles) north of Lisbon. Here, you’ll find several local companies that operate boat tours to the islands, or you can just opt for a ferry and explore on your own.

TIP: During the peak summer months (and definitely if visiting on a weekend), be sure to book your ticket at least a week in advance. The number of tourists they allow on the island is limited.

Best tours from Lisbon: By far the easiest way to visit Berlengas Islands from Lisbon is by taking an organized tour that includes all the transportation and a guided tour/activities on the island. This is one of the best day tours that can bring you here for a day.

Fort of Sao Joao Baptista in Berlengas islands Portugal
Fort of São João Baptista in Berlengas.
 

15. Tomar

NICE TO SEE

One of the most important medieval sites of Portugal, Tomar is filled with centuries of history waiting to be explored. The town is home to the UNESCO-listed Convent of Christ, a former fortress and headquarters of the Knights Templar. The convent is one of the best-preserved examples of Portuguese Manueline architecture and it’s well worth coming here just to see it!

Other landmarks of Tomar include the Church of Santa Maria do Olival and one of the oldest synagogues in Portugal.

Just like the Convent, the Church of Santa Maria do Olival was also built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. It is notable for its octagonal design, which is unique among Portuguese churches. Inside, you’ll find intricate tilework and beautiful stained glass windows. 

The Synagogue of Tomar dates back to 1430 when it was built by Portugal’s first community of Jews. It is one of only four synagogues in Portugal that still exists today. The synagogue has undergone restoration in recent years and now houses a museum dedicated to Judaism in Portugal.

If you have some extra time, it’s nice to just stroll around Tomar’s quaint old town where you’ll also find lots of local cafes and restaurants.

Convent of Christ in Tomar, Portugal
Convent of Christ in Tomar.
 

How much time do you need? A visit to Tomar is often combined with that of Almourol Caste nearby (more info below). A day trip from Lisbon is the perfect amount of time to explore the castle and everything that this historic town has to offer. If you just want to see the Convent of Christ in Tomar, plan on spending at least 1 hour here.

How to visit Tomar from Lisbon: Tomar is located about 80 kilometers northeast of Lisbon, making it an easy day trip by car. You can also take a (slow) train from Lisbon directly to Tomar, but there are just a few trains a day and the journey takes around 2 hours. In Tomar, everything is within walking distance so there’s no need for public transportation. However, if you also want to visit Almourol Castle, it’s best to come here by car or with a tour.

Best tours from Lisbon: There are a few nice day tours from Lisbon to Tomar. One of the best options is this popular tour which is focused on the history of the Knights Templar. You get to see the Convent of Christ in Tomar and Almourol Castle, but also visit the nice village of Constância, taste some local specialties, etc.

Tomar city in Portugal
The town of Tomar.
 

16. Almourol Castle

NICE TO SEE

Almourol Castle is a medieval castle located on a small island in the Tagus River, about 1.5 hour’s drive northeast of Lisbon. The origins of this site are somewhat mysterious, but the castle already existed in 1129.

The castle was rebuilt in 1171 during the Knights Templar’s reign and still contains many of its original architectural and design features. It was later abandoned and ‘rediscovered’ in the late 19th century.

Almourol Castle is a place full of history and mystery that continues to fascinate people from all over the world. But most people just come here for the impressive architecture and picturesque surroundings.

Good to know: The castle can only be reached by boat which you’ll find on the northern shore of Tagus River. There is a large car parking area here and a cafe. The boat ride only takes 2 minutes and a visit is just a few euros. However, you need to check the boat hours in advance, especially if visiting in the low season.

TIP: Come here before noon or later in the afternoon. At lunch (+- 1 pm to 2.30 pm) the boats are not running.

Almourol Castle in Portugal
Almourol Castle.
 

How much time do you need? After dropping you off at the castle, the boat usually comes to pick you up about 40 minutes later. This should give you enough time to walk around the castle grounds and take some photos of the beautiful view. So all in all, you need about 1 hour for a visit here.

How to visit Almourol Castle from Lisbon: The easiest way to visit here is by car or with a tour. You can also take a train from Lisbon to the nearby town of Almourol (it takes about 1.5 hours). From the station it’s a 15-minute walk to the boat. Several local companies also operate tours from the nearby town of Tomar. It’s best to book these tours in advance, as they often sell out during the high season.

Best tours from Lisbon: The easiest way to visit Almourol Castle from Lisbon without a car is by taking an organized tour. There are several nice tour options, and almost all of the tours that come to the castle will also include Tomar in their itinerary.

Views from Almourol Castle in Portugal
Views from Almourol Castle.
 

17. Sesimbra – Arrábida Natural Park

NICE TO SEE

Another nice place to visit near Lisbon is the beautiful coastal area around Sesimbra, about 40 km (25 mi) south of the city. Here you can enjoy some really nice coastal scenery of Arrábida Natural Park, see some wild beaches and impressive cliffs, and visit some wonderful secret caves.

If you are visiting Lisbon in summer and are looking for an outdoorsy day trip not too far from the city, then definitely consider this area!

Good to know: A boat tour is the best way to explore Arrábida Natural Park. You’ll find all kinds of boat tours in Sesimbra, which is a former fishing town turned a popular seaside resort. The town and its beaches are well worth a few hours of your time too, and you’ll also find some excellent seafood restaurants here.

How much time do you need? You’ll need at least half a day to enjoy this beautiful area. If coming from Lisbon, count 5-8 hours for a visit, including the time to get there and back.

How to visit from Lisbon: The best way to get to Sesimbra is by car. For the nicest scenery, book a boat tour. If you don’t have a car, there are some really nice tours that can bring you here from Lisbon. You can opt for a tour that includes kayaking along the coast. There are also tours that go dolphin-watching.

If you rather not take any boats and want to simply enjoy the scenery from the coast, take a look at this highly-rated tour that also visits a local winery and stops at Cristo Rei statue.

Arrabida Natural Park near Sesimbra in Portugal
The coastal scenery of Arrábida Natural Park.
 

18. Beaches & Wineries near Lisbon

NICE TO SEE

In addition to the most popular day trip destinations near Lisbon, there are lots of local experiences for those who have plenty of time in the area or are looking for something less touristy to do.

If you’re looking for a great beach to visit for a relaxing summer day trip from Lisbon, we recommend Praia do Castelo. This beach is located about half an hour drive south of Lisbon and is less crowded and has more space than the beaches near Cascais. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants here and several surf schools. You’ll need a car or a taxi to get here.

Another nice option for a day at the beach near Lisbon is Praia do Guincho, northwest of Cascais. This vast sandy beach is usually quite windy and is perfect for surfing or for a nice walk.

If you would like to visit some local wineries, consider the area around Azeitão, a small town located about 40 minutes drive south of Lisbon. This area is among the most important wine regions in Portugal and there are several wineries where you can taste and buy some local wines. You might also want to consider booking a tour from Lisbon so that you can enjoy the wine without worrying about the drive back. Here are some tours – that among other nice places nearby – also include a visit to the wineries.

Grape sculpture in Azeitao town in Portugal
Grape sculpture in Azeitão.
 

19. Porto from Lisbon in a day?

MUST-SEE (but ideally on a longer visit)

You may be wondering whether you can visit Porto on a day trip from Lisbon. Yes, it is definitely possible. If you take a train early in the morning and get back late in the evening, you can see some of the main landmarks in Porto on a day visit.

However, even the ‘fast’ train takes about 3 hours to get from Lisbon to Porto, which is about the same or even longer as by car. Plus, you need some extra time to get to the station, etc. And then you also have to do the same in the evening… So keep this in mind!

TIP: If you only have a day and are determined to see Porto from Lisbon, take a look at the organized tours that offer this kind of day trip. At least you won’t have to worry about transportation and you can rest along the way. Plus, your tour might include a stop or two at some of the other smaller towns halfway between Porto and Lisbon, which helps to break the long drive.

This small-group tour is a good option – it includes a stop in Nazare on the way to Porto and a stop in Coimbra on the way back. Also, it costs about the same as round-trip train tickets.

Alternatively, if you go by train, why not stay at least one night? Porto has a lot to offer, and visiting for 2 days/ 1 night should give you enough time to cover all the ‘musts’ in Porto and enjoy some of the famous Porto wine in a more relaxed way.

If you plan well and take a late train back to Lisbon on the second day, you could even add a day trip to the famous Douro wine region to your itinerary.

Porto railway station entrance hall with Portuguese azulejo tiles
Porto railway station.
Cityscape of Porto city in Portugal
Porto.
 

Map of the best places to visit on a day trip from Lisbon & practical info

To give you a better idea of where all these places are located, we created a map indicating all the best day trip destinations from Lisbon mentioned in this guide. You can click on the map below in order to see it on Google Maps.

Good to know: As already mentioned, many of the most popular day trip destinations from Lisbon can be visited with organized tours or by car, and some also by train/bus. We don’t recommend renting a car if you are basing yourself in Lisbon city; it would make better sense if you are planning a longer road trip, and are staying outside the city. Car hire is usually not too expensive in Portugal (see here for the best options and be sure to book in advance!). However, there are many toll roads and they aren’t cheap. On one of our road trips in Portugal, we paid less for the rental of the car than we spent on toll roads…

For organized tours, we recommend booking via the GetYourGuide website. They have a great selection of tours at the most competitive rates and the best cancelation policy and customer service out there. We personally book all tickets and tours via this website when we travel anywhere in the world.

Map of the best places to visit as a day trip from Lisbon, Portugal
Map of the places to visit as a day trip from Lisbon. Click on the map to see it on Google Maps.
 

So, this is our guide to some of the most popular day trips and tours from Lisbon. I hope that this helps you choose a few nice places to visit near Lisbon and make your trip to Portugal even more memorable.

For more travel inspiration for Lisbon, Portugal’s mainland, and the islands, please see our featured articles below. Check it out!

More travel inspiration for your trip to Portugal:

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Best places to visit on a day trip near Lisbon, Portugal
 

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