Lisbon – Top 9 day trips to escape from the city
Looking for the best day trip from Lisbon, Portugal? If you want to escape from the capital’s buzz, here are the top day trips from Lisbon . Some are only known by the locals!
1. Sintra – Portugal’s Wonderland
Sintra is without a doubt the most charming place to visit in Portugal! It’s the most popular day trip from Lisbon. With beautiful vibrant palaces, it makes a great day trip as it’s only 40 minutes away by the train in Rossio Square. The most beautiful monuments are Pena Palaca, Quinta da Regaleira and the Castle of the Moors! Also don’t miss out on Sintra’s Queijadas, the popular Portuguese pastry which is made in Sintra and the ginjinha served in chocolate cup. You can read my full detailed guide here with all the information needed.
2. Caldas da Rainha
Here’s a really unpopular place to visit that only locals know about! It is a town founded by the queen Eleanor of Viseu and nobility used to gather there. Caldas is best known for its hot springs and ceramic pottery. If you are looking for an off the beaten track places to visit, I would recommend you to go there. You can wander around the city centre, visit the local market and relax in the Parque Dom Carlos! Also, don’t hesitate to “mingle” with the locals that would love to have a chat with you and talk about their town.
Not very far from Caldas, you can find the medieval town of Obidos. Obidos, is like a town frozen in time. It takes you back to the Medieval Ages, as the municipality managed to maintain its identity. Many festivals are held during the year, such as the Medieval Festival, the Christmas Market and the Chocolate Festival! Obidos is a really small town and makes a very easy day trip. If you want to see my full experience, read here! You can also combine it with a day trips to Caldas.
4. Berlengas Islands
Did you know that there are some really scenic islands not far from Lisbon ? If you are into dramatic cliffs, caves, beautiful nature and a little bit of adventure, you should definitely go! The whole place is a nature reserve and home to several protected species of birds and plants. In order to go there, you firstly need to go to Peniche. From Peniche, a ferry will take you directly to Berlengas. Don’t forget to visit the São João Baptista Fort, since historically Berlengas were an important location to defend. This little fort is one of the most visually striking buildings in Portugal, rising from the turquoise waters and tied together by narrow arched bridges.
Only thirty minutes from Lisbon, Cascais is one of the most charming and exclusive villages of Portugal. What is really unique about the fisherman’s village, is that poor and the rich used to live next to each other! I was also told that Johny Depp has a house in Cascais, so who knows? You might get lucky enough to meet him! The village is really popular among the locals and the tourists as it has really beautiful beaches and very good seafood restaurant. If history is more your scene, there are plenty of museums to enrich your knowledge like Palácio da Citadela de Cascais, Museu do Mar and the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães. If you visit Cascais, don’t miss out on Boca do Inferno, a natural cliff formation which literally translates to Hell’s Mouth. A day trip from Lisbon takes only thirty minutes to the popular village.
6. Arrabida – a Portuguese heaven
Arrabida, has the most dramatic scenery that is overlooking over its beautiful, unspoiled beaches. For nature enthusiasts, Arrabida should be at the top of your bucket list for a day trip from lisbon! It is a bit of a challenge to get there, but it’s worth it. If you make it at the top of the hill, you can see some breath taking views that are overlooking to the Atlantic Ocean. More details on how to get there, read my story.
7. Troia – a well kept secret
Just a ferry away from Setubal, is a very beautiful resort. Sandy white beaches, stunning clear waters and endless coastlines are what describe Troia the best. Troia blends outstanding natural beauty, historical Roman ruins and modern facilities. There are many things to do there such as dolphin watching , water sports or just relaxing at the beach and enjoying a meal at one of the best rated sea food restaurants.
I had mixed feelings for adding Setubal in the list, since it’s not a town that really impressed me. I will add it to the list, as it could make a half day trip or the in between stop before going to Arrabida or Troia. When in Setubal, you can walk around the city centre and admire the artistic touch. It also has some really good restaurants, so check zomato for recommendations. Also, what is cool about this city, is that it’s mostly inhabited by Portuguese people so it could be a cultural experience.
Evora is a historic Portuguese city in the heart of Alentejo Region. It’s also known as the “Museum City” since in every corner you can find a historical landmark. Taking a stroll here, transports you on a journey through Portugal over the last 2000 years. Since 1986, it is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it has a unique make-up. Nowadays, Evora is a popular city for students and is a mixture blend of old and new. Also, it could be a time consuming day trip from Lisbon, as it takes approximately 1,5 hours to arrive.
Have you been to any of these places above? If you have any questions feel free to comment! I’ll be more than happy to help you out with your next day trip from Lisbon!