When you say Lisbon, you’d most likely think cobblestone streets, postcard-pretty buildings, great restaurants, and lively bars. It’s a gorgeous city that’s a wonderful mix of the old and the new, laid back yet vibrant.
One could probably take days in exploring it, but if you have more time to spare – go on a day trip. Lisbon is surrounded by intriguing locales that range from quaint fishing villages, medieval towns, pilgrimage sites, and places that look straight out of a storybook.
With most of these places just an hour or so away, you’re bound to experience the best of Portugal. Go plan your holiday with these must-try day trips from Lisbon.
9 Best Day Trips From Lisbon, Portugal
1. Arrábida Natural Park
If you have a license, go rent a car and visit the gorgeous Arrábida Natural Park.
Hire a car if you must, you simply can’t miss the scenic drive on the way. It’s less than an hour away from Lisbon but it’s probably one of the best road trips ever.
The drive takes you through winding coastal roads until you reach the headland with a lighthouse in it.
At the park itself, you get to enjoy views of the magnificent Serra da Arrábida, which rises 500 meters over the Setúbal bay.
This is where you’ll find the Parque Natural da Arrábida, a verdant paradise comprised of woodland, and home to diverse flora and fauna. There are hiking trails within the area that lets you explore and see more of Arrábida.
If you’re looking for a scenic excursion out of the capital, this is the perfect Lisbon day trip for you.
Located in Batalha town in Portugal’s Centro Region, the Batalha Monastery is a Lisbon day tour that’s a must in your itinerary.
This was built in honor of João I’s 1385 victory over Castile at Aljubarrota and took a century to complete. The monastery’s official name is Santa Maria da Vitória and known as a prime example of Portuguese Gothic architecture with ornate Manueline details.
As you enter the monastery, check out the intricate late Gothic design in its high portal. The cloisters are quite magnificent as well, with its delicate Manueline arches.
Other places in the monastery that deserves a visit are the Capelas Imperfeitas (Unfinished Chapels), and the Capela do Fundador (Founder’s Chapel).
The Founder’s chapel houses the final resting place of João I and his wife, Philippa of Lancaster, as well as the tomb of Prince Henry the Navigator.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Batalha is just an hour and 31 minutes by bus or car from Lisbon.
3. Cabo da Roca
A visit to the scenic Cabo da Roca only takes an hour or so by train and bus. This beautiful day trip from Lisbon takes you to a rocky headland west of the capital.
With splendid views of the Atlantic, this is an ideal break from all the cobblestone streets, churches, and palaces that you see in other towns and cities.
Apart from the stunning coastline, Cabo da Roca is a haven for bird watchers. The wild cliffs that dominate the area provide a dramatic background for photos. There are also lighthouses perched among rocks and vegetation that’s a stark contrast to the crashing waves.
A lovely place for long walks or simply lounging by the shore to take in the relaxing views, Cabo da Roca is a must in your itinerary.
Before it became one of the top Lisbon day trip destinations, Cascais was a quaint coastal village. Easily accessible by rail where you’ll enjoy a scenic journey, this is a must-visit if you’re in Lisbon.
The charming village used to be the summer retreat for King Luís I and retains that regal atmosphere despite the tourist influx.
The old town is a must-see, as well as attractions like the Museu do Mar-Rei D. Carlos, the Parque do Marechal Carmona and Marina de Cascais. For sprawling views of the coast, head towards the romantic Santa Marta Lighthouse.
Évora is home to various monuments that were witnesses to its long history.
Capital of the Alentejo region, the town is where you’ll find the unmissable Roman temple from the first century, the medieval cathedral Sé de Évora, and the 16th century Agua de Prata Aqueduct.
If you’re into the macabre, check out the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of the Bones) found in the Church of St Francis.
Here you’ll find lots of human bones and skulls which were exhumed from overcrowded old cemeteries. Évora also has an impressive museum that’s home to a massive art collection comprised of archaeological artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and many others.
If you’re after a town that has diverse options to offer in terms of attractions, Évora is a must-visit.
6. Fatima day trip from Lisbon
Fatima is regarded as among the most important Christian pilgrimage sites in the world. It all started after three shepherds claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in 1917.
Whether you’re religious or not, the sights around Fatima are worth the trip.
See the many chapels and churches, as well as monuments and the Basilica that welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year.
Two of the most important sites for pilgrims are the Chapel of Apparitions and Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Fatima is among the most intriguing day trips from Lisbon, easily reached by bus or car in around an hour and a half.
Nazaré is a fishing village that’s also a popular destination among surfing enthusiasts around the world.
Located by the Atlantic coast, this community is pretty much a mini-Portugal — with its picturesque traditional houses, narrow old streets, traditional restaurants, great food, and views of the ocean.
If you’re visiting Nazaré as a day trip from Lisbon, don’t forget to enjoy a meal or two here. They’re big on seafood or fish so try dishes like caldeirada de peixe (fish stew and grilled sea bass or sardines.
Do not leave Nazaré without visiting the crescent-shaped Praia da Nazaré Beach which can be reached by funicular.
To get from Lisbon to Nazaré, travel time is around two hours but it’s worth it as it one of the best day trips from Lisbon.
8. Óbidos day tour from Lisbon
A lovely place to walk around is where you’ll feel like you time-traveled to a bygone era, Óbidos makes for a memorable Lisbon day trip. Easily accessed by an hour-long bus ride, this medieval town dates back to 700 years ago.
Walk around town and you’ll realize that everything is old yet stunning, as if not much has changed for several centuries.
The old castle walls still surround the entire town, and you can climb it to enjoy sweeping views of the countryside.
Apart from the old-world atmosphere, Óbidos is also known as a haven for booklovers. A popular place to visit here is the Literary Man Hotel, which is the largest literary hotel in the world. Literary Man opened in 2015 and home to 36,000 books.
Around town, there are more than 13 bookshops, set in the most interesting places.
You’ll find a church, a convent, an old market, and even a wine cellar converted into a bookshop. With this town’s love for books, it was listed as a UNESCO city of literature.
A day in Óbidos is bound to be busy so wear comfortable shoes and make sure you have enough cellphone or camera battery.
Only an hour away by train, Sintra is undoubtedly one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon. The city is filled with noteworthy attractions that if you want to see them all, you have to set out early.
Sintra is just one of those cities that feels like you’ve just been transported into another era or a fairy tale.
Along with pine-covered hills and lush green spaces, you’ll see majestic palaces. One of these is the 14th-century Palácio Nacional, which is known as the summer house of the Portuguese royalty.
There’s also the elegant Palácio da Pena, which was constructed around a former monastery, and the unmissable Palácio de Monserrate, which has an impressive botanical garden.
Not to be missed are the ruins of the Castelo dos Mouros (The Moors Castle) at the top of the Sintra mountains.
Speaking of gardens, another must-visit is the intriguing Quinta da Regaleira garden. Wander through this unique green space surrounded by fountains and fascinating symbols.
Don’t leave Sintra without visiting the luxurious Rococo Palace of Queluz, which will definitely remind you of Versailles in France.