Day Trips Just Minutes From Lisbon
Although there are countless things to see and do in Lisbon, the surrounding areas are filled with charming towns and bustling resorts just begging to be explored. The best part? You don’t have to travel far to see lush rolling hills, sample the best seafood in the region, relax on stunning beaches or explore medieval castles, as they are all just minutes away from the city. So, if you’re short on time or if you simply want to see as much of Portugal as possible, then you are going to love our list of the top day trips within an hour of Lisbon.
30 minutes to Sintra
Sintra is a picture-perfect town nestled in the rolling hills of Serra de Sintra. Filled with grand palaces, fantastic hiking and cycling routes and stunning coastline, this little town has it all. You can spend the morning exploring the National Palace, the most well preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal, the impressive Moors castle, looming over the town on top of a cliff, or the exquisite Pena Palace. In the afternoon, you can spend some time lazing on one of the many golden sand beaches or getting back to nature hiking in the Monte da Lua park. We recommend paying a visit to Praia de Ursa or Adraga beach, two of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Sintra. At just 30 minutes away by bus, Sintra is easily one of the top day trips within an hour of Lisbon.
35 minutes to Cascais
This famous fishing port was once a popular summer retreat for Portuguese nobility but has since become one of the most sought-after resort towns for both tourists and locals in the area. A perfect blend of historic architecture, grand mansions and ultramodern resorts, Cascais has its own unique charm. Although Cascais is known for its two gloriously picturesque beaches, there’s so much more to do in this fishing town. A collection of fascinating museums, wonderfully pristine parks, a trendy promenade filled with cafes and bars and a vibrant nightlife are just a few of the attractions the bring people to this beachside town. Thanks to its infectious atmosphere and beautiful coastline, Cascais is one of the top day trips within an hour of Lisbon.
40 minutes to Mafra and Ericeira
These two neighboring towns create the perfect day trip of nature and history. Head to Mafra first to visit the most exquisite and exuberant palace in Portugal, built in 1755. This monumental building almost bankrupt the Portuguese economy during its build as 45,000 workers were hired to complete its vast 1,200 rooms. After walking through the breathtaking halls of the Palace of Mafra, you can head over to the sleepy surfing town of Ericeira. This somewhat traditional fishing village has turned into a surfers paradise thanks to the radical surf and beautiful beaches. Here, you can enjoy a cocktail in one of the trendy surfer bars while gazing out onto a traditional 18th-century mansion. Ericeira also has winding cobbled streets and white-washed houses that rival those of Mykonos, a truly unique experience in Lisbon.
50 minutes to Sesimbra
Foodies rejoice as this popular resort town is home to some of the very best seafood in Portugal. Each day, the town’s fisherman bring in droves and droves of fresh fish, and the local restaurants cook up one hell of a tasty feast. But seafood isn’t all that’s on the menu in Sesimbra. This beautiful town is surrounded by lush forests to the east and dramatic cliffs to the west, so you can fill up on some of the regions most stunning scenery. For those history buffs amongst you, Sesimbra is also home to an impressive Moorish castle and dominating beachfront fort that dates all the way back to the 12th-century. If you’re looking to sample some of the most delicious food in the area, Sesimbra is one of the very top day trips within an hour of Lisbon.
1 hour to Obidos
Although Obidos is the farthest from Lisbon, it’s one of the most postcard-perfect towns in Portugal…so well worth the trip. This charming walled town was gifted to Queen Urraca in 1210, and there’s no doubt that it’s fit for royalty. Pretty cobbled streets, quaint traditional houses, and a delightful medieval castle are just some of the attractions found in Obidos. Although small, this town is filled to the brim with fantastic cafes, boutique shops, fascinating ancient city walls and darling restaurants. While in Obidos, you must try Ginja, a delightfully sweet alcoholic drink that’s served in a chocolate cup, it’s a regional speciality. Seeing one of the most picturesque towns in Portugal is a must do day trip from Lisbon.