I’m in love with Lisbon. But even with our amazing relationship, sometimes we need to take a break from each other. When the city life gets too hectic or when I simply want to refresh my eyes with a different view, I head out of town for a day and explore a new city, town or park.
Over the years, I’ve collected a few favorite day trips to take from Lisbon. Because that’s another great thing about the city – not only is it a beautiful European capital with tons to explore, Lisbon is also surrounded by countless interesting cities and towns waiting for you to discover them.
Alright, I’ve said “Lisbon” too much already. So if you happen to be visiting… you-know-what soon, save a day to head out of town and learn a little more about Portugal.
4 Best Day Trips from Lisbon
Sintra has been a favorite day trip from Lisbon for decades now. Its narrow cobbled streets, pretty palaces, vast lush gardens and picturesque building façades all just exude a kind of luxe aura that is unparalleled elsewhere. It’s easy to understand why so many of Portugal’s greatest Romantic writers and artists chose to look for inspiration in the quiet village of Sintra in the 19th century.
You’ll have a full day of exploring ahead of you in Sintra. Between the beautiful Park and National Pena Palace, the lush gardens at Quinta da Regaleira, the incredible views from the Moorish Castle and the magnificent National Palace of Queluz, you’ll spend a full day enjoying the best of the best in Sintra. Art lovers can check out the Sintra Museum of Modern Art and beach lovers can enjoy the sun at Praia da Adraga.
I’ve said this before, but I can’t stress enough how much I love Ericeira. It’s the perfect beach retreat to get away from the city madness and I would even reccommend staying for at least a couple of days. But if you’re cut for time, a day excursion will suffice to make you fall in love with Ericeira.
As a small fishermen town, there is little to do in Ericeira and that’s the beauty of it. Get some Vitamin D at the beach, take up surfing or enjoy a warm cup of coffee on a rainy day (this is my favorite café!).
Arrábida Natural Park
You’ll have to head South of the River Tagus for this one, but it will be worth the trip. About 1h from Lisbon by car is one of Portugal’s largest natural parks – and my favorite nonetheless.
Stretching for over 10,000 ha (that’s almost 25,000 acres American friends), Arrábida Natural Park is a hilly and almost completely remote area of the Arrábida mountain range. You can drive along its highest peaks to enjoy stunning ocean views or hike through its many trails. And if you visit with warm weather, be sure to spend an afternoon at the beach (Figueirinha is my favorite) – the waters are cold but so clear and you can’t beat the glorious mountain backdrop.
Lisbon gets pretty stuffy in July and August, so a day trip to Cascais is the perfect way to escape the summer heat. The trip to this beach town will take you just 30 minutes on the train and you can enjoy lovely sea views all along the way. The pretty cobbled streets by the sea are also filled with small shops, ice cream stores and cafés so you can keep yourself busy if sunbathing isn’t your thing.
Are you traveling to Lisbon soon? Ask me all your questions in the comments below!