There is an infinite number of things to see and do in Lisbon. But, if you want to get to know a bit more of Portugal, you don’t have to go far. There are beautiful landscapes you can admire, mysterious palaces to visit and enchanted castles to get lost in less than one hour away from the capital.
Here are some of the best day trips from Lisbon:
Just 20 minutes from Lisbon, you can find one of the most luxurious palaces of Portugal. The National Palace of Queluz was built between 1747 and 1794, and it’s famous for its architecture and landscape design. Outside, the beautifully trimmed gardens with fountains and sculptures invite you for a relaxing walk.
National Palace of Queluz.
Sesimbra is a fishing town less than a 1-hour drive from Lisbon, surrounded by forests, cliffs and the ocean. If you want to know some Portuguese history, visit the Moorish Castle that used to guard the town. Once you reach the top, there is an impressive panoramic view over Sesimbra and the coastline.
Ouro Beach and Califórnia Beach in Sesimbra.
Sintra is a beautiful picturesque town, about 30 minutes from Lisbon. You can easily spend an entire day enjoying its castles, gardens and palaces. Start by exploring the National Palace or the incredible view of the Moorish Castle. Then, visit the romantic Pena Palace and continue the day in the mysterious gardens of Quinta da Regaleira. Don’t forget to go to Casa Piriquita to try delicious pastries like Travesseiros and Queijadas de Sintra.
Pena Palace in Sintra.
This former fishing port, just 35 minutes from Lisbon, used to be the Portuguese nobility’s summer destination. There is a lot to see, including sandy beaches, exciting museums, pleasant parks and a lovely promenade full of bars and restaurants.
Santa Marta Lighthouse in Cascais.
Ericeira is located on the Portuguese west coast, about 40 minutes from Lisbon. This traditional fishing village is nowadays one of the most visited places for surf lovers. The beaches are wonderful, but the food is even better, with great restaurants famous for the seafood dishes.
Beach in Ericeira. Photo by Emília Paiva.
About 40 minutes from Lisbon you can find one of the largest and most impressive monuments in Portugal: the Palace of Mafra. This magnificent palace from the 18th-century has 1200 rooms, 156 stairways, 29 inner yards and courtyards, and one of the most impressive libraries in the world. Take the opportunity to visit Tapada de Mafra, an enchanted forest perfect to have a nice walk.
The National Palace of Mafra.
Arrábida National Park
If you want a quiet day surrounded by nature, Serra da Arrábida is the perfect option for you. Here you can find beautiful white-sand beaches, breathtaking views, rare animal species and incredible caves. You can also visit the Arrábida Monastery and Azeitão, a small town well-known for its delicious cheese and pastries.
Arrábida National Park in Setúbal.
Azenhas do Mar
Azenhas do Mar is one of the most beautiful pearls in the Portuguese coastline, and it used to be a vacation place for King D. Carlos. Enjoy a nice walk in the cliffs, and wander around the narrow streets of the village while admiring the houses decorated with ceramic tiles. There is also a natural pool worth visiting, that fills with the rise of the tide.
Azenhas do Mar Beach in Sintra.
Óbidos is about 1 hour away from Lisbon, but it’s worth the trip. The city is very charming and picturesque with a medieval castle, traditional houses and cobblestone streets surrounded by a wall. There are many events throughout the year, like the Medieval and the Christmas markets. Don’t forget to try Ginjinha or Ginja, a sweet alcoholic drink served in a chocolate cup.
Village of Óbidos in Leiria.
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