7 best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra / My favourite picks

Welcome to My guide to best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra - the off the beaten path and more popular trips that will steal your heart forever!

There are many great day trips from Lisbon you can venture on once you are done exploring the city. However, it seems like an impossible task to see it all! Lisbon is a wonderful city offering endless opportunities. There is so much more to discover often not further than an hour train journey from Lisbon!

I highly recommend exploring more than just the city of Lisbon. If you have a couple of extra days, there are many day trips from Lisbon you could choose from.

While Sintra is one of the most popular ones, it was definitely not my favourite. I know many will disagree.

I can completely understand the appeal of this charming town and its fairy tale castle. Still, I am always searching for a more authentic experience. I love history, old towns and cultural heritage a lot! Yet, it’s the everyday life of those little towns on the outskirts of big metropolises that fascinate me the most.

There are so many articles written about Sintra that I decided to write about all those fantastic day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra.

The below list of best day trips from Lisbon consists of a few off the beaten path places as well as those more popular trips – yet every single one of those towns charmed me in its way and left a memory that will stay with me forever.

So let’s get on with it. Here are my favourite day trips from Lisbon.

7 Best Day Trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra / My Favourite Picks

1. Cacilhas and Almada

Cacilhas and Almada is an excellent trip from Lisbon that can be done in half a day. It is a great option if you are only staying in Lisbon for a short period of time. Not many visitors venture to the other side of the Tagus river. The majority of attractions and sights are placed on the Northside of Tagus, and this is where most of the visitors would spend their days exploring.  

From the day I arrived in the city, I gazed to the other side, wondering what secrets this part of Lisbon holds. So I went. And I couldn’t recommend it more! 

Almada is where the Cristo Rei majestically stands and spreads its arms over the city. This area also offers spectacular views over Lisbon and, of course, the best views of the sun setting over the Puente de 25 Abril. But there is so much more. I recommend taking a river ferry to Cacilhas and explore this neighbourhood and its riverfront as well.

After getting off the ferry, head to Rua Cândido dos Reis where all the restaurants, bars and coffee shops are located. Great place to start a day with a cup of coffee and Portuguese pastry. 

 

best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra / My favourite picks

From there, you can walk to Almada and hike up the Cristo Rei statue. This is Portugal’s answer to Brazilian Christ the Redeemer. I think it’s a great option to walk through the neighbourhood instead of taking a bus. It is not a challenging walk and once done you will so much more deserve the delicious meal by the river which I am about to recommend. This walk takes just under an hour, and you will be rewarded with great views of Lisbon and its majestic bridge of Ponte 25 de Abril. 

On return to the riverbank, I recommend taking a walk to Quinta da Arealva viewpoint. This was the biggest surprise for me as this place is hardly mentioned in mainstream Lisbon guides. At Quinta da Arealva you will find an abandoned industrial manor house that turned into one of the most prominent graffiti and street art displays I have seen. It is fascinating and slightly mysterious given the setting. Definitely worth visiting, especially if you are a fan of street art. 

From there, you can walk back by the riverfront until you reach the Ponto Final restaurant. This is where I had the best-grilled fish in the whole of Lisbon. The restaurant setting is incredible, right by the river bank overlooking the bridge, a great place to watch the sunset. And both the food and service were terrific! What a great end of the day!

best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra / My favourite picks
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra

How to get to Cacilhas and Almada?

The best way to get to Cacilhas and Almada is by taking a ferry from Cais do Sodré station. The ferry leaves every 20 minutes, the journey takes around 10 minutes, and you can charge it to the Viva Viagem card (€2). The last ferry back to Lisbon leaves after midnight, so you can spend the evening by the river without rushing around. 

2. Cascais and Cabo de Roca

Cascais and Cabo de Roca – this is the first day trip from Lisbon I ventured on, and I still hold very fond memories of it. I highly recommend combining visiting Cascais with a bit of hike in Cabo de Roca. It can easily be done in a day and make it so much more special and adventure-packed.  

 

To be honest – I didn’t want to like Cascais. You know, just one of those places heavily infested by ex-pats, posh bars and restaurants that possibly lost all its charm due to becoming a hot turist spot. I was very disappointed when I realised how much I loved it! It’s a beautiful, colourful seaside town full of great energy, cool shops and restaurants.

Cascais is definitely one of the easiest and best day trips from Lisbon.

It is also probably one of the priciest places around Lisbon to eat or get entertained, but it’s so worth it. I kept strolling down the vibrant streets of the town and wandered around the beachfront. 

Best day trips from Lisbon / Cascais
Best day trips from Lisbon / Cascais
Best day trips from Lisbon / Cascais

I recommend starting this day early, which should give you enough time to explore both Cascais and Cabo da Roca.

Spend the morning and early afternoon in Cascais. From there, you can take a bus or Uber/Bolt all the way to Cabo da Roca.

Cabo da Roca is one of the most beautiful viewpoints I have seen not only in Portugal but in the world! If you want to choose just one thing to see outside of Lisbon, it has to be Cabo da Roca. 

Cabo da Roca is a wild cliff head standing at the elevation of 140m and marking the most westerly point of mainland Europe. Until the 14th century, those cliffs were believed to be the edge of the world. And it truly feels this way. The views are absolutely breathtaking. 

Once there, you should definitely take a walk to a couple of neighbouring beaches of Playa Ursa and Praia da Aroeira. You can take an easy path and admire both beaches from the top. Praya Ursa is also a well-known rock climbing spot, so I only recommend walking down if you feel adventurous and fit enough for a steep climb. 

From Cabo da Roca you can also take a longer (around 1.5hours) hike to Praia da Adraga. This trek is well signposted and really worth venturing on. Make sure you give yourself enough time to come back to Cabo da Roca before the down. If you decide to take on this trek, read this post for all the details and trail description. 

best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra
best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra

The whole area is spectacular and should try and make some time for this trip!

Once you are done exploring, you can take a return bus to Cascais, which leaves right outside Cabo da Roca’s viewing point. Trains are running regularly from Cascais to Lisbon all the way to 1 am. 

How to to get to Cascais and Cabo da Roca from Lisbon. 

To get to Cascais from Lisbon, take an urban train from Cais do Sodré train station. You will have to charge the trip to a Viva Viagem card, and the journey takes a little over half an hour. 

To get to Cabo da Roca from Cascais, you can take bus number 403 departing from in front of Cascais Municipal Market. This bus is not a part of Lisbon transport, and the ticket will have to be purchased with the driver. One way journey costs €4.30, and it takes around 30 minutes. 

You can also opt for a taxi ride. Both Uber and Bolt operate in Cascais, and it should cost you no more than around €15 one way. 

3. Evora

Evora is a very popular day trip from Lisbon, and for a reason. Évora, the capital of Portugal’s south-central Alentejo region and is considered a museum city with roots dating back to Roman times. It is a World Heritage Unesco site since 1986. 

With its Roman temple, the old city walls and charming whitewashed houses tiled with Azulejos, Evora is a beautiful town and one of the best day trips from Lisbon. 

 

I have come across a few guides recommending spending more than a day in Evora, and I did consider it. Accommodation in Evora tends to be a bit pricey, so I opted for a day trip instead. In my opinion – it was just fine.

You can take the morning train from Lisbon and arrive in Evora before 11 am. This will give you enough time to see all its sites and enjoy a delicious lunch or relax in one of Evora’s parks. The last train from Evora to Lisbon leaves around 7 pm.

Evora is not only famous for being one of the oldest towns in Portugal. It is also home to some of the best Alentejo region cuisine and wine. Make sure you take a break from sightseeing and try famous Alentejo region wine and some delicious regional dishes like Sopa de cação (Dogfish Soup) OrAçorda à Alentejana

Places worth seeing in Evora are Roma Temple Ruins, Sé (Cathedral), Chapel of Bones or Museu de Évora. Hang out around Evora’s main square Praça do Giraldo, and get lost around its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. Evora is a great and relaxing day trip from Lisbon where you can go back in time but also enjoy traditional and authentic Portugal. 

Best day trips from Lisbon / Evora
Best day trips from Lisbon / Evora
Best day trips from Lisbon / Evora
Best day trips from Lisbon / Evora
Best day trips from Lisbon / Evora

How to get to Evora from Lisbon

To get to Evora from Lisbon, you will have to take a train from Oriente train station. There are four trains a day connecting Lisbon and Evora. Ticket prices start at €12.45 depending on which service you will take. 

I recommend taking an early train at 9 am. You will arrive in Evora at 10:30 which will give you enough time to explore and enjoy the town and make it for the return train at 16:57.

I initially thought this would not be enough time, but it was plenty. Evora is a small town, and you can see it all in under 5 hours, including a break for lunch. 

4. Setubal and Troia Penisula

This is my absolute favourite day trip from Lisbon. I only just managed to squeeze it on my last day, and I belie that combining Setubal with Troia peninsula is one of the best day trips from Lisbon.

I didn’t have high expectations as I have heard many different opinions about Setubal. I fell in love with both Setubal and Troia to the point that still, until now, I dream of staying there for much longer than a day. maybe even forever 🙂

Setubal is often overlooked as a day trip from Lisbon. But it so shouldn’t. In fact, Setubal together with Troia Peninsula is such a great town that it deserves more than a day trip from Lisbon. I wrote an article about it which you can see here.

But if you haven’t got enough spare time to visit Setubal for few days – a day trip is a must-do!

There are many great things to do in Setubal and crossing over to soak up the sun at Troia is one of them.

I have heard various opinions about Setubal, so I decided to take this trip and make my own mind.

As I walked out of the train station, I wasn’t very impressed and actually got very worried that I have just wasted a precious day. What appeared in front of me was just a regular town with blocks of flats and busy streets – just a usual residential Portuguese town.

But I didn’t give up. I decided that as I’m already here, I might make the most of the day and go exploring. I am so glad I did. As I turned left from the train station (you will see signs for the town centre), after around 15 minutes of a stroll, I got my surprise.

I found myself in the centre of one of the most charming towns I have ever visited. Colourful buildings, cobbled streets, hanging ornaments and decorations, a plethora of small cafes and restaurants, fountains and cute parks and local folks going about their lives oblivious to the world out there.

Setubal and Troia Peninsula / day trips from Lisbon
Setubal and Troia Peninsula / day trips from Lisbon
Setubal and Troia Peninsula / day trips from Lisbon

Setubal is a fishing town that lies at the opening of the river Sado, on the coast just below Lisbon. On the opposite side stretches the sandy Troia Peninsula, which protects Setubal from the often violent Atlantic Ocean.

It is most famous for dolphin watching but you will also find great street art, museums and fantastic restaurants and bars serving delicious food and wine. 

Make sure you spare couple of hours to take a boat and visit Troia.

On the bank of Troia Penisula, you’ll find one of the most widespread beaches in Portugal, 18km long in fact. The incredible thing about Troia and its beaches is how secluded it is. There are plenty of hotels and residential renting properties at the Marina waterfront, yet there will always be a big stretch of the sand you will be able to claim for yourself. 

This place is a true tranquil paradise. 

The soft and golden sands extend all the way to the horizon. With the crystal clear waters of the sea on one side and the lush forest on the other, the opportunities for activities are endless. Swimming, sunbathing, hiking, kayaking, watersports and dolphin watching – all possible here. At the beautiful marina, you will find a casino and few very nice bars and restaurants.

I love this place – can you tell?

Setubal and Troia Peninsula / day trips from Lisbon
Setubal and Troia Peninsula / Things to do and see
Setubal and Troia Peninsula / day trips from Lisbon
Setubal and Troia Peninsula / Best day trips from Lisbon

How to get to Setubal from Lisbon

The best, cheapest, fastest and most fun way to get to Setubal from Lisbon is by taking a ferry across the river to Barreiro and then taking a train to Setubal town. Take the ferry from Lisbon Terreiro do Paço terminal (not the Cais do Sodre). The ferry leaves every half an hour, and Barreiro is the only possible destination from this terminal.

Once you arrived at the Barreiro ferry terminal, you will see a train station directly to your left. The train journey is around 40 minutes, and trains also leave every half an hour. The great thing about this way of getting to Setubal is that you will be able to use your Viva Viagem card.

Depending on the connection, the whole journey should not last more than an hour and 15 minutes and costs just under €5.

You can also take a direct train from Lisbon Roma-Areeiro station. This is a private train (Fertagus company) also stopping at Entrecampos and Campolide, and it will take you on a journey over the bridge. You will arrive in Setubal in just under an hour. The one-way ticket will cost you €4.55.

There are frequent busses going from Lisbon to Setubal. You can take one either from either Sete Rios or Gare do Oriente. Busses are operated by a TST carrier, take around one hour, and the fare is around €4.5 one way which can be purchased from the driver. Although in theory, the journey time is similar to those by train or ferry – Lisbon can suffer from heavy traffic, therefore, the arrival time cannot be guaranteed.

5. Obidos

I’m sorry, but In my opinion, Obidis beats Sintra hands down! I am prepared to take the beating for this statement.

Obidos is one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon and I completely understand why. 

Obidos is a charming medieval walled town full of magic and history dating back more than two centuries. The moment you pass the city walls and enter its streets, you will never stop saying – Wow!

Funny, as I kept walking along its cobbled and colourful streets and passed a group of girls, and the only thing I heard them say was – Wow!

Obidos has a medieval feel to it, mostly due to its walls, but the streets are so colourful, full of restaurants and souvenir shops that it makes you feel like you went back in town and entered the ancient town in the middle of some kind of fiesta!

White buildings with added accents of blue and all other possible colours, narrow streets and majestic walls surrounding it all – visiting Obidos is a treat for your senses.

And talking about the senses – you have to try traditional cherry liquor when Obidos. It’s delicious and is being sold at each corner!

I also loved the majestic walls surrounding the town. You can climb on top (be aware there are no railings) and walk along feeling like you are part of the Game of Thrones. I loved it there so much that I didn’t want to leave.

Once a year in July, the town also holds the medieval carnival. If you are in Lisbon around this time, a trip to Obidos is a must!

Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon
Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon
Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon
Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon
Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon
Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon
Obidos / Best day trips from Lisbon

Obidos is definitely worth visiting, and it is one of the best day trips from Lisbon. It is very easy to get to, and it is one of the most charming and romantic towns in Portugal. It is totally walkable, and apart from just wandering along its colourful streets (this could easily be enough), there are also many things to see.

Porta da Vila (city’s main gate), Museu Municipal de Óbidos and Capela de São Martinho are amongst many sights to discover in obidos.

 

How to get to Obidosfrom Lisbon

The best way to get to Obidos from Lisbon is by bus. There are regular bus services departing from Campo Grande. It is a fast service operated by Rodoviaria/Rapida Verde line. The journey on the bus takes around an hour, and a one-way ticket costs €8.

There is also a train service between Obidos and Lisbon, yet it takes over 2 hours, and it is slow service. I do not recommend it. What is the point?

6. Best day trips from Lisbon - beach time! Costa da caparica and Carcavelos

If you are looking for more relaxing day trips from Lisbon – Costa Caparica or Carcavelos should be your choice!

Not too far from Lisbon, you can find some really fantastic beaches. If beach-bumming is your desire – this can be easily done. 

Costa da Caparica is a spectacular 2km long stretch of white sands just under an hour away from Lisbon. It extends along the western part of Setubal Penisula and is a very popular beach destination amongst Lisboners but not only.

The Costa da Caparica town is a vibrant resort and a holiday destination of its own. By visiting Costa da Caparica, you will kill two birds with one stone. Get your Lisbon sightseeing and a beach vacation in one go. 

Another excellent beach option is Carcavelos beach. It is located halfway between Lisbon and Cascais, and it is also a trendy beach destination among Lisboners. Just under half an hour train journey from Lisbon, you can forget the city and the crowds and immerse yourself in Portuguese beach life. 

Carcavelos is one of the most extensive beaches in the region, and Its strong waves and surf schools attract many surfers. It is a typical beach destination with the promenade attracting skaters and joggers and many restaurants and bars with outdoor seating open throughout the year. 

I love Portugues beach life – there is nothing there not to love 🙂

 

Best day trips from Lisbon
Best day trips from Lisbon
Best day trips from Lisbon / Beach time

7. Sesimbra

Sesimbra for me belongs to the list called – ‘Reasons to come back to Portugal (amongst Peniche and so many more!)’.

It is one of the days trips from Lisbon I did not manage to complete but will try to give you as much accurate information as I can.

Sesimbra has been recommended to me by many travellers staying in Lisbon as well as locals and I’m gutted I didn’t manage to visit.

 

Sesimbra can be one of the great day trips from Lisbon, but also, if you decide to stay in Setubal – it is a day trip option from there as well. In fact, I wanted to combine both trips into one. But I loved Setubal so much that I gave Sesimbra a miss.

Nevertheless, I believe Sesimbra is definitely worth visiting.

Sesimbra is a great beach resort combining a pristine coastline and great atmosphere with heaps of sights and things to do. Sesimbra in itself is a separate holiday destination, with many tourists choosing it as a base for trips and relaxation.

While in Sesimbra, you can spend a day on the beach relaxing, kayaking and taking part in many available water sports. Or you could visit the town and explore the Moorish Castle hung high above the centre. And of course, don’t forget to try some fresh fish!

Many locals choose Sesimbra for a weekend getaway, and I would definitely like to spend more than a day exploring the area. Yet if you fancy a bit of glorious beach time combined with a great atmosphere and a bit of sightseeing – Sesimbra is also an excellent option for a day trip from Lisbon.

In this article, you will find great ideas for adventurous things to do in Sesimbra.

The only way to get directly from Lison to Sesimbra is by bus. You can take service 207 from Lisbon Sete Rios. This journey can take well over an hour, depending on the traffic, and the ticket can be purchased from the driver (€4.5 one-way). The service is not very frequent, so make sure to check the timetable before planning the trip

I am sure there are many more fantastic day trips from Lisbon that I haven’t mentioned in this article. I have spent six weeks in Portugal, and it was definitely not enough to see everything that I wanted. I will return, and then if I love someplace as equally as the above – I will update this post.

Lisbon is a fascinating city. But if only you get a chance – try to explore and find at least one day for a day trip out of the town. I hope I made your choice really difficult! If so – do it all! You will not regret it.

Until then – happy travelling!

Portugal Know Before You Go –  Important Information and Travel Tips

 

  • Currency – Euro
  • Language – Portuguese
  • Power plugs and sockets – Type F (European). The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
  • Driving – on the right-hand side. 
  • Climate and Weather – Portugal enjoys a warm to hot Mediterranean climate with mild and winters, sunny and hot summers. 
  • Most popular supermarkets – Continente, Pingo Doce, Lidl, Minipreco, Spar
  • Remember about the Travel Insurance. I recommend SafetyWing especially for those nomads and long term travellers among us. No need to specify the destination nor the duration of travel. And you can cancel at any time. 
  • For accommodation search, I recommend Bookings.com and Hostel World. Although a dorm room is not always the option especially these days, however,  I still prefer to stay in a hostel as I get to meet and befriend other travellers. Most of the time I book a small private room in a hostel. This is my preferred form of accommodation. But on both websites, you will be able to find anything from a dorm room bed to a self-catering apartment for the best prices.

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Pati's Journey Within

Hi, I’m Pati. A traveller, photographer (aspiring), dreamer and hopeless believer in magic. I have caught the travel bug in my forties – and not planning to look back any time soon. I travel solo and on a budget and try to spend as much time and effort to truly immerse myself in the country I am visiting.

Whether you are like me and decided to change your life around a new dream or just wandering (because not all who wander are lost) – I am here to tell you that everything is possible. 

 

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