The Best Excursions From the Portuguese Capital
Lisbon is well situated roughly in the middle of the Portuguese coast and, with good train and bus connections, is a good place to base yourself for exploring central Portugal.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular day trips from Lisbon.
Can You Go to Porto as a Day Trip From Lisbon?
The place everyone most wants to visit from Lisbon is perhaps the most awkward, due to the two-and-a-half-hour train ride, but connections to Porto are easy so it is quite doable.
The Golden Triangle of Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca
A more realistic day trip (or trips) is the sights to the west of Lisbon, especially Sintra. Transport connections are good between all of these sights, so you can easily combine two or even three in a day.
Evora and Other Wine Regions in Portugal
Evora is a world heritage site, with Roman ruins and a chilling bone chapel (Capela dos Ossos). And, as it is situated in the Alentejo wine region, there are also some great wineries to visit too.
Both train and bus take around 90 minutes to get to Evora from Lisbon.
North From Lisbon: Fatima, Obidos, Nazare, Batalha, and Coimbra
Fatima is an important Catholic pilgrimage site due to reports of the apparition of the Virgin Mary back in 1917. The main attraction is the Sanctuary of Fatima, which commemorates the reported event.
Fatima is often combined with a tour of some other religious sights in the area.
The university town of Coimbra has a wonderfully idiosyncratic student tradition (take a walking tour to learn about it). It takes just an hour and a half to get to Coimbra by train from Lisbon.
Join the Dots
Fatima and Coimbra are in the same direction, but as there is no train station, you'd need to travel by bus to include Fatima
You'd be ill-advised to visit both Fatima and Coimbra in a day. but if you are traveling light, Fatima could be a convenient stepping stone to Coimbra, with the logical next step being onward to Porto. Suddenly, there's an itinerary emerging!
How to Get From Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, and Cabo da Roca
Some of the best sights outside Lisbon are so close to the capital and to each other that they can be visited all in a single day.
What to See and Do in Each
- Sintra The three palaces of Sintra and the area's natural parks are the Lisbon region's biggest attractions.
- Cascais A lively beach town, famous for its high-society shenanigans during the early 20th century.
- Estoril A slightly quieter beach town with a picturesque castle.
- Cabo da Roca The most westerly point in Portugal, Europe, and Eurasia.
How to Get from Lisbon to...
The train from Lisbon to Sintra takes about 40 minutes from the Rossio Station and costs about 5€ for a round trip.
- Cascais and Estoril
Take the scenic train line from the Cais do Sodre Station to both destinations. The journey takes about 40 minutes and costs under 2.50€.
- Cabo da Roca
Take the 403 bus from either Cascais or Sintra. Buses run every hour.
How Many Could You (and Should You) Visit in One Day?
Sintra is, for a many, a day trip in itself. But if you tend to tire easily and would prefer to combine your trip with a few hours at the beach, you can easily combine it with some time in Cascais or Estoril. Alternatively, an excursion to Cabo da Roca is a good way to break up your day.
If you're on a beach vacation, you'll probably choose Estoril or Cascais as your base and perhaps head over to the other for a change of scene (or to check out Cascais' more extensive nightlife), which is easy by bus, taxi or (during daylight hours) walking.
But three or four in a day? There is little point in packing two beach towns into such a long day, so drop Estoril. But even then, you'll be hard-pressed to make such a trip by yourself.
How to Travel Between Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca
The 403 bus here is your friend. It departs hourly, going from Sintra to Cascais via Cabo da Roca and takes around an hour. If you're in a hurry, the 417 bus misses out the cape but gets you between Sintra and Cascais in half the time.
Estoril to Cascais and Sintra
Estoril and Cascais are just five minutes apart by train (you can even walk). To get from Estoril to Sintra, take the 418 bus.
Fatima, Obidos, Nazare, Batalha
On this page, you'll find transport information for getting from Lisbon to Fatima, Obidos, and Nazare by guided tour, bus, train, and car.
Lisbon to Obidos
The bus takes one hour from Lisboa-Campo Grande. Check schedules at Rodotejo.
Lisbon to Fatima
The bus from Lisbon to Fatima takes 1h30 and costs about 10€ each way. Book from Rede Expressos .
The closest train station is 10 km outside the town and requires a bus transfer.
There are regular buses by Rede Expressos to Nazare from Lisbon, taking around two hours.
Connecting up These Sights
Bus connections are poor or impossible between these sights, so your only option is a guided tour or driving.
Guided Tour: There are many guided tours from Lisbon to Fatima. Some take you directly to Fatima or you can combine other sites with Fatima.
By Car: It takes around an hour to get from Lisbon to Obidos. The onward trip to Fatima - via Nazare - takes a little over an hour. The return journey to Lisbon then takes around an hour and a half. Better still, finish your day in Coimbra, a 50-minute drive from Fatima.
Visiting Evora From Lisbon
Looking to visit Portugal's Alentejo wine region? Then you'll most likely want to head to Evora, the capital.
Though Evora is a little further from Lisbon than most Day Trips from the Portuguese capital, it is still well connected by both bus and train, making it a popular destination for sampling Portugal's under-appreciated wines.
Evora en Route From Spain to Lisbon
If you are coming into Portugal from Spain, you may prefer to stop in Evora before making your way to Lisbon. It takes just over an hour from Badajoz or two hours from Merida. Note that Portugal is in a different time zone to Spain, which may mess with some booking websites' travel time estimates.
Best Way to Travel Between Lisbon and Evora
The bus and train take a similar amount of time and cost about the same. The train will be more comfortable, but if you are staying close to the bus station, it may be more convenient to just take the bus.
Bear in mind that if you want to visit a winery, it will be much easier to go by guided tour.
Lisbon to Evora by Guided Tour
There are guided tours from Lisbon to Evora. The tour should include a visit to the chilling Chapel of Bones in the St. Francis Church, as well as sights such as the Cathedral of Évora, the Roman Temple, and the Almendres Cromlech..
If you are staying in Evora for a few days, you may prefer to do a tour that begins in the city.
Lisbon to Evora by Train and Bus
The train ride from Lisbon to Evora takes 1h30 and costs about 15€ one way.
The bus from Lisbon to Evora takes a bit over 1h30 and costs about 20€ round trip (or around 10€ one way). Book from Rede Expressos.
Lisbon to Evora by Car
The 130 km drive from Lisbon to Evora takes about one-and-a-half hours.