Epic Day Trips from Lisbon That Locals Rave About

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The Portuguese capital city is a fantastic city to visit, but there is a lot more to discover on day trips from Lisbon! There are picturesque cities, stunning landscapes, and incredible beaches to discover. Let’s find out more!

This article is part of my Wander Like a Local series, where guest writers reveal the best-kept secrets, must-see spots, and unique experiences that only locals know. Discover hidden gems and authentic tips from those who call it home.

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What's Your Favorite Day Trip from Lisbon?

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How to Get There

The easiest way to enjoy day trips from Lisbon is probably by car. The roads are good, and a road trip is often the fastest way to reach the next town. Especially if you want to explore nature, a car will come in handy. But the train and bus services are also incredible! Trains depart from major stations such as Sete Rios, Oriente, and Santa Apolónia. 

FlixBus, Rede Expressos, and many local buses have amazing networks, too. There are also daily excursions from Lisbon, so you can join a group or book a private tour of nearby towns. So let’s have a look at some hidden gems and discover the best day trips from Lisbon for locals.

The Best Day Trips from Lisbon

Now that you know the best transportation options, let’s cover my favorite day trips from Lisbon. From coastal hikes to a day at the beach and more, there are so many things to do in Portugal just outside of Lisbon.

Aerial view of a coastline with clear blue water, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs extending into the sea under a clear sky.
Photo Credit: Discover Portugal.

Arrábida Natural Park

Whether you fancy a glass of wine, a day at the beach, or a coastal hike, Arrábida Natural Park has it all! You can take a train to Setúbal and continue by bus or drive towards Portinho da Arrábida. Just before, stop at Lapa de Santa Margarida, where you can find a small chapel in a cave! A pretty unique place and close to the main road. And speaking of roads, driving the N379 is a must if you have a car. You have beautiful views over the Sado Estuary and Troia with clear weather.

Depending on your interests, there are a few things to do at Arrábida. Many people come here for a beach day trip from Lisbon. Praia do Creiro, Praia de Galapinhos, and Praia da Figueirinha have a good bus service in summer, and the clear waters are incredible for swimming. You can, however, also plan more adventures in and around the water. Join a kayak trip, for example. Or come snorkeling, coasteering, and stand-up paddling. From the seaside towns of Setúbal and Sesimbra, you can also join boat tours to discover the dolphins that live in the Sado Estuary. 

When you get hungry, you can stop in the cities or stop in Portinho da Arrábida to eat at restaurant O Farol. Enjoy fresh fish with a glass of wine, or try local treats! Wine lovers can visit some of the vineyards in Azeitão. Booking a guided tour is the best way to learn all about the wine-making process. Afterwards, you get to taste some incredible wines! Are you looking for another memorable experience? Visit the Convent of Our Lady of Arrábida, with sea views, chapels, and shrines. You will have to contact them to pre-book a visit! 

A stone fortress with tall, tree-lined walls and a clear blue sky in the background.
Photo Credit: Discover Portugal.


If you like day trips from Lisbon to cities, add Tomar to your wish list! You can reach the city center by train from Santa Apolónia in Lisbon in just one hour! There are also many festivals and events throughout the year, such as Festa dos Tabuleiros and Festa Templária in July. Always a reason to come again! The city has a great atmosphere and is mostly known for the history of the Knights Templar. If you want to learn more about this, you should visit the Convento de Cristo. This is where Romar was founded! 

The founder, Dom Gualdim Pais, was a Knights Templar from Amares. The Convento de Cristo is nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the highlights is the enormous Templar Charola or Rotunda. Eight pillars support the structure, with religious paintings in between. Next to the Convento de Cristo, you can discover Tomar Castle for free. From the Templar Castle, you have panoramic views over the city, as both structures are located on a hilltop.

Before returning to Tomar Centre, it’s worth looking at the historical Pegões aqueduct. It was used to supply the friars with water, and it was built in the 16th century. From the aqueduct, you can enjoy a stunning hike in the Seven Hills National Forest, filled with centuries-old cypress trees, olive trees, and oak. The town has several churches, parks, and squares to discover. Or visit Museu dos Fósforos! This original museum has a huge matchbox collection!

View of an old coastal fort connected by a stone bridge to a rocky cliff, surrounded by clear blue-green water. The fort and bridge are partially eroded, indicating age and exposure to elements.
Photo Credit: Discover Portugal.

Berlengas Islands

If you prefer a trip to nature, then the Berlengas Islands are fantastic! You can drive or take a bus to Peniche, and several boats depart from the harbor. In about 40 minutes, you’ll sail to the Berlengas Archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is home to many birds, but also some endemic flowers such as the Armeria Berlengensis. Follow the hiring trails to see the whole island, and step on board a glass-bottom boat for a cave tour. Snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking are also possible. 

Berlenga Grande is the main island you can explore, and it’s mostly famous for its fort. The São João Baptista das Berlengas fort was built to protect the island and coast from invaders,  and nowadays, it’s open to the public. You can even climb the roof for an incredible view! Follow the trail towards the lighthouse for spectacular views over the fort. It’s located on the highest point of the island. Afterward, you can follow the trail towards the fishermen’s houses and the restaurant. 

Visiting Berlengas is a popular day trip from Lisbon, but you can stay overnight! The fort contains a hostel inside, and the restaurant offers five basic rooms. It’s the perfect place to take a break, and at night, it’s just you and the birds. You have plenty of time to explore all the hiking trails and recharge your batteries. The facilities on the island are very basic, so bring everything you need overnight! The restaurant offers dinner and breakfast, and the hostel contains a kitchen.

A picturesque square in Setubal, Portugal, featuring a fountain, trees, and a colonial-style building with flags and a palm tree.
Photo Credit: Canva.


If you prefer a city day trip south of Lisbon, Setúbal is an excellent choice. You can easily reach Setúbal by train from Sete Rios or take a ferry from Terreiro do Paço to Barreiro and take a train from there. From the train station in Setúbal, it’s only a short walk to the city center. Here you’ll find Praça de Bocage, with many restaurants and bars. You can also take a look at the Church São Julião or check out the visitors center, Casa do Turismo Setúbal, with a huge black cat on the roof! The Church of the former Monastery of Jesus is also nearby. It’s a beautiful structure in the heart of town.

When you are in Setúbal in the morning, you should also visit Mercado do Livramento. It’s one of the liveliest markets in Portugal! It’s a great place to buy fresh produce such as cheese, meat, fish, and fruits — you can even buy flowers! There is also a shop in Setúbal that turned into a museum shop. Inside Mercearia Confiança de Torino, you literally step back in time! The Troino neighborhood is very traditional and worth discovering. 

Setúbal also has some amazing viewpoints. There is one in the city cente known as Miradouro de São Sebastiao. But the best view is from the top of Forte de São Filipe! You can visit the fort for free, which is located on a small hill. You’re overlooking Setúbal, the Arrábida Natural Park, and the Sado Estuary. There is a small cafe and a terrace to soak it all in. The easiest way to reach the fort is by taxi, as it’s uphill. There is also a bus that stops nearby but at the bottom of the hill.

Which Lisbon Day Trip to Pick?

There are so many fun day trips from Lisbon that it might be hard to choose the right day trip destination! Many visitors explore Sintra and Cascais, but it can be jam-packed, especially in summer. Locals often venture off to lesser-known locations, and Tomar, Évora, Setúbal, and Caldas da Rainha are some amazing places to visit. If you like nature, Arrábida Natural Park, the Sintra coast, and the Berlengas Islands are beautiful options. Even the Alentejo Region is around the corner, where you can enjoy paradise beaches and hikes in the cork forests.

Frequently Asked Questions About Day Trips from Lisbon

Do you have questions about venturing outside the Portuguese capital city? I have answers!

Aerial view of Porto, Portugal, showcasing a river with boats and colorful buildings along the waterfront, with the Portuguese flag at the bottom left corner.
Photo Credit: Canva.

Can you do a day trip from Lisbon to Porto?

Theoretically, it is possible, but Porto is a 3-hour drive from Lisbon. You will spend a lot of time traveling, and there is so much to see in Porto that it deserves a trip on its own.

What are some famous day trips from Lisbon?

Many people travel to Sintra for a day, and it is famous for its palaces. The medieval town of Óbidos is another popular day trip from Lisbon. Nazaré is a charming town famous for its whitewashed houses. Fátima and Cascais are also popular day trips from Lisbon.

Have You Taken a Day Trip from Lisbon?

Where did you go? What did you see and do? Do you have another epic day trip from Lisbon to recommend? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below!

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Marga K.

Meet Marga, a travel writer and photographer who was a flight attendant and has traveled extensively for many years. After settling in Portugal, she started the Discover Portugal blog with insightful and engaging travel stories. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

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5 thoughts on “Epic Day Trips from Lisbon That Locals Rave About”

  1. I love your section labeled: Ready to Go?
    Use These Helpful Links to Book Your Trip! This is such great information and I can follow these steps real easily.

  2. Portugal is on my bucket list, so it’s great to know where I can go if I use Lisbon as a home base. Thank you!

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