Lisbon, with its enchanting blend of modernity and history, is undeniably a jewel in Portugal’s crown. But, if you’re hankering for a change of scenery, consider these five amazing day trips, all easily accessible from Lisbon.
1. Sintra: Fairytales Come to Life
● Why Go: Think of majestic palaces, mysterious forests, and panoramic views. Sintra feels like stepping into a fairytale.
● What to Do: Visit the Palácio da Pena, Moorish Castle, and Quinta da Regaleira. Wander around the town center and get lost amidst its charm.
● Eat: Try the local “travesseiros” (puff pastries with almond cream) at Piriquita, Sintra’s iconic bakery.
● How to Get There: Trains depart regularly from Lisbon’s Rossio station, and the journey is around 40 minutes.
2. Cascais: Seaside Splendour
● Why Go: A blend of sandy beaches and a lively town atmosphere makes Cascais a perfect seaside escape.
● What to Do: Lounge at Praia da Ribeira, stroll down the marina, or explore the Museu Condes de Castro.
● Eat: Savor fresh seafood at Mar do Inferno with gorgeous views of the Atlantic.
● How to Get There: The train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station to Cascais takes about 40 minutes, offering scenic views along the coast.
3. Óbidos: Medieval Charms
● Why Go: This walled medieval town is known for its preserved architecture, cobbled streets, and the annual chocolate festival.
● What to Do: Walk through the city walls, explore the castle, and browse the quaint local shops.
● Eat: Sample the cherry liqueur “ginjinha” in a chocolate cup. Yes, you eat the cup!
● How to Get There: Buses run from Lisbon’s Campo Grande station to Óbidos, taking roughly an hour.
4. Setúbal: Nature and Gastronomy
● Why Go: From the Arrábida Natural Park to the Sado River estuary, Setúbal offers a feast for nature lovers.
● What to Do: Dolphin watching in the Sado estuary, hiking in Arrábida, or exploring Livramento Market.
● Eat: Dive into a plate of choco frito (fried cuttlefish), a local specialty.
● How to Get There: Regular trains run from Lisbon’s Roma-Areeiro station to Setúbal, taking just under an hour.
5. Évora: A Historic Gem
● Why Go: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Évora boasts Roman temples, cathedrals, and a unique chapel adorned with bones.
● What to Do: Visit the Roman Temple, Sé Cathedral, and the slightly eerie Chapel of Bones.
● Eat: Try “açorda Alentejana,” a bread-based dish typical of the region.
● How to Get There: Trains and buses both connect Lisbon to Évora, with journeys lasting around 1.5 hours.
Each of these destinations offers a unique glimpse into Portugal’s rich tapestry of history, nature, and culture. And the best part? They’re just a short hop away from the capital. Ready for a day of discovery? Lisbon’s surroundings are waiting to enchant you!