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Five Fabulous Day Trips from Lisbon by Train and Bus

Five Fabulous Day Trips from Lisbon by Train and Bus

Recently voted Europe’s Best Urban Destination at the World Travel Awards, visitors to Lisbon could be excused for remaining in the heart of the city to soak in its vibrant culture, cuisine and numerous tourist attractions, however, they are well-advised to also check out the surrounding region too. Here, the team at Visit Lisboa (, highlights five day trips that can be taken by bus or train and cost less than €5 each way (and are free with the money-saving Lisboa Card).

Setúbal by Train: Coastal Charm and Culinary Delights

Just a 50-minute train ride from Lisbon, Setúbal offers a refreshing escape for holidaymakers. Departing from Lisbon’s Entrecampos station, the journey itself is a visual treat, with the train cruising through the hills and vineyards of the Palmela region with frequent glimpses of the tranquil Sado River, before reaching Setúbal on the northern shore of the Sado estuary. The town has a bustling marina, picturesque waterfront and stunning beaches, plus the historic Mercado do Livramento market, renowned for its vibrant seafood market and beautiful azulejo-tiled walls. Visitors can explore the São Filipe Castle, which offers panoramic views over the city and the Atlantic Ocean, and the Igreja de Jesus, a remarkable Gothic-Manueline church. Setúbal’s local gastronomy, particularly its fresh seafood and famed choco frito (fried cuttlefish), is a highlight not to be missed.

Cascais by Train: Seaside Elegance and Outdoor Adventures

A scenic 40-minute train ride from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station takes holidaymakers to the coastal town of Cascais, with the journey delivering stunning views of the Tagus River and the Atlantic coastline. Once a quaint fishing village, Cascais is now a vibrant resort town known for its elegant 19th-century mansions and traditional Portuguese houses. Visitors can sunbathe or swim at Praia da Rainha and Praia de Carcavelos, or hire a bike for leisurely rides along the coastal path to Guincho Beach. The lively town centre offers an array of shops, cafés, and bars, perfect for a relaxed afternoon of shopping and dining. One of Cascais’ natural wonders is the Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth) cliff formation, a dramatic chasm that creates spectacular displays of crashing water that are a favourite backdrop for tourist photos. Cascais’s fishing heritage means it is famous for its seafood cuisine, with numerous waterfront restaurants serving fresh and delicious dishes.


Sintra by Train: Fairy-tale Palaces and Enchanting Landscapes

A 40-minute train trip from Lisbon’s Rossio station brings holidaymakers to the magical town of Sintra. Nestled in the mountains of the same name, this UNESCO World Heritage site is famed for its fairy-tale palaces, lush gardens, and enchanting landscapes. Visitors can explore the iconic Palácio da Pena, a colourful 19th-century Romanticist castle perched high on a hill, and the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira, with its elaborate gardens, grottoes, and the famous Initiation Well, used for secretive rites by the Knights Templar and Masonic orders. The historic town centre offers charming cobblestone streets lined with shops selling local crafts, artisanal products, and traditional Portuguese pastries. The Moorish Castle, easily reachable by bus, provides panoramic views of the surrounding hills, the Atlantic Ocean, and Lisbon, and gives a fascinating glimpse into the region’s medieval past during the Moorish occupation.

Cabo da Roca: Europe’s Westernmost Point and Stunning Coastal Views

Travel to Europe’s westernmost point at Cabo da Roca, where dramatic cliffs meet the vast Atlantic Ocean. This destination offers endless views of the ocean and rugged coastline, and a striking clifftop lighthouse provides an eye-catching background for memorable photographs. Visitors can stand on the edge of the continent, feel the powerful Atlantic winds, enjoy the expansive vistas, and follow well-marked trails to explore the natural beauty of the coastal terrain. To get there, take a 40-minute train ride from Lisbon’s Rossio station to Cascais, followed by a scenic bus ride to Cabo da Roca. The nearby village of Azoia, just a short walk from Cabo da Roca, offers traditional Portuguese cuisine in cosy restaurants, making for a perfect stop before or after visiting the cliffs.

Ericeira by Bus: Surfing Paradise and Charming Fishing Village

Catch the bus from Lisbon’s Campo Grande station for a 75-minute ride to the laid back coastal town of Ericeira. Known as one of Europe’s premier surfing destinations, Ericeira offers world-class waves that attract surfers from around the globe. Beyond its surfing fame, this charming fishing village is steeped in history and traditional Portuguese culture. Visitors can wander through narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed houses and quaint shops selling everything from local crafts to surf gear. Fans of the waves can easily hire equipment and join a lesson from one of the many surf schools, and the town’s beautiful beaches, such as Ribeira d’Ilhas and Praia dos Pescadores, make a great base for sunbathing and swimming too. 

About the Lisboa Card

The Lisboa Card enables free travel by bus, metro, tram, and funicular, plus CP train lines to Sintra and Cascais, and free entrance to 51 museums, monuments and UNESCO World Heritage sites, and discounts on tours, shopping, and nightlife. There are 24, 48 and 72 hr options available,

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