5 easy must-do weekend trips from Lisbon

Published by: BouncePosted
Weekend trips from Lisbon

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, offers some incredible things to see and do. From fado music in the city's oldest neighborhood to delicious custard tarts from a historic bakery, there's plenty to enjoy in this beautiful city situated on the River Tagus.

If you only have a few days to enjoy Lisbon or just a weekend, it's better to keep your focus on the city itself. However, Portugal is a small country that packs a lot of great things to do into a relatively tiny area. That, plus its excellent transportation links, makes Lisbon an ideal base for the perfect weekend getaway.

If you want to explore more of Portugal, you're in luck. The best weekend trips from Lisbon will let you get to grips with everything this country has to offer, from the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean to wine tasting in the Portuguese countryside. And everywhere you go, you'll find great weather, delicious food, and surprisingly low prices for Western Europe. With all that going on, it's no wonder that Portugal has some of the best weekend trips you'll find anywhere.

Before planning your next weekend trip, it's a good idea to leave your bags behind at a Bounce luggage storage in Lisbon. Whether you're heading to Rossio Station to take a day trip out of the city or you're staying in town to explore central Lisbon, you'll have a much better time if you only carry what you need. With locations throughout Lisbon and around the world, Bounce makes sure you never have to travel with more baggage than you need.

Serra da Arrabida weekend trip from Lisbon

Serra da Arrabida

If you're looking to get away from it all, this natural park is easily one of the best weekend trips you can take from the Portuguese capital. Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Serra da Arrabida is a popular location for day trips, but there's enough to do here to justify a longer weekend getaway, too.

Distance from Lisbon:

Just on the other side of the Tagus, close to the city of Setubal, Serra da Arrabida is less than 40 km from Lisbon city center. You can reach this park in less than an hour of driving, but there is no public transport out here, so a car is the best way to enjoy the surrounding area.

Our activity recommendations:

Beaches: This park is an outdoor lovers' dream. Though it may be close to the city, the beautiful beaches of this coastal park will make you feel like a very long way away indeed. Check out the popular white sand beach of Praia Figueirinha to get a glimpse of what you can expect on one of the most popular weekend getaways from the city. This beach has parking, bars, restaurants, and live DJs on the weekends, but if it's not the secluded paradise you're looking for, don't worry. There are plenty of other beaches and rocky coves in the area that will give you that remote vacation feeling on your weekend trip.

Dinosaur tracks: Millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the area the park now occupies, and you can see evidence of these incredible animals in the form of fossilized footprints. Easily accessible from the road and free to visit, the footprints at Jazida dos Lagosteiros give you a glimpse back into a world without humans in this beautiful location. You'll also find more dinosaur footprints at the church at Cabo Espichel, which were once attributed to the Virgin Mary.

Best season to visit:

This is very much an outdoor location, so you'll want to visit the natural park when the weather is good. Summer is a great time to explore the beaches and hiking trails, but you may also find the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are good options to beat the worst of the heat and the crowds of visitors out on day trips from Lisbon

Weekend getaway to Evora from Lisbon


Home to a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic city of Evora dates back to the Roman occupation of Portugal. The city remained an important one throughout Portuguese history, so this is a great place to visit to dive into the history of the country and imagine what life was like for Portuguese people through the centuries.

Distance from Lisbon:

Sitting inland almost due east of Lisbon, Evora is about 130 km from the city. You can reach it even on a day trip with a drive of an hour and a half, or you can take a couple of trains from Lisbon and arrive at the train station in an hour and 45 minutes.

Our activity recommendations:

Temple of Diana: Built in the first century, this beautiful temple is one of the most impressive and important Roman relics in all of Portugal. Used as a fortress during the Middle Ages, the temple, though partially ruined, is a great place to get a glimpse back into this area of Portuguese history.

Evora University: The second oldest university in Portugal, Evora University was founded back in the 16th century and was a Jesuit college until the Jesuits were expelled from Portugal in the mid-18th century. The beautiful old buildings are open for the public to visit, and the atmosphere of learning here is impressive.

Capela dos Ossos: If you're looking for something a little more unusual, you'll find it here. Part of the Church of São Francisco, this chapel is decorated with the bones of former monks from the 16th century. The intention was to remind churchgoers of their mortality, and there's no denying it still performs that function very well to this day.

Best season to visit:

This historic city is a great place for a day trip or weekend trip from Lisbon at any time of year. You can wander through the historic city center and enjoy the historic buildings no matter what the weather is doing, so don't let it stop you from visiting.

Lisbon weekend getaway to Porto Covo

Porto Covo

In a way, Portugal is one big coastline, and fishing has been a mainstay of the local economy for centuries. Portugal's traditional fishing villages are getting harder to find these days as they are turned into resorts and tourist attractions, but Porto Covo provides a great place to learn more about this important part of local culture.

Distance from Lisbon:

Unfortunately, you can't drive straight down the coast from Lisbon to Porto Covo. Instead, you'll need to head inland before swinging back out toward the sea, a journey of around 170 km that will take about two hours by car.

Our activity recommendations:

Beaches: Beautiful sandy beaches are one of the biggest draws to this area. Although you couldn't exactly call it a hidden gem given all the day trips from Lisbon that find their way here, Porto Covo is still less crowded than many other local towns, so even during the busy summer season, you may have luck finding your own spot on the beach so you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the ocean like the locals do.

Seafood: One of the best things about visiting a traditional fishing village is that you are almost guaranteed exceptional seafood. Although tourism has slowly become the main driver of the economy here, there are still plenty of fishermen who head out early in the morning and return with their daily catch to sell to the local restaurants. You won't find fresher seafood than this unless you catch it yourself.

Best season to visit:

Porto Covo gets quite busy in the summer, but you can spare yourself some of the hassle of navigating the crowds by visiting in late spring or early fall. The weather is usually still quite pleasant at these times of the year and may even still be warm enough for swimming, but the crowds will be thinner.

Cascais weekend trips from Lisbon


Not far from Lisbon, this beautiful town drips with elegance. The Portuguese President spends their summers here, just as the royal family used to, and when you consider that the Palacio Estoril Hotel was featured in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service, you'll understand the glamorous international vibe you can expect in this popular town.

Distance from Lisbon:

These days, Cascais is practically a suburb of Lisbon. It's only 30 km from Lisbon city center to Cascais, so you can drive from one city to the other in around half an hour. It's also possible to take a train from Campo Mártires Pátria station on the western edge of Lisbon to Cascais, a journey which will take about 40 minutes.

Our activity recommendations:

Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães: This striking building with its stone tower is the perfect setting for a museum based around the eclectic collection of a local intellectual. You'll find everything from prehistoric artifacts to fine art to ceramics on display here, and the impressive library is a particular standout.

Boca do Inferno: Cascais is popular in part because it's a gateway to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. This dramatic rock formation consists of a collapsed sea cave where the water comes rushing in through a natural arch, and it's one of the most popular places to explore in this beautiful area.

Best season to visit:

The beautiful beaches and natural park make Cascais a wonderful summer destination. However, the museums, bars, restaurants, and other attractions are open year-round, so there's really no bad time to visit this upscale town.

Weekend trip to Obidos from Lisbon


If you're looking for somewhere a little more off the beaten path on a day trip from Lisbon or a weekend break, this small medieval town provides a good counterpart to Portugal's better-known historical cities and simply oozes old-world charm. Explore the cobblestone streets and enjoy the relaxed vibe here, and you'll have a great experience in this lovely environment.

Distance from Lisbon:

Obidos lies around 80 km north of Lisbon and can be reached with a drive of an hour or more. It's also possible to reach the town by public transit, but that will take much longer, requiring several changes between bus and train that could take more than two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Old Town: The beautiful town center with whitewashed houses is a definite attraction here. The beautiful old buildings are now home to bars, restaurants, and interesting stores that go beyond the usual tourist souvenirs, so it's not hard to spend the whole day exploring a town that was once popular with Portugal's queens and soaking up the historic vibe.

Walk the city walls: Obidos Castle dates back to the 1200s, and from the castle, you can access the battlements of the city walls and walk around this charming city, enjoying incredible views of both Obidos itself and the surrounding countryside.

Best season to visit:

Obidos is a great town to visit at any time of year. The small city center gets busier in the summer, but you'll also enjoy better weather for exploration. Alternatively, spring and fall make good times to visit when the weather is still usually good, but the crowds are smaller, and even winter here can be enjoyable.

The best weekend trips from Lisbon


Lisbon has plenty to keep you occupied no matter how long you plan to visit Portugal. And if you only have, for example, three days in Lisbon, you should focus on enjoying everything the city offers. But if you have a little longer to spend, consider taking one of the best day trips from Lisbon or a longer weekend trip to experience another side of Portuguese history, culture, and nature. Leave the bags behind at a Lisbon luggage storage and see more of what this beautiful country is all about.

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