The cities near Lisbon, Portugal worth visiting are:
Hey there, fellow travelers! Ever wondered what gems are hidden just a short trip away from the vibrant capital city of Lisbon?
Well, I've got some tales to share from my adventures exploring the nearby towns and villages. From surfing paradises to historic landmarks (including UNESCO world heritage sites), there's a whole world waiting for you to discover. So, buckle up and come along on this ride with me!
Cities near Lisbon
Oh boy, Sintra is something else! It's about 25 kilometers from Lisbon and a popular tourist destination. When I visited, the journey took me less than 40 minutes by train. I felt like I had stepped into a fairy tale. You know, with palaces, mystical forests, and whatnot.
Sintra is famous for its palaces. One of the first I saw was the Palácio Nacional de Sintra. I could easily spot its two huge, white chimneys. They kinda reminded me of giant ice cream cones!
Then there's the Quinta da Regaleira. It has secret tunnels, wells, and gardens. One time, I got lost in its labyrinth-like gardens. I felt like Alice in Wonderland! Also check out the Moorish castle.
There are many other palaces and castles in Sintra, like the colorful Pena Palace. I took a bus up the hill to get there. The views from the top? Absolutely breathtaking. You can see forests, the Atlantic Ocean, and even Lisbon on a clear day. Just imagine seeing all that from one spot!
Cascais is another gem, just about 30 kilometers from Lisbon. I hopped on a train from Lisbon, and in about 40 minutes, I was walking along the seaside of this charming town. The beaches here? Golden and inviting.
One of my favorite things to do in Cascais was walking along the coastline. There were paths with stunning views of cliffs, lighthouses, and the deep blue sea. On some beaches, like Praia da Rainha, I saw kids building sandcastles and families picnicking.
The town center is vibrant. Streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and ice cream shops. Speaking of ice cream, Santini is a must-visit. They have some delicious flavors. I remember trying out three: strawberry, chocolate, and sea salt caramel. Yum!
In Cascais, there are tourist attractions and also museums. I remember the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego. It's about a famous artist and her paintings. Some were spooky, others were fun. Either way, it made for an interesting visit.
Oh, and then there's Óbidos, the medieval walled city! A picturesque town that's around 85 kilometers from Lisbon. I reached there by bus, and it took me about an hour. Right from the entrance, it felt like time travel through this historic walled city.
The historic town center is surrounded by medieval walls. You know, the city walls with those tall stone barriers like you see in movies? I walked on them! It was like being on top of the world, looking down at the cobbled streets and cute houses.
Óbidos is known for its narrow streets and traditional houses. The houses? They're mostly white with pops of blue and yellow. Some had flowers on their balconies, others had tiled patterns. Exploring the streets, I stumbled upon some small shops.
They sold things like hand-painted tiles, homemade jams, and cherry liqueur. Speaking of which, "ginjinha" is a must-try here. It's a cherry liqueur, often served in chocolate cups. I took tiny sips, and it was delightful!
In July, Óbidos becomes extra lively. There's a medieval market. Think knights, jesters, and lots of fun. People wear costumes, and there's music everywhere. It's like a grand party from the olden days.
When I took a trip from Lisbon to Évora, I was amazed. It's just about 130 kilometers away from Lisbon. That's roughly an hour and a half by car. But, let me tell you, it felt like a completely different world.
Évora is one of those cities that's bursting with history. I mean, everywhere you look there's something old and interesting. Like the Roman Temple. I couldn't believe it was built in the first century AD! And then there's the Cathedral of Évora. Big, beautiful, and very, very old.
Walking around, I came across lots of whitewashed buildings. They were so pretty. And many had tiles with cool patterns, like flowers and birds.
One of my favorite things? The food! I had some local dishes. One of them was pork with clams. It sounds strange, but trust me, it's delicious.
Next up, let's talk about Setúbal. This place is just 50 kilometers from Lisbon. That's like a 40-minute drive. Super close, right?
Setúbal has this super cool bay area. It's called the Sado River estuary. Here, if you're lucky, you can see dolphins. Real, wild dolphins. How cool is that?
I visited a market called Livramento Market. They had so many things like fish, fruits, and veggies. Oh, and remember how I talked about tiles in Évora? This market has them too! But these tiles tell stories. Like old tales of fisherman and the sea.
Also, there are beautiful beaches here. Lots of them. For example, Praia da Figueirinha and Praia dos Galápos. Warm sand and clear water. Perfect for a day out.
Now, let's hop over to Fatima. It's about 123 kilometers from Lisbon. It took me a bit more than an hour to get there. Fatima is super special. Do you know why? It's one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the world.
In 1917, three kids said they saw the Virgin Mary. Right there, in Fatima. That's why there's this big shrine called the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. I went there, and I felt so calm and peaceful.
Thousands of people visit every year. They come from all over, like Brazil, the USA, and the Philippines. Some even walk for days. They do it to show their faith.
By the way, if you like candles, Fatima is the place to be. People light big candles, small candles, and candles in different shapes. Like hearts and hands.
Also, check out the nearby Almourol Castle if possible, too.
On another one of my adventures, I zipped over to Nazaré from Lisbon. It’s roughly 125 kilometers away. That's about an hour and a half by car. Nazaré is all about the beach. Big waves, little waves, all kinds of waves!
You know what's super cool about Nazaré? The waves. They are HUGE. I'm talking about some of the biggest waves in the world. Surfers, like real pros, come here to ride them. It's amazing to watch. But remember, if you’re not a pro, it’s better to just enjoy from the shore.
The town itself is cute too. There are these narrow streets with tiny houses. Lots of them are white and have blue stripes. Makes you feel like you're in a storybook.
And there’s this tall lighthouse, right on a cliff. It’s called Farol da Nazaré. The view from there? Wow. You can see the whole town, the beach, and the endless ocean. Oh, and there are little stalls selling nuts and dried fruits. Like almonds and figs. Yummy!
Okay, so Porto is a bit further from Lisbon. It’s around 313 kilometers away. That's about a 3-hour drive. But every minute in the car is worth it.
Porto, well, it's famous for its wine. Port wine to be specific. I toured a wine cellar, and it was so cool. Dark, chilly, and full of big barrels. And the smell? Like sweet, rich wine.
The city has this bridge, Ponte Dom Luís I. It’s tall and kinda scary, but in a fun way. From it, you get a great view of the river and the colorful buildings on both sides.
There are these boats on the river. They're called "rabelos". They used to carry wine barrels. Now, they carry people like you and me. And believe me, a boat ride on the river is a must!
I visited Coimbra about 200 kilometers from Lisbon, a two-hour ride. Coimbra is all about learning and books. Why? Because it’s home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Coimbra, a UNESCO world heritage site.
I got to see the Joanina Library. It's in the university and oh my, it's like a dream for book lovers. Tall shelves filled with old books. Some even have fancy covers with gold and gems.
There’s a clock tower in the university too. It's called the Royal Tower. If you climb to the top, you can see the whole city. Like the Mondego River and the old cathedrals.
By the way, in Coimbra, there’s this cool music style. It's called "Fado". People sing it with guitars. The songs? They’re kind of sad, but really pretty. You should definitely listen if you get the chance.
So, on one of my trips out of Lisbon, I headed north to Aveiro. It's around 250 kilometers away. That’s about a 2 and a half hour drive. But boy, is it unique!
People often call Aveiro the "Venice of Portugal". Why? Because of the canals. These are like water roads with boats. The boats here are called "moliceiros". They're colorful and have fun paintings on them. Like flowers, animals, and even funny jokes.
I took a boat ride. The captain told stories of old times. It felt magical, floating on water and listening to tales. The city also has these sweet treats called "ovos moles". They're small, soft, and super sweet. Made of eggs and sugar. You’ve got to try them if you have a sweet tooth like me.
And the beaches? They're lovely. Costa Nova is one such beach. It has these cute striped houses. Reds, blues, greens, all in stripes. Great for pictures!
Next stop, Guimarães! It's about 365 kilometers from Lisbon. That means almost a 3 and a half hour drive. But, let me tell you, the journey is so worth it.
Guimarães is known as the "birthplace of Portugal". It’s old, but in a cool way. The entire city, and historic center is a World Heritage site. That means it's super special. The streets are narrow and cobbled. I felt like I was walking in a fairy tale.
The Guimarães Castle stands tall. It's a fortress with big walls and towers. There are also palaces. Like the Palace of the Dukes. It has big rooms with fancy stuff. Like old furniture, tapestries, and weapons.
Oh, and festivals! Guimarães has some great ones. They celebrate with music, dancing, and parades. People dress up in old costumes. Like knights and princesses from storybooks.
I visited Braga, close to Guimarães, just about 380 kilometers from Lisbon. A 3 and a half hour journey by car. Braga is super special because of its churches.
The Bom Jesus do Monte is a must-see. It's a church on a hill. But here's the fun part. To get to the top, there are these cool zigzag stairways. Each section of stairs has a story to tell. Fountains, statues, and gardens too. When I reached the top, the view was amazing!
Braga also has an old cathedral. It's the oldest in Portugal! Inside, there are chapels. Each one is decorated with carvings and gold. Beautiful!
The city is also known for its festivals. Especially the Holy Week. There are processions with people carrying statues. And candles, lots of them. It feels magical and serene.
Alright, let me tell you about my trip to Tomar. It’s only 135 kilometers from Lisbon, which is just over an hour’s drive. Not too long, right?
Tomar is this city with a big castle on a hill. It's called the Convent of Christ. The moment I saw it, my jaw dropped. I mean, it’s so big and majestic.
Inside, there are rooms with beautiful tiles. Blues, yellows, and reds. Like a giant puzzle on the walls. The windows in some rooms are so unique. They're carved and look like twisted ropes.
And, there's a history lesson here. The castle was linked to knights called Templars. You know, like in the adventure stories. They wore white mantles with red crosses.
Down in the town, there are little shops. They sell souvenirs, foods, and crafts. Like pottery and handmade jewelry. Oh, and there’s a river, the Nabão River. It's calm and perfect for a peaceful walk.
Next up is Monsanto, which is about 270 kilometers from Lisbon. A 3-hour drive. But trust me, Monsanto is like no other place.
Why? Because the village is built between HUGE rocks. I’m not kidding. Houses are squeezed between these giant boulders. It's like the rocks and homes are best friends. Walking there felt like being in a fantasy land.
There's also a castle. Ruins, actually, but still magical. Climbing to the top was a bit tiring, but worth it. The view? Fields, trees, and blue skies for miles.
The villagers are kind. Some sell cheese and sausages. Tasty ones, too! And others sell crafts. Like woven baskets and carved wood items.
Lastly, let's dive into Ericeira. It’s super close to Lisbon, just 50 kilometers away. A short 45-minute drive. Ericeira is a paradise for those who love the ocean.
This town is all about surfing. Waves here are great for it. I saw surfers with big boards, small boards, and everything in between. There are surf schools too. For beginners like me!
The town itself is charming. Blue and white houses. Fresh sea air and incredible beaches. And seafood? The best! Restaurants here serve dishes like grilled fish and prawns.
And there's more. Beaches, lots of them. Like Ribeira d'Ilhas and Foz do Lizandro. Golden sands and cool water. Perfect for sunbathing or just chilling.
Each of the major cities in these towns has its own magic. From history to nature to adventure, there's something in all the cities for everyone. Can't wait for my next journey!
What a journey, right? From the rolling waves of Ericeira to the storybook streets of Monsanto, each place has its own charm and story. And while Lisbon itself is a beautiful city bursting with life and culture, the surrounding towns and villages offer a peek into a different side of Portugal.
Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or just looking to explore, there's a destination near Lisbon calling your name. Happy travels, and may your adventures be as thrilling as mine!
1. How far are these towns from Lisbon?
- Tomar: Approximately 135 kilometers
- Monsanto: Roughly 270 kilometers
- Ericeira: Just 50 kilometers away
2. Which place would you recommend for beach lovers?
Ericeira is a must-visit for beach enthusiasts. It's renowned for its surfing and beautiful coastline.
3. I'm a history lover. Where should I go?
Tomar, with its Convent of Christ and rich Templar history, would be a delightful place to start. Monsanto and Guimarães are also rich in history and worth exploring.
4. Is it easy to find restaurants in these towns?
Absolutely! Whether it's the seafood delights in Ericeira or local cheeses in Monsanto, each town has its own culinary offerings. You'll find both local eateries and more upscale restaurants in beautiful towns.
5. Are these destinations family-friendly?
Yes, all these places have attractions suitable for both adults and kids. Whether it's exploring castles, walking on the beach, or just enjoying local food, there's something for everyone in the family.