Though Lisbon is an utterly beautiful and picturesque city in itself, it is quite small relative to other international metropolitan cities. After a few days of walking around, the city starts feeling familiar and navigating through the city becomes a cinch. So to maximize your trip, there a few day-trips that are highly worth visiting and are located only a short distance from Lisbon. I recommend hiring a private taxi for the day, so you have more flexibility in seeing what you want and stopping whenever you want. If that is not a possibility, public transportation in and around Lisbon is super efficient and easy.
Belém is a parish of Lisbon and located about 6km west of the city center. The beauty of the area lies in its harbor and stunning architecture. Three of the foremost attractions are the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, and Belém Tower. Inside the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos building, you will find the tomb of explorer, Vasco da Gama. Don’t miss the famous Café Pasteis de Belém where you can savor the goodness of flaky custard tarts that have been perfected for over 160 years. There is always a line, but it is worth the wait!
Imagine an old fishing village encircled by bountiful greenery on one side and the spectacular Atlantic coast on the other – that is Cascais. The weather conditions make it an ideal place for surfing, sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. It used to be a resort town exclusively for the royal family, but today, it is an extremely popular tourist destination. It is certainly the perfect backdrop for pictures. You will find the coast lined with a wide range of restaurants serving both international and local cuisines. It is located only 25km west of Lisbon.
Sintra, a charming town 30km west of Lisbon is a refreshing break from big city life. Completely encapsulated by lush green forests and mountain ranges, you will find yourself in a magical fairy tale town. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its romantic architecture from the 1800s. The main attractions in Sintra are the Moorish Castle, Pena Palace, the National Palace of Sintra (Sintra Palace), the Monserrate Palace, and Quinta da Regaleira. I highly recommended Sintra Palace. It effortlessly blends many different styles of architecture to produce a beautiful masterpiece. Don’t miss beautiful panoramic views of the town from the top of the palace.
Budget accommodation in Lisbon from €25.00 to €50.00
- Sweet Home e Hospedagem – rooms starting from €25.00/£ 20.8/$30.6
- Hotel Sete Colinas – rooms starting from €50.00/£ 41.6/$61.3
- Hotel Botânico – rooms starting from €50.00/£ 41.6/$61.3
Photo by Poonam Chopra.