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Portugal Itinerary 8 days (+ 7 to 10 days in Portugal Trip Planner)

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Are you planning a trip to Portugal? This detailed travel guide will be super handy in crafting your perfect Portugal itinerary 8 days, with options to extend the trip to 10 days. 

We have included everything from sightseeing ideas by day, where to stay, and what to eat, plus travel and packing tips. 

Portugal Itinerary 8 days + 7 to 10 days in Portugal Trip Planner

Portugal Itinerary 8 to 10 days

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8 days in Portugal Itinerary plus ideas for 7 to 10 days in Portugal: A snapshot

  • Day 1: Lisbon. Stay in Lisbon for 4 days at Sofitel Lisbon or easyHotel
  • Day 2: Lisbon/Belem 
  • Day 3: Sintra day trip
  • Day 4: Cascais + Cabo da Roca + Sintra Natural Park
  • Day 5: Porto. Stay in Porto for 3 days at the Mercure Porto Centro 
  • Day 6: Porto
  • Day 7: Douro Valley day trip
  • Day 8: Porto to Coimbra to Lisbon 
  • Day 9 to 10: Algarve Region. Stay in Lagos for a night at Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda

Here are additional 7 to 8 day Portugal itinerary ideas covering the best of the northern region as well as the national capital city,

8 days in Portugal Itinerary: Northern Portugal Vacation

  • Day 1 – 2: Porto
  • Day 3: Douro Valley wine region
  • Day 4: Braga 
  • Day 5: Guimares 
  • Day 6 – 7: Aviero and Costa Nova
  • Day 8: Porto to Coimbra to Lisbon 

8 days in Portugal Itinerary: National Capital City Region

  • Day 1 – 3: Lisbon and Belem
  • Day 4: Sintra day trip
  • Day 5: Cascais and Cabo da Roca 
  • Day 6: Fatima
  • Day 7: Beach day in Nazare 
  • Day 8: Obidos day trip

7 days in Portugal Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lisbon. Stay in Lisbon for 4 days at Sofitel Lisbon or easyHotel
  • Day 2: Lisbon/Belem 
  • Day 3: Sintra day trip
  • Day 4: Porto. Stay in Porto for 3 days at the Mercure Porto Centro 
  • Day 5: Porto
  • Day 6: Douro Valley day trip
  • Day 7: Porto to Coimbra to Lisbon 

Access all of our Portugal Travel Guides here

Getting to Lisbon Portugal for your itinerary

Portugal Map Illustrated
Portugal Map

Portugal Quick Facts:

  • Capital city: Lisbon
  • Currency: Euro
  • Tourist Visa: Schengen
  •  Language: Portuguese, but English is spoken

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. It is the perfect destination to kick-start your Portugal itinerary. Lisbon is served by the Humberto Delgado Airport, aka Portela Airport.

Lisbon Airport

It is an international airport and is located about 7 km (4.34 miles) northeast of the city centre of Lisbon. There are many convenient ways to get to the centre from the airport. 

The Lisbon Airport has a Metro (subway) station with a direct line to the city centre. The ‘Aeroporto – Saldanha’ line takes you to downtown Lisbon in about 20 minutes. You can also hop on a bus, and get there in 45 minutes. And the tickets cost 4€.

If you prefer a taxi, it will be about 20€ and approximately 20 minutes to reach your destination. 

2 days in Lisbon at Chiado Square
Trams are an important transport medium in Lisbon (at Chiado Square)

There are 2 major bus stations in Lisbon. Sete Rios is located close to the old historic town and offers bus connections to other cities in Portugal as well as to Spain. 

Gare do Oriente or Lisbon Oriente Station is a stunning bus station located in the Parque das Nações municipality of Lisbon. It is located near the airport.

Oriente Train Station

You can use Lisbon Oriente Station to connect to Porto (high-speed trains) if you are using public transportation.

Note: This 8 days in Portugal itinerary can be used as a road trip itinerary as well.

Day 1 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Arrive in Lisbon & explore

Arrive in Lisbon Portugal, and check in to your hotel.

Beautiful Lisbon

We stayed at the easyHotel Lisbon. It is a straightforward hotel, with tons of restaurants nearby as well. 

Another great plus is that the hotel is very close to Marquis de Pombal Square and most of the tours can be redeemed here – aka tour starting point. You can book your stay here

Hotel Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade is a great option. It is located close to the Praça do Comércio and the Tagus river, and we saw their property and will be definitely staying here next time. 

If you stay at the centre, you are minutes away from the tram station, and other modes of transportation. You can book your stay here

Where to stay in Lisbon: easyHotel Lisbon | Hotel Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade

After checking in, head to the Lisbon city centre. 

Chiado is a popular neighborhood to start your sightseeing in Lisbon. It is a very artistic area, filled with restaurants and centuries-old cafes and museums, and theatres. 

Known as the artists and creative people’s neighborhood, you will find statues of poets and writers sprinkled all across this neighborhood. You can stop at a cafe, and grab a bite to eat. If you arrived in Lisbon the day before, have breakfast at Café A Brasileira.

There is a statue of poet António Ribeiro at Chiado Square and this is a good spot to people-watch or capture the famous Lisbon tram going through the quarters. 

Chiado is located between the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and Baixa Pombalina. Bairro Alto is great for nightlife. Rua Garrett is the main street that runs from Baixa to Bairro Alto and is known for luxury shopping!

From Chiado, visit the Carmo Convent Ruins. Carmo Convent was the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This Catholic convent was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake and later left as is.

At this site, you can check out an archaeological museum called Museu Arqueológico do Carmo. This is also a beautiful spot for photos as it overlooks

One of the coolest and oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon is Alfama. There are quite a few beautiful viewpoints or Miradouros. 

Viewpoints in Lisbon

Miradouro das Portas do Sol is an amazing viewpoint from where you can see the red roofs of Lisbon and the Tagus river. This is one of the most beautiful spots in Lisbon – it is just so pretty!

In the Alfama district, there is a Fado museum where you can see exhibitions and displays about fado. The entry fee for the museum is 5 euros. 

Alfama also houses 2 of the most iconic buildings in the city, one is the National Pantheon – a place where many prominent personalities are buried. 

Girl at the Lisbon Cathedral
Lisbon Cathedral

The Lisbon Cathedral, also known as Sé is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Lisbon. The church had undergone many renovations and survived numerous earthquakes.

Lastly, do explore the Sao Jorge Castle. It is a historic medieval castle dating back to the 8th century. São Jorge castle or Castelo de São Jorge is a must see attraction in Lisbon, and we recommend setting aside 1-2 hours to enjoy it at ease.

The castle is open every day from 09:00 am to 06:00 pm. The entry fee is 8.50 euros. 

Lisbon Portugal itinerary 8 days
Lisbon in the evening

Finish the night with dinner at the Praça do Comércio or the Comercio Square by the Tagus River/waterfront plaza. 

Day 2 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Lisbon/Belem sightseeing

On day 2 of your Portugal itinerary, start for the neighborhood of Belem after breakfast. You can take the train from Rossio or hop on a 24-hour sightseeing tour. 

The Belém area is home to the iconic Torre de Belém, Jerónimos Monastery, Jardim da Estrela, and the April 25 Bridge. 

Monument to the Discoveries - Lisbon photography spots
Monument of Discoveries

The Monument of Discoveries will catch your attention as you approach the heart of Belem. This landmark structure was built in the mid 20th century to commemorate Portuguese sea discoveries of the 15 and 16th centuries

From here the Torre de Belém is located nearby. To access the tower, you have to pay an entry fee. You can still capture the beautiful river, and the tower from outside the gate (without going in). 

Near the Belem tower, you will find cafes and souvenir shops. 

Belem Tower

The stunning 25 de April Bridge can be seen from the tower complex. 25 de Abril Bridge looks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and is often compared to it. 

The date April 25 is to commemorate the date of the Portuguese revolution against dictatorship (Carnation Revolution).

On the other side of the bridge is the statue of the Sanctuary of Christ the King monument. Visiting Alamada is a half day trip in itself if you wish to head to the beach and discover cultural attractions. 

In the afternoon, head to the Jerónimos Monastery. The Jerónimos Monastery along with the Belem Tower is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This monastery was a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome. 

Maritime Museum Lisbon
Jerónimos Monastery

Today it houses a Maritime Museum – Museu da Marinha dedicated to sea discoveries including tales of Vasco da Gama to India. Allot 1-2 hours at the complex. 

In the evening, explore the newer areas of Lisbon. Parque das Nações is one such area. Oceanário de Lisboa – the largest indoor oceanarium in Europe is located in the neighborhood. 

It was built on the site of the 1998 Expo and it is home to 8000 sea creatures. This is one of the most visited places in Lisbon. 

The tallest skyscraper of Lisbon is also located in the Parque das Nações. It is the Torre Vasco da Gama – a 145-metre tower. 

Torre Vasco da Gama - 3 days in Lisbon Itinerary
Torre Vasco da Gama

An alternate option is to watch a fado show. This 50 minute Fado in Chiado Show is a must in the city centre. Fado portrays Portuguese cultural nostalgia, pride, and hope in a unique colorful way. It is recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Experience of Humanity. 

Day 3 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Day trip to Sintra

As part of your 8 days in Portugal itinerary, you must visit the stunning Pena Palace in Sintra. Go on a relaxing day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, you can visit on a day tour (with options for multiple cities or nearby towns) or use the metro train system from Lisbon.

To reach Sintra via train, start from the Rossio Station in Lisbon city centre and take the train towards Belem. Sintra train station is 10 minutes away from the town center.

Pena Palace

Here are the prime attractions that you must explore.

The Pena Palace is the famed bright yellow and red fairy tale like castle towering from the Sintra hills. The palace dates back to the 19th century, and many tourists travel to Sintra just to explore the Pena Palace. 

A visit to the palace interiors is a must – we enjoyed the different architectural styles and materials used at the Pena Palace. Prices for visiting the interiors versus the park entry and gardens are slightly different. You can read out entire guide here 

Sintra – Pena Palace

Towering higher than the Pena Palace is the Moorish Castle of Sintra. From the castle, you can soak in views of the city of Sintra. Keep in mind that there is a lot of walking on the castle grounds. There is nothing of the “staterooms” left in the castle, just empty areas and easy to walk through.

Quinta da Regaleira is a beautiful complex set in stone work with romantic palaces and chapels and stunning initiation wells. It was home to wealthy businessmen in the 20th century, and today is part of the UNESCO World heritage. 

quinta da regaleira well
Quinta da Regaleira Well

After all the sightseeing don’t forget to settle in for a nice meal at the Sintra Town Center. Also, take the time to wander through the many pretty lanes of Sintra, whitewashed and some painted in yellow. 

Located in the town center is the Palace of Sintra. It is a well-preserved heritage house that was home to many different rulers and dynasties in the nearby Lisbon area. This is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, and we are sure you will admire the beautiful staterooms. 

Sintra National Palace
Sintra National Palace

Often ignored by most tourists as the park and Palace of Monserrate is located further away from the town center, it is worth a visit if you are staying in town for a day or two, or just love Indian style gardens. The staterooms and palaces are small but beautiful.  

READ: Detailed 3 day Lisbon Itinerary

Day 4 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Cascais and Sintra Cascais National Park 

If you add a day tour from Lisbon to Sintra, you can check off Cascais and the National Park on day 3, but it will be very rushed. So we recommend adding an extra day to explore these 2 areas (also helpful if you are using public transportation or driving). 

We have included more sightseeing options including day trips from Lisbon, so feel free to swap this recommendation for any other. 

Never heard of Cascais? Cascais is a beautiful coastal resort town near Lisbon. 


From sandy beaches, a bustling marina to the historic old town, Cascais will melt your heart. During our visit, we loved relaxing at the beachside with a book and wandering the old town square.

There are lots of places to eat and stay in Cascais if you wish to extend your visit.

Cascais Centre

In Cascais visit the Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the Citadel Palace – a former royal retreat. 

You can reach Cascais by regional railway. The train departs from Lisbon (Cais do Sodre train station), and takes 30 to 40 minutes. 

Located near Cascais is the Sintra – Cascais National Park. It is part of the stunning coastline of Portugal and is home to Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Raco - Lisbon to Sintra Day trip Itinerary
Cabo da Raco

This is the westernmost tip of the European continent. The location is super stunning with the cliffs and the gushing waters with the lighthouse in the backdrop has been helping explorers over the centuries find their way!

Day 5 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Travel to Porto, and settle in for the next 4 days

To continue the next leg of your itinerary, head to Porto and stay there for 3 days. Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. 

Lisbon to Porto is about 272 km or 170 miles. It will take close to 3 hours to reach Porto by road. 

Porto Portugal

Public transportation takes an average of 2 hours and 46 minutes for high speed trains. Or regular services with about 14 trains per day, take over 3 hours. Tickets start at $95. 

You will arrive at the Campanhã station (the national railway station) from Lisbon’s Oriente Train Station. For subsequent connections (for day trips), use the São Bento train station in Porto that connects suburban railway lines.

Blue tiles at the Sao Bento train station
Sao Bento Porto Portugal: Portugal Itinerary 8 days

This station is also one of the prettiest in the country, all decorated with beautiful Portuguese tiles – azulejos.

Porto is home to a UNESCO World Heritage centre, and with the charming views of the River Douro with its suspension bridge, you will have a gala time in this city. 

Where to stay in Porto? Mercure Porto Centro Santa Catarina

Mercure Porto Centro Santa Catarina is a beautiful 4-star property located at the historic centre. There is a restaurant onsite (with views). Rooms are of decent size and are wonderfully decorated. You can check out more photos here.

For your first day in Porto, after checking in to your hotel visit the colorful riverside promenade in Ribeira. This is an amazing place with bars and restaurants – perfect to grab a bite to eat or dine depending on your arrival time in Porto. 

River promenade Porto
River Promenade

If you arrive early into Porto, you can add sightseeing at the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge, whilst taking in the gorgeous views of the river, and then catch the cable car down into Gaia.

You can check out port cellars and also cellar tours and tastings if interested.

Luis I Bridge

Day 6 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Explore more of Porto

There are a lot of things to do in Porto

Visit the Sé do Porto Cathedral,  Episcopal Palace, Praça da Liberdade, and the Torre dos Clerigos Tower in the first half of the day. 

North Facade: Porto Cathedral

Start the day by exploring the expansive complex of the Porto Cathedral (or Sé do Porto). It is a National Monument, located in the upper part of the city in Porto. The cathedral grounds look like a medieval fortress from the exteriors. Its construction dates back to the 12th century. 

Located close to the Cathedral is the Paço Episcopal or the Episcopal Palace. This was a Bishop’s Palace (residence), and today it is part of the UNESCO Heritage Site in Porto.  

Porto Cityscape

The palace dominates the skyline of Porto, as it is located on an elevation. You can access both these sites with a combined ticket of the cathedral and the palace.

From the upper town, head to the lower town to the central square – Praça da Liberdade. You must have caught a glimpse of this site on day 5, but set aside a few hours in the afternoon to intimately explore the square, eat out and take photos. 

Praça da Liberdade has a central monument dedicated to King Peter IV. Along the square, there are banks, hotels, restaurants, and offices housed inside vintage/heritage buildings. The City Hall is also located here, and many of the free Porto walking tours also commence at the square. 

There are metro stations located nearby as well to connect to other areas.

Clerigos Tower

Up next is the Clérigos Church, which is a Baroque church. The church along with the bell tower is one of the tallest in the city. The Torre dos Clérigos (the tower) can be seen from most parts of the city and is one of the iconic symbols of Porto.

A few minutes from the Church is the stunning Livraria Lello bookshop. Harry Potter fans should definitely visit his neo-gothic bookshop which inspired JK Rowling as she penned her books. 

Don’t forget to capture the stunning staircase inside.

Day 7 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Douro Valley wine region

On the 7th day of the Portugal itinerary go on a Douro Valley day trip.

We recommend this Get Your Guide Originals Tour that starts from the Porto centre, and takes you to the wine valley (in a comfortable minivan). 

Portugal itinerary 7 days: Douro Valley

As part of this day tour, round trip transportation is included, along with wine tastings and a traditional Portuguese lunch. You will be enjoying panoramic views of the vineyards as you travel through Northern Portugal.

Wine tasting at the Douro is the highlight of the tour, as you relish some of the finest Port wines. This tour is really good value for money, as it also includes a scenic 1-hour river cruise along the beautiful Douro River, and gives you free time to capture the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site.

You can book a Douro Valley tour here

More ideas for day trips from Porto

If you wish to swap the wine valley tour, consider taking day trips to Aveiro (known as Portugal’s Venice), Guimaraes, or Braga, with its hilltop sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte.

We have included a more detailed itinerary for the northern region below.

Day 8 of Portugal Itinerary 8 days: Porto to Coimbra to Lisbon

This is the final day of 8 days in Portugal. Use it as a travel day to reach Lisbon (to fly back) via Coimbra. 

Coimbra is a beautiful riverfront city, located in central Portugal. So it is a good stop between Porto and Lisbon (highly recommend it if you are on a Portugal road trip itinerary). 

Coimbra Best day trips from Lisbon

For trains, we recommend hopping on the Express train to Coimbra from Porto and arriving in the city in 1 hour or so. 

Coimbra was Portugal’s former capital, and on a quick day trip visit the medieval old town and the historic University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe.

The 12th-century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha is also located in the old town. You can easily find restaurants and souvenir shops at the centre before you make your way to Lisbon.

Arrive in Lisbon by evening. Coimbra to Lisbon is 2 hours by road, and 3+ hours by train. 

Don’t forget to book your hotel for the night. Stay at Sofitel Lisbon or easyHotel

Optional 9 to 10 days in Portugal Itinerary: Algarve Region

If you have additional time in the country, add an Algarve Portugal itinerary for 2 days. 

Aerial view of Olhao, Algarve, Portugal

Although Lisbon and Algarve are about 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours away (depending on the mode of transport), we recommend staying overnight for one day. Trains are the most efficient mode of transportation between these 2 Portuguese destinations, if you are not renting a car. 

Stay in Lagos for the night. Hotel Recommendation: Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda

This hotel is an oceanfront property and is perfect for the night (or two).

The Algarve region is known for its history with Moor-style buildings, sandy beaches, stunning harbors, and picturesque turquoise water. 

Spend a day visiting the popular Marinha Beach in the Algarve. Praia da Rocha and Armação de Pêra are also great options to consider.

If you wish to hike, head to the Seven Hanging Valleys trail for a full day or opt for a shorter route to accommodate beach and resort town wandering time!

Read: Detailed 10 days in Portugal Itinerary

8 days in Portugal Itinerary: Ultimate Northern Portugal Itinerary

With 8 days in Portugal, you can also focus on a particular region and explore charming cities and towns in the area. We will share an epic Portugal vacation for the north!

  • Day 1 – 2: Porto
  • Day 3: Douro Valley wine region
  • Day 4: Braga 
  • Day 5: Guimares 
  • Day 6 – 7: Aviero and Costa Nova
  • Day 8: Porto to Coimbra to Lisbon 

Day 1 to 2: Start in Porto, and spend 2 days there. Explore all the iconic landmarks from the Porto Cathedral to Clerigos Tower, Ribeira, and beyond. 

6 Bridges Tour in Porto

Do include the 6 Bridges cruise to your Porto itinerary

Day 3: Thereafter proceed with a day trip to the Douro Valley from Porto.

Day 4: Visit Braga on a day trip from Porto. The travel time between the two cities is 40 minutes by car. 

Girl in Braga Bom Jesus do Monte
In Braga

Braga is one of the oldest cities in Portugal, and it has some beautiful architecture and interesting historical sites. In addition to its history, there are plenty of things to do in the area such as museums, galleries, shopping, and restaurants. 

There are also outdoor activities to enjoy, including hiking and cycling.

Inside Bom Jesus Church

The Bom Jesus Sanctuary in Braga is one of the most popular attractions, with its impressive Baroque-style architecture and incredible views overlooking the city. 

The summit of the hill features numerous caves, chapels, fountains, grottoes, lakes, lookout points, and hotels. You will also find many walking, biking, and hiking trails in the surrounding hills. 

Don’t forget to ride the Bom Jesus Funicular to get up there!

In the heart of Braga lies the charming Cathedral which dates back to the 16th century. It is a Roman Catholic church and is also the oldest cathedral in Portugal. 

Braga Cathedral

Other attractions in Braga include the gorgeous blue and white Casa do Raio (Palácio do Raio), Igreja Misericórdia, Jardim de Santa Barbara (garden), and more. 

Braga is also home to a historic city gate – Arco da Porta Nova, a Baroque and Neoclassical arch, dating back to the late 18th century. Don’t miss out on the gate on your way in or out of the city. 

Day 5: Next day make your way to Guimares – a city in Northern Portugal with a history stretching back over centuries. It is thought to be the birthplace of the nation itself, and its ancient castle stands as a testament to this rich heritage. 

Old Town Guimares

Guimares offers visitors an array of activities that range from cultural attractions such as museums and churches to outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and sightseeing. 

You can surely visit Braga and Guimares on the same day, but having an extra day will be nice to enjoy the Old Town attractions, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

The old town is filled with winding cobblestone streets lined with traditional cafés, restaurants, and shops. Here you can find everything from handmade crafts to locally made wines. 

One of the most popular attractions in Guimares is the Castle of Guimarães. The castle was built in the 10th century, and it is a massive medieval military fortification. 

Castle view

There are exhibits that you can check out inside the castle, and the views from the castle walls are gorgeous!

The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is another medieval landmark that is worth visiting in Guimares. It was the former residence of the first Dukes of Braganza. 

It dates back to the 15th century. Inside the palace are permanent exhibits and rooms that you can visit. 

In the heart of Old Town Guimares, admire the Largo da Oliveira located in the square. The area is very beautiful with a church –  Igreja da Oliveira, and lots of outdoor cafes and restaurants where you can hang out and enjoy a meal. 

In Guimares

Another lovely square and route are the O Largo República do Brasil, with a beautiful garden view. 

There are lots of places to go hiking in and around Guimares. You can get on the Penha Cable Car from Guimares to get to the mountain top and enjoy lovely views of the city below. 

Day 6 – 7: Spend the next 2 days in the city of Aveiro, and then take a trip to Costa Nova beach. 

Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal due to its network of canals, is a unique place with its beautiful architecture, cobbled streets lined with colorful homes, and charming bridges over canals. 

From the city center you can take a Moliceiro boat tour through the canals and learn about the city’s history. 

Attractions in the centre include the Aveiro Forum, museums such as Averio Museum, City Museum, and the Museu de Arte Nova. Museu Histórico da Vista Alegre (ceramic factory) is also worth a visit. 

Beautiful building facades in Aveiro city downtown

One of the coolest things to experience near Aviero is the salt flats. You can book a tour to see them as well (Salinas de Aveiro)

The nearby Costa Nova beach is a great place to relax and take in the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic ocean. Its golden sandy beaches make for sandcastle-building, sunbathing, and swimming. 

There are plenty of restaurants serving delicious seafood dishes where you can enjoy your lunch looking out onto the ocean. There is also a long pier where you can take a walk and watch the sun go down in the evening.

Costa Nova

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed vacation, Aveiro and Costa Nova beach is the perfect place to go. Both these places can be explored on a day trip from Porto as well, but we recommend spending 2 days to intimately explore it!

Day 8: On day 8, make the return journey to Lisbon to fly out. You can stop in Coimbra for sightseeing if you like. There is a luggage storage option near the Coimbra B Station where you can keep your bags while sightseeing, and then catch a train to Lisbon. 

8 days in Portugal Itinerary: Lisbon City and nearby towns

We will cover another 8 day Portugal itinerary with a focus on Lisbon, and nearby areas. 

  • Day 1 – 3: Lisbon and Belem
  • Day 4: Sintra day trip
  • Day 5: Cascais and Cabo da Roca 
  • Day 6: Fatima
  • Day 7: Beach day in Nazaré
  • Day 8: Obidos day trip

For a first time visitor, this is perfect as one can explore the capital city, iconic landmarks such as Pena national palace or Palacio Nacional da Pena and Cabo da Roca, and a mix of beaches, and cultural and religious sites!

Cafe and terrace near Santa Justa Lift and Carmo Convent
Beautiful Lisbon

This itinerary can be done by keeping Lisbon as a base and doing on day trips using a mix of public transportation and tours. Or you can stay in the Belem area and then use a rental car to explore all the destinations listed. 

Day 1 – 3: Spend 3 days in Lisbon, exploring the city’s historic sights and attractions. 

Set aside one day to explore Belem neighborhood. Visit Jerominos monastery, Belem tower, Monument of Discoveries, and the cool LX Factory

LX Factory

Day 4: Visit Sintra, on a day trip from Lisbon. Explore the iconic Palacio Nacional da Pena, Quinta de Regaleira, Moorish Castle, town centre, and more. There are a lot of day tours that you can choose for your transportation and ease of sightseeing. 

Day 5: Visiting Cascais and Cabo da Roca from Lisbon are easily done by car or train. The quickest option is to rent a car, but the train is also convenient and takes about 30 minutes to reach your destination.

Located just 31 km (20 miles) away, Cascais, a small fishing village has become a popular day trip destination in Portugal. It is best known for its beautiful beaches, where you can relax and go swimming or sunbathing. 

There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants, as well as a lively market selling fresh produce and local handicrafts.

Cabo da Roca is located just outside of Cascais and is known for being the westernmost point in all of Europe. Here, you can take stunning photos from high cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 6: The city of Fatima, located about 125 km (77 miles) north of Lisbon, is a great place to visit for those who are interested in religious history and pilgrimage.


Reaching Fatima from Lisbon is relatively easy and can be done by car or public transport. The quickest option is to rent a car, which will take about one and a half hours. 

Fatima is most well-known for being home to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, which attracts thousands of Catholic pilgrims each year. 

The Sanctuary complex includes several chapels, basilicas, and monuments, as well as a museum containing religious artifacts.

Day 7: The coastal town of Nazaré is a great place to visit from Lisbon. 

Located about 122 km (76 miles) north of the capital, this fishing village is known for its stunning beaches and unique culture. 

Getting to Nazare from Lisbon is relatively easy and can be done by car (1 hour and 30 minutes) or bus (2+ hours). 

View of Nazare

Nazare’s two main attractions are its beachfront promenade and nearby cliffs with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean like the North Beach (Praia do Norte)

You can enjoy a stroll along the promenade, watch the sunset over the horizon, or try one of Nazare’s famous seafood restaurants.

The town also offers plenty of opportunities for adventure, such as surfing and paragliding

Day 8: The town of Obidos is a great place to visit from Lisbon. It is best known for its beautiful medieval castle and winding cobblestone streets.

Reaching Obidos from Lisbon is easy by bus or by car (about an hour). Buses are much cheaper to get there.

As soon as you enter the town, you will see the beautiful Porta da Vila (gate), then make your way into the narrow lanes – soak in the view of the charming brightly painted houses, colorful flower pots, shops, and cafes. 

Stop at a cherry liquor store (ginjha) and give it a try!

One of the main attractions in Obidos is the imposing 12th-century castle, and it is open to visitors. We recommend visiting the castle interiors. 

You must also walk through the castle walls for a lovely view of the town and the surroundings around it!

Extending your trip: 2 weeks in Portugal Itinerary

Want to see more of Portugal and you got 14 days? Here is a suggested 2 week in Portugal itinerary with or without a car.

View of Porto from Dom Luis I bridge
Beautiful Porto Portugal

Day 1 – 3: Explore the city of Lisbon along with Belem in 3 days 

Day 4: Visit Sintra on a day trip

Day 5 –  6: Start for Porto from Lisbon (by train or car rental). Once in Porto, spend 2 days exploring the city highlights and viewpoints. Don’t miss out on Gaia

Day 7: Join a Duoro Valley wine day tour

Day 8: Explore both Braga and Guimares on a day trip. Explore Bom Jesus, and Braga Cathedral, have lunch, and then travel to Guimares. Visit the Castle of Guimares and the Palace of Braganza. Hit the charming old town square and the Largo da república do Brasil (avenue). 

Braga and Guimares Day Trip

Day 9: On day 9, return to Lisbon with a stop in Coimbra 

Day 10: Travel to Lagos Algarve from Lisbon (set aside extra time if traveling by public transportation). Plan to stay at the centre to explore the town on your first day here

Day 11 – 13: Explore more of Lagos including taking a day trip to the Benagil Caves in the Algarve

Day 14: Return to Lisbon (with an optional half-day tour of Fatima)

Best Portugal Tours and Experiences

Portugal has much to explore and discover. From natural landscapes to vibrant cities, there is something for everyone here. Whether you’re looking for a city break, beach holiday, or adventure trip – Portugal has it all!

City Tours in Portugal (Porto)

If you’re looking for the best tours and experiences in Portugal, here are some of our top picks:

Lisbon City Tour: Explore the sights and sounds of Portugal’s vibrant capital. See iconic landmarks such as St George’s Castle, Belem Tower, and Jeronimos Monastery. You can join a Tuk Tuk tour such as this one, or an Essentials History tour covering the best sights on foot

Lisbon Tuk Tuk Tour

Douro Valley Wine Tour: Enjoy a day trip to the famous Douro Valley from Porto, renowned for its stunning vineyards and wine production. Visit the local wineries and sample some of Portugal’s finest wines. This is a full day tour with round-trip transportation, samplings, a one-hour river cruise, and more.

Porto Tour: Explore the vibrant city of Porto and its surroundings on this guided tour. See iconic landmarks such as Clerigos Tower, Sao Bento train station, and the city’s many bridges over the Douro River. 

6 Bridges Cruise: One of the must-do activities in Porto is to join an hour of sightseeing cruise that takes on the Douro River to see the 6 bridges and learn about its history. It is also one of the cheapest tours to take in the city.

6 Bridges Cruise

Algarve Coast Tour: Explore some of the best beaches in Europe on a coastal tour. Enjoy views of dramatic cliffs juxtaposed with soft sandy bays, as well as amazing wildlife along the way.

Azores Island Tour: Take a multi-day tour of the beautiful Azores Islands and discover their unique culture, cuisine, and landscapes. Visit small fishing villages, lush forests, volcanic craters, and grassy hillsides. Don’t miss the gorgeous São Miguel Island!

Cooking Class in Portugal

These are just some of the incredible tours available in Portugal – there are many more to explore! From cooking classes, sunset cruises, and food to fado tours, there is so much to see and do in this amazing country!

Transportation in Portugal 

When traveling to Portugal, there are various transportation options available. 

Roads in Portugal Porto

Trains are one of the most popular modes of transport in Portugal, with numerous routes connecting all major cities across the country. 

The train network is well-developed and efficient, allowing you to reach many places quickly and easily.

If you prefer more flexibility, consider renting a car. We will cover more details below. 

Trams are another great option for getting around in Portugal. They’re mainly concentrated in the major cities, with Lisbon and Porto having good tram networks. 

Trams in Portugal Lisbon

Buses are also a great option for reaching places that the train or tram network doesn’t reach, and they’re usually quite cost-effective.

Taxis are available in most cities and can be a convenient way to get around if you don’t want to use public transport. However, they can be more expensive than other forms of travel. 

If you want to explore Portugal by water, there are several river cruises available. These range from one hour sightseeing cruises and day trips to extended tours lasting multiple days, allowing you to explore Portugal in a unique way.

Cruises in Porto Portugal

Overall, there is a range of transportation options available for traveling in Portugal. Which one you choose will depend on where you want to go, how much time you have, and your budget. 

Car Rental in Portugal: Road Trip Tips

When traveling in Portugal, renting a car is one of the best ways to explore the country. 

Although public transportation is available, it can be slow and limited and the ability to go where you want when you want is much more convenient with your own vehicle.

Portugal has good roads compared to many European countries and driving in the major cities is relatively easy. The highway system is well-developed, with highways connecting most of the major cities. 

In rural areas, roads are generally good but some may be winding and narrow in places so it’s important to drive carefully. Watch out for livestock on the roads.

Before going on a road trip to Portugal, there are a few things you should be aware of. The speed limit in Portugal is 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas, 90 km/h (56 mph), and 120km/h (74 mph) on motorways. Always remember to watch for signs and respect the speed limits.

It’s important to also be aware of parking regulations in urban areas as it can be difficult to find public parking spaces, so you may have to pay for a private space.

Reserve Car Rental: Prepare Ahead

If you need a car rental, we recommend comparing and checking prices on Discovercars.com to book yours.

Overall, renting a car in Portugal is a great way to explore the country and its beautiful landscapes. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the speed limit, parking regulations, and other road rules before you set off on your journey.

Note: The emergency number in Portugal is 112.

Additional Portugal Travel Tips

Here are some useful tips to help plan your trip to Portugal (or Europe if this is your first ever visit to the continent), 

Lisbon Cityscape
  • Travel Documents: Portugal is located in Europe, and is a European Union member. Travelers with US – United States or Canadian passports can travel visa-free for up to 90 days. Non-visa-exempt passport holders have to apply for a Schengen Visa prior to visiting Portugal. 
  • Budget for Portugal: Portugal is pretty affordable when it comes to meals, and transport and you can easily find accommodation or a hotel at a budget rate. Plan to spend around $85 to $100 USD per person per day (depending on the season, and hotel luxury level)
  • When is the best time to visit Portugal: Portugal is best explored during shoulder seasons – spring or autumn (September and October). During this time the weather is not super hot, and it is perfect for sightseeing. If you are planning to hit the Algarve region, plan to head there in the winter time. 
  • What to eat in Portugal: Portugal is known for its custard, Port wine, and of course delicious seafood and ham. Here are some of the dishes to try in Portugal
    • Pastéis de Nata (sweet): Egg custard tart
    • Bifana: This is sautéed marinated pork inside a roll
    • Portuguese Francesinha Sandwich (bread and ham) 
    • Sardinhas (fish)
    • Piri Piri Chicken: This is an Algarvian specialty. Chicken cooked on a hot grill brushed with Piri Piri sauce
    • Ham (try ham roll or sandwich – so yummy)
    • Azeitão Cheese (made from raw sheep’s milk)
    • Ginjinha (liquor) 
    • Port wine
How many days is enough in Portugal?

At a minimum, one week in Portugal is enough to explore two of the main cities – Lisbon and Porto (2 days each, one day travel time), and then set aside 1 day each to venture on day trips. We have a suggested one week Portugal itinerary below, 

Portugal Itinerary 7 days

Day 1 & 2: Arrive in Lisbon, explore
Day 3: Day trip to Sintra
Day 4 & 5: Travel to Porto, explore
Day 6: Day trip to the Douro Valley or Aveiro 
Day 7: Travel back to Lisbon from Porto with a stop in Coimbra

What is the best time of year to go to Portugal?

The best time to explore Portugal is in the months of early spring and autumn (September and October). During this time the temperature is perfect for being outdoors and going sightseeing minus large crowds. The weather is not hot at this time.

Many prefer visiting beach towns in Portugal to beat the winter blues in Europe. Note that November is the rainy season in Portugal.

How can I spend 10 days in Portugal?

Here is a 10 day Portugal itinerary,

Day 1: Lisbon. Stay in Lisbon for 4 days at Sofitel Lisbon or easyHotel
Day 2: Lisbon/Belem 
Day 3: Sintra day trip
Day 4: Cascais + Cabo da Roca + Sintra Natural Park
Day 5: Porto. Stay in Porto for 3 days at the Mercure Porto Centro 
Day 6: Porto
Day 7: Douro Valley day trip
Day 8: Porto to Coimbra to Lisbon 
Day 9 to 10: Algarve Region (Stay in Lagos) and explore the popular beaches, go on hikes

Is 5 days in Portugal enough?

5 days in Portugal can be well spent by staying in the capital city and going on day trips. Or just focusing on the two major cities. Here are two samples for Portugal itinerary 5 days 

Portugal Itinerary 5 days – Lisbon and day trips

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, and explore the old town area
Day 2: Lisbon/Belem 
Day 3: Sintra day trip
Day 4: Day trip to Cascais + Cabo da Roca + Sintra Natural Park
Day 5: Day trip to Fatima or Obidos 
Optional: You can also spend 2 days in the Algarve region instead of Cascais (day 4), and day 5 listed above.

Portugal Itinerary 5 days Lisbon and Porto combination

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, explore the old town area
Day 2: Lisbon/Belem 
Day 3: Explore Sintra in the morning, and then travel to Porto in the evening
Day 4: Porto sightseeing 
Day 5: Half-day Porto exploration, and leave/fly out 

Is Portugal cheap or expensive?

As compared to countries like Iceland, Switzerland or France and the UK, Portugal is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe. It is also a complete package with amazing cities full of history, and architecture, and a stunning coastline and cuisine. 

We recommend booking a trip in February or September/October to take advantage of lower hotel and Airbnb prices (starts at $30 USD per night). Food is affordable, and the weather is very pleasant at this time. 

What should I not miss in Portugal?

You must not miss the fascinating cities in Portugal, particularly Lisbon which is a great spot to appreciate maritime history, soak amazing city views, and of course, don’t skip their beaches and delicious food!

We hope you found this post useful in planning your itinerary. You can also use this Portugal travel guide in the form of a road trip, and customize the sightseeing spots as per your personal taste. 

Portugal is one of our favorite countries in the world, and we are sure you will have an amazing time!

Pin: How to spend 8 days in Portugal: Portugal Itinerary Planner

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