If you are 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, what to eat, plus travel and packing tips.
Portugal Itinerary 8 days + 7 to 10 days in Portugal Trip Planner
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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
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 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.
It is an international airport, and it is located about 7 km (4.34 miles) northeast from 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 tickets cost 4€ and around 45 minutes.
If you prefer a taxi, it will be about 20€ and approximately 20 minutes to reach your destination.
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. You will have to 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.
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
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 the 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 the 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.
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.
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 days 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.
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.
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 souvenirs shops.
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.
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 neighbourhood.
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.
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.
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
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 in 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.
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, white washed 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.
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, 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.
In Cascais visit the Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the Citadel Palace – a former royal retreat.
You can reach Cascais by regional railway. 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 the Cabo da Roca.
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’s second city.
Lisbon to Porto is about 272 km or 170 miles. It will take close to 3 hours to reach Porto by road.
Public transportation takes an average of 2 hours and 46 minutes for high speed trains. Or regular services with about 14 trains per day. These trains 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 Batalha. 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.
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.
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 tour
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).
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. that weave across the landscape.
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 Douro River, and gives you free time to capture the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site.
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.
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).
For trains, we recommend hopping on the Express train to Coimbra from Porto, and arrive 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.
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.
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 Portugues destinations.
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!
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),
- Travel Documents: Portugal is located in Europe, and is a European Union member. Travelers with US 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.
- Travel Insurance: Don’t forget to insure your trip against medical emergencies, cancellations, and delays. Check out free insurance quotes here from World Nomads.
- Budget for Portugal: Portugal is pretty affordable when it comes to meals, transport and you can easily find accommodation or hotel at a budget rate. Plan to spend around $85 to $100 USD per person per day (depends 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
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
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.
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
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, 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
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.
You must not miss the fascinating cities in Portugal, particularly Lisbon which is a great spot to appreciate maritime history, soaking 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!