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Best Tours and Day Trips from Lisbon

Lisbon and its surroundings are worth a visit: natural landscapes, palaces and even paradisiacal beaches. I leave you a list of the best options

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

Best Tours and Day Trips from Lisbon

Lisbon streets | ©Vesela Vackavikova

The rooftops, alleys, and facades of Lisbon make the traveler fall in love from the first moment. However, Lisbon has a hidden side that is not easy to discover. A guided tour will give you a different and more complete vision.

1. Guided walking tour of the Belem area

The Belem Tower | ©Marin Barisic
The Belem Tower | ©Marin Barisic

Presided over by the Belem Tower, this is the area of Lisbon where the Tajo River flows into. In Belem, you will find a wide expanse of parks, museums, and gardens bounded by a riverside promenade full of cafés and terraces. For two and a half hours you can tour the Belem area with a local guide who, in addition to showing you the charm of the area, will tell you the history behind the city.

During this walking tour (although there may be some sections that are done by public transport) you will learn how the Belem area witnessed the rise and fall of the country that was a world empire with 60 sovereign states under its influence.

Itinerary

  • The Commerce Square
  • The bridge of April 25th
  • Albuquerque Square
  • The Monument to the Discoveries
  • The Belem Tower
  • The gardens of the Empire Square
  • The Jerónimos Monastery

This tour is for you if you...

You like the stories of sailors and discoverers of the likes of Henry the Navigator, Luis de Camoes, or Vasco da Gama. If you want a short introduction to Portugal's glorious past, this is the tour for you.

2. Guided walking tour of the Alfama district

Barrio de Alfama | ©Cycling Man
Barrio de Alfama | ©Cycling Man

Before the Middle Ages, Alfama was the best neighborhood in Lisbon, but the earthquakes that happened in the city caused the wealthiest people to abandon the neighborhood and it was occupied by fishermen and humble people. To this day, Alfama has preserved its essence and the daily life of the neighborhood revolves around small shops and taverns. Its narrow alleys and its collage of orange roofs, make Alfama one of the most authentic neighborhoods in Lisbon.

In addition to its charm, this tour on foot through Alfama will show you how this neighborhood influenced the birth and evolution of fado, the most representative song of the city of Lisbon.

Itinerary

  • Commerce Square
  • Alfama district
  • St. George's Castle
  • Viewpoint of Nossa Senhora do Monte
  • Lisbon Cathedral

This tour is for you if...

You feel like getting to know in-depth one of the most authentic and most charming areas of Lisbon.

3. Guided walking tour of Lisbon

Walk through the old town of Lisbon
Walk through the old town of Lisbon

This guided walking tour of Lisbon, available in English, is one of the most complete. You will have at your disposal a local guide for four hours and he will show you the most relevant aspects of the city center including mythical neighborhoods such as Alfama or Chiado.

The group will be a maximum of 20 people, to ensure quality attention from the guide. The tour also includes a tasting of wine with tapas and the tasting of the typical cream cake of the city.

Itinerary

  • Rossio Square
  • Liberty Avenue
  • Restauradores Square
  • Church of Santo Domingo (Santa Justa and Rufina)
  • Chiado district
  • Augusta Street
  • Church of Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Alfama Quarter
  • Statue of Jose I The Reformer
  • Commerce Square

This tour is for you if...

You have little free time to visit Lisbon and you want to choose an experience that allows you to get a general picture of the city and its history. It can also serve as an introduction to the city during the first days of your trip: this way you will find your way around and discover which areas you like the most, to come back later to explore them in depth.

4. Private sunset sailing cruise on the Tagus river

Sailboats sailing the Tagus River | ©David Baron
Sailboats sailing the Tagus River | ©David Baron

The Tagus River is one of the most emblematic elements of the city and touring it by boat while observing the nearby monuments is one of the most demanded experiences by travelers visiting the capital of Portugal. With this activity you have the option to do it privately on a sailboat at sunset during a two-hour cruise on the Tagus available in Spanish, English, Portuguese and Russian.

This sailing on the river is reserved for small groups up to 12 people. For an additional cost you can hire drinks and food during the trip or the pick up and drop off at your hotel (otherwise when booking online you will be informed of the meeting point via email).

Itinerary

  • Monument to the Discoveries
  • Jeronimos Monastery
  • April 25th Bridge
  • Belem Tower
  • National Sanctuary of Christ the King

This tour is for you if...

You want to live the relaxing and exclusive experience of a river walk enjoying the views and getting away from all the stress of the city.

5. Guided night tour of Lisbon

Lisbon sunset views
Lisbon sunset views

Like many cities, Lisbon is transformed at dusk due to the illumination of its buildings and monuments. It's worth touring Lisbon by night, getting away from the stress and rhythm marked by daytime obligations. There are also tours to do so and this three-hour tour available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese is one of the highlights.

The main advantages of this tour are two: it is a private tour and includes snacks.

Itinerary

  • Viewpoint of San Pedro de Alcántara
  • Barrio Alto
  • Carmo Church
  • Santa Justa Elevator
  • Alfama Quarter
  • Commerce Square

This tour is for you if...

You want to live a relaxed and authentic experience away from the more touristy Lisbon focused on historical facts. Visiting the city with a local will allow you to get to know more about the nightlife and the locals.

6. Excursion to Sintra from Lisbon

Palacio da Pena, Sintra | ©Katia De Juan
Palacio da Pena, Sintra | ©Katia De Juan

This is, without a doubt, the most common and demanded excursion by all travelers visiting Lisbon. Only half an hour away from the city, Sintra is a great destination for your getaway, not only because of the charm of the town itself but also because it houses one of the most spectacular buildings you can see in Portugal: the Palacio da Pena.

In fact, this visit is so popular that there are different options, which you can choose depending on time, budget, or the desire you have to discover more or less deeply the area. I leave you linked a practical guide I have written about Sintra Day Trips from Lisbon: so you can choose the one you like the most.

This activity is for you if...

You only have time to do one tour and you don't want to miss the emblematic Pena Palace.

7. Day trip to Arrábida and Sesimbra with wine tasting

Entrance to Sesimbra Castle | ©pedrik
Entrance to Sesimbra Castle | ©pedrik

In addition to its historical importance, fado, and gastronomy, Portugal is also a country famous for its wines. Near Lisbon, there are regions where you can do wine tastings, get to know the vineyards, and learn about the wine tradition from an expert guide. This excursion to Arrábida and Sesimbra is designed for just that.

This round-trip tour from Lisbon is designed for small groups, includes six wine tastings and passes through the Arrábida National Park and the fishing village of Sesimbra. It is available in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Itinerary

  • Vasco de Gama Bridge
  • Palmela Castle
  • Quinta de Alcube in Arrábida
  • Arrábida Natural Park
  • Sesimbra Castle
  • House Museum of Jose Maria de Fonseca
  • National Sanctuary of Christ the King

This tour is for you if...

You are interested in the tradition of wine, you want to get away for a day from the crowds of the capital and you feel like getting to know the surroundings of Lisbon from a different and intimate point of view.

8. Day trip to Fátima, Nazaré and Óbidos

Nazaré Lighthouse
Nazaré Lighthouse

The Portuguese countryside has a historical and cultural heritage and this day trip to Fátima, Nazaré and Óbidos from Lisbon covers three places that are a perfect example of this: the pilgrimage city of Fátima, the medieval village of Óbidos and the coastal town of Nazaré.

This tour through the Portuguese countryside is aimed at small groups of a maximum of eight people because it is considered that this is the best way to make the most of the explanations of the expert local guide who will accompany travelers throughout the tour.

Itinerary

  • Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima.
  • Batalha Monastery
  • Nazaré Beach
  • St. Martin's Bay of Portugal
  • Medieval village of Óbidos

This tour is for you if...

You want to take advantage of your visit to Lisbon to see more landmarks of Portugal, without having to worry about arranging travel by public transport or renting a car.

9. Day trip to Évora with olive oil tasting

Roman Temple of Évora | ©Rui Ribeiro
Roman Temple of Évora | ©Rui Ribeiro

Besides wine, olive oil is also an important part of Portuguese gastronomy and that is why this day trip to the Roman city of Évora includes an olive oil tasting.

This activity is designed for small groups of a maximum of eight people, is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and, in addition to the services of a specialized guide, includes pick-up and return to the hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle and entrance to the Chapel of the Bones.

Itinerary

  • The megalithic complex of Almendres
  • Roman Temple of Évora
  • Gothic Cathedral of Évora
  • Church of San Francisco
  • Chapel of the Bones

This tour is for you if...

You like ancient history and want to know more about Portugal through a visit to one of the most important Roman cities present in the country.

10. Private day trip to Berlenga Grande Island

Fort of St. John the Baptist | ©Vitor Oliveira
Fort of St. John the Baptist | ©Vitor Oliveira

Surely when you planned your trip to Lisbon you didn't expect to spend one of the days on an island paradise without the need to spend the night outside the Portuguese capital.

Itinerary

  • Panoramic boat tour
  • Visit the fort of San Juan Bautista
  • Kayak excursion
  • Services of an expert guide throughout the day
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Transfer in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Use of snorkeling equipment

This excursion is for you if...

You want to treat yourself and spend a day in luxury on this beautiful island to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.