5 Day Itinerary: Portugal


I've been incredibly lucky over the past few years to have visited over twenty countries in Europe, and without a doubt Portugal is one of my favourite European destinations. The cities are beautiful, and the atmosphere wherever I went was amazing. The food was also great, and it's home to some out-of-this-world castles. Plus it's affordable to visit! What more could you ask for?

Portugal is just a short flight from London which makes it a brilliant place to visit for a week, or even just a weekend. For my first time visiting the country I went for 5 days (6 nights) and it felt like the perfect amount of time. I started off in the capital city of Lisbon for a couple of days, then visited Sintra, and then ended my trip in Porto.

Days 1 - 2: Lisbon
I spent two full days in Lisbon and completely fell in love with the city. However, if you like to travel a little slower, three days would be ideal as I know I rushed a few of the sites. (I'm talking about you Jeronimos Monastery and your insanely long queue). To get the most out of your trip, I'd also recommend arriving the night before, so that you can start your first full day bright and early in the morning.

With so many things to see and do in the capital, you don't want to waste a single minute! My favourite places were the Sao Jorge castle, the Rua Augusta arch, and the national tile museum. It's also worth visiting the Belem district and checking out the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower. 

On the evening of my second day in Lisbon, I then got the train to Sintra - a small town just 40 minutes away from Lisbon!

Day 3: Sintra
Sintra is a quaint little town that feels like it's been plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Thousands of tourists flock to the area every year and it's no surprise why. There are incredible castles and palaces everywhere you look, and the whole town has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To get the most out of your time here, I'd recommend staying overnight for a couple of days. Many visitors only visit as a day trip from Lisbon, but personally I think Sintra has too much to see to cram into one day. Arriving in Sintra the night before allows you to start your day earlier than day visitors - meaning you can avoid some of the initial crowds!

For this first full day in Sintra, visit the main three sites: The Moorish Castle, Pena Palace and the National Palace. Sure, each place will be busy (especially if you visit in the summer months), but the beauty of each place is definitely worth it. Finishing the day at the National Palace then allows you to wander through the town afterwards and explore all of the charming shops.

Check out: How To Visit Sintra In Portugal

Day 4: Sintra & travelling to Porto
Staying overnight in Sintra for a second night then allows you to get an extra morning (or maybe even an extra day if time permits) to explore the town. After seeing the main three sights the day before, I spent the morning visiting the Regaleira Palace - a Gothic palace in a huge garden filled with underground tunnels and wells to explore. The palace is beautiful, and in my opinion more worth seeing than the National Palace!

You Might Like: 12 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Sintra In Portugal!

In the afternoon, I then got the short train ride back to Lisbon, where I then got on a second train to Porto. The journey takes just over 3 hours from Lisbon to Porto so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to travel between the cities.

Day 5: Porto
As I arrived in Porto the night before this gave me a full day to explore the city. Porto is much smaller than Lisbon, and so if you're well organised one day is plenty of time to see all of the highlights. Definitely give yourself a few hours to walk along the river front and the Luis I Bridge, and be sure to get out on the water and go on a river cruise!

Check out: How To Spend 24 Hours In Porto, Portugal

I then spend a second night in Porto before getting a very early flight the following morning back to London. Thus concluding my time in Portugal!

Have you visited Portugal before? If so, where did you visit?


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