Portugal is a mesmerizing destination, enchanting visitors with its kaleidoscopic sights, sunny weather, mouthwatering cuisine, and authentic experiences on every corner; therefore, creating a five-day itinerary should not be a problem due to the abundance of things to see and do. However, if you have a train from Lisbon to Porto to catch and you want to make the most out of your journey in five days, you might want to plan well beforehand. Here’s an idea for a possible itinerary from Lisbon to Porto in five days.
It goes without saying that the starting point – the colorful capital of Portugal, deserves to occupy a significant part of the itinerary. That is why the first two days should be devoted to exploring its multifaceted attractions, sightseeing the most popular landmarks and the hidden-gems likewise, as well as taking as much from the bustling city life as you can in 48 hours. Start your day by visiting the Jerónimos Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries nearby before grabbing a coffee with a pastel de nata from one of the most popular bakeries in Lisboa – Pastéis de Belém. Continue then to wander the city’s lovely streets and get lost in Alfama, one of the oldest districts in Lisbon, brimming with so much to see and do. Make sure to stop by the São Jorge Castle for some insight into the city’s history and some spectacular views over it.
Enjoy a hearty lunch in one of the authentic Portuguese restaurants and spend the rest of the day following your preferences, whether it’s museums, nature, active pursuits, or unwinding with a book in a picturesque park that you are interested in. When nighttime falls, don’t miss the chance to join the fun in Bairro Alto, known as the place to be for experiencing what the nightlife is like in Lisbon. The second day can easily be spent exploring the rest of the city’s attractions, but if you want to make your Portugal trip even more special, hop aboard a train heading to Sintra and get your camera ready for some picturesque views! Home to the renowned fairytale-like Pena Palace, it also houses the exceptional estate of Quinta da Regaleira, the Palace of Sintra, the Castle of the Moors, and more to be explored. In addition to that, Cabo da Roca – the westernmost point of Europe, – is also nearby; thus, make sure to stop by to soak up some spectacular views of the dramatic coastline.
After absorbing the unparalleled charm of the capital, make your way towards Santarem, the first stop on your train route from Lisbon to Porto. Situated on a plateau by the Tagus River, the lovely city is the perfect break after bustling Lisbon, providing a calm ambiance and plenty of beautiful sites to marvel at. While in Santarem, have a leisurely stroll in the garden of Jardim das Portas do Sol or wander around the beautiful old town, housing the perfect site for watching the world go by as you unwind with yet another cup of flavorful Portuguese coffee – Praça Sá da Bandeira.
Continue then to explore the popular landmarks in the city, such as Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila and Mercado Municipal, or kill the hunger for beautiful sights with a visit to the Miradouro de São Bento providing spectacular views over the surroundings.
In the afternoon, wave farewell to beautiful Santarem and board the train again to reach your next destination, equally as beautiful Coimbra. Spend the rest of the day here and unwind as you treat yourself to a nice dinner and an authentic Fado show – an inseparable part of Coimbra’s cultural identity. Also known as Student Fado, the authentic genre of music originated in Coimbra and was often performed by students of the University of Coimbra, founded back in the 13th century. Visiting Universidade de Coimbra is a great idea for your next day in Portugal! Start your day early in the morning and dedicate the first half of it to exploring the city’s charming streets and the renowned university and make sure to visit the one-of-a-kind Johannine Library on site.
Once the sounds of the Fado music have faded away, return back to the train for the last leg of the journey – a trip to enchanting Porto. After spending half of the day discovering the charm of Coimbra, there might not be enough energy to seek opportunities of active sightseeing; however, Porto provides uncountable ways to get acquainted with the city in a slower-paced manner. For instance, taking a leisurely stroll in the Ribeira neighborhood, before choosing a spot along the picturesque waterfront for some Port wine tasting or going on a serene boat tour on the Douro River.
After a good night’s sleep, spend the next day touring unique sights around Porto, such as Church of São Francisco, Clérigos Church, Soares dos Reis National Museum, Porto Cathedral, the iconic Luís I Bridge, and, of course, the exceptional Livraria Lello bookshop. For those seeking thrilling experiences, Porto has a special treat prepared – bridge climbing on Ponte da Arrábida arching over the Douro River. It is important to follow the instructions and safety measures provided by the tour guide, and enjoy every moment of the out-of-the-ordinary activity.
Five days seem like such a short time but it can be an eventful one nevertheless. Modify the 5-day itinerary from Lisbon to Porto according to your own needs and wishes and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a Portuguese getaway!
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