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Planning a two week trip to Portugal? I’m so excited for you!
I’ve lived in Portugal for over a year now and there are so many wonderful things to do, cities to visit, and dishes to try.
Recently, some dear friends from my hometown came to visit. It was their first time visiting Portugal, so of course, we pulled out all the stops to make their 2 weeks in Portugal special.
We had an incredible time, and their trip was the inspiration for this blog post. Here’s my recommended two-week Portugal itinerary to help you plan your dream trip too.
14 Day Portugal Itinerary FAQ
How many days are sufficient in Portugal?
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time for a trip to Portugal. You’ll be able to see many of the highlights across several cities without feeling rushed, and your Portugal itinerary can include a few laid-back days for soaking in the atmosphere.
What is the best way to travel around Portugal?
The best way to travel around Portugal is to have a rental car or use the train. Portugal has an excellent highway system and well connected train lines.
When’s the best time to visit Portugal?
The best time to visit Portugal is between early April and late October, with July and August being the hottest months. For fewer crowds, avoid visiting in August since August is the most popular holiday month.
2 Weeks in Portugal Overview
You might be wondering if it’s worth spending a whole two weeks in Portugal. I think the answer is a resounding YES. There is so much to do in Portugal and incredible variety.
Castles, palaces, vineyards, secret beaches, cliff hikes, not to mention all the delicious food! You could spend a full month packed with activities and be thoroughly entertained the whole time.
Let’s take a big-picture look at how you’ll spend a fabulous 14 days in Portugal covering three main destinations: Ericeira, Lisbon, and Porto.
- Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon and travel to Ericeira
- Day 2-3: Ericeira
- Day 4: Travel from Ericeira to Lisbon
- Day 5-7: Lisbon
- Day 8: Day trip to Sintra
- Day 9: Travel to Porto
- Day 10-11: Porto
- Day 12: Travel to Pinhão in the Douro Valley
- Day 13: Douro Valley
- Day 14: Depart from Porto
While having a rental car provides extra freedom and flexibility, you don’t need one for this itinerary since ridesharing and public transportation options are widely available.
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon and travel to Ericeira
To start your 14-day Portugal Itinerary, fly to the Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon. From there, you’ll make your way to the laid-back beach village of Ericeira for a relaxing start to your vacation.
A lot of Portugal two-week itineraries jump right into the main attractions in Lisbon or Porto, but personally, I prefer to kick off my holiday with a few beach days.
Starting your trip in a smaller town like Ericeira is perfect if you’re getting over jet lag or simply need to unwind before exploring Portugal’s bigger cities and sights.
And you certainly won’t be bored in Ericeira. A bit off the radar and popular among the surfing crowd, Ericeira is oozing with historic charm. The cliff-lined coast has even been designated a protected World Surf Reserve, thanks to the incredible waves and beautiful beaches.
From Lisbon, you can get to Ericeira by rideshare (Uber and Bolt are popular in Portugal, more on that below), taxi, or bus.
I recommend using rideshare since it’s much faster than the bus and less expensive than the taxis.
Here’s how to do each option.
Taking an Uber or Bolt: Typical travel time is 35-40 minutes and it usually costs between €30-40. Make sure to check the prices on both Uber and Bolt since sometimes the fares can be dramatically different for the same journey.
Travel tip: If you’re new to Bolt, you can use code NICOLAWKVA for $5 off your first ride.
The rideshare pickup area at the Lisbon airport is outside departures, not arrivals like you might expect. When you land, turn right out of the arrivals hall and take the escalator up to the departure area. It’s close to this point on Google Maps.
Taxi: The taxi stand is right outside the arrivals doors at the Lisbon airport. There’s a queue and airport staff can help you make arrangements.
Bus/Public Transit: If you want to take public transportation, catch the metro outside the Lisbon airport and travel to Campo Grande.
Take the red (vermelha) line to Alameda and transfer to the green (verde) line to get to Campo Grande. From Campo Grande, you can take the bus to Ericeira.
The bus costs €6.45 and takes between 1-2 hours, depending on which route you get. You can buy tickets from the driver when you board, but make sure to have cash ready. To see bus times and schedules, I use the Moovit App.
Rental car: If you prefer to drive, the Lisbon airport has several rental car kiosks to choose from. A few years ago, we used Sixt Rent a Car on our 10 day road trip around Portugal and were happy with it.
Where to stay in Ericeira
You’ve arrived in tranquil Ericeira and it’s time to begin your Portugal holiday. Unless you opted to rent a car, it’s best to stay close to the center of town so you can easily walk to restaurants, bars, and beaches.
High-end: You and The Sea is located a short walk from downtown Ericeira and gets excellent reviews for comfortable rooms, the staff, the pool, and the sea view.
Hotel Vila Galé is also in an incredible location and has a massive pool deck overlooking the Ericeira cliffs and Praia do Sul.
Mid-range: Reserva FLH Hotels Ericeira is tucked away downtown and offers a tasty breakfast and modern rooms, some of which have balconies.
Budget-friendly: On a previous trip, I stayed at Residencial Fortunato and it was simple, tidy, and located just steps from the center of town.
If you prefer a hostel experience, Surfer’s Den Ericeira is also centrally located with a nice outdoor terrace. They have both dorm rooms and private rooms with shared bathrooms.
After you’ve dropped your bags, walk to downtown Ericeira to get acquainted with the area. In Google Maps, the main town square is called Jogo da Bola.
In the evening, stroll down to Boardriders. This is a popular sunset spot in Ericeira and they have a skate bowl and a massive surf shop. There’s a patio with a sea view and a bar serving snacks and drinks.
On Fridays, Boardriders has live music starting in the late afternoon until about 9:00 pm. Bring a blanket or a towel to sit on the grass and enjoy the fun atmosphere.
You’ve probably worked up an appetite by now, so grab dinner at Tik Tapas. This cozy tapas place is one of our favorite restaurants in Ericeira and a great way to sample lots of local flavors on day one.
I highly recommend the sauteed mushrooms and Padrón peppers, and definitely save room for dessert. Call ahead to make a reservation since they fill up fast!
After dinner, walk across the street to Jukebox for drinks. You can also check out Adega Bar for live music on Friday night and nightlife most nights of the week. Adega Bar is usually the place to be until about midnight when the crowds switch to Tubo Bar.
With your first day under your belt, it’s time to get a good night’s sleep so you’re ready for your next two fun-filled weeks in Portugal.
Days 2 and 3: Ericeira
For the next two days, you’ll explore Ericeira and the surrounding sights and beaches.
Ericeira is small and very walkable with wide sidewalks connecting the northern and southern beaches, but you can also use rideshare apps like Uber and Bolt or rent e-bikes to explore the surrounding area.
I recommend e-bikes over regular bikes because the Ericeira coastline is very hilly, but if you’re a seasoned cyclist you might be able to get away with a traditional bike. Take-Off Ebike is a good place to rent.
Things to do in Ericeira
Ericeira Beaches: Relaxing at the beach is one of the best things to do in Ericeira. With warm golden sand surrounded by breathtaking cliffs, you might not need to do anything else for your days here. Ericeira is on the Atlantic Ocean, so expect the water temperatures to be chilly.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Foz do Lizandro: A large sandy beach with plenty of space for laying out with an umbrella. There’s also a small boardwalk with restaurants and snack bars that are open seasonally. It’s a scenic and straightforward 30-minute walk from town, but there’s also parking available if you drive.
- Ribeira d’Ilhas: A beach where surfing competitions are often held with a restaurant, beach bar, bathrooms, showers, and a huge rooftop sundeck. This is a great place to take surfing lessons too.
- Praia dos Pescadores: Fisherman’s Beach is located downtown and is popular for swimming, paddle boarding, and volleyball. During the summer, there’s a pop-up beach bar with umbrellas and beach chairs for rent.
- Praia do Sul: A surfing beach with cabanas and umbrellas available for rent during the high season. There’s also a calm rock pool located under Hotel Vila Gale that provides shelter from the waves, an ideal spot for swimming.
- São Lourenço: São Lourenço is about a ten-minute drive from Ericeira, but it’s a well-loved beach with a restaurant and peaceful scenery.
Surfing Lessons: Ericeira is a World Surf Reserve, so if you’ve ever wanted to try surfing, this is the place to do it.
There are about one thousand places you can book private or group surfing lessons and classes include a surfboard and wetsuit since the water is chilly year-round. Check out Surf Riders Ericeira or Ericeira Waves to book lessons for all experience levels.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Paddle boarding is another great way to experience the coast of Ericeira, and Ericeira SUP has classes for all levels. Choose from a beginner paddle down the Lizandro River, an adrenalin-filled ocean session, or even a SUP yoga class.
Mafra Palace: Located just a 10-15 minutes drive or bus ride from Ericeira is the massive Mafra Palace. This UNESCO World Heritage site dates back to the 1700s and makes a great little excursion if you need a break from the beach.
The sheer size of the palace is staggering, and inside you can see fine art, historic living spaces, and a grand library.
Cliff Hike: You could easily spend an entire day wandering the hiking trails along the cliffs of Ericeira. There’s a well-marked trail at Ribeira D’Ilhas that starts at the base of the cliffs and rock formations on the right-hand side, opposite the giant staircase.
For an organized hike experience, you can join this hidden hike in Foz do Lizandro.
Yoga class: Feeling a little stiff from your travel day? Book a session at Ericeira Yoga Studio. They have different types of yoga classes all day and you can even take aerial yoga lessons if you’re feeling adventurous. (Highly recommend!)
Wine Tasting Bike Tour: Sample fantastic Portuguese wines while exploring the great outdoors on this Wine Tasting Bike Tour. Guests rave about the beautiful Lizandro Valley and knowledgable guides.
Boardriders: I mentioned it above, but make sure to go to Boardriders at sunset at least one evening of your trip. The surf shop itself is impressive – there is a conveyer belt of surfboards spanning the entire ceiling – and outside you can watch skateboard tricks while the sun sets over the horizon. On Friday there’s live music during warmer months.
58 Surf: If you spend your Friday at Boardriders, you’ll want to spend your Saturday at 58 Surf. Here, you can try craft beers at the Mean Sardine Brewery, grab lunch at Maikai, or if you feel like going out, enjoy live music after dark on Saturday nights during the high season. Usually, they’ll promote upcoming events on the Maikai Instagram page.
Restaurants in Ericeira
Tik Tapas: Tik Tapas is my favorite tapas place in Ericeira and a great spot to sample lots of local dishes, crafted with love. We fill our whole table with tapas every time we go and always leave happy, but do remember to save room for dessert.
Ti Matilde: An incredible lunch spot with an even more incredible sea view from a clifftop near Praia do Norte. Ti Matilde is a seafood lover’s dream where fish and seafood dishes are served family-style. Call in advance to reserve an outside table.
A Panela: A Panela is a classic Portuguese cuisine and seafood spot where you can often see the chef grilling up fresh fish on the outdoor grill. The staff is wonderful and you can try traditional dishes like Bacalhau à Brás and Pica Pau as well as veggie-friendly adaptations.
Souldough pizza: Souldough is an outdoor pizza kitchen with mouthwatering seasonal pizzas. There’s plenty of outdoor seating and the atmosphere is quirky and rustic, which all adds to this unforgettable pizza experience. It’s some of the best pizza I’ve ever had and I’m not alone. (Look at their reviews online!)
Pedra Dura: Pedra Dura is named for its signature dish, steak on the stone. If you order it, they’ll bring out a blazing hot stone with steak on it and you’ll cook the meat right at the table. There are also delicious pasta dishes and veggie options. I love the veggie lasagna and potatoes au gratin.
Casa Portuguesa: Discover more delectable Portuguese cuisine with classic dishes done well at Casa Portuguesa. Alex recommends the Bitoque steak and I love the cheese salad.
Pão da Vila: Pão da Vila is one of the few restaurants in Ericeira that’s open all day so it’s a good option for food if you’re hungry when places are closed between lunch and dinner. Don’t miss their selection of sweets and pastries.
Mar Das Latas Wine and Food: Go to Mar Das Latas for sunset drinks and tapas from their wine bar. I haven’t tried their restaurant yet but there’s wonderful outdoor seating with a view of Praia dos Pescadores and tasty small plates served at their wine bar next door.
Day 4: Travel from Ericeira to Lisbon
Lisbon is the next stop on our Portugal travel itinerary and it’s just a short drive (or bus ride) from Ericeira.
To get here, you can either take the bus (1-2 hours) and connect with the metro at Campo Grande, drive via highway A21 and A8, or use a rideshare app.
Since we were traveling as a group of three and had luggage, we choose the rideshare option. The journey cost around €30-40 from Ericeira to the historic center of Lisbon.
Travel tip: Check the prices on both Bolt and Uber before booking. If the price is significantly higher than €40, wait half an hour and check again since it might be surging.
Something to note: We decided to spend 3.5 days in Lisbon with one bigger day trip to Sintra, but you could also divide this time between Lisbon and the Algarve if you’re okay with a busier travel schedule.
If you’re interested in that option, I mapped out two different 14-day Portugal itineraries that include the Algarve in the “Alternative Itineraries” section below.
Okay, back to Lisbon.
Where to stay in Lisbon
To maximize your time in Lisbon, I recommend picking a home base close to the central historic district and near public transportation.
Here are some different places to stay in Lisbon:
Apartment: We booked this two-bedroom apartment in the Santos neighborhood and loved it. There was plenty of space for three adults, a washing machine, a huge bathroom, and a gorgeous kitchen.
Incredible food was just minutes from our doorstep and it was super easy to access public transportation around the city. In fact, we could watch the yellow tram roll by from our windows. The host was lovely and I can’t say enough good things about this apartment.
High-end: Alex and I stayed at Lux Lisboa Park for a special occasion a few years ago and felt so fancy! The rooftop patio was above and beyond (literally) and I’m still drooling over the breakfast spread.
Mid-range: Feeling Chiado 15 has nearly perfect reviews for location, staff, and cleanliness, and it’s just a stone’s throw from some top attractions in Lisbon like the Santa Justa lift and the Convento do Carmo.
Budget-friendly: I stayed at Chalet D´Ávila Guest House with a friend a few months ago and it was fabulous. The room was comfortable, stylish, and easy on the budget. There are shared bathrooms and a few common living areas, and the building is in a good location close to public transit.
For a hostel experience, Selina Secret Garden is in an excellent location with a pool, coworking space, rooftop patio, and events throughout the week. They offer dorms, private rooms with shared bathrooms, and private rooms with private bathrooms.
I’ve used their coworking space before and the property is always buzzing with activity.
Now that you’re all settled in, head to the Tagus River waterfront to watch the sunset and then wander over to Time Out Market to grab your first meal in Lisbon.
Visiting Time Out Market is an experience in itself, and there are dozens of vendors to choose from. Make sure to stop in the little wine shop to see vintage bottles of Port that will set you back over a grand.
If you’re up for it, after dinner you can head to Pink Street for music, dancing, street performers, drinks, and a fun street-party atmosphere. This is one of the most famous party streets in the city, and it’s worth seeing at least once.
Day 5-7: Lisbon
With charming narrow streets, colorful buildings, and long, sun-filled days, visiting Lisbon feels like stepping into a fairytale. The capital city is packed with fun things to see and do, as well as memorable day trips that allow you to explore more of the region.
Lisbon is a walkable city, but it’s hilly. If you’re not feeling a 15-minute vertical climb, you can use Uber and Bolt (usually very affordable within the city, and sometimes less expensive than public transit if you’re traveling with multiple people) or take the trams, metros, and busses.
You can also purchase bus and tram tickets in cash when you board, but it’s more expensive per ride. Throw about 10 euros on your Zapping card and you’ll be set for a few days.
I recommend grabbing a reloadable Zapping card in one of the Lisbon metro stations if you plan to use public transit often. You can buy these at self-service kiosks or at the ticket desk.
Travel tip: Instead of paying for transit and attractions individually, you can grab a Lisbon Card that’s valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours.
The Lisbon Card includes free admission to several of the destinations listed below like the Jerónimos Monastery, National Tile Museum, Rua Augusta Arch, and Santa Justa Elevator, to name just a few. It also includes access to all public transportation for the time window you select. You can see everything that’s included in the Lisbon Card here.
Here are some fabulous things to see and do in Lisbon.
Things to do in Lisbon
Explore the historic district: Guided tours are a great way to experience a new city. You can do a guided walking tour (Sandemans New Europe has free walking tours in most European cities) or a tuk-tuk tour if you want to skip the hills.
There’s a small bar and patio area above the lookout point called Bar Terraço de Santa Luzia where you can grab a drink if you’d like more time to take in the view.
From there, you can continue up the hill to the Castelo de São Jorge. If you’d like to go inside, grab tickets online in advance because every time I’ve tried to go the line has been impossibly long.
After visiting the castle, head back down the hill to Praca do Comercio and the Arco da Rua Augusta. You can follow the main walking street toward Rossio Plaza to see the Santa Justa Lift and the Convento do Cormo church and archaeological museum.
LX Factory: Spend the afternoon and evening at the lively LX Factory located beside the red Pointe 25 de Abril Bridge. LX Factory used to be an industrial compound but now it’s shops, restaurants, bars, and a pedestrian area with tons of street art.
Visit the Ler Devagar book store and be wowed by the towering shelves of books, grab a slice of cake at Landeau (which is rumored to have the best chocolate cake in Lisbon), or even book an ax-throwing session at USAxe.
There are dozens of restaurants in the LX factory area and as the sun sets, go up to the rooftop bar above the LX Hostel for amazing views.
Museo Nacional del Azulejo: Curious about those beautifully painted blue tiles you see all over Portugal? They’re called Azulejo and you can learn all about them at the Museo Nacional del Azulejo. The museum is located inside the Madre de Deus Convent, which dates back to the 1500s, and costs €5 to enter.
Estufa Fria: Estufa Fria, which translates to “cold greenhouse,” is a multi-story, covered botanical garden located in Parque Eduardo VII. If plants make you smile, add this to your list. It costs €3.10 to visit but it’s free to the public on Sundays.
After exploring the grounds, you can take a stroll through the park and grab a bite at Quiosque Beca Beca.
Food and Wine Walking Tour: A Lisbon food and wine tour is a great way to see the city and learn about Lisbon’s culinary traditions from a local guide. This particular tour lasts about three hours with multiple food and drink pairings, and the hosts get rave reviews in the comments.
Travel Tip: Do a food and wine tour early in your visit so you know what to order at later meals and what restaurants you might want to revisit.
Portuguese Cooking Class: Continue to learn about iconic Portuguese dishes in a hands-on cooking class. Under the guidance of an instructor, you’ll learn to cook a three-course meal that you can recreate at home whenever you’re missing the flavors of Portugal.
Lisbon Sunset River Cruise: Set sail along Lisbon’s waterfront and the River Tagus to learn about the city’s history and important landmarks. This tour company offers sailings during the day, at sunset, or after dark and your ticket includes one drink.
Lisbon Under the Stars: In the evening during certain months out of the year, the Convento de Carmo displays a light show called Lisbon Under the Stars.
Lisbon Under The Stars uses contemporary dance, music, lights, and storytelling to share the history of the city over hundreds of years. You sit on the floor in the beautiful church without a roof and the story plays out on the walls around you.
Explore Belém: Belém is a historical neighborhood just a 10-15 minute train ride from Cais de Sondré in Lisbon and home to some fascinating historical sites and one delicious treat. Pastéis de Belém is a famous place to try the Pastel de Nata and it’s up there as one of my favorite pastries in the city.
After eating a tasty Pastéis de Belém or five, head over to the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 1500s. You can buy tickets at the door or online and explore for yourself, or you can visit as part of a guided Belém tour to learn about the structure and its history.
Finally, make sure to visit the impressive Belém Tower, another UNESCO site that was built in the 16th century, for a beautiful riverfront view.
Day trip to Cascais: Take a trip through the Portuguese riviera by train. Cascais is a seaside town about 45 minutes from Lisbon and a photo-worthy spot to spend a day soaking up the sun.
There’s a swimming beach, coastal bike paths, nature parks, museums, palaces, and plenty of shopping. Make sure to check out the Boco da Inferno lookout spot, about a 25-minute walk from downtown.
You can buy tickets to Cascais at the Cais do Sodré train station and there are trains about every half hour.
Day trip to Costa da Caparica: Costa da Caparica will always have a special place in my heart because this was the first place I lived when I moved to Portugal. It’s only a half-hour bus ride (or 15-minute Uber/Bolt) from downtown Lisbon and you can enjoy giant stretches of sandy white beaches, surfing, beach bars, and an expansive boardwalk.
If you’re in town in the evening, 1000% go to Gordos for dinner. Make a reservation in advance and prepare to be wowed. Gordos serves authentic Brazilian cuisine family-style.
You just say how many people you have and how you like your meat cooked then mountainous plates of black beans, rice, tomato salad, fried bananas, potatoes, and Picanha start coming out. When you run out of something, a friendly server replaces it with another full platter.
We’ve driven over an hour just to eat at Gordos on multiple occasions, and just writing about it is making me hungry.
Day trip to Arrabida Nature Park: If you need a break from the city, book a day trip to Arrabida Nature Park and Sesimbra in the Setubal Province for some kayaking.
This nature park comes highly recommended by my Portuguese friends and everyone I’ve talked to raves about the crystal clear water and general serenity of the area.
Night Out in Bairro Alto: If you want to keep the night going, head to Bairro Alto for music and general liveliness. There are hundreds of bars and restaurants and the parties spill out into the street after dark, making this one of the best places for nightlife in Lisbon. It’s worth visiting even if you’re just wandering through.
Restaurants in Lisbon
Oh my goodness, how much time do you have? There are too many good restaurants in Lisbon to count, so I’ll send you out into this culinary playground with a few of my top picks:
The Mill: Kick off the day at The Mill for hardy breakfast plates, bowls, toasts, and bagels. Make sure to try the blueberry pancakes and banana bread.
Dear Breakfast: A trendy breakfast place in Lisbon, Dear Breakfast has two locations but I’ve found the Bica spot to be less crowded. Make a reservation if you’re going at brunch time on the weekends.
Bowls and Bar: One of my top choices for coffee and breakfast in the Sao Bento/Santos neighborhood. I love Bowls and Bar because they always have local artwork on display and there’s a flower shop inside the restaurant, filling the air with amazing smells.
The restaurant also has a great view of the tram line so you can sip your coffee while watching classic yellow trams ramble past.
Crispy Mafia: Crispy Mafia is a funky fried chicken spot with dishes like chicken and waffles and Korean-style fried chicken. They also have a host of vegetarian-friendly options like a “chicken” sandwich made with deep-fried cauliflower. Make sure to try the onion rings.
Lupitas: Lupitas serves impeccable pizza made fresh in downtown Lisbon. There’s usually a wait to eat inside, but the pizza is worth it. They don’t take reservations and you can place takeaway orders if the line is too long.
Neighbourhood Cafe: Out-of-this-world burgers, veggie burgers, breakfast burritos, and homemade sweet bread. We may or may not have gone to Neighbourhood Cafe twice in one day.
Ilha da Madeira: Try authentic Madeira cuisine at Ilha da Madeira. This is a very traditional restaurant that specializes in meat and fish, and you should grab an order of bolo do caco when you arrive.
Ze da Mouraria 2: At Ze da Mouraria 2 (use the 2 in Google Maps), you’ll try super classic Portuguese dishes served family-style. We ordered one bacalhau platter, one meat platter, and two orders of rice and it was more than enough for our group of five. Save room for dessert!
Vicente: Dinner at Vicente is always a highlight of visiting Lisbon. We call this restaurant the castle restaurant because the inside looks like you’re in an actual castle, and the food, drinks, and ambiance are excellent.
We ordered the mushroom starter, the creamy cheese, a Nasi Goering, the catch of the day, and the entrecote steak and everything was perfection.
Keep these restaurants handy because you’ll work up an appetite climbing all those hills, which brings me too…
Day 8: Day trip to Sintra
Sintra is an amazing full day trip from Lisbon and a showstopping place to see in Portugal.
There are many guided tour groups that take you from Lisbon to Sintra and Cabo da Roca, but this is a good activity to do on your own so you have as much time as you like at each stop.
Related Post: 1 Day Lisbon to Sintra Itinerary
Going to Sintra is quite simple, but I got us all turned around, late, and lost because I misinterpreted the map and train schedule. Luckily we still made it to Sintra, but we arrived a few hours later than planned. Whoops.
Here’s what you should do so you don’t make the same mistake I did.
Head directly to Rossio train station. You can walk, Uber/Bolt, or take the metro to the Rossio metro station. If you come by metro, the Rossio train station is across the street about a 3-5 minute walk from the Rossio metro stop.
Cross Rossio plaza and look for the large, historical building with a Starbucks on the ground floor. This is the train station.
Inside the train station, go up the long escalators to the upper floor. You’ll see a customer service desk selling train tickets and a large map of Lisbon, Sintra, and other surrounding attractions.
Tickets for the Sintra-Rossio train are €2.30 each way and the direct train to Sintra runs a few times an hour. You can check the train schedule here using Lisboa-Rossio as the starting point and Sintra as the destination. The journey takes about 40 minutes.
When you arrive in Sintra, exit the train station and turn right. Walk down the street directly beside the station to find the bus stops.
There are a few different buses that take you around the Sintra area, and you can buy a 24-hour hop-on-hop-off ticket for all of the buses for €11.50.
You can also take a tuk-tuk if you prefer, but it’s more expensive. We were quoted €10 per person one way, or €15 per person round trip to the Pena Palace, but this option wouldn’t be ideal if you were planning to visit multiple attractions.
To get to the Pena Palace, take the 434 bus which comes every 15-ish minutes. You can buy your ticket directly with the driver when you board.
The bus will head up the mountain, stopping at attractions like the Moorish Castle along the way.
When you get to Pena Palace, you can wait in line to buy tickets at the door or buy them online in advance. I highly recommend getting them online so you can skip the ticket line.
Give yourself about two hours to see the palace and explore the interior and exterior areas, and more time if you want to see all of the gardens. There’s also a cafe and restaurant with a terrace area for refreshments.
When you’re finished at the Pena Palace, you can catch the bus back down the mountain to one of the other main attractions in the area. Given transit time, I think you could comfortably do two attractions in a day, maybe three if you moved quickly.
Here are a few more popular attractions, palaces, and castles to see in Sintra:
When you’re ready to head back to Lisbon, the train from Sintra to Rossio leaves at 50 minutes past the hour.
Day 9: Travel to Porto
Up next, we’re traveling from Lisbon to Porto by train. The journey takes about three hours and you can catch the fastest train to Porto from Lisbon Santa Apolonia station or Lisbon Orienté station.
There are two main train stations in Porto, Porto-Campanhã and Porto-São Bento. If you’re staying in the city center, choose Porto-São Bento as your final destination.
You can book your train tickets at the ticket counter on arrival or online using the CP website. If you book online, you’ll receive an email with a PDF that includes your assigned seat and train carriage.
We didn’t realize our assigned seats were in the email PDF and accidentally sat on the opposite end of the train, then had to hike through five full carriages with luggage while underway. Lesson learned: check your email before you board.
You’ll travel about three hours to Porto Campanhã then you’ll connect to São Bento on a smaller local train. When you arrive, take a few minutes to absorb São Bento train station. It’s covered in glorious tiles and feels more like you’re in a museum.
Where to stay in Porto
In Porto, we stayed at the Oporto Delight Apartments in the city center. The 2-bedroom apartment was perfect for our group and it had a full kitchen, modern furniture, and easy access to Porto attractions and restaurants.
The host was welcoming and gave us some great suggestions for things to do. This host also has a 1-bedroom apartment and another 2-bedroom apartment in the same building with equally fabulous reviews.
Here are some other places to stay in Porto.
Upscale: PortoBay Flores is a 5-star hotel located on Rua das Flores, one of the most photogenic streets in Porto. There’s an indoor pool with a view, a spa, and a garden area all located in a building with more than 500 years of history. Across the board, reviews for this property are excellent.
Mid-Range: Rio Da Vila also has exceptional reviews and is located close to the Porto waterfront. The hotel is located in a historic building and there’s a wine bar on the main level.
Budget-Friendly: Selina Porto is located in the heart of downtown, just a short walk from major Porto attractions. I’ve stayed in Selina hostels a few places around the world and it’s a fun choice if you want a social element to your Porto visit.
They offer dorms, private rooms, and family-style suites, and guests love the gorgeous outdoor area and daily activities.
Alternatively, Campanhã Boutique Station is a highly-rated, budget-friendly guest house located near the Campanhã train station.
With the exception of the suites, most rooms have a shared bathroom and breakfast in the common kitchen is provided for all visitors. It’s about a half-hour walk or ten-minute metro ride into the center of town.
Day 10-11: Porto
The nice thing about visiting Porto is how compact and walkable the city is. Nearly everything is reachable on foot within half an hour, but for sights that are further afield, Uber and Bolt were widely available.
Things to do in Porto
Clérigos Tower and Church: Clérigos Tower is the highest point in the city (and an easy reference point if you get lost) and you can climb to the top for a 360 panoramic view.
You can also bundle your tower ticket with a light show display called Spiritus that runs in the church. You don’t have to do the tower climb and the light show on the same day, but you’ll save a few euros by purchasing the package deal.
Igreja do Carmo: The Igreja do Carmo is one of the most recognizable spots in Porto because the outside is covered in brilliant blue tiles. It’s free to go inside and look around.
Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto): On our first night in Porto, we walked down to the river and got lost in some of the tiny side streets. The streets turned into stairs which turned into more stairs which resulted in us essentially scaling the side of Porto.
Winded and sweaty, at the end of our million-stair hike we found ourselves at the Porto Cathedral. It was beautiful all lit up at night and we had the grounds more or less to ourselves.
Whether you visit during the night or day, it’s an impressive sight to see. It’s right next to the Luís I Bridge so you can easily stop by on the way to Vila Nova de Gaia.
Luís I Bridge: If you’re exploring Porto by foot, you’ll likely cross this bridge a number of times since it connects the Porto historic district with Gaia, the Port wine haven on the opposite riverbank.
It only takes about 5 minutes to walk across, and you’ll have amazing views of both river fronts along the way. There’s an upper and lower level so you can cross at the ground level too if needed.
Explore Vila Nova de Gaia: After you cross the bridge, you’ll be in the Gaia area of Porto.
Start by visiting the Monastery of Serra do Pilar. It’s open for tours every day except Monday, but the outdoor space is open with great views of the city regardless of when you visit.
Next, walk across the street to the Jardim do Morro, a hilltop garden overlooking the Douro River. There’s a playground area and a grassy amphitheater where musicians perform most afternoons. There are also vendors selling snacks and drinks.
To get down to the waterfront you can either walk through the winding back roads (there are signs showing you the way) or take the cable car which leaves from the Jardim do Morro. We decided to walk down and then take the cable car back up later in the afternoon.
The steep walk down to the river takes about ten minutes, but once you’re down you’ll be in wine-tasting heaven.
Visit the Port Wine Caves: Porto’s major port creators have tasting rooms and wine caves lining the riverfront at Vila Nova de Gaia, one after the next. Book a tour and tasting (or several) to learn Portugal’s wine history and sample some of the best drinks around.
Gaia Porto Cable Car: The Gaia Cable Car takes you from the riverfront in Gaia to the Jardim do Morro, saving you a trip up all those stairs. It takes about 5-10 minutes and offers a unique view of both downtown Porto and Gaia. It costs €6 per person each way.
Guided Porto Tour: One morning we did an e-bike tour through the Porto city center and along the riverfront to Praia de Matosinhos. I was really looking forward to this experience but unfortunately, it wasn’t our favorite. The riverfront and beach portions were nice, but in the city, traffic, massive hills, and a lack of bike lanes made cycling stressful.
Instead, I’d recommend trying a walking tour or guided tuk-tuk tour. Porto Walkers has a ton of options, like a free historical walking tour, a pub crawl, a tapas and Vinho Verde experience, and a Porto lifestyle tour.
Lello Bookstore: With ornate ceilings and a quirky, winding staircase, The Lello Bookstore is said to be the inspiration for the architecture in Harry Potter. Because of this claim to fame, you’ll need a ticket to visit and there’s usually a long line to go in.
You can grab your ticket online before you arrive or buy it in person outside the library. Tickets are €5 and if you buy a book in the store you’ll get a €5 discount off your purchase.
After purchasing, you’ll receive one email with your proof of payment and a second email with your actual tickets. Once you get the second email, you can cross the street into the entrance line.
Lello may be small but the large red staircase and mountains of books definitely make a statement. It’s a great photo spot and we spent about 15-20 minutes inside browsing.
Crystal Palace Park: Crystal Palace Park has gardens, fountains, sculptures, and plenty of green space overlooking the river. There are also peacocks that roam free on the grounds. It’s the perfect place to walk, read a book, or chat with a friend while enjoying a view of the city.
Pastel de Nata baking class: A must in Porto! This pastel de nata baking class was one of our favorite activities and the host Joanna went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and share her passion for Portuguese banking. The class takes place in her apartment which is located about 10-15 minutes outside of the city center.
The class is hands-on and after just a few minutes, all ten people in our group were laughing and chatting like old friends. We learned the correct baking techniques and made about two dozen pastries from scratch which we ate fresh out of the oven.
Day trip to Braga: Braga is located about 50km northeast of Porto and it’s known for having striking architecture, lovely city gardens, and impressive churches, including the oldest cathedral in Portugal.
You can easily get there by train in about an hour or you can go as part of a Braga guided tour.
Restaurants in Porto
Rua Tapas and Music: Swing by Rua Tapas and Music for incredible food with music and a fun atmosphere. The live music draws a crowd, so it’s important to book your table in advance.
As far as tapas go, order everything. I don’t think we had a single dish we didn’t like and it was easily one of our top meals of the trip. Batatas bravas, roasted vegetables, melted camembert cheese with honey, pulled pork tacos – the list goes on and on.
Oh, and make sure to try the strawberry and sparkling wine sangria! Save room for dessert because the sweet dishes are just as impressive as the tapas.
Barão Fladgate: Barão Fladgate was another one of our all-time favorite restaurants in Porto. This upscale restaurant is connected with Taylor’s Port and there’s a sommelier who recommends different ports with each course of your meal.
The dining room has panoramic views of the Porto waterfront, the staff was incredibly knowledgable, and the desserts were downright showstopping.
Cantina 32: We loved Cantina 32 so much. It has low-key, homey decor, but the food is anything but ordinary. Everyone loved their meals (my veggie burger was out of this world), and for dessert, you can order slabs of chocolate cake by the centimeter.
They also have a banana cheesecake served in a flower pot covered in chocolate crumbles. It’s no wonder this place was packed even on a Monday night.
Subenshi Porto: If you’re in the mood for sushi, Subenshi Porto is marvelous. It’s located just a few blocks from the Clérigos tower in a historic building and there are several floors and rooms with different designs. Everything we ate was perfection, and they had several impressive sushi boats, including a vegan boat.
Amorino Gelato and Ice Cream: Would you blame me if I told you we stopped at Amorino for gelato, ice cream, and macarons nearly every day we were in Porto? The blueberry cheesecake ice cream was my favorite.
Santa Francesinha or Cantarinha: You have to try a Francisinha when visiting Porto, and these spots are a great place to do it. Cantarinha came highly recommended by friends and we tried Santa Francesinha because they had a vegetarian francesinha option. If you go to Santa Francesinha, you might want to split a dish since the portions are giant.
Day 12: Travel to Pinhão and the Douro Valley
Next, travel from Porto to the scenic Douro Valley. The Douro Valley is considered a UNESCO world heritage site and wine has been produced in this region for over 2,000 years.
Pinhão is one of the most popular cities in the Douro Valley and a convenient jumping-off point for local activities. Plus, it’s easy to get there by train from the Porto Campanhã train station.
It’s also possible to visit the Douro Valley as a day trip from Porto if you’d prefer not to move hotels, but I’ve always been told that it’s worth spending the night if you have time.
This Pinhão travel guide has some great information to help you decide if you should go with a guided tour or overnight, as well as how to get there.
Where to stay in Pinhão
Want to stay at a working winery? Quinta de la Rosa has 23 unique guest rooms located throughout the property along with a swimming pool and plenty of garden areas to unwind.
Speaking of swimming pools, if relaxing in a pool with a panoramic view of the Douro River sounds like your idea of a good time, The Vintage House Douro fits the bill. As the name suggests, this hotel is located in a historic building and guests love the views, outdoor area, and location.
Hostel Douro Backpackers has nearly perfect reviews across the board and guests can choose from dorms or private rooms. There’s a communal kitchen and a lovely rooftop terrace for soaking in the Douro Valley landscape.
Day 13: Pinhão
Wine tastings! All the wine tastings! The Douro Valley is a paradise for wine lovers and a beautiful place to visit in general. Here are some wine (and non-wine-related) activities to try in Pinhão.
Quinta do Bomfim: Located just steps from the little town of Pinhão along the Douro River, Quinta do Bomfim is a family-run vineyard and winery where you can sip world-class ports with a river view. They offer guided tours, vineyard walks, and picnics.
Quinta de la Rosa: Quinta de la Rosa is another riverfront winery and vineyard that hosts tours, wine tastings, wine-pairing lunches, and guided explorations of the vineyards and terraces.
Explore the Douro River: See the Douro Valley from a different perspective with a boat trip in the Douro River. Choose from options like a private yacht cruise or a Rabelo boat tour with an audio guide. You can also rent kayaks to explore the Douro River on your own.
Day 14: Return to Porto for Departure
On the final day of your 2 weeks in Portugal itinerary, head back to Porto via train. Enjoy your final pastel de nata and spend some time wandering around the vibrant streets, taking it all in, before you head to the Porto airport for departure.
By Uber or Bolt, the journey to the airport should take you around 15 minutes depending on the traffic. If you’d prefer to take public transportation, you can catch the airport metro from Trindade station.
2 Week Portugal Itinerary Alternatives
Spending 2 weeks in Portugal gives you a lot of options. There’s so much to see in this country and even after living here for over a year, I know I’ve hardly scratched the surface.
So of course, this itinerary is only one of many you could use for your visit. Here are a few more options to consider depending on your interests and preferences:
Alternative 1: Portugal 2 week road trip itinerary
My main itinerary doesn’t feature the Algarve, the most popular beach region in Portugal, but you can add it with a little shuffling of days and less time in Ericeira. By renting a car, you can also stop at cool cities like Evora and Coimbra as you travel between bigger destinations.
- Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon
- Day 2-5: Lisbon, Day trips (or overnights) to Sintra, Ericeira, or Cascais
- Day 6: Drive to Algarve
- Day 7-8 Algarve
- Day 9: Drive to Evora in Alentejo
- Day 10: Drive to Porto
- Day 11-12: Porto
- Day 13: Drive to Coimbra
- Day 14: Return to Lisbon
Alternative 2: 14 days in Portugal with fewer hotel changes
If packing up and switching accommodation every few days doesn’t appeal to you, this itinerary allows you to have a home base in the bigger cities and do day trips to see nearby sites.
- Days 1-7 Lisbon, Day trips to Ericeira, Sintra, Cascais, or Setubal
- Days 8-14 Porto, Day trips to Coimbra, Braga, Aveiro, or Douro
Alternative 3: 2 week Portugal itinerary that includes visiting the Algarve
This itinerary starts in the Algarve and ends in Porto. You could do this one by public transportation if you wanted since there are frequent buses and trains connecting the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto.
- Day 1: Land in Faro and stay in Lagos, Albufeira, or Portimão
- Day 2-3: Algarve
- Day 4: Travel to Lisbon
- Day 5-8: Lisbon with day trips to Sintra, Ericeira, or Cascais
- Day 9: Travel to Porto
- Day 10-11: Porto
- Day 12-13: Pinhao and Douro Valley
- Day 14: Departure from Porto
Alternative 4: An alternative to the aforementioned alternative
This itinerary is almost the same as the main plan in this blog post except you’ll spend slightly less time in Lisbon and Porto and add a few days in the Algarve.
- Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon, travel to Ericeira
- Day 2-3: Ericeira
- Day 4: Travel to Lisbon
- Day 5-6: Lisbon
- Day 7: Travel to Algarve
- Day 8-9: Algarve
- Day 10: Travel to Porto
- Day 11-14: Porto
Best time to visit Portugal
I’d recommend visiting Portugal between early April and late October. The peak summer heat usually doesn’t kick in until about June but things stay toasty and comfortable well into the fall.
To miss the crowds and save on accommodation, avoid visiting in August. During August, most people in Portugal take a vacation which means tourist attractions are packed and accommodation prices soar.
In June, Lisbon and Porto have big festivals (called festas) that are spectacular to see. If you like a lively festival atmosphere with lots of street parties, plan your 2 week Portugal itinerary to accommodate these dates.
The Festas in Lisbon fall on June 12th and 13th but last a few weeks longer before fizzling out. The St. John Festival in Porto falls on June 23rd and involves (gently) smashing strangers with soft plastic hammers. Definitely a sight to behold.
What’s the best way to travel around Portugal for 2 weeks?
The best way to travel around Portugal is by car or train. Portugal is known for having great highways and a well-connected train system that make it easy to get from city to city. I’ve done trips both ways, and there are pros to each option.
If you have a rental car, you won’t have to worry about train schedules and you may get where you’re going quicker. You also have the ability to deviate from your planned travel route if you learn about a new place you’d like to go. I recently traveled by car with my family and we were able to pull off the highway and check out smaller towns and attractions as we traveled from place to place.
On the flipside, parking can be stressful and expensive in cities like Lisbon and Porto. Hotels in the historic district rarely include parking, and circling the block looking for a garage or open street spot can take hours.
With the train, you have less control over when you depart and arrive, but you don’t have to deal with parking, tolls, or rising gas prices.
Tips for visiting Portugal
Here are a few important things to know before your first time visiting Portugal.
Make dinner reservations: On our trip, making reservations for restaurants was a game-changer. Usually, calling the restaurant a few hours in advance is sufficient. If you’re booking for a special occasion, call the day before to be extra sure.
Travel Insurance: Travel medical insurance can cover you if you need medical care abroad. Take it from me, you never know when you might walk head-on into a metal pole because you were looking at a cute dog across the street…
Using your phone in Portugal: It’s helpful to have data on your phone while traveling abroad, and these days you have a few options.
First, check with your home carrier to see if they have short-term international packages. This is what my friends did for their 14 days in Portugal. For an extra fee, you can use data and texting like normal, though there may be some limitations on calls.
Second, you can buy a travel SIM card from a local carrier like Vodaphone when you arrive. This gives you a set amount of data, texting, and calling minutes for your trip. The price varies based on the duration and amount of data, but usually these SIM cards run about €20 – €30 per month.
If you do this option, your phone needs to be unlocked from your home carrier.
Call your bank before you go: In recent years banks have gotten smarter about this, but it’s still a good idea to let your banks know you’ll be traveling so they don’t block your cards for unusual activity. You can give them a call or upload your travel plans online if they have that feature.
Packing considerations: Pack great walking shoes. You’ll be walking A TON in Portugal, especially in the big cities. I wore my tennis shoes most days and my friend was in love with her Easy Spirit walking sandals.
If you burn easily, sunscreen and aloe can be pricey here, especially in the beach towns, so you might want to bring that from home. Portugal can get windy and chilly in the evenings, so it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket even if you’re visiting in summer.
We packed a small backpack on heavy sightseeing days and having water bottles and snacks on hand was a lifesaver.
For something super sporty and lightweight, this Lewis n’ Clark bag is my go-to. I also have a structured cloth backpack similar to this one that’s so roomy it makes me feel like Mary Poppins every time I use it.
Helpful apps for visiting Portugal:
- Comboios Train App: An easy way to book train tickets if you’re traveling by train on your Portugal 2 week itinerary
- Bolt: Rideshare (Get $5 off your first ride with code NICOLAWKVA)
- Uber: Rideshare
- Xe Currency Exchange: Good for calculating exchange rates between dozens of currencies
- Splitwise: Track expenses and settle up at the end of your trip if you’re traveling with a group. Not every restaurant will split bills, so this was really helpful for making sure everyone got reimbursed.
- Moovit App: One of my favorite public transit apps for Portugal
Spending more time in Portugal?
Have more than two weeks in Portugal? Lucky you!
Head down to the Algarve and hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail and see the Benagil Cave, visit the vineyards of Alentejo, explore smaller towns surrounding Portugal’s major cities, tour all the castles in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, or simply take extra time to get to know each place a little better.
You can even take a quick domestic flight to Madeira or the Azores islands. If you do go to the Azores, you’ll fly into Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel.
If you’re traveling by car, check out my 10 day Portugal road trip itinerary that covers the Algarve, Ericeira, and Lisbon.
No matter where your Portugal adventure takes you, you’re in for a trip of a lifetime!
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