Amazing Six-Day Portugal Itinerary by Train

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Portugal is a combination of rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. From Lisbon’s charming streets to Porto’s wine cellars, and the fairytale palaces of Sintra, it offers a variety of experiences. Despite its rather small size, Portugal is very diverse and easy to explore with or without a car.

A road trip is a very popular way to explore Portugal, and you can certainly do it that way. However, for some people, the idea of driving in a foreign country is daunting. If you are not comfortable renting a car and driving in Portugal, you can absolutely get around by train instead.

Portugal’s train network offers a convenient and scenic way for you to explore the country’s landscapes, historic cities, and charming towns, making it an ideal mode of transportation for travelers. The train system is good, really cheap and very easy to use. In this six-day Portugal itinerary, I’ll show you how to experience some of the best places in the country by train.

Day One – Lisbon

Portugal Itinerary by Train

Lisbon is a city steeped in history and overflowing with character. Wander through the old Alfama district, where narrow alleys lead to hidden courtyards and breathtaking viewpoints. Don’t miss a visit to Castelo de São Jorge for panoramic views of the city. Hop on a train to the Belém district to marvel at the splendid Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the iconic Torre de Belém.

Indulge in the best pasteis de nata, a local custard delicacy, while you’re there. For a lively night out, head to the bars of the Bairro Alto and experience Lisbon’s vibrant nightlife scene. Spend a day exploring the enchanting gardens, palaces, and castles of Sintra.

Take a day trip to the scenic fishing village of Cascais and visit Boca do Inferno, the Mouth of Hell, where the crashing waves create a dramatic spectacle against the rugged cliffs. End your day with a stroll along the banks of the Tagus River, soaking in the ambiance of this captivating city before retiring to your accommodation.

Day Two – Coimbra

Board a train from Lisbon to Coimbra that is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Explore the historic university campus atop a hill overlooking the Mondego River. Wander through the narrow streets lined with traditional student houses and atmospheric cafes.

Make sure to visit the Joanina Library, a Baroque masterpiece housing priceless literary treasures including ancient manuscripts and rare books. After immersing yourself in academia, take a leisurely stroll through Coimbra’s charming old town, where you will find colourful buildings and historic churches.

Stop for lunch at one of the local eateries and sample regional specialties such as Coimbra’s famous leitão (suckling pig). Coimbra’s blend of academic excellence, cultural heritage, and scenic views will leave you with lasting memories of your amazing Portuguese itinerary by train.

Day Three – Porto

Take a train to Porto is the city of wine and saudade. Let the scenic journey along the Douro River prepare you for the delights that await. Upon arrival, walk across the Dom Luís I Bridge for aerial views of Porto’s scenic skyline and the Douro River below. Explore the city’s historical centre, whether on a guided walking tour or by wandering through its labyrinthine streets.

For a taste of Porto’s famous wine culture, take a boat cruise up the Douro River to view the Port cellars on the other side. Visit one of the cellars to sample some of the finest Port wines. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch the wooden tram (Tram 1) to the river mouth and lighthouses, offering a nostalgic journey and stunning views of the coast.

Delve into Porto’s culinary scene by dining at a local restaurant, savoring traditional Portuguese dishes paired with excellent wines. After dinner, explore the vibrant nightlife of Porto, with a variety of bars and live music venues in the Bairro Alto district.

Day Four – Sintra & Cabo da Roca

A day trip to Sintra takes you to a magical town straight out of a fairy tale. Marvel at the whimsical architecture of Pena Palace and the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira, and lose yourself in the enchanting forests of the Sintra Mountains. Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of mainland Europe standing located just a short distance from Sintra.

This breathtaking peninsula offers visitors a chance to stand on the edge of the continent, where the land meets the vast spread of the Atlantic Ocean. Cabo da Roca also holds historical significance. A monument stands at the site, commemorating its status as the westernmost point of continental Europe and bearing the famous words of Portuguese poet Luís de Camões: “Here, where the land ends and the sea begins.”

For visitors exploring Sintra and its surroundings, a trip to Cabo da Roca is a must. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking adventure, this wild and windswept cape promises an unforgettable experience at the very edge of the world.

Day Five – Obidos

Obidos is a charming village in Central Portugal. Enclosed by ancient walls, its narrow cobblestone streets wind past colourful houses decorated with vibrant flowers. While many visitors arrive by car, exploring Obidos by train is also possible, offering a scenic journey through the Portuguese countryside.

The village has historic churches, charming bookshops, and panoramic views from its castle walls. Obidos is not only a step back in time but also a treasure trove for souvenir shopping and capturing memorable photos. Its fairy-tale ambiance makes it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring Portugal’s cultural and historical heritage.

A visit to Obidos promises a delightful journey back in time. With its charming streets, historic landmarks, and fairy-tale ambiance, this picturesque village offers a truly unforgettable experience for travelers exploring the heart of Portugal by train.

Day Six – Aveiro

Aveiro often dubbed as the “Venice of Portugal” due to its network of canals and colourful moliceiro boats. As you arrive, immerse yourself in the town’s unique charm by taking a leisurely stroll along the canals lined with Art Nouveau buildings. Hop aboard one of the iconic moliceiro boats for a relaxing cruise through the waterways, where you’ll discover Aveiro’s hidden gems and learn about its history as a busy fishing port.

Don’t miss sampling the local delicacy, ovos moles, sweet egg yolks encased in thin pastry shells, at one of the charming pastry shops in the city center. Explore the lively Mercado do Peixe (Fish Market) to experience the hustle and bustle of daily life in Aveiro, and perhaps pick up some fresh seafood for lunch. Afterward, wander through the quaint streets of the historic center filled with colorful azulejo tiles and ornate facades of the buildings.

For a unique cultural experience, visit the Aveiro Museum to learn about the region’s maritime heritage and traditional crafts, including the intricate art of making moliceiro boats. Relax by the canals with a glass of local wine or a refreshing glass of Oporto, Aveiro’s signature sparkling wine, and reflect on the day’s adventures in this charming and vibrant city.

Enjoy your Portugal Itinerary by Train

As your six-day Portuguese itinerary comes to a close, you’ll find yourself yearning to return to this captivating country. From the busy streets of Lisbon to the tranquil canals of Aveiro, each destination offers its own unique charm and beauty. So, next time you’re planning a getaway, consider letting the rhythmic click-clack of the train tracks guide you through the wonders of Portugal.

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