Lisbon is well known for its emblematic and monumental train stations: from the façades of Rossio’s station (where our office is 😝) to the modern Calatrava’s Gare do Oriente.
What about the actual machines using those stations and the destinations they meet every day? Portugal has a lot of amazing things to see and to learn about, but it’s still a small country: all of these cities are just a short train ride away.so they’re great day trips from Lisbon for students based here. Or if you have the time, why not take a whole weekend to explore them a little better?
What does this mean? It means that students in Lisbon can go on epic day trips from here. Or if you have the time, why not take a whole weekend off to explore them a little better?
All aboard? Welcome and we hope you enjoy the ride.
It takes only 43 minutes to get to one of the most amazing spots in Portugal. Sintra is not only an amazingly romantic place, it also hides some awesome secrets. It inspired romantic novelists, queens and kings and even the Moors! You have regular trains from Rossio’s station every 30 minutes taking you directly to the heart and soul of Sintra’s historical village.
If you’re studying in Lisbon, this is a must-do train trip. There are lots of amazing landmarks to visit and some tasty treats too! Make sure you try the typical Travesseiros from the famous pastry house “Periquita”. If you feel like going for a swim, or even to surf, you should visit Praia da Adraga or the trendy Praia Grande!
Must go spots:
- Pena’s Palace
- Quinta da Regaleira
- Seteais Palace
- Praia da Adraga
The Fishing village of Cascais
Only half an hour away from the capital city, Cascais is one of the most charming and exclusive villages in Portugal. It’s well known for its cultural and sporting events as well as for its history. This place has so much to offer I don’t even know where to begin.
This fishermen’s village slowly became a noble village, home to all the exiled kings or even their vacation residences. From King Umberto II of Italy, to the Spanish Royal family, to the last Portuguese monarchs, they all mingled there!
But what about now? Well, now this place is famous for its amazing beaches and surf spots, famous for the sailing community, for hundreds of amazing restaurants, for the fresh fish, for some kickass events in the summer and even for one of the most amazing Casinos in Europe.
Pick a train and go there on the weekend, try the original Santini Ice cream, check out Praia do Guincho and get yourself a bike for free to enjoy the coastline of this amazing village.
Must go spots:
- Guincho Beach
- Paula Rego’s Museum
- The Casino’s gardens
- Marshal Carmona’s Park
Porto, the city that gave birth to the country’s name
Funny how this city baptised the whole country. Portugal was founded not far from Porto, in Guimarães, and yet this amazing city lends its name to the whole nation.
Porto is well known for its historical centre and it’s also the second largest and most important city in the country. There is a healthy rivalry between the so-called “Tripeiros” (or the Tripe Butchers) and the “Alfacinhas” (the little lettuces), between the north and the south, between the ones born in Porto and the ones born in Lisbon, but you know what? They’d be worthless without each other.
It’s hard to find outgoing people like you do in Porto. Everyone is so nice and warm! This place is perfect for a weekend trip, with so much to visit and so many different experiences to live.
In 2 or 3 hours you can get from the Oriente station in Lisbon to Porto and discover one of the most lively cities you’ll know.
Make sure you visit:
- Casa da Música, by Rem Khoolas
- Rua das Flores
Braga (or Bracara Augusta, after Emperor Augustus)
This city has quite a story to tell: invasions, Roman and Celtic tribes, you name it! Actually, the locals are called Bracarenses which was originally a Celtic tribe before the Romans kicked in the door in 136 BC.
Well known for its Christian roots, this city has several ancient churches and monasteries as well as a crazy young nightlife if you get to know the local party animals. It will take you a bit longer to get to Braga by train, but in 4 hours you can pull the trick and enjoy another great weekend just in time to get back to Lisbon by Sunday evening.
Must go spots:
- Bom Jesus do Monte
- Biscainhos Museum
- The Quarry: SCBraga’s Stadium (If you’re an aspiring architect you can’t miss this incredible art piece!)
The scholar city of Coimbra
Placed on the banks of the Mondego River, this city is the synonym of student tradition in Portugal. You see hundreds of young students wearing a black cape on weekdays, which might sound a little odd. If you want to have some fun and get to know all the secrets Coimbra hides, you might as well just ask those guys around.
The University of Coimbra is the oldest university in Portugal and feels a lot like Hogwarts sometimes (we can guarantee there is no sorting hat), but there are lots of academic rules and traditions!
Try visiting Coimbra at the end of the academic year and experience the famous Queima da Fitas (annual party for graduating students). Believe me, those guys know how to throw a party: their Student Union has been doing it since 1887!
Are you ready to go? Jump on the next train leaving Oriente’s station in Lisbon and enjoy.
Must go spots:
- Portugal dos pequeninos
- Old Cathedral of Coimbra
Beach, sun and Algarve
Yeah… I know. You probably know this place already or have at least heard of it. It’s one of the favourite tourist destinations in Portugal. Want to know why? Well… more than 150 kilometres of white sandy beaches, great food, amazing weather and tons and tons of sun cream if you please!
This place is well known for its typical gastronomy and for the endless beaches. You can go either to the East side and enjoy some amazing places like Tavira or Vilamoura, or go to the more adventurous West side: Sagres for a surf trip or Lagos to taste some exceptional Seafood.
It’s definitely worth the weekend trip in the summer and in 3 hours you can get from Lisbon to Faro and then choose to turn left or right.
Must go spots:
- Sagres and the wild landscapes and amazing surf spots
- Vilamoura for some awesome nightlife
- Tavira for some amazing beach time with your buddies
Lagos for a more relaxed weekend
Well guys, this is one of the advantages of studying in a small country… you can easily travel a lot and get to know a country from head to toes.
Let us know if you have some other suggestions!
It’s time to leave Lisbon for the weekend and find out what’s hiding out there.
Check the train routes and schedules here.
And don’t forget! If you want to study in any of these cities, wherever you are in the world, you can live rent-free for a whole semester. Just sign-up for the Uniplaces Scholarship!
Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.
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