Best Itinerary for 10 days in Portugal | Stories by Soumya

The Best 10 Day Portugal Itinerary By Train

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Soumya

Are you looking for an easy-to-do 10 day itinerary for Portugal? Then I have just the thing for you.

Portugal is a beautiful country blessed with years of history, an interesting culture, and gorgeous golden sand beaches. If you are worried about how much you can see with 10 days in Portugal, then this itinerary is for you.

You will learn

  • Top places to visit in Portugal and how many days to spend at each location.
  • How to use public transport to see the best of Portugal in 10 days.
  • Practical information to plan your Portugal trip

This 10-day travel itinerary for Portugal is extremely flexible. Even though we went from north to south, you can easily turn it the other way round depending on where you arrive.

If you ever feel a little too overwhelmed with all the planning, feel free to check out some amazing guided tours that allow you to see the best of Portugal. Else, keep reading to plan your own, memorable 10 day Portugal itinerary by train and bus.

What trains and buses to use for 10 days in Portugal?

Planning a trip to Portugal? We have the most epic 10 day Portugal itinerary for you. See the bigger cities, charming small towns, eat well, spot Azulejos, tour nature, and do much more. Come, spend 10 days in Portugal with us. #portugaltravelitinerary #portugaltraveltips #lisbon #porto #portugalitinerary10days #portugaldestinations #septembertravel

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Since we don’t drive, our 10 day Portugal itinerary was completely done on trains and buses. And we found public transport in Portugal to be quite easy to use though a tad bit late sometimes. Within cities, we always used buses, metros, and trams. And they were super convenient.

For intercity travel in Portugal, we used the following.

  • Passenger trains in Portugal – It is easy to find out train timetables, ticket prices, and optimal routes on the Comboios de Portugal website.
  • Intercity buses – We also used Rede Expressos, a very reliable and convenient bus service.

The best 10 Day Portugal itinerary

We started our 10 days in Portugal in the north at Porto and finished in Lisbon. In between, we stopped in many different cities in Central Portugal.

I dreamed a lot about egg tarts (vegan versions also available), Azulejos, and picturesque Portuguese landscapes long before embarking on our trip. Needless to say, you will find tons about them in my 10 day itinerary for Portugal.

Plus, we have a lot of day trip options, heritage hotspots, and practical tips to help you plan your Portugal travel itinerary.

Many travelers combine Spain and Portugal together when they visit. If you wish to do that, you can evaluate Spain vs Portugal first and plan your trip accordingly. Our 10-day itinerary for Portugal will still help you sort your days in Portugal.

Read next: Curated List of the Top 17 Places to visit in Portugal

Day 1: Porto – The beginning of our Portugal 10 day itinerary [Reversible]

Azulejos in Porto | Stories by Soumya
Azulejo Panel at Igreja de Carmo in Porto – A must-see on your Portugal Itinerary

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. And to say the truth, it is as pretty as a picture.

Apart from being home to the world-famous Port wine, Porto is one of the best places to spot azulejos (blue and white ceramic tiles that depict life and culture).

We flew into Porto Airport on a Ryan Air flight from Brussels and spent two days sightseeing Porto.

On Day 1, we ticked off many highlights on our Porto bucket list such as climbing the Clerigos Tower, being stumped by the beauty of Palácio da Bolsa, walking the Porto Ribeira and strolling the Dom Luis I bridge.

Tips for visiting Porto

  • Stay in the historic city center if you wish to explore on foot.
  • If you are on a budget like we were, you can stay in the much cheaper area of Vila Nova de Gaia. We stayed at the Hotel Ibis and I would highly recommend it. The rooms are neat and comfortable. Their egg tarts are delicious.
    Click here to book your stay at Hotel Ibis Porto Gaia.
  • Get a Porto Card if you wish to save some money on entrance fees. A Porto Card makes a lot of sense for adults though not as much for kids under 12.
    Buy your Porto Card here.

Read our detailed review of the Porto Card with numbers.

Day 2: Day Trip to Douro Valley from Porto by train

Douro Valley | Stories by Soumya
The Douro Valley Tour was one of our favorites during our 10 days in Portugal

On our second day in Porto, we took a much-awaited day trip to Pinhão and Pocinho from Porto.

The train ride through the majestic Douro Valley, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is extremely picturesque and well worth your time.

Douro Valley is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world and outright beautiful. Sprawling vineyards, fragrant orange groves, and sleepy villages dot both sides of the valley as Rio Douro snakes through in between.

A traditional Douro valley tour is highly recommended if you are looking forward to some great wine-tasting.

Tips for visiting the Douro Valley by train

  • Start early so that you can spend a good amount of time in Regua and Pinhão.
  • We would highly recommend you to go up to Pocinho and not just end your train ride at Pinhão. The scenery becomes more rugged and natural after Pinhão.
  • Refer to our complete Porto to Douro Valley train guide to plan your day.

Day 3: Porto

This was our second day in Porto. We spent a good amount of time Azulejo-spotting, tasting the best of Pastel de Nata, visiting the offbeat Tram museum, and taking a 6-Bridges Cruise down the Douro River.

Plus, we checked out some of the stunning churches such as Igreja de Carmo, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, and Capela das Almas.

Read next: 17 Best Things to do in Porto.

Leaving for Coimbra by train

We left for Coimbra the same day. We took a late evening train to Coimbra from the Sao Bento Station in Porto. The train journey was a little more than an hour and included two easy changes.

Click here to check for trains from Porto to Coimbra.

Day 4: Coimbra and Conímbriga 

Coimbra Rio Mondego | Stories by Soumya
Coimbra by the river – A view that enthralls many on their travel to Central Portugal

Coimbra is the often-ignored, culturally-rich cousin of Lisbon and Porto. It hardly figures on tourist itineraries. But once you get here, you will realize there are so many things to do in Coimbra.

Visiting one of the world’s oldest universities, having great family time at the miniature wonderland, and strolling through medieval streets resonating with Fado music are only a few of them.

You can also take a half-day trip to the Roman ruins of Conímbriga where you can see some wonderful floor mosaics from the Roman era. Use Transdev buses for the purpose. Refer to our guide on Conimbriga Roman Ruins for bus details.

Or do a full-day tour of Coimbra and Aveiro to get a flavor of Portugal’s canal town.

Where to stay in Coimbra?

In Coimbra, we stayed at Pensão Flôr de Coimbra, an extremely cozy place with a very friendly owner. The rooms are spotlessly clean and extremely comfortable.

Close proximity to the bus stop and the train station is an added advantage. They do not serve breakfast but we still recommend it wholeheartedly sans the breakfast. Break into a chat with the owner and he will be happy to indulge you.
Book your stay at Pensão Flôr de Coimbra here.

Tips for visiting Coimbra & Conímbriga 

  • Take a morning trip to the Conímbriga ruins because it can get extremely hot in the afternoon and most of the ruins are out in the open.
  • Try the delicious Pastel de Tentugal at Coimbra.
  • Carry water and hat if you are hiking up to the university. It was really hot even in September.

Day 5: Leiria, Batalha, and Alcobaça

Our next stop on our Portugal 10 day itinerary was Leiria, another city in Central Portugal that does not see too many tourists.

Yet, it has some really interesting historic treasures such as the Leiria Castle, a 12th-century church, and the famous Rodrigues Lobo square – all doable in half a day.

When in Leiria, you can choose to stay at the impeccable, spacious, yet inexpensive Hotel D.Dinis that we really loved. Their breakfast cakes are drool-worthy.
Book your stay at Hotel D.Dinis in Leiria here.

Leiria is also an easy gateway to the monastery towns of Batalha and Alcobaça which is another reason why we chose to stay here.

We got to Leiria from Coimbra on a Rede Expressos bus. The journey took an hour.

Batalha from Leiria – 15 minutes

The Unfinished Chapel at Batalha | Stories by Soumya
The Unfinished Chapel at Batalha Monastery – An offbeat addition to our itinerary for 10 days in Portugal

The Monastery of Batalha, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a Gothic building with beautiful Manueline expressions. It is an absolute must-see heritage site when you are in Portugal.

While the main church is free to enter, you need to pay a small fee to see the beautifully-crafted cloisters and the melancholy but stunning Unfinished Chapel.

Alcobaça from Batalha – 30 minutes

After Batalha, we visited the Alcobaça Monastery yet another UNESCO Heritage Site in Portugal’s historic Estremadura Province.

The monastery houses the tombs of King Pedro I and his lover Inês de Castro. Theirs was one of the most tragic love stories in the history of Portugal, proof of which you can see on their tombs today.

Tips for Visiting Leiria, Batalha, & Alcobaça

  • Rede Expressos runs fast buses in the region. The local operator Rodotejo has more frequent buses. So, check them out too.
  • Try the delicious grilled seafood of Leiria and take time to appreciate the huge Portuguese pavements in the city.
  • Reserve at least 2 hours to see each of the monasteries.

Day 6: Day trip to Obidos

Obidos | Stories by Soumya
Obidos – The picture-perfect medieval town that is a must-do on your Portugal travel itinerary

Many people prefer to do a full-day tour of Obidos, Batalha, and Alcobaça but we chose to reserve Day 6 for a trip to Obidos. This was because we were traveling with our 6-year-old and we wanted him to spend quality time climbing the city walls, enjoy looking at the flowers and colored houses and stroll the narrow, cobblestoned streets of Obidos.

Obidos is a charming village in Central Portugal that looks like it has jumped out of a postcard. It retains its medieval flavor with a number of old churches and bookshops peppered all over.

Obidos is also a great place to shop for colorful Portuguese souvenirs or take some really cool Insta-worthy pictures. When we were planning our itinerary for 10 days in Portugal, we were pretty sure we wanted to visit Obidos. And so we did!

Tips for Visiting Obidos

  • Getting to Obidos from Leiria can be a little tricky. You first need to take a Rede Expressos or a Rodoviaria do Lis bus from Leiria to Caldas Rainha (50 minutes). Then take a Rodoviaria do Oeste or Rodotejo bus from Caldas Rainha to Obidos.
  • Obidos gets pretty crowded during the day. If you are planning for a day trip, make sure you come really early. For those gorgeous Obidos photographs too.
  • If you are planning to stay in Obidos and are on a budget, stay outside the city walls.
  • There are a number of events and festivals going on in Obidos throughout the year. Check them out on Obidos’ Official Website to plan your trip better.

Check out 24 stunning pictures from Obidos to further inspire your wanderlust!

Day 7 & 8: Lisbon – The last stop on our 10 day Portugal itinerary

Out of our 10 days in Portugal, we spend the maximum time in Lisbon and for good reason. We were here for 4 days. Though we thought 7 would have been better since there is so much to see in this city.

Recommended: If you are here for a shorter time, have a look at our 2 days in Lisbon itinerary.

Since we were on a budget, we stayed a little further away from the city center at Hotel Ibis Lisboa Alfragide. There is a bus stop right next door and you can easily get to the city center from here in less than 15 minutes.
Book your stay at Hotel Ibis Lisboa Alfragide here.

We spent the first two days exploring Lisbon’s best attractions, Portugal’s Azulejo history, riding an antique tram, hopping onto a funicular, and strolling through the Alfama district and unearthing its multiple treasures. Also took a short trip to the beach of Carcavelos and my little one really enjoyed it.

Southern Portugal has many natural landmarks including the beaches of Algarve, the islands of Madeira and Tenerife, and the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen’s Trail. Unfortunately, we did not have time for them this time. On my list for my next 10 days in Portugal.

Tips for Visiting Lisbon

  • Again take a Rede Expressos bus to get to Lisbon from Leiria. They have buses every hour. The journey takes 2 hours.
  • Get a Lisboa Card for sightseeing in Lisbon and Belem. It helps you save a good amount of money on entrance tickets. Plus, public transport is free.
    Buy your Lisboa Card here.
  • Tram #28 that runs between Martim Moniz and Campo Ourique and through the picturesque Alfama district is often a must-do item on everyone’s Lisbon bucket list. That is why it is extremely crowded during peak hours. My suggestion is to go really early or board from Campo Ourique to encounter fewer tourists.
  • Read up our guide on Lisbon off the beaten path and visit the less-crowded, beautiful places in Lisbon.

Day 9: Day trip to Sintra & Cabo da Roca

Pena Palace at Sintra | Stories by Soumya
Pena Palace at Sintra – The eclectic fairytale castle of Portugal that was a must-do item on our itinerary for 10 days in Portugal

On our third day in Lisbon, we decided to take a day trip to Sintra. We just took the train from Lisbon to Sintra.

Pena Palace and Quinta de Regaleira were the highlights of our Sintra day trip itinerary. And then, there were the famed travesseiros of Casa Pirquita. Delightful flaky, pillow-shaped pastries that you must absolutely try when in Sintra.

We then took a bus to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. After this, we rode to the beach town of Cascais and enjoyed a hearty dinner there.

Tips for Visiting Sintra and Cabo da Roca

  • If you are taking the bus from Sintra station, I suggest you get off at Pena Palace (this is the last and highest stop) first and then walk your way down to other sights. It saves you a lot of energy.
  • When we visited in early September, the parks of Pena Palace were closed due to fear of forest fires! This is something you might have to consider when planning your trip to Sintra.
  • Carry a light jacket with you if you are planning to go to Cabo da Roca. It can get really cold and windy here even if the rest of Portugal is boiling.

Read next: Perfect 1-day itinerary for Sintra Portugal

Day 10: Day trip to Belem

Cloisters of Jeronimos Monastery at Belem | Stories by Soumya
Cloisters of the Jeronimos Monastery – An absolute must-do on any Portugal itinerary

On the last of our 10 days in Portugal, we chose to visit Belem. Belem is home to some of the most iconic tourist attractions in Lisbon such as the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, and the Discovery Monument.

You can also try the famous Portuguese dessert, Pastel de Nata, at Fábrica Pastéis de Belém right here.

Tips for Visiting Belem

  • Crowds at the Jeronimos Monastery start to thin after 1 pm. So, the afternoon is a great time to visit and save yourself from the scorching heat at the same time.
  • Lisboa Cardholders can skip the line to enter the cloisters at Jeronimos.
  • Refer to our Belem Tower guide to plan your trip here.
  • Visit Fábrica Pastéis de Belém really late in the evening to avoid the crowds. They are open from 8 am – 11 pm every day and there is no queue after 9 pm.

Check out more amazing day trips from Lisbon.

This was how our 10 day Portugal itinerary by train looked like.

If we had some more time, we would have loved to visit the beaches of Algarve, the medieval city of Evora, and the heritage town of Braga. For the next time, then.

Are you planning to visit Portugal for 10 days or more? Need help with something? Drop us a comment below and we will get back to you.

More than 10 days in Portugal?

If you plan to spend more than 10 days in Portugal, refer to our amazing list of Portugal posts for more ideas and itineraries.

Loved our 10 day Portugal itinerary? Pin it for later!

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

37 thoughts on “The Best 10 Day Portugal Itinerary By Train

  1. I haven’t been to Portugal but it looks like a small country for you to be able to navigate in 10 days! How are the public transport these days? This year, I always opt to rent a car and I feel like Portugal is a perfect start for a European roadtrip. Do you have any information on car rental or maybe buying an RV (and selling it after the Eu trip)? Thanks for the tips – will definitely follow this road!

    1. Hi Cristina,

      Portugal is definitely smaller than most other countries in Europe. However, even though, we were able to move from north to south of Portugal in 10 days, we would have loved to see more of the country along its breadth. If you look at my related post on the best places to visit in Portugal, you will notice that there’s so much one can do. Enough to spend a couple of days.
      Public transport is pretty good in Portugal. May not be on time always but neat, convenient, and cheap. We used public transport for our entire journey of 10 days. Many travelers do roadtrip through Portugal and prefer doing so. You will find various rental options on the official website of Visit Portugal.

  2. I was planning for Portugal before Covid but have to postpone it and I am sure, I will be referring to your itinerary for planning my trip. You have good mixture of historical things to do and cultural things to do here. I am impressed by the architecture of Belem in Portugal.

    1. Belem is definitely one of the highlights of Portugal. Speaks of so many years of Portuguese maritime history and that’s amply reflected in the Manueline architecture here.

  3. Had I seen this plan two years back I would have probably traveled exactly the way you have. Ours was only a 5 day trip and could only experience Lisbon, Sintra & Olhao. Porto looks beautiful for sure. But next time I would love to visit Leiria, Batalha, Alcobaça & Belem to experience the real Portugal. Thanks for wonderful guide.

  4. It sounds a great idea to travel around Portugal. I’ve visited Lisbon twice but only for a day on a cruise. I agree that it’s a must to try the Pastel de Nata! Funnily enough, I visited the palace at Sintra when I was six, hopefully your child enjoyed it, I think I was quite bored at that age and didn’t appreciate it. So many great places for people planning a trip around Portugal.

  5. Ah!!! This makes me want to go back to Portugal SO MUCH! I loved Sintra, Porto, Lisbon, and the Douro Valley wineries. I need to head to some of these other places, though. I was supposed to go this month, but the trip got pushed to April. I really hope it happens. I really want to get back!!

  6. This is a great, very detailed itinerary to Portugal. You have provided so many valuable tips which help planning a trip. I have only been to Lisbon, so I would like to use your recommendations for other places worth seeing in Portugal. On my list is the Monastery of Batalha, a UNESCO Heritage Site, Porto and Coimbra. Obidos seems worth visiting too. Thank you for sharing such a perfect itinerary!

  7. Your 10 day itinerary for Portugal is spectacular! You really did not miss a single detail and make it extremely helpful for one to navigate Portugal in 10 days. Some of the spots you mentioned I had never heard of previously and extend thanks to you for showing me them. Coimbra in particular looks gorgeous and gives me serious wanderlust. The sights you highlighted look like an amazing adventure. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you liked it, Rina. Coimbra is a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site but much lesser known than Lisbon and Porto. It’s a great place to add to your Portugal itinerary .

  8. Ah, Portugal – what a fabulous country! I love this itinerary Soumya, as it covers many of the country’s most interesting spots. Porto is my favorite city and Jeronimos Monastery is definitely a must. I’ve never been to Obidos, but I’m taking note for my next trip, as it looks just adorable!

    1. Obidos is so quaint and colorful, you will love it. And yeah, Porto is simply wonderful. I fell in love with the city.

  9. Portugal is one of my favorite countries in Europe, the people there are really nice and the food is fantastic. Your iItinerary is very similar to the one I would have uploaded if I had made one. I am glad that you have Jeronimo’s Monastery as, in my opinion, it is one of the nicer places to visit in Lisbon.

    1. That’s true, Ann. Jeronimos is definitely one of the prettiest places to visit in Lisbon as well as in Portugal.

  10. Portugal is definitely one of the top countries in Europe that I want to visit. I have seen so many beautiful photos of Portugal online especially Porto and Lisbon. The only time I have tried and egg tart was in Macau and I’m sure the egg tarts in Portugal will be 5x better. I am currently planning a trip to Europe and this detailed itinerary and guide is really helpful for me.

    1. Portugal is indeed a beautiful country. And those tarts are delicious. Even I tried my first egg tart in Macau and have been hooked ever since. Hope you have a great trip to Europe and get to see the beauty of Portugal as well.

  11. I like that your itinerary is done by public transport. I typically travel using only public transport too so it is helpful getting tips on how to get from one place to another in Portugal. Looks like you were still able to get to a lot of different places in the country. Good to know that Leiria isn’t too touristy. I always like to include at least one place on every travel itinerary that is lesser-known and visited.

  12. Portugal is definitely high on my list but I have not yet made it there. My favorite thing would probably be spotting the azulejus and riding the tram. Porto are is interesting too and looks beautiful. I would like to try some excellent porto wines.

    1. Spotting azulejos is so much fun and riding the tram too. I hope you have a great trip when you get to Portugal

  13. I have been to Portugal once but it was a really short span of time and I couldn’t see or do much of the things you’ve mentioned. I would like to go again soon someday and visit Douro Valley the view shot was awesome! The best fact for me in Portugal was that the houses were so bright and colorful.

    1. Douro Valley is really pretty. And yes, those houses are so photogenic. Hope you have a great second trip to Portugal.

  14. I always thought Portugal has Lisbon, Porto and Algrave as worth visiting places but reading your post now made me interested to other quirky places too. You have done lot of town or places in 10 days which is really appreciating. I am saving this detailed itinerary for my future visit to Portugal. Coimbra and Conimbriga though ignored by tourists looks my kind of place and I would surely go for it. The views of colorful houses here are stunning. Also it is great that you have listed all hotel stays in all these cities which makes me easier to plan my Portugal holiday.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Yukti. I am sure you will love Coimbra and Conímbriga. And it easy to get to places within Portugal since it is not very big. Therefore, we could do so many interesting places. I would love to go back and experience them again.

  15. I love Portugal but there’s so much more to see that I haven’t done yet. I’m getting some great idea here, Porto looks amazing so I’d definitely add that to the list. I absolutely loved the architecture of the monastery at Belem, such an evocative building with an interesting history.

    1. Absolutely, Paul. Those monasteries are so unique and intriguing. I would highly recommend doing at least one apart from Jeronimos in Lisbon.

  16. That’s on a perfect timing. I’m heading to Portugal soon, but only for 3 days, in and around Lisbon.
    Douro Valley looks gorgeous. Good to know that there are tours that include wine tasting as well. That gives a good reason to plan another trip to Portugal haha.
    Monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaça are important places that I’m missing in this trip as well. More reason to do another trip!
    Thanks for the tip about the best time to visit Jeronimos Monastery. Will keep that in mind.
    How much time did it take by bus from Sintra centre to Cabo de Roca?

    1. Hey Bhushavali. Good to hear about your travel plans to Portugal. Lisbon is beautiful and there’s so much to do there. I am sure you will love it. The Sintra bus trip to Cabo da Roca took us 40 minutes. And you can board one right at the city centre.

  17. I’ve been to Portugal 3 times and clearly really enjoy it! Reading your post brings back so many great memories that I think a fourth visit is in order 🙂 I much prefer the north, so Porto wins over Lisbon for me. I’ve not explore much of central Portugal or Leiria and Batalha so I’d love to explore these places the next time I return.

    1. That’s lovely. Portugal 3 times. I would love that. And yeah, central Portugal is beautiful and less touristy. So the monasteries make for great additions to your 4th time Portugal itinerary.

  18. 10 days in Portugal sounds lovely! Porto and Lisbon are high on my bucket list, but there’s so much to see beyond those cities too. The monastery in Belem looks fascinating. I bet there’s so much history there!

    1. There’s lots of history in Portugal. And I would encourage you to visit these smaller places as well for the real feel of Portugal.

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