Updated: May 26, 2022
Lisbon is such a colorful and fun city. It’s filled with delicious food, cheap wine, and interesting history. One of the things you’ve got to do while there is take a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra.
On my big trip to Europe (at least I think so!) I had two days to fill between Italy and Spain. This was an opportunity to go somewhere awesome I had never been before. I decided on Lisbon because it’s a spot I’ve heard awesome things about so I knew it could be a fun one to check out. I was definitely not disappointed!
I started to look into different ways to get there on my short trip and knew a tour was the best idea. I was so excited when I found We Hate Tourism Tours. They have an awesome day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais, and more.
You read that name right – We Hate Tourism! Their concept is so cool I just had to go on one of their tours. What is that concept you ask? Well, Lisbon is currently going through a huge surge in tourism. Tons of people are visiting Lisbon and that’s brought in some mass tourism.
We Hate Tourism Tours is trying to go against mass tourism by providing real, local guides to explore the true Lisbon and give their tour goers a special experience. They definitely do that and more. I’m so excited to tell you about the tour I went on with them.
Special thank you to We Hate Tourism Tours for providing me this tour in exchange for a review. As always, all thoughts are my own.
For our day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, we started off in a square in central Lisbon. Before you arrive they will send an email with tips for visiting Lisbon, the location (picture included), and other helpful information about the tour. I really appreciated this because it meant I felt more prepared for my trip to Lisbon as a whole.
The tour company definitely didn’t have to do that, but did anyway because they care about their customer. Already they were providing a unique experience! The meeting point was easy to find and easily met up with my guide. We met in front of a local breakfast spot where I grabbed a quick coffee before we headed to Sintra.
The small group of 10 headed out on our day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais, and more. The first stop was Sintra. Our tour guide was really interactive with us the whole 40 minute drive to Sintra. He told us about Lisbon as we drove through the city and explained what is was like today. Everyone on the tour was able to interact and get to know each other which was great as we started to make stops.
Our first stop in Sintra was the historic town itself. We had 45 minutes to walk around and explore on our own. Our guide told us about some local spots we would definitely want to check out while we were there – take the tour to find out these spots! We got to Sintra before the first train from Lisbon even arrived.
We basically had it all to ourselves which was perfect! If you’re going to go to Sintra, a tour is great – we missed all the crowds. Downtown Sintra has lots of cute shops and a palace right there in town.
Once we had visited downtown, we had to visit one of the five, yes five, palaces in Sintra. Sintra is really unique because of this and that’s the biggest reason you’ve got to go on a tour there! Our guide took us to one I had never even seen photos of before. I really appreciated going here instead of Pena Palace because we got to really explore and saw almost no one else. Plus, this palace looked like something out of Game of Thrones! (And we still saw Pena Palace we just didn’t go in.)
The palace was incredible with tons of little walk ways and beautiful gardens to explore. We spent over an hour walking through, finding secret passage ways and honestly having a blast looking at the history. Sintra was full of beautiful spots to stop and take in what truly feels like a different world with all the castles, there are tons of great spots for photos in Lisbon too.
After exploring Sintra and the many palaces, we made a stop for a local lunch. It was so delicious! Lunch was served kind of tapas-style and we got the chance to try a lot of different local dishes with explanations of what each different dish was. We Hate Tourism Tours was really accommodating to vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions. I tried everything (including both the white and red wines!), there was nothing I didn’t like.
Cabo Da Roca
After a great lunch talking and hanging out with the people on the tour, we moved on to the coast of Portugal. We drove down cliff sides past lots of beautiful beaches to get to the “end of the world” as they call it. Back before the “new world” was discovered, it was thought that this point in Portugal was the farthest edge of land you could get to.
The cliffs were incredibly beautiful and we got to walk around exploring the different little trails. I really appreciated our guide saying we could decide how much time we wanted in each place because it gave me the freedom to feel like we were not on a time crunch (a reason I often roll my eyes at tours). It was nice to enjoy a place with a tour without feeling rushed.
After seeing the beautiful cliff sides, we made our next big stop – Cascais. This beach town is kind of known as the Beverly Hills of Portugal. James Bond movies have been filmed here, spies used it during World War II as a location to gather info, and many famous authors and royals vacation there still. It’s beautiful with lots of beaches, shopping, and gelato. We spent about an hour here as well walking around, eating, and hanging at the beach.
All these stops definitely fill up your day and are seriously gorgeous places. I never would have known if it weren’t for We Hate Tourism! The drive back was full of more interesting views of Lisbon and fun facts.
The tour ends at a perfect spot – Time Out Market. It’s a super cool area with lots to do close to downtown. We had a special treat with our guide (some Ginja and traditional desserts) then set off on our different ways. Our guide was so kind and sent us an email after the tour with tons of other things to do in Lisbon that I definitely referenced after our tour while I was in Lisbon.
I loved this tour with We Hate Tourism Tours because it felt like we weren’t just on a tour with them during that day, but that they really cared about Lisbon and our experience while there. I’m so glad I got the chance to go on the tour and enjoy my time in Lisbon! There’s so much to do when you are there and a good Lisbon itinerary is important.
If you’re in Lisbon, I know you’ll enjoy going on a tour with We Hate Tourism too. They offer all kinds of tours in and around Lisbon so make sure you check them out and if you want the best day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais, and more check out this tour!
There’s so much to see and do in Portugal. I’m already looking forward to going back and exploring more with We Hate Tourism! If you’re looking for more ideas on things you can’t miss in Portugal, check here!
Ready to book? Click this link to get started on your adventure in Lisbon!