4 Portuguese cities to visit on a train trip

Portugal is an amazing country. It’s beautiful, sunny, colorful, there’s yummy food and every single city is worth the visit. So how to choose where to go? For my first time, I wanted to do the ‘basics’. Being: Lisbon and Porto. But while looking up the train journey, I saw that there are 2 cute little towns in between. Coimbra and Aveiro. Luckily, I never have a list or a plan, so I could easily adapt my thoughts and visit 4 cities in 9 days!

Porto in Porto: 3 days

First stop: Porto! Easy stop as well, because there’s an airport. You easily get to the city centre. An Uber here is super cheap! In the city itself, the easiest and cheapest way to travel around is the hop-on hop-off bus. I’m not a big fan of it in general. But believe me, in Porto it’s perfect! You can easily go to the beach. But the must-do thing you must do (ha!) is a porto wine tasting. You can even combine it with a boat ride!

A more detailed travelogue on how to make the most of 3 days in Porto? Read my full itinerary here! (coming soon)

Aveiro and Costa Nova: 1 day

You can choose which train to take to Aveiro. Your options vary between 30 minutes and 1 hour. So it’s never a long journey. And definitely worth it! They call Aveiro ‘the Venice of Portugal’. Believe me, it’s not a lie! There are canals that stream through this little town. You can even do a boat ride in a ‘moliceiro’, which reminds us of the Venetian gondola. Don’t forget to take an Uber to Costa Nova! A beach with beautiful, colorful houses. And definitely try the ovos molhes: a typical sweet from Aveiro.

In this article you’ll find more tips & tricks on where to spend your day in Aveiro. (coming soon)

Coimbra and its ‘hills’: 1 day

Yay, another short train ride of max. 1 hour! This time to Coimbra, a student city and the former capital of Portugal. The whole country is absolutely not flat. But Coimbra, phew, it’s constantly ascending and descending. The good part? It’s a nice workout! And of course very beautiful. Because of the steep hills, there are a lot of gorgeous views. Coimbra is famous for its university, which is UNESCO Wold Heritage. It’s also the oldest university in Portugal and even one of the oldest in Europe!

More info on how to spend 1 day in Coimbra? Here you go! (coming soon)

Lisbon and Sintra + Cabo da Roca : 4 days

On to the last stop! The capital of Portugal. This train trip takes 2 hours, which gives you a good time to rest your legs after all the walks in Coimbra. You’re gonna need them again for Lisbon! Although an Uber is pretty nice as well. Or you can take one of the typical cute yellow trams. Quite useful if you want to explore all the different neighbourhoods. Like Belém, where you can find the best Pastel de Belém; or the LX Factory, where you stroll along the cool bars and even cooler shops; or Alfama, one of the most famous and colorful areas.

Don’t forget to take a day trip to Sintra – aka the place with the coolest castles – and Cabo da Roca – aka the most western point of Europe. Check here how to manage this in 1 day and still see everything. (coming soon)

And check here how we got to see everything Lisbon has to offer in 4 days. (coming soon)

Extra tips:

  • Like I said before: Uber is super cheap in Portugal. So definitely install the app and don’t hesitate to take one here!
  • Traveling by train is also not expensive. For example € 5 for short trips, like the one between Aveiro and Coimbra. And max. € 20 for the longer trips, like Coimbra to Lisbon. You can check the prices and travel times on this website.
  • The trains in Portugal are very nice to sit in. So don’t fear if you have to be in one for 2 hours. They’re really comfortable and most them have electricity so you can charge your phone.
  • Definitely take some good shoes with you. Even if you take an Uber quite a lot. There are some places where cars are not allowed, so you definitely have to walk. And Portugal is quite hilly. And you don’t want sore feet.

Up for a trip through Portugal but more of a nature or beach fan? Check out the perfect way to do a road trip through the Algarve!

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