Our Portugal itinerary! Where to stay & travelling by bus!

Back in summer 2018, my friends and I decided to do a “roadtrip” in Portugal! Well, it wasn’t really the definition of a roadtrip as we went car-free and got from A to B by bus or train! However, it was still a great experiences and I loved seeing the landscapes as we travelled and discovering a new place every few days!

In this blogpost I want to talk about the general experience, our hostels and Airbnb’s, what places we visited and how we got from one place to another! This will give you a little overview and hopefully help once you’re planning your trip!

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I earn a small commission when you book / buy something through them.

Tower of Belém in Lisbon, Portugal

#1 Lisbon

We firstly got from Vienna to Lisbon by plane at the 21st of August and explored this city. In Lisbon, we stayed at a hostel which was located close to the city centre and, therefore, perfect for our short stay!


As we were a group of 7 people, we decided to stay at a hostel. The HUB hostel Lisbon Patio was perfect for our needs and the staff was very lovely! The hostel in general is very nice and rather small compared to some others. My favourite thing about it was that you could eat and drink outside and chill on a net (when you see the photo you’ll know what I mean).

Additionally, there were also a few families staying at the hostel, so I’d say it is a nice place to stay for people of all ages!

What to do:

If you are planning to visit Lisbon and are still looking for things to do, I would recommend checking out my blogpost over here:

10 Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal!

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

#2 Sintra

Sintra is a valley close to Lisbon and can be reached by an approx. 1 hour train ride. This is definitely one of the places I would 100% recommend visiting when you are in Portugal, as it is truly breathtaking there!

How to get from Lisbon to Sintra:

Luckily, you can easily and spontaneously get a train from Lisbon to Sintra. Trains depart quite frequently and you don’t have to make a reservation for the ride. Simply buy the ticket on a counter at the train station.

How to see Pena Palace:

Sintra is especially famous for it’s colourful palace (called pena palace) up the hill!

There are several different busses taking you up the hill to see Pena palace as well as some other stunning places on the way up!

When to go:

I would definitely recommend arriving early in order to avoid the crowds. We arrived in Sintra around 11 a.m. and it was full of people. In our bus, we had to stand and could barely even hold on to the bars.

When taking the bus, make sure to get out at one station after the other. We wanted to visit Pena palace first and the other places later, however, on the ride back the bus didn’t stop at the other sights anymore. Therefore, make sure to get off at every stop in order to visit everything as Pena Palace is the final stop.

At the palace itself it was also very crowded but still stunning. The place seems unreal and truly like a dream due to all of it’s colours. The view is also beautiful and despite it being crowded I would definitely go there again just to enjoy the view.

#3 Porto

After our stay in Lisbon, our next stop was Porto. We stayed there from August 24th to August 27th and I would have stayed even longer if I could, however, I think that for a “roadtrip” 3-4 days are perfect!

Porto already has a completely different character than Lisbon. It’s a lot calmer and just all in all unique.

How we got there:

We took the bus from Lisbon to Porto, which too us approximately 4 hours.


We stayed at an Airbnb with a beautiful terrace a little outside the city centre. The host was super nice and we had breakfast on our little terrace every morning! The exact same Airbnb sadly isn’t available anymore, however the host still got some other beautiful apartments you can find here!

In Porto, we mainly spent our days walking through the streets (as there is a lot to explore). Make sure to keep your eyes open for cute porcelain shops, markets and places to eat.

By the way, if you don’t have an Airbnb account, you can get 41€ off your first stay when you register through this link!

What to do:

If you are searching for Things to do in Porto, make sure to read my previous post about it over here!

#4 Lagos

After Porto, we decided to drive the coast back down to Lagos. When viewing on a map, you can see that it actually took us longer than if we went to Porto, Lisboa and then Lagos, however, the flight to Lisboa is the cheapest option, so that way it worked out just fine as well!

How we got there:

We took the bus, which took exactly 8 hours and to get from Porto to Lagos. The tickets were about 30€ per person and the ride itself went by a lot faster than expected. As it was quite a long way, it was interesting to watch the landscape changing outside.


We stayed at a hostel located in the center called the “Gold Coast Calm hostel“, where we had a room to ourselves (we were 6 people btw). The hostel was very nice and living there basically felt like living in a huge house with a lot of roommates as it was rather small and comfortable! We had some big windows and there was even a shared terrace where we would eat!

The center generally already has a completely different flair from the other places in Portugal we saw before. I reminded me a lot of the cities we visited during our stay in Greece.

The beach was not far from the center and could be reached by foot. There were several beaches to visit in Lagos and it was quite easy to get from one to another. Furthermore, you can also visit some beautiful cliffs, but more infos on Lagos will follow in the upcoming blog-post!

What to do:

In Lagos, we mainly stayed at the beach and went for some drinks at night. Furthermore, we also decided to visit the cliffs multiple times as they were breathtaking and I would definitely recommend visitng them to everyone!

One last thing: The center is quite tourist oriented, so I wouldn’t recommend visiting a restaurant in one of the bigger streets, or if you do, read some online reviews first.

We visited one and after about 1 1/2 hours of waiting got a frozen pizza for quite a high price.

#5 Faro

Faro was the last stop of our route, we only spent 2 days there, so we didn’t get to do a lot, however, one of my highlights when visiting Faro was the island hopping tour!

How we got there:

We got there by train from Lagos, which took us approximately 2 hours. We got the tickets at the train station right before departure, so I don’t remember the exact price, however, they were rather cheap.


We stayed in a very lovely hostel in the center called Casa d’ Alagoa It was quite cheap, as we decided to stay in a mixed room for 12 people. However, it was still very nice and the bathroom wasn’t too crowded as well.

What to do:

As we didn’t spend a lot of time in Faro, we just strolled through the city and took a mini island hopping boat tour.

The boat tour was definitely worth the price and the places we saw during that tour were stunning. You could always get off and on the boat and there were no designated times you had to leave.

The first stop was the desert island, which was completely empty, but offered some beautiful landscapes. The water there had a light blue color and was great to swim in! The sand on the beach was super soft and this was definitely the best place to swim during the whole trip!

Each of the islands definitely had it’s own charm and character! If you want to check out the tour we made, you can find it over here:

Faro Island Hopping tour!

If you want to now more about each of the places, make sure to check out my other blogposts about Portugal or make sure to take a look at my Portugal Youtube video as well!

If you got any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them, so feel free to ask me anything in the comments or on Instagram!

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