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Portugal Solo Travel Itinerary: 2 Weeks in Portugal by Train

Portugal is one of the best destinations for solo travellers. Whether you want to visit big cities or small towns, winery, beaches, castles or participate in different water sports or hiking or simply enjoy Portuguese culture, you don’t want to miss Portugal!

My first trip to Portugal was only four years ago and it has become one of my favourite countries in the world! I’ve returned to Portugal since and have spent many more months. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this country.

So instead, I put together a comprehensive Portugal solo travel itinerary for anyone who has never been to Portugal before. This is the perfect itinerary for a solo traveller who wants to travel 2 weeks in Portugal by train.

If you are planning a solo trip to Portugal and wondering if you rather visit Lisbon or Porto? Or both? And how many days you should spend in Portugal? Keep reading, and I will tell you everything in detail and give you the best Portugal 2 week itinerary.

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What you need to know before starting your Portugal solo travel itinerary

Before you hop on the train for an epic 2 weeks Portugal trip, take a look at some of these useful travel tips for travelling solo to Portugal:

  • Portugal is a safe country for solo female travellers.
  • Check the Comboios de Portugal website for train schedules for all the trains you need to take for this 2-week Portugal itinerary.
  • Download the Comboios de Portugal app to check train timetables from your phone and buy your train tickets. It is in English and super easy to use. 
  • You can order Uber cars in Portugal. Just make sure you download the app before you travel.

Two weeks in Portugal: how to take the train

My entire 2 week itinerary in Portugal can be travelled by train. This is the perfect mode of transportation for any solo or independent traveller since the train is reliable and always on time.

But first, let’s get to know a bit more about the railway system in Portugal: Comboios de Portugal.

Many Alfa Pendular or AP (fast train) and Intercidades or IC (intercity train) trains travel between Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve daily, while Urbano (U) and Regional (R) trains travel within the local regions.

For AP and IC trains, you can choose either first class or second class seats. Seat reservation is required for these trains.

All the train schedules and prices are on the Comboios de Portugal website and the Comboios de Portugal app.

I recommend choosing the AP train (fast train) and first class seats whenever possible. It just makes the journey that much faster and better.

Summary: 2 weeks in Portugal by train

My ultimate Portugal 2 week itinerary starts in the capital city, Lisbon. From there, travel north to Porto, visit Aveiro or Coimbra before you take the train to Algarve and return to Lisbon.

To see all the highlights in each area, it will take 14 days in Portugal. And this itinerary is tailored for solo travellers who want to travel 2 weeks in Portugal by train.

Here is a quick summary of my Portugal 2 week itinerary:

  • Day 1-4: Lisbon (+ day trip)
  • Day 5-7: Porto (+ day trip)
  • Day 8: Aveiro or Coimbra
  • Day 9-11: Faro (+ day trip)
  • Day 12-13: Lagos (+ day trip)
  • Day 14: Depart from Lisbon

Day 1-4: Lisbon

Lisbon is the biggest city in Portugal, and you can leisurely see the city in three days. Stroll through Chiado, Bairro Alto, Príncipe Real and Alfama (neighbourhoods in Lisbon). On the fourth day, take a day trip outside the city.

The best way to get around Lisbon is by walking, Tram 28, Metro, train and Uber.

Here is a summary of what you will see in Lisbon in 4 days:

Day 1: Chiado

Get acquainted with Lisbon by roaming around Chiado first. Depending on when you arrive in Lisbon, you can see a few (or many) touristy sites including Praça do Comércio, Arco da Rua Augusta, Elevator Santa Justa along the pedestrian street, Carmo Convento and Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado.

And take the scenic Tram 28 as it passes through many popular tourist spots in Lisbon.

Day 2: Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real

There are many things to see in both Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real. Look for the famous funicular at Ascensor da Bica, a viewpoint at Santa Catarina, Museu de São Roque, Jardim de São Pedro de Alcâantara and Jardim Botânico de Lisboa.

Day 3: Alfama

When meandering through Alfama’s narrow and hilly streets, search for Sé de Lisboa, Casa dos Bicos, Museu do Fado, Castelo de São Jorge, and the viewpoints at Santa Luzia and Recolhimento.

If you are in Alfama on a Tuesday or Saturday, there is a flea market called Feira da Ladra just northeast of Panteão Nacional.

And if you go a bit further east of Alfama, visit Museu Nacional do Azulejo.

Day 4: Day trip from Lisbon

Take a day trip from Lisbon just outside of the capital city. Choose between Belém, Sintra or Cascais:

  • Belém – see Jerónimos Monastery, Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Torre de Belém, MAAT and try the famous egg tart at Pastéis de Belém. You can get a 24-hour Lisboa Card and see many museums in Belém for free. And transportation to Belém is also free with the Lisbon Card.
  • SintraPena Castle is the highlight of Sintra, but you don’t miss Castelo dos Mouros and Quinta da Regaleira.
  • Cascais – visit the quaint seaside town and check out one of many gorgeous beaches in Cascais, Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, Mirador Casa de Santa Maria and Boca do Inferno.

Where to stay in Lisbon

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon

Selina Secret Garden Lisbon is the perfect hotel for a solo female traveller. Book the unique room for four nights so you can get more room for yourself. And when you want to mingle with other travellers, you can hang out in one of the few common areas.

How to take a train from Lisbon to Porto

Lisbon to Porto train

Lisbon has six train stations. But the easiest way to travel from Lisbon to Porto is to start at Santa Apolónia, which is closest to city centre.

FYI – Porto has 2 train stations: São Bento Station and Campanhã Station. Most hotels are closer to São Bento Station, so you will likely take the train there. You’ll have to switch to a U train at Porto Campanhã Station to São Bento Station.

Recommendation: Take an early AP train from Santa Apolónia to Porto São Bento Station. AP trains leave Lisbon at 7am, 8am and 9am. The trip is about 3 hours 35 minutes and costs €33.90 (second class) and €47.40 (first class).

Day 5-7: Porto 

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and one of the oldest European centres. The hilly city is located a few hours north of Lisbon and is easily accessible by train.

Personally, I love the laid-back atmosphere, super friendly locals and the unique regional cuisine of Porto. And not to mention all the picturesque viewpoints around the city!

While you are in Porto, spend the first two days in Porto in the city and then venture out on the third day and see other towns in Northern Portugal.

Day 5: Porto

See many highlights on your first day in Porto including the famous bookstore, Livraria Lello, the pedestrian streets of Rua de Flores and Rua de Santa Catarina, and the blue-and-white tiles at Igreja do Carmo, Church Santo Ildefonso, Capela das Almas, and São Bento Railway Station.

Day 6: Porto

On your second day in Porto, visit Sé de Porto, Palácio da Bolsa, and see panoramic views of Porto from Miradouro do Passeio das Fontainhas, Miradouro da Vitória, and the double-deck metal bridge Ponte de Dom Luis I at Ribeira do Porto.

In the afternoon, take a cruise down the Douro River and followed by a Port wine tour and Fado show at a port wine cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia. And finally, finish the day by watching the sunset at Marginal de Gaia.

Day 7: Day trip from Porto

There are many things to do outside of the hilly city. Choose one of the following day trips from Porto:

  • Foz do Douro – take the scenic Tram 1 and see the coastal area of Porto.
  • Matosinhos – enjoy the beaches and waterfront promenade of Matosinhos.
  • Douro Valley – join a guided tour in Douro Valley and try award-winning wines in picturesque villages.
  • Espinho – see gorgeous beaches along Costa Verde.
  • Braga – visit one of the oldest cities in Portugal and see the historical centre and Gothic churches.
  • Guimarães – see the famous Guimarães Castle and other monuments on Serra da Penha mountain.

Where to stay in Porto

Casa dos Loios by Shiadu

Book 3 nights at Casa dos Loios by Shiadu and get a clean and eclectic guest room that is perfect for solo travellers. When you are tired from walking the hills of Porto, sit and enjoy the interior courtyard space. It is quite serene. 

How to take a train from Porto to Aveiro or Coimbra

Porto to Aveiro train

The easiest, cheapest and most direct way to travel from Porto to Aveiro is by taking the Urbano (U) train.

Buy a ticket from the counter or kiosk. This means you pay €0.50 for the reusable Siga card and one title (one ticket) for the train journey to Aveiro (€3.55).

Recommendation: Take an early U train from Porto São Bento Station to Aveiro Station. Try to be in Aveiro by 9 am so you can get a full day in Aveiro. U trains leave Porto at 7:30 am and 7:50 am. The trip is about 1 hour 18 minutes and costs €3.55.

Porto to Coimbra train

The cheapest way to travel from Porto to Coimbra is by taking a combination of Urbano trains to Coimbra Station.

You’ll have to switch trains at Campanhã Station in Porto and then again at Aveiro Station.

FYI – Coimbra has are two stations: Coimbra and Coimbra-B. Coimbra Station is closer to the town centre.

Recommendation: Take the early U trains from Porto São Bento Station to Coimbra Station. U trains leave Porto at 7:30 am and 8:30 am. The trip is about 2 hours 17 minutes and costs €8.95.

Day 8: Aveiro (option 1)

The 8th day is about choices. Choose between Aveiro, a canal town or Coimbra, a historical university town. 

Day 8: Aveiro

Aveiro is a picturesque fishing town known for its Art Nouveau buildingssalt flatspatterned Portuguese pavement, and a regional dessert called ovo moles. The town is also known as the Venice of Portugal because of the canal system and the gondola-type boats called moliceiros.

A day tour of Aveiro includes walking around the cobblestone town and taking a Moliceiro boat tour around the canals. 

Where to stay in Aveiro

Teatro Studios

Stay one night at Teatro Studios, a boutique hotel in the centre of Aveiro. It is an actual apartment with a well-equipped kitchenette.

Day 8: Coimbra (option 2)

Day 8: Coimbra

As for option 2, you’ll be visiting Coimbra, the third-largest city in Portugal.

Coimbra is a medieval city with Europe’s oldest university: University of Coimbra. When you walk through Arco de Almedina, the hilly cobblestone streets will lead you to the university in the old town. Visit several important buildings including Sé Velha de Coimbra,Via Latina, Sala Capelos, Michael’s Chapel and Biblioteca Joanina.

Then roam around Baixa (downtown) and visit Igreja de Santa Cruz and Jardim da Manga.

Don’t leave Coimbra without trying some of their conventual sweets.

Where to stay in Coimbra

JR Studios & Suites | Rius I

JR Studios & Suites is a centrally located hotel that has all the comforts you need for a short-term stay. Book the standard suite which has a double bed and sofa bed. And it even has a desk if you work remotely. There is a shared kitchen if you want to cook a simple meal.

How to take a train from Aveiro or Coimbra to Faro

This leg of the journey is the longest. But the good thing is train travel in Portugal is quite comfortable.

Aveiro to Faro train

The fastest way and most direct way to travel from Aveiro Station to Faro Station is by taking the AP train first thing in the morning.

Recommendation: Take the earliest AP train from Aveiro Station to Faro Station. The AP train leaves Aveiro at 6:21 am. The trip is about 5 hours and costs €50.40 (second class) and €69.30 (first class).

Coimbra to Faro train

As for Coimbra, the fastest way to travel from Coimbra Station to Faro Station is by taking the R train and AP train first thing in the morning.

You’ll have to switch trains at Coimbra-B Station for the AP train to Faro Station.

Recommendation: Take the earliest R and AP trains from Coimbra Station to Faro Station. The R train leaves Coimbra at 6:38 am. The trip is about 4 hours 45 minutes and costs €46.70 (second class) and €64.20 (first class).

Day 9-11: Faro

The Algarve, or south of Portugal, is a pretty big area. The best way to see the Algarve is to stay in a bigger town, use it as a home base, and explore the surrounding areas.

For this 2 weeks in Portugal itinerary, I suggest staying in Faro (to the east) and Lagos (to the west).

Day 9: Faro

Faro, the capital of the Algarve, is the biggest city in the Algarve. And there are many things to do in Faro including historical monuments, gorgeous beaches between waterways and delicious seafood restaurants scattered around town.

Walk around the cobblestone streets of Cidade Velha and look for Arco da Vila, Igreja de Santa Maria and Capela dos Ossos de Faro. And don’t miss the gorgeous sunset at the pier.

Day 10: Faro

On your second day in Faro, take a local ferry (€3 return trip, every hour) at Estação Faro to Praia de Faro and spend the day exploring the beach.

Or join one of the tours and sail through Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.

Day 11: Tavira

When you go on a Tavira day trip from Faro, you will see many things in this charming town. Walk across Ponte Antiga Sodre o Rio Gilão and search for Igreja da Misericórdia and Castelo de Tavira. If you go early, you can visit the white sand beaches at Praia de Ilha de Tavira.

Regional trains from Faro Station to Tavira Station start at 7:20 am, 8:57 am and 9:55 am. On the way back, catch the 6:31 pm, 7:40 pm or 9:38 pm train from Tavira to Faro. The train journey takes about 37 minutes and costs €3.25 each way.

Where to stay in Faro

The Modernist Faro

Hotels in Faro are older and pretty pricey. But I found The Modernist Faro, a new boutique hotel in the middle of the town. I love the hotel design’s mid-modern century feel and had a wonderful stay. Book three nights at The Modernist Faro and let me know your thoughts.

How to take a train from Faro to Lagos

Faro to Lagos train

Linha do Algarve is the dedicated railway line going east to west of the Algarve. The line includes stops at these cities (from east to west): Vila Real de Santo António, Tavira, Faro, Loulé, Tunes, Silves, Portimão, and Lagos.

The fastest and cheapest way to travel from Faro to Lagos is by taking the Regional (R) train.

Recommendation: Take an R train from Faro Station to Lagos Station. R trains leave Faro at 7:11 am and 9:02 am. The trip is about 1 hour 34 minutes and costs €7.50.

Day 12-13: Lagos

Day 12: Lagos

Lagos is the last stop on the Algarve train line on the west side of the Algarve. It is an excellent hub for discovering the western Algarve.

First, wander around the old town and get a feel of the city. Then visit some of the best beaches in the Algarve including Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo and Ponta da Piedade.

Day 13: Benegil Sea Cave or Portimão

On your second day in Lagos, join a tour to visit the Benagil Sea Cave. It is one of the most popular excursions from Lagos.

Or take a day trip to Portimão from Lagos. Portimão is the largest city in the western Algarve, so there are plenty of things to see. Check out Fortaleza de Santa Catarina de Ribamar and Castelo de São João do Arade or hang out at Praia da Rocha and Praia do Vau.

Regional trains from Lagos Station to Portimão Station start at 7:52 am, 9:03 am and 11:14 am. On the way back, catch the 7:06 pm, 7:50 pm or 8:51 pm train from Portimão to Lagos. The train journey takes about 17 minutes and costs €2.05 each way.

Where to stay in Lagos

Lagos Avenida Hotel

Book two nights at Lagos Avenida Hotel and enjoy the last leg of your Portugal trip. Hotels in Lagos are typically a bit more expensive. But since this is the last stop, you might want to splurge on something nice.

Day 14: Depart from Lisbon 

Day 14: Lagos or Lisbon

Depending on your flight home, you may have a few hours or more to wander around Lagos or Lisbon.

Whatever you do, allocate a few hours of train travel from Lagos to Lisbon.

How to take a train from Lagos to Lisbon

Lagos to Lisbon train

Trains from Lagos to Lisbon will require a change of train at Tunes Station.

Also, take the train to Estação do Oriente instead of going back to Santa Apolónia because it is closer to the Airport. Then take the Metro from Oriente to Aeroporto.

Recommendation: Take the R and AP/IC trains from Lagos Station to Lisboa Estação do Oriente. R trains leave Lagos at 6:14 am, 7:52 am, 1:26 pm, 3:13 pm and 5:21 pm. The trip is about 3 hours 51 minutes and costs €24.05 (second class) and €30.95 (first class).

Have more time in Portugal? Visit Azores

Are you ready to start your 2 weeks in Portugal itinerary?

I hope so! I really put a lot of thought into this 2 week Portugal solo travel itinerary because it is really easy to travel around Portugal independently and by taking the train only.

If you have the option to drive, it is possible to complete this 2 week Portugal itinerary too. And driving through Portugal is quite interesting as well, especially doing a road trip between Lisbon and Porto. Or you can do a combination of transportation and make your Portugal trip interesting.

The best time to visit Portugal is now! Ha! But honestly, it is excellent all year round. It all depends on the climate you like to be in during your travels. So what are you waiting for?

Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this solo itinerary or have questions about solo travel in Portugal.

Thank you for reading my solo Portugal itinerary

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Portugal:

Lisbon region posts
Northern Portugal posts
Central Portugal posts
Algarve posts

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

10 Comments

  • Lydia
    July 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Portugal is one of my favorite countries in Europe as well, Queenie! I’ve been on a road trip there last year and the country won my heart. I loved your itinerary and it covers some exceptional places which are a must visit there!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      July 5, 2018 at 5:37 am

      Thanks so much, Lydia! I hope everyone can experience Portugal as well because it truly is one of the best places to visit 🙂

      Reply
  • Linda
    August 10, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you for this! Booked a trip for September and now I’ll be traveling alone! It sounds totally doable, safe and exciting!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      August 12, 2019 at 2:50 am

      It is doable! And you don’t even have to rent a car. I hope you have a good time in Portugal and thank you for your message 🙂

      Reply
  • Sam
    February 25, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for this great post! I’m currently eyeing Portugal to relax on a beach, and get a good mix of hiking and city life. It seems to hit all the checkmarks, and your breakdown was very helpful!

    Question: Did you find 2 weeks there rushed, or was it just enough? I have 3 weeks off in April, and wasn’t sure if I should pair Portugal with Spain in my third week, or dedicate it to Portugal altogether.

    Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      February 26, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Hi Sam, thanks so much for your comment! Portugal is a great place for a good mix of everything from city to beaches. The 2 week itinerary is great if you want to get a glimpse of it all but if you have extra time, definitely stay longer! It all depends on how you like to travel – I like to take my time so I would prefer a longer time. But most people have time and budget constraint so 2 week is good too. But if you have 3 weeks – go for it! (Also because there is a lot to see in Spain too – but you can pop over to Sevilla easily from Portugal). Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Maria C.
    January 1, 2024 at 9:11 am

    Thanks so much Queenie for your post packed with so much information. We have a small group planning to go in the fall of next year. Do you have any recommendations where to stay in Lisbon for a small group? I’m am so looking forward to seeing the many places you mentioned. Thank you.
    Maria C.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      January 1, 2024 at 11:56 am

      Hi Maria,
      Thanks so much for your comment.
      I included a hotel recommendation in my post. But if it’s a small group, do you prefer staying together ie service apartment? Perhaps finding an Airbnb apartment?
      Then for this itinerary, pick a place anywhere near Baixa-Chiado (metro) station or Rossio (metro) station. Then you can walk around Chiado, north to Principe Real and east to Alfama.
      Also, it’s a good location to walk to either Cais do Sodre station for day trip to Belem or Cascais. Or walk to Rossio Station for day trip to Sintra.
      And when you are leaving Lisbon, take the metro to Santa Apolonia and catch a train there.
      Hope this helps! Happy travels!

      Reply
  • Carole Hunt
    January 25, 2024 at 12:36 am

    Hello – appreciate your detailed recommendations and directions. I may make my own plans now using your post. However would also like to add a side trip to Madeira for a few days. Do you have info on that? Thanks!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      January 25, 2024 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Carole,
      Thank you for your comment. It’s pretty easy to travel around Portugal on your own. I did it a few times. Unfortunately, I don’t have any info on Madeira – would love to go! Enjoy your trip!

      Reply

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