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Short Portugal trip in March

We have a short trip planned for mid-March. We are thinking to fly into Lisbon and spend 3 nights there (including a day trip to Sintra) and then spend 2 nights in Porto with flight departing Porto. My questions:
1) what is the best way to transit from Lisbon to Porto? train or car?
2)does it make sense to try to squeeze in a day trip to Douro Valley? We might like a day away from the city by this point. (Prior to Portugal, we will have spent a few days in Brussels). Is this something we can decide and arrange once we arrive in Porto?

Posted by
4749 posts

With your timescale (5 nights is 4 days), I would stick with Lisbon and have a day trip to Sintra. You will lose half a day door to door travelling between Lisbon and Porto and two nights there only means one full day sight seeing, so you don’t have time for the Douro.

Posted by
1524 posts

dalynau - The best and most comfortable way to travel to Porto from Lisbon is by train. Car will take a little longer. Don't try to squeeze Douro Valley in those 2 nights on last leg of trip, it's far. If you really want to see some sights very close to Porto then opt to visit the towns of Guimarães and Braga. They are 34 miles from Porto. You can take the train to either location.

Posted by
5297 posts

First, I am planning a trip to Portugal, committed, two plus weeks in Portugal, in a couple weeks, last week of February and first week of March. Planning lots of things, so a sense of what to do.

Yes, you could spend a Month in Lisbon and not see everything, but your trip is what I consider an overview, hoping you go back. For Lisbon, Sintra is an easy part day, if you have high interest do it. For Porto, train is the best transport, driving would just incur a drop-off charge and no time to see anything on the way. When in Porto, given that it is March, the Duoro valley will be rather quiet (too early in the growing season), we are going for two nights, but mainly for quiet and food (well wine), but then also 3 nights in Porto. For you, I would recommend your time in Porto to be in Porto.