Spain and Portugal are beautiful destinations that are both worth visiting, however, if you happen to be on a time crunch, I suggest this Spain and Portugal Itinerary. With many of us out there with jobs and schools that deter us from visiting every country on our bucket list, I always recommend at least a week itinerary for 7 days or a 10-day vacation within Spain and Portugal. If you are planning a trip to Spain or Portugal, here are some of my highlights included in my 10-day Itinerary to Spain and Portugal. These 2 countries are quite different from each other, but it’s the perfect combination because they are quite unique compared to the rest of the European countries.
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Spain and Portugal Itinerary
Planning a trip to Spain and Portugal? This is the best place to start.
To make the most of your trip you will have to decide when and where you want to travel to these destinations. This Itinerary for Spain and Portugal is best for 10 days, however, if you have more time you can easily add to it. I will add some other destinations and things you can possibly do during your trip closer to the bottom for you to decide how to continue your travels. Whether you are planning 3 weeks in Spain and Portugal or 10 days, this will be a great base itinerary to add and incorporate more ways to travel within the 2 countries.
Spain and Portugal are filled with hundreds of UNESCO World Heritage Sites worth checking out and I’ve included many of them in this Spain Portugal Itinerary post.
Are you LGBTQ+? Be sure to read this guide about gay-friendly cities in Spain.
Best time to visit Spain and Portugal
The best time to visit for your 10 days in Portugal and Spain is from March through May and September – October. These months are not considered hot and will have more manageable and comfortable weather to walk around in. You may be able to avoid tourists during these months. Moreover, the busiest months to visit Spain and Portugal are between June – August. The summer months can get quite hot, although the weather in Portugal was very comfortable when we visited in August.
Pro Tip: Save money on flights by flying in on a weekday or during the off-season. Base your itinerary on the most affordable rates you can travel.
The language of Portugal is Portuguese and of Spain is Spanish. Additionally, we found it easy to communicate in Portugal with many of the locals speaking English. English was easy in Spain as well, but there were times, especially in Madrid, where some of the locals primarily speak Spanish. Of course, if you travel to a less touristy area, you may have more difficult times communicating in English.
Form of Currency
Both Portugal and Spain use the Euro and is part of the European Union.
How to get around Spain
Spain has a lot of great forms of public transportation including buses, subways, taxis, Uber, and more. Many of the major cities have great forms of public transportation which are great for travelers. Additionally, traveling from major cities to cities around Spain varies based on the location you would want to visit. Some I would take the train such as taking the train from Barcelona to Montserrat, however, I would suggest taking a flight from Barcelona to Madrid since the flights are about the same price as taking the train. Traveling solo to Spain? Check out this Barcelona Solo Women Travel Guide.
RELATED: 2 Weeks in Spain
How to get around Portugal
In Lisbon, there are buses and subways, but unless we were going somewhere far, we found it easier to travel by Tuk Tuk. To travel from Lisbon to Sintra, I suggest you take the train. Once you arrive in Sintra you can travel by Bus or Tuk Tuk depending on what you find more comfortable. Traveling by Tuk Tuk is costlier but more time-efficient.
The Best way to travel from Portugal to Spain
There are several ways to travel between Spain and Portugal and I’ve listed those options below.
- Flying – In my opinion, this is the best way to travel from Spain to Portugal. I suggest this especially if you are the type short on time and making the most of your trip.
- Bus – There are several itineraries on how to travel from Spain to Portugal by Bus. This is another option to take if you want to save money.
- Car Rental – If you have plenty of time, this is the best way to plan a trip and be able to take your time and see everything.
- Train – Unless you have a train pass within the EU, I felt the price of the train was about the same as a plane ticket. I regret taking the train and wish I chose to fly instead.
Tips to save money in Spain and Portugal
There are a lot of ways to save money in Spain and Portugal including taking advantage of many of the free things to do in each destination such as wandering the Alfama District, visiting the Parco dom Pedro, and visiting many of the museums at the last 2 hours of the day. Additionally, taking public transportation overtaking a Tuk Tuk or Taxi and bringing your own water bottle from home, and buying a large bottle of water at a corner store to refill will save on time and money during your 1 week in Spain and Portugal.
Where you will visit in 10 Days in Spain and Portugal
I have chosen some of the most popular places to visit for this Portugal and Spain Itinerary, however, it can easily be adjusted for a Spain and Portugal Itinerary for 14 days or more. Check out the additional Spain itinerary locations and Portugal itinerary locations.
- DAY 1: LISBON – Arrive in Lisbon. Explore, rest, for half a day.
- DAY 2: SINTRA – Full day of highlights in Sintra including the palace
- DAY 3: LISBON – Full day of exploring and eating your way through Lisbon
- DAY 4: LISBON TO MADRID – Travel day to Madrid, half-day experiencing Madrid
- DAY 5: MADRID – Unique Madrid City Highlights
- DAY 6: MADRID TO BARCELONA – Travel day to Barcelona, half-day in Barcelona
- DAY 7: BARCELONA – Full day in Barcelona
- DAY 8: BARCELONA – Sightseeing in Barcelona
- DAY 9: MONTSERRAT – Day trip and hiking to Montserrat from Barcelona
- DAY 10: BARCELONA – Half day in Barcelona and leaving to your next destination
Additional Spain Itinerary Locations
- Valencia – Read about things to do in Valencia
Additional Portugal Itinerary Locations
- Porto – If you have more time, be sure to read more about how to spend one day in Porto.
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 1 | Arrival in Lisbon
To start your Spain and Portugal Itinerary, it’s best to arrive in Lisbon. I felt started in Portugal was something that was necessary. If you haven’t traveled abroad to a country that doesn’t speak English starting in Lisbon was important. Everyone we met spoke English here, while in Spain, it was hit and miss on who spoke English. Now if you plan to make a longer excursion than this one, you can start your trip to Porto and work through this 10 day Spain and Portugal itinerary.
Arrival and getting to your hotel in Lisbon
- Private Transfer – You can easily request a private transfer from the airport to your hotel which makes it a lot easier and just a bit less stressful when you get there. You can book a private transfer from Lisbon Airport here.
Things to do in Lisbon on your first day
Portugal was one of my favorite countries to visit in Europe. I wanted to stay longer and visit more places, but I decided to visit the most important places. This trip was mostly focused on visiting Spain but a chance to visit Portugal as well. Lisbon is a hilly city with lots of slippery tile sidewalks, beautiful paths, and delicious foods. Although I don’t expect you to explore much of Lisbon on the first day of arrival, there are plenty of things to do.
PRO TIP: Most places are closed on Sundays including restaurants so if you are on a short time limit, you may want to consider that when planning your itinerary.
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 2 | Sintra
Sintra, Portugal is one of the most famous cities to visit in Portugal because of its beautiful Pena Palace. Sintra is a perfect and easy day trip from Lisbon with only a 30-40 minute train ride. There are a lot of monumental sites to visit in Sintra such as the Palace of Sintra, Belem Tower, and more. The locals who live in Sintra we found polite and charming which made us love this destination even more. Finally, I feel that Sintra deserves two days of exploring
Recommended things to do in Sintra
- Pena Palace
- Palace of Sintra
- Moors Castle
- Monserrate Palace
- Bar do Binho
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 3 | Lisbon
I suggest you start your day early to get to the Pasteis de Belem. Pasteis de Belem is known for its amazing Pastels also known as an egg tart. Ultimately, this place is large with a lot of seating, but it gets busy fairly quickly with lines wrapping around the corner. After you enjoy your breakfast, you will near many locations such as the Monument to the Discoveries, the Tower of Belem, and Jeronimos Monastery.
READ: One day in Lisbon
Recommended things to do in Lisbon
- Drinking Ginja
- Praca dom Pedro
- Monument to the Discoveries
- Jeronimos Monastery
- Tower of Belem
- Mercado da Ribera
- Pasteis de Belem
RELATED: Gay Lisbon Travel Guide
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 4 | Lisbon to Madrid
Now you will be traveling to Madrid, a beautiful city in Spain which is a must for your Spain and Portugal Itinerary. We found Madrid to be our favorite in Spain although we have a lot more to discover. Depending on what time you arrive in Madrid, there are still a lot of things to do including at night! Finally, if you arrive late and happen to have a sweet tooth, I highly suggest you visit the Chocoleteria san Gines.
READ: 2 Days in Madrid
Recommended things to do in Madrid Day 1
- Crystal Palace in Retiro Park
- Plaza de Cibeles
- Temple of Debod
- Madrid Food Tour or Tapas Tour
- Chocoleteria San Gines
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 5 | Madrid
Today you will have plenty of time to see everything Madrid has to offer. If there was something you weren’t able to see on day 1, don’t you worry we will see plenty of items today. Madrid is one of my favorite places to visit in Spain and less fast pace in comparison to Barcelona.
If you want to add more time to your Itinerary, you can head down and spend one day in Seville.
Recommended things to do in Madrid Day 2
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 6 | Madrid to Barcelona
Next on your Spain and Portugal Itinerary is Barcelona. There is so much to do in Barcelona, but I must warn you that there are a lot of tourist traps especially when it comes to food in Barcelona (I feel that is something that is common in any major city). Moreover, we found a ton of delicious food, don’t get me wrong, but there are a few places that do not have great or authentic Spanish dishes. Furthermore, I suggest another food tour to get the best places to eat.
If you plan to arrive in Barcelona in the evening time, I suggest you at least visit La Sagrada Familia or Park Guell since both locations are beautiful during the evening. La Sagrada Familia is a beautiful cathedral filled with gorgeous stained glass windows that are perfect to see during sunset. The light comes shining through the glass and creating colors on the floor of the cathedral.
Recommended things to do in Barcelona Day 1
- La Sagrada Familia – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Casa Mila – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Casa Batllo – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Casa Amatler – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 7 | Barcelona
Now you get to explore for your first full day in Barcelona. Keep in mind that the Mercado de la Boqueria is closed on Sundays. I suggest you take a stroll down La Rambla and explore all the cute shops and more. This day is a great day to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of Barcelona. If you have time or it’s not too cold, be sure to visit Barceloneta Beach. If you are looking to enjoy some delicious food, be sure to read more about Catalan food and food at Opera Samfaina.
Recommended things to do in Barcelona Day 2
- Park Guell
- Bunkers de Caramel
- Mercado de la Boqueria
- La Rambla
- Barceloneta Beach
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 8 | Barcelona
This is the perfect time to visit the Gothic Quarter and the Picasso Museum. There are a lot of art shops in the area. Furthermore, if you aren’t a big fan of art or just don’t care to see the Picasso Museum, continue to visit Montjuic. Afterward, explore the beautiful Ciutadella Park and stroll down the path and view the Arc de Triomf. In addition, there are a lot of street performers during the evening hours. We found it relaxing to explore and just be in the presence of Barcelona.
Recommended things to do in Barcelona Day 3
- Gothic Quarter
- Picasso Museum
- Ciutadella Park
- Arc de Triomf
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 9 | Montserrat
Furthermore, Montserrat is a beautiful day trip away from Barcelona. It is the perfect place to visit when you need to escape the busy city life. Furthermore, if you enjoy hiking, this is a great location to do an uphill hike and get a great view of the mountainside. In addition, the path is paved and easy to walk. My best friend and I actually hiked the path in sandals and found it bearable, although I don’t suggest it. I think by the end of our Spain and Portugal trip, we definitely needed something outdoors and a bit more quiet from the big crowds.
RELATED: Montserrat Day Trip from Barcelona
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 10 | Leave Barcelona
Today is the day to venture back home or if you want to continue your Spain and Portugal itinerary you can continue to Bilbao, Valencia, Seville, or Grenada. There are so many places to discover in Spain. So if you can continue your ventures, but this post is a great starting point for your first visit to Spain and Portugal.
If you have more time, add Mallorca, Spain to your itinerary and learn more about things to do in Mallorca, Spain.
Finally, please let me know in the comment below what you think of this Spain and Portugal Itinerary. Is there anywhere you would add that I might have forgotten?
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