Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal

Courtesy of the American Spouses of Brunssum Travel Information Guide

Basics – Transportation and Lodging

We went to Lisbon via Virgin Express. From Brussels, it was about a 2 ½ hour flight. Virgin Express is a no frills airline so expect to pay for any food and drink on board and the seats didn’t have a lot of leg room. The fare was good and for a short flight, we were happy. Upon arrival in Lisbon, we took the Scott URB Bus to our hotel. It was less than 8 Euros each and is a much cheaper option than a taxi. We stayed in Estoril, which is outside of Lisbon on the coast at the Estoril Eden Hotel.

We spent 2 days seeing the sights in Lisbon and one day on the coast. I recommend taking good walking shoes as we spent a good bit of time walking, much of it uphill. We don’t have kids so you might want to consider that when planning how much to see in a day.

Trip Planning:

We brought the Eyewitness Travel Guides for Lisbon from the JFC library. It is a wealth of information and we highly recommend it. It divides Lisbon into the 4 sections and lists sights for each. We took the train from Estoril for 1.30 Euros per person/each way to Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre station.

Lisboa, Portugal

In Alfama area

In the Baxia sectionthe busiest part of the city

  • Walk around the squares of Rossio and Praca dos Restauradores
  • Look for the Elevador de Santa Justa built by an apprentice of Eiffel

In Barrio Alto and Estrela — we got off the train at the Santos station. Not all of the trains stop there so you will have to look for the “slow” trains.

  • Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. They have 14th-19th century European paintings, decorative arts and furniture; and a floor specifically for Portuguese art and sculpture.
  • Another beautiful church is Sao Roque — open 1000-1700 Tues – Sun

In Belem

  • Monument to the Discoveries, a 170 ft. high monument built to mark the 500thLisbon’s suspension bridge inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge. Open 1000-1800 Tues – Sun
  • Torre de Belem, a fortress built in 1515-21. Open 1000-1700 Oct-April and 1000-1830
  • Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (a monastery).

Outside of Lisbon

  • Estoril is nice, but I think we would have preferred to stay in Cascais. They have more restaurants and shopping.
  • Cascais was an easy walk or short train ride from Estoril. The beach has a nice walkway connecting both places.
  • Cabo da Roca, a lighthouse at the western most point of the European mainland.
  • Sintra — We enjoyed lunch at one of the many restaurants then visited Palacio Nacional de Sintra, the Royal Palace/retreat for the Portuguese royalty until the 1880s. Palacio de Pena is a palace built in the 10th century on the highest peaks of the Serra de Sintra.

Transportation there:

The buses have all day passes that allow you to get on and off as much as you like for a set price. Just make sure you buy them before you get on the bus as the drivers don’t sell them. Also look for the free books that have all the bus schedules. We don’t recommend driving in Lisbon. It is crazy!

Links:

Airline: http://www.euroflights.info/virgin-express/
Bus transport: http://www.scotturb.com/
Hotel: http://www.estoriledenhotel.com/
Town of Estoril: http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costadelisboa/estoril/index.html
Great comprehensive site: http://www.golisbon.com/

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