Getting around Lisbon

Mar 13th, 2016, 12:30 PM
Original Poster
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Getting around Lisbon

I'm considering a trip to Lisbon in late December but am a little concerned about how walk-able the city is. I'm not disabled but I have bad knees and don't do well with lots of steps or steep inclines.

From what I've researched, it's a very hilly city. It sounds like I'd be able to get around using public transportation but I'd appreciate hearing opinions from people who have been there. I'm also looking for a recommendation for a well-located hotel that won't require a hike up a hill (something nice, I'm not a hostel/air B&B traveler).

Thank you in advance for any guidance.
Janedoeinnyc is offline  
Mar 13th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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It is hilly, but public transport is excellent and will get you pretty much anywhere. If not, taxis are cheap.

If I could afford it I would stay at the Avenida Palace (I stay more cheaply nearby).
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 14th, 2016, 08:05 AM
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Thank you for your quick reply! I was actually looking at booking the Sofitel, which is close to the Avenida Palace (I prefer hotels that are more modern than traditional).

It sounds like I should be fine on public transport and taxis, very good to know. Thanks again!
Janedoeinnyc is offline  
Mar 15th, 2016, 01:25 AM
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In October 2014 and in September 2015 we stayed at hotels on or near Avenida da Liberdade, quite close to the Sofitel. It's a great location, close to Avenida metro station, which will be handy, though you'll have a few steps to climb. Also, if changing from one metro line to another, you'll sometimes have long walks through the underground. I injured my knee a few weeks before our trip and had no trouble. Your hotel will call taxis for you. At the same time, taxis pass along Ave. da Liberdade often because there are so many hotels and restaurants about. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for one, even on the day of a bus strike when they were probably busier.

Ave. da Liberdade is lovely. The hotels, restaurants, and upscale boutiques along here are separated from the busy roadway by pedestrian pavements with landscaped gardens. You'll find ATMs, restaurants, and even a small grocery nearby. Restauradores Square (Praça dos Restauradores) is a short, flat walk away. Rossio Square, or also known as Praça de Dom Pedro IV, is just beyond this. Trains for Sintra leave from nearby Rossio Train Station. Tram 15 to Belém leaves from Praça de Figueira, which is beyond Rossio Square.

On our 2014 visit, we caught a taxi from the airport to Avenida Liberdade. On our 2015 visit we caught the Aerobus, which dropped us off on Avenide da Liberdade, near the Avenida metro entrance.

The main attractions of Belém are in a flat area. You'll have a flight of steps to climb if visiting second floor of the cloisters of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. But the monastery is a must-see. It does get crowded with tour groups.
The main tourist attractions of Belém are more spread out than they'll appear on a map. For instance, the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument and Belém Tower ended up being longer walks from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos than we expected. On the other hand, the Berardo Museum was closer than we expected. The walks between attractions are flat, though there will be stairs to climb at the attractions. While in Belem, you might also want to visit Pastéis de Belém, famous for its traditional Portuguese custard tarts, and the Coach Museum.

Castelo de São Jorge is another must-see in a hilly area. I wanted to climb all the staircases along the castle walls, but you needn't. The views from castle are great.

It's easy to catch the metro to the Oceanarium, the city's excellent aquarium on the banks of the Tagus River. The Gulbenkian Museum was just a few blocks from a metro station, but it'd also be just a short taxi ride for you. If going to the Tile Museum, definitely catch a taxi.
Diamantina is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2016, 11:15 AM
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Diamantina, thank you so much for all the details you provided! I'm feeling more comfortable now and about ready to book flight and hotel - very much appreciate the thoughtful, informative response.
Janedoeinnyc is offline  
Sep 9th, 2016, 02:49 AM
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We just got back from Spain and Portugal. Lisbon is a great place, nice people and wonderful food. Used ATM Close to hetel and was hacked for 4 transactions of $200 each. I WDL #200 and then additional transactions of $200 each were taken from the Phillipines. My bank credited my account in 15 minutes after I returned and closed down one of my debit cards. Probably best to find ATMs for large bank, not Multibank hole in the walls. I actually keep two debit cards for my account just in case. Been to Europe many times and this is a first for me. Many thanks to Wells Farge for limiting exposure. ATMs are still the best way to get currency9IMHO).
kslanker is offline  
Sep 9th, 2016, 08:16 AM
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I agree ATMs are best, but aside from airports, I try to only use bank ATMs during banking hours. Then if the machine eats my card I stand a better chance of getting it back, and security is likely to be better. Wonder if the skimmers now have some kind of wifi connection? Glad you got it sorted out so quickly.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 26th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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tdk320n is offline  
Mar 26th, 2017, 09:23 AM
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We stayed in Belém and walked everywhere since it's all on the flat. So wherever you stay, when you go to Belém (tram 15E, or the train from Cais do Sobre) to visit its many attractions (it kept us busy for days!), rest assured that you won't have to climb any hills except for the Palacio Ajuda (well worth a visit, just take a taxi up the hill and take a stroll through the botanical gardens while up there before coming back down).

As you scroll down on that site you find a link to a walking tour.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Mar 26th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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TPAYT is offline  
Mar 26th, 2017, 10:29 AM
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I don't know if l. reynolds still posts here but she (he?) has put together an amazing walking tour of Lisbon. I know you said that long walks and steps are a bit of a problem for you but I'm posting this because if you can do any part of it, it's well worth while. My SO and I used it on a 3-day visit to Lisbon in 2010 (so understand that some restaurants, etc, may not be open any longer) and we didn't feel we needed any further guidebooks.

Here you go:
goddesstogo is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 11:44 PM
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Indeed Lisbon is a hilly city but don't worry, the public transport is excellent and cheaper than a lot of European cities (i think it was 60 cents a trip if I remember correctly).

There is a tram 28 that goes through a lot of the major attractions in the city. Actually, that old tram is an attraction in itself! You see it on all the Lisbon postcards. If I were to go to Lisbon again, I would try to get a place closer to the route of this tram. It makes it easier to at least get to the main attractions.

Belem tower and the big bridge is a bit outside of main Lisbon but they are on the same train line. The line continues to go to a pretty town of Cascais in 40 mins. I loved it there too.

I love writing about wherever I go, so my Lisbon experience might help you a bit I hope
Asmi_Kx is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 04:26 AM
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Lisbon is not a hilly city!

Lisbon has some hilly sections, but there's a limit to your climbing. Lisbon is BOTH flat and hilly.

"Belem tower and the big bridge is a bit outside of main Lisbon but they are on the same train line"

No, not again. Belem and the big bridge is not outside of main Lisbon, that doesn't make any sense. They are part of the city, like Alfama or the castle. it's just the western side.
Lisbon_Eagle is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 05:56 AM
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There are flat areas in Lisbon, yes. BUT, there are also lots of hills. Perhaps you grew up in Lisbon, and don't realize how it appears to visitors. And Belem may be administratively a part of Lisbon, but to a visitor it is a distinct area, perhaps a suburb.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 01:48 PM
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There are also some funiculars to help navigate the hills
tailsock is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 02:50 PM
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There are a lot of hills in Lisbon. Taxis are cheap.
massimop is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 01:26 AM
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Lisbon is not a hilly city? Maybe Lisbon, Connecticut!

In Lisboa Portugal I hike the equivalent of Mt Everest just to buy some groceries down the street
luz_de_lisboa is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 05:38 AM
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The original poster has been and gone in 2016, but if she were still looking for a way to get around Lisbon with bad knees I would tell her that I found taxis inexpensive and plentiful. And parts of Lisbon are indeed extremely steep.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 05:51 AM
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I find all posts if thursdays spot on.
I have no good knees (not that bad but not good) and yes I suffered at the end of the days. I didn't want to pay for taxis. I prefer walking. My penance.
WoinParis is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 10:50 AM
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There is a real story telling how hilly Lisbon is. Some years ago a visitor coming down from Chiado, walking the flat valley of Baixa and climbing up the castle hill, insisted that she was doing a walk in the Alps. Only the absence of cows and snow persuaded her that she was not in Switzerland but in Lisbon instead.
lobo_mau is offline  

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