Help with 4-5 day itinerary in Portugal

Nov 15th, 2003, 09:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Help with 4-5 day itinerary in Portugal

My husband, son, and I are traveling to Lison on Dec. 26 and leaving on Jan. 1. We had thought of spending two days in Lisbon and then renting a car and driving to the Sintra area and then up the coast possibly to Oporto. But from everything I'm reading it sounds like we would be better off staying in Lisbon and taking a day trip to Sintra and two other day trips. Where are the best places to go for the day trips or are we better renting a car for the three days and driving? Any hotel suggestions would also be helpful.
trelena is offline  
Nov 16th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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So, you'll be arriving in Lisbon on the day after Christmas (a Friday). If it were me, I would stay the weekend in Lisbon - there's plenty to see and do there: Allow at least a half day for Belem. Monday you could make a loop to Sintra, Cascais and Estoril. Tuesday you could visit Coimbra, an old University City (or maybe Fatima Shrine, if you're so inclined).

Porto is more of an overnighter than a 'day trip' from Lisbon. If you decide to go to Porto, I'd recommend an Alfa (3-hours train ride).
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Not to put a damper on things, but I feel I need to share my Lisbon experience. I was living in Spain and traveled all over Europe. My friend and I decided to take a weekend trip to Lisbon. Here is a long story short:
My friend was robbed even though she had a zipped purse w/flap, draped diagnally across her chest, under a zipped sweatshirt, We found Lisbon to be very dirty-loogies everywhere on the ground; Beggers EVERYWHERE (more than the average big city); I was pushed off a bus by the busdriver when I didn't have "exact" change (I had more than needed)etc. etc. etc. This is only a short preview.

I would suggest spending most of your time outside of Lisbon. There are a few cool things to see, but we found the sights at the Tower of Belem was much better (be careful though, the jam packed, overflowing bus there is an easy target for pickpockets). Also, we wish we left to see the Palace as well. I've heard great things about Lagos and other areas of Portugal, so I would spend more time there. I will never go back to Lisbon. We couldn't wait to leave. Many other places to spend time instead.
blunistgirl is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 293
I have visited Lisbon three times in the past five years and LOVE it! It would be very easy to spend all your time there without a car. There are many good hotels and restaurants. The train to Sintra is only 45 minutes. Do a search here for specifics.
Cameron is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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I would second "nedsireland." If you post back with what you are interested in seeing, perhaps someone could give you more specific suggestions for day trips.
xxxx is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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I just returned from a 17 day trip to Spain and Portugal. I'm a Spain fanatic but this was my first trip to Portugal. I'm not at all a big city person but must say I loved Lisbon. There's definately enough to keep you busy exploring Lisbon and several daytrips you could do within a couple of hours from there. I almost ditched my plans at the last minute for Lisbon but was so happy I decided to stay.

I spent 2 nights in Coimbra and very much enjoyed it, but as a day trip from Lisbon I think it's pushing it. My recomendation would be daytrips to Sintra, Evora, and Obidos if possible. Evora is wonderful and a UNESCO World Heritage city. Obidos is charming and tiny - the Portugal you see in postcards. Sintra is a must see also.

I spent three nights at the Lisboa Tejo and would definately stay there again. The location was very central, the staff friendly and the room was a nice size and clean. The hotel has been remodeled in the last year.

Hope this helps.

CathyM is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 539

We were in Lisbon last May and really enjoyed the city. Yes, it is an old city and not as clean as some I have seen but worth a visit in my opinion. It reminded me of San Francisco in many ways, the Bay is beautiful. Just be careful while walking the streets and you should be ok. Enjoy Portugal.
aj is offline  
Nov 24th, 2003, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 220
I did not care for Lisbon either, found it dirty and depressing, but it does have some nice tourist attractions. We stayed in Cascais and took the train into Lisbon.

I think Belem is worth at least a full day, as is Sintra. Also, a drive along the Estoril coast is fun if you have a sunny day.

I agree Porto is too far for a day trip. Also, except for the Ribera, it is also depressing.

The part of Portugal I liked was outside of the big cities: Lamego, Barcelos, Covilla, Cascais.
Carolred is offline  

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