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How to split a few days between Lisbon and Porto with day trips.NO car?

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May 3rd, 2012, 08:41 PM
  #1
Lev
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How to split a few days between Lisbon and Porto with day trips.NO car?

Hi,
We are planning to stay a few days in Portugal on the way to Rome.
Our son was in Portugal before and he recommends staying 3 full days in Lisbon.
on the 4th day take a train to Sintra, spend the whole day exploring Sintra and return to Lisbon.
The next day take a train to Porto. Stay 2 full days in Porto.
Would you recommend spending more time in Lisbon and taking more day trips from there?
We do not want to rent a car, but there seems to be a possibility to go to Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha with a tour company. See the link:
http://www.partner.viator.com/en/422...d538-2874LIS05
Would you recommend doing it?
Also would you recommend taking a day trip to Evora from Lisbon?
Would you recommend taking a day trip to Coimbra from Porto or Lisbon?
Thanks. Lev.
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May 3rd, 2012, 09:31 PM
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How many days are you actually spending in Portugal?
You would need at least five days in Lisbon to touch the high points of that city, take your tour and also spend time in Sintra.
IMHO you really do not have time for Evora or Coimbra if this is the time you allot to Lisbon.
Are you spending two days in Porto and then returning to Lisbon? IF you are not returning to Lisbon after Porto you could stop in Coimbra on the way.
You can easily get to Porto by train but spend the two days there.
Someone else might have a different opinion. The public transportation is good but you have to factor in the time getting from city to city.
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May 3rd, 2012, 10:06 PM
  #3
Lev
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No, we are not returning to Lisbon.
We will fly to Rome out of Porto.
We are planning to stay in Portugal for up to 8 full days that depends on the final itinerary.
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May 4th, 2012, 05:32 AM
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That opens up your schedule. I would spend the night in Coimbra, since that is one of your choices and the last two-three in Porto.
Have a great trip.
I always tell people to plan on having air conditioning in Lisbon if you are going during Summer. Lisbon can be quite warm. You will have it if you need it.
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May 4th, 2012, 10:27 AM
  #5
Lev
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Thank you Sher.
I will be in Portugal in the beginning of October.
It will be my first visit to Portugal.
Regarding Coimbra. Is it must place to visit?
If is it, can we just take a morning train from Lisbon to Coimbra, leave the luggage at the train station and explore Coimbra and take a train to Porto in the evening. Stay 2 full days/3 nights in Porto.
Also would you recommend to take a day trip from Lisbon to Evora? Is Evora a must see town in Portugal?
What about a day trip to Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha from Lisbon?
Answering other people question on accomodation in Lisbon, you recommended the Brown's Luxury Studio Apartments. What about Residencial Florescente hotel (Rua Portas De Santo Antao 99). Would you recommend it location and accommodation wise? The price is about the same. Could you please give a recommendation on where to stay in Porto (not expensive apartment or hotel for 2 people).
Lev.
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May 4th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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If you opt for that tour you listed, you will get to see some nice places (i really liked Obidos), but it will be a very long day. Then again, someone else is doing the driving. If you had an extra free day, i would recommend taking a bus to Evora, i enjoyed the town and walking around there all day. Find a little restaurant and enjoy lunch with a glass of local wine.

Coimbra is nice, but not a must. You can get out and check out the old town, including the University.

Porto is beautiful, i had a great time walking around and taking in all the sites. Of course i also enjoyed walking across the bridge to Via da Gua to partake in some Port tasting.

Have a great time
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May 4th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Hi Lev. Coimbra is a university town. I wouldn't say it is a must. But different people like different things. If you were to be staying in Portugal longer, I would say go for it. But in the time you have I wouldn't want to take time away from Porto or Lisbon.
I think the tour is long also, but you will get to see some nice things and this will enable you to travel in the most efficient way. Of the places it will take you I felt that Fatima was my least favorite.
In the same sense I wouldn't go to Evora. You just so not have much time. I think you would enjoy it but all of this is a lot to squeeze into the days you have.
I have friends that stayed at the Residencial Florescente and liked it very much. It is located very well in the city. They also will provide breakfast, I believe.
There is a restaurant very near which has the most wonderful roast chicken. I believe it is Dos Frangos. Foodies may pooh, pooh it but the chicken is delicious.
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May 4th, 2012, 04:12 PM
  #8
Lev
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Thank you Dmelo1 and Sher.
Sher, in one if your responses you recommended to stay 5 full days in Lisbon. Do we really need that much time?
I actually was planning to be in Lisbon 3 full days.. Isn't it enough?
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May 8th, 2012, 06:36 AM
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We spent 4 days in Lisbon and 2 1/2 in Porto.

We thought the Porto time was about right to get an overview of the city.

We made a list in advance of what we wanted to do in each city and found 4 days inadequate for everything we wanted to do in Lisbon. It does give enough time to hit the highlights and decide whether you want to come back again. We had to eliminate any day trips because there just wasn't enough time.
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May 8th, 2012, 08:17 AM
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The reason I said five days is that I was counting one of those days for Sintra and one for that long tour day you were planning.
For the three days you were allocating were those three days just for Lisbon or did they include Sintra and the tour?

You need at least three days in Lisbon, IMHO and really more but you could get the highlights in three days.
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May 8th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Hi, Lev,
I agree with Sher, that a minimum time to devote exclusively to Lisbon is three days. That allows you to visit Bairro Alto, Chiado, Castle, Baixa areaa, Liberdade, and Belem with its many attractions (coach museum, Jerónimos monastery, the Pasteis de Belem (eat them warm and often), the Centro Cultural if you´re a fan of modern art, the Discoverers monument, the Torre de Belem, well that is a LOT).

I love Sintra, but I think that it´s impossible to enjoy visiting three or four castles/palaces in one day (I´m adding Monserrate to the standard three -- Moorish castle, National palace, Pena Palace), so you will have to make some hard choices. Sintra is also always loaded with tourist buses filled with people who all seem to want to buy souvenirs in the same 10 shops, so the narrow streets are jammed and it detracts somewhat from the charm of the town. But it is definitely worth a visit. If I could only spend one day in Sintra I would forego the souvenir shopping, spend a while in the café where they sell those wonderful pastries Travesseiras (name escapes me now, but it is right on one of the main tourist little streets), go up to the Pena Palace and walk around the gardens as well as the inside of the palace, eat lunch down town, and then either visit the Monserrate (an industrial mogul´s summer estate, lavish and lovingly restored) or the Moorish palace (not much in the way of things to see, but lots of climbing to be done with lots of nice views).

I also think that visiting Obidos, Nazare, Fatima and Batalha in one day would make it all a big blur, but that´s just me. If you could limit it to two places -- maybe a visit to Batalha (or, I´ll also throw out the monastery at Alcobaça as a good option, I love that place and it´s close to Nazaré also) and then lunch and a walk and a ride up the cable car to the top in Nazaré, that would be a nice day.

Two full days in Porto seems to do it justice. I love Porto, but if you´re an energetic tourist you can certainly get a sense of things in two active days.

Have a great trip!
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May 10th, 2012, 05:06 PM
  #12
Lev
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Thank you guys.
After reading your recommendations, I was able to change air tickets and have now 8.5 days for Portugal. I will arrive to Porto on Oct.1(Monday) around 4pm and fly out of Lisbon on Oct.10.
I think 3 nights and 2 full days in Porto will be sufficient. It would be good if we could to visit Coimbra on the way to Lisbon. Is it possible to leave a luggage at the train station in Coimbra and spend a few hours in Coimbra and then take a train to Lisbon?
If we spend day 4 on transition to Lisbon visiting Coimbra on the way, we will have 5 full days for Lisbon:
3 days for the city and 2 days for day trips (Sintra, and a guided tour to Obidos, Nazare, Fatima and Batalha). No time for Evora, but we will have to come to Portugal again anyway to cover Algarve. We will probably go to Evora too.
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May 10th, 2012, 07:05 PM
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Does your tour includemAlcobacasa, where Potugese royalty is buried? It is a beautiful cathedral, our fav
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May 10th, 2012, 07:59 PM
  #14
Lev
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No, the tour does not cover Alcobaca. It covers Obidos, Nazare, Fatima and Batalha. I am not planning to rent a car therefore kind of limited in what I can embrace in one trip.
Maybe instead of taking a tour just to take a bus to one or two places: Nazare and Alcobaca or Obidos and Nazare?
What do you think?
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May 11th, 2012, 01:52 AM
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Lev. I think you have a wonderful trip planned.
It is nice to include Alcobaca, which we like too, but I still think you are seeing a lot on your trip.
Generally Alcobaca can be grouped with Fatima and Batalha because the distance is not so great between them but remember your tour also includes the coast.
You can take the bus to one or two places but I don't think you could cover all of those included on that tour independently. You could probably do two in one day by yourself on public transportation.
We did about what you are seeing around Lisbon on our first trip. I hope if you enjoy yourself you will be willing to return.
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May 11th, 2012, 06:39 PM
  #16
Lev
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Thank you Sher.
Do you know if it is possible to leave luggage at Coimbra train station on the way from Porto to Lisbon?
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May 11th, 2012, 08:18 PM
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I really do not know as I always rent a car when we trvel.
My lonely planet says there is not left luggage at the train station.
That may present a problem for you. I hope you can find a solution.
Please have a wonderful time. We wll be in Portugal in August.
If you feel like it when you return do a trip report.
Have a great trip/.
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May 12th, 2012, 09:54 AM
  #18
Lev
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I googled Coimbra. Yes, you are right there is no luggage storage at Coimbra train station B and train station A that is colser to the town center. But I found some useful info dated Oct 27, 2011 at
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=1795224
Here it is:
'There are no luggage lockers / luggage office at train and bus stations, but it's possible to leave luggage for few hours at Cafe Cristal, located just opposite to the train station (Coimbra A in the city center). It costs 2 EUR for every 4h, per item. I was in Coimbra last week and this was recommended by staff at tourist information office - I left my luggage there, everything was OK.'

I hope someone who recently visited Coimbra or is planning to visit Coimbra in the nearest future let all of us know if this info is correct.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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So to the OP, I'm guessing your trip may be in progress right now, or just over?

I'm planning something similar for next March. Husband is going to be visiting two universities, going to a conference in Lisbon and then visiting a campus in Porto.

We've previously spent 6 days in northern Portugal--3 days in Porto and 3 days north in the Minho. We've only spent a day in Lisbon previously, and are looking forward to most of a week there, I hope.

Haven't even decided the total length of the trip yet, but no more than two weeks.

Being that it will be late March, I know that weather will be an issue. I think I'd like to drive from Lisbon to Porto and back, doing different routes and stopping at interesting places along the way. Since we've been to Porto itself, perhaps just a night or two there.

As this plan gels, I will post details, but just asking for general recommendations I guess.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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DH and I recently spent 6 nights in Lisbon, and loved it. The Hotel Avenida Palace is an absolute gem, in an amazing location for walking.

Our room for two was just 143EU which included the most awesome hot and cold breakfast buffet in a gorgeous chandeliered room. Also included wi-fi in our room.

We took the train to Cascais one day, and highly recommend the little beachside town. We liked it so much that we returned for a half day to the town adjacent to it on the Atlantic (the train stop before Cascais) Also went to Sintra by train another day.

We felt very welcome in Portugal and found amazing restaurants. We loved it there.
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