Lisbon or Sintra as base?

May 18th, 2010, 09:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 25
Lisbon or Sintra as base?


Need help in deciding between Lisbon and Sintra as a base for a 10 day trip. We're planning on day trips to Cascais, Obidos and Evora and want to stay in one place (maybe even an apartment) for the entire stay in Portugal. I'm thinking we'll go into Lisbon for at least 3 days. How is transportation (frequency, ease of getting to the station) to the nearby towns from Sintra compared to Lisbon? Where would you base yourself?

jc17131 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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We will be in Portugal for 2 weeks and spending 8-9 in the Lisbon area, renting an apt in Lisbon. In plotting, planning and making itinerary plans, Lisbon is the best place to be based. jk
jan47ete is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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Lisbon is a transport hub, Sintra isn't. Sintra makes a great day trip from Lisbon, but I would prefer to stay in Lisbon (much more to do, many more places to eat) even if I wasn't planning to visit other places. Come to think of it I did, lol - click on my name for my Lisbon TR.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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We were based in in Cascais. Very frequent, fast train connection to Lisbon, something like 25 minutes. (the train trip to Sintra was longer and they were not as frequent) We just wanted something pretty enough and peaceful for evenings, and still enough restaurants an shops. First we thought of Estoril, but there is really nothing but the Casino. I would rather stay in Cascais, and maybe spend one night in Sintra. Easy and fast to go to Lisbon and go on from there to just about anywhere.
elina is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Anybody in Lisbon June 9 to 11th?
My kids and I will be there and as our first timers I wouldn't mind meeting for a coffee with a Fodorite!
pookymimi is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 06:10 PM
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Lisbon for sure for all the reasons thursdaysd said.
namaka is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 07:41 PM
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Portugal is wonderful. We(Americans) lived in a Lisbon suburb for 2 years (way back), had 3 school age kids and loved it. My husband and I returned about 4 years ago,,,rented a car ! We stayed 3 nights in Cascais, and 3 nights in Lisbon. Worked out fine, but if you have to choose one base then I would suggest Lisbon, as others have said. Sintra is such a nice day trip, beautiful and very lovely.
Elina had a good idea also, of basing in Cascais (and perhaps you could get an apartment. Then take the train into Lisbon when you want,,(it's pretty and goes along the coastline.
Whatever you do , I'm almost certain you'll have a wonderful visit to Portugal.
mari5 is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 01:54 AM
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Well, I stayed in the old part of Sintra and loved it! (I was there for two weeks, minus a three day excursion to Madeira.) Of course, I was there in the summer, which would make a difference: Sintra is where the Portuguese kings used to go in the summer, as it's cooler. There's a lot right in the area, and I found it reasonably easy to get around everywhere. I really enjoyed being there in the evenings; I stayed in an apartment that had a nice little patio overlooking the countryside.

There are some pictures here:
Amy is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 02:20 AM
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1. Lisbon
2. I'll be in Lisbon from June 9 to 11th (I hope), unless I can escape to Sogra's Inn
lobo_mau is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 03:33 AM
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Dear Pookymimi, you are lucky, because there are lots of activities to do in Lisbon these days, depending on your preferences and age of your kids.
Without any other information, I´ve selected to you fado music in tram #28 (yes, on the move) at 4 and 7 pm. The cost of the show is a valid ticket to run the #28. Another interesting activity is a exhibition of old photos (mid 19th to mid 20th centuries), displaying the relation between Lisbon and the river, monument to the discoveries, Belem, 10am-7pm.
By this time there will be one million popular festivities along the streets as dear Namaka can better explain to you. The motivation of them all is the food and drink celebration, with a lot sardines and sangria to be eaten and drunk.
lobo_mau is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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Thanks all! Lisbon it is!
jc17131 is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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Was in portugal july '09 and stayed in lisbon. It is relatively easy to get to sintra, cascais and obidos from lisbon. You can connect by train to sintra. You can use train and bus to get to obidos. And i think cascais is reached by train as well (i think from Cais de Sodre station/hub. There are tourist offices in some train station (eg santa applonia station) where you can get travel advice.
utrechtman is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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We'll be in Lisbon for about 6 days in September. I don't know anything about Sintra but I'd love to go for a day. How far away from Lisbon is it (in time and distance)? We won't have a car -- what's the best way of getting there? And what should we see if we just have a day in Sintra? And restaurants for lunch and dinner? And do you think I ask enough questions?

Thanks for your help.
goddesstogo is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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You can get a day transport pass for Sintra at Rossio station, where you catch the train - it covers trains and buses in the Sintra-Cascais-Estoril area. See my TR (click on my name) for things to do.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Thanks, thursday -- I'll take a look this weekend when I have time to enjoy it!
goddesstogo is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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Would not stay in Sintra...Lisbon best base for seeing lots of sights. Obidos was quite charming but probably not for a first time visitor and not that acessible. I am probably in the minority but Sintra was for me a total tourist trap (the town that is) and way too much hastle to get to the major castle...first train from Lisbon...then bus to center and then another tram up to the top. While you can walk all of this it is uphill and did not look good for middle age tourists. I think my lack of excitement was in part due to the fact the weather was awful and up there it was downright cold in mid June. The castle was really beautiful once you got there. But in direct answer Lisbon is the best base from which to explore and also get the feeling that you are really in Portugal not just a tourist town.
turaj is offline  

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