November trip: Lisbon or Barcelona?

Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 11:06 AM
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The trams work fine in Lisbon, and taxis are available, so getting around is fairly easy. The Avenida Palace is fine, but the area can be very busy at times.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 11:12 AM
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enjoy Lisboa PA Kathy... Europe's sunniest capital! rough around the edges yet beautiful. fantastic transportation that's efficient and inexpensive. (same goes for the food too) Absolutely try the couvert at some of the restaurants but if you don't want them don't touch them. the waiter will take it away. DO take a daytrip to explore Sintra. DO try the pastries at Belem. have a great time
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:12 PM
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I know you've decided on Lisbon but both Lisbon and Barcelona are very easy to get around, not all that large and if you really take the 10 days, I'd love to see you do both. Now certainly if by picking one city you would take a 2-4 day trips, then I'd settle for the one city.

We spent a week in Lisbon and loved it and after 40 years of avoiding Barcelona, it was our cruise departure point and now keep taking cruises and keep ending up in Barcelona and love it. Actually we were there the first week of December and it was magical with the Xmas markets and lights. I like high 50s and 60s to travel and explore.

Either way have a great time.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 04:55 PM
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jan47ete, I think Barcelona will be our next "city break" vacation. We'll do some day trips out of Lisbon - plus we tend to spend a lot of time in museums and such. So I think we can fill our 10 days happily in Lisbon.

Thanks to all for the insider info.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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We had a wonderful apt, 5 nice large rooms, all done with portugese tiles, on a tram line and 2 blocks from a grocery store. If you are interested can send you owners email. j
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 04:29 AM
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I am sure you will enjoy Lisbon!

Beside all main sightseeing in Lisbon and around, I strongly recommed:

If you can, don't miss Tile museum www.http://mnazulejo.imc-ip.pt
which is beautiful and I do not think that there are many like it in the world.

We liked also FRONTIERA Palace and its magnificent gardens
http://www.fronteira-alorna.pt
Guided visits on Mon-Sat at 11 am and 12 pm

On our way back from Sintra, we stop at Queluz Palace, it worth at leats 3 hours visit; the interior and gradens with a lot of statues and fountains is splendid.

The day trips to Sintra, Queluz, Cascais there are very easy by train (and cheap).
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Hi guys:
Well, for me, Lisbon is 1000 times better than Barcelona. Lisbon has everything. It´s so powerful and magic and both mysterious and melancholic. Lisbon is so so beautiful. Weather is awesome, food is way much better. And, guys, to be honest, Barcelona is... just Barcelona. Lisbon has everything and in half an hour (20kms) you´re able to reach Sintra (by train - first station is Rossio). Sintra is one of those magical places in the world.
Please check out this places and images:
Sintra: https://www.google.pt/search?q=sintr...&tbm=isch&um=1

You will need a whole day to see Sintra (Palacio Pena, Castelo dos Mouros, Quinta Regaleira, Monserate). You can also take a bus to Cabo da Roca, which forms the westernmost extent of mainland in Portugal and continental Europe.
Wow, and you have always Belém.
https://www.google.pt/search?q=bel%C...&tbm=isch&um=1

Actually, I don´t like Barcelona that much. Gaudi is not my kind of thing, if you know what I mean. To be honest, Donostia (San Sebastian), in the basque country, is much more beautiful than Barcelona and Catalunya. Case you decide to go to Barcelona, please take a day to see Girona.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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*magical
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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By the way, if you decide for Portugal, you should rent a car (it´s very easy and cheap) and travel south to Alentejo (100 to 200kms away from Lisbon)
https://www.google.pt/search?q=alent..._gMc-jhgf834AY
Alentejo is THE THING!
Portugal is a safe country (just avoid Martim Moniz in Lisbon at night and beware of pickpockets in Alfama. Wow, beware of werewolves in Sintra at night, if you decide to take a walk outside the village. Hope this will be useful.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Beware of all of Portugal. You will fall under her spell!! Love the place. Check out the Pousadas if you travel around the countryside and need to stay over night. I think there is a special on right now for 75E/room with brkfst if that would work in your time frame. These hotels are awesome!!!
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 05:02 PM
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valtor, Your suggestions look wonderful, I'll have to do some more homework. We'll not rent a car, so hope we can do them by train, as you say.

salparadise, yes, we're looking forward to Sintra and those wonderful sites.

amer_can, from all comments received I feel sure we will return to Portugal with plans to see more of the country.

We're excited- even though we just found out we can't get our Global Entry interview until after the trip. We were hoping to breeze through customs on the way home. Oh well...
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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I desperately love Lisbon! So much to do and see and so affordable. We stayed in A gorgeous apartment in Chiado for 8 days, could have used another week for sure. Outstanding food and sweets, great sight seeing, shopping, the Fado music, museums, castles, just an amazing city. Having been to both I would say they are both great cities to visit but Lisbon is by far my favorite of the two. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 08:57 PM
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Oh and we went in the fall and the weather was perfection, sunny and cool. Just a light sweater needed with a tshirt and jeans.
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Old Sep 25th, 2013, 08:50 AM
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Regarding the Metro... A majority, but not yet 100%, of the stations are advertised as "step free." These are designated by a wheelchair icon on the system map.

Sometimes you need to do a little searching. For example, with the Rato station on the yellow line, the two main street level entrances have stairs leading down to a choice of stairs/elevators leading to the turnstile level. Once through the turnstiles, you have your choice of stairs or elevator leading to the platform. However, if you know to look for it, there is a street level free-standing elevator booth, completely separate from the two entrances, that also leads to the turnstile level.
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Old Sep 25th, 2013, 08:52 AM
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Oops, typo, make that stairs/escalators down to the turnstile level. All other mentions of elevators are correct.
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Old Sep 25th, 2013, 09:07 PM
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GiuliaPiraino, glad to hear there is so much to see and do in Lisbon.

BomDiaLisbon, thanks for the additional info about the Metro. It seems I'll be able to use at least some of the stations. With trams and taxis I think we'll get around just fine!

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic reviews of Lisbon!
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Old Sep 29th, 2013, 08:43 PM
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PA_Kathy the food in Lisbon was TDF and I'm still dreaming of those amazing sweets made from what appeared to be spaghetti squash but were really egg yolk strands! The most unique desserts I've ever tasted. And the Pasteis de nata I could eat all day if I had access to them. A trip to Belem is a must, it's a stunning area, so many monuments to see and this pastry cafe is phenomenal! Of course I ate these all over Lisbon but this place has the magic http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...stry-shop.html
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 08:01 AM
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This site offers a valuable tool to Lisbon visitors in early stages of planning: http://2013.lisboaopenhouse.com
The monumental arch in Rua Augusta is now opened to the public offering great photo opportunities of Tagus River, Castle and Pombaline Lisbon (not suitable for persons with limited mobility since the visit requires climbing sone narrow and steep stairs)
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 08:29 AM
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I'm glad you've chosen Lisbon. I think it's one of the most under-rated European places to visit. We loved it. It is very easy to take the train to Sintra for the day, and to Cascais.

The Avenida Palace is awesome. Contact them directly for specials, and try to get breakfast included because it is an amazing buffet served in a gorgeous dining room.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 12:31 PM
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The trip is booked - Lisbon for 9 nights at Altis Avenida Hotel. We definitely will include Sintra and Belem areas.

Thanks to all for your suggestions.
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