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One night in Porto, two in Lisbon

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Aug 19th, 2012, 06:57 AM
  #1
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One night in Porto, two in Lisbon

Hello. I thought I posted this already, but I can't find it. I apologize if this is a duplicate.

My husband and I are doing a road trip in Spain and Portugal in October. I have the Spain part figured out, but I could use some help with the Portugal part.

We have one night in Porto, which I know isn't enough. Then we have two nights in Lisbon, which also isn't enough. We don't need a lot of activities. We mainly like to just walk -- a lot. While in Lisbon, we plan to visit Sintra.

So these are my questions:
What part of Porto would be good for a one-night stay?
What part of Lisbon would be good for a two-night stay?
What is the best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon? We'll have a car, but I'm thinking public transit might be the better choice.
What would be one good place to stop, preferably on the ocean, on our drive from Porto to Lisbon?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
cgreer426 is offline  
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Aug 19th, 2012, 07:31 PM
  #2
 
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In Porto stay in the historic part.
I would stay 2 nights in Sintra-lovely to walk from castle to castle-all forest!
I would leave the car in Sintra and take the train-30/40 mins- for the day into Lisbon-parking/driving is horrendous in Lisbon!
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Aug 19th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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With only one full day in Lisbon, I would skip Sintra.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...th/4503713923/
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Aug 19th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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I would pick one or the other and spend three nights there - that's only two days! Plus, I'd ditch the car in Spain, preferably in Madrid, thus avoiding the cross-border drop off fee and parking fees. You don't need a car in either Porto or Lisbon, they both have good public transport. Take the night train from Madrid to Lisbon, or look for a cheap flight to Porto. (And stay in Lisbon, not Sintra.)
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Aug 20th, 2012, 04:26 AM
  #5
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Thank you all for your replies, but now I have less of an idea of what to do.
I agree that it would be best to stay all three nights in either Lisbon or Porto, but part of the appeal for us is the drive. (But not the parking!)
I wasn't aware of cross-border drop off fees. How does that work?
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Aug 20th, 2012, 06:26 AM
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Generally speaking, if you rent a car in country A, you pay a fee (possibly large), to drop it off in country B. You would need to check with whichever comapny you are renting from.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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We dropped off our car rented in Portugal and had a driver take us over the border to Spain to get a different rental car. The srop off fee was veey high for Lisbon to Barcelona and hiring te driver through our hotel was easy and reasonable.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 06:48 AM
  #8
LJ
 
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I hear your need for the road trip-we did this drive several years ago, though with a full week for the trip...the highways in Portugal demand steady driving nerves and getting into Lisbon is slightly harrowing. Do leave PLENTY of time for this aspect.

We stayed in central Lisbon, next to the old train station. The Hotel Avenida Palace was really fun, atmospheric and historic (a centre of espionage during WWII when Portugal was 'neutral'...)
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Aug 20th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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LJ,

Can you describe more about driving in Portugal away from the cities? I'm thinking of driving around north of Porto.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Driving in Porto and Lisbon was a pain. No problems in the countryside, and most of the time the roads were not crowded. The one exception was the main highway around Batalha. You may want to take a look at my trip report which is a tour of northern Portugal with a side trip to Santiago de Compostella; click on my name to find it. Since our trip there is a new toll system for some highways which has created payment problems for non-residents; others may know more about it.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 08:27 AM
  #11
LJ
 
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Our driving took place both in the Algarve area and then on up into Lisbon...this was 5 years ago, so maybe things have changed... you might want to ask this question specifically with a post that is headed in a way that attracts those with very recent experience.

DH did all the driving...at the time we were living in Italy and he found Portugal MUCH more challenging, with drivers just as speed-loving in their habits but less experienced, with more risk-taking and the roads less well-tended than in Italy.

We left the car at the airport in Lisbon and had our time there without a car-and thank goodness we made that decision. The roads in the inner-city/old city are both narrow and confusing for a novice.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 08:32 AM
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We didn't find driving in Portugal any problem at all and covered from Lisbon to Evora to Coimbra , and around tne Minho region including Guimares, Dropped car off in Porto.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 03:41 AM
  #13
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Thanks again for your responses. We're starting and ending in Madrid, so the fees aren't an issue. And we drove around Spain a couple of years ago, so I kind of know what to expect traffic-wise. Now my concern is about the electronic tolls that were mentioned. I'm not sure of the protocol for this forum -- whether it's ok to branch off into other questions -- and I can research it elsewhere, but if anyone knows how this works, please let me know. Can we just pay cash?
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Aug 21st, 2012, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for all the responses.
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