Porto and Lisbon in August

Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 05:59 AM
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Porto and Lisbon in August

We are leaving next week for Porto 2 days then on to the Duoro Valley for 4 and Lisbon 3 days before we end up in the Algarve and fly out from Faro.
My husband will not be able to handle the hills with a bad knee so I am trying to figure out tuk tuk tours in Lisbon and possibly a drive to Cascais. They offer Sintra but I think it will be to crowded. We are not interested necessarily in ALL the touristy sites we just want to get around the cities, taste new food, see some architecture. I know it will be hot too so I am trying to manage our time and energy. We are early 70's in good health ( except for knee!) we just want to enjoy not conquer the country! Any suggestions for:
Porto 2 days - We are staying near the wine caves so we will do that and I thought first day after traveling from NY just walk around
Lisbon 3 days - do tuk tuk tours? 1/2 day or full day car tour to cascais? Skip sintra? any other thoughts? suggestions?
Faro for the day before we fly out?
Thanks for any help you can offer! The second half of the trip is in Italy which I am sure I will ask about again as it might have to change according to the heat! Ugh!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 09:22 AM
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Hi

You may want to reconsider using tuktuks, no A/C, breathing car fumes in traffic on the hottest month - August.

I would use anything with A/C , car, tour bus ,taxi.

I use yellow bus - tourist bus- they have several tour routes in Lisbon and Porto.

Happy travels
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 11:08 AM
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Thank you! I didn't even consider that! What I really would like to do is just find a flatter area and walk around a bit. Are there any streets or areas like that where you can walk around, look in stores, have a drink etc. ?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 12:21 PM
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Hi

In Lisbon the flat area is called Baixa, including Rossio, Praça da Figueira, Terreiro do Paço, Augusta street and streets beside it.
The Baixa area is also one of the busiest with lots of tourists, shops, restaurants.

Cascais doesn't have hills like Lisbon but is not truly flat, it has some minor inclines.
The area around hotel Baía (in front of the beach) is the flatest.

Sintra is on a mountain.

I find Porto worse to walk except for the area beside the river.

Pay close attention to the uneven surfaces of cobblestones.

Happy travels
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 12:26 PM
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In Lisbon, Avenida de Liberdade is flat with stores, small shops, cafes and restaurants. Belem is flat, too. You can take a taxi to get there. In Belem, there is the Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, Coach Museum and Discoveries Monument. At the Discoveries Monument, you can take an elevator to the top for spectacular views. The lines generally are non-existent or short, at least they were in April 2018 when we were there.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 01:44 PM
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There are no wine caves in Porto.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 02:15 PM
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At the Discoveries Monument, you can take an elevator to the top for spectacular views. The lines generally are non-existent or short, at least they were in April 2018 when we were there.

There was definitely a line when we visited in April this year.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 05:11 PM
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I recently returned from both Lisbon and Porto. Porto, for me, was much easier than Lisbon. I'm 69 years of age. What I did is I hired an uber to take me to the top of places and took leisurely walks down the hills. Porto has a lot of construction and that made it quite difficult -- navigating around construction sites and broken sidewalks. The only issue I had were my first couple of days of shin pain from walking downward and holding my gait steadily. Afterwards, no problem.
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Old Jul 24th, 2022, 08:22 AM
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There is a street car tour of Lisbon which starts at the Praça do Comércio. I believe that it guarantees sitting room and no pickpockets, which the public street cars cannot guarantee. Others or the tourist office in Lisbon can give more precise information.

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Old Jul 24th, 2022, 06:06 PM
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To contend with DH's similar knee/mobility problems, we used uber quite frequently in Lisbon. The hills are unavoidable but a bit of planning makes it all doable. We usually chose one site in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening with leisurely lunch in between. You can taxi or take the train from Cais Sodre station to Mosteiro Jeronimos to visit the monastery as well as the nearby National Coach museum and the surprisingly interesting Naval Museum (Museu de Marinha) in the same relatively flat area.

In Porto, we did as recommended by Sturion and taxied/ubered uphill but where we stayed on the riverfront (ribeira) it's pretty flat.

As Helen noted, the wine caves are not actually in Porto but across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia - easy to reach on foot via Ponte Luis I bridge. Porto Walkers offers some nice free (tipping encouraged) tours of Porto (does involve some walking down stairs) and also some wine tasting tours at reasonable cost.
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Old Jul 25th, 2022, 02:07 AM
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Thank you Seamus I will update my uber app immediately! I was considering hiring a driver for one day in Lisbon for a few hours. I will make note of the places you suggested.

We are actually staying in the Vila Nova de Gaia area in Porto so I believe I will do the Taylors Port Tour or Real Compendia Velha cellar on the first day. We actually only have one more day after that. I will check out the porto walkers.

I was actually thinking of going to Foz where there might be less construction going on. Has anyone gone there from Porto?
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Old Jul 25th, 2022, 05:35 AM
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We've visited Foz - we walked from Porto one day (four miles) and took a bus the next. It was an interesting diversion, a nice break from the city.


Foz do Douro

Foz do Douro

Foz do Douro

Don't overlook the buses - easy to use and inexpensive (and often quite busy).

Last edited by Melnq8; Jul 25th, 2022 at 05:38 AM.
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Old Jul 25th, 2022, 06:26 AM
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We also used taxis a lot in Lisbon because I was having hip problems, and ended up having my right hip replaced a year later. Taxis are inexpensive.
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Old Jul 25th, 2022, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by evacenteno1311 View Post
We are actually staying in the Vila Nova de Gaia area in Porto so I believe I will do the Taylors Port Tour or Real Compendia Velha cellar on the first day. We actually only have one more day after that. I will check out the porto walkers.

I was actually thinking of going to Foz where there might be less construction going on. Has anyone gone there from Porto?
Vila Nova de Gaia area in Porto: like staying in the New Jersey area in New York.

Going to Foz from Porto: Foz is a borough in Porto. So you are asking how to go to Queens from New York.
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Old Jul 25th, 2022, 03:44 PM
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Yes, helen, an apt analogy. But why wouldn't a visitor reasonably ask about how to make either journey? This is a travel board, after all!
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Old Jul 26th, 2022, 02:59 AM
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So it sounds like I am outside the area. I believe the hotel we did want to stay in had construction all around it because they are building all over and a new subway system. Not very appealing. Where would you suggest to stay since you seem to know it so well Helena?
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Old Jul 26th, 2022, 05:50 AM
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Eva, things are changing everyday. There is a new hole (I don't know why!!!) in my favourite place (when I advise others where to stay), just in front of Pestana "A Brasileira"!

With a bad knee, I think that staying outside is not a good idea. The best Gaia has to offer (well, I'm exagerating) are the views over Porto! Staying there means having a lot of wonderfull views (all day) and visiting a lot of cellars (important if you are going to develop a wine business in your land. Not so important if you just want to taste the wine, that you can do without visiting the cellars, there are places to taste and/or drink wine, Port wine or not, allover the city).

If it was me, right now, I would stay at "Infante Sagres". Or Torel Avantgarde (you're almost uphill, and if you go down to Foz you have a tram that takes you to the front door of the Hotel). Or maybe I would just stay with my favourites (because of location, not the hotels themselves): Pestana A Brasileira, Eurostars, Teatro, Royal Bridges and Mercure Rua do Bonjardim. At least they allow you to return to the Hotel after a day of wandering, have a bath and going out finding lot's of places to eat and things to do without going up and down. The hills are not that bad, if people learn how to minimize them. Using taxis or uber are a way to do it. But right now cars don't go across the main bridge, Luis I (works on the bridge). So it makes the rides more expensive. They have to go aroung.
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Old Jul 26th, 2022, 07:51 AM
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So many to choose from Helena! Is the Torel Avantgarde in a good location? It looks like an interesting hotel. Have you stayed there and enjoyed it? The Yeatman gets excellent reviews but I hear what you are saying since we will only be there 2 nights. Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old Jul 26th, 2022, 08:17 AM
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Eva, I live here! Never stayed at any hotel in Porto! Sorry! But I just give my opinion considering the knowledge of the city, not it's hotels!
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Old Jul 26th, 2022, 06:10 PM
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In Porto, have stayed "up the hill" on Boavista area and on the ribeira waterfront, much preferred the latter. Porto is not that large and getting around in a cab or public transport is easy. From our ribeira location we would go uphill for some interesting sites, then make our way back down for a relaxing evening.
We loved staying at Vila Galé Porto Ribeira, a boutique hotel right on the ribeira but a bit away from the busy tourist plaza and with a tram stop just outside (easy to take it to Foz.) Rooms are not large but more than adequate with good bathrooms, lovely staff and nice breakfast which can be taken on the nice outside patio if weather is nice. We were in the Monet room which looked over the water and one evening we opened our window to enjoy the jazz combo playing downstairs.
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