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Review my Lisbon choices please!

Old Apr 7th, 2012, 08:03 AM
  #1  
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Review my Lisbon choices please!

Early June we and another couple are off for a long weekend to Lisbon. I have been a couple times in the past years but they have not returned for forty years.

We have booked the Real Palacio Hotel. We got what I think is a great rate of 65E including buffet breakfast, wifi and use of their small spa. The 40E special at Sheraton was unavailable for our dates unfortunately.

We have dinner reservations at Sr. Vinho the first night, lunch at Assinatura, dinner at Cantinho do Avillez and dinner at San Antonio de Alfama.

We will be visiting our son a bit that weekend, but Belem, the cultural center across frm the museum, its café, and a museum or two, perhaps a visit to Solar do Vinho do Porto are on the agenda.

We may have time for another restaurant. Any suggestions? I have lists of all sorts.. from Bonjardim for cheap eats of chicken and potatoes to Café Aura to name a couple.

If any of the ones I have already booked are really not recommendable, please advise. I used Fodors and Chowhound to come to these conclusions.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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I will be watching your thread, to steal ideas! DH and I will be in Lisbon in late August.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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You got a great price at the Real Palacio! I just checked for my dates, and it is twice that price.

We didn't choose the Sheraton deal simply because we want a more local flavor to our hotel, better location, and the Sheraton bathroom layout looks weird, with glass walls around it.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 10:01 AM
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It was a Travelzoo special that expired the other day, April 4th. I just saw it by CHANCE that day! Between now and then I think you may find some discounts, you never know. Travelzoo comes through sometimes. I check the Spain, US and UK sites as sometimes they don't post all offers on each site.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Thank you, lin!
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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For a great Portuguese experience you might try Stop do Barrio. And I hope I spelled that correctly. You can Google it.
They still have a website, I think and I would take a taxi there. We did the bus and I wouldn't do that.
And very near is "The Best Chocolate Cake In The World" in Portuguese of course(the name).
And we really like the chicken at Bonjardim. I am so looking forward to August and Lisbon.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Thanks, Sher. I'll skip the choclate cake.. only because I SHOULD.
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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Make sure you drop by Pastéis de Belém (www.pasteisdebelem.pt/), near the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. It's a tradition, but the place can get busy, people lining up outside, so finding a table will depend on luck most days.
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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I was there a couple years ago. The place is dangerous! LOVE THOSE little creamy pies. We will have to have a few more, but I am almost relieved Belem is NOT near our hotel!!
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Lin, we had dinner at Sr. Vinho and enjoy of the atmosphere, the meal and the good fado singers. When we wanted to leave, we asked them to order a taxi for us.

You did not ask, but I can not stop me to recommend some places to visit, which we loved:
- Tile museum
- Fronteira Palace (we took a taxi to there)- booking in advance is recommended
- Queluz Palace and gardens (you go there by train, it is on the line to Sintra).

Have a nice weekend!
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will add them to our list of possibilities. I just happened to read about the tile museum yesterday!

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the atmosphere, food and fado at Sr. Vinho. It will be our first night. We will be a little tired, but I thought a "nice, elegant" place would be pleasant the first night.
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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lincasanova. If you can skip the pastry in Lisbon you are a better person than I!
Just walk up and down a few more of the hills.
P.S You can get the cake in New York but I didn't find it as good as that of Lisbon.
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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..yes..Sher... if I would only DO that! We are traveling with a friend who can hardly walk more than 100 ft. so I think there will lots of taxis for the four of us.

Those pastries though are so darn good. They just melt in your mouth. I also had some very good ones in Sintra.
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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At least the taxis are fairly inexpensive.
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Old Apr 10th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Hi, Lin,
I have never stayed in the Real Palacio hotel, but I LOVE the location. It's a short walk to the Corte Ingles and the Gulbenkian, and it's in a nice urban residential neighborhood, lots of little cafes and shops.

I go to Lisbon every year and have a lot of favorite restaurants, but I'll give you a few suggestions.

O Mercado – Rua Leao de Oliveira, Alcantara (tel. 21 364 91 13). This is in an old market, recently renovated and re-opened as a restaurant, and it sits directly under one of the huge pylons of the 25th of April bridge. Outstanding fresh fish, not touristy and not fancy either. Very popular place.

Casa dos Passarinhos, Rua Silva Carvalho 195 (tel. 21 388 2346). Old neighborhood favorite, lively and good quality/price ratio. In one of my favorite neighborhoods, Campo De Ourique, which is a great place to walk around, sit in a cafe, etc. Mainly a meat place, but I have had very good tuna here. If you like going out to lively, noisy, happy places, this is an excellent choice. It's been in the neighborhood forever and is very much loved.

Adega das Gravatas http://www.adegadasgravatas.com/ – excellent grilled fish and meat. We had an “emperador” there that was outstanding. I’m not much of a meat eater, but friends have ordered their specialty, some beef that you cook yourself on a hot stone they bring you, and it was very good too. This place is in a little old neighborhood of Carnide (near the Colombo shopping center) tucked in between high rises. There are lots of restaurants and cafes there, some very nice for sitting outside eating grilled sardines in the summer, it’s a great little neighborhood, like a flashback in time.

Ponto Final, a restaurant in Cacilhas, right on the river looking back over to Lisbon. Excellent grilled fish, and the view is stunning. I’ve been there both in the afternoon and in the late afternoon as the sun was setting and the lights went on and it is magical. To get there, take the ferry over to Cacilhas from the main ferry terminal, Cais do Sodre (easily accessible by metro). Short ride to Cacilhas, then just walk along the river to the end of the walkway (hence, the name “ponto final.”) Really a special place. Sher has eaten here and gave me the recommendation.

Charcutaria Francesa, Rua Manuel Bernardes 5a/b (tel. 911033392). Probably my favorite “new find” a few years ago, and I've been back twice. Right next to the beautiful Praca das Flores, small cozy place, outstanding food – I’d say it’s kind of a “nouveau portuguese” place. The cafes in Praca das Flores are great for sipping a drink or eating a meal as well.

Tasca da Esquina, Rua Domingos Sequeira 41C (tel. 210 993 939). Another great “find,” but certainly not a secret. Recently opened by the chef of the Terreiro do Paco, this has become extremely popular within a month of opening. Lots of amazing tapas. Highly recommended. It’s right on the main street up from the garden and basilica of Estrela to Campo de Ourique. It’s a tapas kind of place, very lively and is fun.

Adega Sao Roque, Rua da Misericordia, 120 (tel. 213 432 167). Still the best seafood cataplana (a stew-like concoction) we’ve found in Lisbon. Very lively place right in the midst of all the action in the Bairro Alto. This is no secret hidden-away place either, but I go there every year for the cataplana, and the waiters are still wearing the same blue checked shirts they were wearing in 2002.

I also have favorite sushi, Indian, Italian, and pizza places, but I'm assuming that's not what you're interested in.

Oh, and I second Valtor's recommendations of the Tile Museum, the Fronteira Palace, and the Queluz Palace. All are wonderful destinations, IMO.

I'm going to be back in Lisbon in late April, and I've noted your restaurant recommendations. We are in a hotel for two weeks and always looking for new places to eat. Boa viagem! Laurie
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 12:18 AM
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thank you so much. So NOW which of my reserved ones do I substitute?? Ouch. I wish we had more days!!

That's a nice list, that's for sure. I enjoy your descriptions that make each and every one of them appealing!

Yes, I see the hotel location is good. I have already contacted the Fronteira. We just need to show up before 11:30.

I also hope to make it to the Tile Museum.

Although I have been to Lisbon before, it was always on a whirlwind or convention trip. This will be nice.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 04:44 AM
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Laurie
Thanks for Ponto Final. I have been trying to remember it for days. I definitely want to return. That view!
Also Gravatis Friends took us there. And my friends here are still talking about the cataplana at Adaga Sao Roque.
Lin, just give up the ghost and eat 24 hours a day!
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 12:29 PM
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thank you, claudiacan!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:30 AM
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The Real Palacio is a good choice: it is well located yet hidden away in a place you wouldn’t look unless you knew it! Your dinner reservations for the most part look like good choices. Stop do Bairro (mentioned in another comment, but note the spelling) is a fun place – you have to book ahead though as it is a very busy neighbourhood restaurant. That cake – O Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Mundo - is yummy, though it is more meringue than cake (does that help?! I agree about the hills: if you walk around Lisbon for a few days you shouldn’t have to worry about your calorie intake). Santo Antonio de Alfama is a trendy place but the food isn’t that fantastic, really, and not that Portuguese. You might consider going for the fresh grilled sardines and cuttlefish at Patio 13, and outdoor affair in the same general area.
Are you going to be in Lisbon on June 12/13? Be aware that night the city has a massive street party. In fact the whole month of June you will find places where you can eat grilled sardines at tables out on the street.
By the way, right next to Ponto Final is another restaurante called Atira-te ao Rio (literally ‘throw yourself in the river’) with Brazilian food (and Caipirinhas that will knock you out).
If you didn't get to Sintra or Cascais on your last trip to Lisbon, make sure you go this time.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Thanks!! I will consider changing one of my reservations after all these tempting first hand recs. Thanks everybody. Getting ready for a few fun days. We leave Thursday!!
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