THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Apr 6th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Rossio and Chiado (metro station Baixa/Chiado). Hotel Avenida Palace (upscale), Hotel Regency Chiado (medium scale), Hotel Borges (low scale).
Don't pick a car downtown where it is difficult to navigate. Take a taxi to the airport (15 euros) where all car rental companies are represented. From there there is a short ride to Vasco da Gama Bridge, and from there, straight ahead to the Algarve. This is the shortest way. If you want the scenic route, take a ferry in Setubal to Troia peninsula and from there to the Algarve through secondary roads, with a stop in Vila Nova Milfontes to lunch. Note that this last option requires a full day and is toll free, while the highway requires only 3 to 4 hours but tolls are high and it's less interesting.
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Thank you for the hotel suggestions and your tips about renting the car and suggested route. What section of town would these hotels be located in: Is this what they call Central Lisbon and is this where it would make the most sense since we will only be there one day and what to take in as much as possible and to be the most convenient??
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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well I'm almost hesitant to post because after reading this entire thread over the months I feel like the new kid at the lunchtable. But here I go. A few months ago I was beginning a plan to spend a long weekend with my husband in Lisbon (we're in NYC). Now it looks as if we will have 2 weeks at the end of June and we want to take advantage. We've both traveled quite a bit and we've had an insanely busy year. We're looking to relax and unwind but neither of us are beachy people and inevitably, after all best intentions of vegging out somewhere, we get antsy for stimulus (art, food, architecture, history, people watching blah blah blah). We've been going around in circles considering Lisbon, Bologna, Sevilla, Marrakesh (you can see we're all over the map) but can't seem to shake the draw toward Portugal. So far the fantasy itinerary is this: Lisbon 6 days (including day trip to Sintra), Cascais 2 days. My question is; Should we base ourselves in Porto or Coimbra for the second week? Or are we really missing something by not heading either further south or further inland for the second week? I'm not keen on spending a lot of time packing and repacking but I really want to experience the best of Portugal. Thanks in advance for any help-
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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kp, as I said the section is Rossio and Chiado (metro station Baixa/Chiado).
H&C, welcome to the thread. You know there are plenty of fodorites in Lisbon by May and June. Hopefuly we'll have a great get together.
After 6 days in Lisbon, with a side trip to Sintra, it's not clear the reason why you want to spend more 2 days in Cascais. I'd do 5 days in Lisbon/Sintra/Cascais + 3 days in upper Alentejo + 1 week somewhere else. Do you plan to have a car?
Check Palácio Hotel do Bussaco and Quinta das Lagrimas.
Matt, we already have a reservation for Adega das Gravatas, 8 pm. Weather forecast is rain by that time, it might ruin your photo opps.
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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lobo-
The reason we were thinking 2 days in Cascais is that we would stay in a quiet place by the sea for 2 days as a break from city life. I also want to feel like we have a real shot at getting to know Lisbon and 3 days with 2 day trips elsewhere didn't seem like enough. Am I wrong?
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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lobo-
we weren't planning on having a car, although those hotels look amazing. you may have opened pandora's box...
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Hey fellow maniacs - counting down to the big 500...

I have to go along with Lobo Henryandcasper - Cascais could be an easy day trip from Lisbon with a very nice trip along the coast by train. Likewise Sintra, an easy day trip inc Pena Palace, Moorish castle (and "Moreish" pastries). An idea if wanting a nice little seaside retreat for a day or two could be either Sesimbra, south of Lisbon which has excellent seafood restaurants and is a very typical seaside fishing village esp in the winding lanes of the old town. Nice castle on the hill and not far away is the pleasant village Azeitão, made all the better by José Maria Fonseca and the wine tours. For me Cascais only seems like an extension of Lisbon (okay - here come the flames) whereas Sesimbra really has a character of its own. Or likewise Ericeira which is situated high on the cliffs overlooking the sea and from here one could visit Mafra.

Then I would say onto the Alentejo - Evora, Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Borba etc - stay in Pousadas and really enjoy quaint village life. Perhaps if you go to Porto you will have too much city life?

Update from Patrick is that on his tour of Obidos the other day the had the village almost to himself and ate lunch at the castle pousada: stay tuned for more updates...

Sunday is fine for us: rain? I hoped we'd be eating inside...;-)

Matt
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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well I'm starting to get very excited about this whole idea. The first week will be Lisbon with day trips. The second, the Alentejo. Now I have to pry myself from my computer and go to work. Not easy when inspired to research distant places...
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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H&C, let me try to open a bit more pandora's box:

Quinta das Lagrimas (place of tears) is related with Portuguese History since 14th century, because Ines de Castro was killed there. Ines and Pedro are the Portuguese version of Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet. He lived to become king and Ines was raised to the dignity of queen after her death. The tombs of both may be seen in Alcobaça Monastery facing each other, so in the day of final judgement, they can see each other before anything else.

Better than I could possibly do, I recommend you the synopsis of Opera Ines de Castro.

http://www.thomaspasatieri.com/inesdecastro.html
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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Lobo - what are you still doing up? It's past your bedtime...
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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I've been meaning to post news of the new Lisbon Casino for ages but I always forget. Anyway, here's some details...

http://viajar.clix.pt/com/noticias.p...2507&lg=en

I think whereas Casino estoril will still attract the glamour, the new site in Expo will be frequented by more tourists and locals as it will be easier to get to by public transport. It makes expo a real day out now with visits to the Oceanarium, the parks, cable car rides, Vasco de Gama shopping centre and in the evening the casino. Don't think it'll quite be up to the standards of Las Vegas but anyway. If gambling and slots are your "Cup of tea."

Have a good weekend, I'll be checking in and posting a report sunday night about the Lisbon Dining Club wecloming its first official foreign member - Patrick Anderson from L.A!

Matt
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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H&C, you don't need a car for Lisbon and side trips, but without a car in the Alentejo region you'll miss most of the fun.
Matt, you send everybody to Ericeira? Are you aware of the mith of king Sebastian? In 16th century, king Sebasrian gathered all the nobility of Portugal in Morocco (Alcacer Kibir) and led them to a glorious... defeat. The shock waves were so great that the country lost independence during the 60 years of Portuguese History dark page. During that period, a shoe maker from Trancoso, named Bandarra, start writing what we would call now resistence literature, sayng that king Sebastian was not dead, but would return to Ericeira in a foggy morning to claim the throne and restore the glory of the empire. A few claimed to be king Sebastians, but had sad ends. The mith of king Sebastian is the most distinctive mark of Portuguese mind set. Wikipedia has a very complete desciption under the name "Sebastianism", including an interesting link to the mith of the Mahdi is Shiism.
Matt, I thought we were in the same time zone... ;-)
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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Glad I made it back to the thread before the big 500! And what will the new thread be titled?

And now you have moved into history lessons. That is wonderful - bring it on because we like to know a bit of the background as we visit the sights and the explainations may not be in English. We do try to read some before we get there but the stories behind the stories are important too.

Have a great LDC meeting with your first real tourist??! Look forward to the report.

Barbara
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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 10:57 PM
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I have just spent the last four hours reading this amazing thread and cannot thank you enough--Matt, Lobo, Sher, and all the others who have contributed to making this the best travel information I've ever read anywhere! We are driving from Seville (yep)to Lisbon on May 23, taking 2 nights for stops before getting to Lisbon, where we'll be for only three nights. I've now got 10 pages single spaced of things to do and places to eat in Lisbon, thanks to all of you. I feel I owe you all plenty. If you ever get to Berkeley, allow me lead you around our gourmet ghetto! Best regards to all of you and many thanks.
Nancy
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 12:21 AM
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So Nancy - it looks like we can meet up for dinner then...
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 02:55 AM
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Barb, the new thread will be titled "Things to do in and around Lisbon II".
Today is not the "1st dinner of LDC with a real tourist", because Patrick and friend are full right LDC members". Tourists spend 100 euros by a regular meal and LDC members spend less than 20 euros by an excellent meal and at the same time have a lot of fun
Nancy, only stangers need to thank. Family and friends don't. Berkeley, here we go. Matt, are you in the mood to join the BDC?
PS: Wikipedia has an error in Sebastianism entry. Alcacer kibir is Arabic for "the big castle", and not "the place of 3 kings". Except for this minor correction, that is a great article
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Would love to meet you folks for dinner while we're in Lisbon (May 25 - 28) if it works out for you. We'll be staying at the Hotel Dom Carlos Park and will come supplied with tales of Berkeley's finest wining and dining moments. Any recommendations for Paradors between Faro and Lisbon? Thanks!
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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henryandcasper.
I am a novice on Portugal but I have a couple of suggestions.
It is very reasonable to rent a car in Portugal. The roads are in good conditions and we found ourselves not getting lost very much.
Between Porto and Lisbon there are wonderful places to see that would give you lovely views of the Sea without having to be on the beach. Even the Alentejo has lovely water acess and it much quieter than a traditional beach tourist area would be.
Do not deny yourself some of the georgeous Portugal coast line.
And remember, you can always return.

Nancy. You will not run out of things to do in three days in Lisbon.
One of the best things is to just sit on one of the squares at the outdoor seating and people watch.
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Nancy - Lizzy and I will be about for dinner - perhaps Lobo (?) and even other thread "groupies".

So that drive, think of Evora and even Beja further south. Can't recommend eating places I'm sure if you walk into any nice looking place the food will be fine. Just be careful of English Translations on the menu - I will be willing to divulge what I mean but Fodors has to promise not to delete the post and none of you complain for it is very rude...

Matt
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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Just got back. I'm extremely fatigued and will have to post more later, but meanwhile I'm glad to see this thread alive and well.

Initial impressions: Matt and Lobo, as you are seasoned Lisbon drivers, my belief is that, having now seen the traffic you cope with, that you are admirably qualified to drive anywhere, including New Delhi at rush hour.

My eyes are slamming shut. Must go. But before I do, a warning: the area around Marques Pombal is considerably torn up for construction, so walking through that intersection requires some considerable detours that could be a challenge if one attempts it with luggage in tow.
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