THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Apr 8th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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Matt and Sher: Thanks for the suggestions for our drive. Matt, I'll be in touch closer to the time we'll be in Lisbon to see if dinner will work out. How should I contact you?
Nancy
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Old Apr 8th, 2006, 10:55 PM
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All right, brilliant, insightful people.

There is group of us doing a Habitat for Humanity build near Braga in August. We're taking the train to visit Lisbon and Sintra during a three day weekend. Your suggestions on 'must do's in that short amout of time.

Many thanks!
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 01:53 AM
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Lobo, slight change of plans, it will be just me tonight but otherwise all as originally arranged. See you later.

Matt
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 01:54 AM
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Nancy, feel free to email me at any time:
[email protected]

Matt
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 02:11 AM
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Greetings robertsmyth (what is the myth, by the way, you have piqued my curiosity....)

I hesitate to tell anyone what they 'must' do anywhere. The main thing to remember is that Lisbon has a fascinating topography that requires one to organize one's sightseeing somewhat.

I lack, obviously, lobo and Matt's insider perspective, but I now have experience on speedy 3 day tours.

A full day in Sintra is a minimum.

A day exploring the various neighbourhoods of Lisbon, including the castle near the Alfama with its stunning views.

What follows for the third day depends on your own interests: the Jeronimos monastery and neighbouring attractions in Belem (including the Discoveries monument.)

The Gulbenkian collection - I think even non-art lovers would enjoy this. It's set in a charming garden and the collection was part of the personal estate of Gulbenkian. Not just paintings, but treasures from the era of Louis XIV, XV, XVI (more than I suspect most people see in Versailles itself.) A breathtaking display of Lalique jewellry. All in a modern building, well designed and thought out.

I'll try to recover enough to post more details in a trip report and you can decide from there what your group would enjoy doing.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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Sue, I've cut and pasted your last reply from the 7 Colinas thread as I think it is some most excellent and pertinent information which all the "groupies" from here can benefit from. Hope you don't mind...

So Sue writes:

"An update, as of April 2006:

The day passes that one can load onto the 7 Colinas card are for CALENDAR days, not periods of 24 hours. (We had 1 day's worth of transit loaded onto our cards and they wouldn't work the following morning, so we have confirmed this.)

During our brief 3.5 day visit, we found it most practical to start with only 1 day pass loaded onto this card - the rest of the time, we used pay-as-you-go metro fares. We never got around to reloading our 7 Colinas card after our initial 1 day pass purchase because, as stated above, we found it cheaper to pay-as-you-go for days when we were doing specific sightseeing as opposed to exploring the neighbourhoods of Lisbon.

It is a simple matter to buy individual metro tix from machines in the station. The machines make change, they also take notes and cards. Be sure to save your metro ticket as you need it to exit your destination station.

Note that while you can reload the 7 Colinas card at the machines you find in metro stations, you cannot buy the original 7 Colinas card itself from the machines, but only from manned wickets. These are generally available only at major stations like Entrecampos or Sete Rios. (check the relevant website for further details.)

***REGARDING LOCAL CP TRAINS *****

It is also simple to use ticket machines to buy local cp rail tickets to Belem, Cascais, and Sintra. However, these machines are found only in the rail stations themselves, not the metro stations (which, of course, makes a lot of sense.) Note that 1-way local rail tix expire 2 hours after you buy them so you can't buy 1-way tix much ahead of time.

Regarding Belem: If you take the train from Lisbon's Cais de Sodre station to Belem (faster than the number 15 tram, although slightly more walking involved once you get there) it is adviseable to get on a train with the word "TODOS" in the train header. This means the train will service minor stops like Belem. Most trains don't stop in Belem - if you get on one of these by mistake, you will have to get off at, say, Alcantara and change trains. (Or get off at Alges and backtrack, but be prepared to explain yourself to the conductor.)

If proceeding onto Cascais from Belem, pick a train with the word "OEIRAS" in the train header. (Actually you have little choice, for rarely will any other trains stop to pick you up in Belem.)You will need to change trains at Oeiras for one to Cascais. Not to fear, trains are very frequent.

***REGARDING AIRPORT TRANSIT*****

We took a cab to the airport. From the area of San Sebastio metro stop to the airport, mid-afternoon weekday, it was just under € 8, including luggage, but excluding tip. Confirm the approximate amount with the driver before starting, if you have any quandaries.

Note: I highly advise taking a cab over the Aero-bus. The Aero-bus must be hailed before it will stop to pick up passengers, even at stops clearly labelled 'AERO-BUS.' (The exception is if it is stopping anyway to let off passengers.) In addition, the Aerobus stop closest to us, the Marques de Pombal stop, is awkward to navigate at the moment (April 2006) as it is torn up for construction."

Thanks for the update. Take care - Matt
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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Thanks, Matt. We'll be in touch and looking forward to it.
Nancy
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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...wishing i was having a pastel de nata and um cafe right now instead of dreary oatmeal and chock full o' nuts...Lobo, I'm haunted by Ines and Pedro. Thank you for introducing me. Matt, thank you for sending me in the Pousada direction for the Alentejo portion of the trip. I think we'll just rent a car and meander around for 4 days. Sher, do you have any specific suggestions for places to stay on the sea between Lisbon and Porto? I was looking into Matt's suggestion of Sesimbra which looks delightful. I'm really torn between wanting to explore and wanting to be fairly settled and not have to pack every couple of days. It may turn into a 10 day Lisbon base with day trips to Sintra, Obidos, Cascais and Sesimbra/Setubal (maybe also Ericeira) and then a 4 day thing in Alentejo (looking into a Pousada in Arrailolos). But it's hard to give up Coimbra...
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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3rd LDC meeting was a huge success. Report and photos to follow.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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henryand casper.
Well, we stayed at Casal dos Patos. It is in Lourinha below Obidos.
The town is small but friendly. We are not into nightlife as in clubs. We usualy spend our days touring, have a nice dinner and relax. You really need a car if you are going to stay at this place as there were only one or two restaurants within walking distance of the cottage.
But the coast is just so spectacular (IMHO) and we enjoyed sitting there in the yard and watching the sun go down into the sea.
I would stay anywhere along that stretch of coast again. Because if you have a car, you can get places quickly. But again, maybe it is not everyone's cup of tea. It is just a nice little cottage in a spectacular setting.
It is just that this cottage was on the edge of the earth (it seemed). We didn't feel that it was that far from Obidos, Nazare, Tomar, Fatima and lots of other things.
DO NOT MISS Pedro and Inez. We arrived on a Sunday and took in Mass as the tombs are at the front of the church. There was quite a bit of construction around the area when we were there and it took us some time to get our bearings. Not much of the town was open on that day. I really enjoyed it. I guess I am a sucker for romance. The digging up of Inez after her death and the crowning I could have done without, though.
We are spending four nights near Estremoz. It is not enough but like I say, you can always return.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Sher, I don't want to change a bit to what you said about Pedro and Inês, but just clarify one point to h&c which I think might be confusing. Quinta das Lagrimas is a place outside Coimbra where Inês lived and was killed by "real politik" reasons. The burial place Sher is referring to is Alcobaça Monastery, much south, more or less in Obidos and Nazare area.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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Ok Matt!!! Where are you? I keep checking back to hear your report. Also, because the next post is #500! and it really should be you.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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thanks for clearing up lobo. If we don't make it to Coimbra and Quinta das Lagrimas, maybe we can at least see a small part of Pedro and Inez' story by checking out Alcobaca... Still haven't finalized exactly how we want our itinerary. Is the best place to rent a car in Lisbon? I'm toying with the idea (as I said earlier) of staying in Lisbon for as long as possible with day trips and then heading up to Obidos to spend the night, try and rent a car from there and then drive into the Alentejo. still working it out though. Anyone know about the Bairro Alto Hotel in Lisbon?
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 03:44 PM
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I didn't mean to be #500! I was posting and namaka added one while I was writing! I feel guilty. Lobo or Matt should have done the honors...
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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I tried to post all afternoon and could not get this on. Now i see people have been able to so here goes.

Sue

Thanks for the update on all that discussion before you left on the 7 colinas card. I guess it still takes some thought on just which one is best, if any, for the time we are there.

And you mentioned construction at Marques de Pombal. HMMM Our hotel is near there in Saldanha area and their instructions to get there are around that area. Guess I better plan another route since we are driving into Lisbon from Cascais (maybe) on our way from Sintra.

Matt/Lobo: Have another wonderful meeting of the LDC. Looking forward to the report.

With all these suggestions and comments about the Lisbon coast and Alentejo areas I think I have to start planning our next trip before the first one even happens! This time we have to go in and out of Porto and that is why I have concentrated on the central and northern areas but there is SOOO much more.

Matt have a good trip home and see you on the new thread.
Barbara
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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Well. since it is already past 500, OI will post.
lobo. sorry about the Pedro and Inez mix up. I guess I only think about them in connection with Alcobaca. It was beautiful resting place anyway.

I do understand, though, that in those days you had to marry the person your parents thought would help them politically. Maybe even today, too.

Namaka. I wish I would have kept track of the numbers better.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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feeling so guilty.
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Old Apr 9th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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Oh my God Sher you were right - I fell asleep reading my daughter a story and look what happens...

Anyway: with 505 posts in this what has become one of Fodors most popular threads I have taken the decision to finally put it to bed and open part II which can be found here:

THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON PART II (inc Portugal)

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...p;tid=34785948

Please join us in the new thread where life continues as normal and feel free to post any questions or raise any points. Should you wish for me to cut and paste any pertinent information from here please let me know and I will do so.

I'll come back and check in here occasionally but please consider this thread now closed to new posts.

Look foward to seeing you all soon, your faithful servant - Matt from England (who lives in Portugal and enjoys every minute of life ;-))
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Matt_from_England has given great suggestions, especially the ferry ride to Cacilhas which has great views and is off the beaten path.
I'd also strongly recommend a daytrip to Sintra.

A very good site for sightseeing information is
www.golisbon.com

It also has a Top 10 List with some very good ideas.
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Hi, Matt. We are traveling to Lisbon the beginning of April. Can you give us a few tips on Fado clubs, whether to dine there, prices?
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