Notices

Trip to Lisbon, Portugal and then Spain

Old Jul 15th, 2017, 08:35 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trip to Lisbon, Portugal and then Spain

My husband and I are planning a trip to Portugal and Spain from mid February 2018 to mid March 2018. We plan to find an apartment in Lisbon for 2 weeks and then off to Madrid? for 2 weeks. What area should we stay in as a base for Lisbon? We plan to take some day trips as well. The 2nd two weeks we will travel to Spain. Is Madrid a good base to stay and take day trips? Need all sorts of ideas to help us. Thanks.
maxie12 is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 08:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could take an overnight train between Lisbon and Madrid - a Hotel Train - virtually impossible to do by day so fly if not into night trains.

For lots on trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I would think 2 weeks a long time in each place but each also has a surfeit of easy day trips by train and or bus.

Will you have a car?
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 09:05 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,460
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have a close look at a topographical map of Lisbon - it is hilly! What might look like a couple of blocks walk could be more challenging than you think.

We stayed in Chiado by the Santa Justa Elevator - it was a great area and we could easily get down to the flat area near the river (my husband has a bad back and hills aren't always his friend).

If you rent a car to travel from Lisbon to Madrid there are some great places to stop - Evora, Caceres, Merida, Toledo (or you can do Toledo as a day trip from Madrid).
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 10:13 AM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IMO, whether 2 weeks in Madrid would be a good choice really depends on your interests and preferences. Madrid has much to offer, and you have many wonderful day trip opportunities, including Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia, Avila, and Cuenca (although I must admit that I was glad to spend 2 nights in both Toledo and Salamanca, and could easily have used more time in each).

I would strongly encourage you to get a really good guidebook or two. The cost will be nugatory, and you will have a wealth of information at your fingertips. For that matter, you can consult one at a local library or bookstore....
kja is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 12:58 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you rent a car to travel from Lisbon to Madrid there are some great places to stop - Evora, Caceres, Merida, Toledo (or you can do Toledo as a day trip from Madrid).>

Drop-off fees for renting in Portugal and returning in Madrid could be very high -check on that.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 01:15 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,460
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Drop-off fees for renting in Portugal and returning in Madrid could be very high -check on that.
_________________________________

Assumed that goes without saying - we've rented in Spain/Portugal for the last couple of years without drop off fees at that time of year.
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 02:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Lisbon, I recommend staying on Avenida Liberdade at the Heritage. It's a very nice boutique hotel on a beautiful tree lined boulevard, very safe and close walking distance to most anything you would want to see in Lisbon (except the tile factory) which you could see on one of your explorations. If you rent a car, there are endless areas to explore out of the city along the coast and inland. When I travelled between Spain and Portugal, I just flew from Madrid to Lisbon. It was quick and inexpensive.

I'm not a fan of Madrid but there are certainly many day trips to other towns out of Madrid and several Fodorites have gone into great detail on other posts so I won't repeat here.

Personally, I prefer Barcelona with day trips to Montserrat, Andorra, into the Pyrenees and possibly into France and the villages of north Spain. The Costa Brava is also an option.
bailey123 is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 03:45 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 838
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can only speak to Spain at this point. While I loved Madrid, Infont understand why you would want to base there for 2 weeks and only venture out of it via day trips. So much charm and memories lie in spending a few nights in incredible places like Toledo and Segovia. I will make it to Salamanca and Avila next spring but I would trust kja's judgment that both are worth overnights of 1-3 nights. And what about my favorite city in Spain this far, Sevilla. Easter is early in 2018 on April 1. If you were in Sevilla the last week of march for Semana Santa, I guarantee you it would be a lifetime travel memory, whether you are religious or not. Definitely get a guidebook, start identifying cities other than the 2 capitals that sound appealing, put together a first draft itinerary and then come back to us.
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2017, 04:07 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Salamanca especially - really loved it -university town and all.

A longish day trip so yes stay overnight or more.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2017, 07:13 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aranjuez and its refurbished 'Versailles of Spain' palace is also an easy day trip from Madrid.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2017, 05:04 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all your help. Okay I am seeing 2 weeks in Madrid will not be an option so we will travel to Barcelona for a week and take day trips from there. We won't have a car but can see that day trips are available. Am starting to put together an itinerary and am looking at Fodor's ideas. Keep them coming in! Thanks.
maxie12 is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2017, 05:58 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
New question. I am looking for an apartment in Lisbon. What area should I concentrate on? Alamo, Bairro Alto, Baixa, Chiado?
maxie12 is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2017, 08:19 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,482
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We spent a week in Madrid once and then another week in the surrounding areas. I much prefer Madrid to Barcelona.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2017, 11:08 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would avoid Barrio Alta and Chiado. Alfama and Baixa would be nicer. Avenida de Liberdade is my favorite. All are easy walking to Lisbon center.

In Barcelona, my favorite area is Eixample. Barcelona is a beautiful city; IMO, second only to Paris. If you are interested in architecture, there are several wonderful examples of Gaudi open to the public. Although there are all kind of sites within easy walking distance, Barcelona also has great public transportation. Many excellent restaurants as well. You won't be disappointed.
bailey123 is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2017, 11:38 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A great day trip IMO from Barcelona goes by commuter train to Montserrat - the very famous pilgrimage mecca high on a mountain top:

https://www.google.com/search?q=mont...w=1920&bih=950

Some nice walks in a rugged setting - can do The Way of the Cross -an aerial cable car meets train passengers down below in the valley. The monks also brew up a very potent liqueur they sell.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2017, 04:14 PM
  #16  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I must admit that I don’t understand why you have deciced that “2 weeks in Madrid will not be an option,“ as all the places I mentioned – more than enough to fill 2 weeks (or more!) -- are easily accessible by public transportation.

Barcelona can easily take 4 or 5 days, just for the city itself, and again, you have a wealth of day-trip options, including Montserrat and Girona (both of which I thought worthy of at least 1 night’s stay), Tarragona, and various places along the Costa Brava.
kja is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2017, 07:49 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is there a place to stay at Montserrat? In the monastery?
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2017, 06:02 PM
  #18  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, there's a hotel there:, the Abat Cisneros:
http://www.montserratvisita.com/es/o...-abat-cisneros
kja is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
cgreer426
Europe
6
Oct 18th, 2012 05:09 AM
clairej04
Europe
12
Jul 13th, 2009 08:51 AM
insearchofheaven
Europe
9
Oct 10th, 2008 08:30 AM
travlbug
Europe
0
Nov 7th, 2003 02:49 PM
bobert
Europe
21
Sep 21st, 2003 06:57 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO