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yk's TR: Lisbon with a child, Feb 2019

Old Feb 23rd, 2019, 01:09 PM
  #21  
yk
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,361
Photos from Day 4 (Sintra)





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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 06:11 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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YK, I am glad to see you are back to the action-packed touring style we know and love. How wonderful to share it now with your son!
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 07:13 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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YK-- your trip report is wonderful. You are sharing lots of good information to help others.
I am sure you are making great memories for your son. The photos will help capture the fun days when he gets older.
So, enjoy the moments. Have a safe trip.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 09:14 AM
  #24  
 
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Fabulous shots and TR, yk!
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 05:10 PM
  #25  
yk
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Day 5 - criss-crossing Lisbon

Day 5 - our last day in Lisbon

Brief digression ----
a couple of ppl who recently went to Lisbon have advised me to use Uber (or taxi) to get around town. They say Uber is cheap and plentiful. So much so that I downloaded the Uber app on my phone before our trip. I have studied the map of Lisbon and made my own Google map of places ahead of time. Once we arrived and I got a hang of the layout of town on our first day, I was pretty comfortable with using public transit. It's not hard to look up transit stops on google (to see which bus or tram stops there), and then look up the route and schedule on carris.pt. And since we already have the Lisboa cards to cover our entire stay, it makes sense for us to utilize the cards as much as we can. (Besides, I *like* the challenge of figuring out a city's transit system.)
----End of digression

After our very long day trip to Sintra, we had a lazy morning in the apartment. I decided that I will take my son to the Museum of Ancient Art after all (was debating back and forth about it, as I know it's boring for him, but the trip shouldn't be all about him, right)? I checked it is on bus route 714, and the 714 has a stop right at the bottom of the Bica funicular. Our apartment is just a few minutes' walk from the Bica funicular (top station), so we took it down, then changed for the 714 bus. The bus stops directly in front of the museum.

The most famous painting at Museu National de Arte Antiga (Museum of Ancient Art; free entry with Lisboa card) is The Temptation of St Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch. The museum is quiet so we get the painting all to ourselves. My son was interested too because 1) Bosch's paintings are so fantastical, and 2) his aunt has a children's book called "Pish Posh Hieronymus Bosch" which he has read a number of times. There are also plenty of very good paintings. We more-or-less saw the Western paintings and the Decorative Arts section, and spent a few minutes out in the museum garden. We were there for about an hour.

We then reversed our trip - took bus 714 then Bica Funicular back to our apartment for lunch (after stopping at a bakery to pick up savory pastries and pastel de nata). It was supposed to be a warm day too so we left our jackets in the apartment for our afternoon sightseeing.

Another plus about our apartment is that it is a block from a Tram 28 stop (2 stops from Praša de Camoes). So we waited for Tram 28 to get to Alfama. We got off at Miradouro de Santa Luzia (where you'd get off for Castelo Sao Jorge). You get a pretty nice viewpoint from the miradouro, towards the East. Then we followed signs and hiked up to Portas do Sol to get inside Castelo de Sao Jorge.

There was a line but it moved fairly fast. My son got in for free and I got a discount with my Lisboa card (€8,50 instead of €10). My son was in heaven when he saw all the ramparts he could climb. Me OTOH was like, "oh no, more steps to climb?" My knee felt better (I took advil) but my legs were definitely still tired from the day before!

The Castle is larger than I had thought. There is also a section with archeological excavation that is only open to guided tours (one/hour). My son was really upset we missed the tour by a few minutes. We also saw the camera obscure but there are only 3 tours/hr in 3 languages (portugese, Spanish, and english). So essentially that means you can catch the English tour only once an hour, and they limit each tour to 20 ppl only. Not wishing to wait around, we took the Spanish tour,*which had the least number of people wanting to get in. (did I mention my son is in a dual language -Spanish/English- elementary school?) Well of course that didn't help much at all and he didn't really understand what the camera obscura is sbout. I could pick up some words here and there. Basically the guide uses the camera obscura to give you a tour of Lisbon.

I think we spent about 2.5 hours at the Castle. There is one bus that terminates at the Castle, bus 737. We took it for 2 stops (we could have walked but my legs were soooo tired) to visit the Museum of Lisbon - Roman Theater. I noticed this place the night before when flipping thru my Lisboa card booklet, as it is located in Alfama near the Cathedral (Se). With my son upset at missing the archeological site tour at the castle, I placated him by taking him there. I have free entry with Lisboa card, and my son is free anyway. It's s smsll museum but you get to see the section of a Roman theater that has been excavated. The theater was thought to accommodate 4000 spectators.

to be continued

Last edited by yk; Feb 24th, 2019 at 05:46 PM.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 05:39 PM
  #26  
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Day 5 continued
After the Roma Theater museum, we walked back to Miradouro Santa Luzia to catch Tram 28 back to where we started...except we got off at Praša de Camoes. I have noticed there's another tram line that departs from the Square (Tram 24). As Tram 28 is always jampacked with tourists, I thought, why not try a different tram line with no tourists (also uses old trolleys). Tram 24 heads north from the Square and stops right at Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. We got off and enjoyed the view. This Miradouro faces east directly towards the Castelo. Since it is late afternoon, the light was quite beautiful.

I was planning to take Tram 24 back, but then saw a bus 758 heading toward Cais Sodre, which is EXACTLY where I was planning to have us go! We climbed on the bus and got off at the terminus, Cais Sodre. Directly across Cais Sodre is the Time Out Market where I wanted to grab dinner on our final night in Lisbon.

Time Out Market is a revitalized market where there is a huge food court with stalls opened by famous chefs in Lisbon (but at an affordable price). Many of the stalls sell seafoods, or ham, but there's also burgers, asian foods etc. My son, the picky eater, settled on a ham sandwich (Portugese prociutto). I got a dish of steamed clams in garlic and OO. Plus 2 more pastel de nata for dessert.

Time Out Market is 2 blocks from the Bica Funicular (lower station) so it didn't take long for us to get back to our apartment that evening.

End of Day 5

Day 6 - heading home

Not much to say except that instead fo splurging for a taxi or uber, I decided we will take the metro to the airport. After all, the airport station is only 3 more stops from Oriente, where we visited a few days earlier for Park of the Nations. Besides, our Lisboa cards were still valid for a couple more hours, so why not use it and save our taxi money?

The trip to the airport was uneventful and took an hour. There are stairs invovled but we packed light so it wasn't an issue. The flight home on TAP was packed but otherwise fine. We left sunny Lisbon which had a high of 70F to cold rain in Boston of 40F.

Overall impression
We both had a fantastic time in Lisbon (and beyond). Everyone was very friendly, English is widely spoken, and everything is quite affordable. The warm weather and sun was perfect for us escaping the long cold winter here in Boston. Of course we were super lucky with the weather - every day was sunny and warm (50s-60sF) I was really glad we picked this time of year to visit, as I assume it is low(ish?) season so we didn't have to wait in line for too long for all the touristy sites.

I also liked our airbnb apartment. Its location is great and the host is wonderful. The street does get noisy at night (bars and restaurants) but the bedroom faces the inside courtyard, so it is pretty quiet.

Thank you all for reading and for all your comments!

Last edited by yk; Feb 24th, 2019 at 05:45 PM.
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Old Feb 24th, 2019, 05:44 PM
  #27  
yk
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Photos from Day 5


View from Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara

View from Miradouro Santa Luzia

Castelo de Sao Jorge
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Old Feb 25th, 2019, 06:14 AM
  #28  
yk
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Costs
I always like to see how much our trip costs. The biggest expense for us was plane tickets. Lodging was very affordable due to low season, and our day-to-day expense was not much given he's a kid and we weren't dining out at fancy restaurants daily. Besides, I find Portugal very affordable. We also aren't shoppers - the only things we bought were some cookies for my ILs at the airport, and a Xmas ornament from Pena Palace as souvenir from our trip.

Plane tickets $1420
Lodging (for 6 nights even though we only slept there for 5) $600
All other expenses (food, sightseeing etc) $500

Grand total for our 6-day trip: $2520

Just for comparison, if we had gone to WDW in Florida for Feb vacation, I suspect it would have cost us more. Just tickets alone for 5 days at WDW is $875, adding 6 night's value resort hotel at a conservative estimate of $200/n, that's already $2100, and it doesn't include plane tickets or food. I'd much rather go to Portugal than to WDW. JMHO.
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Old Feb 25th, 2019, 07:20 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Again, fabulous shots and a great TR, yk. Portugal is now climbing up my list! I think it's great that you used local transportation also.
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Old Feb 26th, 2019, 11:31 AM
  #30  
 
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Wonderful, wonderful trip report! I'd have been delighted with it even if I weren't going to Lisbon next month, but now you've whetted my appetite (particularly with the beautiful pictures). Your son sounds like a charming travel companion.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience and to note the helpful details. The others in my little group are expecting me to act as shepherd so you've helped enormously, especially in terms of the Bica lift and the Sintra expedition.
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Old Mar 1st, 2019, 07:07 AM
  #31  
yk
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Originally Posted by fanshawe View Post
Wonderful, wonderful trip report! I'd have been delighted with it even if I weren't going to Lisbon next month, but now you've whetted my appetite (particularly with the beautiful pictures). Your son sounds like a charming travel companion.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience and to note the helpful details. The others in my little group are expecting me to act as shepherd so you've helped enormously, especially in terms of the Bica lift and the Sintra expedition.
Have a great trip, fanshawe!
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Old Apr 4th, 2019, 10:00 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I did have a great trip! And I wanted to thank you again for your thoughtful posts.

First of all, your experiences made me rethink investing in the Lisbon Card. I'd already decided we wouldn't (alas) be going to enough museums to make it worthwhile, and I'd done all manner of calculations for alternative transit options, but in the end we bought the cards upon our arrival at the airport. We actually saved a few euro with their use, and in terms of transportation, the convenience couldn't be beat. Skipping the long line at Belem Tower was a nice bonus.

Also, the heads-up about finding our way from the metro to the train station at Rossio saved us untold moments of panic. I'd spent quite some time scrolling around on Google Street View to get some mental images of how it should go, and of course when the time came, we took the wrong exit from the metro to end up in the mirror-image plaza on the opposite side. (A hint for the uninitiated: you want the plaza with the statute of a standing figure, not the one with the man on horseback.) But I knew (almost) immediately to turn around and go the other way. Napoleon is supposed to have said that time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted, and I'm inclined to agree. We had enough time to buy coffee before boarding the train, and our handy Lisbon Cards spared us the bother of buying tickets.

We stayed on a street alongside the Bica funicular, so your Cais do Sodre transportation notes were helpful, too. Thanks again!
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 09:44 AM
  #33  
yk
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Posts: 24,361
Originally Posted by fanshawe View Post
I did have a great trip! And I wanted to thank you again for your thoughtful posts.

First of all, your experiences made me rethink investing in the Lisbon Card. I'd already decided we wouldn't (alas) be going to enough museums to make it worthwhile, and I'd done all manner of calculations for alternative transit options, but in the end we bought the cards upon our arrival at the airport. We actually saved a few euro with their use, and in terms of transportation, the convenience couldn't be beat. Skipping the long line at Belem Tower was a nice bonus.

Also, the heads-up about finding our way from the metro to the train station at Rossio saved us untold moments of panic. I'd spent quite some time scrolling around on Google Street View to get some mental images of how it should go, and of course when the time came, we took the wrong exit from the metro to end up in the mirror-image plaza on the opposite side. (A hint for the uninitiated: you want the plaza with the statute of a standing figure, not the one with the man on horseback.) But I knew (almost) immediately to turn around and go the other way. Napoleon is supposed to have said that time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted, and I'm inclined to agree. We had enough time to buy coffee before boarding the train, and our handy Lisbon Cards spared us the bother of buying tickets.

We stayed on a street alongside the Bica funicular, so your Cais do Sodre transportation notes were helpful, too. Thanks again!
This is fantastic! Thanks for reporting back, fanshawe. Did you stay at a hotel or an apartment?

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Old Apr 9th, 2019, 05:05 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 85
We traveled with friends who had been to Lisbon before; they wanted to stay at the same Airbnb they'd used before. It was a two-bedroom but had only one bathroom, so we rented the apartment next door (with one bedroom and two bathrooms). Plenty of room for everyone, and it was nice to have some privacy after each day's intense togetherness. For anyone who might be interested, here's the link:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17713591?guests=1&adults=1

Everything about it was great!
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