Lisbon, the city with so much culture and history

Portugal Travel Blog

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Small streets

Every year my mom and I do a city trip in Europe, because I don't see her so much. Previous years we went to Dublin, Olso and Athens. Lisbon was on my list for a long time, so I was excited to go to the city which is built on seven hills. Portugal has a rich history so we had a lot to see, do and visit.

Thursday 21st, May:
We flew with TAP. A butdget airline like Easy Jet. Same standards, so just fine for a three hour flight from Amsterdam to Lisbon. Our flight was at 6.25am. That ment we had to get up at 4am. I couldn't wake up and slept all the way and flight long. Lisbon Airport is a little hectic. There aren't enough busses to bring every one into the city. The queue waiting for the bus was at least hundred meters long, four people wide.

Statue on Praca Rossio
.. I guess we had to wait almost an hour... When we finally got in the bus and arrived at the VIP Eden Hotel is was 11.30am. The room was available from 3pm, so we dumped our luggage in the storage room and started to explore Lisbon.
Very soon we found out that Lisbon is a city of stairs, narrow alleys and many squares. With the bus ticket we had free transportation that day. We took Tram 28. There are many of these small trams and on the route you can get in and out where ever you want. It's a great way of seeing more of Lisbon in a short time, because it brings you to almost all attractions in the city centre (the neighbourhoods Baixa, Alfama and Bairro Alto). Busses stay on the bigger roads.
We visit the National Pantheon - Panteao Nacional, Rossio Square, de Alfama and Bairro Alto.
After a late and tasteful lunch at Republica Da Servejo we could check-in in the hotel. We had a double room with kitchen. Small and simple, but very neat. After a quick shower we went shopping and having a drink at a terrace, played some cards and relaxed. Behind Praca Rossio and Praca dos Resteraudores is a street named Rua Portas de Santo Antao, with many restaurants: local food, Italian food, Indian food, and a lot more choice. Prices a low compared to the Netherlands. We had dinner at Cervejaria Restaurante Marisqueira. Good food and really cheap. 
There are a few Tourist Offices in the centre where you can get a lot of information about Lisbon and side trips. Here you can buy the Lisboa Card. With this card you travel for free from one day to one week and you get discount or free entrance at many attractions.

Friday 22nd, May:
After some souvenir shopping we took the train from Praca Rossio Train Station to a town called Sintra. This 45 minute train ride takes you land inwards to a few historical sides. You can walk up all the way to Palacio de Pena and Castelo dos Mouros, but it'll be a long walk. There are busses to take you up for a few euros. Palacio de Pena was the summer palace from the kings of Portugal until the beginning of the 20th century. The palace has two different styles and is huge! Defenitely worth visiting. You have a great view towards the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side land inwards. From here you can also see the Castelo dos Mouros. This mega structure has only the outside walls.

Protest
From Pena it's a fifteen minute walk to this castle. You can walk on the walls of this ancient defending structure and have a great view on Pena. We spend almost four hours wandering around, taking pics and having a lunch.

Saturday 23rd, May:
Today we took the bus to train station Cais de Sodre at the riverside of the Tagus (Tejo) to Cascais. This touristic town at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean has a nice city centre. From here we took the bus 403 to Sintra to get out at Cabo Da Roca. The busdrivers like to speed and within half an hour we were at Cabo Da Roca, European most western main land point. Beautiful cliffs, a monument and restaurant. The bus comes only once an hour.

Tram 28
Unfortunately the weather wasn't too good, but it was something worth to go to in my opinion.
After visiting Cascais we took the train back to Lisbon and visited the attraction of the Belem Area. Here are three things historical things that deserve a visit when you're there: Torre de Belem (defense complex at the mouth of the Tagus), Padrao dos Descobrimentos (monument for the Portugues maritime discoveries) and Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (palace, church and monastry).
Around 7pm we came back at the hotel, showered, changed and went to Republica Da Servejo for an absolute delicious dinner. Unfortunately the service was really bad, and so was the weather. We sat on the terrace and the it rained so hard for almost an hour that by the time we wanted to go in the restaurant all tables where occupied and the terrace was flooded.
.. Around midnight we left the restaurant to go to some bars in the Bairro Alto. All the great bars and clubs I heard of were not very close to our hotel and since I was with my mom I couldn't let her go back alone to the hotel. So we decided to check out the Bairro Alto for some dancing places. We found some Cuban bars, but it was too quiet to stay. The ambiance in the streets was really good and we walked around for some time.  But we were looking for a place to dance. We didn't found it in the Bairro Alto... A few times some guys asked me if I wanted cocaine... No thanks... Opposite our hotel was the Hard Rock Cafe where people did dance... So I went there. Even though I prefer to go to local bars and clubs...

Sunday 24th, May:
Late breakfast. Last day. There are few more things we hadn't seen yet.

National Pantheon
One of them was the Sao Jorge Castelo on the highest hill of Lisbon. Tram 28 from Praca Da Figueira brought us close to the castel. At night the castle was really nice to see, because of all the lights. But in daylight it looked less pretty. And maybe because we'd seen already so many structures we were not impressed anymore. Maybe you should visit it the first day of your stay. Rain came down from the sky again and we were forced to find a dry spot. This was under the sunshades from a tiny restaurant in a narrow alley behind the castle. The service was great and the lunch delicious. It was incredible cheap for such quality. After the lunch and when the rain was gone we walked back down to the Baixa and visit Casa Do Alentejo (same street as with all the restaurants). This casa is build in morish style and is a cultural centre and meeting point for the rich and classy (old) people of Lisbon.
Some sort of concert took place in one of the rooms and every one was 60+yrs old and dressed very nice. I felt like I was in the wrong place with my shorts, shirt and back...
The last hour before we had to take the bus to the airport we spend playing cards at the roof terrace of the hotel. We had our luggage stored, so we could still enter the hotel.
The flight back was an adventure. We had very bad weather and an hour long heavy turbulance. The crew stopped serving dinner and drinks. There were some small kids who taught they were sitting in a rollercoaster....

Lisbon is really worth visiting. If you have a busy schedule and make long days you can explore Lisbon in two days. Visiting Sintra, Cascais and Cabo Da Roca is great to do in one or two days to see more of Portugal. In my opinion Lisbon is very cheap (food, take a Lisboa Card to save money on attractions, shopping, and more). If you like history, Lisbon is amazing! If you don't mind walking up and down all day long, Lisbon is great!

lauro says:
one of my favorite cities in europe!!!
Posted on: Jul 13, 2009
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Small streets
Small streets
Statue on Praca Rossio
Statue on Praca Rossio
Protest
Protest
Tram 28
Tram 28
National Pantheon
National Pantheon
School kids
School kids
Fountain on Praca Rossio
Fountain on Praca Rossio
Entrance of the city centre
Entrance of the city centre
Cristo Rei, just like the one in R…
Cristo Rei, just like the one in …
No flat streets in Lisbon
No flat streets in Lisbon
Elevador
Elevador
Soa Jorge Castelo
Soa Jorge Castelo
Monument for the Jews
Monument for the Jews
Our hotel
Our hotel
Avenida da Liberdade and a Eduardo…
Avenida da Liberdade and a Eduard…
Dinner??
Dinner??
Dinner!
Dinner!
Coastline Cabo Da Roca
Coastline Cabo Da Roca
Atlantic Ocean at Cascais
Atlantic Ocean at Cascais
Lisbon, Torre de Belem
Lisbon, Torre de Belem
Really narrow corridors
Really narrow corridors
Lisbon
Lisbon
Padrao dos Descobrimentos
Padrao dos Descobrimentos
Palacio and Hieronymus Monastry in…
Palacio and Hieronymus Monastry i…
It was raining and the restaurant …
It was raining and the restaurant…
Militair Orchestra
Militair Orchestra
Breakfast time at the roof
Breakfast time at the roof
Castelo Sao Jorge
Castelo Sao Jorge
Casa Do Alentejo for the rich and …
Casa Do Alentejo for the rich and…
Portugal Sights & Attractions review
Things to see/do in and around Lisbon, Portugal
Buy a Lisboa Card and travel free in Lisbon and take trains for free, plus free entrance or discount at many attractions. The list is about the thi… read entire review
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