Lisbon, the city with so much culture and history
Portugal Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday 24th, May:
Late breakfast. Last day. There are few more things we hadn't seen yet.
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!