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Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

New York City, New...
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Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

DH and I returned from our first ever trip to Lisbon, and to Portugal, on Sunday. We had a lovely time. I am trying to write it all up, but it is slow going as I comb through my notes and memories.

First off, I would like to thank all the DEs and contributors who looked over my itinerary and helped tweak it. Any errors I made in the course of this trip were entirely due to my own incompetence.

Day 1 is posted here: apatchofsky.com/journal/lisbon-day-one.html

WARNING: I am a verbose writer. So for those of you who have no interest in inane ramblings and half-baked impressions, I will try to just put my practical tips here in the forum:

- Walking tour: People may have different preferences for how to handle a red-eye, but we were really glad we did this, as it kept us on our feet and moving the first day and gave us an overview of the city center to help us decide where we wanted to spend more time and where we didn't. I was spoiled by a private tour on a trip elsewhere, so that's my preference, but no reason not to do a group tour if you prefer that. Just tip your guide even if it's a "free" tour.

- Igreja de Sāo Roque and Igreja de Sāo Domingos: Two very different churches, both recommended as in a way they complement each other. Sāo Domingos has multiple services a day, so check the timing if you want to visit when there is not a service in progress (I believe the last mass is at 6 P.M.). Sāo Roque also has a museum, which we didn't visit, but if it's of interest, I believe the entrance fee is €5. You may enter the church for free.

- Viva Viagem: We bought cards at the end of the first day and loaded them with the Zapping option, €15 each. We found that public transport in Lisbon is clean, efficient, and all-around great—more to come on that subject in future posts.

- When we've traveled in Europe before, I've done a lot of restaurant research and made some reservations in advance. I didn't do that this time because I wasn't sure what areas we'd want to be in each night, so I figured we'd play it by ear. We ended up doing a lot of grazing and did not have that many sit-down full meals, so I'm afraid my report may not be of great interest to foodies. Next time, we'll look into fine dining and also seek out some good tascas. 😀

Day 1 Dining and Attraction Expenses:

Lunch/brunch (1 café, 1 meia de leite, 1 tosta mista, 1 granola and yogurt): €17,10 plus tip

Dinner (2 glasses white port apéritif, bread and butter, 1 bottle of water, 1 cod and spinach, 1 grilled fish and vegetables, 2 glasses of wine): €49,30 plus tip.

Hotel transfer and walking tour were pre-paid. Tipped in cash for the driver, bellhop, and tour guide.

21 replies to this topic
Thousand Oaks...
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1. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Lovely report. Can’t wait for the next installment.

Los Angeles, CA
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2. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Thank you for this info! We are headed there in less than two weeks.

Lisbon, Portugal
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3. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Loved the first day report and looking forward for the rest! I like verbose writers :)

Lisbon, Portugal
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4. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days


Amazing report,, good job.

The fortress like cathedral is a testemony of how dangerous was the medieval period....

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Thank you all for the kind words. I am sorry this is taking me so long. I can only work on it late at night.

@luism, thank you for the clarification–yes, that makes a lot of sense

Day 2: Lisbon Old and New

Full report with photos here: apatchofsky.com/journal/lisbon-day-two.html

Tips & Notes:

- Mosteiro de Sāo Vicente de Fora is worth a visit if you are interested in azulejos or baroque style (there is some beautiful inlaid marble and a painted ceiling of note) and, unlike some of the other attractions, it offered peace and quiet, at least when we were there. You could spend literally hours looking at the illustrated tile panels here; we were there about 2 hours and felt we barely skimmed them. Also beautiful views. Admission €5

- Museu do Aljube – Resistência e Liberdade: I am so glad we visited this museum; it is really well curated and presented, so thank you to captvic who recommended it. It will not be for everyone, and you may find that it is emotionally difficult. That said, I think there are inspiring elements to the exhibits as well, like the testimony of those who resisted and the exhibit on the Carnation Revolution, which tied in with our stop at Largo do Carmo the day before and helped deepen my appreciation of that moment in history.

The explanatory text in the exhibits all includes English translations, and the videos have English subtitles. There are a few exhibit materials, such as reproduction newspapers, that are only in Portuguese. If you have any interest in 20th century history and politics or in how authoritarianism functions, this museum should be on your list. Maybe just make sure to plan something quiet afterward; this is not a place to check off a list when running from one thing to another. Admission was €3

- Parque das Nações: As I was writing this up, D said he was glad we went here because it was such a contrast with the city center. If we had kids, we would definitely have paid a visit to the Oceanarium, but by that point, I was so happy to see the sun that we wanted to stay outside. The Telecabine is a nice ride if you're not afraid of heights, very little time commitment. €3,95 for a one-way (ida) trip.

We did not eat there because we just weren't hungry then, but it looked like there were plenty of nice options, from sit-down restaurants with outdoor tables to an above-average food court in the mall.

Question for the locals: On the first day of our trip, we stopped briefly in this strange, multi-floor shopping center that was built in the 1980s and still looked very 80s in style (gold-colored ceiling, black walls). It seemed kind of empty, as if it did not have many stores left. But it had an exhibit of part of the city wall, because the mall was sort of built around a section of the wall or maybe they uncovered it while excavating. I think this was either in Chiado or Baixa, but I can't remember exactly where, and don't know the right search terms to find it. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I was not very good about keeping receipts on day 2, but guesstimating food and drink expenses:

- Cafés and sandwiches for 2 at quiosque: Maybe €12-€15?

- Wine at mercado, 4 glasses: €16 (I think? D doesn't remember)

- Food at mercado: €15 for both of us (again, just guessing)

Lytham St Anne's...
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6. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

This is an enjoyable read and can`t wait to read much more.


Lisbon, Portugal
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7. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Great second day!

After some research I think the wall you saw inside a 80s mall was the one in Rua Nova da Trindade, 5 a 5-G. In this page, only in portuguese, they say the building was destroyed in a fire in 1921 and they found the remains of the wall when it was rebuilt.


New York City, New...
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8. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

@sms6778 Good sleuthing! That is the place—we stopped in Cerverjaria Trinidade to look at the murals, and then we must have entered the mall and gone out through the other end. I Googled the address, and the Centro Comercial e Cultural Espaço Chiado images show the gold ceiling (although the walls appear to be mirrored...memories can be faulty) and the excavated wall.


Not a must-see, but it was such a curious convergence of the Middle Ages' need for defense against invasions and faded 1980s' consumerist glitz that it stuck in my mind.

Edited: 18 September 2018, 14:36
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9. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Great report, looking forward to the rest. We are planning a week or so in Lisbon for next summer. You have probably covered it elsewhere, but where did you stay and can you recommend somewhere? We would not mind an Air BNB but are unsure of a good location.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Trip Report: First Time in Lisbon, 5 Days

Hi Tmike, thank you, we don't do AirBnBs for reasons I won't go into here, but we did like our hotel. It was the Eurostars Museum which is at the bottom of Alfama next to the Arco de Jesus. It worked out nicely for us, but we live in a city and are used to walking a lot, so we did not mind being a little further from the metro.

This was our first visit, so I can't compare it to staying in other areas of the city. I'm sure if you start a new thread with your budget, number of people, ages, and preferences, the forum experts will be able to help you with location ideas.

Edited: 18 September 2018, 14:54
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