Travel Portugal (Lisbon and Southern Portugal)

plumaplomb

O.G.
Dec 10, 2008
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Burbs
Any travel tips (trains, buses, hostels)? We are on a student's budget so no designer brand shopping needed. However, I love local trinkets and such. I'm looking to see a lot of history, beaches, art... and meet some locals. Any help much appreciated!
 

kyt5009

Member
Nov 23, 2008
49
0
NYC
My friends and I were college students and we stayed at the traveller's house. It's a really clean, nice, hostel. People there are really friendly. The location was pretty good too, but at times, we felt a little unsafe cause it could get a little quiet and dark on the streets, but it was one of my favorite hostels while I was studying abroad in Europe. We went to belem and saw the tower of belem and had portuguese egg tart (I forgot what there called there) We saw the lisbon cathedral, and stopped by alfama and baixa (heart of the city). I hope you enjoy Lisbon
 

macska

O.G.
Sep 19, 2008
1,799
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World Traveller
Lots of History in Lisbon, and lots of beaches in the Algarve (the south of Portugal).

The train is a great way to travel and quite inexpensive. Buy roundtrip tickets to save a bit more, but if you don't know how long you will be staying then buy one-way for more flexibility.

P.S. The Egg Tarts are called "Pastel de Nata" ... you should also try "Oves Moles" - it's sweet and also made with eggs - definitely worth it!
 

Babestaaa

Member
Jan 15, 2006
861
0
35
New Jersey
Plumaplomb, I was born there and have 95% of my family still there (moved to the US @ 3y/o) & I know a LOT about Portugal, from the North/Central to South. I'm from Faro/Olhao, Algarve but been to the North around Porto because of my bf. But I don't even know what advice to give lol. I don't rent because we all own places there and depending on what kind of atmosphere you like I can recommend certain things. Plus Algarve is huge, from one end to another Faro-Sagres, it's about 1.5-2hrs car ride. So PM me if you have any specific like questions. I know you'll have an amazing time!

If you go to Algarve you'll see most of the history in chapels and monuments located randomly. In faro there is a church (my mom married in) that has a catacomb(i think that's the name) where it's a small monk chapel made of skulls lol creepy I know, but never seen anything like that in my life!

Portugal is known for their tile-work, algarve was invaded my the moors so you'll notice a lot of their history in there as well. Don Alfonso (dunno what # lol) took back Algarve from the moors so we'll see his monument around there frequently. There's a place called Albufeira were u hear mostly English speaking..it's a bit costly then other areas but it's THEE place to be along with Vila-Moura, very chic type place to see at night. It's a marina based boardwalk sort of. To me Albufeira is more clubbing type and Vila-Moura is more family night-time thing. If you're going in the summer expect to pay a hefty price on seafood because algarve is a very touristy area and everyone wants to try seafood there.

Also, a lot of people don't know off of Faro's beach, you can take a ferry to two islands (very cheap fare) isla do farol is the one I have a beach house at and it's really tiny but super secluded and nice. You land on kind of a "dirty" water side, but once you walk to the other end of the island (15-30min walk?) it's see-through water! Amazing clean beaches too. The ferry comes around often so you can go there just to go to the beach.

Ok i'm rambling lol, just PM me if you need anything!
 
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CDNinNYC

O.G.
Jan 15, 2008
705
49
NYC
My parents have a home there, so I can't recommend a place to stay. However, there is lot's to see and do in Lisbon and the surrounding area.

Belem: You'll want to check out Gerönimos Monastery, the Tower of Belem, and the Monument to the Discoveries. There is also a Nautical Museum you might find interesting. The best part for me :graucho: was the cafe with amazing the Pastel de Nata (custard tart pastry) and Galao (cafe au lait).

In Lisbon, you might want to check out the "Alfama" and "Castelo" area and visit St. Jorge Castle, then go down the hill and visit the National Pantheon and the St. Vincent Church/Museum. If you're interested in seeing old kings' tombs this is the place to be and it offers a nice view of the city. If you are in this part of the city on a Saturday morning you will also experience the "Robbery Fair" with antiques and other items of questionable ownership...

If you're interested in going out at night in Lisbon, you might want to have dinner in Bairro Alto, possibly at a Fado House. Lot's of bars in this area to keep you busy until the clubs open at 1am-2am. I haven't been there, but my cousin likes to go clubbing at "Lux" (in Santa Apolonia).

You might also want to take a day trip to Sintra. You'll find there there two palaces (Pena Palace and the Two Chimney Palace) and a Moorish Castle. You will also find some yummy pastries called Queijadas that are famous from this region. You can also make your way up the mountain to "Quinta da Regaleira", then to 'Capuchos' Monastery where you can see how the monks used to live. If the weather is good, you will also catch a fantastic view of the Cascais coast at Peninha Palace.

Driving from Sintra to Cascais, you will also see Cabo da Roca (the most western point of continental Europe) which has amazing views, and Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell) where the sea on rougher days hammers into the rock and creates a booming noise and a huge spray. Stop in the fishing village of Cascais for a snack, a little shopping, people watching, or hang out on the beach.

If you'd like some photos, I'd be happy to post.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, let me know. :smile:
 

fandora

Cogito ergo sum
Sep 10, 2009
1,934
1
Europe
Any thoughts on Coimbra?
I'm planing to go therein September with my sister bc she is taking part in conference. She'll be busy and I like to explore :smile:
 

Babestaaa

Member
Jan 15, 2006
861
0
35
New Jersey
Any thoughts on Coimbra?
I'm planing to go therein September with my sister bc she is taking part in conference. She'll be busy and I like to explore :smile:
When I think of Coimbra I think of their University. It's very nice and old, many have studied there including kings. Although I only spent little time there, I noticed by 7-8ish PM, everything was closed so I guess make it a day thing. I think there is a garden there, or somewhere around. Very gorgeous.
 

trisha.viceo

Member
Jan 11, 2010
156
3
When my family went to Lisbon we actually went around by walking and just took a bus to go to different places.

In Lisbon we went to:
Praça da Figueira
Castle
Rua Augusta
Praça do Comércio
Torre de Belem
Marina Museum and "Mosteiro dos Jerónimos"

Try to check Sintra also.. nice place too. I think we took a bus or train going here.
 

digby723

Back to reality
May 2, 2006
5,139
3
NOVA
I agree with kyt5009, travellers house was a great hostel. Reception is 24 hours, breakfast is free, and they've got 3 macs for you to use the internet for free. They host little events at night, which my sister and I didn't partake in, we usually just went out for a long dinner and wandered around.

We did the hop on hop off bus one day, which was nice, I think we did the historical route. I can't remember everything that we saw, but we did see the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, which is an absolutely amazing monument, and we saw the Belém Tower, which was very pretty, but annoying since there is only 1 spiral staircase, and you'd start to go up and have people coming down lol.

I would say skip San Jorge Castle, it was very boring and nothing really to see, although the view from the top was pretty.

The Facade of the Igreja Conceiçao Velha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conceiçao_Velha_-_Portal_Manuelino.JPG) was so beautiful, although we didn't get the chance to go inside. We found it by just wandering around, but it wasn't far from Travellers House hostel.

You've got to get pictures of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevador_de_Santa_Justa at night, it's soooooo beautiful! We didn't take it up, but I think someone else told me there is a resturant on the top...? Not sure lol. We didn't bother tho since it just connects you to the higher streets.

We also went across from the city to see Cristo Rei. You can take the ferry across (like $5) and take a bus to Cristo Rei ($3?). It's free to go see the monument, but costs about $7 to go up to the top. We went to the top, and the view was very pretty. Took about 30-45 mins to take the ferry and then the bus all the way up there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristo-Rei

I hope you have fun in Lisbon, I enjoyed it very much. We were only there for 3 days, but I'd love to go back, the city was very clean and the food was fairly cheap, although we didn't wander around too much at night, since (especially by the ferry) it seemed pretty deserted.
 

elizat

Member
Sep 21, 2007
9,779
5
I'm leaving for Lisbon on Saturday. Any new tips on things to see, where to eat, shop, etc.? Thanks!