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What to see, do and buy in Lisbon/Portugal?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Leaving for three weeks in twelve hours. With the little wife. This is sort of a belated honeymoon, so we're willing to spend a bit for quality.

We're staying at some hotel called Eden, which is smack in the middle of town, for the first four or five days, and we'll then decide on excursions by train or rental car.

I've never been to Portugal before, and beyond general knowledge, leafing through the Lonely Planet guide and some tentative googling, I know nothing.

Please help...
post #2 of 27
I hope you get the chance to see this post, because you must travel to nearby Evora (a fantastic walled city) and see this.
post #3 of 27
Welcome back! I haven't been to Portugal either, so I can't help. But it's good to see you posting again.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allreds View Post
I hope you get the chance to see this post, because you must travel to nearby Evora (a fantastic walled city) and see this.

Thanks, will see it this coming week, I think we'll be taking a day trip there around the weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
Welcome back! I haven't been to Portugal either, so I can't help. But it's good to see you posting again.

Thanks! I've been lurking a bit lately again, but WTF what a busy year....that's my excuse...

Copied from other thread I stupidly made: I had a look at the finer antiques shops here, a lot of fine stuff, and some super, but nothing really spectactular yet. The antiquarian booksellers seem very good, I only looked in the windows of those. I've decided to work myself systematically through the ceramics museum and the military one, and do some hit-and-run visits to the others.

It's off to the Sunday flea-market tomorrow, you'll never learn as much about a place's history and values as when you see it's junk/antiques markets.

And yes, the Portuguese had colonies all over the place, it's an extraordinary mix of races here, - I've never seen more mixed-race couples anywhere, which is a good thing in itself, of course. Well just look what the mixing has done to the food...

A hell of a lot of insisting beggars, though.
post #5 of 27
Around Lisbon there are two places:

Belem--Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Torre de Belem.

Sintra--MUST go to Palacio da Pena, and you can get a package deal and get into the Quinta da Regaleira as well which is well worth it.

I would definitely recommend going up to Porto, the 2nd biggest city, and enjoying that for a day or two--the Franciscan church is great there, you can enjoy port wine across the river, and just enjoy the beautiful views. From there you can get to Braga and Guimaraes very easily, which are both very fun--Bom Jesus in Braga and the castle in Guimaraes are well-recommended.

If you STILL have time, obviously Evora is worth it, and Sines is a nice little town as well somewhat in the area.

Let me know if you have more questions, I just got back from studying abroad there and LOVED it. Try out bacalhau and vinho verde
post #6 of 27
I was quite young when i visited Portugal, but it was really beautiful. One of the things I remember most is a lookout or hill with a fantastic view of Lisbon. We were up there at sunset and it provided an incredible sight. I can remember a canon on it, so it must have been part of some kind of defensive structure. I can't be any more specific about it than that. There was a dish called beef steak served in a clay dish that I had at every restaurant we went to because I didn't like fish. I thought it was awesome, but I couldn't have been more than 10, so my taste buds weren't quite as refined as they are today. We visited some palace with beautifully manicured gardens as well. Maybe it was the one mentioned by the above poster.. I'd definitely like to go back after I cross some other places off the list. There's a photographer in the olympus forums I lurk in that takes really nice landscape photos of the beaches there. Describing it as picturesque would be an understatement.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
I was quite young when i visited Portugal, but it was really beautiful. One of the things I remember most is a lookout or hill with a fantastic view of Lisbon. We were up there at sunset and it provided an incredible sight. I can remember a canon on it, so it must have been part of some kind of defensive structure. I can't be any more specific about it than that. There was a dish called beef steak served in a clay dish that I had at every restaurant we went to because I didn't like fish. I thought it was awesome, but I couldn't have been more than 10, so my taste buds weren't quite as refined as they are today. We visited some palace with beautifully manicured gardens as well. Maybe it was the one mentioned by the above poster.. I'd definitely like to go back after I cross some other places off the list. There's a photographer in the olympus forums I lurk in that takes really nice landscape photos of the beaches there. Describing it as picturesque would be an understatement.

There's several awesome look-out points--the one you mentioned is probably the Lisbon castle, Castelo Sao Jorge. The other one is in Graca; to the OP, if you ask at your hotel they'll easily be able to point you to either of the two. I personally like the Graca one better.
post #8 of 27
I second the recommendation for Porto. It's east to ake the train there. Arrange a cruise up the Douro to taste wine, visit a port lodge (you can do this Lisbon of course--it's a must). There is also a famous soap and perfume shop, Claus, in Porto. The shop itself dates from the late 19th century and is beautiful. I believe that you buy custom scents.

Will you go to the beaches in Portugal? They are beautiful.
post #9 of 27
Have Bakkalaw, a local fish dish, very good.
post #10 of 27
Supposed to spectacular with some new, fantastic wines.

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allreds View Post
I hope you get the chance to see this post, because you must travel to nearby Evora (a fantastic walled city) and see this.
Ah, I saw the post, but we had to choose between Sintra and Evora, and Sintra it was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
Welcome back! I haven't been to Portugal either, so I can't help. But it's good to see you posting again.
Thanks! I'll try to get up to my old speed here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by 854ca View Post
Around Lisbon there are two places: Belem--Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Torre de Belem. Sintra--MUST go to Palacio da Pena, and you can get a package deal and get into the Quinta da Regaleira as well which is well worth it.
Yep, saw those, the funny thing about Sintra is really that it's been a resort for over a thousand years, - even the moors went there to cool down in the mountains when Lisbon got too hot. The palaces were great, Pena is closely related to my other Disneyesque favourite, Neuschwanstein, so I really enjoyed it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
I was quite young when i visited Portugal, but it was really beautiful. One of the things I remember most is a lookout or hill with a fantastic view of Lisbon. We were up there at sunset and it provided an incredible sight. I can remember a canon on it, so it must have been part of some kind of defensive structure. I can't be any more specific about it than that. There was a dish called beef steak served in a clay dish that I had at every restaurant we went to because I didn't like fish. I thought it was awesome, but I couldn't have been more than 10, so my taste buds weren't quite as refined as they are today. We visited some palace with beautifully manicured gardens as well. Maybe it was the one mentioned by the above poster.. I'd definitely like to go back after I cross some other places off the list. There's a photographer in the olympus forums I lurk in that takes really nice landscape photos of the beaches there. Describing it as picturesque would be an understatement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 854ca View Post
There's several awesome look-out points--the one you mentioned is probably the Lisbon castle, Castelo Sao Jorge. The other one is in Graca; to the OP, if you ask at your hotel they'll easily be able to point you to either of the two. I personally like the Graca one better.
Yeah, saw the castle, amazing views and an impressive collection of cannons, particularly a huge bronze 16th century number. GQgeek - was the beef anything like this? This is a fairly regular steak, but with Brazilian-style coffee sauce, I had it three times over two weeks, just couldn't resist it. Pic of the street restaurant "Sud-Ouest" (that's the most efficient waiter I've ever seen to the right in the picture). Not exactly an upscale place, but really the best food we could find for the money. We paid literally fifteen times the amount in a "nicer" restaurant, and while even the nicer one was very cheap for what we got the one between the dumpsters in the street ruled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophe View Post
I second the recommendation for Porto. It's east to ake the train there. Arrange a cruise up the Douro to taste wine, visit a port lodge (you can do this Lisbon of course--it's a must). There is also a famous soap and perfume shop, Claus, in Porto. The shop itself dates from the late 19th century and is beautiful. I believe that you buy custom scents. Will you go to the beaches in Portugal? They are beautiful.
Didn't go to Porto, but the beaches just outside Lisbon were great:
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianBoyz View Post
Have Bakkalaw, a local fish dish, very good.
Had a lot!
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophilia View Post
Supposed to spectacular with some new, fantastic wines.
Stayed in town, I'm afraid (we did a lot of museums too). And besides, my wife is a rather serious foodie. The thing is, the country is cheap, even in the rather touristy capital, although I suppose the Algarve coast isn't.
post #12 of 27
wine and liquor tha is rarly exported out of portugal
post #13 of 27
I'm a little puzzled why portugal isn't a more popular destination.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
I'm a little puzzled why portugal isn't a more popular destination.

Because of the Portuguese living there.

j.k.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
I'm a little puzzled why portugal isn't a more popular destination.

I'm not sure either, but it could be b/c it's somewhat new to the Euro (2001 I think) and it was under a dictatorship until the mid-70s, so it's still a relatively "new" country compared to the usual European destinations.
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