Portugal

Lisbon

The interesting bits of Lisbon are super small, walkable. Don’t miss the old streetcars/trams and the funiculars.
  • The Baixa is sort of the old downtown (17th c. I think after an earthquake)
  • To the west up the hill is the BAIRRO ALTO. You can take several elevators up to the Bairro Alto. from Baixa.  There are a lot of bars for young people in all the little streets. A few “tascas” (bars) have fado like Tasca do Chico. There are larger fado places, expensive, for older tourists.
  • Further north from Bairro Alto is Jardin Principe Real (lookout and park) with the Embaixada concept store with the best of Portuguese-made clothing and some trendy but more expensive restaurants. Decadente, Cevicheria and 100 Maneiras are very good. You can take the elevador da Glória down to the Baixa or just walk along the stairway – there is a lot of street art along it.
  • At the south side of Bairro alto is a viewpoint Santa Catarina where young people bring their own wine and chill.
  • You can take the cute old ascensor (funicular) da Bica down to the seafront and the Cais do Sodre train station, where you can
    • take a ferry across the water — when you get to the other side walk along the water to the right. It is a walking path with amazing views of Lisbon, along a bunch of abandoned buildings and at the end a stairway up to Boca do Ventro where you can stop for a cheap coffee or drink.
    • from Cais do Sodre you can take a commuter train to Belem to visit the Coach Museum and Moisteiro dos Jeronimos. Or you can take tram 15.
    • LX Factory is a converted industrial space with a lot of galleries, shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s halfway to Belem on the tram.
  • The TimeOut Market is here, unmissable, food halls all handpicked from the best restaurants and shops in Portugal that built branches here. Great and affordable food.
  • Alfama is the other historic area east of the Baixa, it’s super touristy. You can ride old tram 28 up through here around all the bends. Go at off times as it’s very crowded. But perhaps best to walk as there is a lot of architecture here that we missed.

We stayed in the LX boutique hotel, near the waterfront, Cais do Sodre station and the TimeOut market. There are also some more expensive designer options near the Jardin Principe Real.

From Lisbon to Porto

  • Pena Palace
  • Obidos is a very small walled city with a unique hotel called The Literary Man, with books everywhere
  • Coimbra is highly recommended, a medium sized city with Portugal’s oldest university – beautiful and exotic medieval architecture
  • Aveiro is an old fishing town with colorful almost Dutch and Chinese architecture from the golden days of Portuguese trading

Photo albums

2016 album Lisbon and central Portugal

2012 photo gallery from Porto and Northern Portugal

Porto

The other major city of Portugal. Famous for port wine, red tile roofs, a bridge by Mr. Eiffel, tiled buildings, and its beautiful river.

North of Porto

Of interest are these towns

  • Guimarãres
  • Viana do Castelo
  • Braga
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