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24 Hours in Lisbon

Dear Friends,
I have booked a return flight to the states that allows me a 24 hour stay in Lisbon. I have never been there before but have always been intrigued by it. I would very much appreciate your input on how best to utilize those 24 hours so that I might get a real sense of the city. If you love this city, give me the best suggestions you've got.

Thanks,

steve

Posted by
3363 posts

Have an egg custard tart and a bica ( espresso) sitting in Rossio Square, soaking up Lisbon and it’s people. Ride a tram,train to Belem to see Monasterio Jeranimos, the Torre and the Monument to the Discoveries, walk from Rossio toward the water admiring the mosaics in the pavement. Take the Elevador Santa Justa up to Barrio Alto. Visit the Tile Museum, Fado Museum and Gulbenkian Museum. Go up to see the Castello Sao Jorge with it’s beautiful views.

Posted by
1610 posts

What Suki said, all great ideas, if you have two to three days. But with 24 hours (when do you arrive, when do you leave? How much boots on the ground time do you have?) you’ll need to be selective. What do you like to do? Is art, food an important part of your travels? Where are you staying in Lisbon?

Posted by
170 posts

Some ideas here
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/travel/36-hours-in-lisbon.html

I would not rent a hotel room. Sleep on the plane. (And, by the way, there will be a 45 minute emigration delay between the shopping area and your gate when you depart via the airport. The entire process is: security, shopping, emigration, another security.)
Spend some of the money on taxis so you don't waste time on travel.
Leave your luggage at the airport https://www.ana.pt/en/lis/services-shopping/essential-services/baggage-services

This bar closes at 0200
https://www.yelp.com/biz/park-lisboa-2

The best natas are from https://www.yelp.com/biz/manteigaria-lisboa-2 which is open 0800-2400. A nata and bica is €2.

The view, service and food are excellent at the Terrace Bar at https://www.memmohotels.com/alfama/hotel-overview.html . We ate lunch/snack there twice in 10 days.

Posted by
195 posts

The Rick Steves Guidebook has 3 excellent walks. To me they give a really nice overview of the city. Depending on how fast you go you could probably manage all 3 in 24 hours. The Alfama walk does start at the castle and then you wind your way down to the river. Rick says you don't need to pay to go in the castle, but it does have great views.

The other 2 walks are of the Baixa Chiado and I think Barrio Alto. My one suggestion with only a day is to avoid some of the tourist favourites that get long lines if a cruise ship is in. For example the funicular, the tram and the elevator. None of them are worth that long a wait in line. There is a less popular funicular also mentioned in Rick's book that takes you up to a more residential neighbourhood.

Posted by
36 posts

Thank you all for your replies. They are all appreciated. Know that I have sent for Rick's book but if you wouldn't mind, I would like to ask a couple of additional questions.

First, has anyone taken one of the "Tuk tuk" tours? If so, would you recommend them, bear in mind that my wife and I are nearing 70 and my wife has had some back problems so looking for options.

Second, Lisa, do you know if one can take a taxi to the castle where the Alfama Walk begins? Also, what neighborhoods would it take us through?

Third, hotel recommendations would be appreciated by all, preferably away from the cruise ship clientele.

Suki, I like all your suggestions but as Alan suggests, we're going to have to be very selective so my question to you is, if I can only do one art museum, which would you suggest?

Dave, thanks for all the helpful websites. I will definitely make it to Manteigaria Bakery. Looks like a must do!

Thanks to all,

steve

Posted by
170 posts

@Steve,
Now you tell us:
1. You are an old fart like me. No Park bar rooftop for you at 0200.
2. Your lovely wife has a bad back. No tuk-tuk tour for you.
3. You want a hotel. I have two:
a. Hotel Memmo Alfama (https://www.memmohotels.com/alfama/hotel-overview.html) - small, very classy, excellent terrace bar with great view. Easy short walk to Castelo São Jorge (https://castelodesaojorge.pt/en/). My wife is dying to stay here, but the cost for 10 days would be a bit much. This is a quiet, out of the way hotel.
b. Bairro Alto Hotel (https://www.bairroaltohotel.com/en/) - larger, great location, major renovations in 2017. We stayed in an AirBnB nearby and walked by this hotel about 15 times. It is on Praça de Luís de Camões and across to the praça from http://manteigarialisboa.com ! This is a hotel in the heart of Chiado and Bairro Alto.
4. If I had to pick one art museum it would either be:
a. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (https://gulbenkian.pt/museu/en/) - everyone raves about it, but I have not personally been (We ran out of time, LOL). Closed on Tuesdays.
b. Museu Coleção Berardo (http://en.museuberardo.pt) - which is in Belém. My wife and I though this was the best museum we visited in Portugal. Open every day. And, it is across the street from https://pasteisdebelem.pt/en/ . Home of the second best natas in Lisboa. It also near Padrão dos Descobrimentos (http://www.padraodosdescobrimentos.pt) and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (http://www.mosteirojeronimos.gov.pt).
5. Having spent 10 days in Lisboa, I can tell you that cruise people do not make it to the Bairro Alto. They are in the Alfama because of the Castelo. But, if you stay at Memmo, then you will be able to mostly avoid them as the hotel is on a dead-end street.
6. Taxis are cheap. For example: €15 from the airport to either hotel.
7. Restaurant choices are much better in the Bairro Alto.
a. If you a craving an excellent hamburger, then A Cultura do Hambúrguer (https://www.yelp.com/biz/a-cultura-do-hambúrguer-lisboa) is the place.
b. Want traditional Portuguese food, then Antigo Restaurante 1º de Maio (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189158-d1734710-Reviews-Restaurante_1_de_Maio-Lisbon_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html). We went twice.
c. Looking for a Michelin 2-star experience? - Then Balcanto (http://belcanto.pt/en/) is for you. Chef José Avillez also has some other places nearby.
d. If a restaurant has photos of the food, don't eat there. In fact, always check your restaurant choice with Yelp or TripAdvisor.
8. At museums, etc., always ask about the old fart discount.

Posted by
143 posts

We took a taxi from our hotel to the castle and Alfama neighborhood. We followed Rick's walking tour of the Alfama and loved it. Since you only have 24 hours, i recommend doing Rick's walks. if you have some extra time, I suggest taking a taxi to the Gulbenkian Art Museum if you love art. We loved the museum! If you don't like art museums, I recommend Jeronimos Monastery, after you have done your walks, but it depends on the time of year. We had to wait in line for an hour in April.

another idea is to take the elevator to the top of the Discoveries Monument for some spectacular views. There were no lines at all, but there were lines at the Belem Tower. I've read that the views from Discoveries Monument are better than the views from Belem Tower.

Keep in mind that Rick's walks take you to some miradouros (viewpoints) where you will get awesome views of Lisbon and the river.

BTW, we are near 70 also, and I have arthritis. We did a lot of walking, but we also took taxis when we got tired.