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How much time in Lisbon and surrounding areas?

Right now I will arrive around noon, Sat 9/11 and planning to stay until Tuesday around noon - leaving for Arrabida and Evora.
In Lisbon want to explore some of the neighborhoods, see fado music, visit Rio Maravilha and LX Factory? is there a big flea market also? Planning on a day in Sintra - is that enough? too much? And also Belem - how much time to plan for in Belem?
do I leave from Belem, pick up car and then drive to Arrabida and Evora?
any thoughts on Arrabida? I am a big hiker here in US - but not sure if I should use the time for hiking in Portugal?

Posted by
6518 posts

We love Belem and make sure you give it most of a day. There is so much to see there. I hope things will be open for you to explore. The Jeronimos Monastery is beautiful. The coach museum is so interesting. And more...
We spent nine nights in Lisbon . Taking away travel days, you only have two days in Lisbon; add at least one more full day to do the city justice.

Posted by
2110 posts

You basically have 2 full days and a morning, because if you are coming from the US you will probably be exhausted on Sat afternoon.
If you plan on a day in Sintra, that leaves a day and a half for Lisbon, which is very short.
But if that's what you have, then I would spend Sunday morning doing a quick tour of Belem (=Jerónimos Monastery + outside of Belem Tower) then heading to LX Factory since you're interested, and spend the rest of day exploring some of central Lisbon.
Then Monday in Sintra (crowded day because many things are closed in Lisbon, but you have no choice).
And Tuesday morning for a stroll in a neighborhood that you missed on Sunday.

As for Serra de Arrabida: it is pretty, but I would head straight to Evora, because your trip seems to be a quick one.

Posted by
942 posts

To get the most out of your trip buy Rick Steves’ Lisbon guidebook and take his self-guided walking tours of the Alfama, Bairro Alto and Chiado neighborhoods and sleep in Alfama.
Day 1 - Sat: take Rick Steves’ self-guided walking tour in Alfama and listen to fado music here.
Day 2 - Sun: take Rick’s self-guided walking tours of the Bairro Alto and Chiado neighborhoods. Rick Steves’ guidebook lists places to hear fado music.
Day 3 - Mon: take the train to Belem (15-minutes). Rick Steves’ book will tell you how to do this.
Day 4 - Tue: take the tram to the Feira da Ladra flea market. Rick Steve’s book will tell you which tram to take. This market opens on Tue and Sat.
Day 5 – Wed: direct train to Sintra for the day (1h).
Day 6 – Thu: take a direct train to Evora (1h 30m) which is a doable day trip from Lisbon.
Day 7 – Fri: rent a car and drive to Arrábida (45-minutes).
Day 8 – Sat: If Rio Maravilha and LX Factory are still open, add another night.

Posted by
22 posts

Here is a thought on seeing Sintra.
Take a taxi directly to Sintra upon arrival at Lisbon airport and spend first two nights there. The first night will be recovery time, walk arround town and time for a nice dinner. Spend the entire next day (day 2) seeing the sights of Sintra and then take train to Lisbon early in morning of day 3. If staying in Sintra, you can get an early start (ahead of other tourists) in arriving at the most popular couple of sights there.
We did this several years ago and it worked great. Our hotel recommended/arranged a local taxi service from the airport to Sintra. We ended up hiring the same taxi service (reasonbly priced) to drive us around all the next day to the various sights in and around Sintra.
Good start to trip!

Posted by
2769 posts

The only things on my Lisbon must-do list are Sintra and the wonderful Aquarium, so I wouldn't devote much time to Lisbon.