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Lisbon Day 1 ideas

My husband and I will be arriving in Lisbon Monday morning Sept 4th staying 4 nights. We have an apartment located just a few blocks NE of Rossio and won't know if the apartment is ready for an early arrival, but the host has agreed to keep our bags if the unit is not ready for us, (so bags are not an issue). We do like to keep moving on our first day in Europe. Even though we may not have gotten much/any sleep, we feel better if we stay out in the sunshine and make the most of the day with an earlier bedtime if needed.

Our request of you seasoned travelers to Lisbon: could you recommend an "easy" itinerary for that first day that would still give us an authentic feel? Take Rick's walking tour, explore a particular area that is less strenuous walking, just wander ... or find a good vinho verde and drink the day away (haha!)??

We enjoy simpler pleasures...being near the river, wonderful views, local current art as well as museums, interacting with locals (this is actually an exploratory trip for possible retirement in Portugal)...and discovering local foods. We will also spend 5 days in Cascais and want to include a day trip to Lisbon just to get a feel for the convenience/value of residing outside the city. So suggestions for that day would also be appreciated.

We know we will "stumble upon" some of our most memorable moments, but it is a great pleasure to hear your comments when it comes to your own special moments/places.

Thanks for your time in reading/responding. You are greatly appreciated.

Posted by
2521 posts

On the day of your arrival, I would take one of the three walking tours in Rick's guidebook. One of them begins a short stroll northwest of the Plaza. It starts by taking the Ascensor de Gloria to the Miraduoro de Sao Pedro for a magnificent vista of Lisbon. From there it's downhill to R. Garrett where you have numerous cafes and shops to browse. If you still feel up to it, it's a short walk to the Praca do Comercio for a great view of the plaza and the waterfront. When in Lisbon, make sure to pay a visit to the Gulbenkian Museum - free entry on Sundays and there's a nice cafeteria.

Posted by
11175 posts

I would definitely do one of Rick's walks upon arrival. Just be aware: the Baixa is flat, but Bairro Alto and Alfama are very hilly. I remember that the Alfama walk was almost all downhill (you start by taking a tram to the top), but steeply so in sections.

Posted by
921 posts

I would spend a first day in the Baixa area and not venture into Chiado or Alfama due to the hills. If you head toward the river to Praca do Commercio, it will be flat and having wine or coffee on the Praca is lovely. The Time Out market is a fun place to have lunch, especially if you want lunch mid afternoon. It's walkable from the Praca along the river with lovely views. There are many examples of local food to try. Don't try to go at 'regular' meal times due to the crowds. Also, don't be drawn into the many outdoor seating restaurants in Baixa. These are ok for a drink, but the food is overpriced and sub par.

Cascais has a very different feel than Lisbon and a day trip from here into the city is very easy. If you take a train before 10:00, the trip is quicker as you can get an 'express' train.

If you have specific questions about Cascais or retirement here, feel free to PM me, as I retired here from the States in 2015.

Posted by
80 posts

Thanks Harold and Philip, as always, very thoughtful responses from the forum. Sounds like a consensus.

And Kathryn, thank you. We could perhaps do Rick's Baixa tour in reverse and follow your suggestions. We will be keeping in touch as we approach September. (my husband is the guy who amid all the great seafood will want to find a good steak haha!)

Thanks for all the input.

Posted by
921 posts

Ahh! Sorry, I didn't remember your name, Doris. I do remember our PM correspondence. And, I've even come with a couple of places to get (I think) a good steak.