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Two layovers in Lisbon in January

Layover #1: 9 hours (11 am - 8 pm) just me, and I will likely be jetlagged. In a perfect world, I would go to Sintra, but with passport control, stowing my carry-on, transportation time and checking in again, I figure I really only have 5-6 hours.

Layover #2: 23 hours (starting at 5 pm) with a 21 year old daughter with many food allergies. No wheat, fish or nuts. She will want to visit the bars at night. The next day, we can tour until around 1:30 before heading to the airport. I'm guessing she will want to see Baixa, Chiado and Alfama. Could we see those three areas (and possibly Belem) in a morning?

I don't want to do the same things twice, which is why I was leaning toward Sintra. I could visit Belem by myself, or do a food tour, or??? Suggestions? I am willing to hire a guide if necessary.

Posted by
248 posts

If I was ignoring your daughter's desires, I would suggest the following:
Layover 1, if weather good, take taxi down to the Baixa or to Barrio Alto or Alfama. From there, assuming you are a good walker, make your way to one of the Rick Steve walks ( or two if you have time). As you are jetlagged you can pace yourself, find a nice viewpoint to have a snack. You could also go to Gulbenkian museum. It is a nice little collection, is not overwhelming, has a decent cafeteria. From there you can stroll down to the Baixa ( long stroll) I think there are some gardens nearby as well. You could do Belem this day, but personally I would not want to do Belem jet-lagged.

Layover 2. I'd consider staying overnight in Sintra and then seeing one of the sights before heading to the airport. Alternatively I would do Belem that morning, but then you have to figure out your luggage. You do not have time to do those areas of Lisbon and Belem. in a morning. Of course your daughter might move faster than mine do in the mornings!

Posted by
38 posts

Hmmm. I never thought about structuring it that way! But do I dare ignore my daughter's desire to see Lisbon?

Posted by
839 posts

With such a short time, I would not hit any museums - if the weather is good. Clear winter days are wonderful with clear skies and (usually) warm temperatures. I would suggest taking a taxi to Baixa and just walking around. You could explore the Chiado and Alfama areas, depending on your stamina.

A walking tour would be good to save your energy and see the most important areas. Or, take a tuk-tuk for the lazy woman’s tour. Find a restaurant with a view and eat outside, weather permitting.

You could not see downtown Lisbon plus Belem, IMO. And, I would not try for Sintra in your limited amount of time.

If the weather is bad, the Gulbenkian and the tile museum are both lovely. The Gulbenkian is easier access, but the tile museum is more Portuguese.