For a few days Lisbon was my home and by the end of my trip, it had turned into exactly that. I stayed at one of the best Airbnb’s ever, Casa da Ti Margarida. (check it out) This Airbnb is a sure pick if you're ever in Portugal.
From Lisbon Portela Airport, the metro takes you into the city. The good thing is there is only one line that runs from the airport (Aeroporto Saldanha) so there are no worries of getting lost. The train into the city cost €1.45 and a day pass is €6.15. Keep in mind it cost €0.50 for a rechargeable card to ride the subway. The day pass is also valid on all forms of travel in Lisbon, from the subway, to buses, and to the trams.
I stayed in the San Sebastian area that is connected to the Red(Aeroporto) and Blue lines. I first visited Rossio Station (Take the train to Sintra here) and then walked to Rossio square. With water fountains on both side (Mermaids of faith), a monumental statue of Pedro IV, former King of Portugal and several benches and bird feeding area, a great place to come and relax and have some good old R&R.
From there, its a cool walk over to the Santa Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa) It cost €5.15 and included in the cost is access to the viewing platform to the top. I then walked over to Grandeur of Baixa. Home to a few cafes and shopping areas, this is the area you need to go to for authentic Portuguese breakfast. (Try Fabrica Lisboa)
After walking down the Praca do Comercio, then pass under the Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta to King Jose I statue. Here you can watch an artist create sandmen on the beach nearby or walk over to the museum of beer to have a drink.
After the square, I took the iconic #28 tram into the hills of Lisbon. The next stop was the Lisbon Cathedral. Visit early in the morning as the later times have larger crowds. Its impossible to see anything, much less move around once it's crowded. The next stop of that day was Castillo de San Jorge. I first saw this massive castle from the top of the Santa Justa Elevator. The #28 tram and the #37 bus (€1.85) both go to the castle. (buses are packed) The bus leaves you outside of the entrance. Once inside you’ll have to join a line to purchase tickets, then enter the compound. There are a lot of mall shops and restaurants and street vendors to use your time to stand on that line.
After tickets are scanned and you are inside, indulge in the massive display that is the castle grounds with views of the city that stretch for miles. Then the castle itself is as equally impressive. You can literally get lost here. (no exaggerations) After spending hours at the Castle, I spent the afternoon at a local cafe enjoying a local beer.
The last stop for the day was the Fados museum where I learned of the importance of the famous musical expressions and its importance to the culture and its social importance in Lisbon.
From Lisbon’s city center you can take the #15 tram or Bus # 728 to Belem. Belem is a town you can get lost in. Belem is home to the Tropical Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botanico Tropical Belem) €2.00 to enter. Afterward, I walked to the Belem Tower. I have a thing for maps and outside of the tower, there is a map explaining the colonization of the Portuguese over the years. I learned a lot just by looking at that map. The area is home to a boat dock and several other tours. There's also a lot of art in the area. The final stop Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. The line to get inside is ridiculously long no matter the time of day. Entrance is €7.00. However, its free just to see the church itself.
Belem is also home to the best Pastel de Nata’s in Lisbon. Trust me I tried most of them and this one by far outranks all of the others. The Pasteis de Belem bakery is where you get your fix. After going back to Lisbon, I spent the rest of the day at the Timeout Market. There are a number of restaurants to try local dishes as well as infused dishes that were inspired by others that moved to Lisboa. To wash it all down, stop at the Super Brock beer experience. If beer is not your style, you are welcome to stop at the Timeout bar for your favorite cocktail. Your only problem here is seating, as the food is really good and at times it seems like there isn’t enough of it. If you rather get raw ingredients and cook for yourself, there is a market next door that caters to those needs.
On the third day, I had two completely different tasks. The first was to travel to Sintra and then the second was to travel to Cacilhas. To travel to Sintra, you take the train from Rossio station and take the one hour journey north of Lisbon.
After returning to Lisbon, connect at Rossio station to the green line train to Cais de Sodre. Once there, follow the signs to the ferry and purchase tickets to Cacilhas. The ferry cost €3.00 (€1.25 each way and €0.50 for a reusable card)
Once in Cacilhas, the 101 bus departs every half hour to Christo Rei. It’s €8.00 to enter but free to walk the grounds. After seeing the views from the top it was back to Lisbon.
If you are driving you can take the journey over the 25 De Abril Bridge to Cacilhas.
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