Travel made in August 2019
Duration: 4 days
Welcome to Lisbon !!
Welcome to Myoxybubble Lisbon the city of seven hills! Each summit reveals an exceptional view of the famous Portuguese capital. The city can be visited mainly on foot or by mythical yellow tram. But owning a vehicle can be comfortable. You’ll love getting lost in its historic neighborhoods and alleys. Be careful, you will do miles! Lisbon is the city where life is good day and night! And not far from Lisbon you can discover the Natural Park of Sintra Cascais and its thousand wonders! Impossible to get bored.
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Lisbon and Sintra in 4 days!
Day 1: Discovering the historic districts
# The unmissable monastery of Jeronimos!
Also called the Jerónimos Monastery, its visit is a must. As soon as you arrive on the site, you will take full view! The building is imposing, very beautiful architecturally, day and night, but the heart of this visit has many other surprises in store for you!
If you are travelling, park in the car park located right in front of the museum. It’s free. I advise you to arrive 30 minutes before the opening! This will save you from having an endless queue.
By doing so we had only 15min of waiting from the opening time of the monastery. The entrance will cost you 10€/adult. As soon as you enter the monastery time stops! Once inside, you can enjoy the pretty cloister bathed in light, while visiting the different adjoining rooms.
Open your eyes wide and take the time to admire every detail of this architectural beauty. It’s lace! It is breathtaking. The visit is serene and magical. After your visit, continue it by going to the church. The building is incredibly beautiful!
The visit is free and the queue is done quite quickly. You can admire the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luis de Camões.
# The monument of discovery!
Then head to the monument of discovery which is in front of the monastery of Jeronimos on the banks of the Tagus (this river that crosses the capital). This monument is dedicated to the many famous Portuguese explorers.
It is very impressive by its size but especially by its architecture with well-detailed characters. Don’t just look at the monument! Look under your feet too! the ground represents a magnificent map of the world. Possibility to climb to the top of the monument for 6 € by taking an elevator.
You will get a view of the Tagus River, the April 29 Bridge and Christ, the Belém Tower, the Jeronimo Monastery and the city.
# The tower of Belém and its neighborhood
Just like the Jeronimo Monastery, the Belém Tower is an emblematic monument of the capital. The Tower of Belém was built to serve as the gateway to the city of Lisbon and also to protect the mouth of the Tagus and the Jerónimos Monastery.
It is located along the Tagus River in the continuity of the monument of discovery. The gardens that surround it are also a nice place for walking and strolling. Some guides indicate that the tower was previously not on the banks of the Tagus but in the middle of the river! The earthquake of 1755 would have been so violent that it would have displaced the course of the river. This has since been reversed. On the other hand, the tower was miraculously spared while the city was almost completely devastated. The tower of Belém is a miraculous!
The place laid out with cobblestones is very beautiful. Possibility to visit the tower for 6€. You will access it by a drawbridge. Personally, I just admired it from the outside and enjoyed the peaceful place by the water.
# The best Pastel of Nata!
A little peckish? It’s time to enjoy some pastries in the famous and unmissable institution called Pastéis de Belém ! The authentic Pastel de Nata can be found here!
The property is a stone’s throw from Jeronimo Monastery. Pastel de Nata is served warm, right out of the oven and perfectly crispy and creamy at the same time. Their Pastel de Nata recipe has been a secret for generations. A single visit during your stay in the capital will not be enough!
Do not hesitate to take a seat for lunch! The place is very touristy so inevitably there will be waiting! I highly recommend you to taste some savory specialties like cod croquette or chicken one.
Once installed, the service is fast and impeccable. The quality/price ratio is very affordable. A Pastel de Nata will cost you only 1€15 in a seat and the other specialties 1€ or 2€ each. It is impossible to eat only a Pastel de Nata as they are so succulent. You will also appreciate the typical Portuguese decoration of the establishment with many azuléjos (decorated earthenware tile, typical of Portugal). I wish you a good tasting!
# Rossio Square
Head to the heart of the Baixa district in the famous Rossio Square, also called Don Pedro lV.. You can admire the 2 baroque fountains, the statue of Don Pedro lV, but especially the magnificent paving forming waves of black and white stones.
This square is the nerve center of Lisbon. The place is very touristy. It is a crossroads where many cafes, restaurants and shops are located close to. From here begins Augusta Street which is the busiest and busiest in the city! You will enjoy watching or listening to street artists.
From Rossio Square, you will see the Santa Justa elevator with its characteristic and recognizable architecture. Normal, it was designed by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard a disciple of the master Gustave Eiffel. This elevator is used to connect the Baixa district to the Bairro Alto district.
This elevator offers views of the city. Be careful, the queue is long. Personally, I have not done so.
# The place of commerce
The Place du Commerce is a magnificent square with saffron colors, filled with history. It is located in the Baixa district. In 1755, the earthquake devastated the Royal Palace that was erected on this site. The square was laid out just after the latter. It is the most beautiful square in Lisbon.
The Arc de Triomphe is the gateway to Lisbon’s maritime trade. The departure of the ships was on the banks of the Tagus from this square.
Today, the square is lively with restaurants, hotels and cafes.
Fancy a pee break? Do not hesitate to inaugurate the paid toilet “The Sexiest WC on Earth by Renova”.. They are located under the arcades of the square.
They are a lot of fun! 1€ to have the privilege of choosing the color of your toilet paper.
It is pleasant to walk along the river again and again, to stroll and admire the view offered, while enjoying this relaxed and festive atmosphere under the Portuguese sun. Getting lost in the Portuguese alleys, I met my idol! Madonna the queen of POP!
# The Castle of Saint Jorge
In the late afternoon, do not hesitate to visit the magnificent Saint Jorge Castle that dominates the old district of Alfama. It is very well restored. The walk on the ramparts is very pleasant and the gardens are very beautiful.
You will enjoy a superb panoramic view of Lisbon!
It takes about 2 hours of visit. Admission will cost you 10€ / adult and 5 € for 13-25 years. It’s expensive but it’s nice to see! The negative point is the lack of information about the history of the castle. You will not find any signs or flyers explaining its history. That’s too bad.
Day 2: Welcome to the unusual Lisbon!
# Sanctuary of Christ the King and the Bridge of April 25
Early in the morning, go to the foot of the majestic and emblematic Sanctuary of Christ the King located in the town of Almada, facing Lisbon! It is a sacred place for the Portuguese. Possibility to hear masses. The statue is impressive with its 28 meters high, itself positioned on a portico of 82m, for a total of 110m !!!. You will feel very small in front of her!
Christ watches over the Portuguese capital with open arms in front of it. This statue is inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
Many tourists come to admire it. The site also offers a panoramic view of Lisbon, the Tagus But also the magnificent suspension bridge of April 25. This bridge connects Lisbon to the city of Almada. It is 2277 meters long. It is the longest suspension bridge in Europe. You will love this peaceful place. You will be transported to San Francisco for a moment because it is a replica of the Golden Gate bridge!
The entrance to the site is free and the adjoining parking too. Possibility to get there by car like us but also by ferry (from the pier located Cais do Sodré, then with bus 101 to Almada or on foot for the bravest). The site is beautiful by day but must be magical by night.
# The aquarium and the District of Nations
Just after taking a breath of fresh air on the heights of Almada, I propose you to entertain yourself with or without children at the magnificent aquarium of Lisbon, also called oceanarium. You will have to go to the District of the Parc des Nations built on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1998. The entrance will cost you 15/€Adult. A little expensive but it is a unique place that invites to the wonder of adults and children.
The marine diversity is incredible and the pools are grandiose (otters, penguins, jellyfish, seahorses, starfish etc ….). The central aquarium is huge and impressive with its graceful Manta rays, sharks and other marine species that coexist there. The adjustments are well done. I recommend, especially since it is the 2nd largest aquarium in Europe and is considered the most beautiful in the world.
# Time Out Market, Cais do Sodré district
Also called “Mercato Libeira” the Time Out Market is a food hall. It is not cheap at all. Nevertheless, the products sold are of quality, good and refined. It is located in the neighborhood of Cais do Sodré. The hall is very beautiful.
You will find more than 40 stalls including some of chefs who give the opportunity to taste their cuisine. There will be something for everyone with a wide choice of Asian, Portuguese, French, Italian specialties or even burgers.
Negative point, the room is too hot and we do not breathe. You snooze, you lose! Places are expensive here! Many people go around in circles with their tray before finally being able to sit down because the halls are crowded with people.
I advise you to identify what you want to eat, that one person reserves a table and that the other goes to place an order to guarantee you a hot meal. The service is fast and well organized. you will be notified by timer when your order is ready.
Not far from the Time Out Market, do not hesitate to make a jump in the evening through the place du figuier or the Pink Street in the district of Cais do Sodré.
This street also called Rua Nova do Carvalho was previously unfrequented. Today, it is renowned for being a trendy corner at nightfall. The pink street is very small but filled with clubs and bars! During the day, this street is very disappointing and uninteresting. It is sad because deserted and dirty with the waste of the day before.
# LX factory village and the district of Alcântara
The LX Factory is located in the Alcantara district. Upon arrival, plan 2€ of parking. Don’t hesitate to get lost in the LX factory village! It is a disused factory, rehabilitated by artists. Open your eyes and climb everywhere in the tall buildings! Do not hesitate to explore and get lost in every corner that can reserve you many surprises and wonders.
This village is fun, relaxed and atypical with street art everywhere and art workshops in old warehouses. LX factory claims and highlights its artistic spirit not far from the center of Lisbon. My teenagers were delighted! Even the toilets are unusual on every corner.
You will admire the many graffiti. This walk is to be done as a couple or family. The village is located under the bridge of April 25. I invite you to discover the LX factory library which is a former printing house.
On the 1st floor of this bookstore, you will meet an old man who exhibits his unusual creations around the theme of time passing and the future. He appreciates and deserves at the end of his demonstrations a small contribution. The bookstore is quite original and the books in Portuguese. In the village you can have a drink or eat indoors and outdoors. You will enjoy strolling through the artisan shops.
# The mythical yellow tram of Lisbon!
The Alfama district was the only neighborhood not affected by the earthquake of 1755. It is the most typical and oldest bohemian neighborhood in Lisbon. It is good to get lost in its alleys that go up and down. Don’t forget your sneakers! Stroll and admire the flamboyantly colored buildings, the Azuléjos of the Santa Luzia viewpoint and its magnificent view of the city to the sound of Fado songs. Here, it is the cradle of this traditional music. Be careful, there are a lot of tourist trap restaurants in the neighborhood about this. The discovery of Lisbon is done on foot but also with the historic yellow tram !
Take the mythical line 28 from the Martim Moniz departure station on the square of the same name to be sure to have space. Stop at Sé Cathedral, then stroll through the neighborhood and go up to the Santa Luzia viewpoint
Buy your return ticket directly at the tram ticket office (3€ round trip/person). Possibility to take a 24h ticket that makes bus, tram, and metro for the price of 6€40. Be careful, be prepared to have a queue of 1 hour to get on the Tramway line 28. This line is very touristy, pickpockets are numerous. Beware of your bags and pockets!
This line before being touristic is used daily by the locals. Personally, I preferred to wait for one more tram to be sure to be comfortably seated and not standing to be able to enjoy the scenery. You will walk through the old quarters of Lisbon with wonder like a child! The tram squeaks and shakes the passengers, it’s funny! The Yellow Tram climbs the heights of Alfama with its winding streets. He sometimes shaves cars and sidewalks to the millimeter and sometimes has to stop because of poorly parked cars.
I promise you a little ride on the merry-go-round. Great experience for young and old!
Day 3: Sintra, in Wonderland!
# Quinta da Regaleira and its palace
Sintra is located 25km from Lisbon. Personally, we drove there. We were 4 people so it was more economical and convenient as a mode of transport. Our getaway to Lisbon and Sintra is part of a 3-week road trip to Portugal from Paris with our own vehicle. `
So we saved the car rental. Especially since we were driving on LPG, so with lower fuel costs! I will share with you all my Portuguese adventures in other Myoxybubble articles to come. And for the return to France we made a detour to Seville.
When you arrive in Quinta da Regaleira, you will have to find a parking space along the road but it is really very complicated because crowded with people, so patience. For people who are not transported, I advise you to take a train from Rossio station. On site, the entrance to the Quinta da Regaleira site will cost you 8€ / adult and 5 € for 13 to 17 years old. Going there at the opening, we only had a tail time of 15min.
You will love this enchanting and mystical place at the same time! The palace and very pretty and the gardens are mesmerizing, beautiful and filled with mysteries with its hidden wells, tunnels, secret passages, caves or fairytale dungeons.
The initiatory well is the centerpiece in the garden.
It has a depth of 27 meters and leads to a labyrinth of wet caves.You will be immersed in the heart of a fairy count or a cartoon at the setting of the Disney “Rapunzel”. The park is also magical for its lush vegetation like tree ferns that remind me of those of La Reunion. The place is also relaxing with its water points and waterfalls.
Walking through this labyrinth will be child’s play with all the hidden and symbolic clues for the pleasure of adults and children.
Just a tip, take a map of the park at the ticket office. It will be useful because the garden extends over 4 hectares! Allow at least 3 hours of visit. I definitely recommend this little piece of paradise. Have a nice ride!
# Palácio de Monserrate
The palacio de Monserrate is a sublime little enchanting palace of oriental inspiration rehabilitated in 2007. The architecture looks like fine lace. The visit is very interesting.
You will take full eyes. In addition, the site is much less touristy than pena Palace and therefore more pleasant. You will enjoy strolling or resting peacefully in the palace gardens.
They are composed of a valley of trees that reminds me of my trip to Cambodia.
There is also a Mexican garden with a large number of succulents and cacti, but also many varieties of trees and plants. The entrance will cost you 8€. Count 2 hours of visit at a leisurely pace. I really recommend the discovery of this little corner of wonder and zenitude.
Possibility to take its skip-the-line entries via the Tiqets application. Very convenient!
Day 4: Sintra and its fairy count castles!
# Castelo dos Mouros
Castelo dos Mouros is a castle in Sintra. You will be teleported for a moment to another space time, or even on the Great Wall of China. Walk along the ramparts of the castle and enjoy a remarkable view.
Be careful, there are many steps. it’s climbing! You will enjoy splendid views of the National Palace of Pena and the city on one side and the National Palace of Sintra on the other.
In foggy weather, the site offers a very pretty mystical atmosphere. On a clear day, the view is stunning. I advise you to book a skip-the-line ticket via the Tiqets app. Very convenient! The entrance fee is 8€/pers.
# National Palace of Pena
The Pena National Palace is a castle straight out of a Disney fairy count with its flamboyant, improbable colors and unusual architecture. We advise you to take your skip-the-line tickets in advance via the GetYourGuide app. Very practical too! The price of the entrance and 14 €/pers.
It is perched on a hill at the top of Sintra. The place is magical and offers great views of the entire valley.
Nevertheless, the interior is less impressive. Some rooms are interesting by their ceiling and walls but the furniture and interior decoration are very disappointing. The gardens of the castle are huge. I recommend the very pleasant walk to “Cruz alta“.
It allows you to discover the park of the castle through lush vegetation. The view of the Pena National Palace from “Cruz Alta” is splendid.
This is for my taste the best point of view for photographers in addition to the tower of the king of Castelo de dos Mouros. Take the site map at the entrance of the park. It will be useful to you..
# Cabo da Roca
I suggest you take the road leaving the National Palace of Pena and go 16km away to the westernmost point of Europe in Cabo da Roca. Admire the ocean as far as the eye can see and its steep cliffs. I guarantee you a big breath of fresh and iodized air!
The ride will be invigorating! Besides, the place is often windy, so do not forget to take a small wool. On site, the site contains a lighthouse and a cross-shaped monument with a plaque.
Possibility to do some hikes around the site. The place and pure and wild. The visit of Cabo da Roca is free as well as its parking. The site is very touristy so expect not to be alone in the world!
If you want to discover even more activities and places to visit in Lisbon and its surroundings, we invite you to click on the banner below:
That’s it, it’s the end of these 4 days in Lisbon and Sintra! But for us the adventure continues, it was only a stage in our road trip started in Porto and which will take us to Seville !
I hope you have made a pleasant trip with me and I tell you very soon for a next MyOxyBubble destination!
Feel free to leave your comments on this article and share your own experiences (the form can be found a little further down).
Need advice to organize your trip? Contact me!
Making a road trip from the France, we used our own vehicle, very convenient to get to Sintra, Christ the King or the aquarium.
However, it is possible to make this stay via other means of transport.
The heart of Lisbon is very well done on foot + tram.
Possibility to take a ferry + bus to go to Christ the King,
Possibility to take a train to go to Sintra.
There is also the bus to go to the aquarium.
You can also use uber punctually.
Otherwise car rental at the airport is also an alternative.
During our stay, we had booked accommodation in the north of Lisbon via airbnb. Unfortunately at the time of writing this article, the ad is no longer available. The host seems to have stopped renting his apartment. However the ads are relatively numerous and we had booked the same day of our arrival.
The currency is obviously the euro.
CB is accepted just about everywhere.
Before you go
Do not forget to check that your passport or ID is still valid. No visa required.
There is no need for special vaccines.
For electrical outlets, they are identical to those in France.
It is very hot, especially in August. Don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen and hat, as well as a bottle of water