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  • Shane Z
  • "Have 3-4 weeks to unwind on a budget. Should I go to Lisbon or Porto?"

Shane Z

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Have 3-4 weeks to unwind on a budget. Should I go to Lisbon or Porto?

I be here in the summer and am traveling on a budget.  I am looking for a place to unwind in and enjoy the town for 3-4 weeks.  

So which is going to be better for me - Lisbon or Porto?

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13 Answers

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  • Lisbon (city)

    Lisbon

    11 mentions

  • Porto (city)

    Porto

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  • Sintra (city)

    Sintra Lisboa

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  • Marta Martins

    top answer by

    Praia Do Mecoimage from 23hq.com

    Lisbonimage from travel.nytimes.comPorto

    It depends on what you want, since the two are quite different. If you come for that long, you can do both, there is a direct train link and it only takes two hours. Lisbon is bigger, more cosmopolitan and a step away from nices beaches; Porto also has a very trendy city life and cultural side, but is a very different kind of place, since the north of Portugal is in general more green, with smaller cities and a more 'countryside' feel. I would think that if you really want to stay in one place only, Lisbon would be a better option, for I'm pretty sure that if you go to Porto you will quickly end up exploring the nearby region, whereas in Lisbon you can easily entertain yourself for that long without going much further. Around Porto you can find good options for outdoor activities, trekking, canyoning, etc., with the nicest natural parks (like Parque Nacional Peneda-Gerês) quite close; around Lisbon cultural activities and beaches (Sintra, Costa da Caparica, Praia Do Meco, Portinho da Arrábida...). Also, in the summer there are numerous music festivals around the country, if you're into that, check the cultural agendas - all genres are covered 😊. If you want more names, ideas or details, I'll be glad to be a contact point for you.

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    • Shane Z.

      Shane Z.

      Thank you so much Marta! · (1 likelikes)

    • Tony W.

      Tony W.

      I've recently had a friend rave about Medeira... How would you compare Lisbon/Porto with it? · (0 likelikes)

    • Marta M.

      Marta M.

      Madeira is a totally unique issue.. It is lovely, but completly for tourism, nothing to do with mainland Portugal. It has beautiful nature landscapes, great treks and warm weather all year round, but not much else to do - I would not recommend it for a city trip of more than 4-5 days tops. For islands we also have the Azores, with a greater variety of choices, since there are 9 islands and each different from the others. But much less tourism oriented, more relaxed and natural, extremely easy going. No 'big' cities though.. · (3 likelikes)

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    2. Porto (city)
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    7. Portinho da Arrábida (attraction)

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  • Hugo Nunes

    answered first by

    Lisbon has more to offer, being ths capital. Has a great river scenery, some cool beaches nearby, the best hostels in the world, great nightlife...


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  • Ed Bruce

    answered by

    Go to Porto then North to Galicia!

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  • Aurora Restauração

    answered by

    Both! If you have 3-4 weeks you should defenitly visit both Porto and Lisbon. Each as its very diferente culture, architecture and gastronomy and with 3 to 4 weeks to spend you could get the best of both cities. When in Lisboa, you should also visit Sintra, wich is a mere half hour away and its a concentrated cluster of amazing places!

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  • Robson Cadore

    answered by

    Hi Shane,
    I would visit both.
    The cities are well served by bus and train. If you wanna save,buses are usually cheaper than train. A bus ride will set you back Euro 19,00. ( or even better try blablacar!)
    Lisbon has that buzz from a big city and Porto is more laiback.
    Last May we spent about 10 days in Lisbon and 6 days in Porto.
    Lisbon has a lot to see and you can have a lot of fun in Bairro Alto. From Lisbon we visited Sintra, Sesimbra and Portinho da Arrábida.

    In 3 days you can do a lot in Porto. Then you can take a scenic train to Pinhão or Pocinho. The train goes along the Douro river. That's the cheapest way, if you wanna splurge you can take one of the several cruises departing from Porto.
    Matosinhos is close to Porto and nice for a beach day.
    In Porto you should try the "Francesinha" a sandwich not allowed for those on a diet :) It's delicious !!!!
    Enjoy Portugal!!!!

    Lisbon
    Lisbon
    SintraSintra
    Sesimbra
    Sesimbra
    Portinho da Arrábida
    Portinho da Arrábida
    PortoPorto

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      I had to look up Francesinha. It looks like a croque madame on steroids and I want it! · (1 likelikes)

    • Robson C.

      Robson C.

      Debbie, over 1000 calories :) Will write a post about Porto soon and upload some pics :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Rosalynn Hanemaaijer

    answered by

    If you have a lot of time pick Lisbon. There is just so much more to see and do.

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  • Emi Dunn Rigby

    answered by

    Both if possible! We just did both cities 2 months ago and LOVED them because they are so different but amazing. If you have to choose, I'd do Porto just because it's so magical and charming -- you'd truly be able to relax. If you want to see more about our time in both to help you decide, you can see Lisbon here:

    http://www.welltraveledwife.com/2014/02/lovely-lisbon.html

    and Porto here: www.welltraveledwife.com/2014/02/pretty-porto.html


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  • Paula Johnson

    answered by

    Haven't visited Porto but had a great time in Lisbon. The trolleys around the city are great. Plenty to see and do. Don't miss the custard tarts!

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  • Victor Marcos

    answered by

    You should visit both. First Lisbon and after you can go by the train to Porto (2H30).

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  • Antonio Baptista

    answered by

    3-4 weeks is enough to visit both, Lisbon and Porto, the distance between them is only 300 km, 3h by train, and also make a stop over in Coimbra, 1 day.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Ah, the best of both worlds! :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Michael Lythcott

    answered by

    Honestly, you can do both. Both places are very affordable and right on the water. Why not do 2 weeks in each, 4 in total? Both cities offer a unique experience and it's worth it to see the lively culture and beaches of Lisbon and see the dark charm, nightlife, and food/wine of Porto.

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  • Diana Coza

    answered by

    Hello Shane! You should go to both. I've recently wrote a blog post about driving the car until the Douro Valley and then all along until Oporto. It is such a wonderful experience and so culturally rich. Please feel welcome to read the post and drop me a line if you have any questions. http://www.wheretwogoto.com/along-the-douro-to-oporto/

    Lisbon doesn't misses from the posts either :)

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  • Deborah at Casa Vacanze Borgo Borghese

    answered by

    Hello Shane,
    I advise you to spend two weeks in Porto as very typical and then you're in the center and you can visit places how near Guimaraes. And spend the rest of Lisbon very beautiful antique and modern, visit Sintra and in the evening go to hear fado ...

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