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Four days in Lisbon with family (including grandmother) - recommendations?

Hi! We are renting an apartment in Rossio over Christmas, and would love suggestions for:

- Sites (St. George's, Alfama, Belem tower, Lisbon cathedral?) We are not super into museums unless they're something special

- Activities

- Places to eat

- Types of food that are local

- Wines to try 

Also -- is there anything special going on for Christmas Eve? Will everything be shut down? (e.g. in Panama, it was impossible to find an open restaurant after 8PM on Christmas Eve!) 

Thanks in advance!

4 Answers

top answer by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

If you want to get out of town, definitely go to  Sintra.  Sintra is a mountain town that was a traditional royal retreat, and is a UNESCO heritage site.  Its very close to Lisbon and great for a day trip or a 1/2 day trip. Of all the palaces, I liked  Pena National Palace the best.  It has very interesting architecture with amazing views (its perched on top of a mountain with views down to the lowlands and coast.  We had lunch and some wine at  Tivoli Palácio de Seteais, which is an old palace that has been converted to a luxury hotel.  Very beautiful place and we had a great lunch outside by the pool and gardens.

Another great spot to visit for a walk around and a meal is  Cascais which is a seaside town about an hour from Lisbon. Its extremely charming with great cobble stoned streets and squares, lots of places to wander, eat, drink, etc.  Would be a good place to go for dinner from Lisbon, as its a very easy train ride from Lisbon.  It could also easily be combined with a trip to Sintra (dinner on the way back, for example).  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sintra (attraction)
  2. Pena National Palace (attraction)
  3. Tivoli Palácio de Seteais (hotel)
  4. Cascais (city)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Luciana from Austin (Texas)

It's been a while since I went to Lisbon, so bear with me...I'm Brazilian, my family is half-Portuguese and I was in Lisbon for 3 months back in 2000.

Places to see in Lisbon:  Jerónimos Monastery (beautiful!),  Torre de Belém (very pretty and nice view of the river where the ships sailed to explore the world), Padrão dos Descobrimentos and  Pastéis de Belém are all close together.  Parque das Nações which was built for the Expo 2000 and the  Oceanário de Lisboa (very large aquarium) is there.  Alfama is one of the oldest areas in the city (not destroyed by fires or earthquakes that leveled everything else) and there are quite a few fado restaurants where you can hear the fado singers live. The  Castelo de São Jorge has a great view of the city. The  Elevador de Santa Justa is also known as Elevador do Carmo, is a lift from Chiado do  Convento Do Carmo. A different museum unique to Portugal as far as I know is the  Museu Nacional do Azulejo. I agree with the suggestion above to visit  Sintra, including  Palácio da PenaPiriquita (where you can eat the famous Travesseiros de Sintra) and  Castelo dos Mouros.

Foods to try: I love all the dishes "A Lagareiro" which means they are cooked in lots of olive oil (Lagar = place where the olive oil is made). Octopus a Lagareiro was one of my favorites. Prego no pão is a nice beef sandwich with mustard of hot sauce, good for a quick lunch. Frango a Piri-Piri is rotisserie chicken with a type of hot pepper (piri-piri). I love the roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas) sold on street corners during the winter. The salted cod fish dishes are super traditional - bacalhau. My favorite one was Bacalhau a Brás, but there is a huge variety. Amêijoas are a type of clam, steamed like mussels and eaten with bread. Alheiras are sausages, originally chicken based. The sweets use lots and lots of eggs and sugar, sometimes almonds too. Pastel de Belém is a sweet egg tart, Toucinho do Céu is a cake with almonds and eggs, Travesseiros de Sintra are pastries with eggs and almonds. Inexpensive and very authentic places to eat are the tascas, usually family-owned restaurants where people have lunch. 

Drinks: I love wines from the Alentejo region. An inexpensive and good one is Monte Velho. For a wonderful lunch with good Alentejo wine, go to  Casa do Alentejo, one of my favorite places in Lisbon. The Portuguese love their coffee, which they drink very strong at the end of the meals and throughout the day. I had the best coffee at  Il Caffé Di Roma, spread across the city. Ginja is a liquor made of the fruit of the same name, in the cherry family. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jerónimos Monastery (attraction)
  2. Torre de Belém (attraction)
  3. Padrão dos Descobrimentos (attraction)
  4. Pastéis de Belém (restaurant)
  5. Parque das Nações (attraction)
  6. Oceanário de Lisboa (attraction)
  7. Alfama (attraction)
  8. Castelo de São Jorge (attraction)
  9. Elevador de Santa Justa (attraction)
  10. Convento Do Carmo (attraction)
  11. Museu Nacional do Azulejo (attraction)
  12. Sintra (attraction)
  13. Palácio da Pena (attraction)
  14. Piriquita (restaurant)
  15. Castelo dos Mouros (attraction)
  16. Casa do Alentejo (restaurant)
  17. Il Caffé Di Roma (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Galician from Ourense

Hello! I only have been in Lisbon for a week in summer. In Lisbon, you can visit a special museum about antiques cars which is very special and the Jerónimos Monastery . I think that maybe, you shoul visit the outside of the citi, specially Sintra and Estoril. In Sintra, you have a touristic bus and you can see all the palaces in one day (lovely Palácio da Penaand Estoril has has the Casino and a beautiful beach. You can go by train and without problems. Another experience is cross the river Tajo by ferry boat and visit the Costa da Caparica.

Don't worry about the food because is excellent and cheap. They have beef, specially grilled pork and chicken. I can't talk about wines because I don't drink alcohol, sorry.

Lisbon is a great city and you will enjoy it! Sorry for my English, I am from Spain! Maybe, if you are interested in visited Galicia, in Spain, I can help you. Galicia is over Portugal and very interesting too.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jerónimos Monastery (attraction)
  2. Sintra (attraction)
  3. Estoril (city)
  4. Palácio da Pena (attraction)
  5. Costa da Caparica (city)
  6. Galicia (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Sini from Finland

We did a similar trip - also with granny - a year ago, although in the beginning of December.

I liked this for wine tasting: Lisboa Solar

And if you have a chance to have an adult dinner: 100 Maneiras

A walk in Alfama was great - and very exhausting with the stroller... I'd also take a bus to Belem, just to have the pasteis there. Pastéis de Belém

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lisboa Solar (attraction)
  2. 100 Maneiras (restaurant)
  3. Alfama (attraction)
  4. Pastéis de Belém (restaurant)
1 thankscomments (1)

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