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Have you visited Portugal?

It seems to be the place to visit nowadays but I’ve never been there.

I’m thinking of visiting this summer for about 10 days. What should I see?

by Anonymousreply 56December 3, 2023 3:02 AM

I love Portugal. Quite a bit cheaper than, say France or Italy.

The two big cities for sure, Lisbon and Porto. The train between the two is 90 minutes. Maybe Lisbon 3-4 days, Porto 2-3 days then 2-3 days in wine country or the countryside.

Things in Lisbon:

National Tile Museum

Castelo Sao Jorge (really fucking old castle on a perch, terrific view of the city)

MAAT (modern art museum, in an old power plant)

Sintra (cute little village out of the city, though a bit touristy)

Churches, churches, churches.

Take the trolley cars. They're lousy with tourists, but the experience of plowing through narrow hilly streets on a 1920's trolly car is not to be missed.

Bring comfortable shoes - lots and lots of cobblestone and both cities are hilly as fuck.

Port wine tastings in Porto! The southern half of the city has 6-8 port wine tasting rooms within walking distance of each other. If you like port wine, not to be missed.

Both cities are excellent places to just wander and get a little bit lost. Lisbon in particular has dozens and dozens of cute, funky little restaurants/bars to explore. Bairro Alto on the weekend is a great place to wander, people watch and flirt.

by Anonymousreply 1January 4, 2023 2:23 AM

Loved the Alfama district in Lisbon. If you go at a time when it’s not packed with tourists, it’s quite magical.

And loved the MAAT museum too.

by Anonymousreply 2January 4, 2023 2:31 AM

Portugal is a great place: beautiful landscapes and architecture, great food, good places to stay, and easy in terms of transportation and language (English is widely spoken, especially by people in their 40s-50s and younger.) And it's reasonably cheap.

Lisbon and Porto are fantastic cities with splendid settings and topography.. Lisbon is more than 2x as big with 500,000+ pop.; there is more to see and do and I would allow more time there. It's a more international city with lots of digital nomads and temporary residents from elsewhere, with English overheard everywhere. Porto has far fewer tourists and a quite different feel to it but many people who spend some time in both places will say they like Lisbon but love Porto.

Coimbra, Sintra, Cascais are popular day trips from Lisbon with striking settings are fanciful architecture. Lisbon itself is a city of neighborhoods distinct by their geography and that's the best way to explore the city. The national tile museum is terrific and important to see, I think, as it puts much of the aesthetic of Portugal into context. In Porto it is easier to avoid tourist traps as there are far fewer - tourists and traps. Wine production along the Douro river is important and there are tours of port wine warehouses in Porto and vineyards along the river valley to the north. South of Lisbon are the beaches and Algarve region.

by Anonymousreply 3January 4, 2023 2:34 AM

Definitely wander the Alfama in the evening and pop into a bar or restaurant to listen to fado.

by Anonymousreply 4January 4, 2023 2:56 AM

How old are you, OP? Do you like beach cruising?

by Anonymousreply 5January 4, 2023 2:58 AM

Everyone seems to be going there these days. I suppose Sicily will be next.

by Anonymousreply 6January 4, 2023 4:19 AM

They speak Brazilian.

by Anonymousreply 7January 4, 2023 6:17 AM

What are best foods and drinks?

by Anonymousreply 8January 4, 2023 6:32 AM

[quote]What are best foods and drinks?

The wine situation is like Spain - lots of decent wines for sale in the supermarket for 3 euros per bottle. Local vineyards have wine tasting rooms all over.

They don't have France or Italy's reputation for high-end cuisine, but lots of nice food to be had. I went out drinking a few times and would order a cheese plate with brown sourdough bread and I was in heaven.

Belem is known for pastels - little custard tarts. Pasteis de Belem is worth a side trip - always busy, the pastels are always fresh, piping hot and delicious.

Lots and lots of fresh seafood to be had, plus they love their salted cod (balcalhao) and sardines. A great variety of sausages (chourico) available.

In Lisbon they sell bifana sandwiches, in the north they sell francesinha sandwiches (grilled ham sandwich covered in farmer's cheese and gravy, not light cuisine).

The local liquor is ginjinha, which I personally don't like much - sweet as hell with heavy overtones of cough syrup. To each his own though.

If you go to Porto you have to try port wines - lots of fancy reserve brands they don't sell outside Portugal.

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by Anonymousreply 9January 5, 2023 12:05 AM

There doesn’t seem to be many “must see” tourist attractions like in Paris or London. That’s actually a good thing so the days can be spent wandering

by Anonymousreply 10January 5, 2023 12:51 AM

[quote]There doesn’t seem to be many “must see” tourist attractions like in Paris or London.

Not many, no.

by Anonymousreply 11January 5, 2023 12:57 AM

No love for the Algarve? That's where I'd start.

by Anonymousreply 12January 5, 2023 12:58 AM

[quote]No love for the Algarve? That's where I'd start.

Never got there, but I hear it's lovely.

by Anonymousreply 13January 5, 2023 1:01 AM

The dunes south of Costa da Caparica are a "must do" if you're a horny slut between the ages of, say, 18 and 50.

by Anonymousreply 14January 5, 2023 1:02 AM

[quote]There doesn’t seem to be many “must see” tourist attractions like in Paris or London. That’s actually a good thing so the days can be spent wandering

Very true. Porto and Lisbon are cities where you will have a much better time exploring what catches your eye than ticking off lists of 'must see' places. Museums are more focused: the fantastic National Tile Museum and the National Museum of Contemporary Art - Museu do Chiado, both in Lisbon, could be easily overlooked but for a modest banner outside each, but each are large, focused collections with a lot of range and interest. Most any small museum is usually worth a visit, and the cost, if any, is very modest. Art collections are broken up into sections, often by themes, housed in different buildings. The focus and very small numbers of visitors make for a very nice experience.

Aside from museums and food, there are lots of interesting specialty shops outside the realm of international franchises.

by Anonymousreply 15January 5, 2023 10:02 AM

Liked Portugal. 10 days is too much time for just Portugal.

by Anonymousreply 16January 5, 2023 10:19 AM

The Gulbenkian Museum and the Museum of Coaches in Lisbon are both fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 17January 5, 2023 8:08 PM

Museum of Coaches?

by Anonymousreply 18January 5, 2023 8:27 PM

[quote]Museum of Coaches?

The coach museum is...odd. It's in Belem near the pastel place; if you've got an unending fascination with 16th to18th century carriages you'll be in heaven.

by Anonymousreply 19January 5, 2023 8:45 PM

Anyone who crosses the threshold of a Museum of Coaches knows fully well what lies within.

The Museum of the Four-Tined Fork, however, will upset the very bedrock of your expectations

by Anonymousreply 20January 6, 2023 12:04 PM

Portuguese men can be the most handsome men you’ve ever seen

by Anonymousreply 21January 6, 2023 12:13 PM

[quote]Portuguese men can be the most handsome men you’ve ever seen

True. And like many Mediterranean men they hit a massive brick wall around 40.

by Anonymousreply 22January 8, 2023 7:00 PM

I want to visit Nazare to see those monster waves.

by Anonymousreply 23January 9, 2023 2:35 AM

HUGE penises!!

by Anonymousreply 24January 9, 2023 2:43 AM

Maybe not Porto this weekend.

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by Anonymousreply 25January 10, 2023 9:38 PM

If you were planning a trip and could go to either Lisbon and Porto or Lisbon and Algarve, which would you choose?

by Anonymousreply 26March 19, 2023 1:26 PM

Loved Portugal. I remember crossing the border from Spain and remarking how, surprisingly, Portugal was already much more colorful than Spain (and I had just been in a fair amount of Spain).

Alas, two of my main memories are not so fab! The first was that my husband fell ill, so we went to the British Hospital in Lisbon. But left our camera in the car with an open window. Bye-bye, Nixon!

The second was both of us getting very sick in Porto from unpasteurized cheese at dinner. Had to go to the hospital by ambulance. BUT! In the ER the doctor noted our surname and asked my husband if he were related to a doctor the Portuguese one knew of. "Yes, he's my brother," replied my husband. Brother Doctor was world-renowned, you see, and Porto Doctor was so taken by his "Six Degrees Of..." that, to continue the conversation, he personally drove us back to our hotel!

by Anonymousreply 27March 19, 2023 1:39 PM

Haha! I meant "Nikon," but "Nixon" almost works! Except we were visiting San Francisco in August 1974!

by Anonymousreply 28March 19, 2023 1:40 PM

I spent 2 months in Portugal over the winter, mostly in the north. The Algarve does not interest me much…it seems more like a resort place and I’m interested in history, architecture, and culture.

My absolute favorite place was Sintra. I spent 2 full days there (day trips from Lisbon). If you like exploring castles and palaces, it’s a must.

Lisbon is fine, but terribly overrun with tourists now and in my opinion, too expensive for what it offers. It’s not a world class city, but it wants to pretend like it is. Porto is definitely better value. If based in Porto, you can do day trips to Braga and Guimaraes (wonderful medieval architecture) , or visit the Douro valley and its wineries. With 10 days, maybe stay in Lisbon for 3 or 4 days (including 1 day in Sintra), and the rest based in Porto. It’s a small country and travel times are not long.

by Anonymousreply 29March 19, 2023 1:45 PM

CR7 has a $21m ocean-view mansion in the Cascais, but he’s rarely ever in the old country.

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by Anonymousreply 30March 19, 2023 1:56 PM

[R22} Portuguese men are not Mediterranean

by Anonymousreply 31March 19, 2023 5:41 PM


by Anonymousreply 32November 30, 2023 11:29 PM

Lisbon is now overrun with "digital nomad" tech bros.

by Anonymousreply 33December 1, 2023 12:22 AM

Lisbon is sadly also overrun with turistas coming in on gigantic cruise ships.

by Anonymousreply 34December 1, 2023 1:00 AM

I used to go when I was young and hot. Fucked my brains out. Good beaches. It was SOOOOOOOOO cheap. It was cheap in 2000 the way Paris was cheap in the 80s. I've been back to visit old friends. It's not cheap anymore. It's not cheaper than France and Italy. All that infrastructure is gone. It rose through covid as THE distance work location. Speculation, foreign investment and Airbnb gobbled everything up.

by Anonymousreply 35December 1, 2023 2:01 AM

Fada is... kind of dull. There is more interesting music and culture to Portugal.

by Anonymousreply 36December 1, 2023 3:53 AM

Fado is an acquired taste. Portuguese folk music in general as well.

Cheap wine and cute young guys are a definite pull.

by Anonymousreply 37December 1, 2023 4:02 AM

Portugal has its own version of Venice, Aviero is about 30 minutes south of Porto. Charming day trip. The Algarve is all golf courses or waves for surfing. Very touristy. Sandeman’s is the Budweiser of ports. Lisbon gets louder every time I’m there. Still lovely, but I’ve become more partial to Porto.

by Anonymousreply 38December 1, 2023 4:14 AM

Don’t forget Fatima!

by Anonymousreply 39December 1, 2023 12:47 PM

Aveiro is pleasant town with one or two canals. Don't get your hopes up.

by Anonymousreply 40December 1, 2023 1:03 PM

I just spent two weeks in Portugal over the summer and visited 10 different cities. When I was in Lisbon I took an exhaustive and pretty exhausting 12-hour group day tour of several cities which I would highly recommend if you would like to hit some of the smaller cities and are inclined to do that sort of thing - we visited Fatima (truly awe-spiring), Nazare (worth it for the waves), and Obidos (gorgeous medieval gem). Sintra is definitely a must do, especially the gigantic garden palace. Lagos was a lot of fun, especially when I was there in early September - definitely do the speed boat tour of the beautiful lagoons and travel to the far coast for sunset, I believe it’s the furthest point in Western Europe and the breathtaking seaside cliff views (especially the lighthouse) are thrilling beyond belief. A lovely country, but as many have said it has become very touristy.

by Anonymousreply 41December 3, 2023 2:07 AM

Perhaps you were drunk? Lagos is not at all the furthest west. Lisbon and all points west of it. With Cabo da Roca being the furthest West.

by Anonymousreply 42December 3, 2023 2:13 AM

[quote] Perhaps you were drunk? Lagos is not at all the furthest west.

Reading comprehension.

by Anonymousreply 43December 3, 2023 2:17 AM

Physics? It would take well over 3 hours to drive from Lagos in the south back up to Lisbon and over the Cabo da Roca. Also what kind of "12 hour" tour covers the entire country of Portugal and allows the tourist to do anything but wave out the window?

by Anonymousreply 44December 3, 2023 2:27 AM

One would likely spend a day in Sintra itself and then perhaps head over to the coast for the sunset. Absolutely NOTHING to do with a visit to the southern coast of Portugal at Lagos.

by Anonymousreply 45December 3, 2023 2:30 AM

^^^ That's exactly what I did last time I was in Portugal. Totally worth the nausea-inducing drive up to Sintra on those narrow, winding roads with no guardrails.

by Anonymousreply 46December 3, 2023 2:37 AM

I haven't been to Sintra in years but I just walked up the hills, as I was very fit. I even explored the abandoned 19th century concrete "palace" that Madonna eventually bought and half renovated.

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by Anonymousreply 47December 3, 2023 2:44 AM

Just to clarify, when I was in Lagos we visited Vila do Bispo for the sunset, and also the lighthouse at Cape St. Vincent. Additionally, the 12-hour tour left from Lisbon and we traveled to Fatima, Nazare and Obidos and back. We spent around 2-3 hours in each city, which was pleasant for a general overall visit for each since they are not major cities for the most part in comparison to Lisbon and Porto.

by Anonymousreply 48December 3, 2023 2:45 AM

I was hoping it had gay cruise potential but alas. There were a couple abandoned villas like that outside Cannes that were the hottest of hot bacchanalian fuck fests.

by Anonymousreply 49December 3, 2023 2:46 AM

I'm sorry to give you hard time its just nothing near Lagos is the furthest west in Europe. That would be north, west of Lisbon. That is all.

by Anonymousreply 50December 3, 2023 2:47 AM

Right. Just to clarify, as I wrote, on speed boat tour we went all the way to a beach that the tour guides said was “the furthest point in Western Europe,” not the farthest west. They could have been lying for all I know, but it was pretty.

by Anonymousreply 51December 3, 2023 2:50 AM

I was in Porto for work for two weeks. I did not like the city at all. I could not get why people liked it so much. Cheap booze?

by Anonymousreply 52December 3, 2023 2:53 AM

[quote] Just to clarify, as I wrote, on speed boat tour we went all the way to a beach that the tour guides said was “the furthest point in Western Europe,” not the farthest west.

They were probably referring to Cape St. Vincent which is the southwestern most point in Europe. It's about a 40 minute drive from Lagos, and easily reached by boat from Lagos. R42 apparently did not read your post at R41 very well.

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by Anonymousreply 53December 3, 2023 2:54 AM

Yes, R53, that is exactly right. Apologies for being unclear - and yes they weren’t lying that it is the “furthest point in Western Europe” then. Good to know! Highly recommend it, especially at sunset.

by Anonymousreply 54December 3, 2023 2:56 AM

He didn't write "southwestern". He wrote "further west". Which is point well known, west of Lisbon. Mystery resolved.

by Anonymousreply 55December 3, 2023 2:57 AM


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