We spent five days in the Lisbon area during Easter holidays. This citytrip is very easy to organize yourself and there is plenty of information to find on the internet. In this blog some tips on where to find information. And as for inspiration on what to do, read my blog 5 fantastic things to do in Lisbon.
5 days in Lisbon is more then enough to explore the city center – which is pretty compact – gape at Sintra’s fairytale castles and spend some time at the beach.
We took a flight to Lisbon (TAP, Air Portugal). It’s a flight of about 2.45 minutes. There is one hour time difference with Belgian time (which was already on summer time).
We visited Lisbon beginning of April (first week of the Easter holidays). There were not so many people, nor in Lisbon, nor in Sintra. Maybe still a consequence of corona … Locals told us summer is extremely busy, in particular near the beaches and in Sintra. Lisbon center is still OK then, since most residents go on holidays themselves.
There are various excellent websites providing information on Lisbon’s sights, beaches, monuments and places to stay. My favorites
- VisitLisboa, Lisbon’s official website
- LisbonPortugal.com: the best independent guide to Lisbon with heaps of practical information on various subjects, ranging from a visit to Sintra to a boat trip on the Tejo.
- Lisbon ferries timetable
- Museu Colecao Berardo
- Quinta da Regaleira
If you plan to visit musea, monuments or castles in Sintra, it’s best to book your tickets upfront. In peak seasons, such as the summer, there can be very long waiting lines to get in.
Accommodation and transport
There is plenty of accommodation in and around Lisbon, to be found on Booking.com, Airbnb, our operators or websites above. Just bear in mind where you want to stay and what you want to visit. The old center is not that big, but if you want to explore Belem, Sintra or go to the beaches, you need additional transportation. There are regular train and bus connections, but Uber also comes in very handy and cheap, in particular when you are with a family of 6.
We stayed in a Fisherman’s house in Trafaria, tiny and typical Portugese fisherman’s village just across the Tejo, opposite of Belem. Here, you don’t find big tourism but a cosy village square, a typical Portugese butcher, small grocery shops and plenty of good restaurants in walking distance.
The house is very pleasant. It’s comfortable with a nice living area, fully equipped kitchen, 3 spacy bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a washing machine. On top, there’s a pleasant patio to sit outside and, if you have a car, park the car.
Just be aware this house is not in the city center of Lisbon. It’s in between the center and the beaches of Costa da Caparica. The connections are excellent. Belem is a boat ride away: there is a ferry in 2 minutes walking distance from the house which takes you in about 20 minutes to Belem (1 ferry per hour), very convenient and you get an excellent view on Lisbon from the waterside on top. From Belem, you can take a train or an Uber to the ‘old’ city center (10 euro for an Uber XL, about 10 minutes drive to Placa da Commercio, depending on the traffic), which was, for us, cheaper and more convenient then taking a cab. The house is also very close to the beaches (Costa da Caparica). Here too, you can take a bus, an Uber, go by your own car (10 minutes drive) or walk. We walked back from Costa da Caparica and this was easily feasible. We went by Uber to the airport. Although we then needed two normal Uber’s, since the 6 of us and the luggage didn’t fit in one Uber XL. Here too, the price was cheaper then 1 ‘official’ taxi.
Family restaurants in Trafaria
In general, there are a lot of good restaurants in Portugal, in particular serving seafood. In Trafaria, we had dinner at
Prices in Lisbon are similar to those in Belgium, even a bit less sometimes. On top, museums and monuments are for free on specific days or have special discounts for children and families. Some indications below
Fisherman’s house: 880 € for 6 nights (modern spacious house for 6 persons)
Ferry Trafaria – Belem: 1,25 one way – 4 euro for 2 returns
Ferry : 1, 30 € one way
Sintra Palace: adults (13,30 €) – Youth (6-17 years); 11,88 € – Family (2 Adults 18-64 + 2 Youths 6-17): 46,55 €
Quinta da Regaleira: 25 € (family ticket, 2 adults and 4 children up tot 17)
Pasteis de Belem: 7 € for 6 (take-away)
Restaurant: 85 – 100 € for 6 (drinks, main menu)