Lisbon: what to do during a long connecting fligh or just 1 day at the city - Bus 142
DESTINATIONS Portugal Travel Itinerary

Lisbon: what to do during a long connecting fligh or just 1 day at the city

When I was getting my ticket to Madrid flying TAP I saw that all of their flights leaving from São Paulo stopped in Lisbon first. And I don’t know about you, but I hate plane changes and connecting flights. I was already reconsidering my final destination and looking for direct flights when I realized that the connections in Lisbon could last up to 13 hours. First I laughed thinking why on Earth would someone spend half a day waiting at the airport…except: wait a minute, maybe I can spend this time enjoying Lisbon?

I looked it up and discovered that yes! Lisbon’s airport is very central, almost inside the metropolitan area of the city, connected to the metro that takes you to the main attractions in about half an hour. Meaning:
Wanna add another city to the itinerary for just extra 13 hours, ma’am? Yep, I guess so. 🙂

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I arrived in Lisbon exhausted after yet another 5-hour-connection at Rio de Janeiro and a flight with a lot of turbulence. I almost gave up leaving the airport in the first place – good thing I didn’t. Yes, it was a hot, busy and tiring day, but totally worth it! Lisbon is such a beautiful city, and this quick stop only made me feel like coming back to Portugal again.

At the Airport

Lisbon’s airport is huge! And kind of confusing. I hope you get luckier than I did during immigration, once I spent about 2 hours of my time just here. So don’t wait much to get this part done with.

Luggage Storage

I was traveling just with my carry on, so as soon as I “entered Europe” I left my bag and backpack at luggage storage. They charge you per weight per unit, so say you have 2 backpacks of 4kg each, you’ll have to pay twice the fee for the first weight category (10kg).
There are 3 weight categories with different prices: €3.26 up to 10kg / €4.83 from 10 to 30kg / €9.57 for +30kg.

Arriving in Lisbon by Metro!

With the bags stored, time to catch the metro. You buy the card and “charge” it with as many trips as you wish. The airport is connected with the Red Line and in order to get to the touristic area you need change to the Green Line. Check the metro’s map here.

Belém Tower

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As soon as you leave at Cais do Sodré station you’ll see a Elétrico Articular bus stop, a very popular bus in Lisbon that takes you to Belém Tower for €2.85 and that’s what I’ve planned to do to arrive at my first attraction of the day. But after 3 totally crowded buses, I decided to ask a taxi driver at this same street how much a ride would cost – around €7. Almost the same thing me and my mom would pay to ride a very full bus.
So, if you ask me, riding a cab in Lisbon is TOTALLY worth it.

The Belém Tower is located at the Belém region of the city (right?), and you can access it through Brasília Ave, alongside the River Tejo. You’ll pay less if you buy a combined ticket for Belém Tower with Jerónimos Monastery (€12). Student ID is good here, so remember to bring yours!

The Belém Tower is beautiful! It was built between 1514 and 1519 during the reign of King Manuel I, first completely surrounded by water until it finally connected to dry land. It was built as a military fortification to protect the river bay, but after 1580 the dungeons of the tower served as a prison.
I found it very amusing to see this golden Portuguese age and learn some of its extravagances: In 1515, King Manuel I decided to send Rome a rhino that Portugal had won as a gift from India, aiming the Pope’s support. After all, we all know what a great gift a rhino can be, imaright? But unfortunately the ship faced a storm and sinked, leaving all the crew – and our friend rhino, of course – dead. But still, the king found the rhino’s body and had it stuffed and sent to the Pope anyways.
To “honor” its memory, the rhino was immortalized as a stone gargoyle outside the tower (picture above). Curious, to say the least!

Address: Brasília Ave, 1400-038
Opening Hours: October to April: from 10:00AM to 5:30PM, May to September: from 10:00AM to 6:30PM
Tickets: €6 (single ticket)

Jerónimos Monastery

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I didn’t even pay much attention to Jerónimos Monastery until I arrived in Lisbon and saw that it was close (a 20-minute walk) from Belém Tower and decided to buy the combined ticket. Lucky me! What a wonderful and amazing place! My favorite in Lisbon, for sure.

Great symbol of the Portuguese Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon, the monastery was built in 1502 in the so called Restelo region, as soon as Vasco da Gama returned from his journey to India. The Jerónimos Monastery withstood the 1755 Lisbon earthquake without much damage, and also resisted the invasion by Napoleon.
Inside the monastery is possible to find the graves of many important Portuguese figures, including many kings, such as: Manuel I and his wife Maria, John III and his wife Catherine, Sebastian I and Henry, and also Vasco da Gama, Luís Vaz de Camões and the poet Fernando Pessoa.

Amazing place! It got some Hogwarts in it, don’t you think?

Address: Império Square, 1400-206
Opening Hours: October to April: from 10:00AM to 5:30PM, May to September: from 10:00AM to 6:30PM
Tickets: €10 (single ticket)

Pastéis de Belém

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“Going to Lisbon and not eating at Pastéis de Belém is like never going to Lisbon in the first place”. Well, that’s a lie. No such thing as an obligation in any of your trips. But as a friend I’m telling you: seriously consider having your afternoon snack at Pastéis de Belém restaurant, located nearby Jerónimos Monastery, and try the original pastel de nata – an egg tart pastry kind of thing. Really hard to explain, but SO good!

The Pastéis de Belém first started being made and sold in 1837 by someone from the monastery in an attempt of survival after the closure of all convents and monasteries in Portugal caused by the Liberal Revolution. The secret recipe of the pastry is known exclusively by the master confectioners and remained unchanged until today.

Now if you see a huge line in front of the shop, do not panic! This is for take-aways only. Enter the restaurant through the left door, grab a table and enjoy one of the many Portuguese delights. Or just go ahead and eat 5 Pastéis de Belém, no judging here! The best part is that they cost only €1.05 each.

Address: Belém St. nº 84 to 92, 1300–085
Opening Hours: Open every day from 8:00AM to 11:00PM
Telephone: +351 21 363 74 23

São Jorge Castle

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By this time of the day you’re probably gonna be super tired – I know I was! But if you still have a couple of hours left, take a cab and go up to São Jorge Castle. Even if you didn’t use the cab during the rest of the day, now is a good time once the castle is over a mountain. But it’s worth the climb! The castle is gorgeous and from the top you get the most amazing view from Alfama neighborhood and its typical orange tilling.

Address: Santa Cruz do Castelo St., 1100-129
Opening Hours: November to February: from 9:00AM to 6:00PM, March to October: from 9:00AM to 9:00PM
Tickets: €8.50

After all this, time to get back to the airport by metro and continue your journey.
It was a pretty busy, tiring and amazing day for me. I had just a taste of Lisbon and already fell like coming back to explore this amazing city. ♡

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Taís
    Sunday August 28th, 2016 at 07:24 PM

    Depois que você disse da sua conexão em Lisboa eu tive que vir aqui conferir também! Esses dias eu to com um bixinho me mordendo pra ir conhecer Lisboa, ainda mais que uma amiga se mudou pra lá.. então tudo que é post de lá eu to devorando. Sua conexão também foi super bem aproveitada, parece ser uma cidade muito gracinha, espero poder ir pra lá em breve
    🙂

    • Reply
      Mari Guedes
      Sunday August 28th, 2016 at 10:45 PM

      Ta, eu amei Lisboa! A cidade é muito gostosa, e tudo é bonito de olhar, sabe? Fora que ouvir português também faz uma falta as vezes, e o sotaque deles é uma delícia de ouvir! hahaha
      A propósito, Lisboa também tem portas liiiindas, mas eu só comecei a fotografar no fim do dia, então não vão virar série 🙁
      Enfim, super recomendo! Acho que ainda é uma cidade bem barata (pro padrão Europa). Tem um guia com tudo detalhadinho do meu dia, depois da uma olhada 🙂

      Beijos! <3

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