Many visitors use Lisbon as a base for exploring
nearby sites but they often neglect the cultural gems tucked away in the Portuguese capital.
One reason Lisbon gets overlooked is that visitors don’t budget enough time for it.
You need at least 5 days to do justice to the city and its environs. If your time is limited explore the National
Coach Museum the Jerónimos Monastery and the Alfama and the Castle of Saint George.
At least two art museums the MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art and the Calouste Gulbenkian
Museum although not of the caliber of Madrid’s Prado need attention.
If you have time visit the Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva Foundation and watch reproductions
of antiques being made or books being gold-leafed. You could also spend time seeing the gilded
royal galleys at the Naval Museum wandering through the fish market visiting Lisbon’s
new aquarium or exploring the arts and crafts of Belém’s Folk Art Museum. Foreign and domestic flights land at Lisbon’s
Aeroporto de Lisboa about 6.5km (4 miles) from the heart of the city.
An AERO-BUS runs between the airport and the Cais do Sodré train station every 20 minutes
from 7:45am to 8:15pm. The fare is 3.50€. It makes 10 intermediate stops including Praça
dos Restauradores and Praça do Comércio. There’s no charge for luggage. Most international rail passengers from Madrid
and Paris arrive at the major terminal Estação da Santa Apolónia Avenida Infante Dom Henrique.
It’s by the Tagus near the Alfama district. Two daily trains make the 10-hour run from
Madrid to Lisbon. Rail lines from northern and eastern Portugal
also arrive at this station. Buses from all over Portugal including the
Algarve arrive at the Rodoviária da Sete Rios. If your hotel is in Estoril or Cascais
you can take bus number 1 which goes on to the Cais do Sodré.
At least six buses a day leave for Lagos and nine buses head north every day to Porto.
There are 14 daily buses to Coimbra. One-way fare from Lagos to Lisbon is 18€. International motorists must arrive through
Spain the only nation connected to Portugal by road.
You’ll have to cross Spanish border points which usually pose no great difficulty. The
roads are moderately well maintained. From Madrid if you head west the main road
(N 6 2 0) from Tordesillas goes southwest by way of Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo and
reaches the Portuguese frontier at Fuentes de Onoro.
Most of the country’s 15 border crossings are open daily from 7am to midnight.