Oh Lisbon, probably one of my favourite holidays to date – good food, good weather, good food, pretty buildings, breathtaking views, friendly people and did I mention good food? When I went to Prague, I enjoyed the food though 2 days in I was craving Asian flavours in the form rice and noodles because the meals were quite heavy for me. But Lisbon, I just couldn’t get enough, I enjoyed everything and wanted more!
In this post I will concentrate on the hotel and travel, and there will be follow up posts for food and places. Look forward to the food posts, it is mouthwatering and involved a lot of Pasteis de natas! (Drooling just thinking about it)
I stayed at Turim Saldanha which is about a 30 minute walk from the main city centre or a 10 minute metro journey. It is conveniently located near three metro stations: Saldanha (red/yellow line), Picoas (yellow line) and Parque (blue line). From the airport I took the red line to Saldanha which took about 25 minutes, with zero changes – quite convenient – and a short 10 minute walk from the station to the hotel.
For my travels I bought a Viva Viagem card which is equivalent to the Oyster Card in London and cost €0.50. I used one of the blue machines at the station which had an English option, then you can choose the amount you wish you put on the card and top it up or buy a travel card. I chose Zapping which is a pay as you go method and each metro trip cost €1.30 (correct as at Feb 2017). For the 4 days I was there I probably used around €20 and this includes going to Belem and Sintra by train. Likewise to the oyster card, you tap in/out on the machines to enter/exit the metro. The machines display how much money is on your card though I found it quite hard to read but you can put the card into the machines that you buy the tickets from to check how much is remaining (before you top up the card).
So, the hotel. Turim is a chain and Saldanha is one of the newest hotels so it is quite modern and new. We had a double room which was quite small compared to the one we had in Prague but considering the amount of time we were there it didn’t bother me too much. There were your usual hotel amenities like a safe, toiletries, hair dryer and kettle for tea/coffee. The only problem we had was that we couldn’t work the air con, whatever we did it was hot and stuffy. Luckily we could open the window which was much more comfortable! The staff at the reception were super helpful and nice, we were welcomed by a lady (I didn’t catch her name) but she asked if we were travelling alone, without tour packages (to which we answered yes) and she whipped out a map showing us all the main attractions and roughly how long/how to get to each place.
The hotel is near a local supermarket (Pingo Doce) which is near Picoas station and a giant department store with a much larger supermarket (El Corte Ingles) and many coffee shops. One of the cafes that was recommended to me – Balcao do Marques – was nearby, with omlettes and yummy Pastel de Natas (near the Maques de Pombal roundabout). Eduardo Park is also nearby with the maze look view – it’s a nice place to stroll by in the sun.
So that’s all for travel and hotel, any questions – leave them in the comments section or email me and I’ll try and help.
Next up I’ll talk about some of the places I visited and of course, the lovely food I ate.
For now, check out the food I ate in Lisbon on Instagram with the hashtag #LFAinLisbon