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Lisbon in October w/ 2 little kids - stay in the city or go out?

Lisbon in October w/ 2 little kids - stay in the city or go out?

Old Apr 9, 20, 2:12 pm
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Lisbon in October w/ 2 little kids - stay in the city or go out?

Hi All,

Obviously we could end up with a corona-cancellation, but at this very moment, we're planning on going to Portugal for 5 nights in October. We're flying in / out of Lisbon, and we'll be there for five nights. We are a family of four, with two little kids, two and four. We love exploring new cities and eating good food as a family so part of me thinks we should stay in Lisbon. The other part of me thinks that we should stay at a beach resort. Any thoughts? The only thing we don't want to do is split is up, since moving the family w/ little kids is a bit more effort, and this will be part of a larger trip so we'll have a fair amount of luggage. We're totally open to doing site seeing day trips either from the coast to Lisbon or Lisbon to coast - or if someone says we should and and drive to Porto and stay there, open to that too! THANKS!
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Old Apr 10, 20, 5:55 am
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Depends what you're after. If you want a beach resort, then you need to go down to the Algarve. If you want a city, then stay in LIS and do day trips. Five nights means 3 day to see the city and 3 day trips (Sintra, Óbidos, Sesimbra by car).
Porto is not a day trip. You can split your time 3+3 between Lisbon and Porto, but if this is towards the end of a larger trip when you think you'll be worn out from the travel, then just stay in LIS and enjoy the feeling of the city and not rush to see the sights.

This assumes that things will be back to normal by then, which, as you know, probably won't be the case.
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Old Apr 10, 20, 8:30 am
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With two young kids, I'd probably just stay in Lisbon. Not to be trite, but you can go to a beach anywhere, and Lisbon is a pretty great city. But knowing where the rest of your trip takes you might change my mind too. With limited information, I'd say there's a lot to do in Lisbon, and a lot of good food. As Palal suggested, plan a couple day trips if you want to. Sintra is a great one, and easy by car or train. There's a bus stop right by the Sintra train station that will take you around to all the castles if you won't want to drive. And although I haven't been, I believe you can get to the beach at Cascais in about 40 mins by train or a short drive, if you want a beach day. Again, I haven't done it, so you'll have to decide if that's the best idea for a day trip.
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Old Apr 10, 20, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Depends what you're after. If you want a beach resort, then you need to go down to the Algarve. If you want a city, then stay in LIS and do day trips. Five nights means 3 day to see the city and 3 day trips (Sintra, Óbidos, Sesimbra by car).
Porto is not a day trip. You can split your time 3+3 between Lisbon and Porto, but if this is towards the end of a larger trip when you think you'll be worn out from the travel, then just stay in LIS and enjoy the feeling of the city and not rush to see the sights.

This assumes that things will be back to normal by then, which, as you know, probably won't be the case.
This is too much. OP is apparently flying from SFO to LIS with too little kids. Even with four premium cabin seats, they're not going to want to do much on the first day beyond a gentle stroll and early dinner or maybe a bit of heated hotel pool time. They'll have four days to explore and then need to leave for the airport in the morning following night five. This is about right for Lisbon, with one day doing an excursion by train (I wouldn't try to drive for this) to one of the beach resorts or pretty villages near Lisbon.
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Old Apr 10, 20, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
This is too much. OP is apparently flying from SFO to LIS with too little kids. Even with four premium cabin seats, they're not going to want to do much on the first day beyond a gentle stroll and early dinner or maybe a bit of heated hotel pool time. They'll have four days to explore and then need to leave for the airport in the morning following night five. This is about right for Lisbon, with one day doing an excursion by train (I wouldn't try to drive for this) to one of the beach resorts or pretty villages near Lisbon.
The OP's post is a little confusing actually. He states they are flying in and out of Lisbon, but then writes that it's part of a larger trip. If I understand correctly, this is either the front end or back end of the trip. If it's the back end, that alleviates some of your concerns. But in either case, I agree with your conclusions.
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Old Apr 10, 20, 6:38 pm
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I agree with the other posters. Quality over quantity of experiences. I would base myself in Baixa Chiado in the lower part of Lisbon on a street with car access so you can easily get around. Day trip by Uber (very cheap) to Sintra, the Belem Tower, the Castle and lookout points where you can chill and relax. Don't bother with the old trams to Alfama - they are overrated, slow and not child-friendly. You could do one day trip by Uber or train to Cascais, which is really a suburb of Lisbon. And with that you will have a very relaxing time in Lisbon.
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Old Apr 11, 20, 10:15 am
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Thanks, everyone, for the clarity! We love exploring cities with our little ones, but we also enjoy a good beach resort. This is indeed part of a larger trip (NYC beforehand, Paris / Egypt after), and it sounds like we should just stay in Lisbon, enjoy the culture, food, and plan a couple day trips! We'll find some resort relaxation later on the trip.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
Thanks, everyone, for the clarity! We love exploring cities with our little ones, but we also enjoy a good beach resort. This is indeed part of a larger trip (NYC beforehand, Paris / Egypt after), and it sounds like we should just stay in Lisbon, enjoy the culture, food, and plan a couple day trips! We'll find some resort relaxation later on the trip.
Another dimension I was thinking about is the weather - your chances of rain are much higher in October so this is yet another reason to stay in the city of Lisbon and select best beach day(s) based on the weather. You could be lucky and enjoy a run of blue sky days (Sintra is also best visited in sunny conditions). Equally you could have overcast conditons for the entire duration. On average, Lisbon has 8-11 rainy days in October, versus around 3 in September. I would expect early October to have the best chance of the driest, sunniest, warmest conditions.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 6:30 pm
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Question Corona virus tours?

Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
(NYC beforehand, Paris / Egypt after), and it sounds like we should just stay in Lisbon, enjoy the culture, food, and plan a couple day trips! We'll find some resort relaxation later on the trip.
All the Corona Virus hot spots!!! Why do you think anything will be open?
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Old Apr 16, 20, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by mmack View Post
All the Corona Virus hot spots!!! Why do you think anything will be open?
Coronavirus world tour!
I'm not sure if you've seen the fares that are available today JFK-LIS, 5 day stopover, LIS-ORY... Can be purchased for just over $100 USD. Although, I did pay closer to $200 per ticket so we could select seats for the family. It's a calculated risk. If we can't safely travel at that point, then I've lost the money. If we can, then I scored a great deal for a family vacation. I'm okay with either outcome, but obviously for the sake of the world, I hope we're able to travel. But if not, that's okay.
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Old Apr 24, 20, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by mmack View Post
All the Corona Virus hot spots!!! Why do you think anything will be open?
If hotels, restaurants, and other businesses aren't open by October, losing money on a vacation will be the least of anyone's worries. Also, booking airline tickets at this time is a low risk proposition with many airlines, as they're offering free changes or even refunds. If things return to normal by October they won't be, but that would be a good thing too.

We pushed our May trip back to October (for free, and actually better flight schedules). If things aren't open, we'll do it again closer to the new travel date.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 7:50 am
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Get the train out to Cascais then an Uber to Guincho or Adraga, both excellent beaches (Adraga probably better for children as its less busy). Come back to Cascais and have an early dinner of chicken peri peri and chips for the kids before getting the train (Dom Manolo in the old town used to be good, but this was thirty years ago when I was a child..I think it's still there though)
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