If you’re planning to travel to a European country, then you must be looking for a destination that can give you a well-rounded experience. What’s better than Portugal in that case? It has everything from captivating cities, fascinating castles, cobblestone villages, stunning beaches, and of course, a vibrant food scene.
A 10-day trip to two of its most happening cities, Lisbon and Porto, is probably all that you need to satisfy the traveller in you.
Lisbon and Porto are the largest cities in Portugal, also having the maximum in store for the tourists. What makes travelling to these two cities fun is the ease of going from one to the other. While Lisbon is happening, Porto is comparatively relaxed. So, an ideal first-time visit to Portugal should include these two places, for you to have maximum fun!
Ten days is good enough time to explore the best of the two cities, including a few stops on the way. To begin your 10-day trip, you can start with Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city.
Lisbon is glamorous yet grounded in its cultural and natural beauty. With its trademark hills, beach horizons, cobbled streetways, and charming mini towns, Lisbon will gradually rub off its magic on you.
For a fulfilling experience in Lisbon, the following must find a place in your itinerary –
Alfama – The oldest districts of Lisbon, Alfama is famous for its steep roads. From visiting the grand Lisbon Cathedral, experiencing soulful music at Fado museum to seeing the dome of National Pantheon here, Alfama has many exciting places to explore.
Tram 28E– When in Alfama, don’t miss the popular Tram 28E that meanders through the narrow, cobbled streets of Lisbon. Just sit back and witness the charm of the city as the tram takes you down the streets and alleys.
Sintra– A fairytale town in Lisbon, Sintra has alluring sites and places to explore. If you love losing yourself while discovering the hidden stories and facts in museums, palaces, and historical sites, this place will leave you fascinated.
Castelo de Sao Jorge- This is an attractive hilltop fortification which offers excellent views to visitors. You can check out the galleries here, roam the snaking alleys and click photographs in its expansive courtyards shaded with pine-trees. You can also enjoy great Portuguese food and wine at the cafes and restaurants here.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara – This magnificent castle perched on top of hills offers breathtaking views. Live music played here further adds to the enchanting ambiance of the place. Moreover, what will make you sit here for hours at end is the open-air kiosk that sells wine, beer, and snacks to the tourists.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian This is another museum that will leave you enamoured with all the fascinating things it has on display. From world-class paintings, masterpieces of gilded mummy masks, Persian carpets, to exquisite porcelain and medal collection, this one is a must visit when in Lisbon.
Santa Justa Elevator An iconic elevator in Lisbon, Santa Justa is very popular among tourists. So, do get on this elevator to see what makes it so unique and special.
How to Travel to Porto
Traveling from Lisbon to Porto is easy and economical. Depending on your budget, time, and luggage limits, you can choose to travel by rental car, plane, train or bus. The time taken by plane is 55 minutes, and that by train is 2 hours 45 minutes. If you take a rented car, then it will take you approximately 3 hours to reach Porto, and a bus ride will take you in 3.5 hours.
If Lisbon was exuberant, then Porto will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. The street art, medieval walls, peaceful port life, and the sumptuous food options, Porto can feel like getting transported to a different time zone.
Some exciting places to include in your itinerary are as follows-
Igreja de Sao Francisco – This is one of the most beautiful churches in Portugal with an attached church museum. The dazzling interiors and the baroque look make it a favourite with tourists.
Serralves– A fabulous combination of museum, mansion, and expansive gardens, Serralves is a delightful place to visit. The museums here display rare and wonderful collections, which are sure to spellbind you.
Jardins do Palacio de Cristal – This is a beautiful botanical garden in a place called Massarelos and will make you appreciate the beauty of greenery. From olive trees to cypresses and many other varieties, this place will make you experience serenity at its best. Therefore, make sure that this finds a place in your itinerary.
Douro Valley adventure and Wine Tasting– Keep one full day aside for this combined tour through the Duoro valley and the vineyards for a truly memorable experience. Make sure this one doesn’t get rushed.
Minimize Your Travel Related Worries
Before you plan your trip, it is also advisable that you buy travel Insurance for Europe, as it will keep you financially guarded against unexpected challenges. Many unforeseen issues like medical problems, loss of essential documents or passport, or missed connectivity can cause you unnecessary worry.
However, if you buy travel insurance for your trip to Europe, you can be assured that the financial losses associated with such issues will be taken care of. Such an insurance plan reimburses you against any losses incurred not only due to illness or injury that you may suffer, but also delayed check-in baggage, flight cancellation due to natural, human-made or medical reasons, and so forth. It also secures you against any damage or loss that may happen to your house, while you are away, ensuring that you can be free of all kinds of financial worries. Buy your travel insurance for Europe before you fly down to Portugal. This will maximize your fun and minimize your worries.