Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour



Lisbon one day layover

As my layover from Luxembourg to New York on my World Tour‌ was 24h in Lisbon, I decided to book a hotel room in the city center, and stay there for the night, allowing for a city visit and a nice dinner in town - at least I thought so when I was planning the trip.

  Cheap flights and hotels Lisbon
Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Take off in Luxembourg international airport
Take off in Luxembourg international airport  

Landing in Lisbon

The view landing in Lisbon was amazing, as it was still winter in Luxembourg, with temperatures close to freezing point, a very strong cold wind, and not that much sun, while in Lisbon, even before anding, we could have a beautiful view on the Atlantic ocean with an amazing sun.

The captain announced us that local temperature was 22°C at 4pm, what a nice surprise!

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Atlantic ocean view before landing in Lisbon airport
Atlantic ocean view before landing in Lisbon airport  
Lisbon: Find local activities Lisbon: Find local activities  

Landing there in Lisbon, the winter jacket did not seem useful anymore, and the scarf for sure not.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : View on Lisbon city before landing
View on Lisbon city before landing  

I booked the Hotel ibis Lisboa Centro Saldanha, which is situated right next to a metro stop with direct connection from the airport.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Metro ticket in Lisbon
Metro ticket in Lisbon  

They have a system in which the public transport card has to be bought for 0.50€, and can be recharged, one trip cost being 1.50€. I bought the card with two metro trips, to go to hotel and come back, and it was very easy.

The metro line was very easy to find, and the metro arrived quickly.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Metro arriving at the station
Metro arriving at the station  

Getting to Ibis Lisboa hotel

Arriving at the Saldanha metro station, which is also a hub to change with another metro line, I couldn't figure out which exit is the right one, and finally took a random one, as the hotel street was not written on any sign.

It appeared to be at the opposite side of the nearby roundabout, as I could see on my smartphone GPS. Thankfully, my new prepaid international SIM card‌ DrimSim is working fine even in Portugal, and I could check the directions online.

  Cheap prepaid international SIM card
Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Saldanha square
Saldanha square  

Getting there, the check in was fast, I was offered a welcome drink voucher as I am a platinum member with Accor hotels membership, and got to my room, which is according to Ibis standard, comfortable and clean.

  Hotel Ibis Lisboa Saldanha
Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Hotel room in Ibis Lisbon Saldanha
Hotel room in Ibis Lisbon Saldanha  

After a quick phone charge, to be sure to be able to take some pictures, I decided to go on an adventure, as Lisbon is by the Atlantic ocean: go in the direction on the water, and find a nice terrace with ocean view, where I could if possible eat a bifana, a tasty traditional Portuguese sandwich with chicken and spices which I used to eat once a week when working at a client in Geneva.

What is a “Bifana”
Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Parc in Lisbon
Parc in Lisbon  

Getting down Lisbon' Liberty Avenue

Leaving the hotel, and reaching the Liberty Avenue, the main avenue of Lisbon that goes from Marques de Pombal huge roundabout down to the ocean, I quickly reached the roundabout.

The huge place is magnificent, in honor or Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, the fist marquis of Pombal, which has been one of the most important Portuguese statesman ever.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Marques de Pombal square
Marques de Pombal square  

However, as it is not my first time there, I've been working a few weeks in Lisbon, I quickly turn to the left to go down the avenue.

And I soon remember that thing about the avenue... it is made with some kind of stone mosaic, and the whole pavement is uneven and very slippery. I remember to walk slowly and carefully, and will be close to slip a few times on what will be a 7km walk down to the ocean and back to the hotel.

Along the way, on both sides, huge palm trees are giving some shades, and remind me that I should still hurry a little bit in order to be able to find a place to eat before the sunset.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Liberty avenue
Liberty avenue  

Lisbon Commerce square

After more than an hour walking, I finally reach the commerce square, and haven't stumbled upon a nice terrace to have dinner yet.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Commerce square
Commerce square  

The weather being beautiful, I decide instead to go close to the ocean's arm, and take some beautiful pictures of the bridge that I've been told once is from the same designer as the famous San Francisco bridge, which I am going to see in a few weeks, and use the opportunity to make some selfies as well, with the setting sun behind.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Sunset from commerce square
Sunset from commerce square  

A lot of people actually have the same idea, but we still manage to all get nice pictures with the bridge, the small beach nearby, and the beautiful sunset.

Staying a few minutes there, I then decide to turn back and actually find a place to eat dinner.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Selfie by the beach with sunset background
Selfie by the beach with sunset background  

Terrace with view quest

Around the commerce square, there are a few terraces with kind of a view on the ocean. Getting close to them, the are actually too far away from the water on the square to have a view on the water, and generally offer expensive international food, a tourist trap.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Going back to commerce square
Going back to commerce square  

I decide instead to continue my way back to the hotel, to find a nice terrace with view.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Square in Lisbon center
Square in Lisbon center  

Having a look on Google Maps, there aren't that many rooftop places registered, and most of them are expensive hotel places.

Trying to get to the first one that is the closest to my current location, I get to go up a hill. Arriving next to it, and having a look above, it clearly doesn't seem like a nice rooftop at all... maybe at best a high level restaurant. I keep walking instead of checking it.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Going up and down the stairs
Going up and down the stairs  

Going up the liberty avenue

All the way up the Liberty avenue, the same thing is happening... no nice place is actually advertising for bifana, and the places I cross have view on nothing, even when having terraces outside.

I get tired of it, and, as I slowly reach a 7km walk on these uneven rocks, decide to go back to hotel, maybe I'll get lucky on the way?

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Beautiful city view from the hill
Beautiful city view from the hill  

Kiosk sandwich

At the Saldanha roundabout, next to my hotel, I actually find kind of what I was looking for. A kiosk offers different kind of sandwiches for a few euros, has a large and comfortable terrace, and screens the football game of the day, Benfica against another team.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Kiosk dinner in the city
Kiosk dinner in the city  

Well, that seems good enough, and for sure a much better option than most of what I have seen on the way there!

I order a chicken sandwich, which is the closest thing to a bifana, which I accompany with a beer, and enjoy it while having a look at the soccer game.

Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Beer with soccer game on a terrace
Beer with soccer game on a terrace  

After having finished my dinner, it is already 9pm local time, the game hasn't reached half time break yet, but weather is getting chilly despite a 19°C temperature.

I decide to go back to hotel, as I have anyway to wake up early the day after to reach airport on time for my flight to my 48th country, New-York in the United States, and what will more feel like the real start of my World Tour‌ with a new city and country to visit.

  Cheap flights and hotels Lisbon
Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Kiosk with food and drinks
Kiosk with food and drinks  
Layover in Lisbon, Portugal with city tour : Statue along liberty avenue
Statue along liberty avenue  
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About the author - Admin
I am a 34y.o. man, passionate about travel. With 5+ years on the road, 55+ countries visited on all continents, 650+ flights, 1000+ hotel nights, and a year long world tour, all self organized, travelling is a way of life. I have created this site to share my experience, and get you the best information and deals.
 




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