Thursday, May 23, 2013

Going to Lisbon

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Here  is an itinerary I built for a couple and their daughter when they went to Lisbon this April.
Hotel Altis - great hotels within 15 minutes from the center

If you have smartphone I recommend to install Lisbon Trip Advisor Mobil App

At the arrival stop by Tourism Information Booth in Arrival Hall
Please ask what transport card you should purchase  - my recommendation would be combination of metro, bus, and trams.

Car rentals - if you make reservation yourself don’t forget to ask Automatic (if you cannot drive Manual), A/C, and Navigation system
Avis - 0.5 miles - it is the nearest that has Automatic transmission & A/C

Alamo/Europecar - 0.5 miles - I saw only manual

April 28

From hotel you can go - Go to Lisbon Tourism Information Welcome Center
Note: In theory you can find all this info at the airport tourism information booth

15, Rua do Arsenal, Lisbon, Portugal

If you decide to walk/take bus from hotel

Visit one of the most famous cafes in Lisbon - Café A Brasileira
6 minutes by taxi from Hotel Altis

Go to Elevador da Gloria (500 meters from Café A Brasileira) -
it is next to Restaurandores Square

If time allows go to Edward VII Park

April 29

Note: Most museums are closed on Monday
Tour around Lisbon

Hop On-Hop Off tour

Take Tram #28 to Alfama
or #12
Alfama - narrow, winding streets,

April 30


Castillo de San Jorge

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian

Lisbon Oceanarium

Recommendation: Rent a car for 2 days

May 1

May 1 is National holiday. Most businesses are closed
Day trip to Obidos, Estoril & Cabo da Roca (total travel time without stops 2.5 hours)
Obidos (by train too long)

Cabo da Roca - most western place in Europe


May 2

I would rent a car for one day

Trip to Mafra
There is a great palace in Mafra
The best way to get there is by bus. Here is the schedule
However the best if you have a car it will be  more pragmatic


Trip to Sintra
How to get to Sintra

What to do in Sintra

Pena National Palace

Moors castle

Toy Museum - not sure if you would like it it or not

Praia Grande

Go to Cascais

Info on Sintra

Pena Castle is closed on Monday and the National Palace is closed on Wednesday

May 3

Day trip to Belem

How to get to Belem

What to do in Belem

Jeronimos Monastery

Discovery monument

Santa Justa Elevator

Belem Tower

Coach Museum

May 4


Tile Museum

Fiera da Ladra - Flea market - good place for souvenirs

May 5

Interactive Science Museum

Fronteira Palace - family lives there

May 6

Depart to the USA

Kids & Family Places

Restaurants next to Altis Hotel

Restaurante Assinatura - Portugues

Casa da Comida - Portugues

HF - Fénix Garden

Mezzaluna - Italian

Pabe - Portuguese

Restaurante Adlib - Portuguese, French


Os Tibetanos - Vegetarian

How to get to Queluz Palace

Palace web site
Closed on Tuesdays and May 1

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

9 places you should visit in Germany

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Here is my list of 9  places that I think you should visit in Germany

1.  Ice cream shops (Eiscafe)

In my opinion Germany has one of the best ice cream in the world: creamy, delicious, with real fruit.
2. Neuschwanstein Castle

Most visited castle in Germany.  The Neuschwanstein Castle really looks like a fairytale castle. Neuschwanstein is a castle of the paradox. It was built in the 19th century in Bavaria, in a time when castles no longer had strategical and defensive purposes.

3. Magdeburg Water Bridge

The Magdeburg Water Bridge is a navigable aqueduct in Germany, opened in October 2003 and part of the Magdeburg crossing of waterways. It connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittellandkanal, crossing over the Elbe River.

4. Iglu-Dorf Zugspitze

What a feeling – high above the clouds with a view of four countries, lies the Zugspitze Igloo Village (one of the unusual hotels in the world) in the heart of Germany’s most popular ski resort. Enjoy the magnificent scenery on the Zugspitze Glacier and treat yourself to a very special night in Germany’s highest igloos.

5. The Reichstag

The Reichstag is now the second most visited attraction in Germany, not least because of the huge glass dome that was erected on the roof as a gesture to the original 1894 cupola, giving an impressive view over the city, especially at night.

6.  Castles along Rhine River

All Germany is rich in castles but the romantic Rhine Valley - the heartland of the old Holy Roman Empire - has a particularly high density of important important medieval military buildings. Some are ruins, but many, like Marksburg Castle, have survived the ravages of war, fire and neglect . Some are fascinating windows into the age of chivalry and the development of this fascinating form of military construction.

7. Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg is Germany's best-preserved walled town. Countless travelers have searched for the elusive "untouristy Rothenburg." There are many contenders (such as Michelstadt, Miltenberg, Bamberg, Bad Windsheim, and Dinkelsbühl), but none holds a candle to the king of medieval German cuteness.

8. Dachau concentration camp

Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany.

9. Erfurt Synagogue

The Erfurt Synagogue in Erfurt, Germany, was built c. 1100. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe.