Our flight in to Lisbon had to divert to Faro Airport due to fog. To be fair to the flight crew, there was no real hanging about. After circling for 15 minutes or less, they took the decision to divert to Faro. We landed less than 20 minutes after that and Ryanair had several coaches waiting to bring us to Lisbon. These coaches were air conditioned and had USB chargers at each seat. The journey times was about 3.5 hours and they stopped half way for a food and bathroom break. All in all, I’d say shit happens and it was dealt with efficiently. The transfer took us to Lisbon airport, and we decided to grab a taxi to our apartment as the kids were tired and hungry. Hell, we were tired and hungry. The taxi to our apartment took about 15 minutes and cost €30
I’d emailed our apartment host as soon as we’d landed in Faro to notify her of our delay, and they were fine with the later check in. When we got to our apartment, I was blown away by how gorgeous even the entry was was. We were told we could leave our stroller in the entry hall in a corner to save us from lugging it up the two flights of narrow steep stairs.
The apartment – 54 Santa Catarina boutique Aparthotel – was gorgeous – I wholeheartedly recommend it and will definitely stay again on our return to Lisbon. It met all our criteria and the hosts were super friendly and helpful. It’s on a super steep hill (keep this in mind when booking with a stroller), but so is everywhere else in Lisbon to be honest. It’s an amazing calf and core workout.
We got a metro card for use during our stay, but I can’t say for certain how much it cost – the machine we were using had a crack on the screen so we couldn’t tell what we were doing. Thankfully, someone in the queue behind us recognised that we were struggling, asked us how long we were staying for, advised we were about to significantly overpay and assisted us in purchasing the correct tickets. Which takes me to another point, or two actually…
Head to the Oceanário de Lisboa. It’s the world’s largest saltwater aquarium. Tickets cost €15 for adults and €10 for kids. Under 3’s go free, so we only had to pay €30. Family tickets are €39 for 2+2 if your kids are over 3. Take the red line to the Oriente station and it’s an nice 10 minute walk away. If you’re a palm tree lover like me, there’s a gorgeous little palm tree garden between the Oceanário and the Microsoft building. We went on a Monday morning at around 1100 and we were queuing for less than 5 minutes for tickets/ entry. We stayed approx 1.5 hours and the kids really enjoyed it. You can take photos provided you don’t use a flash – you won’t need it anyway as the tanks are well illuminated.
Vist to the Zoo. If you’re a regular here, you know that a trip to the zoo is a pretty often appears on our itinerary as the kids love them. Take the blue line of the metro until you get to the Jardim Zoológico stop. I have to say, this was a really nice zoo as far as they go, and it was we spent an enjoyable half a day here. Under 3’s go free, it’s €14.50 for kids aged 3-12 and €21.50 for adults.
From there, head to Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica. It’s probably about a 45-60 minute walk with tired kids, and we were pretty tired ourselves by this stage so we hopped back on the blue line and got off at Colégio Militar. The stadium itself is slick, modern and impressive. We didn’t take the tour this time, and I’m kind of sorry we didn’t as I’ve heard good reviews about it. Tickets for the museum and stadium tour can be pre booked online from €17.50 per adult and €7 for kids aged 3-13 – under 3’s go free. We did hit the gift shop though, and left with a happy husband.
Explore the city using a Hop-on/ Hop-off bus tour. We took the red line which encompasses the Mosterio dos Jerónimos, the famous Torre de Belém and the beautiful Jardim da Estrela (bring a picnic and hop off here!) Tickets cost €22 per adult, €11 for ages 4-12, and under 4s are free, and your ticket gets you 24 hour access on your chosen route.
Hit Time Out Market. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love it. If you’re not, you’ll still love it. Having only been developed by the journalists at Time Out in Lisbon in 2014, it’s quickly cemented itself as a must-do on a trip to Lisbon. The concept’s catching on too, with additional markets set to open in New York, Miami, Boston, Chicago and Montréal in 2019, and in Prague in 2021 (according to timeoutmarket.com). Weather you’re after steak, sushi, pizza or pastries, you can have the very best of it in the Time Out Market. There are also plenty of bars if you just want to grab a drink and soak up the atmosphere. The venue itself has that laid-back industrial warehouse style that doesn’t really date. It’s apparently also an excellent live music venue, but unfortunately I’m not speaking from first hand experience on this..
And then there are there are so many things we didn’t get around to doing! We intended taking a day trip to Sintra, but just couldn’t squeeze it in this trip. Do try and get there if you can, the pictures look amazing! It’s about half an hour from Lisbon if you’ve rented a car, and between and it seems really accessible by public transport, taking under an hour and costing only a few Euro for a return ticket. The sooner I get back to Lisbon, the better!