Guide to PORTO. The Grand Tour

Road trips are my passion. Preferably railroad trips. Buses are fine, too.  But trains are classier. There is no legendary Trans Siberian Bus, no illustrious Orient Coach, after all. Nope, legends on wheels are always trains.

Ponte Dom Luis I was built by Théophile Seyrig, a scholar of Monsieur Gustave Eiffel
His master’s example: The Ponte Dom Luis I was built by Théophile Seyrig, a scholar of Monsieur Gustave Eiffel.

And getting to Porto by train undoubtedly keeps the legend alive.

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Railroad Trip PORTUGAL

On my railroad trip through Portugal, I’ll show you that travelling the country by train is easy-peasy, cheap, and fun.

Houses in Porto, first stop in PORTUGAL - complete guide to a railroad-trip
Picturesque Portugal: The beauty of everyday life.

Let me guide you from mesmerizing Porto all the way to Lisbon – with some amazing whistle stops in between.

Do you hear the whistle blow? Quick – jump on the train and let’s go!

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Guide to FIGUEIRA da FOZ – a Charmingly Old Fashioned Seaside Resort

Let me guide you to Figueira da Foz, a charmingly old fashioned seaside resort. It is the epitome of a South European vacation destination, indeed.

Beach Tents at Figueira da Foz Portugal
As if the beach wasn’t desert-like enough, they have these makeshift shelters that remind me of Beduin tents.

For about ten years, I hadn’t been to a European beach. I was thinking that Asia or Latin America were the places to be(ach). Arriving at Figueira da Foz, about two hours south of Porto and the second stop on my rail-trip along the Portuguese west coast, I stood so corrected.

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Guide to LISBON

By the time I got to Lisbon, I was an expert on trains and train stations in Portugal. I definitely knew the drill.

The contra-selfie culture: Asian tourist painting Lisbon’s Church and Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.

What, on the other hand, I still didn’t really get – being such a flatlander from Hamburg – was that Portuguese cities are very hilly. That makes them beautiful and grants their visitors with stunning views. But for the arriving passenger, it’s quite a challenge.

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Guide to SINTRA – History in Bright Colors

Although I had just arrived in Portugal’s capital, I decided to go on a day trip to Sintra right away: It’s one of the most popular tours from Lisbon, it’s extremely touristy, and I was afraid that on the weekend, it would be even more packed since all the Portuguese daytrippers will join the foreign tourists.

Palácio Nacional da Pena - built in the 19th century for King Fernando II. Sintra's most iconic landmark.
They sure were not shy about painting the Palácio Nacional da Pena – built in the 19th century for King Fernando II.
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A Day in Sophisticated ESTORIL and CASCAIS

Another very popular day trip from Lisbon is a short train ride to the very popular beaches of Estoril and Cascais. Albeit not really dreamy, especially on hot summer days, a day in these sophisticated retreats on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean can be the perfect break from Lisbon’s big city life.

Wild waters on the shore of Estoril, in the community of Cascais.
Estoril is not only this sophisticated beach retreat. It’s also prone to the forces of nature.

If you spend more time in Estoril, you should stay away from the beach and go on a day trip to Sintra. Even by public transportation, this town of palaces is less than an hour away.

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