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Subject: Spending a month in Portugal rss

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David Thompson
United States
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Hello, Portuguese BGGers -

My wife and I and our 13-year-old daughter are traveling from Portland, Oregon to Portugal next month for about 4 weeks. Our plan for the trip is to rent an apartment in or around Lisboa to give our daughter a sense of what it is like to live in that area. After our stay, we are planning to head to the northern part of Portugal, since it's an area we haven't seen (my wife and I visited Lisboa, Evora, Portalegre and Coimbra in 1994).

We could really use some assistance in figuring out the best place to stay. Most of the information we've read about Lisboa caters more to short-stay tourists; we will definitely want to see the sights, but we are more interested in the area being safe, convenient to shops/parks/local cafes, and close to somewhere that we can play games! (We speak virtually no Portuguese ("Fala ingles?") but can read game rules in German. ) Any suggestions for what neighborhoods to apartment shop in? Or should we settle somewhere outside of Lisboa?

We'd love to have our daughter be able to connect with people her own age, so if you know of any locations where families play games (or do other activities, for that matter), or if you know families who like to meet people from overseas, we'd love to hear about them.

We'd also be happy to do volunteer work, since that would be a great way to get to know the area and meet people, too. We've both been teachers, but would be open to all kinds of opportunities. We'd be interested in any ideas you have about that, or any places that you know of that could use our help.

We'd of course be interested in gaming opportunities as well (that goes without saying). I like medium to heavy euros but am open to all kinds of things, as well. My daughter prefers shorter games, but has gone on Dominion and Small World kicks at times and my wife is partial to Agricola.

Thank you so much for any help or advice you can give us.

David, Lori and Quinland
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Alexandra Borges
Portugal
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Well... It's depends if you are thinking of renting car or not.

If you don't want to, I would recommend either to stay in Sintra or Oeiras: it's much safer that other areas, including Lisbon it self, and both locations have a direct train to Lisbon.

If you are thinking to rent a car you're are not obliged to stay near train stations and go for more rural zones.

As for stores, cafes, parks, museums, beaches, you're well served in either location. If your ladies like shopping-malls, they'll have a blast ( just between Sintra and Oeiras you have 4 ) .

As for gaming groups, they're are mostly found in Lisbon. You can ask on this forum http://www.abreojogo.com/ for it. I know there's a group in Oeiras and another in Sintra, but I never went there.

Don't worry about not speaking Portuguese. Most of us speaks ( or understands ) English, so you won't have a problem there. As for games, there are mostly imports from USA or UK, so you'll mostly find english book rules.
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Paulo Soledade
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Hi. I'm not from Lisboa so can't help you much here. Lisboa is a safe place to live in. Of course there are a couple areas that you should avoid but I'm positive that any real estate agency will tell you which are those.
The gaming scene is not obvious. There is a weekly meeting, every wednesday, in a local café and it's pretty easy to get into it. There is also a monthly meeting every 3rd weekend of the month.

I'm pretty sure that someone from the area will contact you.

Hope you enjoy your staying!
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Nuno Silva
Portugal
Corroios
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Hi...

sent you a GM with some info.
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Nick
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Lucky you! I can't give you any advice, but I was in Portugal for a week a few years ago and loved everything about it. Just wanted to say.
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Zé Mário
Portugal
Porto
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And if you happen to come up north, GM away.
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Tiago Nunes
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Please bring some ameritrashers from the US people here only play euros! (just kidding )

Hope you enjoy your stay! If you need any help GM me, or send me a message in abreojogo.com (my name there is Tiago). Besides Lisbon meetings there are various meetings around Lisbon that are more or less easy to get to (depending if you are renting a car or use public transportation).
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David Thompson
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Game Groups » Europe » Portugal
Re: Spending a month in Portugal
Thank you for all the replies. We are trying to decide whether we want to stay in Lisbon itself or somewhere a little farther out. We still have a few questions that will help us make our decision.

How much is train transport into Lisbon (from Oeiras or Cascais or Sintra)? Are there monthly passes that make it cheaper? How long is the commute?

What areas of Lisbon would be best for us to settle in if we decide to stay there?
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Nuno Silva
Portugal
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GMed you some more info
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Alexandre Lopes
Portugal
Coimbra
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GMed you with some weblinks. If you decide to travel north, say something
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Hélio Andrade
Portugal
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Hello and congratz for choosing Lisbon =)

I would say that staying in center Lisbon will help you achieve all you travel objectives more easily. Staying near a metro station is a very good idea. As for recommended areas in Lisbon, well there are many good suggestions, but it depends a little on how much you want to spend and what you really valuable as having close by.

I will be expecting to meet you and your family at our boardgame weekly meetings!
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Filipe Silva
Portugal
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Greetings!

I am from Porto. I have family in the Greater Lisbon area and often visit that part of the country - and if I were in your situation I'd choose Sintra. Sintra is simply beautiful, full of history and has a supernatural allure that may cater to someone who enjoys board games.

Anyway, my 2 cents - if you eventually choose to come north I can be more helpful.
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Alexandra Borges
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themilkcrate wrote:
How much is train transport into Lisbon (from Oeiras or Cascais or Sintra)? Are there monthly passes that make it cheaper? How long is the commute?


You've probably seen the Lisbon train site already, but never the less, here it goes: in your case, I don't know If I would buy a monthly pass ( €77/person train and subway ): it only goes for one area. For example: if you stay in Sintra and want to go to Oeiras or Cascais, the pass doesn't cover it, so you'll end up buying tickets.

I really think, because you are 3, that it would be cheaper to rent a car. It doesn't need to be a Ferrari Besides, if you want to go to Passionfruit meetings, it easier to get there by car.

If you stay in center twon Lisbon, just buy the subway pass. It's better than car or train to move inside Lisbon.

themilkcrate wrote:
What areas of Lisbon would be best for us to settle in if we decide to stay there?


It's easier to say where not to go:

-Bairro Alto, excellent to have a drink but not to live. Here the night lasts until 6:00 am, so you wouldn't be able to sleep.
- Intendente, wen you'll pass there you'll see why
- and most of the Lisbon-Sintra train line... not much to see there...

In conclusion, if stay on the center town, you won't have a problem. Each zone is different and has it's charms. If you want picturesque, try Alfama or Mouraria. I'll best you can get cheap host houses there.
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Tiago Nunes
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I have to say that Sintra is very beautiful. I love it and it is really worth visiting (really, it's beautiful and if you have a chance visit Quinta da Regaleira!). However if you plan to be in the Lisbon area it is a bit off way and as someone has mentioned the train line from Lisboa to Sintra isn't very safe.

Also if you stay in Lisbon near a subway station (metro) both passion fruit (weekly meetings) and alvalaxia (monthly meetings) have nearby subway stations.
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David Thompson
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Thanks so much to everyone for all of their help. It looks like we've found a place to stay near the Santa Apolonia station for the first three weeks and then we'll be heading north to visit Guimaraes, Braga, Viano do Castelo and Porto (possibly with a stop in Coimbra on the way).

I had a question about the Lisboa game events at Passion Fruit and Alvaláxia:

It looks like they both run pretty late - does the metro/bus run that late or do most people who stay that late drive?
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Hélio Andrade
Portugal
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The last metro leaves at 1:00am from the initial station.

As for buses, I really don't know (schedules have changed yesterday, so the website isn't accurate yet) but I suspect it will be hard to have something that suits your needs.

People that stay late, they drive I'm sure, its just a matter if they have seats available and they are willing to drive your way (I suspect not many of us live in that area unfortunately).
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Luis Figueira
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If you are staying at Santa Apolonia a cab to Passion Fruit would cost something like 7 to 8 euros, and would cover the time issue
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David Thompson
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Thanks for the suggestion - we had a great time at Alvalaxia tonight, and are looking forward to a great day tomorrow. Wonderful people to game with. Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming. We rode the metro there and I caught a late ride home (thanks Alex & Paula!).

Our night at Passion Fruit was wonky, given that we showed up 2.5 hours after it started with a hungry and exhausted child and only stayed long enough to play one game (Dominion - on our own). We left early since we had to get our kid in bed. We are looking forward to getting it right next week.
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Pedro Pereira
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Viva pessoal!

Alguém sabe do paradeiro do David e família? É que tenho estado em contacto com ele e fiz-lhe a reserva num hotel em Braga, mas ele há já uma semana (ou até mais) que não entrou em contacto comigo.

É só mesmo para me certificar de que está tudo bem! Obrigado e abraço a todos.
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David Thompson
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email sent.
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David Thompson
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What a wonderful month we had! We´re only 48 hours removed from our time in Portugal, and we already miss it. Thanks to all of the wonderful Portuguese geeks from Lisboa, Porto and Braga who gamed with us, hung out with us, showed us around town, etc.! Please feel free to keep in touch and to let us return the hospitality if you ever make it to our corner of the world.

Muito obrigado!

David, Lori and Q
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Nuno Silva
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You were most welcome

See you around!
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David Thompson
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Well, it's been exactly one year since we landed in Portugal! Crazy how time flies. We had a group of friends over this weekend to look at photos and drink some Portuguese wine. Unfortunately we didn't make Bacalhau à Brás or magically import some Pastéis de Belém. In any case, it was wonderful reminiscing about our time in Portugal.

Thanks to so many of you for making us feel so welcome on our visit. We had a fantastic time and can't wait to return.
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