About 45 minutes either by car or train from central Lisbon is the ancient little town of Sintra. I only got to spend two nights there but the allure becomes readily apparent. Most tourists experience this quait little town as a day trip from Lisbon. But I think arriving midafternoon and spending a couple nights here is the way to go.
Once the Lisboans leave, it’s simply a delight. And as a matter of fact, it’s a great place to leave! You can get to the Lisbon airport just about as easily as from the center of Lisbon, especially on the weekends. They’re sacred here in the EU (take that UK).
On your full day here see The Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle at the very least, add the National Palace if you have time. Of the three the Moorish Castle is the most important (and interesting in my opinion) site. The Pena Palace is a turn of the 20th century playboy mansion. I reckon. As I get older, anything after 1500 just seems too recent. But to fully disclose, Joan and I didn’t visit the National Palace, we opted for a café table with port and chocolate (and stuff like that there) instead.
Portugal really surprised me. The people there were the warmest, most fun loving people I’ve encountered in a long time. The food tastes Spanish, and the language sounds vaguely like French, but the place is undeniably Portugal.