Any sites we should do on our own that isn't included with Tauck?
Any great lunch/dinner places in Lisbon? Madrid?
We had dinner in Lisbon at a quaint Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from the Four Seasons hotel. It was called La Campania. It is nothing fancy, but they made fresh pasta, which was excellent, and the lemon sorbet for dessert was served in a frozen lemon. The prices were very reasonable. We had two dinners for the price of two drinks in the Four Seasons. NOTE: This was five years ago so it could be completely different now.
Lisbon: we took a taxi up to the castle (Castelo de Se Jorge), ate lunch up there and enjoyed walking around and the beautiful views, and walked down through the narrow streets, following Rick Steves' walking tour). We also visited the Gulbenkian museum, which is not too far from the Hotel. We have eaten dinner twice at Riberdouro - a casual seafood restaurant. Very good.
Madrid: the tour took us to the Prado, which is outstanding, We also visited the Reina Sofia art Museum in order to view Picasso's famous La Guernica. Wonderful. In addition to great restaurants in the vicinity of the hotel, one evening we simply went to the nearby bar area and ate tapas at a couple of bars. It was fun.
I second Lotusgirl's comments on the castle in Lisbon. The views are extraordinary. It's also fun to simply walk up and down Avenida da Liberdade. It is lined with shops and restaurants. It starts at the south end of Edward VII park which is only a couple of blocks from the Four Seasons Ritz hotel.
Here is one of the view from the castle.
In Madrid it is fun to walk around Alfonso XIII park (not too far from the hotel). There are numerous statues and gardens within the park and you can even rent a boat and row around a small pond within the park.
Yes - the park is lovely. There is a nice cafe near the lagoon - a good spot to enjoy a refreshing beverage and people watch!
The National Tile Museum in Lisbon is wonderful and worth visiting if you have time. The Maritime Museum is on the tour. There is also a Carriage Museum near the Monestary that you visit.
This link will take you to my (many) reviews of ‘Ha Tapas No Mercado’ in Lisbon. Great ‘little’ tapas place.
The first photo is our group having dinner. We ate all their food and they had to close when we left ... no food!
One of my all time favorite museums is the Tile Museum in Lisbon (Museo Nacional do Azulejo), which is not too far from the Castle. The stories told through tiles can be quite humorous.The Food Hall (Mercado da Ribeira) near the port is a place you can try lamb, piranha bee sandwiches or beef of Betinho, or seafood faves. Be sure to look for the shop there (it is small) that sells canned sardines (they're small too). This is a wonderful trip!