Our 2 week trip through Germany started out rough. Very rough to be exact. Our first flight was 2 hours late which caused us to miss our connecting flight which caused a 24 hour delay in all our plans. Thankfully we were able to sip some sweet lemonade from those lemons and ended up getting to spend an entire day in Portugal which was not in our plans at all!
The sweet customer service woman in New York helped us pick the best flights to get us to Berlin but also a full 9 hours in Lisbon with minimal effort on our part. We actually made it to Berlin only a few hours later than originally planned! I didn’t even have time to google what to do in Lisbon before we were on our way there though!
Our flight left NY at 8pm and landed in Lisbon at 9am. With time change it was a 6 hour flight and all 4 kids slept the entire 6 hours. It was overnight flight bliss!
When we landed in Portugal we made a pit stop at the bathroom to change our clothes, which I’m so thankful I packed an extra set for everyone in my backpack! made our way through customs and walked out the main entrance of the airport where we found the AeroBus which is a public city bus that takes you from the airport to the city center and back. It makes several stops along the way, but getting to the city center was our main goal. It only cost around €13 for all 6 of us round trip. The ticket man outside the bus was very helpful and gave us an English map of the city too.
When we got to the city center our first order of business was to find somewhere to eat. Remember I said I didn’t have time to even google Lisbon before we left? Yeah, we were totally flying blind. So we did what we do best, we walked down the street until we saw a restaurant and we stopped at the first one that looked like it had an open table for us. In Lisbon this happened to be an amazing little Italian restaurant right on the main Rossio Square called LVSO Central.
After finally getting a real meal we wandered around the city center until we had to leave. We had about 4 hours to kill before we needed to catch the bus back to the airport. The square is filled with cafes, shops, a beautiful fountain, views of the medieval castle, beautiful old world buildings and a Christmas market!
If you’re planning your own layover and thinking this time frame doesn’t add up to 9 hours, you’re right! We only spent about 6 hours out of the airport and that’s because we had an infant traveling with us. Infants only get boarding passes from the main ticket counter so we went back to the airport 3 hours early to check back in and get Belle’s boarding pass, we already had them for the rest of us. My anxiety of missing a flight really paid off this time because we encountered a major problem and needed all 3 hours! Usually I get us to the airport way too early but this time it was absolutely necessary!
When we arrived back at the airport to get Belles ticket she wasn’t listed on the ticket manifest. Sounds simple, just add her, WRONG! It was a huge ordeal. We ended up being drug all over the airport to every higher up, up, and up person for the airline that you can imagine. What I couldn’t believe was she is just a lap baby so she didn’t actually need a seat, just to be added to my ticket, but apparently that was a big issue also. The flight was completely full so I couldn’t just buy her own new seat either. We spent hours getting this situation remedied. We ended up having to rebuy mine and her ticket and getting us all new boarding passes. It was a headache, tears were shed by me, and then we still had to go back through customs and security!
Lisbon airport has the most family friendly airport I’ve ever been in! They have a special security and customs area just for families with small children! We didn’t have strollers with us but they had a special area to take strollers through, the staff was so friendly and patient with everyone, I wish so bad all our US airports were like that! Going through TSA in the US is a nightmare. In Portugal they did the exact same security screening but it was so much less stressful!
We flew TAP Portugal airlines from Lisbon to Berlin and their entire staff was amazing! They were very nice and helpful getting our Belle ticket situation worked out and when we got to our gate to check in the gate agent rearranged our seats so that we had an empty seat between the kids so we would have more room! Our flight left Lisbon at 9pm and landed in Berlin at 11:30pm then we finally made it to the beginning of our Germany trip!