Why should you come to Lisbon?
Despite the tourist boom in Lisbon over the past 3 years we have always had a steady stream of foreign teams/clubs visiting the city and playing games with our Club. However, 2019 has been quite exceptional with 8 teams visiting in the first 6 months and 3 more booked in the second half. Also a number of clubs have expressed strong interest to come in 2020. It is important to point out as well that some clubs choose to come to Lisbon for mid season training preferring just to train with no games.
The touring sides that visit typically come for a long weekend and depending on age profile focus on different activities. In the Lisbon greater conurbation area there are around 20 golf courses, many beaches, river tours, casino (Estoril), cultural points of interest (Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais…), amazing Lisbon night life and so.
Whilst hockey is not a mainstream sport in Portugal in Lisbon we have 3 main clubs. Our Club can put out teams in most age groups up to 18 years old, a full ladies team (National Champions on and off over the past 5 years) and a wide age ranging Vets team. Casa Pia can provide a full Mens team (National Champions in recent years) and Futebol Clube do Benfica a full Mens team.
Last but not least the weather is big plus point as no matter if it happens to be raining (winter) the temperature is still much warmer than Northern Europe.
- Where should we stay?
Depending on what are your requirements but basically there are two options which are Lisbon area or Cascais. Lisbon suits more night life and restaurants whist Cascais has beaches, bars and golf but is 25k west of the capital albeit well serviced by the Lisbon-Cascais train line. In both locations there are many hotels to choose from.
- Access to the hockey pitch?
The National Stadium is 8k west of Lisbon so easily accessible from the city centre but also Cascais. The nearest train station is Cruz Quebrada on the Lisbon-Cascais mainline but also close by taxi or minibus.
- Hockey in Lisbon?
Our Club is the largest in the Lisbon area but there are also senior mens hockey clubs – Casa Pia and FCB which also play at the National Stadium. Our Club is the only Vets side in Lisbon.
- How are the facilities at the National Stadium?
There are changing rooms for home and away teams and also an adjacent bar which sells snacks and drinks.
- How do we book the pitch?
When games are organised with our Club we can book the hire and split the cost. When only training is required we cannot book the pitch on behalf of visiting teams and booking should be made directly with the National Stadium at email@example.com
- Are there any restaurants in the vicinity?
There are no restaurants in the National Stadium complex and whilst there are many restaurants in close proximity it is necessary to have transport to get there. In our experience most visiting groups go into Lisbon or the Cascais line.
- Can our Club host the touring side visit
We do not have the resources to organise hotels and local transportation but can handle the pitch bookings for Club games with visiting teams. HEALTH WARNING: we can make the pitch bookings but we have no priority over the pitch so if the National Stadium requires the pitch for other events/representative games we have to cede the pitch.
- What is the best time to visit to play hockey?
July and August are difficult months as there is little hockey played and it tends to be too hot. We do not rule out July but there many players are absent. So September through June is preferred with a caveat that February is generally the month that many Dutch clubs come to Lisbon for mid season training so pitch hire at weekends is limited.