Walkers, joggers, mobility vehicles – all are catered for, even dogs if on leads, and there was a cat that lay by itself. The beauty is the free admission, no need to visit the museums – although if you haven’t you should. And there are two cafes.
Several times we sat at one of the cafes, close to an entrance, watching passers-by of all kinds. Parents had brought children; students had brought work; others were headed for one of the two museums. One man was determined to complete his 10,000 paces for the day – I guess the circuit just inside the boundary walls is about one mile.
Our visits preceded or followed times we spent in the museums; we also spent our final morning before the return flight and included a pleasant lunch. There was no escaping the ducks or moorhens that have made themselves at home on the variety of water features. On one there are also turtles. Everywhere is sympathetic planting to see, for the most part trees and shrubs in October. Pomegranates were in fruit and there was the bark of the eucalyptus that punctuate the various spaces.
Seats are generously provided. Smooth pathways for mobility vehicles are clearly signalled. A few areas can be accessed on two levels, by even and uneven routes. The museums have stepped or sloping approaches with power-assisted doors. Everything is arranged for maximum accessibility.
If you happen to be staying nearby, as we were, the gardens offer a relaxing change from museums or shopping. (Just around the corner is the splendid department store El Corte Ingles and the Sao Sebastiao metro station, with direct access to the airport, and the two parks, Edward VII and Amalia Rodrigues.) It is a really good location just away from central Lisbon and well worth staying in. and should be a destination for at least one visit if staying elsewhere.