Quick Guide to Lisbon
Memmo Alfama Hotel
PARK Restaurant & Bar
Lost In Esplanada Bar
Varanda Do Castelo
Like the star jewel in any crown, Lisbon sparkles that little bit brighter than anywhere else in Portugal. Spread across looming hillsides that peek over the Rio Tejo, Lisbon manages to put forward the qualities of other European capitals without, well, over-egging the pudding (overdoing it, basically). Dramatic gothic cathedrals jostle for space with monasteries, museums and whispering, narrow backstreets - indeed they are all part of the chattering cityscape that attracts so many to this beautiful city. A holiday to Lisbon should definitely be on the cards for 2016.
Fab holidays for:
Bargain city breaks, Delicious food, Stunning Beaches
Lisbon International Airport
Did you know?
Lisbon isn't technically the capital of Portugal - there are no official documents to support that fact. It apparently just happened in 1255 when Alfonso III moved the courts to the city.
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Weekend Breaks in Lisbon
The metro network makes travelling around Lisbon quick and easy (and luckily cheap) so you won't struggle to explore, even if you're just over for a speedy weekend trip. Aim to book accommodation in the downtown area of Baixa so you're well positioned to enjoy the city.
Get a Lisbon Card to make your travels easier. For €17.50, you can get a 3-in-1 transport and discount cards as well as a museum pass. With unlimited travel, queue jumps and free access to some of Lisbon's best museums and attractions, you won't be forced to rush your way through the weekend.
Make a beeline for Alfama, which is home to the cathedral, Lisbon Castle and Saint Anthony's church as well the Feira da Ladra, a huge flee market that takes place every Saturday. You could spend hours browsing!
There are plenty of bakeries along the cobbled streets where you can grab lunches quick and easy as you play at being tourists, with rooftop bars being the main thrill of the evening as the sun sets.
Beaches are just a short, 20-minute train ride away, from Estoril to Cascais. You don't always have to travel by train or tram either. Cascais offers free bike hire daily from 8am so hop on the saddle and zoom around the coast with the win in your hair and the sun at your back.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Lisbon
Lisbon is often overlooked when searching for a European city getaway but that stops now! There are definitely more than five reasons why you should pack your bags for Portugal's inimitable capital.
- You can explore on foot
- Like many European cities, Lisbon is a place made for strolling. Jump on one of the jewel coloured trams that trundle their way through tree-lined avenues, watching old Lisboetas gossip in the public baths and breaking bread at miniature fastidas restaurants (where the traditional melancholic singing Fado is practised, dontcha know).
- There's stunning architecture
- To put it simply; Lisbon is a photographer's dream. Everywhere you look there's a delicious visual treat waiting for an aesthete's hungry eyes - check out Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, the Gulbenkian Museum, the Tile Museum and the Oceanarium, just to name a few. Psst...You can get free or reduced admission to most of the attractions with a Lisboa card.
- The nightlife is bustling
- Not only is Lisbon known for its nightlife, it has a reputation for being downright cheap. The streets of Bairro Alto is your best bet, with many hotspots to be found. The areas around the Cais do Sodré and Largo de Santos are for those looking for a good ol' cheesy disco.
- The beaches are beautiful
- Forget-me-not blues and bleached sands are par for the course at Lisbon's beaches. Hop the train to Estoril (35 minutes) or Cascais (40 minutes) and settle into the soft sands for the day.
- The food is fresh and tasty
- Seafood lovers are in for a treat. Thanks to Lisbon's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, you'll be spoiled for choice for plates heaped with seafood, from clams in delicious white wine sauces to salted cod.
How to get to Lisbon
Luckily, a Lisbon holiday doesn't involve a strenuous travel regime. There are direct flights to Lisbon from London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol airports, and these tend to be cheaper than indirect flights by quite some way. Lisbon's airport is practically in the middle of the city, meaning that onward transfers are speedy. You can travel onwards by a variety of methods.
Mild winters and warm summers mean there's not a bad time of year to take of the many city break deals on offer to Lisbon. Summer tends to be the most expensive because of the nearby beaches, but you can find deals all year round that won't break the bank - keep your eyes peeled for last minute bargains.
Where to stay in Lisbon
There are plenty of cheap holidays in Lisbon to be had, with a choice of areas depending on what you want from your stay. Nowhere is particularly expensive thanks to the number of cheap Lisbon hotels available so go wherever you want! If it is nightlife you're after, then you'll want to stay in the Bairro Alto which boasts something of a street party atmosphere at the weekends. For a quieter or romantic break, check out the oldest districts of Alfama and Castelo. Shopaholics should stay within easy reach of the Avenida da Liberdade and the Principe Real is generally the hippest area with the trendiest boutiques. To stay a little out of the way of the main action, but close to many of the main sights, you could also consider a stay in Belem on your Lisbon city break.