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Travel to Lisbon, Portugal's up-and-coming capital

  • Lisbon is a city like none other, built over 7 hills with its warm golden colours radiating over the banks of the Tagus. It is such an agreable place to visit that many tourists come here just to while away a weekend. It has many sites of interest on offer, but it's the local way of life that is the city's main attraction. Its small and narrow streets leading down to the Tagus, glimmering in the background, ...
    © Ken Welsh
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Portugal

Lisbon is a city like no other, built over seven hills with its warm golden colours radiating over the banks of the Tagus. With such beautiful surroundings, tourists continue to travel to Lisbon in large numbers, even if only for a short weekend. It has many sites of interest on offer, but it's the local way of life that is the city's main attraction. Its small and narrow streets leading down to the Tagus, glimmering in the background, give the place a picture postcard feel. The Alfama and its lively streets is a lovely place to wander around, to the melancholic sound of Fado. The artistic and bohemian Bairro Alto district is a must if you're going to spend an evening in the Portuguese capital. It is a city easily discovered on foot or aboard its famous #28 tram.

Lisbon: what to do?

Enjoy a stroll through the districts of Rossio, Chiado and Bairro Alto. Listen to some fado in the casa do fado located in the Alfama district. In the evening, enjoy a glass of Ginja (a cherry-based spirit) in the Ginjinhas, which are little bars, typical of Lisbon, that have become a true institution where all social classes mingle and meet for a drink and a chat. People drink their glass of Ginja out on the pavement in the most convivial of atmospheres. Climb aboard the legendary yellow trams that cover the city (including the famous tram #28), and cable cars (of Santa Justa, Bica or Gloria). Visit one of Lisbon's many panoramic viewpoints which overlook the city (the Miradors of Santa Catarina, Santa Luzia or Senhora do Monte). You can also discover Lisbon from the Tagus, by taking part in a cruise. In the evening, you can go out to the docks, which have recently been renovated and now strewn with trendy restaurants, bars and nightclubs to which the young locals flock in numbers. Visit the flea market and the Feira de Ladra (the 'thief's market') at Campo de Santa Clara.

The Portuguese capital is flooded with monuments of interest. You should first walk around the various districts to get a feeling for the town and its fascinating neighbourhoods. Then, visit St George's Castle, or Se Cathedral. Another attraction is Belem tower, the symbol of Lisbon. You should also discover the Jeronimos monastery, a jewel of the Manueline style, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, museum-goers will have a lot to marvel at in the Calouste-Gulbenkian Museum. As for the children, they can admire the penguins, rays, sharks and tuna at the oceanarium.

  • You can cover the whole city in a weekend on foot
  • Numerous monuments to visit
  • A friendly atmosphere and great night life
  • Many tourists in the spring and summer
  • At times the wind can get quite cool

Reminders

Think to bring comfortable, proper walking shoes as the city is best visited on foot and you will probably spend your day climbing up and down hills.

To avoid

Bring comfortable shoes as the steep winding streets found in the older nighbourhoods will get the better of you!

Lisbon: what to eat?

Lisbon is a city where you can eat delicious food in copious quantities, and you won't even have to go to a fancy restaurant. There are a number of small, friendly restaurants, where you can have cod-cakes, grilled sardines, mountain cheese or meat dishes (try the presunto, the mountain ham). For lunch, you can have a quick snack in one of the many small canteens that serve various sandwiches (sandes) and small pastries (empadas) that are sometimes stuffed with cod. You should also try the soup or one of the numerous cod-based recipes. It is said that there are 365 ways to cook cod, so the choice is yours!

Lisbon: what to buy?

If you're one to try out the local spirits, don't hesitate to taste and bring back some Ginja. It is Lisbon's own cherry-based drink and it is truly delicious, served in the numerous Ginjinhas. There are other specialties that you must try, such as the muscatel of Setubal or the Pasteis de Nata, which are delicious flans coated with cinnamon and sugar (should be served lukewarm). The best place to try these is the famous confectionery close to Jeronimos Monastery. It is easily recognisable by its long queue that stretches out onto the pavement. You can also bring back embroidery, lace, ceramics, jewellery or even azulejos, the famous blue earthenware tiles. Of course, Fado enthusiasts will find a wide range of CDs to choose from.

Lisbon Reviewedhotels
  • 8.55 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Olissippo Lapa Palace
    Lisbonne - Portugal
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Lapa Palace hotel is one of the Lisbon's finest, overlooking ...

  • 8.55 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Tivoli Lisboa
    Lisbonne - Portugal
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Tivoli Lisboa is one of the best five-star hotels we've had ...

  • 8.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
    Lisbonne - Portugal
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Four Seasons Ritz hotel really shows its daring side by combining ...

  • 8.2 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Double Tree By Hilton Fontana Park Hotel
    Hotel Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    If you are a fan of stylish, minimalist decor, then the Fontana ...

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