Lisbon or in Portuguese, Lisboa is a fantastic attractive cosmopolitan city and capital of Portugal located on the south west edge of the country on the steep north banks of the River Tagus and about 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, although the city enjoys a Mediterranean climate.
From early spring, the cafes and bars spill out onto the streets as the weather improves for al fresco dining and drinks, and throughout the rest of the season through to the end of the year many festivals and festivities take place in Lisbon.
Travelling around hilly Lisbon is simple with superb tram, bus and funicular services, and a prebought “Lisboa card” allows travel on all transport throughout the city. Lisbon is such a fascinating city though, that walking really is the best way to explore.
Whilst the origin of Fado is disputed, these soulful, melancholic and sadly expressive songs are thought to have started in Lisbon and can be heard in local bars, Fado houses and restaurants in Lisbon often accompanied by rhythmic dancers.
Torre de Belem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a picture synonymous worldwide with Lisbon. Head to Belem and the Discoverers, and you will also find one of the cultural hubs with museums, exhibitions and concerts nearby.
The ideal city break holiday, a stay in Lisbon for a few days will just not be enough to explore the city. Book a cheap flight to Lisbon with low cost accommodation in Lisbon with lowcostholidays.com.
There are a number of Blue Flag, clean beaches near Lisbon, ideal for kite boarding, windsurfing although may be a little cold for most swimmers except in the height of the summer. Jump on a train to popular Cascais or Carcavelos Beach, or how about Sao Pedro do Estoril? There is also Praia da Adraga near Sintra which boasts the clearest blue waters and stretching for 30 km is the Costa da Caparica Beach on the south bank of the Tagus River.
A city which enjoys so many well preserved influences from the centuries past, a city break to Lisbon ensures the discovery of numerous historic sites. Overlooked by Sao Jorge Castle (St George’s Castle) located on the city’s highest hill, take a ride in a bus or tram from lower Lisbon and explore the citadel, ruins of the Royal Palace and enjoy fabulous views of the city.
One of the oldest quarters of Lisbon is Alfama (also the location of Sao Jorge Castle). This medieval neighbourhood escaped being ruined by the major earthquake in 1755 and offers a fascinating blend of narrow streets and Roman and Morrish architecture.
The Chiado and Bairro-Alto districts of Lisbon are accessed by funicular and great for exploring and experiencing the hundreds of fabulous restaurants, bars and fado houses. Head to Rua do Norte in Bairro-Alto for unbeatable shopping where you will find fashion boutiques, local crafts and much more.
For traditional jewellery and shoemakers, go to the Baixa district which is where the Tourist Office is. Wide avenues are more reflective of the French capital and a contrast to the Alfama district. This area of the city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With so much to see, Lisbon is the ideal destination for a 2014 break.
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