Located just a 2 hour flight from the UK and other major European cities, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most soulful, captivating and picturesque capitals, built on a series of hills with scenic vistas from every angle and a place where you can combine fun with culture- it is the only European capital with sunsets on the sea, being situated so close to beautiful sandy beaches. The mild climate makes the area an ideal year-round destination. Even in winter, when most other European cities are freezing, in Lisbon the high temperatures rarely go below 10°C.
The city was the former launch pad for many of the world’s greatest voyages and once home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Today’s visitors will discover a charming visual time-warp with medieval neighbourhoods; vintage trams; World heritage monuments and museums- from international design and contemporary art to the ancient art of tile painting and gilding; and treasures from when the East met the West.
Lisbon is officially Europe’s least expensive capital and the great value makes the city the perfect destination for those visitors with an insatiable appetite for long dinners in the excellent restaurants, and for those who enjoy coffee breaks and nightlife, Lisbon has a lively café culture and a nightlife that is one of the most vibrant in Europe. Gastronomy, wine, the simple act of sharing a meal or having a drink with friends are regular activities in Lisbon’s daily routine. Due to the city’s proximity to the sea, the local gastronomy includes delicious fish and shellfish dishes, celebrated in the annual “Lisbon Fish Flavours” festival.
Enjoy a bit of shopping in Lisbon’s wide variety of shops - ranging from traditional shops to large shopping centres, and from Portuguese brands to international brands. There’s no need to hurry, time in Lisbon should be savoured with calm, in a park or belvedere, an esplanade or traditional café, where you can soak up the general atmosphere, in the midst of great company and plentiful sunshine.
Lisbon is blessed with a coastline that offers an array of stunning beaches, each with its own unique charm. Just a short drive or train ride from the city centre, the Cascais-Estoril coastline unfolds with golden sandy stretches and inviting Atlantic waters. Praia do Guincho, with its powerful waves, attracts surfers and windsurfers alike, providing a scenic backdrop of rugged cliffs. Carcavelos Beach, easily accessible by train, is a favourite among locals and visitors, known for its expansive shoreline and lively atmosphere. For those seeking a tranquil escape, the pristine Praia da Adraga, surrounded by dramatic cliffs, offers a more secluded retreat. The beach culture seamlessly blends with Lisbon's laid-back vibe, and whether one is looking for water sports, sunbathing, or simply a leisurely stroll along the shore, the beaches around Lisbon provide a refreshing and picturesque extension of the city's allure.
Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, boasts a culinary scene that is a delightful blend of traditional Portuguese flavours and contemporary innovation. The city is home to some of the finest restaurants, each offering a unique gastronomic experience. At the forefront is Belcanto, a two-Michelin-starred establishment helmed by Chef José Avillez, where diners are treated to a modern interpretation of Portuguese cuisine in an elegant setting. For those seeking a taste of the sea, Cervejaria Ramiro is an iconic seafood haven known for its impeccably fresh seafood and lively atmosphere. Meanwhile, Alma, led by Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, elevates Portuguese ingredients with a refined touch, earning it a Michelin star. Time-honoured tasca culture comes to life at Taberna do Mercado, where Chef Nuno Mendes crafts inventive dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. Lisbon's culinary landscape is a testament to its rich cultural heritage, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable dining experience.
Lisbon's nightlife is as diverse as its cultural tapestry, and its bars offer a kaleidoscope of experiences for every taste and mood. From historic taverns to chic rooftop lounges, the city caters to a wide spectrum of preferences. The Bairro Alto district is renowned for its vibrant and eclectic bar scene, where narrow streets come alive with the laughter of patrons spilling out onto cobblestone sidewalks. For those seeking panoramic views, the rooftop bars in areas like Park and Topo Chiado provide a stylish setting to enjoy cocktails while overlooking the city's picturesque skyline. To delve into the city's bohemian spirit, LX Factory offers trendy bars in repurposed industrial spaces, showcasing Lisbon's creativity. Meanwhile, the historic Ginjinha bars, serving Portugal's iconic cherry liqueur, provide a taste of tradition. Whether one seeks the ambiance of a fado bar, the energy of a trendy hotspot, or the charm of a historic watering hole, Lisbon's bars ensure a spirited and diverse nightlife experience.
There are many 'Must-see highlights' of the city of Lisbon, including- Baixa & Chiado:- Chiado is a sophisticated hub for the city’s young people, artists and intellectuals it’s an area of iconic cafés including “A Brasileira”, art schools, theatres and of living history. The intrinsic beauty of Chiado, and it’s people – going about their daily lives -, makes the area what it is. The Carmo area, next to the Chiado, has some of the most fascinating historical sites in the city, such as the Convent and Church of Carmo, which maintain their elegance and grandeur. Carmo is connected to the Baixa by the Elevador de Santa Justa, another of Lisbon’s icons. The Elevador, designed by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, is open to the public and boasts impressive views over the Baixa Pombalina and the rest of Lisbon. Baixa is the city's traditional shopping district where visitors can stroll around the streets and find dozens of shops offering a wide range of temptations.
Bairro Alto:- Bairro Alto is one of the most characteristic and attractive neighbourhoods in the city. Bairro Alto boasts boutiques and bars and is a place where people meet in an eclectic and multicultural atmosphere. Traditional restaurants nestle alongside cosy bookshops; tea rooms serving signature cakes vie for attention with funky design shops and the boutiques of the most respected Portuguese fashion designers. The city is transformed at night, and zones such as the Bairro Alto, Santos, Docas and 24 de Julho, spring to life with a wide array of all restaurants, bars and discotheques where you can party until dawn.
Belém is linked to Portugal’s Golden Age of Discoveries as the site where the famous navigators set sail to discover the world. It is the neighbourhood with the largest number of heritage sites connected with the Portuguese voyages of discovery- it was from the beach in Belém that Vasco da Gama set sail to discover the sea route to India and the grandiosity of the former empire can be sensed throughout the area. Today it is a spacious green suburb with many gardens, parks and monuments that are well worth a visit. Amongst Belém’s attractions is the Jerónimos Monastery, the Monument to the Discoveries, Torre de Belém and Belém Cultural Centre.
The Parque das Nações is ideal for all ages. Located in the eastern part of Lisbon, this area is a focus of the city's cultural life. The gardens along the river, frame the facilities at the Parque, including the Pavilhão Atlântico, venue for live music events, and the new Casino Lisboa. The Oceanário is not to be missed, amazing young and old alike with the diversity of its collections. The Pavilhão do Conhecimento and the Vasco da Gama tower are other attractions in this unique park. Take a ride on the cable car offering breathtaking views of the river and the city.
The Lisbon surroundings offer an incredible variety of tourist attractions, from dolphin-watching in Setubal, to surfing in Cascais, to fairy tale palaces in the one of Europe’s most romantic towns (Sintra), to world class golf with more than 20 value for money golf courses in the region, to fun in Europe’s largest casino in Estoril, to escaping to a natural park in Arrabida, to exploring the many outstanding towns and villages from Evora to Obidos.
Diversity is the region’s principal hallmark, with extensive beaches ideal for sunbathing or water sports, luxurious and protected landscapes, picturesque rural landscapes and monuments classified as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Sintra, also a World Heritage site, is one of Portugal’s most luxurious and romantic towns that has served as a great source of inspiration for poets and writers over the years. Estoril and Cascais is a privileged zone for lovers of the sea, golf and charm. Further north, is the world-famous pilgrimage site of Fátima and in this region are the three key monuments of the Monastery of Alcobaça, the Monastery of Batalha and the Convent of Christ, the former home of the Knights Templar. Other key sites in the region, include the medieval town of Óbidos, and Santarém, which in addition to its fine architectural heritage, is the centre of horse and bull-breeding in Portugal. Travelling south we reach the River Sado and discover the beauty of its riverbanks. Its unique estuary, bordered by the beaches of Tróia, the Arrábida mountains and Setúbal, is one of the most beautiful in Portugal.
Lisbon offers a diverse array of accommodations and resorts that cater to the varied tastes and preferences of its visitors. From historic boutique hotels nestled in the heart of Alfama's narrow alleys to contemporary luxury resorts along the Tagus River, the city provides a rich tapestry of options. The Avenida da Liberdade, known for its upscale shopping and dining, is home to several five-star hotels that seamlessly blend modern amenities with classic charm. For those seeking a more immersive experience, charming guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts in neighbourhoods like Baixa and Chiado provide an intimate connection to the city's culture. Additionally, resorts such as the Martinhal Oriente Resort offer opulent escapes just a short distance from Lisbon, complete with world-class amenities, golf courses, and spa facilities. Whether it's a boutique hotel infused with history or a contemporary resort with panoramic views, Lisbon's accommodations promise a comfortable and stylish stay, adding to the allure of this captivating city.