The most western capital city in continental Europe, Lisbon is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a short break away from home.
A relatively short flight time means the Portuguese capital can be easily accessed from the UK, and it’s a great place to visit throughout the year.
Spring and autumn both tend to be quite mild, with the middle of summer seeing the temperatures rise noticeably and the levels of rain fall to next to nothing.
That does mean it can be too warm for some in peak season, with it advisable to make sure you take some sun block with you. In winter meanwhile, a jacket is advisable when the temperatures drop and there is a greater chance of rain.
One of the oldest cities in Europe, Lisbon is packed with history and culture at every turn – with stunning architecture that reflects the way in which it has evolved through the ages.
Amongst the most famous buildings within the city, and two that will very much feature on the ‘to do’ list of anyone visiting Lisbon, are the Belém Tower and the imposing Jerónimos Monastery; both of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites because of their historical importance.
Boarding the famous tram network, you’ll be able to travel across the city with ease and embrace the various different districts of Lisbon; each of which has something different to offer.
Pay a visit to Alfama and you’ll find more of the old historical buildings such as the Castle of São Jorge and Lisbon Cathedral, whilst Bairro Alto is the place to go if you are looking for entertainment or fancy hitting the shops for a little bit of retail therapy.
This is also the place to go if you want to embrace the vibrant nightlife for which Lisbon is so well known.
Music loves might enjoy a trip to the Opera House whilst there are plenty of opportunities to listen to traditional folk music during a spell in the old quarter.
Add into the mix the traditional restaurants that offer the very best in Portuguese cuisine and you’re sure to enjoy a first rate break in one of the most memorable cities on the European scene.
The Belém Tower dates back to the early 1500s and is one of the most famous structures in Lisbon. Constructed as part of the defence system for the city on the banks of the Tagus River, the tower is famous for its intricate design both on the exterior and the interior and has been classified as a World Heritage Site since 1983. It’s one of the real ‘must see’ attractions within the city.
Jerónimos Monastery is one of the best examples of Portuguese gothic architecture and a popular attraction for anyone paying a visit to the capital city. Dating back to the 16th century, the monastery is seen to be a symbol of Portuguese identity and culture, with the building being one of the top attractions in the city for those who want to marvel at the workmanship that went into its creation and uncover its rich history.
Constantly rated as one of Lisbon’s top attractions, Lisbon Oceanarium is well worth a visit during your time in the city – particularly if you have elected to take the children along for the ride. Alongside an expansive list of marine life within the main aquarium area, the oceanarium also houses a selection of amphibians and mammals.
Castelo de São Jorge
The São Jorge Castle is a historic castle that sits in a prime location looking over the centre of Lisbon and dates back to medieval times. The highly fortified castle is listed as a national monument and is open seven days a week for those who want to discover more about Lisbon’s history on a guided tour, or who want to take in the stunning views across the city.
Christ the King Monument
The Christ the King Monument looks down across Lisbon and was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the Brazilian city of Rio de Janiero. Completed in the 1960s, the monument sits on a clifftop overlooking the Tagus River and includes an observation deck where visitors can embrace the impressive views.
Sintra is well worth a visit on a day trip from Lisbon, with the resort town featuring an impressive 19th century palace and many more impressive architectural monuments that have played a part in the area being named as a World Heritage Site. Expect it to get quite busy - particularly during the middle of summer when plenty of tourists flock to the area.
Lisbon Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the city, dating back to 1100s. Since then, the cathedral has undergone work on more than one occasions to deal with the aftereffects of earthquakes – meaning the modern-day building is an eclectic mix of different architectural styles.
Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa
Lisbon Zoo dates back to the 1880s and has been based in its current location since 1905. With plenty of focus on conservation, the zoo houses more around 2000 animals including hippos, elephants and lions.
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