Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, lies on the western coast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Steeped in history with a charming culture and boasting a wonderful climate, Lisbon makes for a wonderful city break. If the city is on your travel hit list this year, here is a pick of some of the top things to do during your time here. Perhaps you might even be persuaded to add this wonderful Portuguese city to your holiday plans!
Tram 28 is one of the first things that you are likely to notice when you arrive here and, in an odd sort of way,it is quite welcoming. Rattling around the city day and night, the yellow tram is one of the local’s favourite things about the city and is the perfect introduction for visitors to Lisbon. Jump on board the vintage tram and enjoy the sightseeing route up through the steep, narrow streets.
St George’s Castle
Once you reach the end of the line, be sure to explore the St George’s Castle. With some of the oldest parts of the building dating back to 6th century, the castle is a focal part of Lisbon’s history and this majestic building sitting high over Lisbon can be seen from all over the city. Climb the towers and soak up the views of Lisbon’s iconic red roofs, relax in the gardens littered with peacocks and explore the ramparts or the small archaeological museum.
Elevador de Santa Justa
Spy the Elevador de Santa Justa and you will be reminded of the Eiffel Tower! The romantic Neo-Gothic tower stands at 147ft and the walkway at the topconnects the Old Town with the “high neighbourhood”. Having ridden the lift, enjoy a beverage and the views of the Tagus River from inside the café at the top.
Rua do Carmo
Rua do Carmo offers some of the best shopping in the city and is also said to offer some of the best gelato and chocolate cake in town. Head here an afternoon treat.
Belem Tower is another of Lisbon’s icons. Built as a fortress to guard the entrance to the cities harbour in 1515, Belem Tower holds much history within its grasp and as such it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Climb to the top of tower for wonderful views; with a Lisbon Card you can get in for free.
Lisbon is famous for its production of delicious custard tarts so be sure to sample one or two during your time here. A bakery by the name of Pasteis de Belem is quite close by and is said to produce the best.
Take a day trip out to the historical and mystical Municipality of Sintra using car hire Lisbon Airport. Jam packed with beautiful fairy tale castles and palaces such Castelo dos Mouros and Palacio Nacional da Pena, you can’t help but be blown away from your visit here.
The Old Town, or Alfama, will be high on every visitors list and is best explored on foot. With a rich culture and excellent architecture the area presents wonderful photography opportunities. Amble around the medieval alleyways and cobbled streets, and see this village within a city complete with churches and whitewashed houses. Perhaps even get a little lost; it’s the best way to experience Alfama!
Built in the style of Champs-Elysees in Paris, Avenidada Liberdade is the main avenue of the city and very attractive at that. At over 1.5km long, it screams elegance and is dotted with fountains and café tables and of course a myriad of designer shops, banks and theatres. It’s a must see.
Head to Rossio Square in the early evening, not only for a well-deserved rest but for the chance to enjoy a few drinks at one of the many cafes with outside seating that spills into the Square. Filled with both tourists and locals during the summer months, it’s perfect for a spot of people watching!
This fantastic Portuguese city makes for an excellent city break whatever the time of year and there is plenty to see and do, this is just a selection of the options on offer!
Bio: Kerri Ware writes for Economy Car Hire. Feel free to follow us on Twitter at economy_carhire.
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