Lisbon is cosmopolitan, multi-cultural and steeped in history, it's a lively international city and boasts a proud and ancient history.
City Breaks: Lisbon makes the perfect cultural European city break, with an abundance of postcard-pretty streets and nostalgic charm, a modern hub where 1,000 year old buildings rub shoulders with gourmet eateries and luxurious shopping - Lisbon is simply perfect for an ideal weekend away.
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Compare Cheap Flight Ticket Deals to Lisbon direct from the following UK airports:
TAP Air Portugal - London Heathrow LHR to Lisbon LIS
Easyjet - London Luton LTN & Manchester MAN to Lisbon LIS
British Airways - London Heathrow LHR to Lisbon LIS
Start planning your Portugal short stay adventure now and you'll soon be enjoying Lisbon's rich culture and traditional cuisine (including heavenly custard tarts and wonderfully fresh seafood).
Introduction: The city is divided into four main areas, Baixa and Alfama, Bairro Alto and Estrela, North Lisbon and Belem.
The Alfama quarter is the oldest surviving part of the city and is home to Castelo de Sao Jorge - the imposing Castle that's prominently seated atop of Lisbon’s steepest hill and is one of the most iconic symbols of the city. From the castle walls you can look out across the sparkling Tagus River (Rio Tejo) and spot the Christ the King statue in the distance.
Below the castle, the charming Alfama quarter is a maze of narrow winding streets which are mostly traffic-free, except for the occasional 100-year-old tram rattling along the labyrinth of narrow streets and cobbled alleyways. Walk down from here amongst the tilting houses and twisting alleys lined with shops selling traditional crafts, then take the inexpensive funicular up to the bohemian Bairro Alto district, home of the famed 'fado houses'.
Alfama is also home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa, which is known locally as Lisbon Cathedral or simply the Sé. The picturesque Cathedral dates from the twelfth century and is predominantly Romanesque in style, the cathedral displays impressive paintings from its famous galleries.
Alfama is a joy to discover and is best enjoyed on foot to appreciate the quarter's colourful pastel-colored buildings and traditional Portuguese wrought iron lamps and ornate balconies. Amalfa is also where you'll find authentic Fado (Portuguese Folk Music) bars and restaurants, such as the Fado Em Si which is located at Rua Sao Joao da Praca.
Lisbon Tours & Attractions: Take a ride on an Edwardian tram through Lisbon's glorious past. Tram 28 takes you between the Alfama and Estrela Basilica. Or relax with a stroll amongst the flowery parks or tree-lined streets like Avenida da Liberdade - the Champs Elysees of Portugal. There are several good museums including the Gulbenkian and the Museum of Azulejo showing the history of Portugal's hand painted tiles. Top Tip: Don't miss the ornate tiles adorning the walls of townhouses and the detailed graffiti found around the city that would'nt look out of place in a gallery.
Lisbon's Coast: Within easy reach of the city are the sandy beaches of several coastal resorts, such as Costa da Caparica (with it's stunning 26km coastline of glorious sandy beaches and powerful Atlantic waves), Estoril and Cascais, are all worth a visit if time permits.
Monuments: Lisbon has witnessed the departures of the most famous ships and navigators, sailing on voyages of discovery to the furthest corners of the world. Worth a visit is the famous 'Monument to the Discoveries' the monument is one of Lisbon's strongest images, and is a tribute to Lisbon's historical link to it's seafaring past.
Shopping in Lisbon: For high-end shopping try the Amoreiras shopping centre or Baixa. In general, Lisbon's good buys include leatherwork, hand painted tiles, ceramics and jewellery. Flea markets are fun and great for bargains or just to browse. The Feira de Ladra, also known as the "Thieves Market" can be found in the Alfama district next to the Santa Engracia Church. The Feira de Ladra offers a little bit of everything from souvenirs to clothing and antiques, the market is very popular with tourists and opens on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Lisbon Public Transport: Public transport in Lisbon is comprehensive, cheap and easy to use. The Metro is the fastest method of transport, with plenty of stations located around the city. The metro system covers most of Lisbon's main tourist attractions, with plenty of easy to use ticket machines displaying instructions in English. Buses are a good alternative if you’re looking for a quick way to discover the city, they also cover areas not serviced by the metro and city tramways. Modern electric trains also link the towns and resorts along the Portuguese Riviera.
There are many unique ways to see the city, but by far the most interesting and most practical is to use the iconic vintage tramway system, the Edwardian funicular railway or the Gothic style elevators.
Lisbon's Tramway: The iconic yellow vintage trams trundle effortlessly up and down the seven hills that Lisbon spreads itself across. Hop on the 100-year-old tram No.28 (the number 28 is now a tourist attraction in its own right) which will take you down some of Lisbon's narrowest streets, rattling along past major landmarks such as Baixa & Terreiro do Paço. The unique charm and solidity of the old tramway system is undeniable as they rattle slowly and confidently along the sloping, narrow streets.
Travel Pass: Transport passes are available, including the popular Lisboa Card which allows free unlimited travel on public transport, including bus, tram, metro, elevators and funiculars. The Lisboa card also provides free travel on CP train lines to popular tourist destinations such as Sintra and Cascais, which are perfect day excursions from Lisbon.
The Lisboa Card is valid for 24, 48 or 72 consecutive hour durations and is available to use for one full calendar year from the date of purchase. The card is activated on first use.
Transport Lift: Lisbon is hilly with many steep inclines so an elevator was built in 1902 to help navigate the city’s changing levels. The elevator is called the The Santa Justa Lift, its also known as the Carmo Lift and connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo. The Carmo lift was originally powered by steam until 1907 when it was converted to electric. Due to the stunning views over Baixa from it's observation deck, the lift has become Lisbon's top attraction. Top Tip: A ride on the Carmo lift is covered by the metro system so if you have a Lisboa card the ticket fare is included with your pass.
Lisbon Nightlife: Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife from trendy rooftop cocktails bars to live music venues playing traditional Fado music (Portuguese Folk Music), passionately played out in bars and restaurants throughout the city. The Bairro Alto district is the pace to head to for lively dance clubs, with pink street in Cais do Sodré’s having some of the best nightlife. Alfama is home to Lisbon's finest wine bars, while the Las Docas (former docks area) has been transformed into trendy bars and nightclubs dotted around a marina.
Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) is located five miles (7km) north of Lisbon city centre.
Airport Transport and Shuttle Services:
From Airport to Lisbon central. There are several Aerobus operators providing bus services to the city centre from early morning until late at night. Buses depart approximately every 15 minutes from the arrivals hall at terminal 1. Lisbon airport has a safe and convenient Metro rail system departing the airport every 5-15 minutes, the airport Metro connects to the red line with direct service to the city centre.
Lisbon Airport Taxi: Taxi transfers are plentiful and fares are based on the taxi-meter system. Fares are relatively cheap at around 20 euros per single trip. Top Tip: Unfortunately taxis sometimes overcharge unsuspecting tourists, check the fare with the taxi driver before setting off and agree a reasonable price. Airport taxis are reliable and are also a very popular form of transport between Lisbon airport and the city centre.
Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented at Lisbon airport, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.
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