Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in Europe, is a great city break destination and offers a tsunami of cultural, gastronomic and visitor attractions to suit the palates of all visitors. The city is built on seven hills and is the most westerly capital city of Western Europe.
Around three million people live in the Lisbon region, with more than 600,000 living in the city itself.
Air access is good, with Aer Lingus and Ryanair having daily flights from Dublin. However, it is worth noting that Aer Lingus operates to Terminal 1, which has all the ground transport connections, while Ryanair operates to the low-cost carrier Terminal 2, which has no direct connection to the metro or public bus routes. Terminal 2 is connected to the main Terminal 1 building by a free shuttle bus service that departs every 10-20 minutes and takes around 10 minutes.
To get a real feel for the city, the Lisbon Card is a must: with it the visitor can travel around free on public transport, visit all 28 museums and monuments, and have the choice of up to 60 different discount opportunities. The cost of a pass valid for 72 hours is €39 for adults and €20.50 for children aged four to 15.
Lisbon exudes history and tradition and by far the best way to experience this is to take a trip on the famous number 28 tram. This is the ideal way to discover the most interesting sites. Get onboard at Martim Moniz and the tram heads in the direction of the Graca neighbourhood, past the church of Sao Vincente de Fora. The tram then continues along some of medieval Lisbon’s most picturesque streets and squares, including Rua das Escolas Gerais and Lago das Portas do Sol, which overlooks the river and the heights of St George’s Castle.
The ‘tourist tram’ then climbs up the Chiado hills and stops adjacent to the famous Cafe A Brasilera in Largo do Chiado, where the statue of Fernando Pessoa is located.
Dining and Shopping
There is vast range of dining options ranging from Michelin starred to traditional local dishes. The visitor will definitely be spoilt for choice, at menu prices to suit all pockets.
For shopping the most popular places are the Centro Commercial Columbo, Vasco da Gama and the Complexo das Amoreiras. In all of these shopping locations the prices are reputed to be among the lowest in Europe, especially for shoes and leather goods.
There is also Freeport-Lisbon Fashion Outlet, with more than 150 top brands and claiming discounts of up to 70%. However, this is in Alcochete and is reached by a designated shuttle bus from two points in Lisbon: Praca Marques de Pombal and Martim Moniz Hotel Mundial.
No trip to Lisbon is complete without a visit to Estoril and Cascais, easily accessible by a train ride from Lisbon. Estoril is home to a really international casino where visitors can gamble the night away. There is also a highly professional cabaret show in the same complex that is on a par with the Moulin Rouge in Paris.
Sintra became a UNESCO site in 1995 and is where the Portuguese monarchy spent the summer months up to the late 19th century.
Indeed Lisbon and its environs is truly a great weekend destination.
For more information, visit www.visitlisboa.com