Whenever I think of Portugal, I automatically think of the Algarve and golf courses. Yet, on looking further into this fascinating, sunshine country, there’s so much more to discover. The capital, Lisbon, is a great choice for a city break, and fantastic when combined with a beach break at one of the many nearby resorts.
Another positive is the fact that many low-cost airlines now fly to Lisbon, meaning cheap fares and making this wonderful city even more accessible than ever.
Of course city breaks are the stuff of cosmopolitan, sparkling ideas, so why not add a few special extras to make your time away even more memorable? Airport hotels are a wonderful idea to add something extra to your break, and a real godsend when you have an early flight. I tried one recently and would definitely do it again. Many can be combined with airport parking including Gatwick parking, which again, I used recently and now wouldn’t travel without.
Back to Lisbon, and if you’re a fan of architecture and history, this is the place for you. The city is full of old churches and buildings with beautiful examples of architecture. The cathedral is a must visit, and the castle is stunning, with wonderful views too, so remember that camera! If you’re into galleries, you’re in for a treat, as there are many around the city, especially in the Gulbenkian Art Complex.
Getting around the city is easy, with a great public transport system, so there’s no excuse not to explore further. Alternatively, there are many walking tours to take part in, and you can even set sail on the River Tagus.
For me, city breaks always have to include a spot of retail therapy, and I’d be heading to Cais do Sodre to visit the markets. If you’re wanting something a little more expensive, there are many designer stores around, as well as high street shops for those on more of a budget, so really there’s something for everyone.
When you’ve worn yourself out exploring the city, shopped ‘til you dropped, and fallen in love with the city, it’s time to line your stomach and sample the night-life, and the level of entertainment is entirely up to you! The west side of the city is the best for restaurants, with lots of choice, including many seafood dishes to try. The Docks are particularly good for bars and clubs, although there are many all around the city, it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.
City breaks can be exhausting, so make sure you’re rested before you leave the UK, by looking into my idea of airport parking and hotels. You’re sure to find one to suit your needs and budget, and I can certainly recommend parking at Luton Airport for fantastic rates and secure facilities.
Lisbon is a fantastic blend of old and new, and every part of the city has something to see and explore. For a top-class city break, Lisbon is a great choice.