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Steeped in history and culture, Lisbon is the go-to destination for anyone looking for an atmospheric city break with loads to see and do. Lisbon still retains its medieval Gothic charm, although much of the city has been modernized. Top sights of the city include Castelo De Sao Jorge, a stunning 11th-century hilltop fortification, Praca do Comercio, the 18th-century gateway to city and Basilica da Estrela, the beautiful neo-classical church of Dona Maria. Top museums include Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, which showcases an epic collection of Western and Egyptian art and Museu Sao Roque, which houses a dazzling array of sacred art.

 

If you're not into history, there's plenty of day trips and activities to keep the whole family entertained. One of the most exciting ways to explore the city is to hire a GoCar (a GPS guided story-telling car) and tour the area at your own pace, from discovering iconic landmarks such as the Belem Tower to soaking up Lisbon's vibrant art scene – plus the kids will love it too. Alternatively, you can also take a day trip to the two beautiful towns of Sintra and Cascais on your Lisbon holidays. Sintra is famous for its historical buildings perched atop hills, while Cascais is a beautiful fishing village known for its unspoilt beaches.

 

Holidays to Lisbon are fantastic if you want a city break in the sunshine, its Mediterranean climate meaning even winter temperatures rarely fall below 15°C, making it the warmest capital in mainland Europe. The best time to visit Lisbon is between March and May or September and October, when the weather is pleasant and there are fewer crowds.

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Go Skyward for Top Views

 

 

Go Skyward for Top Views

Soak up the city's sights in the beautifully crafted Santa Justa Lift. This great example of Victorian engineering has neo-gothic arches and wooden carriages inside whisking tourists to the top. You can get some of the best views of the city from the top. Once you've experienced a bird's eye view, head down to ground level and explore the Baixa district's magnificent plazas, street side cafes and bars, and more grand architecture.

Relax at the Beach

 

Relax at the Beach

Lisbon’s coastline offers a variety of gorgeous sandy beaches, which are easily accessible by public transport and are just a short drive away. If you fancy a family friendly day out, pick Praia de Carcavelos or Praia Sao Pedro, both of which fall on the Lisbon-Cascais rail route. Pack a picnic lunch and catch a catamaran to the peninsula of Troika, which boasts 18km of sandy beaches and dolphin sightings too! Lisbon is also paradise for paddleboarders, with nearby Arrabida in the south and Silver Coast beach to the north.

 
Live it up in Lisbon

 

Live it up in Lisbon

Whether you're looking for family friendly bars or a wild weekend on the town, Lisbon's nightlife never disappoints. Begin the night in the Bairro Alto district at one of the lively bars, before heading to one of various nightclubs in the area where you can dance until dawn. If you're looking to party in style, super club Lux (owned by Hollywood star John Malkovich) attracts the cool crowds, Kubo is also a great spot for laid-back cocktails, or why not spend the evening in a traditional Fado house? The authentic live music is perfect for family holidays.

 
Take a Stroll around Alfama

 

Take a Stroll around Alfama

Crowned as the city's oldest district, Alfama is a picturesque neighbourhood with narrow streets, winding steps and crowded cobbled terraces. Don't miss the Castelo de São Jorge sitting atop the sloping hill, make your way to the Panteão Nacional and Sao Vicente de Fora area on Tuesdays and Saturdays to check out the flea markets, and marvel at the Casa dos Bicos (House of Spikes). Nearby Alfama, you will find your pick of restaurants and bars.

 
Tour by Tram

 

Tour by Tram

Discover more of this charming city by boat, bicycle, foot or tram tour. Hop on the handy Glória Funicular railway line through the centre of Lisbon or hire a bike from bikeiberia and cycle around the city. If you're travelling with kids, a trip to Lisbon zoo, Oceanarium and the Expo Park will keep them entertained for hours. Make the most of the glorious Lisbon weather and take to the waters on a sailing trip across the Tagus River where you can stop and snorkel. If you're a foodie, don't miss out on see a walking foodie tour around the city where you will sample seafood, pastries and wine and find out where the top gourmet spots lie.

 
Visit Stunning Sintra

 

Visit Stunning Sintra

This enchanting town found in the fairytale hills of the Serra Mountains is surrounded by lush green gardens, wild woodlands and boasts picturesque palaces and castles. In the heart of the old town history lovers can explore the 14th century National Palace and it's stunning interior, beachgoers can visit the nearby towns of Cascais and Estoril, or why not enjoy a spot of evening entertainment at the local theatre, Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval?

 
Shop till you Drop

 

Shop till you Drop

If your summer holiday isn't complete without a shopping session, you've come to the right place. Lisbon's lively neighbourhood Principe Real is paradise for those searching for seasonal staples, with a string of designer boutiques, Portuguese jewellery stalls and a pretty park. Centro Colombo Mall is one of the largest in Lisbon and houses everything under one roof, alongside a cinema, bowling alley and even an amusement park. For CDs, books and international shops head to Armazens do Chiado or if you like to soak up your surroundings as well as the shops, Amoreiras is the oldest and most eye-catching mall of them all. Take home some traditional items when you head to Obidos, a quaint town just outside of Lisbon lined with pretty Portuguese shops.

 
Enjoy Portuguese treats

 

 

Enjoy Portuguese treats

Lisbon is foodie heaven and there are several patisseries, chocolaterias and waterfront restaurants that you can pop into for gourmet experiences. At the Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, people queue up to order the Pasteis de Nata or custard tart, prepared from a secret recipe over 200 years old. The city is also famous for its exclusive cheeses or queijos, a firm favourite is the creamy queijo da serra, which can be washed down with a glass of wine in The Old Pharmacy and Graça do Vinho. Be sure to save room for some of Portugal’s national dishes, including the flavoursome bacalhau (salt cod), Caldo Verde (green soup accompanied by sausages), and the Carne de Porco (pork cooked with clams) – best served at the downtown eatery Joao do Grao.

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