Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is ideal for quick weekend getaway as it is small enough that you can cover entire city with its surroundings in no more than 3 days. However you can also combine it into longer trip around the entire country. Lisbon is very colourful, very typical southern city and the sun that shines most of the time, really highlights those colours.
Best time to visit is during spring or fall, especially beautiful is in May and September when temperatures are nicer and more tolerable. Lisbon has a very practical metro connection from city to airport.
List of thing that you must see and do when in Lisbon is disclosed below:
- Go for a walk around Alfama, where you will probably get lost in the maze of streets, and climb up to the castle for some very nice views of the city and the bay. Then stroll past the cathedral (Sé) to the largest square in Europe – Praҫa do Comercio near the river. It is very popular place to hang out and dip your toes into Tajo River. From there walk down the most famous shopping street named Rua Augusta. On the beginning of the street there is a very impressive arch, to Praҫa do Rossio. As you will be walking down Rua Augusta, you will see very uncommon steel lift (Santa Justa lift) in a middle of the street on the left side. On Praҫa do Rossio you should find a cute little Café and observe beautiful praҫa and people wandering around.
- Visit the most famous and impressive part of the Lisbon – Belem. Catch a ride there with well know, oldschool, Tram 28! For better chances to actually board it go to Praҫa do Comercio, where is one of the first stops. Two most well-known sights of Lisbon are located there, which are the Belem Tower and Monastery of Jerónimos. Both were built in Late Gothic Manueline style, which is really something unique with its carefully designed arabesques. Nicely detailed arabesques are very well represented in monastery. This style was greatly influenced by Arabs who once occupied this region. During the history it was one of the most important fortress’ standing at the mouth Tajo River protecting the city. Near the monastery there is a famous bakery where world-famous Pastel de Nata originate from. To get the real thing you will probably have to wait in line for quite some time.
- Day trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca. Sintra is a small, fairy tale like, city located not far outside Lisbon. If you are using public transport a train leaves on regular basis from Rossio or Oriente train station. Just a warning if you will be renting a car – not a lot parking spaces are available in Sintra. Buildings are very beautiful and unique; they really look like as they were actually torn out of some fairy tale and princesses used to live in a buildings like that. Town is looked over by colourful Pena Palace, which is located high above the centre. To get up there you can take a bus, taxi or you can hike. Hike is actually more difficult that you would expect. To hike up the last part you have to pay entrance fee. If you want to stay closer to the city centre, there is magnificent building surrounded by park that you can visit. The sight is called Quinta da Regaleira. Park surrounding it has many interesting and special additions like wells, lakes, fountains and tunnels.
- From Sintra to Cabo da Roca there is very frequent bus connection. This cape is the most western point of mainland Europe. It is very windy there, but views over the sea are magnificent. Cliffs are very high and looking down you can watch waves crushing at rocks.