Once home to the world’s greatest explorers like Magellan, Vasco da Gama and Prince Henry, Lisbon is the second oldest capital city of Europe after Athens. Not many cities have as many contrasting faces or such an intriguing blend of the old and the new, making Lisbon the perfect place to just get lost in or traverse at an unhurried pace. A city tour of Lisbon showcases the distinctive sights and sounds of the Portuguese city.
Being the only European capital located so close to the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is blessed with many beautiful sandy beaches ranging from miles of dune backed sands to little sheltered coves. Keeping in line with other great European capital cities, Lisbon boasts of a wealth of Baroque architecture and museums such as the Ancient Art Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, and Design Museum among others.
The madeira and wines, city’s rich history and culture, stunning sunsets, cobble-stoned pavements and the city’s Mediterranean climate characterized by mild winters and warm dry summers, makes Lisbon a popular destination to visit this 2016 summer.
1] A paradise for beach lovers
Lisbon is one of the few European cities located so close to the stunning seafront. From its miles of dune-backed sands to sheltered coves, Lisbon is home to numerous beautiful sandy beaches along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Praia da Adraga, Costa da Caparica Beach, Ericeira Beach, Guincho Beach are only a few of them, and are famed for its soft golden sands, calm shallow waters and brilliant watersports activities.
2] Perfect for foodies
Lisbon has several restaurants to offer; with the Portuguese food being delicious and diverse. You will find a hatful of street food options and local restaurants. Renowned for its seafood, in Portugal you will find some of the best cafes and restaurants along with varied award winning fish dishes. A good place to start your day when in Lisbon, is the O Arrastão, a favourite with the locals. But if you want to try authentic food, a trip to Taberna (famous local restaurant for authentic food) is a must.
Also check: Best restaurants in Lisbon
3] The nightlife is vibrant
In Lisbon, sunset does not mean the end of the day. The day has just started for the locals, especially on the weekends and during summer holidays. From hidden bars to clubs, from cellar to beautiful rooftop bars to fancy cocktail places, there is definitely something for everyone’s choice.
4] Its untouched charm
Lisbon still isn’t overwhelmed by massive number of tourists, and you can experience maritime magic of the vintage era of southern European capital and the pleasant charm of the city rather seamlessly. While in the city, you can wander through its cobbled and unspoiled streets and interact with locals easily.
5] The famous trams of Lisbon
No visit to Lisbon is complete without exploring the city’s top attractions by taking a ride on the little yellow vintage trams. Since, Lisbon is not that big in size, you can easily explore the city by foot, and the trekkers looking for some adventure will take a liking to the hills in and around the city.
6] A fairytale castle – Sintra
Just a 30-minutes’ drive from Lisbon, there is a magical little hill town – Sintra whose many layers of history live on in the looming gardens and castles which characterize it. One of the most popular day-trips from Lisbon is a tour to the enchanted city of fairy-tale castles and forests. The resort town and its forested terrain studded with pastel colored places and villas, its 19th centuries Pena National Palace and the Moorish styled Sintra National Palace will blow your mind.
7] Get in touch with nature
If you are a nature lover and seeking for great panoramic views, then Lisbon surely offers some fantastic lookouts! Most of the travelers spend their time exploring the major attractions of the city, but there are some delightful places to explore the beautiful countryside of Lisbon. The traditional fishing town of Ericeira and Sesimbra, Cascais – a picturesque resort, Setubal for dolphin watching, Azeitão – a sleepy village offering some exclusive wine options are some of the prominent names.
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8] Fascinating street art
Famed for its street arts, the streets of Lisbon are almost an open-air museum. The Lisbon street art tour is the best way to admire the beauty of the city wherein at each nook and corner of the city, you will find creative masterpieces, showcasing the colorful ambience of this artistic city.
9] Beautiful cultural and historical attractions
From 16th century Moorish castle to the largest aquarium is Europe, Lisbon has an intriguing mix of the old and the new. There are so many contrasting faces making Lisbon a place to get lost in. Soak up some local culture by visiting the Sao Roque Church – the world’s most expensive chapel or you can simply wander the old city to explore the unique and ancient architectures, picturesque cobbled streets and the beautiful scenery.
Also check: Lisbon city sightseeing tour
10] One of the cheapest capital cities in Europe
Lisbon is one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe and is a great destination for a budget holiday. Spring and autumn seasons are the best ones to visit Lisbon as you will get plenty of free activities to do, including the opportunity to visit most of the beaches and other major attractions. The food is very cheap compared to other European cities during the time with less number of tourists also an added bonus. Here, you will find an extensive range of cheap accommodation options and even the flight rates are very cheap during the time.