A sub-tropical climate, great shopping, bustling nightlife, and memorable culture come together to make a holiday in Lisbon a unique experience. Located on the Western Iberian Peninsula at the mouth of the Tagus River, the city of Lisbon is built across a series of hills, offering great views from every angle. Old meets new in Lisbon, with vintage trams and medieval districts rubbing shoulders with modern malls and buildings - Discover the Algama district - the old medieval district of Lisbon; Avenida de Liberade - Lisbon’s Champs Elysee with luxury shops and mosaic pavements; and Avenida Novas - the business district home to shops and museums. The bohemian Barrio Alto quarter is peaceful by day and lively at night; while Baixa dates back to the 18th century and is full of huge squares, old shops and quaint cafes. Head to Belem for World Heritage architecture; or Chiado for Lisbon’s main shopping area and theatre district. Parque de Nacoes is the most modern part of the city; Principe Real is about cool shops and green spaces, and Santos is the designer-district with great nightlife. You’re also never too far from a beach in Lisbon, with the stunning coastlines of Cascais just a short drive away. To the south of the city, discover the long sandy beaches of the Costa de Caparica. Don’t miss a visit to the underwater world at Oceanarium - home to 25,000 fish, birds and mammals. With so much to see and do in one place and flights to Lisbon only taking two hours from the UK, it’s no wonder Lisbon is a popular city-break destination.
Youll be spoilt for choice with things to experience on a holiday in Lisbon. Take a hopon hopoff bus tour and visit Lisbons main sights in one go. A ride on one of the vintage trams is also a great way to see the city. Take a ride to the top of the Elevatador of Santa Justa and enjoy the great views. The Belem Tower is one of Lisbons icons and boasts World Heritage status. The Old Town of Alfama is best explored on foot to appreciate the cobbled streets, churches and alleyways. Rossio Square is the perfect spot for people watching and a relaxing drink. A visit to St Georges Castle and the Museum Gulbenkiam are a must for culture fans. Shopping is a popular pastime; with best buys include lace and embroidered linens, ceramics, leather goods and jewellery.
Lisbon offers a great nightlife scene with lots of bars and nightclubs across the city. Start with a drink in the cafes of the Chiado, then head for a meal in the Barrio Alto quarter, also home to most of Lisbons nightlife. Dont miss the experience of the traditional Fado houses in the Alfama and Lapa areas too.
There are lots of restaurants to tempt your taste buds in Lisbon. The Barrio Alto, Rua de Portas Santo Antao, the Doca and Parque das Nacoes areas are lined with an abundance of restaurants serving international and local fare. Seafood is popular, along with grilled meats and Bacalhau (dried cod). Pastel de nata (custard tart) is the national dessert. The house wine (vinho da casa) in white (branco) and red (tinto) is always good value and you can also opt for vinho verde or ros Mateus being the best known brand.
With over 200km of coastline, its not surprising that the fish and seafood are a staple part of the diet for people in the Algarve. With daily fishing trips bringing in huge amounts of fresh sardines, tuna, bream, cod, monkfish and many other types of fish; plentiful supplies of clams, oysters, prawns, not to mention octopus and squid, its easy to understand why.
The traditional Portuguese restaurants normally offer a large selection of fish dishes, one of which is almost certain to be grilled sardines, served with boiled potatoes and vegetables or salad. Also commonly on the menu are a range of omelettes, salads and some meat dishes, like thin pork slices served with a creamy mushroom sauce or chicken piripiri.The prices are very reasonable, the food is good and the portions are generous. House wine, which is normally a local Portuguese wine, is also very good value and very drinkable! On average a 2course meal for 2, including house wine, can cost less than 25. (Soup of the day 1.50, main course 7.00 and a bottle of house wine 8). Obviously prices can vary enormously depending on location.
As well as restaurants serving traditional Portuguese food, the Algarve has a huge choice of restaurants serving food from across the world, Chinese, Indian, Italian and English being particularly popular. You will also find Tapas, Mexican, Thai, International Cuisine and Vegetarian (occasionally). All of the popular tourist resorts have a good variety of restaurants, but the more traditional towns and villages will often just have a local Portuguese restaurant, or cafbar serving food.
Restaurants have got a lot better in offering vegetarian dishes on the menu (although don't expect to see more than one or two in most places) and vegans unfortunately are still poorly catered for.