Cheap flights to Lisbon
As cities go you can’t get much more original than Lisbon. Portugal’s capital is an ancient city with a very modern vibe and a perfect destination for that city break you’ve been longing for.
Lisbon is full of contrasts with activities for every kind of traveller, from tourist guide wielding culture buffs, to beach bums and families. But the first thing you’ll notice about Lisbon is its outstanding architecture, which is hardly surprising given the legacy of this place – it was the capital of the once mighty Portuguese Empire after all. A surviving array of Moorish, Romanesque and Neoclassical buildings will simply blow you away. As will the city’s hills – all seven of them!
But before you start to think about packing some hiking gear, don’t worry, as Lisbon’s charming old-style trams will get you to the peaks with the minimum of effort. Make sure you take a camera though, because the panoramic view from the top will take your breath away. And the narrow, winding and cobbled streets and lanes below will do the same, so put those feet up and grab a beer at one of Lisbon’s many grand squares.
Lisbon's charming parks and historical plazas become host to a variety of folk, indie, rock and jazz musicians every Friday and Sunday from May through September with the Meo Out Jazz performances. Bring snacks and drinks and spend a lazy afternoon soaking up the sun and the sounds of Lisbon.
Lisbon's top art museum, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, displays the treasures from the Royal Palaces of Spain from the 15th century, a time when Spain and Portugal's histories were closely intertwined. The exhibition "A Shared History" includes priceless sculptures, manuscripts and paintings, including Michelangelo Caravaggio's Salomé with the head of João Bastista. Until 25 January (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 45A Avenida de Berna, museu.gulbenkian.pt).
Some of Portugal's most beautiful handicrafts can be found at A Arte da Terra, inside the former stables of a bishop's palace and opposite Sé Cathedral. Jewellery, embroidery, clothes and kids toys would all make great Christmas gifts (40 Rua Augusto Rosa).
Head north of Lisbon to the seaside resort of Nazaré. This is where in recent years the world's top surfers have smashed records for the largest waves ever surfed, and January is the time when monster breakers get funnelled ashore thanks to the coast's unique underwater geography.
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