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.
The bookstore and gift shop at the Centro Cultural de Belem arguably houses one of the city's most worthwhile collections of eclectic, high-quality books and hard-to-find magazines in English (mostly) on art, design, philosophy, architecture and fashion. After hours of museum wandering, relax on the window seats and browse away (Praça do Império, +213 612 400, ccb.pt).
To truly understand Portuguese culture, it's helpful to get acquainted with Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon's best-known poet. Visit the three-floor museum built in his honour, which stands in the building where Pessoa last resided. Aside from catching a concert, poetry reading or painting exhibition, you can follow the story of his life through photos, view his original manuscripts and personal items and explore the library, which contains a complete collection of Pessoa's known works (16 Rua Coelho da Rocha, casafernandopessoa.cm-lisboa.pt).
Discover luxury and history right at your fingertips when you shop at Lisbon's last dedicated glove boutique. Since 1925, this eclectic business, located in a beautiful but tiny space, has been manufacturing high-quality leather gloves for Lisbon's elite (87A Rua do Carmo, luvariaulisses.com).
For hikers and true nature lovers, the 350km-long Rota Vicentina network of hiking paths cannot be missed. From Lisbon, you can reach the starting point of Santiago do Cacem by car or train in 90 minutes. Whether you follow the rugged red-stone cliffs along the wild Atlantic (the fisherman's route) or the interior paths through olive groves and cork-oak forests (the historical route), you'll experience an entirely different side of authentic Portugal. rotavicentina.com