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Lisbon Sightseeing


Lisbon's annual marathon kicks off with a 4km grandparents and children's walk at the Parque das Nações (14th October), followed by the main event the day after which goes from Cascais to Praça do Comércio. Other sporting highlights include Sporting Lisbon v Porto (1st October) and Benfica v Feirense (29th October).

The MOTELx international horror film festival celebrates its tenth year with a wide range of ghouls and gore; there are also a few films that are suitable for children, 5-10 September, Cinema Sao Jorge, 175 Avenida da Liberdade. Look out, too, for the European Heritage Days (22-24 September), with historical re-enactments and workshops celebrating Portugal's links with Europe.

The Jazz In August festival at the Gulbenkian Foundation runs until 6 August and features international jazz musicians from across the world. Alternatively, during August the Racism and Citizenship exhibition looks at racism in art from 1497 to the present. It's on at the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument in Belém. https://gulbenkian.pt/jazzemagosto/en/

Early July sees the NOS Alive (6 to 8th July, www.nosalive.com) music festival in Algés, featuring ALT-J, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Depeche Mode and many more. Next up is Portugal's most famous rock festival, Super Bock Super Rock (13 to 15 July) at the Parque das Nações, with a line up that includes London Grammar, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Seu Jorge (www.superbocksuperrock.pt).

The Portuguese football league peaks in May, with Sporting hoping to catch Benfica at the top. Key fixtures in the capital are the Lisbon derby Sporting v Belenenses (7 May), Benfica v Vitória Guimarães (14th May) and Sporting v Chaves (21st May).

The Peixe em Lisboa (Fish in Lisbon) festival brings together top chefs from around the world, who showcase their talents with fish and seafood dishes that you can sample, along with wine tastings and ‘best pastel de nata' competition. Pátio da Galé, Terreiro do Paço, Lisbon's main square. Until 9 April.

Lisbon's half marathon first heads across the impressive Ponte 25 Abril and continues along the Tagus riverfront before ending opposite the Jeronimos Monastery in Belém. 19 March.

The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) is a stunning new addition to Lisbon's museum scene, in a spaceship-like building right by the river in Belém. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete, the new museum merges with an early twentieth-century electricity generating station to host various exhibitions. https://www.maat.pt/en

Lisbon has several fabulous viewpoints and the modern Amoreiras Shopping Centre has just added another: five euros will take you to the rooftop of the modernist building for views right across the city and the Tagus beyond. Avenida Engeneiro Duarte Pacheco, 1070-103.

In December, the historic walled village of

Justin Bieber drops into Lisbon as part of his world tour at the Atlantic Pavilion, 25 November, three days after The Cure at the same venue.

Key Areas

Visit the quirky Money Museum on Largo de São Julião, inside a former church. You can not only learn about the history of notes and coins, but also print a banknote with your own face on it.

Lisbon's biggest street party takes place on 12-13 June to celebrate its adopted saint, Santo António, when the Alfama and other neighbourhoods are decked out with stalls selling grilled sardines. This is the highlight of the month-long programme of festivals and events known as the Festas de Lisboa.

Not for vertigo sufferers, but the walk over the top of the towering Aqueduto das Águas Livres is a memorable experience. Accessed from the suburb of Campolide, the 65-metre high eighteenth-century aqueduct marches across the Alcantara valley for just over a kilometre.

The attractive Tagus-side town of Golegã shows off rural Portugal at its best during the Feira Nacional do Cavalo. This ten-day horse extravaganza features show jumping, dressage, equestrian displays, live music and a wondrous array of local characters, 4-13 November.

Day Trips

Head up the coast to Ericeira, rated one of the best surfing destinations in Europe and as autumn arrives, the waves can only get better. It's also a charming town in its own right, filled with excellent fish restaurants.

Some of the best beaches in the Lisbon area are accessible from the miniature railway that clunks up the beach from Caparica to Fonte da Telha where, at the end of the line, you just need to keep walking to find a stretch of beach all to yourself.

Escape the city heat by taking the short train ride out to Estoril, famed for its casino and fabulous sandy beach.

It's an easy bus ride to the stunning surf-battered waves of Caparica, the Lisboetas' favourite beach resort, filled with fine fish restaurants and with miles of golden sands.

January often sees great waves at the nearby beaches, and the suburb of Carcavelos (train from Cais do Sodré) is the surfers' favourite: head to the east end of the beach, next to the fort, for the best breaks.

It may be winter, but on a sunny day you can't beat a blowy walk along the miles of sandy beach at Caparica, just south of the city.

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