Lisbon City Breaks | Book Weekend Breaks to Lisbon - Holiday Supermarket


Lisbon City Breaks

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Lisbon - a vibrant and modern 'old' city!

Portugal's capital city is the history of the world writ large - the stepping off point for Vasco da Gama, an outpost of Julius Caesar's Rome, a Germanic settlement from the fifth century, routed by the Moors in the eight century, recaptured by the Crusaders and older than London or Paris; if it's history you're after, Lisbon has plenty!

But more than that, Lisbon is one of the most beautiful of the European cities and just perfect for city breaks or short breaks in Europe. Walking the streets is an exercise in architectural delight, olde world shopping and pavement life as Lisbonites enjoy their coffee, pastries and aperitifs.

Lisbon (and Portugal) is home to sherry, fado and great football. The people are passionate, the sights are fabulous and the shopping is the equivalent of anywhere in Europe. Come any time for cheap city breaks. You'll love the food, you'll enjoy the late-night adventures, you'll find something to explore around every second corner.

Lisbon is well worth a visit, flying or otherwise.

Eating out in Lisbon - cheap, expensive and everything in between

The food in Lisbon is first rate - on every level. You can spend what you like here and find something utterly delicious! As you'd expect, there's a lot of seafood and a Spanish-style of cooking is prevalent.  You'll find a lot of Brazilian food and Asian restaurants abound. One thing you have to do is find the magical cake shop called Pasteis de Belem which serves the sacred cake of the same name. Only three people alive know the recipe and rest assured, it's worth the visit. A word of warning; if you're vegetarian, you may struggle a little in Liosbon, unless you can settle for seafood.

The budget options - the crackingly good cafe culture in Lisbon ensures the budget traveller has plenty of options. You can stop in a bar for a beer or two and enjoy the tapas-style snacks or wander to a back table and have something more substantial. You'll quickly get into the habit of a glass of Vinho Verde (green wine) with Espetada (meat on a skewer). There are loads of cheap restaurants in Belem, all reasonably priced, all open late and all spotlessly clean. All have their menus priced in the window so you know what to expect.

Mid price options - look out for some spectacular steak that you cook yourself on a hot stone at Cabacas on Rua des Gaveas in Bairro Alto. For more traditional Portuguese, try Restaurante 1º de Maio in Bairro Alto. Look out for the  Chimarrão (chain of restaurants), you'll find one in the Chiado shopping centre. They have good meat and are not expensive.

Splurge - it's easy to spend up large in Lisbon! Try Luca in downtown Lisbon, excellent with a wide menu. Mezzaluna and Bocca get good reviews although they're at the pricey end of town. Restaurante Espaço Azores. Amazing restaurant with Azorean food is in the Ajuda area. And if you want the best... try Gambrinus in the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz. Good service, exquisite Portuguese inspired dishes and an extensive wine list.

What to wear, when to go

Portugal has a very mild sub-tropical Mediterranean climate so year-round travel is no problem. The wettest months are November and December.

Average temps in summer range from around 20C in April to 28C in August. Summer lasts about six months from April through October and is very pleasant. The transition seasons are mild with temps averaging around 17C. Winter is mild with average temps of 14C.

Lisbon - the beauty of old Europe, the sophistication of new Europe

Lisbon is such a great city that your visit here will have you seriously thinking about when to relocate! The sophistication of a first world city, without the expense of a London or Paris. This a great city to move around in because you can pick a neighbourhood and spend the day there; pick another one tomorrow and do the same.

The old town - most of Lisbon is old! Start your travels in Alfama. This lovely suburb spreads down the southern slope from the Castle of São Jorge to the Tagus river and is alive with history. It is a compact labyrinth of cobblestone streets, back alley ways and squares.

Fado - the famous singing bars of Lisbon can polarise people - you either love Fado, the poetic songs of old Portugal with soaring voices accompanied generally by just a guitar. Or you don't! You must, however, experience it whilst in Portugal so you can have your own opinion. Alfama has a variety of Fado bars  and restaurants.

Baixa - is the district at the heart of the city. Largely reconstructed after the earthquake of 1755, the area has a grid pattern. Within Baixa are several 'must see' spots, including Rossio (the oldest square in Lisbon), the Church of Sao Domingos, the Restauradores Square and the Elevador de Santa Justa, a gothic-style lift that carries people between the suburbs of Baixa and Chiado

Belem - wander the setting off point for the explorers of old and enjoy sights such as the UNESCO world heritage Praca do Imperio. These beautiful gardens are also home to Jeronimos Monastery. Close by are the tomb of Vasco da Gama, the Maritime Museum and the National Archaeological Museum.

Don't miss - Tram 28, Lisbon's unofficial tourist tour! It takes you on an extraordinary (and cheap) tour of the old town and you'll share space with the locals. The other must do is the Aquarium - one of the largest and best in Europe.


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