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Lisbon

Lisbon has been known for centuries as the Queen of the Sea, thanks to its great maritime heritage and its enviable position at the far western corner of Europe, where the continent meets the endless Atlantic. As a city destination, it’s nigh-on unbeatable; packed full of cultural treasures, vibrant nightclubs, bustling shops and charming cafés.
 
Culture-wise, Lisbon is as rich as Paris, Rome or London, boasting an assortment of palaces and monuments including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Having been largely rebuilt following a devastating earthquake in 1755, the city has a very unified style, making it the ideal destination for documenting on Instagram, guaranteeing to make all your friends jealous beyond measure. From the magnificent Rua Augusta Arch in Praça do Comércio to the elegant seafront tower at Belem, every historic building in the city is unrivalled in its beauty.
 
Even if you’re not a seasoned historian, you can still appreciate the beauty of Lisbon’s heritage with a stroll through the gardens of the Palace of the Marqueses of Fronteira or a bite for lunch at the Café a Brasileira. Revel in the time-old atmosphere of relaxation and take it easy over a glass of medronho brandy or a pasteis de natas – exquisite tastes with plenty of history behind them that are guaranteed to tickle your palate.
 
For a taste of modern cosmopolitan culture, head to the Bairro Alto neighbourhood, where you’ll find bustling shopping streets as well as plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs. The Ascensor da Glória is a funicular railway which connects the district to Lisbon’s Pombaline downtown, allowing you to sit back and watch the vibrant architecture and bustling city life pass you by.
 
Long a centre of art and culture, Lisbon is nowadays a vibrant centre of nightlife – a favourite destination of European millennials thanks to its music and film festivals and its many art galleries and museums, including the original Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Named the European Capital of Culture in 1994 and having hosted the 1998 World Expo’ and the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest, Lisbon holds a special place in European minds and you’ll certainly fall in love with this vibrant and glamorous city.
 
WINGED BOOTS WISDOM
 
For a top-notch day out, head to the Parque Eduardo VII where you’ll find not only a glorious open space perfect for a brisk walk or jog, or a picnic, but also plenty of museums and monuments and conservatories – everyone is guaranteed a great time, no matter your interests.
 
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Good to know

  • Time difference: UTC +0
  • Currency: EUR
  • Flying time to destination:
    3-hours from London
  • Instagram Opportunity: Rua Augusta Arch

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 13°c   Feb: 14°c   Mar: 17°c  
Apr: 18°c   May: 20°c   Jun: 23°c  
Jul: 26°c   Aug: 27°c   Sep: 25°c  
Oct: 21°c   Nov: 17°c   Dec: 14°c  

Location

Lisbon Articles

Lisbon in a Nutshell

Soak Up The Culture 
 
  • For a classy meal surrounded by style and refinement, head to the Café a Brasileira in the Chiado district. Known principally as being a favourite eatery of the famous poet Fernando Pessoa, as well as being a meeting place for writers, journalists, intellectuals and artists since opening in 1905, the café is still a highly sophisticated spot for a drink or a bite to eat and features art by António Soares, João Hogan and other notable Lisboan artists. 
     
  • One of the most beautiful parts of Lisbon to visit is Praça do Comércio, often still known by its old name of Terreiro do Paço, which is a wide open square open to the River Tagus on one side and on the others surrounded by stunning eighteenth century buildings designed in Pombaline style following the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. One corner features the charming  Café Martinho da Arcada – another of Fernando Pessoa’s favourite haunts – which opened in 1778 to serve the bankers, magistrates and politicians who worked in the nearby customs offices. 
     
  • Lisbon’s palaces and castles are one of the hallmark features of this gorgeous city, from the stunningly-tiled fountains and statues of the Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira, one of the few buildings to survive the 1755 earthquake, to the stunning Palace of Ajuda, former home of the Portuguese monarchy. Surely the jewel in Lisbon’s crown though is the Pena National Palace, located to the north of the city in the district of Sintra. With brightly-painted facades and towering spires it looks like something out of a Disney film, and it’s no wonder it was named one of the Seven Wonders Of Portugal, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
     
Tastes To Try 
 
  • A popular snack of the Lisboans is iscas com elas – pieces of fried liver served with sautéed potatoes, or alternatively bifanas, which are small pork steaks served in a roll. Often these traditional street foods are served at large parties or at beer halls in the manner of burgers or hot dogs, but you can still find them on stalls across the city to sate your hunger while you’re out and about. 
     
  • A titillating tipple sure to satisfy your curiosity and cravings is the delectable medronho – a sugary liqueur made with the fruit of the strawberry tree. Also known as ‘firewater’, this bold brandy will certainly wake you up, but it can be difficult to get hold of due to not being commercially produced – only made by small-scale local farmers, so if you do see it on a menu then don’t miss out on the chance to savour this unique traditional Portuguese beverage.
     
  • Fancy some naughty natas? This iconic Portuguese dessert has been made popular worldwide by its inclusion on the Nando’s menu, but it has its origins in the Lisbon suburb of Belem, where these custard tarts are so delectable they’ve almost developed a cult following. It’s not unusual to see people queue up for hours at the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém to get their hands on some of the freshly-baked treats, so make sure to get in early so you don’t miss out. 
     
After Dark Destinations 
 
  • With beers available from €1.40, it’s no surprise that Lisbon boasts a highly diverse and lively nightlife, and this is exemplified on Rua da Atalaia in the south of the city, where bars, clubs and restaurants abound. One particularly superb establishment is Majong – a quirky establishment serving ice-cold beverages in plastic cups to the throng of revellers into the early hours.
     
  • Every September Lisbon hosts the ‘Queer Lisboa - Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival’, causing the city to become a hub of life and merriment for a week. The nightlife of the city booms into bombastic proportions during this week, as you’d expect, and the best places to experience this are the Kremlin Nightclub and the Music Box, both located in the Bairro Alto District of the city – the heart of its vibrant nightlife. Not sure if you’re in the right place? You’ll know when you’ve found it, since the street is paved with fuchsia pink tiles and is signposted all over the city as the ‘Pink Street’. 
     
  • For a slower-paced evening of social chatter and relaxation, head to Cinco – a New York style bar at the heart of Lisbon which serves a delectable range of fruity cocktails and rich wines in a truly sophisticated setting. One Portuguese tradition you’ll find here is fado – a style of music traditionally played during dinner which is characterised by its beautifully mournful tune.  


     
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