Travel & Places Other - Destinations

Lisbon Getaway: Things To See & Do in Lisbon

While many of you may have experienced the Portugal of package holidays and summer sun, if you delve into the countrys capital theres a whole other travel experience to be had. Although Lisbon is the ideal place for a weekend break, with a plethora of great restaurants, bars and nightlife to choose from, the sheer amount of activities to do here makes it worth a longer stay. 

For those flying out from the UK, cheap flights to Lisbon Portela Airport are available through easyJet, bmi baby, TAP and British Airways. Organise a Lisbon Airport car hire as well and you can truly experience everything this great city has to offer.

From the classic to the contemporary, Lisbon is stacked full of over 25 museums, the most notable of which is the Museo Calouste Glubenkian. This massive complex not only boasts collections of Egyptian, Iznik and Renaissance artifacts and paintings by the old masters, but two concert halls for ballet and music performances. Other museums give you a flavour of Portugals rich past. Explore its naval history through the Museo da Marinha, its many folklore and customs via the Museu de Arte Popular and get a glimpse of how the Portugeese once lived at the Museu de Artes Decorativas.

One of the most popular attractions is, bizarrely, the Museu Nacional dos Coches and features one of the worlds most impressive collections of 17th to 19th century carriages. More modern fare is available at the Centro de Art Moderna and the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which was opened in 2007 in the Belem district and features art work from Warhol, Magritte, Bacon, Jackson Pollack and Picasso. 

If you have a particular interest in the architecture of different cultures then Lisbon is virtually bursting at the seams with wonderous buildings and Renaissance palaces. The spectacular Monastery of Jeronimos, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, was founded in the 1500s and has been the royal burial ground for over four centuries. For views to blow your mind though, the 5th century Castelo de Sao Jorge cant be beaten. Situated in the Alfama district it affords the best vistas over the city and the River Tejo.....that is if you can muster up the stamina to walk to the top of its battlements. A less taxing way to take in the city is the Elevador de Santa Justa, which is a 45 metre tall iron lift built in 1902 and situated in the centre. 

For those with with kids or for the young at heart, the Oceanario is an absolute must. Compared to UK tourist attractions the tickets are very reasonable, under 5 euros for children and 9 euros for adults, and as the biggest aquarium in Europe its definitely worth the entry fee. There are over 450 distinct species of animals to be found here included shark, tuna, sea otters and penguins and guided tours are offered.

In the evening, there is nightlife galore to keep you entertained and well nourished, but if you really want to experience a small slice of Portugeese heaven then take a trip to the Solar do Vinho do Porto....thats Port Wine House to you and me. Decadently located in an 18th century palace, you can experience this fortified wine not only in its country of origin but in a truly fitting setting, surrounded by hundreds of different varieties of the warm, rich nectar.

No trip to Lisbon would be complete however without listening to a performance of the soul-rendering Fado music which is unique to Lisbon. Singers express the woes and losses of this sea-faring community through the accompaninent of melancholy guitar playing. Despite being fairly depressing music, its beauty outweighs any negativity and listeners come away more with a sense of awe then any desire for self-harm.  

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