Lisbon: A long weekend in one of Europe’s hidden treasures

2018-08-06 14:39 - Kim Kral
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Portugal’s buzzing capital city offers South Afric

If you’re feeling restless and need to escape your everyday routine, why not head to Portugal’s buzzing capital city?

Lisbon offers a smorgasbord of sights, sounds, flavours and experiences to suit every taste and budget.

For history lovers, the city's highlights tell the stories of ancient battles, seafaring discoverers and the monarchs who ruled Portugal until the early 20th century. 

For lovers of architecture there is an abundance of examples of the various styles that make Lisbon a visually delightful city to explore.

TRAVEL PLANNING: Quick Guide to Portugal: For the love of Latin charm and wonder 

Portugal’s buzzing capital city offers South Afric

(Photo: iStock)

From the Gothic ruins of the Convento do Carmo in the Chiado district, to the finest expression of the Manueline and Baroque styles found in the monasteries and cathedrals of Belem (just outside the city centre), Lisbon has it all.

Azulejo, a form of Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tile work is also in glorious technicolour abundance in the city.

Not only are these tiles decorative, but they also serve the functional purpose of controlling the temperature in the buildings they adorn. 

If you like nothing better than a good cup of coffee and a pastry while watching the world go by, Lisbon boasts all of the best ingredients for this decadent pastime.

Any of the coffee shops along the pedestrian Rua Augusta in the Baixa district is a popular choice, as is the Pasteis de Belem in Belem, but an absolute gem is the Pastalaria Santo Antonio just down the road from the Castelo de Sao Jorge, hands down the best Pastei de Nata in town.

Portugal’s buzzing capital city offers South Afric

(Photo: iStock)

If neither history nor architecture appeal, spending hours wandering around the old neighbourhoods by foot and or tram is time well spent. A tram ride through the Alfama is a truly enchanting experience and getting lost in the narrow alley ways of the Bario Alto, an adventure.

This neighbourhood is at its best at night, when all of the bars, restaurants and clubs are a hive of activity.

PICS: Lisbon in Eurovision tourism boost as locals sing the blues

Lisbon is truly one of Europe’s hidden treasures.

Not only does it offer better value for money than many other western European capitals, but also a welcoming and friendly people. It’s small enough to immerse yourself in a few days and big enough to offer a great variety of things to explore and experience.

Portugal’s buzzing capital city offers South Afric

(Photo: iStock)

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