Apartments and Villas – Where To Stay in Lisbon
The historical city of Lisbon
is one of Europe’s most eye-catching and intriguing holiday destinations. It is a fantastic city packed full of beautiful architecture, great food and a vibrant cultural scene. There are many things to see in the city – monuments, museums, cathedrals, monasteries and castles. One of the best things about Lisbon’s attractions is that most of them are either free or very affordable. Lisbon is a pleasure to travel around and transportation is plentiful and cheap. Lisbon’s old world atmosphere has been retained and there really is no other city like this in Europe. Lisbon was once at the heart of the world’s richest empire and has had a huge influence on the modern world. Lisbon also boasts some pretty beaches that are surprisingly accessible from the city centre. Why not head to the tip of Western Europe for a holiday? There are many hostels and hotels in Lisbon city centre. However, it is hard to find good value accommodation – why not stay in a guest apartment, guest house or villa? They represent good value for money and gives you the chance to experience what it is really like to live in the Portuguese capital!
The Vasco De Gama
bridge just outside Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe – it’s 10.5 miles long!
The oldest bookshop in the world, opened in 1732, is located in Lisbon.
Lisbon was hit by a catastrophic earthquake followed by a tsunami and great fire in 1755. Unsurprisingly only 15% of the city was left standing.
Lisbon is the second oldest capital in Europe after Athens.
Lisbon has an impressive street elevator
that takes passengers from one level of the city to another – it’s great for when you’re tired!
Things to do in Lisbon
We recommend you purchase the ‘Lisboa Card’
when you visit the city. It is a specially designed card for tourists giving free or discounted entrance to over 80 of Lisbon’s attractions and museums. The card also entitles you to free transport around the city on the trams, buses and even the ‘elevadores’ (city elevators). This card will give you the freedom to do what you want and when you want – it’s totally worth it!
Lisbon’s city centre is where most of the city’s attractions are located. This is great for visitors as you won’t have to familiarise yourself with the public transport system in order to get around. The Belem District
is well worth checking out and there are several must-see attractions located here. The Torre de Belem
(Tower of Belem) is an extremely beautiful fortified tower. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally built to defend the entrance to Lisbon Harbour. Climb the tower to the top for a beautiful view. The tower is within easy walking distance of another of Lisbon’s major attractions – the Mosteiro de Jeronimos
. Also a UNESCO world heritage site, this monastery is extremely impressive and the most important monument in Lisbon.
Like Rome, Lisbon is built on seven hills and there are several great places to go to see stunning views over the city. We like the views from Miradouro de Santa Catarina
, the Jardim Park
and from the ruined Castelo Sao Jorge
. The oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon is Alfama
and it is a nice area to walk around. It is where Fado, melancholic Portuguese music, has its foundations and the soft, lilting music coming from the bars combined with the narrow streets and colourful buildings makes this a special place.
One of Lisbon’s most intriguing and best attractions is unfortunately one you aren’t likely to see. The ‘galerias romanas’
(Roman Galleries) are located under the city’s main shopping district. This Roman underworld consists of bridges, corridors and chambers but unfortunately is considered dangerous and is often flooded. Each year specially trained experts drain the galerias and prepare it for two days in September in which the public can visit this legendary underworld. Access to the galerias is via a small hole located in the middle of a street!
Eating, Drinking and Shopping
Shopping is focused around the Bairro Alto
, Cais do Sodre
and Rua da Augusta areas
. Expect a great selection of shops and reasonable prices. Food in Lisbon is exciting, unique and always tasty. The city is famous for its Pasteis de Belem
(custard tart) – you must try this delicious sweet. The recipe is centuries old and still a closely guarded secret! Lisbon’s proximity to the ocean means the seafood on offer is diverse and always fresh, check out the sushi! Eating out in Lisbon is great value. Our top tip – always remember Lisbon restaurants close between 3pm and 8pm – don’t get caught out! If you feel like sampling Lisbon’s nightlife head for the Bairro Alto district. There’s a huge variety of bars in the area and the area changes from chic shopping district to throbbing nightlife hub in just a few hours! Once you’ve seen a few bars, head for one of Lisbon’s legendary clubs. We think Lux
is great place to end up in – the drinks are a reasonable price and the music is always good. No wonder Lisbon has been voted the number one weekend destination in Europe for the past few years!
Lisbon International Airport
is locate 5 miles to the north of the city. The AeroBus links the airport with downtown Lisbon and is very cheap. The journey takes 20 minutes. There are also buses to the nearby resort of Estoril
. Taxis to the centre cost €11 and take 15 minutes. As we mentioned the Lisboa card entitles you to free transport within the city centre. We love ride Lisbon’s rickety trams – tram 28 in the centre has been running for centuries! There are several opportunities for daytrips outside of the city – the quaint town of Sintra
is just 20 minutes away and has plenty of impressive gothic and Portuguese architecture. The town is surrounded by several palaces and forests – it’s a must see! The seaside town of Cascais
is also only 20 minutes from Lisbon and is has several lovely beaches where you can dip your feet in the Atlantic ocean.