The European weekend city break market is quite congested, Western European destinations have to work hard to avoid being undercut by cheaper cities to the East and everywhere is struggling in light of the ongoing economic uncertainty across the continent. Bucking this trend, however, is Lisbon. The Portuguese capital has a year round temperate climate and can compete on price with almost anywhere else in Europe. This is a brief guide to spending 48 hours in Lisbon.
Photo by ainudil
Lisbon, Portugal, is served by the usual collection of national carriers from around Europe and flights on these airlines are often included in package deals, but if you decide to book independently then the best option for weekend visitors is the budget airline Easyjet. They link Lisbon to most of the major cities of Western Europe and are one of the better budget airlines in terms of customer service so your weekend won’t be ruined before you have even arrived.
The centre of Lisbon is compact and full of interesting and curious sights, visitors should set aside time just to wander the old streets soaking up the atmosphere and not be afraid to walk between various destinations. However, Lisbon’s public transport system is useful and efficient, so if you need to head out of the centre or are simply tired then the metro or tram network will come to your rescue. The trams themselves are one of the sights of Lisbon and often appear to be conspiring to kill unsuspecting tourists who stray into their path.
The Belem Tower is one of the best known sights of Lisbon appearing as it does on almost every guidebook cover and postcard on sale. From the centre the tower is a pleasant walk along the embankment of the river passing various other places of interest along the way. The tower has a fascinating history and is a great place for kids to explore or a romantic backdrop for couples. Half a day can be spent walking to the tower, exploring it, and walking back again, although anyone unable to walk far or with pressing schedules can use the quick and easy public transport linking the tower with the centre.
The area around Oriente metro station to the East of the city centre is a great place to explore and its modern imposing architecture makes a stunning contrast with the traditional centre. The best views of the area are to be found from the cable cars that stretch along the river and the best shopping in the city is also to be found in the Vasco de Gama shopping mall. The added perspective on the old town given by a trip to the modern development give visitors a deeper and more realistic picture of this enigmatic but enjoyable city.
Hotels in Lisbon
Average Price: €75
Average Rating: 8.1
Hotel Travel Park Lisboa
Average Price: €49
Average Rating: 8.3
Hotel Sana Executive
Average Price: €60
Average Rating: 8.6