Although often overlooked in favour of other European capitals, Lisbon is a laid-back and truly interesting destination. The city is situated just north of the Rio Tejo estuary and is spread out over seven hills. Lisbon is a fascinating mix of cosmopolitan city and Old World charm which makes it the perfect destination for a European city break.
Lisbon is served by Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS), or Lisbon Airport, which is situated in the city of Lisbon and is Portugal’s principal international gateway. As Lisbon is just 988 miles away from London, the flight takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. There are 118 flights a week from London to Lisbon. Return flight prices from London to Lisbon usually cost between £50 and £100. However, during July a return flight will cost more than £150.
What to Do in Lisbon
Situated on Lisbon’s highest hill and overlooking the Moorish quarter,Castelo de São Jorge (the Castle of St George) is a must-visit for anyone visiting Lisbon. The fortifications itself are great to walk around and take in the view. In addition, there is a camera obscura in the Ulysses Tower which offers an unforgettable panorama of Lisbon. There are a number of galleries scattered throughout the fortifications which showcases relics from the castle’s rich and complicated history.
Torre de Belém, Belém Tower in English, is another attraction that often ranks highly on travellers’ itineraries. This tower was constructed during the early 16th Century and was part of King John II’s defence system. Today, the tower is a World Heritage Site and can be ascended for a stunning view of both its unique interior and the surrounding scenery. Admission is €5 throughout the week and is free on Sundays.
Like other European capitals, Lisbon has a thriving and diverse night scene. One of the main nightlife epicentres in Lisbon is the Bairro Alto neighbourhood which is home to some 150 bars and restaurants. Here you will find authentic bars and traditional fado clubs where you can see performances from some of Portugal’s leading fadistas. The Docas or the Docks also has great nightlife. Here you will find converted warehouse bars and some of Lisbon’s newest clubs.
In comparison to other European capitals, hotels in Lisbon are very reasonably priced and there is an excellent gamut of accommodation which spans from small backpacking hostels through to luxury hotels complete with every creature comfort you could desire.
Lisbon’s hotels are primarily concentrated in the historic downtown area. If you want a hotel in close proximity to Lisbon’s best nightlife, you’re best off opting for one of the hotels in the Bairro Alto neighbourhood or the Docas district.
Guesthouses or pensãos are one of the most popular accommodation options in Lisbon. This is because they are affordable but have superior amenities to a hostel. In addition, guesthouses are often located in prime locations making them perfect for those who are keen to explore the city and all it has to offer. The cheapest guesthouses in Lisbon are situated on Rua da Gloria and other streets opposite Avenida da Liberdade.