Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Lisbon - Portugal Travel Guide

Renowned for exciting nightlife, sun soaked beaches, and delicious food- Portugal's capital city has something for everyone.

A perfect city break in the sun.

•Eat, drink, and be merry: Lisbon is a great place to sample true Portuguese cuisine. Expect high quality food at reasonable prices. Here are some traditional dishes not to be missed: Canja: Chicken and rice soup, a traditional start to an evening meal. Bacalhau: salted and dried cod, a staple of the Portuguese diet. There are apparently 365 different ways to prepare this dish Frango no Churrasco: Delicious charcoal roasted chicken

•Wine: With a wide variety of wines produced throughout Portugal, restaurants and bars are well stocked with a variety of fine wines. Vinho Verde: 'Green wine' is a Portuguese specialty- light, sparkling, and less alcoholic than most . By far the most famous wine produced in Portugal is port which is traditionally enjoyed as an aperitif. Visit a port bar and experience the delicious variety produced throughout Portugal's wine making regions.

•Winters are short and the summers are long. Expect plenty of sunshine between May and October, with average summer temperatures between 20c - 23c.

•Lisbon's nightlife is considered to be amongst the best in Europe. With most lively bars open till 2am, a variety of clubs, and the general fun loving spirit of the city's inhabitants, you are sure to have a night to remember.

•Fado Music: Fado is traditional Portuguese music characterized by soulful vocals and a mournful musical tone with its roots in old Moorish songs. The lyrics of Fado, traditionally describe the hard life at sea and the suffering of the poor. Nowadays, the subject matter of Fado music varies, though it is still defined by a traditional structure and melancholy tone. Fado can be heard throughout the streets of Lisbon at sunset and there are various Fado houses throughout the city where both music and food can be enjoyed.

•Belem Tower: A trip to Lisbon would not be complete without a visit to this iconic monument found in the Belem district of the city. The gothic white tower, which stands proudly above the Tagus River, was built in the 16th century in commemoration of famous explorer, Vasco Da Gama.

•The Oceanario de Lisboa is the largest Oceanarium in Europe and is located in the Parque das Nacoes. Underwater habitats have been recreated on a massive scale giving visitors the opportunity to come face to face with a living underwater world.

•Estrela Basillica, a baroque style church built in the 18th century, is one of Lisbon's most recognised monuments and is worth visiting for its ornate and striking architecture.

•Calouste Gulbenkian Museum: Art lovers will enjoy wandering the halls of this famous museum where Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art can be enjoyed alongside the works of various famous European painters such as Rembrandt, Manet, and Degas.

•Sintra: Easily accessible from Lisbon by train, the town of Sintra has much to offer. Named a UNESCO heritage site in 1995, Sintra is home to a Moorish Castle and no less than four palaces all surrounded by the Sintra Mountain range. The stunning Sintra-Cascais Natural Park encompasses both Sintra and Cascias and stretches from the beaches of the most westerly point of Europe to the 529m peak of Sintra Mountain. A day spent wandering amongst the idyllic woodlands and exploring the grounds of the Moorish Castle is highly recommended.

•Beaches: Having trouble deciding between a sunny beach holiday and a city break? Lisbon offers visitors the best of both worlds and is the only European capital city in such close proximity to sandy beaches. Beaches on the Lisbon Coast are clean, sandy, and easily accessible by train. Along the Lisbon to Cascais train line are several beaches which are very popular during the summer months: Carcavelos, Tamariz, and finally Guincho (known for excellent surfing conditions). Heading south of the city, Costa da Caparica, Meco, Troia, and Adraga have beautiful beaches and secluded coves.

•Holidays in Lisbon: We have an excellent choice of holidays in Lisbon.

•Hotels in Lisbon: We have excellent hotels in Lisbon, all with our lowest prices guaranteed.

•Cheap Flights to Lisbon: We have cheap flights to Lisbon. The flight takes around 2 hours 40 minutes from UK airports.

•Car hire in Lisbon: There's so much to explore around Lisbon you may wish to hire a car. We can offer great deals on car hire in Lisbon so check us out when completing your holiday booking.

•Transfers to your hotel in Lisbon: We can book your transfers from the airport to your hotel in Lisbon. We can also book UK airport car parks online, plus travel insurance and currency exchange for your holiday.

•Lisbon Hotel Reviews: Written exclusively by genuine customers who have booked and stayed in the hotel.

Did you know? In 1755, on All Saints Day, Lisbon was hit by a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami which completely destroyed much of Lisbon's city centre. During the reconstruction of Lisbon, a vast hidden network of Roman corridors and rooms were found underneath Lisbon's downtown. For safety reasons, this subterranean district is only open to the public two days a year.

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