Embrace a piece of Portugal with 2,000 years of history and culture for days on a city break to Lisbon.

City breaks in Lisbon

Portugal’s capital takes silver for being the second-oldest city in Europe, although it deserves gold for its climate – there are almost 300 days of sunshine per year and the mercury rarely dips below 15°C. The centre of the city‘s marked by Rossio Square – it’s one of the liveliest spots in town and its surrounding streets are a runway for buzzing bars and restaurants. Lisbon is the loving parent to over 20 neighbourhoods and each one brings something different to the table. Make your bed in Chiado – it’s the city’s high-end spot and home to a roofless church – or head to loud and lively Bairro Alto for party vibes through the night.

Coastal capital

Lisbon is penned in by four different cuts of coastline, which makes it a doddle to take your city break to the beach. Thanks to a nifty network of trains and buses, getting coast-side is easy. One of the stars of the show is Praia de Carcavelos – it’s got a sandy shoreline that stretches for almost a mile and takes the crown for the biggest beach around Lisbon. Plus, a trip from the centre of town will only take you around 30 minutes. If this shore doesn’t hit the spot, you’ve got half a dozen others that are less than 40 minutes away by train.

Wham, bam, thank you tram

Lisbon’s sightseeing to-do list will keep you busy for however long you’re in town. Basilica de Estrela – a church that took over a decade to complete – and Sao Jorge Castle – a hilltop castle with 11 towers and a widescreen view of the city – are a couple of the faves. The handy tram line lets you pack a catalogue of the city’s highlights into one route, too. The famous yellow trams have been on their tracks since the 1930s and are still complete with their original features – think wooden interiors and brass dials. Because they’re much smaller than the city’s modern trams, they have no problem squeezing through the backstreets.

At a Glance

  • Ride around the backstreets on a yellow tram
  • Head to the beach for a Vitamin D top-up
  • Party with the locals in Bairro Alto