Lisbon & Around
Leading as one of Europe’s most attractive capitals, laid-back Lisbon is where old meets new and contemporary culture thrives. Its charmingly individual neighbourhoods are a delight to explore on foot, from Moorish Alfama with its bustling medieval quarter to the colonial museum district of Belem, where the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Belem Tower and glorious Jeronimos Monastery can be found; the birthplace of pasteis de natas – Portugal’s beloved vanilla custard tart.
For panoramas of the terracotta-roofed skyline, venture up to one the 16 official viewpoints as the sun begins to set – the trams and funiculars make for an easy yet exciting adventure up through the winding cobbled streets. After dark, embrace the sounds of Lisbon’s soul at a traditional fado music bar, feast on delicious fresh fish at one of the many fantastic seafood restaurants or visit the trendy Bairro Alto area to discover Lisbon’s cosmopolitan nightlife.
Beyond the city centre, fishing villages and sandy bays dot the stunning Atlantic coastline. Head 40 minutes west of Lisbon and you will come to beautiful seaside resort of Cascais. It's a pretty, chocolate-box town that gets cooling sea breezes - no wonder Portugal's royal family liked to retreat here from the capital during the sweltering summer months. It remains just as popular today, with couples and families attracted by the wide range of water sports on offer. Inland, head to the hills to explore Sintra's iconic mountaintop castle, the Pena Palace, which showcases dazzling architecture and colours from the 19th-century Romanesque Revival era of design.