Lisbon Tourism And Travel Guide
13.5° C / 56.3° F
April to October
5 to 6 Days
Lisbon Portela Airport
Santa Apol?nia station
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, the sister country to Spain, located in the south of Europe. With its peninsular influence and Mediterranean climate merging with mild European weather, Lisbon is an almost all year round destination. That is the reason tourism does not completely vanish here for any length of time. It is home to a number of heritage sites as well as has a vivid experience to offer to one and all. If you are sold out for this one, here’s a travel guide to Lisbon.
How to Reach
You can easily get regular flights from India to Lisbon, with seasonal variations depending on which city you are flying from.
You have regular flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and some seasonal flights from Goa to Lisbon Portela Airport. The airpot is only 6 km away from the city centre and you have the option of metro, bus or taxi from the airport.
You can take a road trip from Spain to Lisbon as it is the only land-border sharing country.
Regular trains ply between Lisbon and Madrid, and take a round about of 10 hours. Mostly they are night trains and reach Lisbon’s Santa Apolónia station in the morning.
In Lisbon, you can take the metro trains, subways, or Aerobuses around the town. Trams are also working readily and make for a wonderful experience. Cabs can be hired and taxis can be hailed easily as well.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Lisbon is best visited in spring and summer, even autumn, whereas winter limits most fun activities.
Spring (March to May):
Lisbon’s spring season brings bright sunny days and a heightened sense of warmth, with the temperature ranging between 20ºC to 25ºC. Mild rainfall may be observed but this is a good time to visit.
Summer (June to September):
Summer in Lisbon means ample sunshine, long sunny days and a high of 30°C in the peak months. This is a high season with tourism at its peak so everything will be expensive. Try and avoid summer for the same reasons.
Autumn (October to November):
Autumn is a good shoulder season and should be chosen if you wish for more quiet and more deals and discounts. The temperature drops to a range of 15-23°C by October but the beaches are still not closed. Some rainfall is common though.
Winter (December to February):
Winters here are not freezing cold, with almost nil snowfall, even though rainfall is common. The lowest that the mercury can drop to is 5ºC. But you cannot do much as beaches are useless, outdoors are gloomy and sites are covered in clouds.
Things to Do
The Alfama district of Lisbon is an ancient neighbourhood that boasts of white houses with red roofs, a postcard scenery so to say. The area boasts of landmarks like the Lisbon Cathedral, St. George’s Castle and Museo do Fado along with many Fado bars, cafes and shops.
Ride Tram 28:
The Tram 28 takes you through Alfama and many iconic sites of Lisbon, starting from Martim Moniz and ending at Campo Ourique. You must take this ride at least once to experience the city in all its shades, preferably before 11 am and after noon to avoid the local rush hour and give the people of Lisbon space to travel in peace without tourist interference.
Go to a Beach Town:
Cascais is a beach town near Lisbon and boasts of some amazing beaches, like the Praia da Ribeira and Guincho beach. The former is used for swimming, paddling and sunbathing while the latter is known for surfing. Shopping is also good in the town.
Visit the St. George’s Castle:
The St. George’s Castle or Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the most coveted sites to explore when in Lisbon. You must visit this place for its wide open battlements and parapets, tall towers and the museum and gardens inside along with rich Moorish and Portuguese history.
Go for Nightlife in Bairro Alto:
Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s own answer to people looking for nightlife prospects. The area is best known for its ever awake nights and sleepy mornings, so much so that the shops and cafes are closed by day. There are many cafes, bars, lounges and discs to keep you in high spirits here.
What to Eat
When in Lisbon, try some patent Portuguese fare, like the Port wine that this region is famous for producing. Another beloved of the region is Pastéis de Nata, pastries filled with custard or cream with caramelised crust at the top.
Some must-try items on any Lisbon cafe menu include Bifana Sandwiches, Bacalhau and Piri Piri Chicken. Sardines or dried salted fish are in demand all year round even though the city is by the river and provides fresh seafood continuously. You should also try the Azeitão cheese, a traditional Portuguese cheese, and drink the Ginjinha or cherry liqueur served in chocolate cups with a cherry on the top.
Where to Shop
Lisbon is believed to be Europe’s cheapest city to shop, for all those brands and luxury items too! So the names of designers that may blow your purse in Paris or Milan are easier to afford here at Chiado district and Avenida da Liberdade. Bairro Alto is often also visited for Lisbon’s home brands and boutiques.
As for souvenirs, make sure to take back some Port wine from this city, along with knick-knacks like Azulejos ceramic tiles, Cork items and accessories, gold and silver jewellery, local cheeses, olive oils and cherry liquor.