Portugal’s colourful coastal capital is perfect for a weekend break and Ryanair offers direct return flights from Edinburgh starting at £80. The bustling Baixa district in the heart of Lisbon is an ideal place to stay. Here you’ll find many of the city’s top tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels, including Rossio Square. The boutique Hotel da Baxia is on a quiet side street with rooms from £125 a night.
As Portugal is famous for its Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts), a trip to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the city’s many pastelarias (pastry shops). One of the most popular is Pastéis de Belém close to the city’s Botanical Gardens, where the queues are out-the-door but worth waiting in. The small family-run restaurant Crisfama is a popular place to savour a true taste of traditional Portuguese cooking, especially its simple yet delicious fish dishes and Porto steaks.
Like the city, Lisbon’s night life is lively yet relaxed and you’ll find every style of bar to suit your taste. For unique cocktails try The Red Frog Speakeasy or the stylish Cinco Lounge. For city views, seek out the elegant rooftop bar Limão, on the tenth floor of boutique hotel, H10 Duque de Loulé. The Wine Cellar provides a taste of Portugal’s finest vineyards while Cerveteca Lisboa champions local and imported craft beers. Don’t forget to try ginjinha, a sweet cherry liqueur that originated in Lisbon, available in most bars.
Hopping on the bright yellow Tram 28 is one of the best ways to see the city and navigate some of its steeper hills. The 40-minute route weaves through the city’s most popular districts, including the cobbled street of historic Alfama, and finishes up at the convent Estrela Basilica. Alfama’s pretty, winding streets are lined with restaurants, shops, bars and interesting architecture. Elsewhere, a walk along the city’s seafront will lead to the Torre de Belém, which has towered over Lisbon’s quays since the 16th Century. The Martim Moniz and Mouraria neighbourhoods are great for open-air shopping and, after sundown, Bairro Alto is filled with the evocative sound of traditional Portuguese Fado music played in the area’s lively bars and restaurants.
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