Lisbon is a charming capital city which in many ways resembles a friendly, peaceful village yet in others a vibrant, fun loving metropolis. With so much variety on offer no wonder that it ranks so highly on everyone's favorite "city breaks" list. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your day trip to the capital!
1) Park at the airport
Driving and parking in downtown Lisbon is a challenge for even the most experienced of drivers so we strongly recommend avoiding doing so. Our number 1 tip is to park at the airport which is easily accessible, well signposted and quite central. From there you can get the metro, a cab or a bus downtown.
2) Catch a tram ride
Trams are still used by Lisbon residents to commute to work or to the shops but they are also a fantastic way to get around and see the sights as a tourist (they are also one of the reasons why driving in downtown Lisbon is a bit of a no-no as they have their own traffic rules which no-one ever seems to get to grips with!)
Tram number 28 departs from the praça Martim Moniz and climbs the hill to the castle, taking in various sites along the way, and is well worth taking a charming if a little bumpy ride!
3) Visit the Oceanarium
Lisbon's Oceanarium is the 2nd largest in the world and is well worth a visit. Kids in particular will love the comical penguins and the very cute sea otter couple! It is probably my favorite place to visit in Lisbon (after the football grounds)!
4) Try a local delicacy.
Lisbon has its fair share of excellent 5* restaurants but there are also much more modest but equally satisfying eating experiences to be had. Sardines (when available) are simply grilled over coals and served with delicious homemade bread at a number of small local restaurants over town. Also not to be missed is the national sweet custard tart "pastel de nata" and why not wash it all down with a small glass of the delicious Ginja.
5) Why not stay a night?
Why not find time at either the start or the end of your Portugal Holiday to stay over? Lisbon is renowned for having a fantastic nightlife and above all is very safe when compared to other European cities. When walking the sleepy, bohemian streets of Alfama and Bairro Alto during the day it is hard to believe that when night falls these are two of the most fun and friendly party areas of Europe.