Husband needed to take a work trip to Portugal, we managed to schedule this during Son’s Easter holidays so we could tag along as well. A choice of basing ourselves in either Porto or Lisbon for the five day break – we opted for Lisbon, a tough choice but a good one, we loved it.
I could rave on forever about this place, one of the most laid back and family friendly European cities ever. We found a host of attractions suitable for young and old alike plus it has the most perfect location near the Atlantic coast. Lisbon has been the world’s richest city twice in history and the glorious buildings that line every street bear witness to this fact. It has had periods of decay and many of those buildings are faded and crumbing but that just adds to the charm. Life is good here, the atmosphere is buzzing and we all just loved it.
Lisbon is more or less in the centre of the country and the areas around it offer beaches, countryside, mountains and more. We found some stunning scenery and dramatic coastline less than an hour’s drive away.
I just fell in love with the city though, so charming and so beautiful. It is full of bleached limestone buildings, narrow winding streets and cobblestone hills. Yellow trams clatter through the hilly streets, locals stroll through the old quarters and there are no end of wonderful places to eat and drink.
It is a city of contrasts too, we found everything from modern high rise blocks to Art Nouveau buildings as well as glass skyscrapers in the Expo area. All that plus the most gorgeous mosiac tiled buildings in the Alfama and you just about get the idea.
We loved everything about Lisbon but our highlights included:
Riding Tram 28 – the old vintage yellow tram that clatters through the city streets and up and down the hills at break neck speed. It is a wonderful experience and a tram ride quite unlike any other I’ve ever experienced.
A day trip to Sintra to see the fairy tale castle there – despite pouring rain we were still enchanted. Colourful and unusual it was loads of fun to explore then we headed to the coast to the most westerly point of Europe and after that spent an hour on the beach at lovely Cascais.
Wandering the streets of Lisbon, climbing up to the castle perched at the top of the steepest hill ever and then enjoying the most incredible views over the roofs of the tiled houses down to the river.