Exploring Lisbon

Lisbon, the charming Portuguese capital, has long held appeal for European travellers. Its beautiful churches, Romanesque architecture and scattering of cultural monuments draw thousands of tourists every year, and diverse attractions from world-class opera performances to fashionable boutique shops ensures that everyone goes away happy.

If you’re considering visiting Lisbon this year, prepare to be blown away by the sheer wealth of cultural history. Founded twelve hundred years before Christ by the Phoenicians, who believed it would offer a safe haven for their galleys, the city is nothing short of a living museum. Roman and Greek architecture rubs shoulders with Moorish palaces and terracotta-roofed residential apartments, and visitor attractions range from the ancient (such as Rue Augusta Arch) to the decidedly modern (Luz Stadium). 

One must-see is the Aguas Liveres Aqueduct, a 20-kilometre construction bridging the Amoreiras Valley. It has fed the fountains of central Lisbon since 1748 - and it’s impossible not to marvel at the 35 vertigo-inducing arches, some of which rise over 64 metres from the ground. A vantage point at the edge of Monsanto Park offers a great view and fantastic photo opportunities of the aqueduct. 

From here, jump on a tram and head to the Casa dos Bicos in the district of Alfama. This residence dates back to 1523 and was once home to the Albuquerque family – it is worth seeing for its façade alone, which is adorned with pyramid pointed stones and is a rare surviving example of a 16th century architectural trend.

But for a more visually impressive sample of Lisbon’s architecture, check out the statue of Christ located on the south bank of the River Tagus. This monument stands over 82 metres high, and is modelled on the famous Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro. Not only is it a visual feast in its own right, it is also a great spot from which to view the city.   

In addition to a wealth of cultural and entertainment attractions, one of Lisbon’s great appeals is its accessibility from the UK. Flights are regular and cheap, and if you’re looking for last minute breaks or late holidays then travel websites like On The Beach, offer a selection of great deals. So, if you fancy escaping the bad weather this winter, the Portuguese capital could be an ideal destination.