Lisbon is one of the prettiest cities in Portugal – and even the world – with pretty hills overlooking the coastline and a string of beautiful Atlantic beaches.

Portugal’s coastal capital city also offers the old city’s assortment of photographic pastel-coloured buildings and postcard-perfect cobbled alleyways, ancient ruins, and white-domed cathedrals.

If you’ve only got 48 hours to explore Lisbon, we’ve put together a list of things you won’t want to miss.

Must see

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

The ornate Jeronimos Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of notable 16th-century work of architecture, which has become part of Portuguese identity and culture.

The Church of Santa Maria within the monastery houses the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões, a Portuguese poet and writer.

Castelo de Sao Jorge

Built in the mid-11th century, the Castelo de Sao Jorge still retains eleven towers displaying various architectural features characteristic of military fortifications from the Moorish period.

The steps leading up the sides of the curtain walls provide access to the ramparts and towers enabling visitors to explore the entire perimeter, offering majestic and unparalleled views of Lisbon.

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

The National Ancient Art Museum houses the most relevant public art collection, from the 12th to the 19th century, including painting, sculpture, silver, gold and jewellery, decorative arts – Portuguese, European, African, and Oriental – as well as a large number of works classified as “national treasures”.

The museum has a magnificent garden, with a lovely restaurant, overlooking the River Tagus.

Must eat

Bacalhau a bras

A popular Portuguese comfort food, bacalhau is dried and salted codfish traditionally pan-fried with finely sliced potatoes and scrambled eggs, garnished with black olives, and parsley.

Azeitao cheese

A visit to the Lisbon region is incomplete without sampling Azeitão cheese, a speciality so renowned that it has Protected Designation of Origin status, meaning it can only be produced in the town of Azeitão, 40km (24.8 miles) east of Lisbon. This creamy and rich-smelling cheese is prepared from unpasteurised sheep’s milk, and best enjoyed with a glass of good wine and some bread or crackers.

Pasteis de nata

These delectable egg custard tarts are made from golden puff pastry and sold at bakeries throughout the country. Their origin can be traced back to the Pastéis de Belém bakery – still selling the original version under the name Pasteis de Belém. It’s said that only three people in the world know the recipe, which has been passed down for generations in the Clarinha family with the utmost secrecy.

Must do

Enjoy a sunset cruise

Get a new perspective of Lisbon and unique views of the city’s historic neighbourhoods, watching the sun dip behind the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean while enjoying a relaxing cruise on the Tagus River.

Experience a port wine tasting

Portugal is famous for its fantastic Port wine cellars, and just outside Lisbon are some of the best Portuguese wineries and landscapes – including the architecturally impressive Adega Mae and the traditional Quinta do Gradil.

Join a bike tour

For those looking to get active during their trip, the city offers a variety of bike tours. With its seven hills, Lisbon can be quite a challenging city to cycle around, but many bike tour companies tend to stick to the flat parts of the city, while others offer e-bikes to assist tourists up the hills.

Getting there

Various airlines offer daily flights from London to Portela Airport. The cheapest tickets are available approximately 60 days before departure, with afternoon flights from Luton offering the best prices on the route.

For a hassle-free trip to Lisbon, remember to pre-book an airport transfer, taxi, or rental car through hoppa to get you to your accommodation. Hoppa is the world’s top specialist in smooth, reliable transportation, comparing 1,000s of transport providers from around the world to get you where you need to go. Whether at home or abroad, with choices of taxis, car hire, and airport transfers, we search and compare the best deals so you arrive happy.

Planning a trip to Prague, or do you have any suggestions we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.


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