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A city break in Lisbon

April 17, 2013

I have recently returned from an excellent city break in Lisbon, Portugal. I went with my Mom and Sister and we all really liked it. Let me start off by saying we are not city break kinda people, we are more lounge by the pool people so this was a new-ish experience for us all together. My sister would have gone on a good few city jaunts in her time but Mom and I, not so much!

Mom and Sister enjoying the nightlife Lisbon has to offer. First night was a wine bar.

Mom and Sister enjoying the nightlife Lisbon has to offer. First night was a tapas & wine bar.

Me and my sis at the waterfront by the Expo Centre

Me and my sis at the waterfront by the Expo Centre

What I’ll do is bring you through my four day trip through some photos I took. This is not a travel blog, more of a photo blog! I was delighted that I brought my ‘real’ camera as my phone was stolen on our first morning there.. right out of my back pocket in a shopping mall. I didn’t let it get me down, it was after all, just a phone and to be honest I could do with a break from it.

An iconic view of Lisbon from the Castle.

An iconic view of Lisbon from the Castle.

I call Lisbon the City of Lamps, pastries, coffee and pick-pockets… you’ll see why now!

Every street had beautiful street lamps regardless of it being a busy shopping area or a dusty side street. They feature a bit in my photos and became a bit of a theme for me when taking pics.

Lisbon, the City of Lamps

Lisbon, The City of Lamps

I loved the fact that you could get a coffee or pastry within five yards of any point in the whole city. The interesting thing was that I couldn’t find anywhere (bar Starbucks) that did take away coffee! They were probably luring you in to buy one of their tempting pastries!

The shopping was amazing with all the high street and high class brands mingled together. There are three big shopping malls in Lisbon, the most jaw dropping was the Corte Inglais.. I’ve never seen a bigger department store in my life.. it went on forever!

Colourful buildings, and outdoor cafes on nearly every street corner. We were on the hop-on-hop-off bus here and you can see the famous tram lines up above.

Colourful buildings, and outdoor cafes on nearly every street corner. We were on the hop-on-hop-off bus here and you can see the famous tram lines up above.

A lovely cafe in one of the many squares. Lisbon is a big city but is easy to get around by foot and bus.

A lovely cafe in one of the many squares. Lisbon is a big city but is easy to get around by foot and bus.

I loved how the town planners kept the charm and detail of the buildings rather then modernising them to suit big brands objectives. On a few occasions I found myself standing outside McDonald’s restaurants without even knowing it! No big ‘M’ logos that can be seen for miles in Lisbon!

We saw the city via a hop-on-hop-off bus which was great. But be warned, we did have to wait a lot for buses and there was no way to find out when the next bus was due. On one occasion we just packed it in and jumped in a taxi!

A short, nice and cheap (€2.40 return) train ride down the coast is Cascais. It is a lovely beachy town and we were craving a bit of beach even though it was really quite cold. Cascais is bursting with charm. We did a lot of slow walking, snooping in shops and had a lovely lunch with a view of the very clean harbour and it’s lovely lighthouse.

Day three saw us jumping on a train out to Cascais for a little bit of seaside antics. We spent an hour in this little sandy alcove and soaked up some much needed rays!

Day three saw us jumping on a train out to Cascais for a little bit of seaside antics. We spent an hour in this little sandy alcove and soaked up some much needed rays!

A little bit of ice cream to go with our wine at lunchtime!

A little bit of ice cream to go with our wine at lunchtime in Cascais

Cobbled streets of Cascais were lovely and I kinda felt at home here for some reason!

Cobbled streets of Cascais were lovely and I kinda felt at home here for some reason!

Nightlife I’m afraid I can’t comment on as we were just too tired to be creative in this department. On the first night we had tapas, the second night we ate in our hotel and the third night we had a quick bowl of pasta. This city break business is tiring stuff!

An art installation at night in one of the many squares.

An art installation at night in one of the many squares.

The 28 Tram that scuttles around the sights of Lisbon.

The 28 Tram that scuttles around the sights of Lisbon.

Regarding our hotel, we chose to stay in The Four Seasons. There are so many very good hotels all over Lisbon; the city is your oyster and you just need to pick what suits you best! The Four Seasons was originally a Ritz and was a huge hotel. You immediately get that Four Seasons feel from the place with their excellent personnel skills and sprawling flower arrangements.

We stayed in a suite with three beds and it was perfect for our needs. Only complaint I would have was their was no tea/coffee facility in the room and the night we ate there I felt the food could have been a bit better for The Four Seasons and the price we paid. The spa was lovely though… a great place to relax after walking all day!

The Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon

The Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon

On our final day we took the 28 tram up to the castle. It was a lovely experience and one I would highly recommend. Everywhere you go you will be reminded about pick pockets and you’d do well to take heed, especially on the trams and at the castle. Up here is a photographers dream! I took so many photos… the lighting was fab and there were interesting side streets at every corner.

Inside the 28 Tram. Rustic and lots of standing space which is all used!

Inside the 28 Tram. Rustic and lots of standing space which is all used!

Watch your belongings!

Watch your belongings!

One of the many side streets up by the Castle

One of the many side streets up by the Castle

Don't think I need to explain this but what a cute sign!

Don’t think I need to explain this but what a cute sign!

So, that is it in a nutshell. I could have added another twenty photos! Would I recommend Lisbon as a city break? Yes, absolutely.

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From → Family

One Comment
  1. Marjorie Jeffares permalink

    Wow, it sounds fabulous. Gorgeous photos too.

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