The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is a beautiful city with over 20 centuries of history, much of which is in Alfama, the oldest quarter of Lisbon. Taking holiday accommodation in Lisbon means that the restaurants, museums, shopping, nightlife and entertainment are completely at your disposal, as you have complete freedom and flexibility. Lisbon is a charming city, much of which originates from the cities dramatic historical heritage. Lisbon has a refreshing laid back atmosphere, making it one of the most fun cities to stay in anywhere in Europe, and there is so much to see and do that any attempt to write a whole travel guide in this short space would be ludicrous, so a very rough guide to Lisbon follows.
There are a huge number of beautiful palaces, stunning churches and a huge castle which tells the story of much of Lisbon’s long and turbulent past. Those seeking culture will certainly not be disappointed by taking self catering accommodation in Lisbon, as along side the historic buildings and monuments are a huge number of museums, coving different spheres of interest from modern art to archaeological finds.
Many people will take a holiday rental in Lisbon and never visit any cultural or historical places of interest. The shopping of Lisbon’s commercial district keeps many entertained during the day, with either the gigantic shopping mall of the Centro Commercial Colombo or the flea market of Campo de Santa Clara occupying holiday makers. Also, the bars, clubs and restaurants of the Bairro Alto district occupy many holiday makers by night.
An apartment in Lisbon is also a great base for the beaches of Praia das Macas, Praia da Adraga (which may be familiar, having been in the BBC’s shortlist for best beach), Costa da Caparica, Ericeira Beach and the famous surfing beach of Guincho.
The carnival which descends on Lisbon in February or March each year is a great time to take an apartment in Lisbon, when the timeless, tree lined, art nouveau boulevards of the centre of town are filled with music, dancing and delicious food.
The Costa do Estoril to the south of Lisbon is a beach lover’s dream holiday, where the mountains plummet into the sea, separated only by wide expanses of golden sand. The cosmopolitan suburb of Lisbon, Cascais is a perfect place for a relaxing yet being active. The famous medieval retreat of Sintra is a huge attraction to the Lisbon area, and creates a hugely popular option for a day trip from a Lisbon apartment.
To the north, the Costa de Prata is less focused on the beaches, but steeped in cultural and historical treasures relating to almost every era in Portugal’s history. Magnificent ancient towns, churches, castles and museums adorn the area, which have made the Costa de Prata hugely popular for cycling tours and walking holidays. This is not to say that the beaches north of a self catering holiday villa in Lisbon are not world class, but the tourist facilities associated with them are not as developed as they are on the Costa do Estoril.
Lisbon has a marvellous mild temperate climate, which gives the city a remarkably long summer period, lasting from May until late September, with temperatures soaring over 30°C on the majority of days.
Lisbon International Airport (LIS) makes reaching a Lisbon holiday rental very easy from anywhere in the UK. The vast majority of airports have flights going to Lisbon, and BMI, easyJet and Ryanair all provide great deals on cheap flights to Lisbon from various departure points.