The Portuguese capital sits 30 minutes by train from the beach towns of Estoril and Cascais. This positions it as an ideal destination for those who want to combine sun-seeking and culture – and makes it a god-send for my wife and me, whose holiday plans are frequently a tug-of-war between the lure of museums and galleries (my wife) and the pleasures of a day by the sea (me).
There are, of course, other reasons to visit this great city, which sits pinned to the estuary of the river Tejo, halfway up Portugal’s west flank:
Unlike many Eurozone capitals, it is still good value for money. The climate is lovely, offering warmth and blue skies for much of the year. It is a place ripe for exploration – easily dissected on foot, yet also blessed with an efficient, inexpensive public transport system that ranges from underground trains and nostalgic trams to quirky elevators and funiculars.
And it revels in a winning atmosphere, its centre a compact blend of grand avenues and delightfully cluttered old quarters where close-knit alleys send out an invitation to roam.
We opt to stay slightly north of the centre at the Corinthia, a tall tower hotel with commanding views over the city. But a 15-minute hop on the metro quickly has us at the heart of the matter, looking for somewhere for lunch.
Lisbon spreads out across seven hills, but much of its daily movements happen in the flat Baixa district on the edge of the Tejo – the main shopping and business area.
More info: Daily Mail