Europe has some of the finest cities in the world, but one that was on my ‘must visit’ list is Lisbon in Portugal. I decided to go for a weekend thinking this would be long enough â€“ how wrong I was!
The first thing I did was to look on-line for the cheapest and best flights to suit my budget. After searching for flights to Portugal, I came upon a site called Momondo, which offered some great deals. So with flights booked, I was then able to reserve my hotel accommodation with the same company. I decided to treat myself to the Radisson Blu Hotel as the prices were good and I liked its proximity to the airport and the city centre.
Upon arrival at the airport, it was extremely easy to find a taxi to take me to my hotel. Check-in was excellent as an express service is offered and my room was wonderful. I was advised at the reception desk that the best and cheapest way to see the city was to travel around by tram and they gave me a timetable so that I could plan and make the most of my weekend.
In the morning, I jumped on the number 28 tram which took me all the way to St. George’s Castle. The journey was well worth it just for the incredible views from the battlements over the river and the city. From here I went to Alfama and en-route, took a look in the ‘ Museu-Escola de Artes Decorativas’.
As it was Saturday I was lucky enough to be able to visit the massive flea market in the Feira da Ladra and then, before lunch, on to the monastery of SÃ£o Vicente. I decided to treat myself to a fine lunch at a superb restaurant, recommended in my guide book, the Michelin starred Tavares. I then spent a wonderful afternoon wandering around Chiado, doing a bit of shopping. I went into the church,Â Igreja de SÃ£o Roque, and was stunned by the amazing baroque decorations.
The next day, with careful planning, I managed to visit several places, including BelÃ©m, a district of the city that is linked to the era of Portuguese maritime exploration, known as â€˜the Discoveriesâ€™. I also visited the famous monastery of BelÃ©m and stopped by the Antiga Confeitaria de BelÃ©m to sample some pastel de nata pastries.
My only regret is that I did not stay for longer, however, one thing is for sure, my next visit to Lisbon will be for at least a week and will include a visit to theÂ Parque das NaÃ§ÃµesÂ and the OceanÃ¡rio.