Facing out towards the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal's capital has a calm, laid back vibe, enchanting architecture and a mild climate that sees visitors arriving all year round.
Lisbon has a mild climate, characterised by hot, dry summers and the warmest winters on the continent, when the average temperature which rarely dips below 15 degrees. The summer season lasts for six months from May to October, with highs of around 25 degrees, making it an ideal time for sun seekers to visit. If you choose to take advantage of the mild winters, the Lisbon Carneval takes place in mid February.
Portugal is in the same time zone as the UK, so there'll be no need to readjust your watches. That's where the similarities end though, as life in Lisbon is much cheaper than in the UK, and particularly London. Travellers will enjoy savings on public transport, shopping and groceries and eating out, with a set menu lunch costing no more than about 8 euros on average.
The Metro runs from 6am to 1am - to reach the city centre from the airport, simply board a train for Saldanha station then change for city centre destinations. The journey should take around 25 minutes and costs about 2 euros. Public transport leaves from terminal 1 of the airport - if you arrive elsewhere, just take the free shuttle to terminal 1. Alternatively, a taxi into town costs about 15 - 20 euros, although there's a luggage charge of about 1 euro per bag. If taxis seem in short supply at arrivals, head over to departures, where there's another rank.
You'll find plenty of accommodation to choose from once you reach the centre, with hostels costing as little as EUR15 a night and double rooms at a standard class hotel about EUR45 a night.
Once you're settled in, it's easy to make your way around Lisbon's busy centre, using a combination of metro, bus, urban train, trams and ferries. A single ticket on the bus, for example, costs just over a euro, and a day pass costs six euros. Alternatively, taxis are cheaper than at home, with a flat fee of EUR 3.50 plus 50 cents per kilometre.