Lisbon's rich history and lively culture
Set over rolling hills at the mouth of the River Tagus, Lisbon is one of Europe's premier sea faring cities and one of the best known places that explorers set off from, during the great age of discovery in the 16th and 17th century. With some lovely buildings, the best known is the St George's Castle, which sits overlooking the city and dates from the 12th century.
Climate and special events in Lisbon
Situated about two thirds the way down Portugal's coast, Lisbon enjoys a warm climate all year round, with lots of sunshine, but it can get windy and a bit unpredictable in Winter. Try mid February when the Lisbon Carnival is on, or June sees a month of festivities to honour the patron saint Santo Antonio.
Transport, costs and useful facts
Lisbon is generally cheaper than London, especially if using public transport, buying groceries or eating out. The cuisine is uncomplicated, with lots of seafood and simple things like grilled sardines, which are great with the local Vinho Verde wine. Lunch menus start from 8 EUR. Portugal also has a good reputation for baking, so try the custard tarts which are a speciality.
Getting around, finding a room
To get to Lisbon centre from the airport from terminal 2, take the free shuttle to terminal 1 where all public transport departs from. The metro runs from 6 am till 1 am. Take a train to Saldanha station, then change for city centre, they takes 25 minutes at a cost of around 2 EUR. Taxi's are around 15 and 20 euros and there is an extra charge for luggage (about 1 EUR per piece). NOTE: When the airport is busy, taxis are more readily available from departures.
Hostels are priced from around 15 EUR a night, and Hotels from EUR45 for a double room.
Public transport consists of metro, bus, urban train, trams and ferries, and a single bus ticket is about EUR 1.50 (more expensive if purchased on the bus). Day pass is around 6EUR. 'Zapping' (like an oyster card) has cheaper rates. Good value is the rechargeable card 7 Colinas (Viva Viagem), and the Aerobus has 3 routes, and costs around 3.50 EUR to the city centre. Basic taxi tariff is about 3.50 EUR then about 50 cents per km, however, many of the sights are very central and can be reached on foot.