Portugal’s centuries-long Age of Discovery put Lisbon at the centre of the world, inspiring a rich cultural diversity keenly felt to this day in everything from its unique gastronomy to its sheer wealth of architecture. Discover the very best of Portugal's capital and its surrounds with our curated range of tailor-made holidays, all chosen by our specialists. Call us today to start planning your trip.
Lisbon's art and architecture
It’s the likes of Brazil’s gold, Africa’s ivory and the Far East’s spices that have gilded and funded the city’s distinctive Manueline sights. Indeed, the intricately carved cloisters of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos – and the Belém Tower’s island-stranded battlements – reveal maritime flourishes perched among architectural extravagance borrowed from both Spain and Italy. It’s all watched over by the imperious Castelo de São Jorge – a towering medieval fortress whose lofty battlements command sweeping views over the city’s terracotta rooftops.
Lisbon's historic centre
Lisbon eats: a heaven for foodies
In among the grandeur, there’s a certain unpretentious charm. Monument-studded squares are linked by winding alleyways, themselves host to homely tabernas and hidden tasca restaurants. It’s here that you’ll be treated to the city’s famed cuisine; as Europe’s only Atlantic capital, expect everything from juicy shrimp to the city’s famous cod, served dried and salted. However it’s the bakeries that often excite the most; those oh-so gooey custard tarts are best taken with a bica espresso.
Portuguese custard tarts
Around Lisbon: Estoril, Cascais & Sintra
Lisbon has also been gifted with truly delightful natural surrounds. Those that make the short, 15-minute drive down the coast are rewarded with the white sands of Estoril and Cascais, once the preserve of Europe’s exiled nobility. From here, turn inland to Sintra. This is the place fairytales are made of, with great carpeted mountains host to thousand-year-old castles and colourful, neoclassic palaces. It comes as no surprise, then, that one Hans Christian Andersen termed it “the most beautiful and celebrated part of Portugal”.