Low cost airline Ryanair has just announced the opening of a new route from Manchester to Lisbon which will commence this April. Flights will operate on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a journey time of 2 hours 45 minutes.
Some great flight prices are available on this new venture for Ryanair, making a Lisbon city break a very attractive option from a price point of view. One of the lesser known European capital cities as far as the British market is concerned, Lisbon has plenty to offer the tourist looking for a few days of sightseeing, trying different food or just relaxing in this attractive city.
The central area of Lisbon is fairly compact and much of it is accessible on foot. The very central Pombaline lower town and the area around the Praça do Comércio is very flat. This area was devastated by the earthquake of 1755 and rebuilt by the Marques of Pombal. The huge square, the Praça do Comércio, sits grandly with 18th-century arcades, lemon-meringue facades and mosaic cobbles.
A short distance from the grid-iron pattern of streets in the Pombaline lower town, the landscape changes and the buildings of old Lisbon appear to be perched on hillsides in a precarious fashion. The Castle of São Jorge (St.George) dominates the hilltop on the eastern side of the city and is well worth a visit, not least for its panoramic views of the city.
Visitors are recommended to take an hour or two to wander around the hilly streets in the area around Lisbon Cathedral and in the area around the Rua de Rosa and the Miradouro da Santa Catarina. Better still – save your legs and buy a ticket for the wonderful rickety old yellow trams which make their way at a rather alarming pace through the narrow old streets. With a tram pass you can get off and on again whenever you want.
Lisbon has a whole range of hotels to offer. A great find is the Hotel Borges Chiado. A fairly average 3* hotel, its central location in the Baixa/Chiado area is absolutely superb and makes it a great option for a short stay. A little further out from the centre, the 3* Hotel Miraparque and the 3* Tivoli Jardim nevertheless occupy very good locations and it is easy to access all parts of the city by bus or metro.
If you feel like splashing out, or if in the winter season you can find a great deal, the 5* AvenidaPalace hotel will provide you with a very special luxurious few days away. This elegant hotel with its neoclassical decoration dates back to 1892. It has been fully renovated and offers a superb level of comfort and service but with a special intimacy and relaxed ambiance. A short walk from Rossio Square, the location of the AvenidaPalace is hard to beat.
As always, flight prices are likely to increase steadily, particularly for popular dates such as school holidays, so it’s well worth taking a look right now at the possibilities for a short break to Lisbon sometime this year.