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lisbon bridge at night

Compare the best Lisbon holidays

Holidays in Lisbon are a real treat, packed with cultural, architectural and historical gems to discover, while the modern city is a pleasure to explore with its theatres, cafés, restaurants and terrific shopping. In fact, the capital of Portugal combines the old and new with ease.

Why go?

Lisbon holidays offer the perfect city break, and are close enough to Portugal's golden sands that you can easily combine city and surf…

If you are craving sun, sea, and sand, then the nearby resorts that pepper the lovely Estoril coast will certainly host a beachside retreat that matches your desires.

You'll reach Lisbon from the UK after a flight time of around two hours. Transfers from Lisbon Airport (LIS) are rapid and easy to come by, though car hire is a great option if you fancy exploring the areas around the ancient city. The beach resorts of the Algarve are also within reach, at the end of a two-and-a-half hour drive.

The choice of accommodation in Lisbon - the City of the Seven Hills - is wide, and families, groups, singles, and couples will find a host of options to suit both budget and taste.

When to go?

Sunny Lisbon is pleasant year round, with sizzling summers and temperatures that top 30°C…

The mild winters, where the mercury hovers around 12°C, mean you can enjoy the area in the quieter months as well. Any rain falls mostly between November and February.

What's on?

As a capital city, Lisbon is not short of events held across the city across the entire year…

Here we round up a few of our favourites:

Lisbon Book Fair; April/May: Bibliophiles will be in paradise at this celebrated open-air book fair in Park Eduardo VII, on the Avenida da Liberdade. Huge discounts and interesting cultural events are the highlights.

Rock in Rio; May: Don't be confused by the title, the organisers of the Brazilian festival simply decided to bring their buzzing event to Portugal. The original concert in 1985 featured rock Gods Queen. The event takes place every two years (2012, 2014, 2016 and so on).

Fado Festival; June: June is festival season in Lisbon and you can't walk for ten minutes without tripping over a party of some description. Fado is a traditional genre of music in Portugal and you won't be able to stop your foot tapping when you come across one of the popular events of this annual festival.

Festival in the Square; June/July: Sao Carlos Square becomes an open-air stage in summer when dancers, singers, musicians and actors perform to the delight of the crowds.

Oceans Festival; July/August: Trot down to Lisbon's waterfront to savour the atmosphere during one of the most exciting events in the city's calendar. There are lots of free events to attend and many attractions throw open their doors and offer free admission. It's one not to miss if you're in Lisbon at the height - and in the heat - of summer.

What to do?

Once you've unpacked, take to the streets of this fascinating and lively city to discover the main sights…

Most of the attractions in Lisbon tell tales of the city's rich history. You can hop on the yellow vintage number 28 tram to discover places such as: the 16th-century fortress of Belem Tower; the incredible Hieronymites (Jéronimos) Monastery; the Castelo da Sao Jorge that crowns the city; the impressive Monument to the Discoveries, which celebrates the Age of Discovery; the Rococo Queluz National Palace; Se Cathedral; Carmo Convent; the Statue of Christ (Cristo Rei); and Igreja de Sao Roque (Church of Saint Roch). The list could go on - there is so much to discover in fascinating Lisbon.

For a taste of Lisbon life - and to the listen to the melodies of traditional fado music - take a stroll around the Bairro Alto and Chiado districts, where a Bohemian air hangs heavy between sophisticated eateries and lovely little cafés.

The Alfama district should also be explored during your Lisbon city break. The narrow winding streets of this old district will offer glimpses into a Lisbon of another age.

More recent developments in this stunning corner of Portugal include the 25th of April Bridge, which spans the Tagus River and is so named after a revolution, and the legacy buildings of the World's Fair held in 1998, such as the Ocenarium, which was the Oceans Pavilion.

At nearly 300 years old, the soaring arches of the city's Aqueduct is neither new nor ancient, but you'll definitely want to capture its striking façade with your camera.

Aside from the beaches that can be found near Lisbon, there are other destinations of note that are easily reached from the city. The Catholic shrine at Fatima is hugely popular, while the enchanting fairy-tale hill town of Sintra, and the seaside resort of Cascais, also draw thousands of holidaymakers.