Lisbon offers a convenient blend of old and new for travelers. The city was once a meeting ground for traders and settlers, but today adds a mix of restaurants, nightlife and shopping areas to the charming city center. Portugal’s capital city is also one of the country’s major transportation hubs – flights to Lisbon are packed with travelers heading to Portugal wine country, the beaches of the Algarve, business expos or just some quality time in one of Portugal’s young-at-heart cities.
The city itself is sprawled across seven hills and situated on the River Tagus. Art nouveau buildings and sidewalk art line the streets of Lisbon. Open-air cafes offer a great view of the city – both architecturally and socially – and ancient churches and museums help pass the time while waiting for Lisbon flights.
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Lisbon has warm summers with temperatures often in the mid-80s (Fahrenheit), and wet, windy winters with temperatures around 50 degrees. Even in the coldest months of December and January the city rarely sees freezing temperatures, although the rain can make it feel colder. The hottest months are July and August, and the coolest are December through February.
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The sun is no stranger to the shores of Lisbon, even on winter’s coldest days, so there is no bad time to booking Lisbon flights. Lisbon is a charming city that seamlessly blends its time-honored traditions with the innovative energy of a major European capital.
Peak Season: The fullest flights to Lisbon usually arrive in the summer months, when the Portuguese head to the coast and the streets of the city are alive with dancing, drinking and conversation.
Off-peak Season: Cheap flights to Lisbon are plentiful once the winter holidays are over, so consider booking Lisbon flights for the months of February, March and April. Autumn is slow as well so either way, the transitional times of year are the best for catching Lisbon with the least amount of tourist traffic.
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You can get to Lisbon’s center by boarding a bus, taxi or metro train at one of the terminals at Lisbon International Airport. You’ll quickly discover that Portugal’s capital city is built on seven hills surrounding the Bay of Lisbon. Unless you’re an extremely fit walker, you’ll want to avoid the streets that go out from the city center and curve up and down hills, often at steep angles.
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- Lisbon is a treasure trove of unusual museums and art galleries, and the Museu do Marioneta is the showpiece of its collection. Housed in a former church, the Museu do Marioneta (Puppet Museum) has an impressive array of marionettes, shadow puppets, and puppet show sets from around the world. Take time on your flight to Lisbon and read-up on family-friendly activities.The Museu do Marioneta will captivate visitors of every age.
- As the city’s Bohemian neighborhood, Bairro Alto is the perfect location for a good drink, whether you’re partying hard or mellowing out after your flight to Lisbon. Even when the winds off Lisbon Bay keep the winter nights cool, the streets of Bairro Alto fill up on the weekends with the voices of revelers and performers.
- If you’re dying to get your feet wet after your flight to Lisbon, the beach is just minutes away from the center of the city by train. Take the commuter train or a local bus to Cascais, a popular seaside resort that allows the city dwellers of Lisbon to enjoy the surf on a sunny day without heading too far out of town.
- Lisbon is one of the hundreds of cities throughout the world that has its own variation of the Arch of Triumph; the Arco do Triunfo in Baixa is one of the most popular sites in the Portuguese capital. The arch, which boasts a carved clock and intricate stonework, opens up onto the Terreiro do Paço, which is where the Royal Palace stood before the catastrophic earthquake of 1755. The vast plaza should be one of your first stops after your Lisbon flight for its gorgeous sea views and impressive monuments, and the multitude of quaint cafes and shops that shoulder up to the Arco do Triunfo are perfect places to people watch from.
- Before Portugal’s explorers arrived in the Americas and Africa, they loaded their ships and set sail from Belem. Today, some of Lisbon’s most recognizable tourist attractions are located in Belem. Visit the Ajuda Palace, or head over to Belem Tower to gaze at the stunning “Gateway to Lisbon” just like Columbus, Vasco de Gama and other great explorers whose historic expeditions had sailed from this point. The majority of Belem’s sites are closed on Mondays, so make sure that you plan your Lisbon trip accordingly after your flight to Lisbon touches down.
- Craving some quality vintage shopping? Aching to splurge your last Euros on funky, out-of-the-ordinary souvenirs to keep you busy on your return Lisbon flight? Reserve the Tuesday or Saturday of your trip for a lengthy mosey through the Feira da Ladra (Thieves Market) up near São Vicente do Fora.
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