Spotlight on Lisbon

Posted December 29th, 2016

Charming. Historic. Hospitable. Romantic. Sunny. There are many ways to describe Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, and travellers can have all the fun in the world discovering this for themselves. From wine bars and custard tarts to museums and monasteries, there is so much to see, do, eat and drink in this cosmopolitan city. Below is just a tiny preview of what visitors can expect!

Aerial view of the dome of the Estrela Basilica and Lisbon, Portugal

The Culture and History

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon is sure to delight lovers of history and architecture. The National Museum of Ancient Art, which was created in 1884, houses over 40,000 works, some of which are considered national treasures. The National Coach Museum’s unique collection of carriages provides interesting insight into high-society life in the 16th-19th centuries. The Fado Museum, meanwhile, allows visitors to learn all about this musical genre through items from a variety of composers, musicians, instrument manufacturers, researchers and authors. 

One of the most popular attractions in the city is the ornate UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jerónimos Monastery, which showcases Gothic styling and is the final resting place of famed explorer Vasco Da Gama. 

Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

The Beaches

Lisbon’s surrounding areas boast stunning beaches that will put a smile on any traveller’s face. About a 20-minute drive from the city is the sandy coastline of Costa da Caparica – here visitors can cool off in the inviting waters before stopping at one of the local restaurants for some sangria and freshly grilled fish. For a little adventure (and exercise), Ursa Beach or Praia da Ursa in the Sintra region can be accessed after a steep hike down a cliff path. Secluded and dotted with giant rock formations, the beach’s atmosphere is magical and the views are stunning, but the surf here can be rough.

Rock formation, Praia da Ursa, Lisbon, Portugal

The Food

Sweet, salty and always delicious, the gastronomy of Lisbon is sure to set mouths drooling and satisfy a range of appetites. Tremendously popular throughout Portugal, it’s little surprise that seafood plays a huge role in local cuisine – grilled sardines and bacalhau (salted codfish) are must-eats and if lucky enough to visit the city in April, holidaymakers can experience the 11-day Lisbon Fish and Flavours festival and watch top-notch chefs work their magic.

For a little dessert, it’s hard to go past the crunch and creaminess of a pastel de nata or Portuguese custard tart. Believed to have been created by monks at Jerónimos Monastery, this tasty, eggy dish can be found at pastry shops and bakeries around the country, but if in Lisbon, a trip to the historic Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém should be on the cards.

Another speciality of the Lisbon region is azeitão cheese, which is crafted from sheep’s milk, has a soft and supple texture and a very strong flavour that is part salty and part sour. Pairing it with crackers and a Portuguese wine is a recipe for success.

Pastéis de Belém

Have you fallen in love with the idea of visiting Lisbon on your next cruise? If so, call 1300 954 661 and speak with one of our friendly cruise consultants who can help you find and book the very best itinerary and cruise ship.

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