Archive for April, 2008

Luxury in Lisbon

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Pestana Palace Hotel, Lisbon Lisbon’s cheaper prices (as mentioned in the previous post) enable visitors to experience the pleasures of luxury that most could not afford to do in other capital cities such as Paris or London. Checking the prices for Palacio Belmonte or Pestana Palace (two of the most luxurious hotels in Lisbon), you will see that they cost as little as one-third of their equivalents in those other European capitals. Other top-end hotels include Avenida Palace, Sheraton Lisboa and Spa, Le Meridien Park Atlantic, Tivoli Lisboa, Corinthia Lisboa, and Dom Pedro. See Go Lisbon’s hotels section for more.

The money you save in accommodation may then be spent dining in refined and acclaimed restaurants such as Eleven and Bica do Sapato. The prices there are closer to what you’d find throughout Europe, but still tend to be slightly lower. Other high-end restaurants to consider include Tavares Rico, Terreiro do Paço, Casa da Comida, Alcantara Café, and Pragma. You may read more about them in Go Lisbon’s restaurants section.

Why not combine that with an extra splurge at a spa that matches the quality found anywhere else, but at more reasonable prices? Go Lisbon has a newly-created page listing Lisbon’s best spas, as well as recommendations on where to do yoga or pilates.

If you prefer a day on the golf course, Lisbon offers world-class golf in high-quality courses, many of which designed by Robert Trent Jones. Penha Longa in Sintra is the best option, but there are plenty more, as you will find in Go Lisbon’s golf page.

End your day with a world-class concert at the Gulbenkian Foundation, at the CCB, or at the opera in São Carlos Theater.

If you still have money to burn, walk down Avenida da Liberdade and up Rua Garrett for some exclusive shopping. You will see the Louis Vuitton, Hermés, Cartier, Mont Blanc, and most of the other luxury names you have back home, but with a few bargains here and there.

Lisbon is therefore the capital of bargains for both the budget traveller as well as the more hedonistic visitor looking for a luxurious experience.


Lisbon for Free

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

If you’re considering a trip to Lisbon, you probably already know that it is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe. You’ll find that while prices in restaurants and supermarkets are at the level of the rest of Western Europe, Lisbon’s accommodation, transport, and sightseeing can be as much as 50% lower than elsewhere in the continent. And to top all of that, you can actually enjoy most of the city for free!:

Lisbon view

Most monuments and museums (including Belem Tower, Jeronimos, Ancient Art Museum, and the Gulbenkian) offer free admission every Sunday until 2PM. Other privately-owned collections opt for other days such as the Medeiros e Almeida Museum, which has its free entrance day on Saturdays until 1PM.
An exception to this rule is the Berardo Museum, which is free everyday until the end of the year as a way of promoting its fantastic collection of modern art.Best of all, this being one of the most scenic European cities, one of Lisbon’s major attractions are its viewpoints, and those are always free. Add the free entrance to the churches (with the exceptions of their cloisters in some cases such as the cathedral and Saint Vincent’s Monastery), and you can save your budget surplus for a slightly more expensive restaurant or hotel – which all combined make a visit to Lisbon even more rewarding.