Archive for February, 2014

Spring Break in Lisbon: 5 Things To Do

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Parque das Nações, Lisbon

RELAX ON THE WATERFRONT
Mild temperatures may tempt you to head to the beaches of Cascais, but the ocean may still be cold. So do the next best thing, and stay on the waterfront in the center of Lisbon. At Ribeira das Naus you can simply sit in the sun or enjoy a drink served by the kiosk café, in the Parque das Nações district you can walk along a boardwalk as you admire the city’s best contemporary architecture and Europe’s longest bridge, and by the landmark Belém Tower you may sit and imagine Vasco da Gama departing towards the Atlantic over five centuries ago.

Pena Palace, Sintra

SEE SINTRA AT ITS GREENEST
One of Europe’s great fairy tale towns is just minutes from Lisbon, a World Heritage Site of palaces and castles amid lush vegetation. Spring is the best time to see Sintra at its greenest, especially at Pena Park, home to the extraordinary Pena Palace. Also not to be missed at this time of year, the Monserrate Palace and gardens.

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon

GO TERRACE-HOPPING
The terraces overlooking Lisbon from the hilltops make it a great outdoors city throughout the year, but it’s during spring that you may see it at its most colorful. In the sun or shade, take some time to enjoy the setting and the views from Lisbon’s many viewpoints (called “miradouros”). Don’t leave town without spending a great spring morning, afternoon or evening at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Miradouro da Graça, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, or at several others in Lisbon’s seven hills.

Comercio Square, Lisbon

DINE OUTSIDE
The rest of Europe may still need heaters on its restaurant terraces at this time of the year, but in Lisbon you may have the summer outdoor dining experience in the spring. Do it at one of the restaurants of the Docks looking out to the marina and 25 de Abril Bridge, by the arcades of Comercio Square, or on the many streets of Bairro Alto.

CATCH A FESTIVAL
Several major festivals take place in the city from April to June. The “Dias da Música” is a classic music festival that usually marks the beginning of the season, with a marathon of concerts over a weekend at Belém Cultural Center. After that comes the biggest festival of all, the IndieLisboa independent film festival, and then there’s the city’s biggest gastronomic festival, “Peixe em Lisboa”, with several chefs presenting their talents in preparing fish and seafood.