5 Reasons Why Lisbon Should Be Your First Post-Pandemic Destination

Costa da Caparica beach

THERE’S PLENTY OF SPACE FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THE BEACHES

In few other major cities in Europe can you combine a city break with a day at the beach. And no other capital has such a large coastline with all kinds of beaches — for surfing, for swimming with the kids, or even for nude sunbathing. While the beaches to the west of the city (on the coast by Cascais) can be crowded and don’t allow much space for social distancing, those to the south (from the southern end of Costa da Caparica to the Troia peninsula) have long stretches of sand where the next towel can be literally dozens of feet away.

MANY OF THE TOP ATTRACTIONS ARE OUTDOORS

Lisbon has World Heritage monuments, beautiful churches and historic architecture to admire, but many of its top attractions don’t require spending any time indoors. One of the main activities in the city is stopping at the miradouros, the hilltop viewpoints where many take countless selfies and often stay for the sunset. That’s the advantage of being built over a series of hills, but the city’s geography presents yet another opportunity — walks or relaxing in the sun on the long waterfront. And then of course there are all the outdoor cafés and restaurants, where you can enjoy drinks and meals at any time of day…

IT’S “CLEAN AND SAFE”

Thanks to early and strict measures, the spread of Covid-19 in Portugal was contained, and the country was largely cited as one of the positive examples in Europe and the world. The safety measures continue, and hotels that have proven to follow hygiene requirements have been certified with a “Clean & Safe” seal. Most of the properties with this certification proudly show it on their online booking pages, so guests can be sure they’ll have a safe stay.

YOU CAN SKIP LINES

Thanks for the tourist pass (the “Lisboa Card”) you don’t have to stand in line to enter Lisbon’s top sights. You get a “fast track”  at the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower, Ajuda Palace and the National Archaeology Museum, and better yet is not having to pay admission! Even the attractions without the “fast track” are usually free or offer reduced admission with the card, although long lines is not something you have to worry about in Lisbon, as you would, for example, at the Louvre in Paris or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. And the city’s museums are never crowded, so you can safely discover many surprising art collections.

YOU CAN ESCAPE TO BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS WITH FEW PEOPLE

Of course Lisbon is also the main gateway to Portugal, and it can be the starting point of a trip to places that you probably would have overlooked before the pandemic. Destinations that can easily be visited from the capital, like Sintra and Óbidos, will always have their considerable number of tourists, but you should make this an opportunity to explore other places not too far away, like the fishing towns of Ericeira and Nazaré (both now more famous as surfing meccas), or the quiet “white towns” of Alentejo like Monsaraz and Marvão.