From its winding cobbled streets to its charming waterside restaurants, soulful fado music and fairy tale castles, Lisbon is the perfect destination for romance – whether it’s a honeymoon, a Valentine’s Day celebration or a romantic escape with a loved one. Travellers looking for a warm climate, picturesque surroundings and that something special for a magical getaway will find that Lisbon ticks all the boxes.
Here the Lisbon Tourism Association highlights some of the experiences that make Lisbon the perfect city to fall in love with … or in:
Songs and sunrise in Alfama
Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest district and its cobbled lanes, tiny squares and quaint houses covered in traditional azulejos are full of character, perfect for a romantic stroll. With its poetic stories of love and life, fado is the soulful sound of Lisbon and couples can enjoy a romantic evening enjoying this haunting music at the fado houses of Alfama while enjoying a glass of wine or a meal. Another romantic Alfama experience is to head up to the ramparts of the hilltop São Jorge Castle at sunrise, and watch the sun come up while enjoying spectacular views across the city and Tagus.
Ride the 28 tram
Lisbon’s vintage yellow trams are an icon of the city, and the most famous is the number 28, which winds its way through some of the city’s prettiest and most historic neighbourhoods. The breathtaking route passes between hills, narrow streets and squares from Graça to Campo de Ourique past landmarks like the Sé Catedral and is a “must do” for any visit to Lisbon. For maximum romance, couples should take the tram at dusk and stop off for a romantic dinner or drink at one of the atmospheric bars and restaurants along the way.
Lisbon is known as the “city of light” and, as the sun sets, the city is bathed in a soft glow that illuminates the pastel hues of the buildings in a breathtaking show of light and colour. And with the city sitting on seven hills, there is no shortage of places to enjoy the view from on high. Lisbon’s miradouros (viewpoints) offer unforgettable vistas, with the Miradouro Da Nossa Senhora Do Monte famed as one of the most romantic, and the perfect spot to see the sun set behind the striking Castelo de São Jorge. Meanwhile, at the many rooftop bars, couples can enjoy a drink while taking in the amazing sunset views for memories to last a lifetime.
With stunning golden beaches just 20 minutes from the city, couples can enjoy a romantic stroll along the shore to the sound of the Atlantic waves. Some of the closest and most popular beaches are along the 15km stretch of the Costa da Caparica but more tranquil options – like the beautiful Galapinhos beach – can be found in the secluded coves along the Arrábida coast with its blue waters and lush green hills. Or – to enjoy the coast on four legs instead of two – both experienced and novice riders can take to the sands on horseback.
Fairy tale Sintra
Just 18 miles from the city centre lies the beautiful hilltop town of Sintra, former home of the Portuguese Royal family and renowned as one of the most romantic places in Portugal. With its fairy tale castles, palaces and gardens, it’s hard to imagine a more enchanting setting. From a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets or a horse-drawn carriage ride in Pena Park, to visiting the stunning Pena National Palace and National Palace, Sintra should not be missed in any visit to Lisbon with a loved-one.
The food of love
Sharing delicious food can set the perfect scene for romance and in Lisbon there’s no shortage of options for a meal to remember. With 290 days of sunshine a year, it’s hard to beat an alfresco lunch with a chilled glass of wine, whether at one of the harbourside restaurants in chic Cascais or the local eateries in charming Setúbal, where the morning catch is served fresh each day. In the city, the cafes and restaurants in the magnificent Praça do Comércio have great river views or couples can pick up a picnic – the Mercado da Ribeira food market has a great choice of local goodies – and enjoy the views across the rooftops from one of the many miradouros.
Romance on the river
The mighty Tagus passes some of the Lisbon’s most important monuments before flowing out into the Atlantic Ocean, and a river cruise makes an idyllic and relaxing way to enjoy the city from the water. From traditional river craft to luxury sailing boats, couples can choose between a wide choice of craft for their river excursion, with sunset dinner cruises an especially romantic option.
For more information, ideas and inspiration on visiting Lisbon, please go to www.visitlisboa.com