IF you’re dreaming about your next trip to Europe make sure you go and discover Lisbon, a historical city full of stories to tell, where the sun shines 290 days a year and the temperature rarely drops below 15c.
It’s a city where you feel safe wandering around day or night, where the cuisine is dedicated to creating over a thousand ways to cook the beloved bacalhau (salted cod), and where you’ll find hotels and restaurants to suit every taste, budget and requirement.
Lisbon is a city full of authenticity where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation.
The Portuguese love a festival, and there are many celebrated throughout the country’s towns and villages.
When I dropped in with the wife at the end of an Azamara cruise through Spain in June last year we enjoyed the festival that celebrates Saint Anthony.
It’s known by many as the Love Festival and many marriage proposals are offered during the festival which sees the narrow laneways come alive with decorations, music, dancing and pop up cafes.
The city’s Saint Anthony Church offers free weddings during the festival.
There is plenty to discover in Lisbon and a ride on the famous trams is popular with tourists as it winds through the steep roads of the city.
While you are in Lisbon you should include a trip to nearby Sintra. The best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon is by train which depart roughly from the main station every half an hour for the 40-minute journey.
Sintra attracts millions of tourists each year as they marvel at the restored palaces of the city.
You can step off from Lisbon and tour Portugal with an excellent motorway network and a high-speed rail system linking the country.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the second-oldest European capital city after Athens, predating other modern European capitals by centuries.
Look for an historic hotel to stay in and your trip will be one of the special ones in your life.