Lisbon is Simply Lovely

Beautiful Lisbon architecture
Beautiful Lisbon architecture

We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill serenaded by the man who penned those beautiful lyrics.

And singer Ed Sheeran was just as entranced with the view over lovely Lisbon from São Jorge Castle, high up above the old town.

Ed was in the city for the start of the four day Rock in Rio music festival which featured artists from all over the world for 12 hours of performances at each event. And he wowed tourists with a low key visit to the ancient monument to promote his appearance and try and outsmart the castle’s resident peacocks and seagulls who “sang” loudly along with Ed!

What a smashing addition to this vibrant city, which has it all, amazing architecture, beautiful beaches and cracking cultural gems.

With an easy to navigate transport system and reasonably priced accommodation and food outlets, Lisbon is a great place for a break.

Portugal’s capital city is simply fabulous and staying in the old town gives the visitor the chance to explore charming, winding and hilly cobbled streets lined with pastel coloured homes.

At the heart of it is Figueira Square, an area of the city, which was re-urbanised following a huge earthquake in 1755, which destroyed most of Lisbon.

Stunning Lisbon squares
Stunningly beautiful city square

The square stands on the site of a former hospital and is surrounded by beautiful buildings including My Story Hotel Tejo, hailing back to the 19th century and despite being renovated in 2017, still maintains its Pombaline style and an ancient water well.

History and tradition oozes in this six storey hotel which has been cleverly designed to ensure modern comforts rest easily with the elegance of age.

It’s one of five My Storey Hotels in downtown Lisbon which cater for all tastes and pockets. From the Hotel Ouro, close to the bustling Comercio Square to the Rossio, housed in an 18th century building and Augusta on one of the most elegant pedestrian streets.

The Figueira has wonderful views of the castle and a fabulous restaurant which serves up Italian fine dining in a classy setting, with such delights as shrimp and squid fritto misto with olive and parsley mayonnaise and Fettuccine ao Açafrã. The happy hour gives a great chance to enjoy a host of cocktails too.

Hotel Tejo has lovely airy bedrooms encased in the natural stone and luxurious mattresses and bedding to ensure a good night’s sleep, along with sumptuous breakfast including the popular dish of pastel de nata on the menu. The My Storey chain also has hotels in Porto and Azores.

The egg custard pastry tart is so popular in Portugal that Lisbon is lined with specialist bakers filled with trays of the delicacy. One of the best is Pastelaria Santo António, which recently won the best of the buttery treats at the city’s food festival, the Peixe em Lisboa.

Lisbon is a lovely city to wander around and one of its nicest attributes is its tram system, where old and modern mini trains glide gracefully along. One of the busiest routes is the 15E which connects the riverfront from Praça da Figueira to Belém and a 16th century fort which served as the ceremonial gateway to the city.

Brightly coloured Lisbon roofs
Brightly coloured roofs bring out the sunshine in Lisbon

Protected as a UNSECO World Heritage site, it looks out onto the Tagus River which meets the Atlantic Ocean and across to a statue of Christ the King, lit up at night and majestically protecting the city.

The sea is afloat with all sorts of vessels including a hop on, hop off sightseeing boat run by Lisboat, which gives mighty views of the city’s seven hills and stops off at all the major attractions. (

Lisbon has the nicknames of the city of light and of tiles reflected in some of the city’s finest architecture with building beautifully covered in lovely hand painted ceramics.

The National Tile Museum in the historic Madre de Deus convent, founded in 1509 and with an impressive collection which runs from the 15th century up to the modern day.

A great way of learning about the city’s history is via the Lisboa Story Centre where audio guides take you through all the great dramas from the earthquake which changed the city for good to the modern place it is today.

One of the best for value ways of seeing the city is by using the Lisbon Card, which offers entrance to all the major attractions and allows free transport on all the modes and comes in 24, 48 and 72 hour options.

This is great if you want to leave the city for a spot of sea air, with a 40 minute train ride taking you the golden beaches of lovely seaside towns such as Cascais, known for its beautiful cliff tops, dunes and crystal clear water.

It’s a fabulous spot for watching the sun set and no doubt a place ready to be immortalised in song by Ed Sheeran!

Fact Box:

Low cost airlines fly from the UK and parking options are available via National Car Parks. Rebecca used the facilities at Glasgow Airport which allow access straight to departures via a multi-storey car park which leads directly into the main building. Using the fast track system means a stress free five-minute walk from car to airport and VIP treatment at security. Special offers are available all year round via

Tourist information at can help with accommodation, transport and things to do and see.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photographs courtesy of Visit Lisboa

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