#LoveDestination: Lisbon

Happy Friday Folks! On a lovely and sunny day, we are delighted to help you planning your next romantic trip to

Lisbon

Lisbon is the perfect Valentine’s date – bright, charismatic, naturally good-looking, fun-loving and ever the dreamer. Romance literally embraces you on every street corner here, be it the way the cobbles shimmer like silver after the rain, the plaintive wail of fado song drifting through open shutters in the alley-woven Alfama district, or the pure Atlantic light cascading across the facades of houses in a fresco painter’s palette of colours.

Stroll hand-in-hand through backstreets twisting up to hilltop miradouros, hidden courtyards and vintage funiculars and you’ll soon fall head over hills with the Portuguese capital.

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Lisbon on high

If you are flying high with the promise of new love, Lisbon wings you even higher at its miradouros, or lookouts, many of which are tucked into the dimples of the city’s seven hills. For postcard views, make your way to Alfama, Castelo and Graça neighbourhoods.
A brisk uphill walk brings you to lookouts to swoon over: bougainvillea-wreathed Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Moorish gateway Largo das Portas do Sol peer over rooftops staggering down to the Tagus River and across to the pearly white dome of the Panteão Nacional and twin-spired Igreja de São Vicente de Fora.

The higher you climb, the more Lisbon opens up like a pop-up book before you. Miradouro da Graça gazes across to the castle plump on the hillside, while the entire city unfurls before you at pine-shaded Miradouro Senhora do Monte – the ideal spot to steal a kiss.

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Romancing the stone

Few architectural styles conjure such giddy romance as Manueline, a love letter to the 15th- and 16th-century Age of Discovery when Portugal ruled the colonial waves. With his coffers brimming with the gold, sugar and spice pilfered from distant lands, King Manuel I bankrolled a monastery to trumpet his triumphs – the now Unesco-listed Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Belém’s undisputed heart-stealer and Lisbon’s most evocative building. Once populated by monks of the Order of St Jerome whose spiritual job was to comfort sailors and pray for the king’s soul, the monastery is pure fantasy stuff. Hewn from pale limestone, its architecturally stunning cloister drips with stonework teased into lace fine designs: gracefully scalloped arches, columns intertwined with vines and wreathed with flowers and auger-shell turrets. The adjacent Igreja Santa Maria de Belém is a fine romance of a church, with tree-like columns that grow into the ceiling, itself a spider web of stone.

Retro romance

There’s no doubt about it – Lisbon is an old romantic at heart and is bound to woo you with the vintage trams that clatter and screech through its narrow backstreets and the old-fashioned funiculars that buzz up to miradouros with heavenly views. If these rock your love boat, you won’t want to miss a sight-laden spin of the city on tram 28 or a ride in the wrought-iron, neo-Gothic Elevador de Santa Justa, Lisbon’s only vertical street lift, designed by Gustave Eiffel protégée Raul Mésnier du Ponsard. To really rewind time, wander at leisure around Baixa’s backstreets, which are crammed with old-school stores trading in everything from retro-packaged conservas (canned fish) to bowler hats and buttons.

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Wherever you go always take your heart with you and invest in traveling, memories means so much to every LoveStory you write.

Don’t forget to share your story with us using today’s hashtag #LoveDestination.

 

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