Portugal is part of the Iberian Peninsula, with Spain is its closest neighbour. It’s a popular tourist destination as well as being one of the warmest European countries throughout spring as well as summer. Portugal ticks all the boxes on everyone’s wish list, beautiful beaches and historic culture especially in the capital Lisbon. If you are a sports fan it provides the best surfing in Europe due to the Atlantic Ocean and if you are an avid golfer you can take your pick of any of the world class golf courses there. Relaxing, sightseeing and sport it’s all here in delightful Portugal.
It’s maybe no surprise that Portugal was once a very powerful maritime empire during the 1500s–1800s due to its enviable position on the Atlantic coast. Today, Portugal is one of the leading countries in Europe with a population of around 10.26 million full time residents. During the summer months in particular, the population swells as more than 21 million foreign tourists visit Portugal each year. Why do they visit? Quite simply it’s a beautiful country with an awful lot going for it.
Portugal is also famous for its traditional music called Fado music, which in Portuguese, Fado translates to fate or destiny. The music is rather woeful and tells fateful romantic stories of daily life, it’s not upbeat or lively and you will hear this music drifting from cafes, bars and restaurants. Fado music dates back from the 1820’s but is thought to go back much further than this. There are some amazing restaurants in Portugal where you can dine on local dishes and international cuisine. Portugal’s national dishes include grilled sardines and salt cod obviously influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, amongst a whole host of other local delicious cuisine.
The capital of Portugal is Lisbon and this cosmopolitan city is a delight to stroll around even though parts can be hilly. The River Tagus runs through Lisbon and is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It spans 1,007 km long with 716 km in Spain, 47 km that’s runs along the border between Spain and Portugal with 275 km in Portugal. At Lisbon it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. There is the impressive São Jorge Castle which is an important landmark of the city and is majestic both day and night. It was built in the 5th century and over time has been transformed, the modifications and restoration were finally completed in 1938.
The Ponte 25 de Abril is a suspension bridge over the Tagus which connects Lisbon to Almada. Keen history enthusiasts will visit the National Azulejo Museum, or if you simply want to relax then head to one of the many beaches along the coastline from Estoril to Cascais. Lisbon is the place to head to for a summer holiday or a weekend break. Its upmarket and cosmopolitan way of life is attractive and alluring and tourists visit time and time again. Lisbon is also one of the best cities in Europe to buy an apartment for sale in. Owning your own apartment in the hub of Lisbon gives you everything on your own doorstep, cafes, bars and restaurants plus great shopping, with art galleries and umpteen museums.
Lisbon has many interesting districts and has something to offer everyone.
Alfama - is traditional and charming, it has become an up and coming artisan district in Lisbon. Narrow cobbled streets and white washed houses serve up picturesque views over the Tejo Estuary and the hillside beyond.
Bairro Alto – is the place to head to once its dark as the whole area comes alive with music and dancing. By day it’s a lovely location to stroll around although there isn’t much going on, however you can marvel at the baroque houses and historic monuments. Nearby are Baixa and Chiado which offer lots of things to do.
Baixa – is bustling and lively as one would expect as it’s the commercial centre. However there is plenty to do here with pedestrianised squares filled with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that specialise in seafood. There are museums galore and a must see is The National Museum of Contemporary Art which exhibits Portuguese art from the mid-1800s.
Belém – is one of the most popular districts for a city break in Lisbon. Sightseers can visit the museums or take in a boat tour along the Estuary. There are many lively trendy bars and upmarket eateries to be found here. Foreign visitors return often and even decide to invest in an apartment for sale in Belém, Lisbon, as they love the cultural flavour this area has to offer.
Chiado – if you love books this is where you need to spend a couple of days devouring the superb selection of book shops. Some are old and magical whilst others are brand spanking new. Traditional Lisbon it is, however it’s fast becoming modernised but don’t despair, it will always retain its authentic charm. Shoppers will adore this lovely district, whatever it is they want to buy, they will find it here.
Comporta – is a true hidden gem of Lisbon, its picturesque vistas of its nearby nature reserve make for a relaxing location. If you want a mix of beaches, landscapes and a slow pace of life, Comporta is a must visit for you. The force of the Atlantic Ocean is mellowed by the beautiful forest back drop and anyone wanting the best of all words need to holiday here.
Liberdade – offers everyone an upmarket lifestyle. Akin to the Champs Élysées, Lisbon’s own Avenida da Liberdade is a dead ringer for the equivalent in Paris. Here the wealthy strut their stuff and go shopping in style at the numerous designer shops. Enjoy a glass of wine at one of the many cafes in the squares, decorated by stylish fountains and opulent statues. If you are looking for elegant surroundings in every sense of the word, you will find it in abundance in Liberdade.
Santos – is known for attracting budding artists with its naturally pretty landscaped scenery, it provides the perfect setting. Cobbled streets and traditional squares make the ideal meeting place for friends to come together for a coffee. It’s one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon and it’s evident, because at every turn of a corner you will be met by beautiful architecture and monuments, serving up a delightful scene.
Portugal is one of the most visited cities for its many attractions but also for its championship golf courses. Keen golfers flock to Portugal throughout the year to play the amazing golf courses in wonderful weather. Portugal has a temperate climate with hot and dry summers and wet winters. Obviously the Atlantic Ocean along with the Mediterranean Sea is a big factor on its weather conditions. Throughout the year the daily temperature rarely drops below 16°C.
There are many reasons as to why expats opt to move on a full time basis to Portugal, the weather is one of them. Its close proximity to the rest of Europe also helps being just a 2 hours and 45 minutes flight away from the UK. Beautiful locations are to be had, close to Lisbon offering up a city lifestyle, a life with amazing sea views or indeed a countryside feel. Portugal offers an idyllic lifestyle one can fully immerse themselves in. Delightful apartments and villas in the best locations are a privilege to own and live in. If you are looking for a location that’s positively brimming with local culture, choose exciting Lisbon in Portugal.