Weekend Away: Lisbon

            A mere 2 and half hours in flight drops you into the Portuguese capital. An ideal weekend destination, the airport is connected directly to the city itself via the metro and multiple bus lines. If public transit is not part of your ideal quick getaway, taxis run quite cheap to and from the airport. One is immediately startled at the overwhelming decadence and color that flows throughout the city. Bright yellow trams glide past ornate tiled apartments houses.

Relatively quiet for a bustling capital, a soundtrack of clinking glasses, low conversation and distant music envelopes the Rossio square. Drink a Sagres eat bacalhau fritters at Tendinha do Rossio, one of the cheaper options in the city center. A brief walk puts one in the Barrio Alto for shopping, nightlife and more bustle. The other direction leads to Castelo Sao Jorge and the Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte another picturesque peak. There is also always the riverfront, which feels more like gazing into the Atlantic than the Tagus.

For those that want it, the city is full of museums and UNESCO ordained heritage. For those that don’t it is equally replete with cocktail bars, cafes and beautiful scenery and views. Day trips to Sintra or Cascais provide relief from the urban sprawl within 30 minutes on the national railway.

Have Dinner at Taberna da Rua das Flores or Cervejaria Ramiro, where the shellfish abounds and having an iPad thrust into your face for your order feels somehow more urgent than rude. Drink and dance at Pensao Amor or Chapito a Mesa which has a lively dance floor and nightly bands.  The city buzzes until the late evening. If you’re lucky maybe it will drizzle on your walk home and the hot wind will blend with the cool ocean rain. Enjoy it. Twist through the tangled back alleys and staircases. Absorb the resplendence of Lisbon.

Ryanair flies daily to and from Charleroi and Zaventem.

Jack Madock