Romantic Lisbon stakes a claim for a Valentine’s Day city break

Approaching the end of January, many people’s thoughts turn to celebrating Valentine’s Day and how to make a big impression.

Having just visited Lisbon, I can recommend the city for having all the ingredients for a perfect Valentines weekend away – charming boutique and luxury hotels, winding cobbled streets with shops selling authentic handicrafts, atmospheric restaurants playing soulful Fado music, fascinating architecture, history and city views which will sweep visitors off their feet.

A Tuk Tuk squeezes through historic Lisbon
A Tuk Tuk squeezes through historic Lisbon

















Below is a list of some of the city’s most romantic things to do:

Snuggle up on a Tuk Tuk – A private guided tour of the city by Tuk Tuk is not only a great way to explore many of Lisbon’s historical neighbourhoods; it also allows visitors to take in the sights at their own pace. For colder days warm blankets are provided and couples can choose a route that is best suited to their interests – from ‘shopping’ and ‘sea & land’ to ‘old town’ and ‘river’ tours. Prices start from 50 Euros for a 1 hour tour.

Ride the 28 Tram at dusk – to enjoy the magic of the famous vintage tram route, without the crowds, couples should take a ride early evening. Not only will the tram be quieter but it is an ideal way to journey to one of the historical districts for a romantic dinner. Passengers will pass the Graça neighbourhood, São Vincente de Fora Church, the city’s cathedral, Se de Lisboa and Santo Antonio’s Church and many more famous sights.

Get pampered at a luxury day spa –With so much to see and do, couples can enjoy a few hours of rest and relaxation in one of Lisbon’s beautiful day spas. For beauty treatments and a wide range of massages, visitors can head to the upmarket neighbourhood of Rato, to the Elohim Spa. Located in Costa da Caparica, Thalasso Caparica specialises in the use of sea water and seaweed treatments and has a multi-jet pool, hydromassage bath and jet shower.

Be serenaded at a traditional Fado house – there is nothing more romantic than settling down for a candlelit dinner, with a glass of Portuguese wine, to enjoy the soulful sounds of a Fado performance – as voice and guitar combine to tell poetic stories of love and life. There are many places across the city to discover Fado, with some of the most famous venues located in Alfama, Bairro Alto, Lapa and Alcantara.

Enjoy the king of all views – The Castle of São Jorge not only boasts one of the most spectacular viewing points, where couples can capture beautiful photographs of Lisbon’s unique hilly landscape, it is also home to a Lisbon Museum, the remains of an Islamic century neighborhood XI and Archaeological Site, Tower of Ulysses, Castle Cafe and manicured gardens.

Get a unique 360º view of Lisbon – To get a real sense of the buzz and life in downtown Baixa and up close to one of the most iconic monuments in Lisbon, couples should head to the top of the Rua Augusta Arch. The arch, which now features a terrace and gazebo for overlooking the landmark Terreiro de Paço public square, gives visitors a unique perspective of the nearby São Jorge Castle and the Tagus River.

Drift along on the River Tagus – On a crisp bright winter’s day there is something truly special about seeing Lisbon’s most famous monuments and dramatic architecture from the water. Couples who want to add a little fun to their cruise experience can take a ride on the ‘Hippotrip’ – an amphibious vehicle which can tour both sea and land or purist seafarers can choose to cruise by sailboat, ferry or even high speed RIB.

Direct flights to Lisbon operate from London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol with TAP Portugal, BA, easyJet and Ryanair.

Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.

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