Lisbon, Portugal – A vibrant cultural city of architecture and graffiti

Getting to Manchester Airport for our Ryanair flight to Lisbon required a very early start.

I had booked (I thought) a meet and greet, except I hadn’t!

We arrived at the airport following signs to the M&G, except when we got there, we were politely told that we had booked the D&G, Drop and Go. Recovering from the surprise, we entered the multi-storey terminal and exited the car, leaving the keys with a staff member. We avoided the rain by walking under cover for around 5 minutes to get to the departure hall. It wasn’t quite as bad as it felt at 5 a.m.!

Anyway, the flight to Lisbon was on time, security was quick, and the flight arrived in Lisbon at 11 a.m., as planned.

We used to arrange a pickup from the airport to our hotel. The pickup worked despite the transport point in arrivals telling us it would take “just another minute” for the third time.

On a recent trip to Funchal, we stayed in a Porto Bay hotel, so we chose to stay at the Porto Bay Liberdade in the city. The hotel was delightful. It felt very welcoming, with warm rustic colours in the reception area, smiling staff, and efficiency to match.

Our room was spacious and had a high ceiling.

The hotel was located close to the centre, which was a bonus.

It was overcast with light rain, but this didn’t stop us from making our way out to explore.

The first thing that struck me as I walked around was the amount of graffiti everywhere. To be honest, it felt out of control. It was on the roofs of buildings, doors, vehicles, and walls—in fact, just about everywhere—even on the rickshaws!

But then, as you walk around this fascinating capital, you realise that art is part of the city. Colours make the architecture come alive. The character, atmosphere and people bring this production to life.

We went on a fantastic walking talk with our guide, Alexandra, who took us to all the main sites, including a spot with a memorial to the 500 Jews who were burned alive in the 1500s. Even then, Jews were unjustly persecuted.

Lisbon has much to see and do, and every restaurant has fabulous food.

The city has many steep streets, so we often took Uber to restaurants and returned on foot to the hotel after dinner.

Our trip also took us to areas outside of the city, such as Sintra, Pena Palace, Castello dos Mouros, Quinta da Regaleira (UNESCO), and the Lisbon Aquarium.

Lisbon is definitely a place to visit if you’ve never been.