Tag - Hot holidays

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Purple Tips: Top Bulgaria Holidays
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Holidays: The Most Amazing Swimming Pools In The World
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Purple Tips: Best Summer Cocktails
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Musical Holidays
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Purple 10: Greek Party Islands
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6 brilliant Jamaica hotels right now
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Hot Swimwear Trends for Spring/Summer 2013
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Purple Pick: Best Nudist Beaches
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The world’s sexiest holidays
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Purple Hearts: Lisbon Destination Guide

Purple Tips: Top Bulgaria Holidays

Bulgaria holidays boast a wonderful mix of holiday fun, from beautiful beaches, extensive history and sense of adventure, find a cheap holiday on the shores of the Black Sea this year from Purple Travel. Here’s our top pick of resorts for summer Bulgaria holidays.

Bulgaria Beaches image

Sozopol: With heavy Greek influence and right on the Black Sea, Sozopol is a traditional Bulgaria holiday option. The town is right on a beautiful lagoon and makes an especially great choice for families who want to wander the tiny cobbled streets, take in the unchanged fishing methods and enjoy clean, safe beaches.

nesebarImage via @ pansy_burke

Nessebar: Set on a peninsula right out in the Black Sea, Nessebar is a resort of two halves! There is the historic ancient part of town with its picturesque churches and old-world charm, and there is a newer part with beautiful beaches and plenty of hotels offering great value accommodation. There’s plenty on offer for watersports enthusiasts, while swimming, diving or fishing are some of the top day time activities. By night Nessebar comes to life with bars, clubs and pubs where you can party until dawn.

sunny beachImage via @ Star Tour

Sunny Beach: If you want a singles holiday, you’re going with a gang of mates or your part of a couple who loves a good laugh, then the cheap resort of Sunny Beach is the best option for a summer getaway. There’s a great value selection of 4 or 5 star hotels, tonnes of decent bars and clubs and lots of other stuff on offer too: from the beach, to the summer festivals and fashion shows.

golden sandsImage via @ avramdeluxe

Golden Sands: One of the biggest and best resorts in Europe, Golden Sands as its name suggests has it all. With plenty of beach space, loads of family activities and great bars, clubs and casinos, families, groups and couples will love it.

Albena

Image via @ romfey

Albena: Right on a nature reserve, Albena is a little more luxurious than some of the other resorts in Bulgaria. There’s a beautiful selection of charming seafront hotels, top notch restaurants and plenty for kids who want to splash about in the water. The town itself is made for evening strolls, discovering little narrow streets or the amazing Botanic Gardens in neighbouring Balchik.

Holidays: The Most Amazing Swimming Pools In The World

Holidays: Crocosaurus CoveImagine time spent in one of these amazing swimming pools, from scary experiences with crocs, luxurious infinity pools in Italy to natural lagoons in Iceland:

Cage of Death, Crocosaurus Cove, Australia
Holidays: Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland via @ Daveness_98

 Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls

Holidays: El Ganzo

El Ganzo, MexicoHolidays: Elounda, Crete
Elounda Gulf Villas Crete Holidays: Four Seasons Serengeti
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, TanzaniaHolidays: Hotel Caruso Italy
Hotel Caruso, Italy Holidays: Jade Mountain St Lucia

Jade Mountain, St LuciaHolidays: Mardan Palace Turkey

Mardan Palace, Antalya, Turkey
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands, SingaporePerivolas

Perivolos, Santorini, Greece
San Alfonso del Mar

San Alfonso del Mar, Chile (The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World!)

The Joule Dallas

The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TexasUbud Hotel Hanging Garden Pool

Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali

Purple Tips: Best Summer Cocktails

If there’s a beach bar or cocktail that you’ve been raving about, share it with us in the comments section below! Enjoy our tips for the best summer cocktails and where you can enjoy them.

1. Tiki Beach Cocktail & Music Bar, Benidorm Busy AND fantastic and slap, bang on the boulevard of the Levante Beach in Benidorm. Have a cool and sophisticated Sangria on its sunny terrace and soak up as much Spanish sunshine as you can.

Sangria

Image via @ Bastien

2. Azul Lounge, Tulum, Mexico Tequila, lime and a beautiful view. Where else to enjoy this lovely summer drink than in Riviera Maya’s own Azul Lounge in Tulum.

Margarita

 

Margarita via @ mnapoleon

3. Daiquiri Palace, Magaluf Enjoy a delicious Daiquiri in a variety of flavours in the Daiquiri Palace in legendary Magaluf to get ahead for a brilliant night out in some of its famous clubs.

daiquiri

Image via @ The Hungry Australian

4. Blue MarlinIbiza This could just be the best Mojito of your life, (apart from actually visiting Cuba) on this amazing beach bar on Cala Jonda. It comes with a pretty decent sunset too.

Mojito

Image via @ Wikicommons

5. Little Ochie, Manchester, Jamaica Perfect if you fancy indulging in some great seafood, this ramshackle little bar offers a true taste of local life, with plenty of great fish on the side. Enjoy some epic food with a Big Bamboo or a Dirty Banana.

Dirty Banana

Image via @ David Berkowitz 

6. Cavalieri Hotel, Corfu Climb up to the top floor of this town-house styled hotel and get a look in at the exceptional roof garden, where delicious cocktails are served. Try a sophisticated Barbecue Bourbon Bloody Mary with a view of the Old Fortress.

Bloody Mary

Image via @ kthread

7. Lighthouse Beach Bar, Paphos Situated along Lighthouse Beach in Paphos, the Lighthouse Beach Bar is the best place to chill out with a mouthwatering Zombie cocktail.

Cocktail in the sun

Image via @ Stewart

8. Hula Hula Beach Bar, Hvar, Croatia Enjoy a pina colada in the footsteps of Beyonce and Jay-Z, apparently they’ve been seen stopping at the Hula Hula Bar and indulging in a drink or two. If it’s good enough for them…

Pina ColadaPina Colada via @ Advencap

Musical Holidays

Music-lovers, this one’s for you. Combining travel and music makes for one perfect holiday in our eyes; check out some of these incredible musical holidays, famous for their firm musical roots:

musical haunts

Images via @ Luiz Fernando Reis and Canucklibrarian

Nashville
Nicknamed ‘Music City USA’, Nashville is the epicentre of country and western. Visitors to the Deep South can attend a live recording of Grand Ole Opry (a country music and variety show) at Ryman Auditorium, one of Nashville’s most significant music venues, or head to the Hall of Fame, an educational museum, dedicated to country music’s extensive history.

New Orleans
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, which kind of makes it the birthplace of music itself. Visit in spring, around the end of April to early May, for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, (aka the Jazz Fest), which is one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world and also features a variety of other music types that were influenced by jazz, including indigenous Louisiana music, such as Zydeco. However, you don’t need to visit in spring to enjoy great jazz in New Orleans – from street musicians and funeral bands to all of those huge bars off of Bourbon Street; music is a central part of life in The Big Easy.

Memphis
Feeling blue? Head to Memphis. Home to Elvis, the blues and Aretha franklin, Memphis and rock ‘n’ roll are synonymous. Beale Street is the most famous and most musical street in Memphis, and it is where you will find most of the live music venues. You should also stop by Sun Studio, the site where Elvis recorded his very first song (‘That’s Alright Mama’) in 1954.

Jamaica
Jamaica conjures up images of beaches, rum and of course, reggae. Bob Marley was born in Jamaica’s Nile Mile and fans can visit the Museum of Bob Marley in Kingston for a walk through the reggae king’s life. In the ‘40s, Errol Flynn, the Hollywood bad boy, declared Jamaica ‘more beautiful than any woman I have ever known’ and today it’s no different. Palm-fringed beaches, coconut cocktails, the uplifting sounds of reggae and crystal blue seas make Jamaica a paradise that’s not just for reggae-lovers.

London
Although punk primarily has its roots in the political and economic, London’s angry, rebellious, opinionated (and unemployed) late ‘70s youth surely deserve some of the title. London is not only where punk music began, but also where punk fashion emerged, and from one shop in particular – SEX – the Camden store owned by Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood. This in turn bred the Sex Pistols, pioneers of the punk movement. Their fans included an outrageous bunch of young punks known as the Bromley Contingent, who formed a large portion of the London Punk scene, including The Clash, The Slits, Siouxsie Sioux, Generation X and X-Ray Spex. And thus, punk was born. Today, you can still see the dregs of the movement, sitting on a bridge at Camden lock, spitting at any passer-by who so much as glances at them, let alone takes their picture.

Detroit
Everyone loves Motown, it’s hard not to. And in that same breath, it’s hard not to love Detroit. Home to both the highly successful music label and the music that it produced, Detroit exported a large majority of the gospel-inspired R&B singers and groups that populated the radio waves in the 1960s, cutting their records on the Motown label. The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, and Stevie Wonder forever link Detroit to this very popular musical style. Check out the Motown Museum if you’re ever in town.

Purple 10: Greek Party Islands

For years now, Greece has been considered as one of the the hottest party locations in Europe and it’s easy to see why. Every summer the Greek islands are practically shaking from the wild crowds of party animals. So we’ve compiled our top 10 Greek Party Islands. Practice some moves, ’cause you’ll need ’em around these beach bars and clubs.

Keep Calm and Party On

Images via @ ddp4566 , Paul Stanyer, Greenman of Kildwick, chriskateifides

1. Mykonos

Maybe the most infamous of all the Greek Islands, although we’re open to correction on that, NOT. Mykonos guarantees endless fun, all night parties and brilliant club nights. Head for Super Paradise: nude friendly, fresh cocktails, a gorgeous beach and music all night. Couldn’t really ask for more could you?

2. Ios

Attracting young crowds from all over Europe, the island of Ios is home to excellent bars, cheap drinks and all night parties. It’s also got really good and really cheap accommodation, so is a good choice for a party holiday. Head for Kandi or Far Out on the beach as well as Orange Bar and Baru for shots and beers.

3. Corfu

Perfect for sun worshipping party peeps, Kavos is the all nighter capital of Corfu. You’ll get to know the staff in every bar, the reps who pull you out for shots, and maybe Tinchy Stryder and Professor Green who are both scheduled to play this summer. Basically you’ll probably have the time of your life.

YouTube Preview Image

4. Rhodes

Faliraki is legendary in terms of partying. Drenched in sunshine, Rhodes is filled with wild dancing, brilliant cocktails, cheap drinks and loads of fun. Head for the unmissable King Arthur’s Bar, where all the kings and queens assemble to kick off their night with a royal round of shots!

5. Crete

Thousands of party animals enjoy Malia clubbing holidays every year. Literally. Even the Inbetweeners got a look in! It’s got an excellent setup, great beach and lots of accommodation just a few minutes walk from the strip. There are epic bars and clubs there, we like buzzing nights out at Banana or Malibu, or the silent disco at Candy Club.

You Should Read… 10 Of The Most Unbelievable Bikinis and Swimsuits

6. Kos

Load up on shots in Kardamena for an explosive start to your night out. Kos is a sleepy, beachy place by day, but comes to life with a bang after dark. We’re talking fishbowls and Jager Bombs on the cheap in every bar on the Strip. Head for the oldest club in Kos, Heaven before you leave – it’s been packing them in for 25 years.

7. Paros

A more laidback island than Mykonos, Paros is more chilled if you’re into lazy evenings by the beach, downing cocktails or beers. After a long day sunning yourself, head for Punda Beach Club in the southeast of the island for late night action.

8. Zante

Laganas has long been considered the hardcore clubbing capital of the Greek Islands, so if it’s not broke, why fix it? The (in)famous Zeros Club is famous for its hot bar staff, crazy bar games, dance routines and fire breathers. If you’re a serious party animal, definitely consider it.

9. Kefalonia

Kefalonia isn’t that most well known for partying, but there are some brilliant clubs if you know where to look. Stavento in Argostoli is synonymous with fun. Loads of tunes, all day boozing and dancing and special one off guests, it’s a good choice if you want to go wild and chill out a bit too.

10. Skiathos

Go to Skiathos in August, when the clubs will be full of half dressed visitors from all over the world who want to bump ‘n grind all night. Feeling it already? Add some of the best beaches in all of Greece and that’s pretty much the recipe for a perfect holiday.

You Should Read… OMG! World’s Best Beaches

Book an amazing clubbing holiday in the Greek Islands with the experts at  Purple Travel or call us on 0207 993 9228.

6 brilliant Jamaica hotels right now

Jamaica 1Jamaica via @ Abir

Couples

ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios: Seriously, this is one fabulous Jamaica hotel. Right on the beach of Mammee Bay in Ocho Rios, the ClubHotel is surrounded by woodlands and waterfalls. It offers the perfect mix of total relaxation and endless activities. The hotel is very close to Dolphin Cove, where a guide will take you to swim with dolphins (or even sharks!) and the Dunn’s River Fall, one of the most beautiful in the world is perfect for a day trip.

Best on a budget

Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios: Diving, waterfalls, plunge pools, powder soft sandy beaches, is that your idea of a good time? Then the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa is just the ticket. This all inclusive 730 room palace has plenty of restaurants, bars, kids club and boutiques, all in the beautiful, Caribbean surrounds that Jamaica is famous for. 

Jamaica 2

 Jamaica via @ Rod Senna

Action/Adventure

Great huts: If you’re feeling a little adventurous about your holiday, how about a night away in a hut or a tree house? Yes, we did say hut, but don’t let that put you off. These Great Huts are off the beaten track luxury accommodations, with stunning cliff side views and hammocks everywhere. Choose from the different amazing structures on offer, you can even stay in the Queen of Sheba hut! We’re sure it’s fit for a queen.

Total relaxation

Gran Bahia Principe JamaicaA Victorian style hotel, right on the beach, you can go from bed to beach in just seconds. Here it’s all about complete relaxation in the sunshine. The 840 room hotel has a spa, excellent restaurants and on top of the white, sandy beach there are three interlinked pools to swim in, countless loungers, beach umbrellas and towel service. Everything is looked after at the Gran Bahia Principe.

Jamaica

 Jamaica Beach via @ Deveni

Honeymooners take note

The Sandals Montego Bay: is surrounded by a tropical setting and right on a white sand beach, offering a slice of heaven for your holidays. Here, guests can experience the true Caribbean spirit and chill out all day long, tasting mouthwatering cocktails.

Perfect for kids

Breezes Trelawny Resort & Spa, Falmouth: This gorgeous hotel is really a sight for sore eyes. With four (count ‘em!) swimming pools to choose from, two water slides and that absolutely perfect, white sand and stunning blue waters that Jamaica is famous for, it’s a hotel that’s really close to our hearts. It’s just a couple of miles from the centre of Falmouth where you’ll find a mix of history and shopping, restaurants and bars. You couldn’t ask for more!

Hot Swimwear Trends for Spring/Summer 2013

This is a guest post by Faria Ahmad at heidi klein.

Like all aspects of fashion, swimwear trends change year on year and this year is no different, as we are once again spoilt for choice with a huge range of bold and bright, girly, boho and classic styles. Get the inside track on the best bikinis for summer 2013 from the experts at heidi klein.

Bold & Brights

Expect to find sleek black swimsuits, but with a neon twist. This extra detailing is fun and flirty for the summer season as well as super flattering. This darker palette can also be spotted with funky white chevron patterns for a little poolside punk rock. Classic styles like the one piece will also have a makeover this season, with vintage 50s inspired prints and watercolour effects. Could it be the Mad Men effect?

Keep an eye out for digital prints this season too – they’re everywhere, taking inspiration from spring and summer outerwear trends. Expect to find floral and animal prints alongside skylines and other bold images. Mixing and matching your prints oozes an eclectic, fun summer vibe.

Brights

Brights via @ heidiklein

Girly

It’s nice to see the return of flirty and feminine swimsuits – ruffles, checks, bows and hot pinks come as standard at the beach this season. Ruffles are also super flattering for curvy frames as they highlight silhouettes in all the right places. Expect to find pink neon crochet too, combing girly trends as well as a tick in the bold and brights box.

You Should Read… More By heidi klein

Classic

With style and function the classic convertible bandeau is great for switching from water sports activities to bathing without the fear of tan lines. Again, reflecting some of the other season’s trends: muted greens paired with green crochet fabric makes an appearance as well as baby blue girly bows, lending a sweet touch to classic bikini cuts, alongside, the all American red, white and blue one-pieces.

red white blue

 

Image via @ heidiklein

Boho

Of course, boho wouldn’t be boho without the tie-dye! Make sure a tie-dye bikini is at the top of your packing list this summer. They are making an appearance in all the classic bikini shapes, so mix it up a little with lots of light floaty layers.

Mosaic prints are in vogue at the moment, so getting your hands on one of these bikinis will definitely help you to stand out on the beach this summer in all the right ways. We love a mosaic print as an alternative to the florals that we saw during Spring/Summer 2012.

If you’re after original, keep an eye out for side cutouts in tribal prints – this cut lets you show a bit of skin whilst keeping to the silhouette of a traditional one piece. If you want to tone the hippy vibe down a little, opt for a classic strappy cut in mosaic prints.

Author Bio:

Article written by Faria Ahmad, Ecommerce Executive at heidi klein. heidi klein is the one-stop destination holiday shop offering the perfect holiday wardrobe from luxury swimwear to designer kaftans and maxi dresses.

Purple Pick: Best Nudist Beaches

In the buff

Here at Purple Travel we’re nothing if not helpful. Whether it’s finding you the best possible price for your holiday, tips on how to pack your bag, or what to wear on the beach this summer, we’re here to help.

Ladies – are you sick of that unsightly bikini tan? Have you got more lines on your body than Mother Teresa? Guys – does it look like you’ve still got your shorts on even when you’ve already taken them off? Is your behind akin to an Alaskan landscape?

Fret not. We’ve got you covered, or uncovered as the case may be.

Whether you just want to avoid unsightly marks, feel like getting down with your primal self or are a fully-fledged naturalist, the best nudist beaches can be a sandy haven for both your inner and outer self. With this list of our top naturalist beaches, you’ll be in the know as well as in the buff. And if you’re a little shyer, or perhaps travelling with your children – consider this a list of places to stay well away from…

Let’s begin our best nudist beaches with an old favourite:

Since the 1990s Spain’s Vera Playa has developed into an important naturism centre. It’s in the lovely region of Andalusia which mixes ancient cities with amazing beaches and deserts with ski resorts! So you should certainly be able to find a spot, to bare all. The infamous dunes of Maspalomas Beach in Gran Canaria provide plenty of coverage for stripping off and designated sections to get used to the new found freedom.

Next up is the Czech Republic; we hear there are over 50 recognized nudist beaches in the country, so you’ll have plenty of chances to get your kit off.

Leucate Plage in France, situated on the Mediterranean coast, just north of Perpignan is a superb bare beach of fine golden sand and warm waters. Three naturist resorts share the coastline, but the beach is open to all so there’s plenty of space for both first-time skinny-dippers and veteran nudists alike.

Greece: there are plenty of options in Greece, if you fancy whipping off your gear. Super Paradise Beach on the frankly, glorious island of Mykonos has nude friendly policy and in some parts “nudism is actually obligatory.” Another good one is on Skiathos, near Koukounaries on the south-west coast, where you’ll find Banana Beach – the collective name for three sandy coves, worshipped by naturalist bathers. And before you get any ideas, the name refers to the fact the beaches are yellow and curved…

Croatia’s Vrsar is home to Koversada, which is one of the largest nudist resorts in Europe! According to Wikipedia it can take up to 18,500 guests per day. Better bare (!) that in mind when booking…

Looking towards more tropical climates, daring to bare in the Caribbean has never been more inviting. Seven Mile Beach in Negril Jamaica, is a very nude friendly resort, although the beach itself is public property, so topless is ok, but if you’re losing your bottoms you’ll have to pay extra. The Hedonism resort, also in Negril is as the name suggest open to not only nudist sunbathers, but plenty more besides.

Heading down Mexico Way, you’ll find the Hidden Beach Resort, an ‘au naturel club’ which claims to be the only All Inclusive Nudist Resort in the Mexico Caribbean. A top choice for the best nudist beaches in the world… at least we think so.

The Sunshine State of Florida, welcomes nudity with open arms…well almost. Haulover Beach is an official tax supported public nude beach, with excellent facilities and you don’t need to worry about getting hassled in a state of undress.

Good luck!

One word of caution: While it’s true ‘topfree’ is popular in most resorts, it’s not for everyone. Be sure to check with the local authority to be sure!

The world’s sexiest holidays

If you’re looking to let it all hang out, feel the passion and generally get up to as much mischief as possible, check out our sexiest holidays. As always, whatever we’ve missed leave it in the comments.

Sexiest Holidays from Purple Travel

Hedonism Resorts, Jamaica this place really lives up to its name. Au naturel accommodation (including mirrored ceilings), singles opting to share rooms, and nightly parties, this is where grownups go to lose every inhibition.

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Sin City was bound to appear on this list. The Moorea Beach Club is an over-21s ‘European Bathing Experience’ offering poolside massages, a waterside casino, and some of the best and most attentive staff in the city. Just remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Thermal Baths, Budapest Hungarians are known for a bit of a lack of inhibitions so why not join the party and strip off like the locals in one of the gorgeous thermal baths. Filled with saunas, whirlpools, plunge pools and men and women in various states of undress. Getting all hot and naked is as good a way as any to get a party started.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands Eh, there’s the Red Light District, that famous relaxed atmosphere and reputation for free-spiritedness all combining to make Amsterdam an excellent getaway particularly if you’ve only a few days to do it. Head for a burlesque club, or the famous sex museum to really spice things up.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans The infamous carnival is easily one of the biggest street parties in the world, there’s nothing quite like the seductive rhythm of Mardi Gras to spice up your holidays. There’s the odd flash of flesh in exchange for beads, but be warned, it’s not exactly legal, hundreds are arrested each year for public nudity.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil It’s got everything you need for a sexy holiday. It’s exotic, has the ultimate party reputation, the hottest guys and girls vying for space on the unbelievable beaches and a thumping club scene. Head for the Copacabana to soak up the atmosphere.

Paphos, Cyprus has good credentials when it comes to loving. It was the home of an actual love goddess in the form of Aprhodite, who tempted the mighty Adonis with lust. It may not have all worked out, but you can still recreate that summer romance on the perfect party island.

Temptation Resorts, Mexico A themed hotel designed with an adults-only atmosphere, Temptations has its focus on relaxation, with a casual attitude to all aspects of your holiday. Go topless, enjoy a themed night, party for 24 hours, or simply chill out in this all inclusive resort.

You should read… joining the mile high club

Image via @ Temptations Resorts, Mexico.

Purple Hearts: Lisbon Destination Guide

Planning your next city break, but looking for something a little more unique? Lisbon is just a couple of hours away from the UK and is all about relaxing over a coffee, dancing all night, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere and eating delicious food and maybe, just maybe indulging in a few bargains. Here’s our Lisbon Destination Guide.

Lisbon

 Lisbon image via @ ChrisYunker

Lisbon’s built up on seven hills, so it’s good to get your bearings first. Head up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge, or Saint George Castle to take in the spectacular sights. The extraordinary views over the whole city and the river Tagus offers an impressive introduction to Portugal. If you fancy staying on the move, then the Lavra Funicular is a relaxed route to the beautiful Torel Gardens.  Over 120 years old, it’s a bit of a city treasure and is a wonderful and romantic afternoon jaunt.

If you’re taking the kids with you, don’t miss out on the Oceanario de Lisboa, the city’s aquarium or have a go at some experiments in the Pavilhao do Conchecimento, or science museum. There’s also Lisbon Zoo with over 2,000 animals as well as live shows.  We reckon you’ll find something to impress kids of all ages in the city.

Portugal has a long history of art and culture and Lisbon has no shortage of fantastic museums and galleries. Contemporary pieces can be seen in the Chiado museum and Modern Art Center. The city’s churches are packed with history and can easily be seen on foot. Sao Roque and Carmo Church are two choices. The Tile Museum and Decorative Arts Museum are popular picks – and more interesting than you might think. Remember, these are just a handful of the wonderful museums Lisbon is famous for.

The Bairro Alto neighbourhood is made for Saturday strolling in the sunshine. If you’ve arrived on a Friday and checked in, head for the great atmosphere and traditional architecture to get a feel for the city. Its winding streets, lead to open terraces where you can sip on a coffee and soak up the sunshine. As a former red light district though, despite renovation, it might not have good vibes for everyone. The lower neighbourhood of Baixa is lovely for strolling around too. The beating heart of the city, it is a haven for foodies who can choose their own fresh lobster straight from the tank, or walk hand in hand in glorious sunshine.

Bars like Visita Virtual on Rua D Pedro V reflect Lisbon’s laidback atmosphere while cocktail friendly Bairrazza Bairro Alto offers some of the best Caiprinhas in town (so we are told!) If you want something quite different for a night out, head for art and culture space Arte & Manha, a hip (dangerously so!) bar/gallery/venue and restaurant. There you’ll find everything from Fado, jazz, samba and Latin nights, offering a place to lounge until 4am most nights. If you’re after gigs in Lisbon, visit Ask Me Lisboa for the latest updates on listings.

For something completely different, you could always visit the sexiest toilet on earth! In Terrerio do Paco via the very lovely PortugalConfidential blog.

Lisbon 2Lisbon by @desdetasmania

Relax

The ultimate in city breaks, of course our Lisbon Destination Guide wouldn’t be complete without checking out some cool and trendy hotels. We like the 4* Turim Alameda, or the more budget friendly 2* Duas Nacoes Hotel. Both offer excellent service and great locations. For the ultimate in luxury you could always head for the 5* Epic Sana Lisboa in upscale neighbourhood Amoreiras. Epic by name, epic by nature! Finally the 3* America Diamonds, has a top notch top floor restaurant offering great views and a modern design at decent prices.

Eat

We love the laidback cool of Lisbon, whether you’re enjoying the best in delicious desserts or sipping on a freshly brewed coffee, it’s a city of wild contrasts not least in its food choices. Check out the Goan cuisine which is super hot and spicy at Restaurante Nau do Restelo, or grab some tapas in the gorgeous Adega Victor Horta. There’s always Largo Resutarant in Baixa offering a sophisticated experience or super trendy at Manifesto in Santos. For more on how to eat like a local in Lisbon, check our foodie guide here.

Coffee

If you’re a caffeine addict, you’d be best to learn the word bica, which means coffee in Lisbon (thanks to a slogan when coffee first arrived in the city). But this is not your ordinary coffee, smoother than its Italian brother; it’s roasted in a lighter way too and can be thoroughly enjoyed accompanied by a little sweet pastel de nata, a famous Portuguese pastry. Cafe Nicola and Cafe Martinho de Arcada, both downtown are both great choices while, you could soak up the great outdoors with a bica at Quiosque Galveias on Rua do Palacio.

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