What surprises people when they first arrive in Lisbon is that it's built on hills. Add in the city's cobbled streets and you'll see why comfortable shoes are the order of the day when sightseeing. We really recommend exploring on foot. It truly is the best way to enjoy Lisbon on an Easter break.
Central Lisbon is perfect for exploring with a leisurely stroll. Sip coffee in Praça do Comércio before ascending the Elevador de Santa Justa. Then, meander your way up through the hilly streets of Alfama to the Castelo de São Jorge. Return to Alfama and the neighbouring Chiado in the evening to sip port or cocktails while listening to soul-wrenching fado music - the moving sound of Portugal.
Yellow trams buzzing around Lisbon are an iconic part of the landscape. The vintage number 28 tram trundles up to the Miradouro das Portas do Sol while another route takes you to the Belém neighbourhood. Explore the Torre de Belém, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos before sampling Portugal's emblematic custard tarts. Pastéis de Nata originate from a Belém bakery where you can still see them being made.
Easter in Lisbon is a great time to brush up on religious paintings in the National Museum of Ancient Art. Housed in a palace built over a former Carmelite monastery, highlights of the museum's permanent collection are Hans Holbein the Elder's Virgin and Child with Saints (1519) and The Temptations of St Anthony (1500) by Hieronymus Bosch. Contemporary art more your scene? The streets of Lisbon have embraced graffiti. It's been a Lisbon tradition since the Carnation Revolution of the 1970s. Much of the artwork can certainly rival that of Banksy.
Savouring local flavours is one of the joys of city breaks. So what do they eat in Lisbon at Easter? Good Friday and the end of Lent is always celebrated with codfish dishes. City restaurants will be serving their own variation of bacalhau such as 'bacalhau com natas' or codfish with cream. At coffee time, Folar or Easter-bread will be on the menu. Tasting of cinnamon and fennel and often baked with a whole egg in the middle, this cake symbolises new life.
April in Lisbon is when Peixe em Lisboa is celebrated. This annual fish festival sees ten renowned chefs from ten top restaurants showcasing their best fish and seafood dishes. It's held in pavilions in the Parque Eduardo VII. Shop here as well for traditional Portuguese products; the perfect souvenirs of your Easter in Lisbon.