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How to explore Lisbon, Europe’s best value city

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A couple across a road in Lisbon, Portugal

Following the news that Lisbon has been named as Europe’s best value city break – and with Summer just around the corner – it is time to plan a short break to Portugal’s capital.

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is known for its colourful streets, historical landmarks, and delicious cuisine attracting people from all over the world. In 2022 Lisbon was the most visited Portuguese region by international travelers with over 5.4 million overnight visitors – a sharp increase from 2019 when the city welcomed over 4.2 million tourists.

And there is more to that.

According to a survey by Eurostat, Lisbon is considered one of the safest capitals across Europe, with a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities. The homicide rate in Lisbon is one of the lowest in Europe, and the city is considered one of the safest places for tourists to visit.

Here are some highlights some of the great options that make Lisbon and surrounding region such an appealing destination.

Must see sites

Lisbon’s most famous attractions include the historic UNESCO World Heritage listed sites of Belém Tower, a symbol of Portuguese maritime power during the Age of Discoveries, and Jerónimos Monastery, a lavish masterpiece of Manueline architecture. Both attractions are located in the district of Belem, overlooking the River Tagus, with combined entry just €12.

Where to eat

Atmospheric Alfama is one of the best areas for traditional cuisine, with budget-friendly Tascas serving daily specials such as bacalhau (salted cod), feijoada (bean stew) and petiscos, which are small bites similar to tapas. Fish plays a major role in menus across Lisbon, with the seaside town of Setúbal, south of the Tagus, the place to find the freshest dishes expertly prepared. Sardines are a speciality, along with the famous choco frito (fried cuttlefish), massadas de peixe (fish stew), red mullet and oysters.

Enjoy the culture

Soak up the sounds and colour of old Lisbon by exploring the Alfama district, where towering São Jorge Castle looks down on narrow streets and colourful houses decorated with Azulejos tiles, and traditional Fado music provides the soundtrack to a visit. Lisbon’s rich history is also on display at a selection of outstanding museums, such as the majestic Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which hosts one of Europe’s best private art collections, with a particular focus on Islamic art. Another popular choice is the Royal Treasure Museum, which showcases Portugal’s incredible Crown Jewels.

Spectacular views

Known as the city of seven hills, one of the best ways to see the beauty of Lisbon is to head to any of the famous ´miradouros´ (viewpoints), each offering its own unique outlook on the city below. Two favourites are the Miradouro Da Senhora Do Monte, which provides sweeping views of the city, with the Tagus estuary, the rooftops of Baixa, the ruins of Carmo and the pastel tones of the Avenidas Novas especially eye-catching. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, one of Lisbon’s largest viewpoints, is set in a beautiful garden at the highest point of the Elevador da Glória funicular, and has views of Avenida da Liberdade, Restauradores and Baixa. 

Travelling Around

Lisbon’s canary-yellow trams are a city icon, and none is more famous than the number 28, which takes passengers through popular neighbourhoods such as Alfama and Baixa and past landmarks including the cathedral Se de Lisboa. The modern Number 15 tram takes an eye-catching route along the riverfront to the historic sites of Belem. Single trips cost just €3.

The train journey time between Cascais and Lisbon is around 40 min and covers a distance of around 25 km | Photo: Div Manickam

Beach life 

Lisbon is a dazzling city packed with culture and historic sites, but there are also great beaches within 20 minutes of the centre. Some of the closest and most easily accessible are found along the Costa da Caparica, to the south, where a 15km stretch of golden sands and a variety of resort towns make it popular with Lisboetas. To the west of the city is charming Cascais, with the sandy shores of Santo Amaro, Oeiras and Cascavelos ideal for families.

Lisboa Card

For the ultimate way to get the most out of Lisbon, the Lisboa Card allows visitors to save both time and money during their stay. It costs 22€ per person for 24h, 37€/person for 48h ad 46€ for 72h, and provides free access to 39 museums and monuments, free transport on the metro, trams, funiculars and trains to the fairytale town of Sintra and the beaches of Cascais, plus discounts on a variety of local services and stores, https://www.visitlisboa.com/en/p/lisboa-card 

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Lifestyle

Millions of people in Britain admit to making costly car mistakes

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a car being driven through the snow in the UK
Survey shows that 45% of Brits have driven without making sure that their screens and mirrors were properly clear

As winter takes hold and temperatures start to drop, a recent research by Aviva reveals the most common mistakes drivers could be making when it comes to getting behind the wheel this winter.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 Brits, reveals that more than a quarter (28%) are leaving their cars running to de-ice screens, with older generations most likely to take the risk. Over a third of those aged 75+ (41%) and those aged 65-74 (34%) leave their car on to de-ice screens, compared to 17% of 18-24 year-olds and 24% of 25-34 year-olds.

By doing so, Brits may be unwittingly putting themselves at risk with most car insurance policies excluding thefts of vehicles while the engine is still running. This is also an offence under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states that drivers cannot leave vehicles running and unattended while on a public highway, otherwise known as ‘quitting’.

When looking at visibility, the research reveals that almost half (45%) of Brits have driven without making sure that their screens and mirrors were properly clear. By doing so, motorists could also be risking a fine under Section 229 of the Highway Code, which states that all drivers ‘must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all windows’.

The top 10 winter driving habits that could cause issues:

1. I have left my car running to de-ice the screen and warm it up:  28%
2. I have driven in gloves:  21%
3. I have driven in a big winter coat:  20%
4. I have driven even though there is snow on the top of my car:  19%
5. I have driven even though the screen was not fully de-iced or de-misted:  16%
6. I have driven without checking that my number plate was clear:  16%
7. I have driven even though the screen wasn’t clear:  15%
8. I have driven even though I was too tired: 14%
9. I have driven even though the mirrors weren’t fully clear:  14%
10. I have driven through floodwater or a ford:  13%

“While we all want to get to our next destination as quickly as possible, it pays to be safe, particularly as the risk of an accident typically increases during the winter months. Spending five or ten minutes to prepare your car means that not only are you more likely to avoid an accident, but also a hefty fine – which can be as much as £1,000 – points on your licence or even a driving ban in the worst case scenario”, says Martin Smith, Motor Claims Manager at Aviva.

Other British driving habits include leaving the car unlocked to quickly pop into somewhere (13%), pouring boiling water over a car windscreen to de-ice it (11%) as well as wearing inappropriate footwear such as heels (9%) or wellies/snowboots (7%). Those driving whilst wearing inappropriate clothing and footwear could also risk a fine under Rule 97 of the Highway code which states that you should ensure: ‘clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’.

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5 of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe this winter

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The Bulgarian ski resort of Borovets comes out on top as the cheapest, where a beer costs just £1.17 and a lift pass costs less than £30 a day.
The Bulgarian ski resort of Borovets comes out on top as the cheapest, where a beer costs just £1.17 and a lift pass costs less than £30 a day

Whether you are a seasoned skier or a first-timer, one thing that is for sure is that skiing can be a very expensive trip. Even if you don’t enrol for a celebrity-like skiing weekend, following on the footsteps of Kim Kardashian, Orlando Bloom, or Gwyneth Paltrow, the costs can pile up. as research shows Brits fork out between £500 and £750 per person on spending money for a ski trip. 

If you are keen to hit the slopes but are being mindful of the pennies, here is a shortlist of five of the cheapest resorts you can visit in Europe, based on the average cost of a lift pass, accommodation, ski rental, and of course food and drinks.

“Skiing can be a very expensive holiday, especially for families. However, there are some fantastic resorts out there offering surprisingly reasonable prices, without compromising on those amazing views and fantastic ski runs”, says Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital and engagement at eurochange. “Borovets in Bulgaria came out on top as the cheapest ski resort. It’s definitely an underrated destination, with unbelievably low prices for food and drink, and a whole week lift pass for less than £150.” 

Borovets, Bulgaria

Topping the list is bargain-friendly Borovets, Bulgaria. The country is quickly becoming a cheap and cheerful favourite spot for skiers, and it’s easy to see why. Located in the Rila mountains, Borovets is an all-round resort providing luxury amenities at very reasonable prices. With fabulous nightlife as well as gentle slopes for beginners, it’s an ideal destination for adults and families alike. Ski passes start from just £29 per day, so you could really save some cash if you visit for just a few days.  

  • Adult lift pass (6 days): Лв370 (£143.75)
  • Ski rental (6 days): Лв155 (£60.22) 
  • Accommodation (per night): From Лв135 (£52.45) 
  • Beer: Лв3 (£1.17) 
  • Wine: Лв6 (£2.33) 
  • 3-course meal: Лв15 (£5.83) 

Vogel, Slovenia

Lesser known than its Austrian and Italian neighbours, Slovenia’s Vogel resort is no less spectacular. Tucked away in the stunning Julian Alps, Vogel offers exceptional value alongside outstanding snow sports facilities and stunning views. The après is one of the cheapest around, with beer costing just €2, and a three-course meal setting you back just €17. 

Les Houches, France 

For a Mont Blanc ski holiday without the Chamonix prices, look no further than Les Houches. A top choice for families, this picturesque village is quiet at night, while the neighbouring high-altitude areas are perfect for advanced skiers. A six-day adult ski pass is less than £200 and equipment can be rented for less than £100 for the week. 

  • Adult lift pass (6 days): €197 (£158.46) 
  • Ski rental (6 days): from €114 (£91.70) 
  • Accommodation (per night): From €77 (£61.94) 
  • Beer: €2 (£1.61) 
  • Wine: €5 (£4.02) 
  • 3-course meal: €20 (£16.09) 

Livigno, Italy 

Nestled in the heart of the Alps, Italy‘s Livigno offers sterling snowsport facilities for all skill levels, from absolute beginners to black slope aficionados. And thanks to its tax-exempt status, Livigno provides premium resort standards at budget prices, giving you far more for your euros than most other ski destinations on the continent.

  • Adult lift pass (6 days): €223* (£179.38) 
  • Ski rental (6 days): from €74.00* (£59.52) 
  • Accommodation (per night): From €101 (£81.24) 
  • Beer: €3 (£2.41) 
  • Wine: €10 (£8.04) 
  • 3-course meal: €30 (£24.13) 
Grindelwald is one of the more affordable resorts for getting the Swiss ski holiday experience.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

While Switzerland tends to be an expensive country to visit, Grindelwald is one of the more affordable resorts for getting the Swiss ski holiday experience. Even if you’re not a keen skier, there are plenty of other activities to try out, including tobogganing and winter walking.  Set in the beautiful Jungfrau mountains, Grindelwald provides a picture-perfect slice of the Alps for far less than you’d expect.

  • Adult lift pass (6 days): SFr385 (£308.79) 
  • Ski rental (6 days): from SFr237 (£190.09) 
  • Accommodation (per night): From SFr57 (£45.72) 
  • Beer: SFr2 (£1.60) 
  • Wine: SFr13 (£10.43) 
  • 3-course meal: SFr24 (£19.25) 

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New iPhone photography exhibition opens in Paris

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A shot of some of the work being displayed at the iPhone 15 photo exhibition in Paris
The two-day event held at the Salon Corderie features work from five photographers, all shot on iPhone

“I Remember You,” a two-day photography exhibition, has opened today in Paris highlighting original work shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The collective work of photographers Malin Fezehai, Karl Hab, Vivien Liu, Mika Ninagawa, and Stefan Ruiz incorporates people, places, and things that move them, exploring memories and the power of photography to preserve them.

“‘I Remember You’ brings together five photographers who share their deeply personal conceptions of memory, connection, and nostalgia,” explains Isolde Brielmaier, Ph.D., the exhibition’s curatorial advisor. “It is a moving glimpse of life, preserved in time.”

In celebration of the opening, each artist spoke about how iPhone has contributed to their creative process and what they hope people will remember from their featured work.

Malin Fezehai is an Eritrean/Swedish photographer, filmmaker, and visual reporter currently living in New York. She has worked in over 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and America. Fezehai is a National Geographic explorer, and in 2023, she became a Climate Pledge grantee. She is working on a project about adaptation to living on water. Her career started in her native Sweden, where she studied photography before attending the International Center of Photography in New York. Her work focuses on communities of displacement and dislocation around the world. She was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to photograph survivors of violent extremism across sub-Saharan Africa and published a book titled Survivors. She has received a 2015 World Press Photo Award and the Wallis Annenberg Prize, and was named one of the “30 Emerging Photographers to Watch” in 2015 by Photo District News. Her image depicting a wedding of Eritrean refugees in Israel was the first iPhone photo ever to receive a World Press Photo Award.

“The integration of the iPhone into my photography workflow marked a significant shift in how I perceive and capture the world around me — feeling more inclined to capture life as it happens — the fleeting, candid moments that often define the human experience,” Fezehai says. “Its ease of use and ability to capture high-quality images effortlessly enables me to explore and document the ordinary in extraordinary ways. That sentiment is embodied in the work I created for the show.”

“I Remember You” will be on display at the Salon Corderie in Le Marais in Paris on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11, from 11 am to 7 pm.

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