If you have a thing for castles, Lisbon is definitely a place to visit with her numerous castles and beautiful architecture.
List of to-do things
If you fly from London, chances are that you will end up at Lisbon Portela Airport. Fortunately, Lisbon Portela Airport has got metro connection to the city centre, and hence it will be much easier for you to arrive at central Lisbon. You can purchase a 2/3 day metro pass at the airport, and that will be able to last you for your entire trip. Lisbon is famous for her numerous castles, and attractions such as the Torre de Belem, St Georges castle, and the Pena Palace (in Sintra) are sights to behold. Be sure to taste the Portuguese egg tarts too! Portugal’s egg tarts (called custard tarts there) are on a whole new level, and during my trip there, I had at least 2 each day.
Tips to save money:
Book your trip about 8 weeks in advance. Air tickets will cost about £50 return, and accommodation should be roughly £20 per person per night. Be sure to bring your student pass, as there are many attractions that have student discounts. If possible, travel to Sintra on a day that has got good weather, for it makes the colourful castles look even prettier. The people there mostly have no trouble speaking English, though it would be good to initiate conversations in Portuguese.
Tips when visiting the place:
Portugal is generally a beautiful country to visit, and the people are quite hospitable. As usual, watch out for petty crime that occurs more commonly in the city centre
Expenditure (Per Day)
Portugal is relatively cheap compared to other western European countries. Most of your expenditure will be spent on entry tickets.
Ideally it would be good to spend a whole day at Sintra, and another day exploring Lisbon. 3 days will be just fine to ensure that your schedule isn't too packed.
4 generally is a good number for any travel group. As you are taking public transport, 2/3/5 works as well. Beyond that, the group size gets a bit too big.
My only memory of the food there were the custard tarts, which were really amazing.
The castles in Sintra are very unlike the ones you see in UK. Coupled with the elevated scenery, it's quite a breathtaking sight.
There are plenty of museums and castles to visit. Unfortunately for me, the castles got quite repetitive after a while.
Lisbon is generally quite safe, so just watch out for petty crime.
The Portuguese that I have met are really hospitable, and will not hesitate to assist you if you require help.
The beautiful scenery as well as the relatively cheap transport and food made the trip extremely worth it for me. I would definitely recommend this as a weekend trip.