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Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, has become an increasingly popular place to visit in recent years, with a warm Meditteranean climate in spite of its place facing the Atlantic Ocean. Full of bleached white limestone buildings and intimate alleyways, Lisbon's mix of traditional architecture and contemporary culture makes it the perfect place for a family holiday. And with a wide variety of villa and apartment rentals both in the town and the surrounding countryside, you can save some money and make it a surprisingly low cost trip.
As Portugal's capital, there is a lot to see and do in Lisbon. Even exploring the city centre will take a few days out of a family holiday as there is no real central district, although Praça do Comércio is a good central place to start, in Baxia, or Rossio, the city's main square which has a sort of Trafalgar Square feel to it. Or you might try climbing up the Cristo Rei, a huge statue of Christ with spectacular views across the whole city. The Castelo de São Jorge also offers great views and isn't quite such a steep climb. A short tram ride to the west of Lisbon will also bring you to Belem, where you can explore attractions like the Belem Tower and the Belem Cultural Centre, which features a fantastic art collection including works by Dali, Picasso, Warhol and Magritte. In downtown Lisbon, you'll also want to visit the Gulbenkian, which has to be Portugal's answer to the British Museum full of fascinating cultural artifacts and with some superb gardens in the grounds. It's possible to have a fascinating educational family holiday in Lisbon, and there are also plenty of great beaches to work on your tan.
With a huge selection of villa and apartment rentals throughout Lisbon and the surrounding area, there are a huge number of deals on offer, so shop around. An apartment large enough to accommodate a family of four or more can usually be found easily from around £500, which compares well with the high cost of booking hotel rooms. The added privacy of a holiday rental property helps families relax, and the extra space is great for kids - there is usually plenty of space for the youngest members of the family to run around and let off steam without disturbing the other guests. Holiday rentals in Lisbon are often authentic period buildings, but come with all modern comforts, including wireless internet and often hot tubs, barbecues and solariums, so renting an apartment really feels like entering a home away from home.