Grand baroque palaces, atmospheric cobbled streets and a rich bar and dining scene; Lisbon is an ideal destination for a romantic weekend getaway. From rumbling through the city on one of its classic trams, to enjoying a makeshift picnic in a secret miradouro and watching the sun set over the Torre de Belém, check out our top tips for planning a romantic Lisbon city break. There are plenty of flights available from United Kingdom hubs, with carriers like TAP Air Portugal, British Airways, easyJet and Lufthansa flying into the city daily. Lisbon International Airport is six miles from the city centre. While you can get into the city via bus or taxi, it’s advisable to catch the metro – it’s easy, quick and cheap. The trains run from 0600-0100 daily and the journey takes around 25-30 minutes. If you’re planning to explore the greater Lisbon area, then a hire car can be a good option. There are several hire car service desks in the main terminal, including Hertz, Enterprise and Goldcar. Lisbon is a year-round destination and benefits from more sunshine than much of Europe. However, spring can be one of the nicest times to visit the city, when the summer crowds have yet to descend and the temperatures are often warm enough to dine al fresco. Lisbon is a year-round destination and benefits from more sunshine than much of Europe. However, spring can be one of the nicest times to visit the city, when the summer crowds have yet to descend and the temperatures are often warm enough to dine al fresco For a successful romantic minibreak, it’s all in the planning. The city is blessed with a wealth of good accommodation, so you won’t go far wrong whatever your budget or taste. If money is no object, consider the Bartolomeu Gusmao suite in the Palácio Belmonte, a romantic boutique hotel set within the ancient walls of the medieval São Jorge Castle. The stunning three-storey suite features an octagonal lounge with a vaulted ceiling, and has a private rooftop terrace and sweeping views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. For something a little more contemporary, head to Belém and the Altis Belém Hotel and Spa on the banks of the Tagus River. Promising far-reaching views over Torre de Belém, it also features a modern BSpa, a stylish rooftop pool and the widely acclaimed Feitoria, a lavish Michelin-starred restaurant. For a more authentic Lisbon stay, book a room at Palacio Ramalhete, a small boutique hotel in an 18th-century palace. It has three internal courtyards, a cosy bar which serves a limited menu, and a shaded pool and sun terrace. One of Lisbon’s must-do’s is a ride on one of its banana-yellow iconic trams which have been rumbling up and down Lisbon’s vertiginous hills since the 1930s. Tram 28 is the city’s most famous route. It runs between Martim Moniz and Campo Ourique and takes in the sights of the Graça, Baixa, Bairro Alto and Alfama districts, as well as the magnificent São Jorge Castle. After a late night, recover with coffee and a pastel de nata at one of the city’s many bohemian cafes and coffee shops. Lisbon has a wealth of these scattered all across the city, with plenty of history behind them. Café A Brasileira is one of the oldest and dates back to 1905 when it was the domain of Lisbon’s bohemian set. Elsewhere, one of the most famous cafes is Botequim in the Graça district, which opened in 1968 by acclaimed Portuguese author and poet, Natália Correia. With some of the finest views in the city, the São Jorge Castle – perched on one of the city’s highest hills – is well worth a visit. Crammed with authentic and atmospheric charm, the Moorish fortress dates back to the 11th Century. Aside from exploring the ancient castle, visitors can spend an hour or so in the modern-built archaeological museum, which features exhibits unearthed from the Iron Age right through to the remains of a 15th century palace. Published in Daily Times, March 18th 2019.