What to See and do in Lisbon – cathedrals, castles and custard tarts

What to See and do in Lisbon – cathedrals, castles and custard tarts

It’s time to visit Lisbon, Portugal’s colourful, cosmopolitan, cool and cultural capital city.

Miradouro da Senhora do MonteLisbon Miradouro

Lisbon, Portugal is a city of seven hills, fabulous street art, trams, funiculars, miradouros, melancholy Fado music, and Pastéis de Belém. (Those delicious little custard tarts which were so good I couldn’t resist eating them for breakfast).

There’s a lot of things to love in Portugal’s capital city and I’ll show you some of it here in my tips for visiting Lisbon. So, for what to see and do in Lisbon read on…


Celebrity Cruises – A Mini-Cruise on Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity Cruises – A Mini-Cruise on Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity-cruises- Eclipse

Celebrity Eclipse – Credit: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises’ luxury ship Eclipse has just had a revamp. She’s spent nine days in sunny Florida in dry-dock having a bit of a break and indulging in some primping and pampering. She arrived in Southampton this month refreshed, revitalised and ready for the big reveal of her new bars, Luminae Restaurant and Suite Class accommodation. Mr Jones and I went on a voyage of discovery to check out Eclipse’s stylish design and ‘Taste of Modern Luxury’ on a two night mini-cruise from Southampton to Le Havre in France.


My Top Five New York Views

My Top Five New York Views

New York City sightseeing knows no bounds and you could spend weeks in the city and still not see and do everything you’d like to. But there are some iconic New York views and landmarks that would be top of my sightseeing list no matter how many times I’ve seen them before. I went back to New York at the end of last year and re-visited my favourite sights and discovered some new ones which I know I’ll head back to on my next visit. Let me share my top five iconic New York views.

Read more: How to spend five days in New York

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is a New York City icon and celebrated its 100th birthday two years ago.  This picture is taken from the East River during a Hop On Hop Off cruise which gives some fabulous views of the bridge with the Financial District and One World Trade Center building in the background. The bridge is also a perfect vantage point for great views of the city and to walk across it is a New York ‘must do’.


New York’s Iconic Brooklyn Bridge

Central Park

The Mall is an avenue of trees which line Central Park’s widest pathway and is the only straight line inside the park’s boundaries. The quadruple row of American elms continues for a quarter of a mile and is the most important horticultural feature in the park. We saw it in autumn with it’s warm foliage but I’d like to see it in summer when the dense leaves form a canopy over the pathway.

Where: Mid-Park from 66th to 72nd Streets


The Mall, Central Park

Downtown New York – from the water

The first time I took a photo of this view was nearly 19 years ago and the twin Trade Towers dominated Manhattan Island. Now it’s a different skyline but still one of my favourite views of New York City. Again this photo is taken from the Hop On Hop Off boat cruise but you’d get a similar view from the Staten Island Ferry which is a free service so good news if you’re on a budget.


Downtown New York

Grand Central Terminal

This time we’re heading indoors for a view over the concourse at New York’s Grand Central Terminal – you’re not supposed to call it a station. There’s a real buzz going on here and the people watching potential is paramount. Don’t forget to look up to the blue and green cathedral-like ceiling which is decorated in gold with constellations and zodiac signs. I like this building, built in 1913, as much for the atmosphere as the view over the concourse which conjures up images of iconic train journeys and the romance of early travel.

Where: 89 East 42nd Street

Nearest Subways: 4/5/6, 7 and S (42nd Street Shuttle) to Grand Central


Grand Central Station

New York Skyline at Night

Finally, what’s a post of favourite views without a pretty night-time shot of the city lit up in all its glory? New York at night is spectacular and I was torn between choosing a view looking down on the city from high up and the shot below. This view of Manhattan Bridge won because I love the way the lights reflect in the water of the East River – double the twinkle!


Manhattan Bridge

A Hotel with New York Views

We stayed at the 4* Novotel Times Square New York which has fabulous New York views of Times Square. You can sit in the bar, restaurant or outdoor terrace for breathtaking views of buzzing Times Square and the city lights. Food and service are both excellent. The Novotel’s sleek, contemporary style is so New York and its in a prime location which is perfect for walking up to Central Park or downtown to Times Square. The Metro is nearby for exploring further afield. A hotel I’d definitely recommend and one I’d stay in again when I return to New York City.

Which is your favourite New York City view?



New York Views


A Visit to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

A Visit to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

The Valley of Fire is Nevada’s very first State Park. Named in 1935 to reflect its firy sandstone formations and petrified sand dunes it suits its name perfectly.  A tour of The Valley of Fire, set in the wild beauty of the Mojave Desert, make a fabulous day trip from Las Vegas and offers a dramatic and refreshing contrast to the buzz of the city.