Low-cost airline Ryanair will operate new routes for the winter season
From September Ryanair will begin flying to Barcelona and Lisbon from Manchester. These are both destinations mainly reserved for summer flights so will be welcomed by those looking for a winter city break when flight options are far more limited than during the main summer season.
Both cities have a lot to offer potential tourists during the winter months. The weather can be uncomfortably hot during the summer but in the winter conditions can often be perfect for a city break. Two big attractions are mild weather, usually warmer than in the UK, and fewer tourists than in the peak months. Some excellent prices are also usually on offer for winter city breaks in these cities.
One of Europe’s most scenic capital cities, Lisbon is a charming city and many visitors will be content with just wandering around the elegant shopping streets of Pombaline downtown Lisbon. or strolling in the romantic sloping streets of the Bairro Alto district,
St. George’s Castle will appear high on the tourist’s “must see” list. The castle dominates the city and the views over the city from the castle walls will reward those visitors who take the walk up the hill from the city centre. Nearby is Lisbon Cathedral, the city’s oldest building which was built on the site of an old mosque in 1150 for the city’s first bishop, the English crusader Gilbert of Hastings. For more superb views over medieval Lisbon you can take a ride on one of Lisbon’s wonderful old trams to the Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Here a large balcony viewpoint offers spectacular views over Alfama district. This is a popular stop for photographers, with its stunning view from São Vicente de ForaChurch to the river. There is also a statue of St. Vincent (the city’s patron saint) holding a boat with two ravens, the symbols of Lisbon.
Barcelona is a big city, but it’s the perfect size to discover on foot, particularly in the winter months when the city is quieter and temperatures are lower. Spend a day away from the metro and the tourist bus, and take your time strolling around and stopping to recharge with some of the city’s great variety of food options. A top attraction for many tourists is the city’s modernist architecture, and the works of Gaudí in particular. The most famous are the Sagrada Família, impressive both outside and in, Park Güell and La Pedrera. In the winter months when the weather is cooler it’s also worth making the effort to take a walk up the Montjuïc (or perhaps take the cable car to the top). Aside from the natural surroundings and spectacular vistas, you’ll find buildings from the 1992 Olympic Games, including the Palau Sant Jordi and the telecommunications tower designed by Santiago Calatrava.