Lisbon is situated on the Tagus River where it meets the
Atlantic. It has an urban population of more than three million and is the largest city and capital of Portugal.
It represents almost one quarter of the country’s population.
Lisbon is a fairly wealthy city and among the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
It is also one of the oldest cities in Europe and its history includes rule by Rome, Germanic tribes, Moors and Crusaders.
The city has had a number of significant earthquakes over the centuries and this has destroyed some of the architecture built during the period around the 1500s when Portugal was one of the most powerful nations in the world.
Lisbon is known as the Cidade Branca, the White City. One of its
architectural trademarks is the use of glazed tile, especially in its public
squares. The geographical signature of Lisbon is found in its
seven hills that shape its steep narrow roads accessed by distinctive
small electric trams, funiculars and elevators.
The summer months are the driest in Lisbon with average highs of 26 C (80 F) and average lows of 18 C (65 F).
November to February are the rainy months with average highs of 15 C (60 F) and average lows of 10 C (50 F).
May and September are probably the best months to plan a visit as far as weather is concerned. Want to know the current weather temperature in Lisbon?
The Portela International Airport (LIS) is centrally located in the city. The Lisbon
Metro provides subway information for tourists at the airport
and is a
great way to move about the city. There are also bus, funicular
and tram services administered by Companhia de Carris de Ferro. High speed rail by CP
links Lisbon with most of the major cities in Portugal via the Santa Apolónia
Tram #28 (Eléctrico 28)
Tram #28 (elétrico 28) has become a top tourist
experience as this narrow tram winds its way up and down the narrow
streets of Lisbon in the Moorish district of Alfama. It passes
right in front of the Lisbon Cathedral and also passes
by the viewpoint at the Gates to the Sun (Miradouro Portas do Sol) and
the Alfama fleamarket (Feira da Ladra). The starting point is
Martim Moniz Square (Praça Martim Moniz). The circuit takes about 40 minutes. A transit day pass is inexpensive and also includes use of the city's funiculars.
Ascensor do Lavra was built in the 1880s and is the oldest
funicular in Lisbon. It ascends from Largo da Anunciada just off
Avenida da Liberdade a few blocks north of Rossio Central Station and
travels up a short distance to Travessa Forno Torel.
Ascensor da Bica takes passengers up to the
Barrio Alto District from Rua de Sao Paulo about 15 minutes by foot
west from Commerce Plaza and ascends to Largo de Calhariz. It was
built in the 1890s and is very popular with tourists.
Ascensor da Gloria is the most popular
funicular for tourists in Lisbon. It starts in the Praca dos Restauradores
beside the Rossio Central Station and climbs to the Bairro Alto
District and the viewpoint called Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
Santa Justa Elevator (Elavador de Santa Justa)
is also referred to as the Elevator of Carmo. It was built in
1902 and is a 45-meter lift between Largo do Carmo and Rua do Ouro.
A Lisbon Card includes unlimited use of the funicular system.
Lisbon is divided into a number of districts including the
hills of Barrio Alto, the port area at Belem, the central flat downtown
area of Baixa, the shopping district of Chiado, the old town Moorish
quarter known at Alfama and the modern area of Parque das Nacoes.
Belém was the departure point for voyages during the Age of Discovery.
Vasco da Gama set sail here. Attractions include:
Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos
Descobrimentos) - built in 1960 to honor the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the
Navigator, this monument draws an immediate association with Lisbon
for travellers throughout the world.
Belem Tower (Torre de Belém) - built in 1515 to guard the harbor.
- overlooking the river and port, this is the resting place of explorer Vasco da Gama.
It was built by King Manuel I in 1502 to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage to India.
The monastery faces the the Praca do Imperio, which is the largest square in
Portugal, including the gardens of the Jardim do Praca do Imperio.
Tropical Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico Tropical) faces the
Monastery as well. The Berardo Collection Museum,
the Maritime Museum and the National Archeology Museum are found here
Belem Palace - formerly the royal residence and now used by the President.
The gardens of Jardim Afonso de Albuquerque are beside the palace.
Enjoy views of the National Sanctuary of Christ the King and the 25 de Abril
Bridge across the River Tagus.
Barrio Alto District
Ride the Gloria or Bica funiculars to reach this hill top
area known for its views and its night life.
Church - built with the gold brought from Brazil. It
includes the Chapel of St. John the Baptist (Capela de São João
Baptista) and São Roque Church's Sacred Art Museum. Also nearby is Santa Catarina
Church and the Garden of Santa Catarina.
Estrela Basilica and the Estrela Garden.
São Bento Palace - seat of Portuguese parliament.
Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara and its
gardens. Enjoy views of the city and the Tagus
National Museum of Ancient
Art (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga).
This is the lower town and city center. It has been
largely rebuilt since the 1755 earthquake. The Rua Augusta is pedestrian only.
It begins at Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio) at the water front and cuts through downtown’s Baixa district to Rossio Square.
Commerce Square - referred to as Praça do Comércio
and Terreiro do Paço. There is a statue of King José I in the
square and the arch marks the beginning of the pedestrian
walk. At the water you will find the Cais das Colunas, which are pier columns that were
built in the late 1700s. They were removed for construction in
the square and
then replaced in the water.
Rossio Central Station faces the Restauradores Square
(Praça dos Restauradores). Beside the station are the Eden Theatre
Foz Palace. Ajacent to this square is the Praça Dom Pedro IV
(also called Rossio Square) with its statue and the Dona Maria II National Theater.
The Figueira Square (Praça da Figueira) adjoins the Praca Dom Pedro
Views of the Castle of Saint George.
Church of Sao Domingos
Ascensor da Gloria - take the funicular to Barrio Alto.
Ascensor do Lavra - climb the hill opposite to Barrio
Stroll Avenida da Liberdade - connecting Restauradores
Square to Marquês de Pombal Square.
Chiado is a sub area of Baxia. Much of Chiado has
been rebuilt since the destruction caused by a major fire in 1988. Chiado is known for its shopping, for the ruins of Carmo and the Santa
St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge) - medieval castle stands atop the highest of the city’s seven hills.
The Graça quarter is situated on the north-easterly side of the Castelo de Sao
Jorge. Ride a clanking Tram #28 (Eléctrico 28) up to the terrace at Miradouro de Graca and enjoy the views. Then wander the narrow streets and cafes.
House of Spikes (Casa dos Bicos) - over 1,000 diamond
shaped stones on its exterior.
Sintra – Travel 30 minutes west from Lisbon
to Sintra. See the caves at Pena Park, Pena National Palace, Sintra National Palace and Queluz National Palace.
Travel the longer coastal route between Sintra and Lisbon to visit Roca Cape, Guincho Beach and the town of Cascais.
Évora - take a full day trip from Lisbon 1.5
hours east to the Roman ruins of the Temple of Diana (Templo de Diana),
enjoy wine tasting in Alentejo wine region and see the Chapel
of Bones (Capela dos Ossos), which is completely decorated with human
Savor the Tastes of Lisbon:
Port wine - produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.
This is what "Port"ugal is all about.
Bacalhau - the national dish of salt cod.
Pastéis de Nata - flaky custard tart. Try Pasteis de Belem.