The stunning capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is one of the most charismatic cities of Western Europe. It is a colourful and vibrant destination, full of authenticity where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation. Renowned for its warm and sunny disposition, the city is blessed with a wealth of historic monuments, world-class museums, and a host of other fabulous visitor attractions.
WHAT TO SEE
The resting place of explorer Vasco da Gama is a church built in the 1500s as part of a magnificent monastery. Its cloisters are considered among the most beautiful in the world and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
St. George’s Castle
From the millennium-old battlements of this castle you have a bird's-eye view of the city in the company of roaming peacocks. Inside is a small archaeological museum and down the hill are a couple of terraces with perfect postcard views over Alfama, Lisbon’s most ancient neighbourhood.
A symbol of maritime Lisbon, this iconic tower is guarding the city’s harbour. Reached via a walkway raised out of the water on timbers, the tower is filled with intricate stonework and has wide Atlantic views. The monument is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rua Augusta Arch
The landmark 19th-century arch lies at the northern edge of the concourse near the southern tip of Rua Augusta, the city's main pedestrianized thoroughfare. It's only recently that the public has been allowed to visit the top of the arch, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view.
Treasures from the East and the West collected by the 20th century’s great philanthropists, Armenian Calouste Gulbenkian is now one of the world's finest private art collections. Look out for priceless Hellenic vases, ancient Chinese porcelain and paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and Van Dyck.
GETTING TO LISBON
Land at the Lisbon international airport which is just a mere 7 km from the centre of the city. Served by the main international airlines and just 3 hours away from the main European capitals, it is very easy to reach.
It is just as easy to reach the centre of the city. National and international trains arrive every day at Santa Apolónia station, which is very close to all the traditional neighbourhoods and Terreiro do Paço. But if you would like to add a unique architectural experience to your arrival, get off at Gare do Oriente, whose Calatrava-designed lines impress even those who see it every day.
GETTING AROUND LISBON
Getting around Lisbon is easy and inexpensive. The city offers an efficient network of public transportation.
The Lisbon Metro acts as its main artery, connecting the city centre with the upper and eastern districts. It also allows you to enjoy its amazing artistic decoration as stations are wonderfully decorated with murals, poetry and sculptures. Metro trains run every day from 6.00 a.m. until 1.00 a.m.
Trams offer a nostalgic trip through ancient neighbourhoods with fascinating views of the city. It is interesting to note that many of them are pre-World War One and still running. Don't leave the city without riding popular tram 28 from Largo Martim Moniz or tram 12 from Praça da Figueira through the narrow streets of the Alfama. Go early in the morning or at night to avoid tourists.
Taxis in Lisbon are reasonably priced and plentiful. The fare on the meter should read €3.25 (daytime flagfall). You will be charged extra for luggage and an additional 20% for journeys between 9 pm and 6 am.
Lisbon has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm to hot summers. The average annual temperature is 21.5 °C (70.7 °F) during the day and 13.5 °C (56.3 °F) at night. Average annual temperature of the sea is 17.5 °C (63.5 °F).