Lisbon News, Hotels and Holiday Destination Guide
Welcome to Lisbon...
...probably the most fascinating, captivating and fulfilling of all Europe’s cities! With blue skies and a mild winter, this year-round destination offers fabulous ‘designer label’ shopping opportunities, terrific nightlife, exciting city and river (Rio Tejo) panoramas and a picturesque environment where electric trams take you through narrow, cobbled streets to fine new hotels in wide boulevards: old-fashioned practicality meets 21st century sophistication.
Besides being the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is the country's most populous city (about 547 thousand inhabitants), and around three million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. This is the largest urban area in the country (followed by Porto), as well as the westernmost capital in Europe. It is also one of the oldest cities, as there is evidence of human life in that area thousands and thousands of years ago, due to the Tagus River and the importance, at that time, of living next to a river, where survival conditions would be better, since these first men could fish, drink water and irrigate the fields they cultivated.
Lisbon has a unique light and setting, always with the presence of the Tagus River, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, as its backdrop. From the highest points, the city of the seven hills offers fantastic sights, as Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George Castle), built during the Arab occupation, from where you may enjoy a panoramic view to some of the main tourist attraction points of the city, such as the boats crossing the Tagus River, Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge), Bairro Alto or Rossio.
The city's waterfront is simply unforgettable, with Lisbon's typical boats - 'cacilheiros’ (ferries) - connecting both banks, and a long pedestrian walk to contemplate the sights and monuments nearby, such as Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), where you may get to know better the figures of our history who set out to discover new worlds. One of the most beautiful tours is through the main streets of the city centre - downtown - a very busy area, full of shops, with a phenomenal architecture! A walk through downtown Lisbon must include the views from the top of Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift), with an iron architecture, built in 1902 by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel.
Also in the centre of Lisbon, the historic districts, so distinctive and exciting, are differentiated by their history, culture, architecture and are undoubtedly an integral part of Lisbon's identity. Also, in the most historic areas of the city, you can enjoy a good fado, a traditional Portuguese music style, deeply rooted in Lisbon, that has a very sentimental nature and is accompanied by the guitar. There are many fado houses (in Alfama, Mouraria or Madragoa), where you can hear this music style and enjoy the whole experience.
You must also visit Cristo Rei (Christ the King), on the south bank, in Almada, whose construction was the idea of Cardinal Cerejeira, in 1934, after going to Brazil and visiting the monument of Christ the Redeemer on the top of Corcovado mountain, in Rio de Janeiro. This monument was finished only in 1959 and is 113 meters above sea level, offering one of the most magnificent views of the beautiful city of Lisbon.
Within easy travelling distance, the Lisbon coast hosts some fine sandy beaches at Cascais and Estoril. The coastline is fascinating, full of glamor and fine golden sandy beaches, where nature is complemented with a lot of fun. The fishing villages, like Ericeira and Sesimbra, forests and magical architecture of Sintra, with its royal palaces and stunning vistas from Lisbon to the wild Atlantic, as if Sintra had come out of a fairy tale, are also a must-visit spots. If that's not enough, take a boat along the Sado or Tagus for a nautical view of the coast, or visit the Arrabida Natural Park, a paradise right next door, with its forest and beach of relaxing clear waters, in Portinho Arrábida, where you can swim and watch the great marine diversity!
Lisbon stands out for its vast cultural heritage of its history. The city has several examples that demonstrate the Roman presence and other people of the past, endowing it with a great architectural and cultural wealth.
Lisbon's sophisticated shopping centres (considered as one of the best cities in Europe for shopping), luxury hotels and fine accommodation, including apartments, hostels, pousadas and villas, gastronomy and culture combine with the climate to make this a great destination, 12 months of the year. With so much to offer, you'll wonder why you never visited the city of Lisbon sooner!
Lisbon is Europe’s top city, says poll
And now, there’s even further evidence that Lisbon deserves a visit. A UK study has shown that Lisbon ranks top of the list of favourite city destinations in terms of key travel criteria. Weighing the 10 most important factors at the time of choosing a holiday destination, including aspects such as destination price levels, accommodation and flight costs, climate, quality of food, tourist attractions, exchange rates, security and easy access, UK travellers have decided that Lisbon tops the bill: Enchanting and great value for money, this city awaits you!
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