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Lisbon City Guide

Lisbon is the westernmost capital of mainland Europe and one of the oldest cities in the world. Visitors throng to Lisbon for its Mediterranean climate, good food, great wines, vibrant nightlife and ancient history.

History

The strategic location of Lisbon at the mouth of the Tagus River has contributed to the city’s importance as a centre of trade between the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe. It was originally settled by the Celts and subsequently captured by the Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and Moors. Christian crusaders later captured the city, forming the long-term Portuguese Royal Family.

Lisbon flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Portuguese Age of Discovery, which lead to the accumulation of great wealth and power. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon and further disaster fell in 1807 when Napoleon’s forces occupied Lisbon. However, the city slowly rebuilt over the 19th Century.

In 1910, the Republicans established the Portuguese Republic with the Estado Novo regime, the longest-living dictatorship in Western Europe ruled by Salazar. It was deposed by the 1974 by the Carnation Revolution and Portugal joined the European Community in 1986. Recent improvements to the metro system and the revival of older buildings in the city have transformed Lisbon into one of the trendiest cities in Europe.

Landmarks

Lisbon and nearby Sintra have three sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, in Lisbon and Palácio da Pena in Sintra.

Belém was where Portuguese explorers set off from on their voyages of discovery. Belém Tower is a fortified lighthouse, which stands on a little island on the right hand side of the Tagus. It was originally intended to guard the entrance to the port against invasion or pirate raids, but today it offers incredible views over the city.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a monastery with amazing stonework and burial place of the greatest Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. Sintra is a beautiful dreamy town dotted with tourist hotspots and historic attractions, such as the grand Palácio da Pena: a fairytale-like castle that sits atop a mighty hill, offering incredible views over the town below.

The heart of the city of Lisbon is Baixa. This historic district was constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Its most notable feature is the Rua Augusta Arch, a triumphal arch designed as a gateway to the city. An elevator, located inside the arch, takes you to a vantage point that offers beautiful views over downtown, the Praça do Comércio and the Tagus River.

Lisbon's castle, Castelo de São Jorge, is an incredible piece of architecture that stands on top of the city's highest hill. Not only does it offer cultural and historical significance, but also provides beautiful views of the city and river, making it a fun trip for history-buffs and lay folk alike.

If you’re a fan of modern architecture, pay a visit to Parque das Nações: the newest district in Lisbon. Check out the Orient Railway Station, a truly eye-catching building and one of the main transportation centres of Lisbon. Here you can also find one of the world's longest bridges, the stunning Vasco da Gama Bridge.

Shopping, Restaurants and Nighlife

If it’s shopping you crave then pay Chiado a visit, Lisbon’s traditional shopping area. Here you can buy clothes from trendy designer boutiques, as well as books, crafts and pottery. You will also find plenty of coffee shops and restaurants serving traditional cakes such as ‘Pastéis de Nata’ and typical cod fish dishes called ’Bacalhau’.

As you can probably see, there’s never a dull moment in Lisbon.


Guide to Exploring Lisbon


Top Lisbon Hotel Deals

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Radisson Blu Hotel SG$171
Reviewed on 16 Sep,2019
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Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel

Avenida Marechal Craveiro Lopes, 390, Campo Grande, Lisbon
     
    4.2 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    close to airport for early flight, clean, kind people

    Dom Pedro Lisboa SG$189
    Reviewed on 17 Sep,2019
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    Dom Pedro Lisboa

    Dom Pedro Lisboa

    Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 24, Lisbon
       
      4.4 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Extremely well appointed facility which would compete very well on the international stage of luxury hotels. What is blatantly deficient is a poorly equiped exercise room and an equally feable excuse for a swimming pool both of which are located 5 levels below ground. This takes away from the rest ...

      Corinthia Hotel Lisbon SG$222
      Reviewed on 11 Sep,2019
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      Corinthia Hotel Lisbon

      Corinthia Hotel Lisbon

      Avenida Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, 105, Lisbon
         
        4.5 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Good location, w/restaurants w/in walking distance.

        Varandas de Lisboa SG$100
        Reviewed on 15 Sep,2019
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        Varandas de Lisboa

        Varandas de Lisboa

        Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 8, Lisbon, Lisboa
           
          4.6 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          thought we would have more room. no kitchen or microwave A lot of noise at front of building

          TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto SG$227
          Reviewed on 14 Sep,2019
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          TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto

          TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto

          Aeroporto Internacional de Lisboa, Rua C, Lisbon
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Overnight stay for morning flight, could walk to airport.

            EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel SG$222
            Reviewed on 10 Sep,2019
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            EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel

            EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel

            Av. Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 15, Lisbon
               
              4.7 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              The outdoor pool looked better in the pictures and the staff were less than impressed to take our order. Drinks were overpriced. Lighting system is way to complicated of the suites. Woke up at 2 am with all the lights on and curtains wide open. Electrician’s nightmare. The plugs for mobile devices ...

              Luzeiros Suites SG$150
              Reviewed on 16 Sep,2019
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              Luzeiros Suites

              Luzeiros Suites

              Avenida da Republica, 77, Lisbon
                 
                4.7 of 5
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Very friendly and polite staff, clean and comfortable room, good location

                Iberostar Selection Lisboa SG$245
                Reviewed on 16 Sep,2019
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                Iberostar Selection Lisboa

                Iberostar Selection Lisboa

                Rua Castilho 64, Lisbon
                   
                  4.6 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Great hotel, very new. Traveling with a buddy made the room layout somewhat odd, but for couples its perfect. Everyone was really nice except for someone at the front desk during checkout who was very nasty when asking about the cards used to get towels. There was some confusion at checkin, but it ...

                  Lisbon Flight Deals

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