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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


Lisbon Flight Deals

These prices were available within the past 7 days. Prices quoted are per person, return, for the period specified. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms apply.

Top Lisbon Hotel Deals

See all 4,178 properties in Lisbon
Radisson Blu Hotel SG$115
Reviewed on 19 Nov,2019
See details
 
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

    Loved the staff who were all super efficient and friendly. Sad that they ran a buffet dinner on all three nights we stayed rather than the very lovely looking a la' carte menu.

    Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto SG$159
    Reviewed on 13 Nov,2019
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    Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto

    Hotel Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto

    Aeroporto Internacional Lisboa, Rua C-2, Lisbon
       
      4.4 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      The staff is helpful, friendly and eager to make my stay comfortable..

      Iberostar Selection Lisboa SG$173
      Reviewed on 19 Nov,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

        This is the best hotel I have stayed at. Truly 5 stars. Fantastic staff, great service. I have never been so pleased. Will stay there again if ever in Lisbon

        Jupiter Lisboa Hotel SG$126
        Reviewed on 17 Nov,2019
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        Jupiter Lisboa Hotel

        Jupiter Lisboa Hotel

        Avenida da Republica, 46, Lisbon
           
          4.5 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Property is in great location. Staff friendly and courteous. Room was quite lovely and large and updated except for the smell of cigarette smoke that would come and go. Also, again, as an Expedia booking, we received a low level room - 2nd floor.

          EXE Liberdade SG$76
          Reviewed on 20 Nov,2019
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          EXE Liberdade

          EXE Liberdade

          Avenida Duque de Loule 124, Lisbon
             
            4.5 of 5
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Good location and very clean - although room had a chemical cleaner smell. Staff was not accommodating.

            behotelisboa SG$108
            Reviewed on 20 Nov,2019
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            behotelisboa

            behotelisboa

            Rua dos Correeiros, 136, Lisbon
               
              4.5 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              The location is supreme. Everything you need is with in walking distance. Tons of shopping , restaurants, public transportation and sites are all at you fingertips.

              TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto SG$172
              Reviewed on 20 Nov,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

                Walking distance to airport makes it easy to get to your flight when you want

                Novotel Lisboa SG$90
                Reviewed on 8 Nov,2019
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                Novotel Lisboa

                Novotel Lisboa

                Avenida José Malhoa 1, Lote 1-A, Lisbon
                   
                  4.1 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Folks at the front desk were very helpful and warm and welcoming. The same goes for the restaurant and bar staff. The rooms are "cheap and cheerful" but the common areas are great!

                  Top things to do in Lisbon

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