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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


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See all 3,320 properties in Lisbon
Radisson Blu Hotel £100
Reviewed on 18 Aug 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

    Need better or stronger air conditioning in the rooms. Better bathroom fan and remove the bath tubs (too high to safe get in and out of)

    VIP Executive Picoas Hotel £80
    Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019
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    VIP Executive Picoas Hotel

    VIP Executive Picoas Hotel

    Rua Filipe Folque, 12, Lisbon
       
      4.5 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Very nice and clean. Friendly staff, breakfast was good as well.

      EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel £119
      Reviewed on 17 Aug 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

        I love everything about this hotel , location and quality at every level

        Corinthia Hotel Lisbon £151
        Reviewed on 18 Aug 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

          Great hotel 👍👍 Nice breakfast Clean and beautiful

          Varandas de Lisboa £64
          Reviewed on 8 Aug 2019
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          Varandas de Lisboa

          Varandas de Lisboa

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

            The apartments are very new and clean and the location is perfect.

            Dom Pedro Lisboa £96
            Reviewed on 14 Aug 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

              It’s ok . Could improve on how guest who are here for over 30 days a bit better.

              Jupiter Lisboa Hotel £109
              Reviewed on 17 Aug 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

                Lovely room and a very nice roof top terrace with a pool that was much bigger than we expected .

                Hotel Santa Justa Lisboa £145
                Reviewed on 17 Aug 2019
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                Hotel Santa Justa Lisboa

                Hotel Santa Justa Lisboa

                Rua dos Correeiros, 204, Lisbon
                   
                  4.7 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Great location , clean and well maintained hotel , nice and friendly staff

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