Lisbon – UK 0

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Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is a fascinating city of old-fashioned and funky art, charming architecture, and traditions. It’s one of Europes most enjoyable capitals with its relaxed atmosphere, cultural diversity, and reasonable prices. Lisbon is set on seven low hills next to the Tejo (Tagus) river. The citys atmosphere is rich with wonderful old buildings, Europes longest suspension bridge, and fascinating museums and monuments. Despite the citys muscle-aching hills, Lisbon is compact enough to explore on foot. If your legs get tired, Lisbon has very convenient bus, tram, and subway lines as well as funiculars to take you up the steeper hills. Taxis abound as well, and are perhaps the most reasonably priced in Europe.

The capital of Portugal is currently in the middle of a building boom which began after it was chosen as the host city for Expo 98. Metro lines have been extended, mosaic sidewalks have been re-paved and 18th century facades have been restored. One of the most urgent works is the saving and restoration of the “Alfama”, or old town.

The city moves to pulsing new rhythms, as African music clubs are all the rage. Contrasting to this modern diversity, Portuguese fado songs continue to be heard; the soulful music (which originated here) is still hitting notes of passionate melancholy. Lisbon also hosts a great number of remarkable museums of ancient and modern art, some of which are the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, National Coach Museum, and Carmo Archaeological Museum.

A good way to orient yourself and enjoy a panoramic view is to climb one of the seven hills – Penha de Frana, Senhora do Monte, Graa, So Jorge, So Pedro Alcantara, Santa Catarina, and Estrela. So Jorge is topped by a famous castle, Castelo de So Jorge, and has the most spectacular picturesque view – especially as the sun sets over the Tagus river. Generally speaking, you can spend an unlimited time discovering and re-discovering this charming city; however if you are on a tight schedule, don’t miss exploring the Alfama District, Bairro Alto, and Belem (see under sights for more information). Lisbon is really a wonderful place to explore, any time of the year. If you are lucky, the sky is blue and the sun is shining even in February and November.

ContributorsNovember 14, 2004 change by davidx (2 points)February 26, 2007
change by rfujitani

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21 Jan 2007

21 Jan 2007
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog

posted Friday March 2007