City of Lisbon, Portugal

City of Lisbon, Portugal

A view of Lisbon, Portugal. Photo credits http://www.bigfoto.com

Lisbon in Brief

Lisbon is the largest city and the capital of Portugal. It is located at westernmost continental Europe and by far the only westernmost capital city along the Atlantic Coast. It sits prominently at the western Iberian Peninsula along the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River. Lisbon has a population of about 547,630 on a land area of around 85 square kilometers (32.818 square miles). The urban area of the city extends well-over its administrative city limits with a population of more than 3 million people on an area approximately 958 sq. kilometers (369.885 sq. miles), thus making Lisbon the 11th most densely populated urban center of the European Union.

Lisbon is one of the prime economic centres of continental Europe due in part of its vibrant financial sector and as being recognized as a global city because of its noteworthiness in finance, entertainment & media, arts & culture, commerce, international trade, education, and tourism.

Curiously, Lisbon remains provincial rooted in some ways in the ‘20s.

Tours & Tourism

Lisbon captivates visitors to its easy-going charm that makes this city a popular destination all year round. It is a lively place with its intimate alleyways that are always fascinating, mosaic pavements, and the unfailingly amazing bleached-white limestone buildings. There’s always the wooden trams clanking up on sloping roads unmindful of hordes of tourists flocking the medieval quarter of Alfama with the city’s São Jorge castle as background.

The city always enticed a huge amount of historical events like the great earthquake of 1775 which was followed by tidal waves and fire that destroys most of the buildings. Though it somehow recovered immediately that led to energetic reconstructions that show many, new impressive buildings, palaces and churches came to what it is now. Many of Portugal’s buildings of the golden era survived that catastrophic disaster, notably the Monastery of Jeronimos at Belem and the Castelo de Sao Jorge.

Things To Do

1. Experience the Ride On The Number 28 Tram

The number 28 tram is the quaint yellow tram that rattles and screeches through the narrow streets of Lisbon. In any other city, the 1930s trams would be an exhibit in a museum, but in Lisbon they are an integral part of the public transport network.

Not only are the trams extremely charming, but the 28 route passes through many of Lisbon’s historic districts, including Graça, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado and Sao Bento, and is as good as any organised tour.
Our advice: Ride the tram early in the day to avoid standing for the whole route.

Tourist advice: Fare €3

2. Lisbon Guided Walking Tour

With over 3000 years, the history of Lisbon is very interesting, diverse and full of curiosities. Many different civilizations have lived here and this melting pot of cultures gives an unique character to the
city and makes Lisbon one of the most charming cities in Europe, with its seven hills, narrow streets, lovely architecture, colorful houses and fantastic weather.

Look out for the orange umbrella and join us on a fantastic Lisbon Walking Tours tour to discover the best of it

3. The Lisbon Bike Tour

The Lisbon Bike Tour is the best way to see Lisbon.
With its seven hills, Lisbon may not be the ideal town for cycling, but we have designed the perfect itinerary for a nice, relaxed and easy Lisbon Bike Tour.

During 3 and a half hours, we will cycle the heart of historical Lisbon and follow along the river side, learning about the past and present of this European capital.

Our bike tour starts at the top of Parque Eduardo VII near El Corte Inglês and finishes by the river Tagus in Torre de Belém, the spot where the ancient mariners sailed off to discover the New World.

In between we cycle through Praça Marquês do Pombal, Restauradores, Rossio, Praça da Figueira, Praça do Comércio and the Docas Area.

After the finish in Belém, you will be on your own. We suggest that you have a snack (we suggest a couple of nice places) and that you visit the area with its fine monuments and museums in the afternoon.

Within a short walking distance at the end of the bike tour, there are public transportation options available (bus, tram and train) or taxi to return to your needed area of Lisbon. All of the public transportation options require a metro card.

We provide bike, helmet and a guide who knows all about Lisbon and bikes!

The Tour:

 9:30 a.m. Meeting at the Meeting Point; departure
13:00 p.m. Bike Tour finishes in Belém

Top Attractions

Visitors to Lisbon will never fail to be amazed by the combination of urban lifestyle and coastal beaches on the coast that may not be found elsewhere in other European cities.

1. Belem Tower (Torre de Belem)

Belem Tower is granted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical significance dating back to the days of Portugal’s discoveries. Interestingly, it has distinctly Moorish inspired influences due in part that it is designed by the renowned architect of the time, Francisco de Arruda, who had previously worked on Portugal’s fortification in Morocco. It was a Manueline style architecture incorporating several stonework motifs alongside some historical events. It is constructed between 1514-1519. The tower is in the Belem district of Lisbon along the right plank of the Tagus River.

Strategically built on the north bank of the Tagus River between 1514 and 1520, under the guidance of Francisco de Arruda, the Belém Tower is one of the architectural jewels of the reign of D. Manuel I. The monument is a synthesis between the traditional keep medieval and the bulwark, wider, with its pillbox where the first devices were able to resist artillery fire. Over time, the Tower of Belém lost its role of defending the Tagus river and, from the Filipino occupation, the old storehouses gave place to dungeons. On the four floors of the tower, the Governor's Room, the Kings' Room, the Audience Room and, finally, the Chapel with its characteristic 16th-century vaults.

2. St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)

St George Castle sits perched on top of the highest hill in Lisbon, right in the heart of the Alfama district of Portugal’s historical capital city. Originally constructed in the 5th century by the Visigoths as a fort, it was later transformed into a Moorish castle.

It served as a Moorish royal residence until the Moors were expelled in 1147 by King Afonso Henriques. After this time Portugal’s royal family moved in and here remained until the 16th century when another palace was constructed for them in Comercio Square.

The castle earned its name of St George Castle when it was captured by King Afonso Henriques. Its dedication to the patron saint of England was made in commemoration of the Anglo-Portuguese pact, which was made in 1371.

Built-in the mid-11th century, during the Moorish period, this fortification is situated in the area most difficult to access at the top of the hill, making use of the natural slopes to the north and west. The purpose of the castle was to house military troops and in case of siege, the elite who lived in the alcáçova (citadel). Unlike most European castles it was not meant as a residence. It still retains eleven towers, the most outstanding being the Torre de Menagem (Tower of the Keep), Torre do Haver ou do Tombo(Tower of Riches or Trumbling Tower), Torre do Paço (Tower of the Palace), Torre da Cisterna (Tower of the Cistern) and the Torre de São Lourenço (Tower of St. Lawrence) located on the hillside. Ruins of older structures and a cistern still remain in a second courtyard. Also found here is a small door on the northern wall called the Door of Treason which allowed secret messengers to enter or exit when needed.

3. Jeronimos Monastery

 A request sent by Manuel I to the Holy See for authorisation to build a large monastery on the banks of the Tagus just outside Lisbon dates from 1496.

One of Manuel's motives for building the JerónimosMonastery most certainly has to do with his desire to have a pantheon for the Avis-Beja dynasty, of which he was the first monarch. The Monastery's dedication to the Virgin of Belém [Belém also being the Portuguese for Bethlehem] was another factor that influenced the king's decision.

The Jerónimos Monastery, as it is commonly known, replaced a church that had existed on the same site. It was dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém and in it, the monks of the Order of Christ provided spiritual guidance to seafarers...

Foods & Drinks

Fine dining is no longer a rarity amongst the many restaurants around Lisbon - traditional, international, and contemporary all dotted along the streets of the city. Trot along for something different in the popular Chiado district and you steeped in tradition.

1. Belcanto Restaurant

 The Belcanto Restaurant opened in 1958 in Chiado, in the São Carlos square next to the São Carlos National Theatre and the house where Fernando Pessoa was born. In the summer of 2011, Chef José Avillez took an interest in Belcanto and began an extensive refurbishment of the kitchens and dining areas. José Avillez’s Belcanto restaurant, reopened at the beginning of 2012, totally renewed. At his Belcanto, awarded a Michelin star within a year of opening, one can enjoy new Portuguese cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere that still provides some of the former romance of the Chiado district.

At Belcanto, José Avillez provides an absolutely unique gastronomic and sensory journey. Here it offers contemporary Portuguese cuisine in a sophisticated environment that takes us from the romanticism of ancient Chiado to the future.

With two Michelin stars, and in the 42nd position in the list “The World's 50 Best Restaurants”, Belcanto is also distinguished by its privileged location in the historic center of Lisbon, by its welcoming, discreet and attentive service, and by an extraordinary wine cellar that shows some of the best Portuguese wines, as well as great international references.

2. Come Prima Restaurante Italiano

Located at the top of Rua do Olival, not far from the Museum of Ancient Art, the Italian Restaurant Come Prima is already a must-see for lovers of Italian cuisine.
A cozy space with a romantic atmosphere, it is the ideal place to enjoy the excellence of freshly made pasta dishes, varied starters, without forgetting the pizzas in a wood oven, with a selection of first quality ingredients, always fresh.

To accompany, a complete cellar of national and international wines and, finally, a dessert offering among the most special ones in Italy, Restaurante Italiano Come Prima invites you to discover new flavors and sensations ...

The restaurant is also famous for its seasonal specialties, highlighting the famous white truffles from Alba. It is an ingredient of luxury and sought after by many. If you want to taste them for the first time, and being a seasonal ingredient, you can follow the Come Prima on social networks, because they usually publish the event.

3. Restaurante Feitoria & Wine Bar

At Feitoria you will find the true essence of signature cuisine. Traditional and authentic flavours with modern influences, where the priority is the quality and provenance of the product.

Feitoria is a signature cuisine restaurant, with one Michelin star, where traditional flavours and the best national products predominate and mold around contemporary tastes.

Come inside the restaurant Feitoria and venture on a journey where the best of Portuguese gastronomy meets the most exotic cuisines of the world by way of products of the highest quality.

In a sophisticated and comfortable setting where the theme is the Golden Age of Discovery, sample the true authenticity of flavours and aromas that blend the best international cuisine at the hands of Executive Chef João Rodrigues and his team.

The journey culminates in a varied selection of fine wines, including hundreds of national and international vintages as well as olive oils and mineral waters...

Top Hotels

There are hotels in Lisbon that cater to all different tastes and budget needs. Accommodation for any type, whether a small boutique hotel, a hostel, or a grand stay in one former palace, there’s no shortage of it in Lisbon. It all matches all your needs.

1. Avenida Palace Hotel

The Hotel Avenida Palace, located in the center of Lisbon close to Bairro Alto and the Chiado, is a 5-star Hotel which combines luxury and charm and is regarded as part of the city’s historic heritage.

Boasting an exceptional location between Lisbon’s Pombaline Downtown and the Avenida da Liberdade, elegant neoclassical architecture, sophisticated and luxurious decoration, and more than a century of history, although completely renovated, the hotel occupies the boundary where tradition and innovation meet.

The intimate and relaxing atmosphere, the personalised and refined service, and the thorough attention to detail make each stay at the Avenida Palace an unforgettable experience...

2. Altis Grand Hotel

5 star hotel in Lisbon | An authentic business center

Altis Grand Hotel is the symbol of elegant and genuine Portuguese hospitality.

The Altis Grand hotel, is a hotel in Lisbon with a unique location, an authentic business center in the city center. The excellence of its 5-star service makes your stay a memorable experience. Given the location of the hotel in Lisbon , the Altis Grand Hotel has its name linked to the contemporary history of the country, usually receiving important media events and recognition for the quality of services.

From Hotel Altis to Altis Grand Hotel
Since 1973, Hotel Altis has been an icon of the city and the scene of important events in different areas. More than 40 years later, Hotel Altis is preparing to continue to be a symbol of Lisbon having changed its original name to ALTIS GRAND HOTEL.

Renovated rooms, rooms and public areas
The Altis Grand Hotel completed its biggest renovation ever since it started in late 2011 and included the transformation of 295 superior rooms, deluxe and presidential suite, renovation of the hall, public areas, bars, meeting rooms and banquets. In the 2nd quarter of 2014, a new spa was opened, the GSpa by Altis Grand Hotel , which included the renovation of the pool area, sauna, hammam, gym and treatment rooms.

Featuring 295 rooms (including 15 suites) , 18 rooms and spaces for events with a capacity to accommodate between 8 and 750 people.

3. Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa

Welcome to Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa, the Grande Dame of hotels in central Lisbon, Portugal. A true landmark, delivering exceptional hospitality since 1933. Today, as ever, the place to see and be seen, a natural meeting point for celebrities, heads of state and royalty alike.

Discover Lisbon's best kept secrets with our Experience Teams, shop till you drop in Avenida da Liberdade and Chiado's luxury stores, or simply unwind by the oasis of the hotel's unique swimming pool amidst the fronds of its semi-tropical garden. Discover the wealth and variety of rooms and views at our luxury hotel in Lisbon - from Deluxe Rooms to the stunning Presidential Suite, which makes each stay an unforgettable experience.

Wining and dining are paramount in the European tradition; join in the thriving and bustling ambience of the Cervejaria Liberdade and indulge yourself with the best fish and seafood in Lisbon, sourced from the over 800 km of Portuguese coastline. For more relaxed moments, step into the luxurious world of Anantara SPA and discover the exceptional pampering. Place your beauty and wellness needs in the hands of highly trained and intuitive therapists. For unique, seamless meetings and conferences, step across the courtyard to our palatial 19th century Conference and Events Centre.

Getting There

1. Airport

Lisbon Airport also known as Lisbon Portela Airport, is the main international gateway to Portugal. Being one of the largest airports in Southern Europe, Lisbon Airport has two main runways and continues to expand.

2. Land Transport


It is just as easy to reach the centre of the city. National and international trains arrive every day at Santa Apolónia station, which is very close to all the traditional neighbourhoods and Terreiro do Paço. But if you would like to add a unique architectural experience to your arrival, get off at Gare do Oriente, whose Calatrava-designed lines impress even those who see it every day.

In terms of bus connections, Lisbon is fairly well linked to virtually the entire Portugal by means of the bus lines made available by the so-called Rede Nacional de Expressos. Thus, for instance, there are 9 buses a day covering the distance between Lisbon and Porto, 6 buses which ensure the connection between the capital and Lagos, and 14 buses transporting tourists between Lisbon and the north central Coimbra. The main bus station in Lisbon, at least as far as domestic bus trips are concerned, is Rodoviaria da Sete Rios (Sete Rios Bus Station).


The best ways to enter Lisbon are via the A1 and A2, which both have national and international connections along their course. The landscape is beautiful and mobility around the region compensates the long hours of driving. After all, there is more to Lisbon than just city.

3. Sea
Those arriving by sea have one of the best views of Lisbon – from the river – and can moor in 3 different places, all near the centre. If you come by cruise ship, you can dock at Alcântara, Rocha Conde de Óbidos or Santa Apolónia. If you arrive by yacht, there are several marinas as you sail up the river. 

Getting Around

Public transportation in Lisbon is extremely extensive and by far well-founded. The main artery, the Lisbon Metro connects the city centre to the suburbs and to upper and eastern districts. Another expansion projects connecting the airport and the northern and western districts will increase by almost a third of its network.

Trams are traditional public transportation in Lisbon introduced in the 19th century, imported originally from the USA called the americanos. These distinctively yellow trams are one of the tourist attractions of modern Lisbon.

Also, there are four commuter train lines servicing from Lisbon to the Cascais, Sintra, and the Azambuja operated by Comboios de Portugal and the fourth line to Setubal operated by Fertagus crossing the Tagus River over the 25 de Abril Bridge. The city does not offer light rail transport services. The major railway stations are Entrecampos, Santa Apolonia, Gare de Oriente, Cais de Sodre, and Rossio.

Commuter bus services from the city are also available: Rodoviaria de Lisboa, Vimeca, Transportes Sul do Tejo, Barraqueiro, and Boa Viagam are the leading ones operating from different terminals in the city. Complementing these buses are three circular motorways around the city, namely: the 2ª Circular, the CREL, and CRIL.

Crossing the river by ferry is also an alternative mode of transportation if you prefer sightseeing in a fresh environment. The ferry crossing is provided by Transtejo-Soflusa that operates from different city points to Cacilhas, Montijo, Porto Brandão, Seixal, and Trafaria by Transtejo and Barreiro by Soflusa.

Vacation Rentals

1. Duque's Apartments

Located in Rua do Duque, in the heart of Lisbon, between the charm of Chiado and the bustle of Baixa, Duque's Apartments is the perfect gateway to explore the city. Rua do Duque owes its name to Duke of Cavadal, that lived nearby in his palace in the ‘Largo’ with is name.

In this street full of stories to tell and ancient secrets, Duque's Apartments offers 3 charming apartments, fully equipped and with a breathtaking view over the city of Lisbon.

Vacation rentals starts at $ 171.12 for 2 nights.

2. Flora Chiado Apartments

Between the oldest bookshop in the world and the Basilica of Nossa Senhora dos Mártires, take a break and relax. The Flora Chiado Apartments are an oasis of light and space decorated to keep the mystery alive through the ancient city that surrounds them. Located at Rua Anchieta 13, Santa Maria Maior, 1200-023 Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to design and comfort, let yourself be surprised by new sensations gained by going on wonderful tours or savoring gourmet dishes. Feel at home away from home. We want to welcome you again and again and make your stay a memorable one.

3. Basilico Apartments

In the heart of Lisboa, yet out of the frantic touristic hustle and bustle. Basilico’s Two apartments in a very typical three floored building. An intimate, elegant and functional ambient with all the essential comforts. A three-bedroom perfect for friends, families and small groups. Or a studio apartment, absolutely recommended for couples. At walking distance from historical and renowned neighbourhoods Alfama and Graça. Next to metro and train station (Santa Apolónia), restaurants, shops, gardens, 28 tram and city landmarks.