A City Guide To Lisbon.
Tourist Information: www.portugalinsite.pt
Lisbon. Cosmopolitan, multi-cultural and steeped in history. Lisbon is a lively international city and boasts a proud and ancient history. It has witnessed the departures of the most famous ships and navigators, sailing on voyages of discovery to the furthest corners of the world. The famous 'Monument to the Discoveries' is one of Lisbon's strongest images, a tribute to Lisbon's historical link and it's seafaring past.
The city is divided into four main areas, Baixa and Amalfa, Bairro Alto and Estrela, North Lisbon and Belem. The Alfama quarter is the oldest surviving part of the city and is home to Castelo de Sao Jorge, the Moorish Castle which can be seen almost anywhere in the city.
What to see in Lisbon: Lisbon today is lively and vibrant, with a hoard of street side cafes, restaurants and modern shops. The medieval Alfama district is filled with endless narrow cobbled streets and is a good starting point for exploration.
The Catelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle) is an excellent starting point to survey Lisbon, with its splendid panoramic views over the city. Walk down from here amongst the twisting alleys and tilting houses then take the inexpensive funicular up to the bohemian Bairro Alto district, home of the famed 'fado houses'.
Take a ride on an Edwardian tram through Lisbon's glorious past. Tram 28 takes you between the Alfama and Estrela Basilica. Stroll amongst the flowery parks or tree-lined streets like Avenida da Liberdade - the Chams Elysees of Portugal.
Outside Lisbon: Travel to the waterside to visit the Tower of Belem and on to the elegant Estoril, home to exiled Royalty and the fishing village of Cascais. There are several good museums including the Gulbenkian and the Museum of Azulejos showing the history of Portugal's hand painted tiles.
Explore Lisbon: Within easy reach of the city are the sandy beaches of several coastal resorts, such as Costa da Caparica, Estoril and Cascais.
Public Transport in Lisbon: Public transport in Lisbon is cheap and easy to use, with the Metro being the fastest way of getting around the city. Alternatively buses and especially the trams, vertical elevator and funicular are both a novel and practical way of discovering the high and low ground of Lisbon. Modern electric trains also link the towns and resorts along the Portuguese Riviera. Transport passes are available including the Lisboa Card which allows unlimited transport and free or reduced entry to many museums and attractions. Taxis are inexpensive and plentiful.
Shopping in Lisbon: For shopping try the Amoreiras shopping centre or Baixa. Good buys are leatherwork, hand painted tiles, ceramics and jewellery. Flea markets are a great place to get a bargain or just browse. The Feira de Ladra in the Alfama district is a popular one and is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Nightlife in Lisbon: The Bairro Alto (high quarter) and Alfama are littered with inexpensive family run cafes bars and restaurants.
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