Lisbon

About the City

Located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is a coastal Western European city built across seven hills. Lisbon captivates tourists with its pastel buildings, intimate alleyways, and rustic streets. Due to its incredible mix of museums, historic buildings, fado music and nightlife, squares, and cafés, it is a very popular year-round destination where one can sit back, relax and watch the world go by.

Some of the great things about Lisbon is that it has comfortable weather throughout the year, an immense cultural history, cheap transport, fun nightlife and affordable food and accommodation making it an ideal travel destination. Lisbon is a beautiful cosmopolitan capital of Portugal abundant with historic monuments and gothic culture and it is excellent travel destination full of character.

History of the City

The age of discovery, from the 15th to the 18th century, made Portugal one of the ruling nations of Europe, while Lisbon was Europe’s most prosperous trading centre. However, this affluent age ended suddenly in 1755, when a devastating earthquake destroyed over half of the city’s buildings. The earthquake ended the port’s reign over the oceans.

Lisbon was rebuilt on its ashes by the first Marquees de Pombal, Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, with wider streets, a more modern city for the modern world. After being captured by Napoleon Bonaparte, most of its treasures and buildings being pillaged, stolen or simply destroyed. But Lisbon was reborn again after the new king returned, as a consequence of the industrial development.

Commuting to the City from the Airport

Portugal's largest international airport is the Aeroporto da Portela located between Loures and Lisboa.

To reach the city, the quickest and cheapest way is travel via the metro and bus. Metro costs about €1.90 and the bus costs €1.75. 

Taxis cost about €10.00 from the airport to the city centre but Lisbon taxi drivers can be rude and unprofessional unless you are in a hurry or have too much luggage to carry around. Charge is according to the meter, adding €1.20 per item of luggage. 

Travelling within the City

Lisbon has a good public transportation infrastructure and it’s very affordable.Trams and buses are the easiest and most affordable ways to get around Lisbon.

The sole way to pay for city transport is buying a rechargeable green-coloured card 7 Colinas (Viva Viagem). It's valid for metro, trams, urban trains, most buses and ferries. Costs of single tickets for bus and metro is €1.40 (€1.80 if bought on-board) and day pass for metro and buses is €6.15.

Walking is also a great option in Lisbon to explore the streets but towards the coastal areas, trams and buses are much more efficient. .

Taxis are commonly available but it is very expensive so it is better to take buses or trams.

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Sightseeings

Exploring the museums, galleries, gardens, and cafes are the best way to fall in love with Lisbon. Get the Lisbon Card if you’re planning to visit many attractions as it offers free or discounted entry. Prices start at €18.50 which is a huge saver and most museums are free on Sundays.

Having a picnic in Jardim Botanico or exploring Alfama- the city's oldest district are some truly unique and captivating experiences that will help you soak up the true essence of Lisbon. Enjoy getting lost in its intricate streets and alleys with architecture ranging from late medieval to 19th Century buildings. Some of the other major highlights include the Castle of São Jorge, Santa Luzia scenic viewpoint, and the medieval Lisbon Cathedral. Go to a Fado bar in this area to enjoy the local music with some really good Port wine.

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Another experience that cannot be missed in Lisbon is riding the Elevador de Santa Justa which is a century-old elevator that provides a sweeping view of Lisbon’s rooftops and offers a good view of the city at the top and a small restaurant where you can eat. A ride costs €2.80 but is free with the 24-hour transportation pass. The elevator is open daily from 7am-11pm.

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In the evening, visit the vibrant Praça do Comércio – Lisbon’s largest and most monumental square which sits along the riverfront and is a picturesque and fascinating place to visit. Most recently renovated in 2010, it’s famous for two marble columns that used to be part of the royal palace. The square is home to a lot of good shops and is great for sitting down and relaxing with a refreshing gelato.

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You can learn more about the sightseeing's and also how to see the sightseeings by reading this article.

One day Trips

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When to go and for how many days?

A minimum of two to three days are required to enjoy the gritty but charming streets of Lisbon.

A day must be spend exploring the coastal regions away from the central city. Lisbon has a number of beaches such as Guincho, Meco, and Morena that allows you to lounge under the hot summer sun.

Another day can be spend exploring the major attraction of the coastal area- Belem. Try the exquisite pastries of Belem- a custard filled pastry oozing with deliciousness that will stay with you forever.

Possible Itinerary

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Restaurants

There is a great variety of restaurants and local eats in Lisbon.

Ponto Final is a restaurant located at the end of the river walk known for their tomato rice and fried baby mackerels.

For Portuguese traditional cuisine at its finest, head to the area of Chiado.

Nightlife

Take some time to enjoy the night life and go clubbing. It is among the best in Europe and home to many affordable discos, Bars, Fado houses, and nightclubs, all catering to different tastes and interests and located throughout the city.

The Bairro Alto district and surrounding area is considered one of the two biggest hot spot for nightlife in Lisbon with more than 100 bars and restaurants in a small neighbourhood.

For more of a clubbing or disco experience, try the Docas district or the Cais do Sodré area where new trendy night clubs have recently opened which are attracting new crowds.

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Rules and Regulations

Do not pee in the ocean in Portugal. It is illegal but there have been no reports of anyone that has ever actually got busted for this.

Social Etiquettes

It is appropriate to shake hands with everyone present in formal situations, which generally means that you haven't met the person before; this applies to men, women and older children.

More Resources

lisboa.info

Emergency Contact Numbers

Police No/ Ambulance/ Fire- 112

Indian Embassy Contact: +351-916653752

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