Lisbon travel guide

Planning a trip to Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the least visited of Western Europe's great capitals, which is a way makes it among the friendliest and most intimate, a homey port city with mosaic-like sidewalks, clanking old trams, and late baroque architecture draped amongst a gathering of seven hills by the seaside.

What to see and do in Lisbon

In Lisbon, you can stroll alongside peacocks in the gardens and keeps of the ages-old Castelo de São Jorge, then descend into the hammock of tangled streets of the medieval and Renaissance Alfama quarter, an area of faded aristocratic grandeur that was largely spared by the 1755 earthquake which flattened the rest of town and caused much of it to be rebuilt along the lovely lines of 18th century urban planning.

Visit the portside neighborhood of Belém to see its fabulous 1502 Mosteiro de Jerónimos built to celebrate the journey of Vasco de Gama, who like Ferdinand Magellan and the other great Portuguese navigators, set off on his voyage of discovery from this point. These captains are collectively celebrated by the Tower of Belém, a Gothico-Moorish icon for the entire country.

Then there's the Gulbenkian Museum filled with ancient artifacts from around the world and Old Master paintings; the National Coach Museum filled with opulent and historic carriages (finest collection of its kind in the world); the clubs and fado cafes and of the Bairro Alto neighborhood.

A sidetrip to Sintra

Make time to experience the undeniable charms of hilltop Sintra, a cool and wooded conglomeration of villages some 16 miles from Lisbon, where the Moorish and Christian kings of Portugal once spent their summers.


Tours Under $995 G Adventures

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in December 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.