City of Lisbon

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Lisbon (map) is the capital of Portugal situated on seven hills. Greater Lisbon comprises many other splendid tourist destinations such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra, the seaside resorts of Estoril, Cascais (map), the world class museums, or Almada (map) famous for its hilltop Cristo Rei statue (map).

This is also a city of enchanting contrasts: The elegant squares, broad avenues, monumental buildings and rectangular layout of the lower areas quickly gives way to the hilly, narrow, winding, unpredictable and cramped streets of districts such as Alfama and Bairro Alto.

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the second-oldest European capital city (after Athens), predating other modern European capitals by centuries.

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Official tourism website

It’s often said that Lisbon lacks a defined “downtown”, but tourists will find most of their points of interest in the relatively compact area centered around the vast *Praça do Comércio (map), facing the river.

*Alfama (map) – this neighbourhood still bears signs of the Moorish presence in the city, with the buildings very close to each other, and very irregular streets. It’s very atmospheric and a great spot in which to wander around. Major sights include *Lisbon Cathedral (map) and St. George’s Castle (map).

*Bairro Alto (map) – Head uphill to Bairro Alto and give your legs a good workout, or take one of the elevadores (funiculars) for stunning views of the city and some wild partying in Lisbon’s most popular nightclub district. This district includes with the main shopping and leisure boulevard of Avenida da Liberdade (map) and Chiado (map), an elegant shopping district, and Principe Real (map), the trendy district with all the fancy shops.

*Belém (map) – This monument-packed area is a must-see place, and it contains Lisbon’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Belém Tower (map) and the Jerónimos Monastery (map).

If you are in Lisbon for sightseeing (especially for your first visit), the best location is along the route of tram #28 (see official map of the route). This especially works if you are with a baby stroller, as it will save from huge part of hill-climbing.

Lisbon is known for its lively nightlife. For going out, stroll around the old neighborhood of Bairro Alto for an after-dinner caipirinha or ginjinha and people-watching. Its small streets, full of people, are packed with a high variety of bars.

If you become lost or cannot find the location you are looking for, try to locate the nearest Carris bus or tram stop. Most of these stops (not all) have a very good map of the city with your current location clearly marked on the map. All the prominent tourist sites in Lisbon are also shown along with an index at the bottom of the map.

Public transport

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Carris • Lisbon Metro

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The best and, in many cases, the sole way to pay for city transport is by buying the rechargeable green “Viva Viagem” smartcard. It’s valid on the metro, trams (electricos), urban trains, most buses and ferries.

Tram. Instead of paying for a ride on one of the costly tourist buses, try  line 28 , which winds its way through the “Old Town” of Lisbon beginning in Graça then down to the Alfama and to the Baixa then up through Chiado to Bairro Alto, and then down to Campo Ourique, taking you by many of Lisbon’s most famous and interesting sites including monuments, churches and gardens. The trip is hilly, noisy and hectic but it affords many beautiful glimpses of the city.

Funiculars and a lift. Ascensor da Glória   51E   (Glória Funicular), Praça dos Restauradores (map) to S. Pedro de Alcântara (Bairro Alto). It is the most visited one in the city. Lower station exactly where Avenida Liberdade connects to Restauradores.

 BUS >   Rede Expressos – one of the largest intercity bus companies.

 RAIL >   Comboios de Portugal >> *Rail transport in Portugal

 AIRPORTS >   Lisbon Portela AirportPorto Francisco Sá Carneiro AirportFaro AirportMadeira Airport in FunchalJoão Paulo II Airport in Ponta Delgada.

Lisbon Airport metro station opened in July 2012 and is the new final destination of the red line  Vermelha  of the metro. The journey to the central Saldanha station takes about 16 minutes and less than 25 minutes are enough to get from the Airport to Baixa-Chiado with a change to the green  Verde  or blue  Azul  lines.


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