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Lisbon and Sintra Maps
 

Highlights

Alfama
Baixa
Belém
Bairro Alto
Castel São Jorge
Elevador de Santa Justa
Parque das Nações
Oceanarium

Castelo dos Mouros
Pena Palace
Sintra National Palace
 
Hotels in and Around Lisbon
Alfama
Bairro Alto
Castelo Dos Mouros
City Centre Lisbon
Central Train Station
Monastery of the Hieronymites
Lisbon Airport
Belem Tower
Parque das Nacoes

 
Sintra Hotels
Sintra
 

 

IN A NUTSHELL
WHAT: Lisbon.
WHERE: Portugal.
WHY: Architecture, monuments, great food, and great nighlife, all at a great price.
WHEN: Any time of year.
HOW: International flights into Portela Airport (Lisbon).
IF YOU LIKE THIS... Then you should check out Valletta
.

Lisbon is known for its thrilling nightlife, its famed monuments, and its hills.  Lisbon lies in Central Portugal at the mouth of the Tagus River.  Since its beginnings as a Phoenician harbor town, it has been successively ruled by the Romans, Goths, and Moors.  In 1147, crusader knights led by Alfonso I recaptured Portugal and it became the nation's capital city in 1255.

 

 
  

Lisbon grew in leaps and bounds over the next few centuries, especially during the rise of Portuguese seapower.  The great moments of this seafaring nation have been captured by the 16th Century monuments at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Belém, located just west of downtown Lisbon.

Today's Lisbon bears the marks of the massive earthquake of 1755 (followed by a tsunami and fire), which killed between 60,000 and 90,000 people, and destroyed 85% of the city. 

The city's downtown area, or Baixa, was planned and rebuilt after the earthquake by the Marquis de Pombal, who emplaced a grid system to replace the winding old Medieval streets.  This new city of broad avenues and open plazas (praças in Portuguese) is the Lisbon that we see today.

The one section of the city to survive relatively unscathed was the Alfama, or Moorish section of town.  This district, occupying the hill below the Castle of São Jorge, retains much of this lost Medieval flavor, with windy streets and red tiled roofs and Moorish architecture.


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Lisbon Highlights and Travel Tips

BAIXA AND PRAÇA DO COMERCIO
Praça do Comercio (Commerce Square), on the Tagus River, is the beginning of Lisbon's Baixa, or downtown district.

BAIRRO ALTO AND ELEVADOR DE SANTA JUSTA
The Bairro Alto (Upper Quarter) occupies the top of a steep hill just west of Lisbon's Baixa district.  This area functions as a residential, shopping, and entertainment district. 

ALFAMA AND CASTEL SÃO JORGE
The Alfama is the one district of Lisbon to survive the earthquake of 1755 relatively untouched.  This district still retains a Moorish flavor, and is topped by the Castel São Jorge (St. George's Castle).

TORRE DE BELÉM & MONOSTEIRO DOS JERONIMOS
This monument-packed neighborhood on the Tagus River, west of downtown, features a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PARQUE DAS NAÇÕES
The Park of Nations was built for the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon, and features shops, restaurants, a riverside pedestrian area, and one of the world's largest aquariums, the Lisbon Oceanarium.

LISBON PANORAMAS
Take a look at our Lisbon Panorama pictures to fully experience this vibrant and beautiful capital city.

MY TRIP TO PORTUGAL
Read what I did to learn from my discoveries...and mistakes.

LISBON AND SINTRA MAPS
Take a look at our maps
to get acquainted with the city, landmarks, and public transportation system.
 

My Trip to Portugal

Hotel: I stayed with some friends at the Aparthotel VIP Eden, which is an apartment-type hotel.  Our room included a kitchen / living room area, with a mini-fridge, cooking area, and a couch.  The second room had a double bed, desk and chair.  The hotel also has a rooftop pool and breakfast area with views of downtown Lisbon.

I definitely recommend the hotel; not only was it a great deal to stay in with some friends, but the location is absolutely fantastic.  It is steps away from the underground metro station, and a quick walk from the Rossio train station.  In addition, it lies on the edge of the Baixa downtown pedestrian area, and across a main street from a row of restaurants and outdoor cafes.

Transportation:
The elevadors/funiculars provide a fantastic way to get up to the Bairro Alto, which is just uphill from the hotel.  Be sure to use this cheap transport to get up the hill -- all the locals do.

Trains are clean, on time, and generally a great way to get around town and to the outer sites at Belém, Parque das Naçoes, and Sintra.  Transfer from the underground lines to the above ground trains at the larger stations.

Taxicabs are surprisingly cheap in Lisbon.  The meters go up slowly and you can get a 15-20 minute ride for a the price of a few Euro.  I only discovered the cheap cab fares as I was rushing to get to the airport, and immediately wished that I had made liberal use of them during my trip.

Lisboa Card:
Available at the airport and Turismo de Lisboa offices, Lisboa Cards area a great deal -- they grant cardholders free use on nearly all public transportation and discounts at museums and monuments.  You can buy them in 24, 48, or 72-hour blocks.  Adult tickets typically cost 12.75, 21.50, and 26.55 Euro for 24, 48, and 72-hour blocks.  Tickets for children aged 5-11 cost 5.70, 8.55, and 11.40 Euro respectively.

Moving to Germany?  Look at out our tips!

Moving to Germany
Whether you are a member of the US Air Force, Army, or Navy, check out our guide to moving to Europe. 
 

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