Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km². Its urban area extends beyond the city’s administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 2.8 million people live in the Lisbon (Lisboa) Metropolitan Area, which represents approximately 27% of the country’s population. (Wikipedia Info)
The geography of Lisbon can be confusing, It’s a very hilly city ( 7 hills ). Lisbon is a legendary city with over 20 centuries of History and the capital of Portugal since its conquest from the Moors in 1147,
The Alfama quarter is one of the oldest in Lisbon, since it survived the earthquake, the area still looks much of its original layout. Next to Alfama are the old quarters of Castelo and Mouraria, the western and northern slopes of the hill that is crowned by St. George’s Castle.
To the west of Praça do Comercio is Bairro Alto and Madragoa, with their typical streets, and on the western extreme is Belém, with its Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Cultural Center of Belém.
In Lisbon you can experience springtime temperatures during the winter and cool summers freshened by a breeze blowing in from the Atlantic.
The big square near the river (Praça do Comercio) is the Baixa Pombalina, stretching from the Rossio (Praça Dom Pedro IV). The Baixa is the area of town which was rebuilt first after the big earthquake (1755), which destroyed the area. Spreading along the Tagus river, Lisbon downtown is from the XVIII century (Rossio). The Rossio is packed with shops of all kinds, and during the day it’s packed with shoppers as well. It’s great fun, and a great place to find clothes and souvenirs. There are some wonderful shops for wine, try Napoleao at Rua dos Fanqueiros 70, where you can taste almost any bottle before you buy.
Every year in June, the streets of all three quarters come alive with the feasts in honor of the popular Saint Antony. The Graça quarter and the churches of São Vicente de Fora and Santa Engrácia are within walking distance of this area. Blue skies and sunshine brightens the city most of the year. Lisbon is typical tile building facades with every color and narrow Medieval streets, where one can hear the fado being sung at night.
Lisbon is also the stage for modern art, summer music festivals, exquisite shopping and exciting nightlife.
Lisbon Museums to visit:
National Ancient Art Museum, Chiado (Contemporary Art), Tile (Mother of God Monastery), Archaeology, Ethnology, National Coach Museum, Costume, Theater, Maritime, Military, City, Gulbenkian, Modern Art Center, and the Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva Foundation.
Lisbon Palaces open to the public:
- Ajuda and Fronteira.
Cathedral (with Treasury); São Vicente de Fora; Conceição Velha (Manueline), São Roque and Sacred Art; Madre Deus; Santa Engrácia Pantheon (Baroque), and the Estrela Basilica.
Avenida da Liberdade, Avenida de Roma, Praça de Londres, Principe Real, Chiado, Baixa, Rua Castilho, Bairro Alto, Campo de Ourique, Avenida Guerra Junqueiro and Amoreiras.
Bairro Alto and Avenida 24 de Julho.
Places to Visit Around Lisbon:
Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip – Mediterranean vegetation by the Atlantic; Azeitão – Sleepy village with fine mansions and wine; Cascais – Playground of nobility; picturesque resort; a surfer’s, windsurfer and kite paradise; Ericeira – Traditional seaside village; surfing mecca, superb seafood; Estoril – The inspiration for James Bond; Europe’s largest casino; Golf courses; Mafra – One of Europe’s biggest palaces, the building that bankrupted the nation; Óbidos – A medieval village, not to be missed; Queluz – Palace mixing Versailles’ French grandeur and Portuguese eclecticism; Sintra – Enchanting with mystery atmosphere; Romantic; Europe’s western point; Sesimbra – Calm waters in a fishing village, mystical cape; Setubal – Busy port; the birthplace of Manueline architecture; dolphin-watching