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Lisbon



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“By day Lisbon has a naive theatrical quality that enchants and captivates, but by night it is a fairy-tale city, descending over lighted terraces to the sea, like a woman in festive garments going down to meet her dark lover.”
― Erich Maria Remarque

Lisboa - Plena de Sabor” (Lisbon - Full of Flavor).  This slogan is the tourism board’s official campaign for Portugal’s largest city. In general, it’s very difficult to accurately capture the essence of a city within three short words, but after visiting Lisbon, you will agree the tourism board has nailed it. 

The capital of Portugal since 1255 when King Alphonse II moved the court from Coimbra, Lisbon is not only regarded as one of the sunniest of the European capitals but one with a rich history on display. The soft white limestone facades of the oldest neighborhood, Alfama, welcome tourists, and locals, calling to them through the medium of Fado music drifting wistfully from the abundance of bars, or the smell of petisco (Portuguese tapas) wafting from a myriad of restaurants.

Like it’s ancient rival Porto, Lisbon rests on mighty rivers originating from the eastern Spanish highlands. The largest is the Targus River with an estuary over 9 miles wide at its broadest point, which made it an ideal spot for an Iberian settlement. Remnants of human settlements in the vicinity of the city date back to the Neolithic period and since that time successful invasions have resulted in occupation by Carthaginians, Romans, Suebi, Visigoths, and Moors. The rich tapestry of Lisbon’s history has been woven into the very fabric of the city. One of the things that surprise visitors is the beautiful black and white patterned pavements. The technique known as calçada portuguesa was used for the first time in Lisbon in 1842 and quickly became very popular in Portuguese cities. A statue of the Calceteiro (paver) can be seen at Rua da Victoria.

Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring Lisbon

Spend some time in Lisbon on a tour that takes in other cities in Portugal and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including Lisbon and other destinations throughout Portugal and Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.

Where to stay in Lisbon

Lisbon is not a city that will be kind to your calves, as it is built on hills rising sharply from the banks of the Targus river. We suggest accommodations around the Avenida Liberdade, near the main areas like Baixa, Chiado, and Barrio Alto for more of a flat earth feeling. Relax in the majesty of a Palacio and feel like royalty for the duration of your stay. Whether you seek the ultimate in luxury or a lower-key but chic boutique hotel, we've done our homework on Lisbon's finest stays. Once we start preparing your customized itinerary, we will present our recommended options for you to select from.
Modern Design Hotel
A modern design hotel with great variety of facilities by the historic center.
Luxury hotel
Brand new hotel in a historical building with detailed oriented design
Boutique luxury hotel
A boutique-chic hotel offering contemporary art, vintage details, and fine dining.

Things to do in Lisbon

Like all global cities, visitors to Lisbon may unduly suffer from FOMO due to the abundance of things to do and lists telling you the hits and misses! We have curated a summary of our favorites to help reduce this inevitable fear. For starters (no pun intended), the Sr. Fado restaurant in Alfama might be described as the dictionary definition of a Fado experience. As soon as the dinner hits the nine cozy tables, the restaurant owners turn from servers to performers. In the event that you still have lingering fear over missing out on other Portuguese delicacies, a day spent in the Time Out Market Lisboa is the only cure. To step back in time, take a ride to Saint George Castle on the historic Tram 28, some of the carriages date back to 1930!

Lisbon claims the title of the city with more libraries per square foot than any other!  Don’t miss visiting the oldest in the world, Bertrand Livraria located on Rua Garrett 73-75. You can complete this literary walk with a coffee in the nearby A Brasileira café (Rua Garrett 122) where Fernando Pessoa used to spend his afternoons. Marvel at the colossal Jéronimos Monastery which took over a century to build. Venture up to the top of Sao Jorge Castle, built by the Moors in the 11th century, to take in the views enjoyed by Portugal’s first king, Dom Afonso Henriques. You won’t have the opportunity to attend one of his lavish soirees but the 360-degree views of the city and the Targus river to the east and south will more than make up for this. For a completely unique experience, visitors must visit the Santa Justa Lift, described as the world’s most beautiful elevator and designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, Mesnier du Ponsard, in 1902. For a more romantic experience, why not take in the lights of the city from a different perspective with a sunset sailboat tour along the Targus. Still unsure of what to do? Don’t worry, our destination specialists are just a phone call or email way from booking your leisurely, or lively, Lisbon experience!

Sintra and Cascais Private Tour
Sunset Sailing Private Tour
Setubal Private Day Trip and Food Experience
Arrabida Natural Park Private Hiking Tour
Portuguese Dishes Private Cooking Class
Lisbon Private Walking Tour

Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Lisbon

How many days should I spend in Lisbon?
Count on three nights if you would like to explore Lisbon properly. A full day should be dedicated to the must-see sites and activities, like traveling on tram 28. Go offbeat or on a day trip to one of the nearby UNESCO heritage sites on the second day. On the third day, you can explore the outdoor sites and/or enjoy some culinary delights.
How much should I expect to spend person per day in Lisbon?
Plan to spend at least 30 EUR (38 USD) on food and another 10-15 EUR (20 USD) on admissions. The cost of public transportation is incidental and low, especially if you prefer walking. Otherwise, it is a one-time cost for a one or two-day ticket.
Where's best, easiest and safest to get some local currency in Lisbon?
The easiest way to get local currency, which is Euro in Portugal, is an ATM. Please be aware that banking fees occur when withdrawing cash abroad. Consult your bank about these in advance. Using your credit card in Portugal is convenient. Always ask to get charged in the local currency, as this saves you money. Please note that in Europe, chip and pin technology is in use. EuroPay, Mastercard and Visa cards are generally accepted. In case you have a different payment card, please contact your card issuer before traveling abroad to find out about being able to use it Portugal.
How do I get around Lisbon?
Lisbon's city center and historic quarters are relatively big, but still explorable on foot. You can take a bus, tram, or metro if you wish to explore different parts of the city. Lisbon is a hilly city and funiculars as well as cable cars will indeed be helpful in getting around. The flat fare on buses and metro is around 2 EUR.
What's shopping like in Lisbon?
Lisbon awaits its visitors with excellent shopping options. This large, cosmopolitan city has some gleaming shopping malls such as Colombo as well as creative and artisan shops and family-run businesses in traditional markets. For a quirky shopping experience, make sure to visit the LxFactory.
What kind of cultural venues will I find in Lisbon?
The number of cultural venues in Lisbon seems to be endless. Palaces, churches, museums as well as the Alfama and Alto neighborhoods await the city visitors. Once in Lisbon, make sure to visit the lookout towers to see this hilly city from above. Walk through the old town, then climb up to one of the many lookout points. The art-lovers should not miss the National and the Gulbenkian museums.
What are the options in Lisbon for people with dietary restrictions and intolerances?
Portuguese cuisine is rich in vegetables, fish & seafood, meat, and potatoes. People on a gluten-free diet should not struggle with choosing their food at any restaurant and pescatarians will indeed feel spoiled. Vegetarians and vegans might need to ask for options when dining at a traditional restaurant. There also are numerous vegetarian and vegan specialized eateries. Milk is not a typical ingredient in the Portuguese main dishes but is used in sweets and desserts. Lactose and gluten-free baked goods and desserts are available at vegan restaurants and bakeries.
Is Lisbon safe?
Lisbon is a safe city. As in any other destination, however, one needs to be cautious about petty crimes. Do not leave your belongings unattended in restaurants, shops, and cafes. The Portuguese capital is safe during the day, but there are some parts of it that travelers should stay away from late at night. These include the crowded central or coastal areas where one can become a victim of pickpocketing.
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