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Lisbon basks in the sun reflecting off the Tejo River and quickly seduces most visitors. The mixture of history and modernity, of small town and metropolis, of the antiquated and the shining new is irresistible. Add excellent shopping, late but safe night life and restaurants with Europe’s best fish, and you have Lisbon in a nutshell.
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Do and see
Most of the best sights, restaurants and nightlife are situated along the river. There are plenty of things to do and see in Lisbon. Below are a few suggestions on how to spend your time here:
Castelo De São Jorge
Castelo de São Jorge is one of the oldest structures in Lisbon. This was once a fortress (taken by the Moors in 1147), and now a must-see landmark with fantastic views of the city.
Mosteiro Dos Jerónimos
In Belém, situated west of the city along the river, lies Lisbon’s and possibly Portugal’s most important historical monument. Here you can see an opulent church and cloistered garden built in the elegant Manuelian style at the beginning of the 16th century when Portugal was a great sea-going power. There are several other sights close by.
National Tile Museum
National Tile Museum is devoted to the tiles which are so typical in Portugal, housed in a monastery whose varying building styles and decoration gives a good summary of the country’s history. One of the high points is an enormous tiled fresco which shows Lisbon as it was just before the big earthquake in 1755.
Fundação Gulbenkian
The largest single cultural institution in Portugal was founded in 1955 when Calouste Gulbenkian, the Armenian oil millionaire, donated his estate to the country that had welcomed him during World War II. The museum, constructed in 1969, which houses his extensive collections, is part of a larger complex that includes concert halls, a park, restaurants and a museum of modern art.
Parque Das Nações
The area where Expo 98 was held has been successfully transformed into a centre for exhibitions, leisure and culture. The extensive amount of building since the Expo almost overshadows pearls such as Siza Vieira’s Portugal pavilion and Santiago Calatrava’s adjacent Oriente Station.
Oceanario de Lisboa
This is one of the biggest aquariums in Europe and it shows more than 100 different species. Some of the animals that are exposed here are barracudas, tuna, sharks, rays and one of the most popular attractions is a large sunfish. This is an adventure for all ages.
When you are tired of the city vibe and long for the sea, surfing could be a good way to relax and do something else for a while a while. One of the surfing companies located in the city is Epic Surf School, which holds courses for both beginners and advanced.
Igreja de Sao Roque
The Jesuits built this church in 1574 and its interior is breathtaking. One of the world’s most expensive chapels, covered in gemstones, marble, mosaics, gold, silver and bronze, is to be found here. It was built by 130 artists in Rome, and then transported to Lisbon after the blessing of the pope.
Lisbon Airport
Lisbon Airport is located very close to the city centre. So it is quick, easy and cheap to get to and from the airport. There is one airport bus (Aerobus) with two lines that operates from 7 am-11.20 pm. Aerobus line 1 connects the airport and Cais do Sodré, departing every 20 minutes. Aerobus line 2 links the airport with the financial centre, Av. José Malhoa, and departs every 40 minutes. Public transportation such as metro and public buses are also available. The underground train takes about 21 minutes. www.metrolisboa.pt A taxi to the centre takes between twenty minutes and a half an hour. The traffic is also somewhat higher during nights and weekends.
Public Transport
Lisbon is well provided for with public transport, including buses, underground, local trains, ferries, trams and funiculars. The two latter are the least efficient but most entertaining. Buses and Underground stop running around 1 am, there are night buses but it is easiest to take a taxi for late night journeys.
Taxis can be stopped on the street, taken from stations or phoned. In central Lisbon, empty taxis circulate frequently, except during rush hours or when it rains. Tips are not mandatory, but are appreciated even if they are small. Autocoope +351 217 932 756 www.autocoope.pai.pt Retalis Rádio Táxis +351 218 119 000 www.retalis.pt Teletáxis:
The post offices are generally open from Mon-Fri 8am and 10pm. The main post office at Praça dos Restauradores has longer opening hours. Main Post Office:
Each suburb has a 24 hour pharmacy (farmácia, with a green cross) according to a schedule posted in the windows of closed pharmacies. Farmácia Andrade:
Country code: +351 Area code: 21
220 V/50Hz
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