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City break Lisbon

Experience the authentic atmosphere of Lisbon. Discover unique sights, fun things to do, tips from locals and make your city break truly personal

City break Lisbon

Lisbon is a vibrant city where you'll never run out of things to see, do and taste. Go on a kayak tour morning, see all the highlights with an e-bike tour in the afternoon and enjoy the local cuisine in an authentic restaurant in the evening. Your visit to Lisbon will be filled with fun things to do!

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8 tips for your city break Lisbon

  1. Thirty meters above Baixa is the district Bairro Alto, the lively upper town where you will find many nice vintage shops and trendy bars. The cable car (Elevador da Glória) on Avenida da Liberdade will take you up the steep slope
  2. From Baixa you can take the cast-iron Elevador Santa Justa lift to the higher up (and more chic) Chiado district. This lift was built in 1902 by the Frenchman Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard (pupil of Eiffel).
  3. Alfama is the charming old town district that was spared during the great earthquake. Stroll along the picturesque streets and visit the many small shops, bars and restaurants. In Alfama you will also find the oldest church building in the city, the Cathedral of Lisbon (Sé de Lisboa). The famous Tram 28 takes you through the narrow streets of this and other historic districts
  4. From literature to architecture and from theatre to dance, Lisbon has a wide variety of events and activities. In the summer, Lisbon is flooded by theatre companies from all over the world for two weeks during Festival Todos. And during the Santa Casa Alfama in September, Alfama is all about Fado
  5. Carnival is exuberant every year in Lisbon, go to the Parque das Nações for the best parties. And on June 12th the festas de Lisboa takes place with lots of festivities, a sardine contest and lots of fado music
  6. If you pay attention you will see the famous azulejos (tiles) everywhere in the city, glazed tile panels that protect against mischief or tell a story. Visit the Museu Nacional Do Azulejo and see Portugal's largest tile panel: the 12-metre-long 'Panorama of Lisbon' and learn more about the famous tiles
  7. Portugal's most important art museum is the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. But walking through Old Town offers you some nice art as well. The street art scene is very big in Lisbon. Many old dilapidated buildings have been transformed into art projects
  8. Don't forget to visit the great viewpoints from the seven hills of Lisbon and discover amazing panorama views of the city on every hill. Absolutely recommended.

Information about Lisbon

Lisbon was supposedly founded by Odysseus. What is certain is that the Phoenicians were living in the area about 1200 years B.C. and called it Alis Ubbo (safe port). Lisbon is beautifully situated on the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1755, a large part of this Portuguese capital was destroyed by an earthquake. Today, Lisbon offers a lively combination of history & modernity with many unique places such as the attractive Alfama district, the impressive Ponte 25 de Abril bridge and the beautiful Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world. As early as 1200 BC a trading post (called Olisipo) of the Phoenicians was already situated in the area. Around 200 BC, the city was conquered by the Romans. The city has many historical sights, offering you a glimpse of the many different cultural influences on Lisbon. In the Alfama district, the oldest district of Lisbon you will discover that the city was in the hands of the Moors for a while. In 1147, King Alfonso managed to expel the Moors. The existing fort on a hill was converted into a Royal Palace (Castelo de São Jorge) to protect the city from attack. At that time, the cathedral (Sé) was also built. In 1255, Lisbon became the capital of Portugal.

6 facts about Lisbon

  1. Around 1500, the golden age for Portugal began with the successful discovery of a new route to India by Vasco da Gama. After Vasco da Gama's return, the king had the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Torre de Belém built as a thank you
  2. On November 1st, 1755, there was a severe earthquake that destroyed half of the city. In 1807 Portugal was conquered by Napoleon, the royal family fled to Brazil. Republican ideas emerged. In 1908 the king was murdered
  3. From 1926-1968, dictator Antonio Salazar was in charge of the country. In 1966 the suspension bridge over the Tagus, the Ponte Salazar, was opened. After the Carnation Revolution in 1974 (non-violent military coup) the bridge was renamed Ponte 25 de Abril
  4. The centre of Lisbon with its beautiful Praça do Comércio square on the Tagus is called Baixa Pombalina (the lower town). This luxurious part of the city with many shops had to endure a lot during the heavy earthquake of 1755. The streets here are straight and orderly, in contrast to many other neighbourhoods, where you still walk around in the medieval winding streets
  5. To the west of the center lies Belém on the Tagus, this was the place where Vasco da Gama and Fernão de Magalhães, among others, departed for their voyages of discovery. Here you will find the Torre de Belém, built as a fortress to protect the city, but also the impressive monastery Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the monument of discovery, Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  6. Fado, the Portuguese song of life, was created in the Alfama district in the 18th century. You can still hear it when you walk around the city. The famous fado singer Amália Rodrigues (1921-1999) came from Alfama. Her house has become a fado museum displaying the prizes she won, her clothes, jewellery and letters.

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