Lisbon Booking Hotel e Touristic Information
Search hotels in Lisbon
Lisbon – The Portuguese Capital City of Museums, Trams and Music Festivals
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. It is also one of the oldest cities in Europe. The city is located in the western part of the country.
The name of the city came from Lisboa. It is a Portuguese word for safe harbor. The city is an Alpha World City. It is also recognized as the 25th most livable European city. The city has many functions. One of which is it serves as the political center of Portugal. It is also the seat of the Portuguese government.
The present city underwent a long history. Megaliths are signs of its early history. They can still be found in the countryside. Its location is near the Tagus River. It is located in the Iberian Peninsula. The location provided favorable conditions for settlement.
Phoenicians are said to have settled here. Phoenician remains from the 8th century were found near the main cathedral. Modern historians say differently. Iberian people are said to have stayed there. They believe the remains came from trade.
The Iberian Peninsula was also known as Hispania. It was the name given to the peninsula. Lisbon was called Olissipo at that time. Carthage first occupied the Peninsula as part of the Carthaginian Empire. The Romans later captured Carthage. Its name was later changed to Felicitas Julia. It marked its addition into the Roman Empire.
Many Roman structures were made in this period. Religious temples were built. The Cassian Baths were built. They can be found below the present Rua da Prata. The city became prosperous. The city is also well known for Garum. It is a mixture similar to fish sauce. The city flourished more with trade. Christianity was later introduced in the city.
The city underwent Moorish rule in 711 AD. Portugal retook it later in 1147 AD. It later became the capital city in 1255 AD. The first university was made in 1290 AD. It is now known as the University of Coimbra. The city later became an important post for trade.
Portuguese expeditions from the 15th century to 17th century began here. The golden age of the city happened in the 16th century. The Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower are monuments of this golden age. Lisbon became the center of commerce in Europe.
Cafes and theatres marked the 19th century. Avenida da Liberdade opened in 1879. Universities and institutes sprang up in the 20th century. The city was recently recognized as the European capital of culture in 1994.
Lisbon has now become one of the best cities in the world. It has become a city of international trade, arts, education, finance and tourism.
You will find various tourist attractions in the city. Some of these are the:
The National Museum of ancient art has collections of famous works. Saint Vincent Panels is one of the works. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum has around 1000 pieces in its art collection. The Lisbon Oceanarium contains 16,000 marine organisms from around the world.
The National Museum of Costume and Fashion has 33,000 costumes. The National Coach Museum displays historical carriages from all over the world.
Other museums are the Museo do Azulejo, Berardo collection museum, Electricity museum, and Museu da Farmacia.
This 75 meter monument has a statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top. The statue is 28 meters tall.
You can visit this national monument by car, train or ferry. An observation deck is open for tourists. It is located below the statue. A great view of Lisbon can be seen from there. Other sights can also be seen from there.
The cathedral is the oldest church in Lisbon. It dates back from 1147 AD. A rose window can be seen on the west facade. A Romanesque iron gate stands on one of the chapels.
Gothic style also prevails in the cathedral. Gothic cloisters are located above twin arches. Ribbed vaults decorate the top interior. Light enters the cathedral through the windows or clerestory.
Three tombs of historical people can be found inside. They are the tombs of King Alfonso IV of Portugal, Lord Ferreira de Aves, and an unidentified royal princess.
Monsanto Forest Park
The park has a 1,000 hectare green patch. It is the largest in the city. Tree forests surround the Monsanto hills. These forests are protected.
The Ecological Park can also be found inside. The park contains lots of attractions. You can visit the exhibitions and auditorium. If also has a Multimedia Resources Centre and Interpretation Centre.
A national environment organization can also be found in the Monsanto Park. The organization is named Quercus.
Castle of Lisbon
The castle is also called the Castle of São Jorge. This Moorish citadel is located at the Lisbon hilltop. The renovated castle attracts many tourists. It also offers a great view of the city.
A 19th century gate leads to the entrance of the castle. You will find a terraced square inside. A bronze statue of “The Founder” stands on the square. You can view a multimedia presentation of the city history near the square.
A medieval castle stands on the northwest side of the citadel. Ten towers compose the medieval castle. Walls between the towers divide the courtyard of the castle. You can reach the towers through stairways.
Praca do Commercio
It is also known as Commerce Square and Palace Square. The square is 170 meters long. It is also 170 meters wide. It is located near the Augusta Street Arch in Lisbon.
The square forms a “U” shape. Two towers are placed on each end of the “U”. A statue of King Jose I stands on the center. The Arco da Rua Augusta also stands on the square. It is located between the Commerce Square and the Rossio Square.
The square is originally known as the Pedro IV square. It is named in honor of the King of Portugal. A column stands in the center of the square. You can see a statue of the ruler on top of it.
The square currently serves as a popular assembly spot in Lisbon. The Maria II Theatre and Public Gardens can be found on the northern side. Traditional shops and historical cafes surround the square. You can meet other tourists here. Local people also meet here.
Tower of Belem
The tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its other name is Tower of St Vincent. It is now located at the Belem district in Lisbon. It stands near the Tagus River.
This fortified tower has four stories. Its total height is 30 meters. The tower is built with lioz limestone. This rare stone is found in the Lisbon area. A staircase connects the floors. A bastion also projects on the side to the river.
First Floor: The Governor's Room
Second Floor: The King's Room with a corridor
Third Floor: The Audience Room
Fourth Floor: The Chapel with a terrace
A rhinoceros sculpture can be found on the turrets. It is the first animal sculpture in Western Europe. The virgin of Belem statue stands in the niche of the bastion platform. A child is carried on one hand. Grapes are carried on the other hand. The statue also has other names:
Our Lady of Good Success
Our Lady of the Grapes
Vasco De Gama Bridge
This 17.2 km bridge is the longest bridge in Europe. It has 6 road lanes. Traffic can reach thousands daily. The bridge was completed in 1998. Its life expectancy is 120 years. Toll is collected for traffic to Lisbon.
Various sections compose the bridge. It has one main bridge. It also has 4 viaducts. Two access roads extend the bridge.
Music and Arts Festivals
Lisbon also holds numerous festivals throughout the year. These include the:
Optimus Alive! or Alive! is one of those festivals. It belongs to the top 12 festivals in Europe. It was first held in 1997. Yearly celebrations followed. The 3 day festival is held annually at Passeio Maritimo de Alges. Pearl Jam and Linkin Park joined the festival in 2007. Bob Dylan joined the next festival in 2008. Black Eyed Peas and Metallica performed in the 2009 festival. Pearl Jam performed again in the 2010 festival.
Super Bock Super Rock is another festival in the country. It belongs to the largest festivals in Portugal. It is a festival for rock and metal music. It was first created in 1994. The festival was celebrated from 1995 to 1998. It continued in 2004 to 2009. The festival will be held from 2010 to 2020 at Meco.
Luxury accommodations are available throughout the city. Cheap accommodations are also available. You can find accommodations for every budget. Lisbon accommodations also come with style. They have accommodations such as:
Apartment – suitable for families
Guesthouse – basic accommodations similar to pensions
Hotel – offers one star to three star friendly accommodations
Pension – usually includes meals
Accommodations are available throughout the city. So search for a room early. Confirm your reservations. Be prepared for your stay in the city.
Transport & Security
Transportation in the city is simple. You can travel to Lisbon through its metro. It connects the districts and suburbs of the city. There are also commuter trains. You can ride them to reach your destination in the city.
Public transportation is available throughout the city. Trams are one of them. Trams serve as tourist icons in the city. These compact yellow vehicles are suitable for the steep hills and narrow streets in the city.
Buses are also available in Lisbon. You can find them at the different bus terminals.
Did you know?
1998 marked the 500th anniversary of Vasco de Gama's journey to India.
The Christo Rei monument honors the city's survival of World War II.
A street elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa) was made in the 1990's.
The city has a world record for the largest banquet table.
The streets are colored black and white.
The city has a lot more remarkable points to find out. So learn more about the sights around the city. Walk around its narrow streets. Enjoy the rock music in the festivals. Discover the city of Lisbon in Portugal.