Lisbon City Guide
The most essential Lisbon information is to be found in this page. Take a look at our Lisbon guide and follow the links to discover the beauty of the city.
Start with a walk in Baixa, the city centre; take the Elevador de Santa Justa, a 1901 lift to see a view from above. Then wander in the streets up until the Praça do Comércio, which borders on River Tagus. Take your time to taste the local custard pastries during daytime and to feel the music of the fados at night.
Take a tram to climb up any of the city’s seven hills for a panoramic view; the one you cannot miss is the roman Castelo de Sao Jorge, located in the picturesque neighbourhood of Alfama.
If you’re seeking even more breathtaking views of the city, then take a ferry to Cristo Rei, a 100 meter statue of Christ similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro. Another unexpected similarity is between the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Bridge of 25th of April (Ponte 25 de Abril), which is also worth a visit.
Then go to the district of Belém and try to imagine the 15th century explorers sailing from that point to discover the world. The Monument to the Discoveries is there to commemorate them; but what gets your mind set to this time period is the really beautiful renaissance tower of Belém. The monastery of the Jeronimos is only a few steps further and its 15th century architecture make it a particularly interesting place.
If you’re an art lover, then the Gulbenkian Museum will surprise you with its variety, ranging from Egyptian artefacts to 19th -century French painting. In Lisbon art is never too far away: take the Lisbon metro and you’ll find a surprising exhibition of contemporary art in the various metro stops.
Get carried away by the beauty of the Portuguese capital: find all the necessary Lisbon information with Lisbon-Apartments. After you look at our Lisbon guide you can follow the links to find out everything there is to know for an unforgettable holiday.
Facts about Lisbon, Portugal:Area: 87 sq km (34 sq mi)
Best time to visit Lisbon:
Lisbon has a mild climate most of the year round, with an average annual temperature of 63° F (17° C). This makes the city pleasant to visit at any time. Even though some summer days may be very warm, especially in the city center, the evenings cool off quite a bit.
During the winter time, the weather is considerably better than in northern European countries. Do keep in mind that it does snow in the Lisbon region and the rain is more prominent than during the summer.
Spring time is the best time of the year to visit the monuments and the blooming gardens, since the weather is very agreeable. Summer is the beach season and it’s the best time of the year to experience the wonderful beaches along the Lisbon Coast.
Autumn, brings with it a romantic atmosphere to the city. A great time for you to discover the quiet, romantic, and narrow streets of the old bairros (quarters) like Alfama and Bairro Alto.
How to get there:
Lisbon is very easy to get to. From most European locations it is a short flight away, easily accessed by road, sea and rail.
The airport has daily flights with the following national airlines: TAP, Tap Air Portugal, PGA Portugália Airlines and Air Luxor. The airport is located seven kilometres (four miles) north of the city. The airport is 20-25 minutes from the city centre. Taxi queues can be long (flag a cab down at Departures instead) and rip-offs common. For a hassle-free ride, buy a Taxi Voucher (good for specific city destinations in some taxis) from the Turismo de Lisboa desk in the arrivals terminal. The budget-option Aero-Bus runs to the Cais do Sodré train station via the Praça do Comércio turismo (TAP Air Portugal ticket holders travel free if displaying a boarding pass). Local buses also run, but they can be a nightmare in rush hour if you have baggage.
If you’re driving to Lisbon, enjoy the countryside along the way. The A1 Auto-estrada do Norte extends from Porto to Lisbon and the A8 arrives from destinations to the north and west of the city. The A9 bypasses Lisbon, connecting the A1, A8 and the A5, which links Lisbon with Cascais and the beaches. The A2 Auto-estrada do Sul arrives from the Algarve via Almada and the Ponte 25 de Abril. The A12 crosses the Ponte Vasco da Gama, offering a less congested route into the city. International trains arrive in Lisbon every day, mainly to Santa Apolónia Station and more recently to the Gare do Oriente, the newest railway station located in the former Expo Park, today known as Nations Park. Intercity trains connect all of Portugal’s major cities to either Lisbon or Porto. Both the comfortable Alfa Service from Porto and the InterCity train from Faro take 3 hours 30 minutes to reach Lisbon. There are overnight trains from Madrid (10 hours) and Paris (18 hours 30 minutes).
International cruise ships stop at Alcântara, Rocha do Conde de ”bidos and Santa Apolónia. There are five marinas that receive private boats and provide mooring, Bom Sucesso, Belém, Santo Amaro, Alcântara and Olivais.
Transportation in the city:
Trains, trams, ferries and an underground metro service most parts of Lisbon. The most important stations are Santa Apolónia, Barreiro and Gare do Oriente. The metro, which resembles the Moscow metro in many ways, is interesting if you want to move around the city quickly. The No 28 tram through the hilly streets of historic, cobblestoned Alfama and the Bairro Alto give an excellent overall impression of Lisbon! If you do not want to make too much effort, there are also the elevadors and funiculars. The following is an excellent link with information on the different types of transportation in the city:Lisbon Transport
Restaurants to visit:
In Lisbon one can find restaurants and small cafÈs with some of the most famous Portuguese specialties, pastries and simple fresh fish. The old city center is an excellent place to try some of this cuisine out, in the Baixa or the medieval Alfama neighbourhoods. They offer you charcoal grilled sardines, bacalhau cooked in cream, caldereida and acorda, the national dish, (a bread based stew rich in seafood and flavoured with cilantro). This cosmopolitan city also offers a variety of vegetarian, macrobiotic and international cuisine. Take note, however, many restaurants are closed on Sundays.
Tipping Advice: service is generally included in restaurant and hotel bills, if not 10% -15% tip is correct. Other service staff such as maids and porters are normally tipped 1-2 euros.
Shopping and Opening Hours:
Quick tips: Shops close for approximately 2 hours at midday for Siesta. Banks are open until mid afternoon. Larger museums remain open all day. Year round, there are Religious Festivals or ‘Romarias’. Traditional markets are held twice weekly behind the Church of Sao Vincente de Fora.