A holiday in Lisbon

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Lisbon, Portugal’s capital

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, a city located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and set on seven hills, as the legend says. The city is characterized by a particular type of charm which stems mostly from it’s strong links to its past as well as the presence of water as a defining element.


 

A charming city… built on seven hills

Lisbon Portugal Photo

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon’s weird and wonderful mix of cultures and architecture sets it apart from most other European capitals, with its cobble-stoned pavements, narrow streets and Art Nouveau cafes almost guaranteeing that there are many hidden things waiting to be discovered.

Keeping in mind its link to the past, you’ll be astounded at the sheer number of renovated palaces and fabulous churches that you’ll encounter during your stay, not to mention the impressive castle that overlooks the city from a hilltop.

The city is also home to a large number of great museums which focus on both ancient and modern art, most prominent among them being:

  • - the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum: this is where you can find an interesting assortment of Egyptian artifacts alongside paintings from masters such as Rembrandt and Renoir;
  • - the National Museum of Contemporary Art;
  • - the National Coach Museum: housed in what used to be the palace’s riding school, the building now houses the largest collection of coaches and royal vehicles in the world;
  • - the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art;
  • - the Carmo Archaeological Museum.

We mentioned earlier that water is a defining characteristic of the city and that is so because Lisbon is one of the very few European capitals to feature both a coastline and a river, the city boasts a very long maritime history. The Maritime Museum, or Museu de Marinha, focuses on the long naval history of the city and the country as a whole, featuring model ships, uniforms and nautical instruments. Interestingly enough the museum features the polished private quarters of the 1900 UK-built royal yacht Amelia as well as a series of ornate royal barges; just as a side-note to this, the city also has a Water Museum.

However Lisbon is so much more than museums, culture and architecture, it is also a modern European capital with all the bells and whistles that come with it, such as a very vibrant nightlife on the one hand, with bars and clubs catering to the current music scene, as well as establishments which feature the melancholic traditional Portuguese music called Fado.

When you get a bit tired of visiting museums and churches, take your time and enjoy a stroll through one or more of Lisbon’s parks and gardens, whether it’s the Zoo, or the Lisbon Botanical Garden which is actually one of the oldest such gardens in Europe and most likely the first one in Portugal.

The city is also a great place for shopping opportunities, especially when you consider that you can find the Centro Commercial Colombo which is in fact the largest shopping mall in the entire Iberian Peninsula and of course you can get to experience the more local way of doing things by shopping at the local markets and especially the flea market at Campo de Santa Clara.

One has to realize that this is simply a very general look on what Lisbon has to offer its visitors, rest assured that once you are there, you will not spend one moment doing nothing.

Lisbon Related Link List

Car Hire in Lisbon
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Algarve Transfer from Faro Airport
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Algarve Car Hire, Portugal and Madeira
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Travel Guide – Lisbon, Portugal