Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is a thriving metropolis with more than 500,000 residents. Founded in 1256, Lisbon mixes centuries of history with a vibrant art scene and delicious food. Portugal is also the home of most of the world's sherry producers and this distilled wine is consumed heartily in Lisbon with after-work snacks and dinner. Portuguese is the official language in Lisbon. However, English and Spanish are also widely spoken.
When to visit
There's really not a bad time to visit Lisbon. The middle of the summer (June-August) can get a little crowded with tour buses and school groups. That's also when you'll send the most for airfare and hotel accommodations. Less crowded and less expensive, while still delightful, are the spring and fall months. Although winter can be stark and beautiful in its own right, and the holiday season is festive, winter is also the rainy season.
Lisbon's weather never reaches the extremes that some of her European neighbors do. Cooled by the Gulf Stream, Lisbon's summer temperatures rarely exceed 80 degrees and its winter lows are usually well about freezing. Below is a sampling of the average temperatures in the city: Average high temperature (F/C), Average low temperature (F/C), average monthly rainfall:
• January -- 58/14, 47/8, 4.31 in.
• March -- 64/18 50/10, 2.71 in.
• May -- 71/22, 55/13, 1.52 in.
• June -- 77/25, 60/16, .083 in.
• August -- 82/28, 64/18, .022 in.
• October -- 72/22, 58/14, 3.16 in.
• December -- 59/14, 48/9, 4.24 in.
You won't run out of things to do in Lisbon. Channel the inner explorer in you by touring the many monuments at Belem just outside of the city. This was the departure point for many 15th century explorers, including Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gama. You'll also want to take a funicular (rail car) up one of Lisbon's seven hills and savor the sweeping view. Make sure to stop in a Lisbon nightclub to hear Fado music performed. This uniquely Portuguese style of music is part blues, part ballad and all passion. If you have more than a day to explore Lisbon, you'll want to take a day trip out to one of the seaside resorts, such as Sintra or Cascais. Both are less than an hour's train ride from downtown Lisbon.
There is a myriad of things to see in Lisbon. The most popular attractions include Jeronimos Monastery, built in the 16th century and the final resting place of explorer Vasco de Gama; Belem Tower, another example of 16th century architecture and the symbol of the city; the Oceanarium and St. George's Castle, the remnants of a Moorish fortress that offers dramatic views of the city. Of course, Lisbon has its share of excellent museums, too. Among the "must-see's" are the National Tile Museum wth its elaborate mosaics, Gulbenkian Museum with its extensive collection of modern art, and the National Museum of Art and Antiques with its collection of paintings by Old Masters.
Tips & Recommendations
• Food in Lisbon favors the bountiful fish and seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. Specialties include salt cod made a variety of different ways, regional goat cheeses, pork slow cooked with clams, caldo verde (a soup made with cabbages, onions and potatoes) and, of course, sherry.
• Mealtimes in Lisbon tend to be later than in the United States, Canada and the UK. Lunch, the main meal of the day, is typically eaten between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM with a light dinner taken around 9:00 or 10:00 PM.
• Stores in Lisbon are generally open between 9:30 AM and 10:00 PM with a lunch break between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Many independent retailers are closed on Sundays.
• In the event of an emergency, dial 112 in Lisbon. The call center has English-speaking operators available 24/7.
• Lisbon's public transportation system makes getting around the city easy. You can also purchase a Lisboa card, which gives you unlimited access to the system for 24, 48 or 72 hours as well as free or discounted admission to a variety of area museums and attractions.
Travessa dos Fieis de Deus, 34 Bairro Alto, Lisbon
The staff at 4-star Lisbon Serviced Apartments - Bairro Alto works hard at making you feel special. Intimate and authentic thanks to its small size and handful of rooms. If you plan on visiting Rossio Square, Restauradores Square or Praça da Figueira Square, this accommodation is a good choice. Famous sites such as Castle of São Jorge are close by. A stay in Lisbon is not complete without seeing National Museum of Ancient Art, which is 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from here. 0.6 km (0.4 miles) away, Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium is a popular tourist attraction.
With its well-earned 3 stars, Lisbon Serviced Apartments - Cais do Sodre is a fine choice. Intimate and authentic thanks to its small size and handful of rooms. This is a great location for walking to landmarks such as Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square and Praça da Figueira Square. This property is located near Castle of São Jorge. Thrill-seekers should consider a visit to Belavista golf club. Nearby is Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium stadium.
The staff at 3-star Alfama River Apartments works hard at making you feel special. You won't get lost in a crowd here, as there are fewer than 20 rooms. Santa Apolónia Railway Station is the nearest station to this property. A visit to Castle of São Jorge can be a moving experience. In the area you'll find Panteão de Santa Engrácia Church. This location offers excellent proximity to Belavista golf club.
Casa Das Janelas Com Vista is a 4-star property, ensuring high-quality service and amenities. With fewer than 20 rooms here, you'll avoid big hotel crowds. The nearby Rossio Railway Station is a convenient transportation hub. You'll be a short distance from Restauradores Square, Rossio Square and Praça da Figueira Square. National Museum of Ancient Art is a must-see Lisbon museum. This property is within 2km (1.25mi) of Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium.
Bed & Breakfast / Self Catering Family Macedo's small size creates a more homey atmosphere. Seeking good value for your money? Try this 2-star property. You'll easily access all the city has to offer: Rossio Railway Station provides public transit connections throughout Lisbon. Fun-filled Belavista golf club is in the vicinity. In the surrounding area is the interesting Castle of São Jorge. Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium is a popular place to visit when staying in Lisbon.
Travessa do Caldeira n 19 Patio das Parreiras, Rua Fernandes Tomas, Lisbon
Offering an intimate atmosphere, the small-sized Casa do Patio by Shiadu is a nice place to unwind. Experience good quality service at this 4-star property. Nearby, Cais do Sodré Railway Station is a good public transportation option. The famous landmark Restauradores Square is conveniently close, as are Rossio Square and Praça da Figueira Square. Castle of São Jorge is a major attraction in the area. An interesting museum 1.2 km (0.7 miles) away is National Museum of Ancient Art.
The small Teatro Bed & Breakfast offers warmth and hospitality. Rossio Railway Station is an easy jaunt from this location. You'll be a short distance from Rossio Square, Praça da Figueira Square and Restauradores Square. Belavista golf club is an entertaining option for your Lisbon visit. From here, you'll be only 1.8 km (1.1 miles) from National Museum of Ancient Art.
City Center Hostel is a 2-star establishment. Intimate and authentic thanks to its small size and handful of rooms. Major transportation routes can be accessed at Rossio Railway Station. Lisbon's famous Praça da Figueira Square, Rossio Square and Praça do Comércio can all be reached on foot from this property. Take in the impressive São Vicente de Fora Church. A nice place to visit in Lisbon, Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium is 0.6 km (0.4 miles) from this location.
The 1-star Lisbon RiverView Hostel is well-priced for budget travel. The number of rooms is low, the quality of personal service is high. Rossio Railway Station offers fine public transportation. You can walk to Praça do Comércio, Praça da Figueira Square and Rossio Square from here. Belavista golf club is nearby. The well-known Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium is 0.8 km (0.5 miles) from this Lisbon property.
This 2-star Go Hostel Lisbon delivers good value for money. Rossio Railway Station is the easiest station to reach by public transit. You can walk to Martim Moniz square, Praça da Figueira Square and Restauradores Square from here. From this property, you can head out and see Castle of São Jorge. Experience the thrills of Belavista golf club.
This Residencial Mar dos Açores - Hostel is rated 2 star(s). Staying here puts you within easy access of Restauradores Square, Martim Moniz square and Rossio Square. Castle of São Jorge is only 1.7 km (1.0 miles) from here. Nearby Belavista golf club offers fun and entertainment. Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium is a short distance from the accommodation.
Casa Oliver Príncipe Real boasts a rating of 3 stars. The rooms here are small in number and the hospitality is highly regarded. You can walk to Restauradores Square, Rossio Square and Praça da Figueira Square from here. Belavista golf club is close to this property. Castle of São Jorge is just 1.4 km (0.8 miles) away. One museum you do not want to miss while in Lisbon is National Museum of Ancient Art, located 1.8 km (1.1 miles) from here.
Hall Chiado offers 4-star service. You won't get lost in a crowd here, as there are fewer than 20 rooms. This is a great location for walking to landmarks such as Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square and Praça da Figueira Square. Thrill-seekers should consider a visit to Belavista golf club. For a memorable Lisbon visit, be sure you see Castle of São Jorge. A stay in Lisbon is not complete without seeing National Museum of Ancient Art, which is 1.6 km (1.0 miles) from here.
Alves Torgo 14 Lisbon Guest House is a small, intimate property where you'll enjoy personalized attention. The rooms here are rated 2-star(s). Portela Airport is easily accessible. This location is not far from Martim Moniz square and Restauradores Square. Nearby and easily accessible, you'll find Belavista golf club. Nearby is Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium stadium.
This Residencial Marisela is rated 2 star(s). Portela Airport is 4.9 km (3.1 miles) away. Major transportation routes can be accessed at Sete Rios Station. One of the landmarks in Lisbon is Restauradores Square. Belavista golf club is close to this property. Coliseu dos Recreios Stadium is a popular place to visit when staying in Lisbon.
Pousada de Lisboa, Praça do Comércio - Monument Hotel offers plenty of rooms and options. Its 5 stars, makes this is a fabulous option for extraordinary comfort during your Lisbon trip. Enjoy good connections to surrounding areas via Cais do Sodré Railway Station. This district is jam-packed with landmarks such as Praça do Comércio, Praça da Figueira Square and Rossio Square. Castle of São Jorge is close to this location. Belavista golf club is one of several nearby options for fun and entertainment.
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