Lisbon was built on seven hills, around its castle, on the right bank of the River Tagus. The heights of the city can be visited with the help of trams and funiculars which are a marvellous way to discover the various districts at a relaxed pace. The heart of Lisbon is located around Rossio square; it is the starting point of Portas de Santo Antao street, a very lively pedestrian street where the Coliseu dos Recreios stands - a concert hall built in the 19th century. Still in the district of Baixa, or lower city, the large Commerce square is the boundary to the medieval districts of Alfama and Mouraria. The maze of narrow streets, stairways and paved squares gives tremendous charm to this very peaceful part of the city, where time must have stopped sometime in the past. This is where you will be able to hear the best fado. Higher up, a visit to Sao Jorge castle is imperative, even if only for the panoramic viewpoint over the whole city from the park, in the shade of the stone pines.
Bairro Alto, or the ?upper quarter' is worth a detour for its diversity; the quaint narrow streets host restaurants and very trendy shops. Not far from there, in Chiado district, the Carmo Church which is of Gothic style is surprising with its open air nave. Go to Belém from there, to the Jeronimos' monastery, a great example of Manueline architecture, and to the tower of Belém, a symbol of the city, resting on the Tagus. Finally, art lovers will not be disappointed with the Contemporary Arts, Ancient Arts, Fine Arts and Calouste Gulbenkian museums (the latter displays a collection of rare pieces covering 4,000 years of history given to Portugal by an Armenian billionaire).
Find your flights Lisbon at the best prices.
These statues celebrate Portugal's pioneering role in world exploration© Matthew Trommer / age fotostock
Stretching 2277m, Lisbon's suspension bridge recalls the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.© Toni Anett Kuchinke / age fotostock
This medieval castle sits on a hill overlooking Lisbon, it is a popular tourist attraction and worth a visit© Michel Megret / age fotostock
Designed by Peter Chermayeff, Lisbon's oceanarium houses 100 species from around the world© Marco Andras / age fotostock
The Royal Ribeira Palace, which once overlooked this square,was damaged by an earthquake in 1755© SNAPPDRAGON / age fotostock