Lisboa, commonly known as Lisbon in English, is the capital city of Portugal. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, water defines this city both historically and culturally. Like a few other European cities, Lisbon is built on 7 hills. It’s easy-going citizens, gorgeous buildings and quaint alleyways charm the thousands of travelers who visit this city throughout the year.
Lisbon’s history began in the Middle Ages. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the country of Portugal became an empire through its pioneering role in the Age of Discovery. However, Lisbon’s position as a world power soon declined as other colonizing nations became rich off of the spice and slave trade. The decline was aided by a 1755 earthquake which killed 35,000 people, damaged 85% of the city’s structures and triggered a deadly tsunami. Portugal and Lisbon continued to decline in power until a revolution and a subsequent military coup created a dictatorship in 1926. This lasted until a 1974 revolution established a democratic government.
Today, Lisbon is a major European capital, welcoming millions of tourists every year. High season for tourism to Portugal falls between May and September. Christmas, New Year and Easter holidays can cause a rise in rates. For the best prices, plan your trip from October to April, but make sure dive shops in your destination operate during low season.
Lisbon is a major European capital city and as such, has plenty to entertain visitors. A highlight of any trip to the city would be a day at the castles of Sintra. Hiking to the top of any of the city’s seven hills offers magnificent vistas. The historical neighborhood of Belem hosts both the Belem Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, and the neighborhoods of Chiado, Baixa and Alfama offer an introduction to the historical side of the city and brilliant shopping to boot. Don’t miss your chance to try a Pasteis de Nata, a delicious egg pastry, or a shot of the local cherry liquor served in a chocolate shot glass. And if you get the chance, see a Fado performance, a unique Portuguese music style declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
The main entry point to Lisbon is Lisbon Portela Airport. Flights to this port of entry originate from most other continents.
Alternatively, you could arrive to Lisbon by road or by boat from other parts of Europe.
Once you are in the region, you can move around between destinations by train, bus, taxis, trams and subways.