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This city started to appear in the pages of history from 1200 BC making it the most long lived city in the world. This city back than was named "Allis Ubbo", meaning "protected port" which later led its name to become Ulyssippo, or some might say Olissipo. The early history of Lisbon is a bit vague but it is said that it was shifting ground between Phoenicians Greeks and other Celtic tribes at that time. The Romans took over the city in 205 BC and developed the city a great deal until it became the central city of the Iberian Peninsula. In 711AC Lisbon felt under Muslim reign but was regained by Christian Crusaders in 1147 and in 1250 it became a capital city.

The 15th century was the era of discovery and gave the world some great explorers like Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco de Gama, Cabral and Magellan. With the discovery of routes of trade to India and Asia, Lisbon started growing rich and prosperous and by the 16th century it earned the name of "Queen of the Seas".

The earthquake of 1755 was the most terrible event in the history of Lisbon. In this day almost the whole city was ruined and as many as 60,000 lives were lost. The city was soon rebuilt on the orders of Marquês de Pombal and the basic structure of the city was put back up to appear as we see Lisbon today.

After the Invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte Lisbon went trough many events like the flee of the royal family, civil wars, and rebellious invasions. After the first decade of 19th century Lisbon lived under dictatorship and saw some very difficult times. The city was cut off from the rest of Europe until the Carnation Revolution in 1974, which brought democracy to the state.

Location and size

Lisbon is located on the mouth of Tagus River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area occupies 958 km2 (370 sq mi) of the land and the metropolitan area, which is also known as the "Greater Lisbon", occupies 2,957 km2 (1,142 sq mi).


According to the National Institute of Statistics, in 2011 the population of the urban area of Lisbon was of 547,631 inhabitants and the metropolitan area hosted 2,821,699 people.


After the Roman invasion, Latin gradually replaced the native languages in the Iberian Peninsula. The modern Portuguese language has evolved from Latin and has become the sixth most common language in the world, spoken by about 200 million people in four continents.

General characteristics of the locals

Lisboetas, as they like to call themselves, are very welcoming, mellow and friendly people and they are known to be willing to go out of their way to help. They are considered to be very hardworking and honest people. During the weekdays you’ll find them running through their automated life-style, but in the evenings and weekends Lisboetas love to party and are always up for festivals and cultural events.


Gulbenkian Museum: the most visited museum of the city, which houses many unsung treasures from the oriental and classical era. Great contemporary foreign artifacts are worth seeing at least once in a lifetime. This museum offers a free entrance for tourists on Sundays.

National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo): ‘Azulejo’ means tile work. The museum contains very exotic tile work from as early as the 15th century making it the only one of its kind. It is the home to some of the most amazing Tile Art including ‘The 10 most beautiful tile facades in Lisbon’ and the longest tile composition of 23m length, containing 1300 tiles showing the city scape of the Lisbon made in 1738.

Berardo Museum: This museum contains both contemporary and modern art. There are many amazing sculptures, paintings, photographs and artifacts by great artist like Picasso, Warhol and Frances Bacon hosted int his building.

Other Museums and Galleries: other famous museums include the Ancient Art Museum, known as the Portugal’s National Gallery, and the design and fashion Museum.

Day trip

Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha: Guided day trip designed to introduce you with the alluring country sides of Lisbon. Your first stop will be at charming Óbidos, a fortified medieval village. Second stop will be Alcobaça, home to the famous monastery of Santa Maria d'Alcobaça, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the biggest Gothic-style church in Portugal. For lunch you will be stopping at the scenic fishing village of Nazaré. Visit another UNESCO World Heritage site in Batalha, the Batalha Monastery, and at the end of the day enjoy the visit to the Sanctuary of Fátima, one of the most important Christian sites in the world.

Lisbon Sightseeing and Sintra, Cascais and Estoril Coast: This tour is a summary trip of Lisbon, full of wine tasting and sight-seeing including Alfama quarter, Belém Tower, the Monument to the
Discoveries, Jerónimos Monastery and Pena Palace. You will learn interesting facts from your guide throughout the trip. Drive along the Estoril Coast and through Cascais enjoy a picturesque view of the Atlantic Ocean (including Hell's Mouth cliff), and discover the beauty of Sintra and Colares.

Arrabida and Sesimbra: It is a small-group day trip away from Lisbon. It includes a drive along the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the longest in Europe, and a visit to Setubal Castle with its impressive 16th century fortress. Next comes the fascinating Portinho da Arrabida Beach and the fishing village of Sesimbra and a visit to Arrabida Natural Park providing you with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. Taste two of the most famous local wine from Casa Museu Jose Maria da Fonseca, one of the oldest wine-producers in Portugal, and enjoy a trip to Cristo-Rei Sanctuary.

For Families

There are a lot of fun activities for families in Lisbon. The day trips and sightseeing tours of Lisbon are very family oriented. Parque das Nações district is the most family friendly entertaining area, offering several attractions suitable for all ages. It is mostly a traffic-free area and with riverside walkways, cable car rides, bikes for hire, water gardens, bowling, international restaurants, and playgrounds offers a wide variety of entertainment possibilities for everybody. It is also the largest park of Europe occupying 10% of the municipality. Other activities include the Oceanarium, with its world famous sharks, and the uptown Zoo, which boasts two thousand animals and a fun dolphin show. The edifying Science Museum and botanical gardens are aimed to youngsters. There are many other parks for families to have relaxing time, as the Edward VII Park, and Estrela Gardens.


Portuguese cuisine is said to be worth starving for. Lisbon is famous for its cafés spread across the city, and its bars are considered the perfect place for wine lovers. Some of the most famous restaurants of the city are Santini’s Gelati, Bica do Sapato and Alcântara Café. Lisbon is also known for its restaurants offering superb views as you eat from the hill tops, like Chapitô, Casa do Leão, Tágide, and Via Graça.


Lisbon stands with other eminent European cities when it comes to night life. From cool relaxed places with great music, to a vibrant party-loving crowd in an eccentric bar full of quirks, this city has to offer you any type of atmosphere you desire. The night life in Lisbon starts from Barrio Alto, a haven of bars, and ends at the riverside with all the late night disco spots at Alcantara and Santa Apolonia.
There’s also a strong trend of street parties in Lisbon. The streets of these areas stay crowded all night as people come out on the streets with their drinks and party till dawn. Most recommended among all the bars and clubs is Lux, which provides a vibrant environment which attracts a lively crowd. Others include Opt Art, Kapital and Kremlin, Incognito and Pavilhao Chinese.


Lisbon can be easily compared with Paris and Berlin when it comes to shopping. The downtown area of Lisbon is one of the oldest commercial areas, where you will easily find major high-street brands like Zara, Benetton, Levi’s and H&M. The Chiado and The Bairro Alto area are other popular shopping areas where you will find a good mixture of all high-street brands, luxury shops and small boutiques of the best Portuguese designers. Famous shopping centers include Amoreiras shopping centre, Centro Vasco da Gama and Colombo Shopping Centre.


Lisbon is known for its bright, sunny, shiny days. Its climate is very moderate and summer season last for 5/6 months; starting from June and ending in October with temperature as high as 40C on the peak summer days. Lisbon is also known to have the warmest winters in Europe, with an average temperature of 8C.

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