Lisbon, Portugal | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) is the capital of Portugal situated on seven hills at the wide mouth of the

river Tagus

(Tejo) where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. A port city, an economic center, a cultural powerhouse and a thriving mix of Portugal's rich history and vivid contemporary culture, Lisbon enchants travelers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easygoing charm that makes it a popular year-round destination. Lisbon is also the capital of the Lisbon Region, comprising many other splendid tourist destinations such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of

Sintra

, the seaside resorts of Estoril and Cascais, or Almada famous for its hilltop

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Lisbon, Portugal

Destination:
Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) is the capital of Portugal situated on seven hills at the wide mouth of the

river Tagus

(Tejo) where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. A port city, an economic center, a cultural powerhouse and a thriving mix of Portugal's rich history and vivid contemporary culture, Lisbon enchants travelers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easygoing charm that makes it a popular year-round destination. Lisbon is also the capital of the Lisbon Region, comprising many other splendid tourist destinations such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of

Sintra

, the seaside resorts of Estoril and Cascais, or Almada famous for its hilltop

Cristo Rei statue

, all of which are connected with Lisbon by excellent public transportation links.

Lisbon is built on seven hills, so getting around Lisbon can be a workout. Numerous slopes and few really flat areas are one of Lisbon's trademarks. This is also a city of enchanting contrasts: The elegant squares, broad avenues, monumental buildings and rectangular layout of the lower areas quickly gives way to the hilly, narrow, winding, unpredictable and cramped streets of districts such as Alfama and Bairro Alto. The elegant dining rooms and smart rooftop bars of expensive hotels seem like a different world compared to the excellent restaurants disguised behind an inconspicuous facade in a modest Bairro Alto street. Quality patisseries and restaurants thrive side by side with late night bars and noisy discos. The old, tiny squeaky trams (one of the city's trademarks) is no less of a contrast to the efficient metro network.

Orientation

The city stretches along the northern bank of the river Tejo as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. As the terrain rises north away from the water, steep streets and stairways form the old tangled neighborhoods or give way to green parks in the western suburbs. Basic navigation is easy by learning the main axis from the Praça do Comércio (the waterfront) through Rossio (main square) and Avenida da Liberdade (main street) to Praça de Marques de Pombal and Parque Eduardo VII on the top. Each neighborhood (such as Alfama or Bairro Alto) is distinct and easy to recognize. The hilltop castle and the waterfront are clear reference points, landmark structures such as the Santa Justa elevator, the Rossio station facade, the massive Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa), the white dome of Santa Engrácia and Augusta street arc (Arco da rua Augusta) also adds to the sense of direction. Also look out for the two huge bridges across the Tejo. Navigating the winding, hilly and narrow streets can challenging; however, only the most detailed map gives the precise location.

It is often said that Lisbon lacks a defined "downtown", but tourists will find most of their points of interest in a relatively compact area centered around the vast Praça do Comércio, facing the river. This is the starting point of the pedestrianized grid of Baixa (lower town), which immediately borders other historic quarters of Alfama, Chiado and Bairro Alto. Further northwest from Baixa stretches Avenida da Liberdade, a broad boulevard resplendent in leafy trees, chic hotels, and upmarket shops, terminating at the circular Praça de Marques de Pombal. The financial center, however, is further removed (hence the notion of "no downtown") up north towards the hills, and not directly connected to the historic districts.

Other districts of interest to the tourists are generally those by the riverside - the historic Belem in the southwest, the modern Parque de Nacoes in the northeast and the gentrifying Alcantara by the Bridge of April 25.

Districts

Since December 2012, Lisbon was reorganized into five zones (zonas), which are further divided into 24 civil parishes (freguesias). While the zonas reflect the actual characteristics of each area well, which also aids orientation for the tourists, freguesias serve mostly administrative purposes and are of little interest to tourists. More important are the unofficial bairros (neighborhoods), which lack administratively defined boundaries, but are entrenched in local tradition and referred to in most tourist guides and even official publications. The main characteristics of each zone and most prominent bairros are outlined below.

Centro Historico

The historic center of Lisbon is the river-front belt formed by the hills of Bairro Alto and Alfama and the flat area of Baixa between them. It contains the following bairros:

  • Baixa - this part of the city was completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake by the Marquês de Pombal. The planned layout, greatly different from what you will see in the more ancient neighborhoods, is a testimony to the ideas of the Enlightenment.
  • Chiado - take a stroll along the historical streets of this elegant shopping district, stopping for a cup of coffee with the statue of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal's great Modernist poet.
  • Alfama - this neighborhood still bears signs of the Moorish presence in the city, with the buildings very close to each other, and very irregular streets. It's very atmospheric and a great spot in which to wander around. Thanks to the firmer rock it was built upon, it was relatively spared during the Great Earthquake and therefore retains the charm of the winding alleys and azulejo-covered crumbling walls.
  • Bairro Alto - head uphill to Bairro Alto and give your legs a good workout, or take one of the elevadores (funiculars) for stunning views of the city and some wild partying in Lisbon's most popular nightclub district.
  • Principe Real - the trendy district with all the fancy shops is just a 5 minutes walk from Bairro Alto.
Centro

The geographic center of Lisbon is also its economic and civic center, with the main shopping and leisure boulevard of Avenida da Libertade, the large parks, and prominent museums, as well as modern office towers scattered across Avenidas Novas and the hills of Campolide.

Ocidental

Zona Campolide, or the western zone, extends west of the historic center along the riverside and encompasses the following bairros, which here actually coincide with official fregusias:

  • Alcantara - rapidly gentrifying former docks, dominated on the western end by the supports of the gigantic new bridge over the river
  • Belem - Lisbon's westernmost district is its portal to the sea, with rich historic heritage and a sweet topping
Oriental

Zona Oriental is the eastern zone, following northeastwards from the center. Most of the area are residential districts and industrial docklands of little interest to the tourists, with the exception of the Parque de Nacoes - the ultra-modern district built at the easternmost end of Lisbon for the 1998 World Expo, making the most of its river-front location.

Norte

The North of Lisbon is of precious little interest to the tourists, except perhaps for the Jardim Zoologico (zoo) and the Sete Rios long-distance coach and train station, both at the very southern tip of the zone.

Tourist information

Lisboa Ask Me Centre, Pç. do Comércio, ☎ +351 21 031-2815. open 09:00-20:00 daily. The sparkling new center will help you find accommodation and the staff are happy to dispense advice, maps, and brochures. Smaller Ask Me Lisboa kiosks are dotted about the Rossio district and airport and their multilingual staff also have maps and brochures.

The Lisboa Card, which can be purchased from tourist information outlets, offers free use of all public transport in the city and free or reduced price tickets to many museums, galleries, and tourist attractions. They are not very good value unless you plan to visit a lot of museums. Especially so if you are a holder of a student identification card (international or national) since the student discounts to these attractions are often the same as for the Lisboa Card.


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Lisbon, Portugal: Port Information


Lisbon is a major port on the Atlantic coast both for cargo and cruise traffic. Most major cruise ship operators include Lisbon in their itineraries, so it should be reasonably easy to find a cruise route that would take you there. That said, regular shuttle ferry traffic is limited to joining the banks of the Tagus river, i.e. there are no ferries to Lisbon other than the small ones from neighboring municipalities.

The cruise terminals are at:
  • Estação Marítima de Alcântara (Alcantara Cruise Terminal). 
  • Estação Marítima de Santa Apólonia (Santa Apólonia Cruise Terminal).
  • Novo Terminal de Cruzeiros de Lisboa (Jardim do Tabaco Quay). 
For those coming in by smaller boats, the Port of Lisbon operates four marinas - Alcantara, Belem, Bom Successo and Santo Amaro.
Alternatively, you may moor at Marina Parque de Nacoes, which is operated as a separate entity.

There is variably good access to public transport throughout the city. Many lines offer shuttles to key points nearby.

Get around Lisbon, Portugal


By public transport

Lisbon has a very efficient public transport network that covers the entire city in addition to the surrounding areas. It consists of a bus and tram network operated by Carris, the separately-run Lisbon Metro underground rail, as well as commuter trains and ferries which connect Lisbon to its neighboring suburbs. Additionally, Carris operates no less than four unique funiculars and one public elevator that both function as parts of the public transportation system.

Tram

While numbering may suggest otherwise, Lisbon retains only five of the 28 tram lines it became famous for.

  • line 12 - the shortest line does a loop between Praça de Commercio in Baixa and Alfama
  • line 15 - the longest line connects the Centro Historico to Belem and beyond
  • line 18 - follows the route of line 15 along the coast until Santo Amaro, where it goes uphill to Ajuda
  • line 25 - goes from Praça de Commercio through Chiado, along the foot of the Barrio Alto hill and then to Estrela
  • line 28 - takes you on a veritable tour of the hills of Lisbon, starting at Campo Ourique, then going through Estrela, Bairro Alto, Chiado, Rua da Conceição in Baixa, then all the way around the hills of Alfama up north to Graca while ending in Praca Martim Moriz

At stops and on timetables, the five tram lines are marked with an "E" for electrico (which stands for "tram" in Portuguese) i.e. 12E, 15E, 18E, 25E and 28E to distinguish them from bus services. Buses and trams generally use the same stops.

Lines 12, 15, 18 and 28 are still operated using the "Remodelado" tram cars. These were built in the 1930s & their motors & brakes were replaced in the 1990s.

Instead of paying for a ride on one of the costly tourist buses, try line 28, which winds its way through the "Old Town" of Lisbon beginning in Graça then down to the Alfama and to the Baixa then up through Chiado to Bairro Alto, and then down to Campo Ourique, taking you by many of Lisbon's most famous and interesting sites including monuments, churches and gardens. The trip is hilly, noisy and hectic but it affords many beautiful glimpses of the city. And, although the tram can sometimes be overrun with tourists, you will definitely get a flavor of the locals, as many "Lisboetas" commute daily on these historical trams. From start to finish the ride takes around 30 minutes. Beware of pickpockets!

Funiculars and a lift

Or Ascensores e elevador as they call them. The Viva Viagem card is accepted on these routes as well.

  • Ascensor da Glória (Gloria Funicular), Praça dos Restauradores - Bairro Alto. Inaugurated on 24 October 1885, this funicular was the second to be placed in Lisbon. It is the most visited one in the city. On 2002 it was classified as National Monument. Lower station exactly where Avenida Liberdad connects to Restauradores.
  • Ascensor da Bica (Bica Funicular), Rua de São Paulo (Rua Duarte Belo) - Largo de Calhariz. This funicular was inaugurated on 28 June 1892 and its route is known as the most typical of the city. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument.
  • Ascensor do Lavra (Lavra Funicular), Largo da Anunciada - Travessa Forno Torel. The oldest funicular of Lisbon was inaugurated on 19 April 1884 and on that day it worked for 16 consecutive hours, carrying more than 3,000 passengers free. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument.
  • Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift), Rua Aurea & Rua de Santa Justa, ☎ +351 21 361-3054. Located downtown, this elevator was designed by a follower of French engineer Gustav Eiffel and connects downtown to Trinidade, located many meters uphill. Inaugurated on 10 July 1902, it is the only street lift in Lisbon for public service. It was built by the architect Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard in cast iron enriched with filigrana details. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument.

Metro

Lisbon's recently refurbished metro system is clean, quick, and efficient. While metro announcements are made only in Portuguese, signs, and ticketing machines are generally bilingual in Portuguese and English. Every line shares at least one station with each of the other lines, so once you are in the system, you can go pretty much everywhere the system reaches to, which is most of the important locations in Lisbon.

  • The blue line (linha azul) has perhaps the most tourist-friendly route, starting at the Santa Apolonia train station and stopping at Terreiro do Paco, Baixa/Chiado, (Praca do) Restauradores, Avenida (do Libertade), (Praca do) Marques do Pombal, Parque (Eduardo VII) and Jardim Zoologico.
  • The green line (linha verde) stops at Baixa/Chiado as well, and goes to Cais do Sodre, from where you can take trains to Belem, Cascais, and Estoril or the ferry to Almada, as well as at Rossio, from where you can take a train to Sintra.
  • The red line (linha vermelha) starts directly at the Lisbon Airport and stops at Oriente (for long-distance trains and the Parque des Nacoes). That said, one needs to change to another metro line to get to the historic center.
  • The yellow line (linha amarela) is of perhaps least use to tourists as it mostly connects the northern residential districts with the city.

No metro line goes to Belém. You need to take a train from Cais do Sodre, tram line 15E or a bus to get there.

Most of the metro system is a free art gallery. You'll find art by contemporary artists inspired by the stations' surrounding area. Check the subway webpage for more details on this curiosity. The red line is the newest one and has the best pieces of art.

The first metro of each line leaves the terminal stations at 6:30 daily, the last metro leaves the terminal stations at 1:00 daily. Some secondary station halls close earlier, some are closed completely on weekends.

Bus

Carris operates a dense network of buses. Bus lines operating in the day start with a "7" (save for the "400" line that runs within the Parque de Nacoes), and those starting with "2" operate at night (00:01-05:00) when no daytime lines operate.

On the maps and in publications, bus and tram lines are color-coded with reference to the directions they go to. Orange lines stay within the central area, pink go to the east (Belem and Ajuda), red to the north (Parque de Nacoes and Portela), while blue and green to the northeast. This is more or less where each of the corresponding metro lines (red, green and blue) go. Grey-coded buses move between the outer districts and do not stop in the historic center. Do note that the buses themselves are all in standard yellow Carris livery and do not carry such indications.

Two of the popular bus lines now offer complimentary NetBus Wi-Fi service - line 736 from Cais do Sodre via Avenida da Libertade and Avenida da Republica (stops at Campo Grand, Campo Pequeno, and Entrecampos), and line 783 from the Portela Airport to Amoreiras shopping and office centre via Avenida da Republica and Praca Marques de Pombal. Using those two bus lines you can get to most of the important tourist attractions while enjoying Wi-Fi - simply log in to the "CARRIS-TMN" network while on the bus.

Ferries

Ferries connect Lisbon to the suburbs across the Tejo river in the south. Taking a ferry to Cacilhas is a good opportunity to see Lisbon from the water. A ferry is paid for just like a metro trip; you can even use your zapping Viva viagem card.

The ferry boat takes you to Cacilhas (the journey takes 10 minutes) or Trafaria (Almada), Seixal, Montijo or Barreiro (this journey takes half an hour). The boats are operated by Transtejo.

Fares and tickets

The best and, in many cases, the sole way to pay for city transport is by buying the rechargeable green "Viva Viagem" smartcard (also referred to as "7 Colinas"). It's valid on the metro, trams (electricos), urban trains, most buses, and ferries. The exception is buses run not by Carris—other bus companies have their own tickets. 

The Viva Viagem card can be charged in three different modes:

  • Single tickets for bus or metro
  • Day pass for metro, buses, and trams
  • Zapping. This pay-as-you-go mode gives you additional credit. It also offers flexible rates, and you get a small discount for two contiguous journeys, e.g., if you change from metro to bus. The downside is that zapping in ticket machines can be done with round amounts only. If you have a bit of unused money, it is wise to go to the ticket desk and there they do zapping for any amount. This way you can fully utilize your money on the card before going back to your country.

There are ticketing machines located at the train or metro stations, which also provide instructions in English. You can also buy the ticket from the driver or machines on board (the latter only available in some new trams). Tickets purchased from a driver will not include a Viva Viagem card and will cost more, so it makes more sense to buy the ticket before starting the trip.

When using suburban trains, your tickets are charged onto the same kind of Viva Viagem cards. You cannot have more than one kind of ticket on one card, however, so you will probably need at least two of them, one for zapping (regular bus and metro use), one for suburban travel. The TransTejo (TT) ferries can make you buy yet another "Via Viagem" card with white stripe in the bottom, claiming that CP or Carris "Via Viagem" cards are not valid for them.

By bicycle

Cycling within the city is now much easier because of the work the municipality has been putting in with bike lanes, slowing car traffic, changing car traffic patterns and adding speed bumps etc but, of course, parts of the town will always be part of the surprisingly hilly terrain of Lisbon. If you plan to cycle, some of these streets do have tram lines, potholes and an absence of designated bicycle lanes, so visitors wishing to venture into city traffic by bicycle should be used to urban riding. Riding on the footpaths is not recommended. It is advisable to get advice at local bikeshops.

Although better than in recent years there are still bike lanes in town the newest, nice and safe stretches from Baixa to Belem along the beautiful river Tejo water front aptly known as the Poetry Bike Lane.

These days car drivers are often weekend cyclists and way more careful with cyclists, more than ever before. Good spots for anyone to cycle safe are along the flat riverfront area stretching from Parque das Nacoes, to the central area of Cais Sodre, where you can rent bikes look below for bike Iberia, and particularly from here to Belem. Must do for all travelers or cycling enthusiasts: A scenic and safe bike ride on bike lane from Baixa along the waterfront to the historical area of Descobertas-Belem-Jerónimos.

Just outside of Lisbon you can take a free bike (but often in poor condition and limited offer) on trains or ferries along the coast from Estoril towards the beautiful beach of Guincho, reach Sintra, Cascais or Costa da Caparica. If traveling from Lisbon (and back) you should consider renting a bike there as there are no restrictions, nor additional charges, on traveling with bicycles on commuting trains.

If you take a bicycle in public transportation beware of the following:

  • Metro: During working days you are allowed to carry bicycles in the metro only after 8 PM. On weekends, it's allowed and it's free of charge.
  • Commuting trains: You are allowed to carry bicycles in the trains for free, every day of the week just be reasonable and avoid rush hour passenger patterns.
  • Ferries: Bicycles travel for free, you are allowed but there are strict limitations on the number of bikes allowed depending on ferry lines and ferry boat type, arrive early and you shall avoid disappointment.
  • Bike Buses: There are 6 lines of the public bus company "Carris" in which you can put your bike inside.

Bike shops in Lisbon town center are rare. You can find a SportZone near Rossio or in major shopping malls. Ask there for specialist shops, shop assistants are usually very helpful.

By car

Think twice before using a car in the city unless you are prepared to spend hours in traffic jams and looking for parking space. The busy traffic and narrow streets with blind corners can be overwhelming to tourists. Also, due to lack of space and overcrowding, parking is difficult and annoying, as well as potentially dangerous - check the "Stay Safe" section below, regarding potential problems with criminals and homeless people who stand near parking spaces to "help" you park your car and then attempt to extort money from you.

By foot

If your accommodation is in the center of the city, walking is a great alternative. Many of the attractions of the city, such as the Castelo and the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts, are within easy walking distance of the Baixa. Central Lisbon is very intimate and walking is a very nice way to get around. Note however that the city is very hilly, a constant up and down everywhere, and streets/sidewalks are largely covered in cobblestone (some slippery when wet). For visitors with mobility issues, central Lisbon can be challenging.

If you become lost or cannot find the location you are looking for, try to locate the nearest Carris bus or tram stop. Most of these stops (not all) have a very good map of the city with your current location clearly marked on the map. All the prominent tourist sites in Lisbon are also shown along with an index at the bottom of the map. A quick consultation with one of these Carris maps should point you back in the right direction.

You may also use the funiculars and elevadores. Day passes for public transportation are also valid for those.

Tours

Hop-On, Hop-Off Tours are also a good option to get to know Lisbon. Carristur is operating with the brand Yellow Bus Sightseeing Tours and has tours in double-decker buses and old tramcars. Lisboa Autêntica, a walking tour company, offers unique, specialized tours in English (and five other languages). English tours are "Lisbon Essential," "Old Lisbon," "Lisbon Wine," "Lisbon Gastronomy," and "Fado of Lisbon."

What to see in Lisbon, Portugal


Tagus River

  • Ponte 25 de Abril. This sister bridge of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge was designed by the same architect in 1966 to connect Lisbon with the Setubal peninsula across the Tagus (Tejo) River. Formerly known as the Salazar Bridge, it was renamed after the Carnation Revolution which, on 25 April 1974, ended the dictatorship.
  • Ponte Vasco da Gama. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), and ninth longest in the world, with a total length of 17.2km (10.7 mi), including 0.829km (0.5 mi) for the main bridge, 11.5km (7.1 mi) in viaducts, and 4.8km (3.0 mi) in dedicated access roads.
  • Cristo Rei statue — This statue of Christ the King overlooking Lisbon is across the river but is clearly visible from Lisbon. The monument was inspired by the similar statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Baixa

Chiado and Bairro Alto

  • Igreja do Carmo, Largo do Carmo (Elevador Santa Justa or a short uphill hike from Baixa or Rossio), ☎ +351 21 347 86 29. M–Sa 10:00–18:00, or until 19:00 June–September. The hilltop church of the former convent of Carmo is a towering memorial of the 1755 earthquake, which made the roof of the church collapse, but the Gothic arches of the nave survived. The church was preserved that way and now serves as the Museu Arqueológico in the extant parts of the building. The museum houses a hodgepodge of archaeological artifacts from around Portugal and the world including mummies from South America, tombs of Portuguese rulers, and the Stations of the Cross on 18th century painted tiles. The assorted artifacts are not well explained, but the church itself is a sight to see and visitors come to relax in the grassy nave of the church and draw or photograph the spires.
  • Santa Justa elevator, Largo do Carmo - Rua do Ouro. 8:30-20:30 (viewing platform). Excellent vertical view of the Baixa streets, next to Igreja do Carmo.
  • Mirador/Jardim de S. Pedro de Alcantara, Rua S. Pedro de Alcântara. Excellent panorama from the lovely terrace/garden on top of Elevador da Glória and northern corner of Bairro Alto. Free.

Estrela

  • Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Rua das Janelas Verdes. Tu 14:00-18:00; W-Su 10:00-18:00; closed M. Portugal's impressive national art collection, including 14-19th-century European painting, artifacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures. Highlights include Dürer's St Jerome, Hieronymus Bosch's Temptations of St Antony, Nuno Gonçalves' Adoration of St Vincent, and 16th-century Japanese paintings of Portuguese traders.
  • Museu da Marioneta.
  • Basilica da Estrela.
  • Jardim da Estrela.
  • Palacio de Sao Bento.
  • Cemitério dos Prazeres, Praça São João Bosco (Tram 28 to its Western terminus), ☎ +351 21 396 1511. daily 09:00–16:30. This large cemetery is packed with majestic gravestones and mausoleums, separated by wide, pedestrian, tree-lined "streets". Many graves are marked with icons telling something about the person's role in historical Lisbon. A beautiful respite from the busy city. free.

Alfama

  • Castelo de São Jorge (St. George's Castle) (Walk up the hill from Alfama or take bus 37), ☎ +351 218 800 620. Mar-Oct 09:00-21:00; Nov-Feb 09:00-18:00. Located up the hill, with a great view over the city and the river. If you have the energy, get there by walking from downtown, going through the fantastic old neighborhood of Alfama.
  • Panteão Nacional (Igreja do Santa Engrácia), Campo de Santa Clara (Santa Apolonia station, hike uphill. Tram 28). 10:00-17:00, platform 10:00-18:00 (closed Mondays, shorter hours in winter). This is one of the most striking buildings in Lisbon. It's tall dome and white facade makes it a real landmark in Alfama/Eastern Lisbon. Excellent views from the rooftop terrace. Construction began in 1681, then halted until the dome was added in 1966 and then converted to the National Pantheon. Amalia Rodrigues, queen of fado, is buried here, and fresh roses can be seen on the tomb.
    The church also has a wide viewing platform on the rooftop all around its dome. Excellent panorama of the river and surroundings. No elevator.
  • Alfama mirador, Largo Portas do Sol (walk uphill from Sé (Cathedral), tram 28). Good viewpoint in Alfama uphill from the cathedral along tram route. Lovely view over rooftops and river. Free.
  • Museu do Teatro Romano (Roman Theatre Museum). Along the way from downtown to Saint George's Castle.

Belém

This monument-packed area is a must-see place, and it contains Lisbon's two World Heritage Sites; the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery.

Take bus 28 to the west (Restelo direction), which follows the coastline and provides an express service with few stops. Train Cascais suburban train (line "Cascais todos" or "Oeiras"; the express trains don't stop in Belém) to Belém and walk to the attractions. Tram 15 to the west (Algés direction), which follows the Junqueira residential line. Check the route map inside the tram: it helps to find a right station for most famous of Belém attractions. The extensive bus network also serves Belém from various departure points around the city and can be less busy than the tram.

Note that to reach the waterfront attractions such as Belem Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos from the town centre/tram line, it is necessary to cross over the railway line by the footbridges - there is one at the railway station and another near Belem Tower.

The neighborhood features:

  • Belem Tower (Torre de Belém). Open 10 AM-5 PM in winter, 10 AM-6:30 PM in summer (with the last entry allowed 30 minutes before closure). 
  • Jerónimos Monastery, Praça do Império, 1400-206 Lisboa, ☎ +351 21 362-0034. Open 10 AM-5:30 PM from October to May, 10 AM-6:30 PM from May to September (last admission 30 minutes before closing. Closed on Mondays, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, June 13th, and December 25th.
  • Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos).
  • Museu da Marinha (Maritime Museum), Centro Cultural de Belém, ☎ +351 21 362-0019. Open 10 AM-5 PM in winter, 10 AM-6 PM in summer. One of the most important in Europe, evoking Portugal's domination of the seas. Its colossal 17,000 items are installed in the west wing of Jerónimos Monastery and include model ships from the Age of Discovery onward. The oldest exhibit is a wooden figure representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his voyage to India.
  • Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum), Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, Belem (Tram or train to Belem). 10:00-18:00. Housed in the former riding school of the palace, don't miss the world's largest collection of horse-drawn coaches and other royal vehicles. One of Lisbon's many unusual museums. Located in the "Museum Street," Belem.
  • Museu Colecção Berardo, Centro Cultural de Belém. 10 AM - 7 PM. The permanent collection of the museum consist of the Berardo Collection, which is made up of modern en contemporary art, with major art movements like abstract expressionism, Abstraction-Création, action painting, body Art, constructivism, cubism, De Stijl, digital art, experimental art, geometric abstraction, kinetic art, minimal art, neo-expressionism, neoplasticism, neo-Realism, op art, photography, photorealism, pop art, realism, suprematism, surrealism. Includes artists like Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, and Jackson Polock. Free admission.
  • Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), Av. de Brasília, Central Tejo, ☎ +351 21 002-8130, fax: +351 21 002-8104, e-mail: museudaelectricidade@edp.pt. Tu-Su 10 AM-6 PM. Excellent interactive exposition in a building of former power station, an example of how a perfect museum should look. Free.
  • Ajuda Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico da Ajuda). Daily 9 AM - 8 PM (Summer) 9 AM - 6 PM (Winter). The botanical garden of Ajuda is one of the oldest gardens in Europe and is considered the first in Portugal. After the earthquake that occurred in 1755, the homeless Portuguese royal family decided to build a new royal residence at Ajuda but also gardens around it. This 10-acre garden was laid out in from 1858-1873.

Centro

  • The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Avenida de Berna, 45A (take the metro to São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha Stations), ☎ +351 21 782-3000. 10 AM-5:45 PM; closed Tues. Created from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian who longed to see all his treasures displayed in a museum. The Gulbenkian Antiquities Museum is a nice assortment of Egyptian artifacts, along with paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat. There is also a separate *Gulbenkian Modern Art Center (MAC)*. The *Gulbenkian Gardens* which surround the museums and foundation building are worth a visit in and of themselves, as a little oasis in the middle of downtown Lisbon.
  • Fundação Arpad Szenes / Vieira da Silva, Praça das Amoreiras, 56/58, ☎ +351 21 388-0044, fax: 351 21 3880039NOCC, e-mail: fasvs@fasvs.pt. Mon-Sat 11 AM-7 PM, Sun 11 AM-7 PM, Sun 10 AM-6 PM. This museum is installed in the restored 18th-century former Royal Silk Factory. It permanent collection covers a wide time period of the works of 20th-century painters 18th-century former Royal Silk Factory. It permanent collection covers a wide time period of the works of 20th-century painters 20th-century painters Arpad Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and regularly hosts exhibits by their contemporaries.
  • Aqueduto das Aguas Livres. This is a historic aqueduct in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering, including the largest stone arch in the world. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km. The Mãe 18th-century Portuguese engineering, including the largest stone arch in the world. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km. The Mãe d'Água (Mother of the Water) reservoir of the Amoreiras, the largest of the water reservoirs, was finished in 1834. This reservoir, with a capacity of 5,500 m³ of water, was designed by Carlos Mardel. It is now deactivated and can be visited as part of the Museu da Água (Water Museum).
  • BES Arte & Finança, Praça Marquês de Pombal, 3, ☎ +351 21 350-8975. Business days from 9 AM to 7 PM. Multifunctional space dedicated to contemporary art, especially Photography Free.
  • Jardim Zoológico, Estrada de Benfica 158-160 (Metro: Take the Blue Line to the Jardim Zoológico. Buses: A variety of buses stop here including 16, 31, 54, 58, 701 and 755Zoológico. Buses: A variety of buses stop here including 16, 31, 54, 58, 701 and 755), ☎ +351 21 7232-920. 10 AM - 8 PM (21st March - 30th Sept.) and 30th Sept.) and 10 AM - 6 PM (1st Oct. - 20th March). A zoo that is fairly pricey, but has a variety of exotic animals featuring sea-lions and dolphins. 
  • Lisbon Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico), Rua da Escola Politécnica, 58 (between the Avenida da Liberdade and Bairro Alto). A hidden gem. It was created several hundred years ago, by a King of Portugal at the time of the Discoveries. The story goes that this King wanted one of every type of plant in the world, and although that's unlikely, there is a huge collection dating back by three or four centuries which is worth checking out. And there's something quite eerie about seeing plants or huge trees from completely different climates growing next to each other in apparent harmony. A great place to take a picnic - this green oasis is completely surrounded by city but even the city sounds filter out. 

Parque das Nações

Parque das Nações ("the park of nations") is a district built from scratch for the 1998 World Expo (and hence also known as Expo to the locals) in the northeastern end of Lisbon. After the Expo, many of the impressive constructions and decorations were kept, while new residential, commercial and office buildings were added to form a thriving, mixed-use district consisting exclusively of modern architecture and making the most of its river-facing location by offering a number of leisure facilities.

Despite the fact that Parque das Nações is quite removed from downtown Lisbon, it is reasonably easy to get there by metro (red line), train or bus. Look for stops and stations named "Oriente", for the spectacular Gare do Oriente train station in the middle of the district.

  • Oceanarium, ☎ +351 21 891-7002. One of the world's largest oceanariums. Built by American architect Norman Foster, it hosts thousands of marine species of the oceans, such as sea otters, penguins, and sharks. The main tank is huge, representing the atlantic environment, with hundreds of small fishes, sharks, barracuda, snappers and a huge sunfish. Ideal for children.
  • Pavilhão do Conhecimento (Pavilion of Knowledge). Ciência Viva is an interactive science and technology museum that aims to make science accessible to all, stimulating experimentation and exploration of the physical world.

Zona Oriental

  • Museu do Azulejo (Tile Museum). One of the most important national museums, for its singular collection, Azulejo, an artistic expression which differentiates Portuguese culture, and for the unique building where it's installed, former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor.

What to do in Lisbon, Portugal


Go out at night to the central Bairro Alto, or 'High Neighborhood'. Just up the hill from Chiado, this is the place to go out in town. In the early evening, go to a fado-themed restaurant near the Praca Camoes, and head upwards as the evening goes on. If you're in Lisbon on the night preceding a Feriado or public holiday, you have to check this out. Tiny little streets which are empty in the daytime become crammed walkways which are difficult to get through. For more of a clubbing or disco experience, try the Docas district along the marina overlooking the Ponte 25 de Abril.

Theatre

The revista is a kind of theatre that was born in Lisbon. It's one of the things that is essential to see when you visit the city. You can only find it in one place: the Parque Mayer. Nowadays only one of the theatres is working:

Fado

Make sure that you dine at a restaurant that plays traditional fado music. Beware that you'll pay more than in normal restaurants, and the food and drink quality may not be up to the price, you're paying for the music experience.

  • Cine Theatro Gymnasium, Rua da Misericórdia nº 14, 2º Andar 1200-273 Lisboa, ☎ +351 21 012-1000. Fado In Chiado - Daily show (except on Sundays) with a duration of 40 minutes. Voices that sing the Fado to the sound of Portuguese guitar.

What to eat and drink in Lisbon, Portugal


Eat

Portuguese dining rituals tend to follow the Mediterranean siesta body clock.

Most restaurants are very small, family run and generally cheap. Some of them have a sheet on the door with the "pratos do dia" (dishes of the day) written on it. These dishes are usually cheaper and fresher than the rest of menu there, and unless you're looking for something specific, they're the right choice.

During the dinner the waiter will probably bring you some unrequested starter dishes (called couvert): as those are not free, feel free not to touch them and they will not be charged on your bill (but check it!).

Never ask a taxi driver about which restaurant you should go to, they will take you to an expensive tourist-oriented restaurant, where they will receive a commission.

Pastelarias

Try the magnificent pastéis de nata at any pastelaria; or better yet, visit the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém (Casa Pasteis De Belem) 1 (Rua de belem 84; +351 21 363 74 23; take eléctrico #15 from Praça do Comércio, or the Cascais suburban train line from Cais do Sodré station, to Belém stop). They are served right out of the oven there, with the side of confectioner's sugar and cinnamon; as you navigate through the azulejo-decorated labyrinthine passages of the expansive shop, stop to look at the workers behind glass panels turning the endless stream of these delicacies, just baked, each in its own little ramekin, over onto the waiting trays. These are absolutely a must eat and you can't possibly regret it.

Where

For Portuguese traditional cuisine at its finest, head to the area of Chiado. Tour groups primarily feel at home in Alfama. Traditional Portuguese restaurants are in Bairro Alto, scattered abundantly through its quirky narrow streets.

Tourist traps with laminated menus and meal deals are mostly concentrated in the Baixa area. It has an exception, however: Rua das Portas de Santo Antão (north-east from Praca dos Restauradores, parallel to it)—it's the seafood strip, and home to the best greasy spit-roasted chicken this side of Louisiana at the Bonjardim restaurant, Travessa not Rua! Santo Antão, 11 (It's in two buildings across a small side street off Rua Santo Antão). appropriately nicknamed Rei dos Frangos.

For a familiar taste at one of the many chain eateries, head to Doca de Santo Amaro (train/tram 15 station Alcantara-Mar) and Parque das Nações (metro Oriental). All the culinary and clubbing kudos is right now concentrated in Doca de Jardim de Tabaco (piece of river waterfront right under Castelo de Sao Jorge). Quality dishes for a high price are in well-to-do Lapa.

Budget

You will find traditional meals served in small coffee shops/restaurants, especially in the old parts of town. Some will be better than others, just check if there are a lot of locals eating there! They will be very cheap and home-style cooking. The owners probably won't speak English and the menu will probably be in Portuguese only!

  • Café Buenos Aires, Calçada Escadinhas do Duque No. 31, ☎ +351 21 342-0739. A good and selected combination of cheap and mid range dishes. The owners are very friendly and speak English, as well as Portuguese. (It is a good restaurant if you want to eat South American grilled meat.)
  • Mestiço, Arco das Portas do Mar, 9 (Near Casa dos Bicos), ☎ +351 963660756. What used to be a Nepalese curry house is now a very friendly African eatery with authentic food. In the evening musicians play for an even more atmospheric setting. Very reasonably priced.
  • Mercado da Ribeira, Cais do Sodre (Opposite the train station, on the Marginal). Lunchtime all-you-can-eat buffet (soup, main course, dessert). Unlike much of Lisbon's restaurants, offers a good selection of salads.
  • Rosa da Rua Restaurant, Rua da Rosa, 265, Bairro Alto (Metro: Rossio), ☎ +351 21 343-2195. 12:30 PM to 3 PM, and 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM. Closed all day Monday and lunchtimes Saturday and Sunday. A traditional restaurant offering an interesting mix of Portuguese, Indian, and Cape Verdean flavors. The lunch-time buffet offers excellent value for money and great quality food. Staff is patient with English speakers.
  • Restaurant Santa Rita, Rua de S. Mamede 24. Authentic, cheap Portuguese dishes in a very busy, shared-table restaurant. 
  • Mamma Rosa Ristorante Pizzeria, Rua do Gremio Lusitano, 14 Barrio Alto, ☎ +351 21 346-5350. Great pizzas, cheap Portuguese wine and very helpful friendly staff who have given lots of tourist information to customers in the past. 
  • Communist Party Restaurant, 170 Avenida da Liberdade. Open lunch-time. Basic (not exciting, but good) food in a good location.

Mid-range

Alfama

  • A Tasquinha (from downtown, turn left near Igreja de Santa Luzia to Rua do Limoeiro; then turn right to Rua de Santiago. Pass Camidas de Santiago. Look for outdoor red chairs and tables, white umbrellas), Largo Contador Mor 5/7. Great food; owner and guest signers perform fado on Fri evenings without charging extra for it; many outdoor tables; great red Sangria. Try bacalau with potatoes and onion in cream sauce--excellent change from ubiquitous "rice/chips with grilled everything".
  • Chapito. Dinner: from 7:30 PM. Great views are the main feature if you reserve a terrace seat in advance. Good atmosphere; international-menu food is tasty but nothing special.
  • DeliDelux, Avenida Infante D. Henrique Armazém B - Loja 8, ☎ +351 21 886-2070, e-mail: geral@delidelux.pt. Tue-Fri: 12 PM-12 AM; Sat 10 AM-12 AM; Sun 10 AM-8 PM. Breakfasts in a contemporary setting; pleasant views. 
  • Farol de Santa Luzia, Largo de Santa Luzia, 5 (near 28/12 tram stops), ☎ +351 21 886-3884, fax: 218 885 356NOCC, e-mail: info@farolsantaluzia.com. Mon-Sat: 11 AM-23 PM. Great place to have typical Portuguese food before climbing to Castelo S.Jorge.
  • Malmequer Bemmequer, Rua de Sao Miguel 23-25, ☎ +351 21 887-6535. Closed on Mon.. Friendly and inexpensive; long menu of traditional Portuguese dishes.
  • Pois Cafe, Rua S. João da Praça N. 93-95 (on the side street of cathedral Sé), ☎ +351 21 886-2497, e-mail: pois@poiscafe.com. 11 AM-8 PM, Tue-Sun. It's a place to relax, read a book, drink a coffee and plan your way around Lisbon. Also offers toasts, pastas, quiches, and salads; features (late) breakfasts.

Baixa and Chiado

  • Cervejaria da Trindade, R. Nova da Trindade 20C (Chiado neighborhood), ☎ +351 21 342-3506, e-mail: trindade.chiado@cervejariatrindade.pt. Everyday: 10 AM-1:30 AM. Excellent restaurant-brewery that has several kinds of Sagres beer and also Guinness. Beware with the appetizer that is charged for each item that is consumed separately. Nice codfish plates. 
  • Leitaria Camponeza, Rua dos Sapateiros, 155 (Baixa neighborhood, 1 minute off the main walking street), ☎ +351 923 132 488, e-mail: leitaria.acamponeza@gmail.com. Everyday: 7 PM-11:00 PM. On the location of a historical caffe (the "leitaria"), this place focuses on only a short number of dishes (meats, fish & seafood) but makes up for this in quality and portion size. For an atmospheric presentation ask for one of their "espetada"s. The wines compliment the dishes and you can end the meal with a dessert. For someone looking for great value for their buck (no compromises on quality), it's a good place to start (or end) an evening.
  • Néctar WineBar, R. dos Douradores, 33 (Baixa Pombalina neighborhood), ☎ +351 912633368, e-mail: geral@nectar-winebar.com. Lunch: Mon-Sat 12:30 PM-3 PM; Dinner: Mon-Thu 6 PM-11 PM; Fri-Sat: 6 PM-12 AM. Features daily lunch menu; Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine. A place dedicated to the promotion of Portugal's wine and gastronomic culture. The wine list comprises - in its vast majority - a selection of Portuguese wines which best represent the country. Wine can be bought by the glass, and it is served at the appropriate temperatures and in suitable glasses. Dishes - served in portions for 2 - easily replace a main course meal. Homemade-style desserts, for which sweet wines can be suggested. A modern and cozy atmosphere.
  • Tamarind, Rua da Gloria 43-45 (near Elevador da Glória), ☎ +351 21 346-6080. Small Indian restaurant.
  • Os Tibetanos (address=), ☎ +351 21 314-2038. Monday to Friday 12h15 to 14h15 and 19h30 to 22h00, Saturday 12.45h to 15h and 20h to 22.30h, closed Sunday. Vegetarian restaurant affiliated with a Buddhist center. Vegan-friendly. Juice bar. Inexpensive.

Bairro Alto

  • Terra, Rua da Palmeira 15 (near Jardim do Príncipe Real), ☎ +351 707 108-108. Probably the best vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon and also the nicest in terms of ambience and service. They have a menu in English and will help with vegan choices or people with other dietary restrictions. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends but you will always be served even if you arrive with the place full and have to wait for a while. Weather permitting try to get a table "outside", which means a wonderful and secluded back terrace. 
  • Sul, Rua do Norte 13, ☎ +351 21 346-2449. Delicious Mediterranean and South American food. Good wine and drinks list. Helpful staff will translate the menu, which is written on the blackboard, and happily cater for vegetarians. Gets packed in the evenings so bookings recommended if you're eating from 9 PM onwards. No outdoor tables.
  • Brasuca, Rua Joao Pereira da Rosa 7, ☎ +351 21 322-0740. Great Brazilian food served by friendly staff.
  • Lisboa à Noite, Rua as Gaveas, 69, ☎ +351 21 346-8557, fax: +351 21 346-0222. A restaurant with a variety of traditional Portuguese dishes very appreciated by the tourists. Friendly environment, great service. Make sure you try the appetizers.
  • Ali a Papa, Rua da Atalaia 95, ☎ +351 21 347-4143. Dinner only: 7 PM-4 AM. Mediocre quality and rude service, but has veggie options.
  • Calcutá, Rua da Atalaia 28, ☎ +351 21 346-8165. Decent Indian food, but far from the best. The location is great though for starting a night out on the town. Ask for the shoot drinks!
  • Imperio dos sentidos, Rua da Atalaia, 35, Bairro Alto, ☎ +351 21 343-1822. A popular restaurant that offers a diverse menu of traditional Portuguese, international and vegetarian cuisine. The difficulty will be in choosing what to eat as this mid-range restaurant’s menu is both broad and deep in terms of tantalizing dishes on offer. The solution for a couple is to agree on the dishes and swap over half-way in order to double the gastronomic experience. Their specialty “Champagne” Sangria is a must do. The opening hours accommodate those that like to eat before 9 PM and for those that dinner is an after 10 PM affair. The waiting staff speak English and will humorously and patiently (with one raised eyebrow) assist you navigate your attempts to order in Portuguese. If you have the funds, there are various works of art on the walls available for purchase. Open from 7:30 PM to 2 AM; Closed on 2nd Wednesday
  • Sacramento, Calcada Do Sacramento 40, ☎ +351 21 342-0572, e-mail: sacramentodochiado@hotmail.com. A popular locals place. The atmosphere and the food are excellent. Service was very good and the recommendations by the staff were outstanding. The writing on the menu is very small and difficult to read in the subdued lighting.

Western suburbs

  • Arroz Maria, Doca de Sto Amaro (take train from Cais do Sodre, ride to Alcântara-Mar station), ☎ +351 21 395-4677. Spanish food restaurant with fabulous seafood with a great view of the Tejo river and the Ponte de 25 Abril. Excellent service and really fresh food. Don't miss the tamboril (monkfish) with the tomato and asparagus sauce. Really worth the effort to get there, the Docas area is fairly newly developed, and the railway line makes it hard to find a way across the main road, but with determination it's a great spot to go to. It's one of a number of restaurants of varying types along this stretch of the quayside, but it stands out for quality and value. Check it out before it gets 'trendy'.
  • Come Prima, Rua do Olival, 258 (near «Museu de Arte Antiga» between the historic quarter of «Madragoa» and Docks of Lisbon.), ☎ +351 21 390-2457, e-mail: info@comeprima.pt. Traditional style fresh pasta dishes, various starters, risottos, meats, and wood-oven pizzas are produced from a wide selection of prime quality fresh ingredients. Extensive wine list procured from both national and Italian producers and a delightful choice of desserts carefully picked from the Italian classics.
  • Afonsos Restaurante, Av. General Norton de Matos, 67 A - Miraflores, ☎ +351 21 410-9109.

Splurge

  • Eleven, Rua Marquês da Fronteira, ☎ +351 21 386-211. If you really feel like splurging, this is the place. The restaurant was recently awarded a Michelin Star, although the basis on which the award was made are disputable.
  • Il Gattopardo, Av. Eng. Duarte Pacheco, 24 (3rd Floor of the Dom Pedro Palace hotel). Lunch: 12:20 PM - 3:30 PM, Dinner: 7:30 PM-11:30 PM. An elegant restaurant serving fashionable gourmet Italian with a big price tag.
  • Panorama, Rua Latino Coelho 1, ☎ +351 21 312-0000. Superb views over Lisbon and food with a good quality/price ratio.
  • Bica do Sapato, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique Armazém B, Cais da Pedra à Bica do Sapato, ☎ +351 21 881-0320. Superb views over Lisbon and food with a good quality/price ratio.
  • Gambrinus (restaurant / bar / brewery), Rua das Portas de Santo Antao, 23 (Four Seasons Hotel Ritz), ☎ +351 21 342-1466, e-mail: info@gambrinuslisboa.com. 12:30 PM-1:30 AM. One of the most chic places in the city. Highly recognized in Lisbon as something of an institution, it attracts an eclectic crowd where the appeal is food and a great selection of beers, wines, and spirits. Features smoking room, private parking with a doorman.

Drink

Lisbon is known for its lively nightlife. For going out, stroll around the old neighborhood of Bairro Alto for an after-dinner caipirinha or ginjinha and people-watching. Its small streets, full of people, are packed with a high variety of bars. On weeknights bars close at 2 AM, weekends at 3 AM. The party continues in a night-club after that. Just follow the hordes of people down the hill - people have been doing that for hundreds of years.

Alcântara, Santos, Parque das Nações, and the castle area are all neighborhoods with a thriving nightlife. The whole area near the river/Atlantic, known as the docas, is a huge hub for nightlife, as Lisbon has never lost its ties to the sea.

  • Garrafeira Alfaia, Rua Diário de Notícias 125, ☎ +351 21 343-3079, e-mail: garrafeira.alfaia@clix.pt. Nice wine bar with an impressive selection of good wines and appetizers. Good place to spend the late afternoon, before going out to dinner.
  • Chafariz do Vinho, Rua da Mae d'Agua., ☎ +351 21 342-2079. Perfect place to linger over a glass of wine at this wine bar that is under the arches of the city's former aqueducts. With a great selection of appetizers that are matched perfectly with the wine, it's a pleasant way to spend an evening.
  • Ritz Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 88, ☎ +351 21 381-1400. Designed by Pierre Yves-Rochon, you'll enjoy deep, sumptuous sofas and an impressive collection of contemporary art displayed on the walls. And with decorated bartender Paulo Costa serving you drinks, it's a great place to peruse a crowd of sophisticated clientele.
  • Bar Trobadores, Rua de São Julião, 27, ☎ +351 21 885-0329. Medieval bar in downtown with a cozy atmosphere and a diverse range of traditional Portuguese delicacies. National and international beers.
  • Tivoli Hotel rooftop cafe/bar, Av. da Liberdade, 185. passed midnight. The superbly located rooftop bar of Tivoli Hotel is a small secret. On warm evenings one of the best places to have an overpriced late drink. Youngish music late night. Drink or meal.​

Shopping in Lisbon, Portugal


Shops are open a little later than other places in Europe, usually around 9:30 AM-10 PM and the lunch breaks can be quite long, usually from 1 PM to 3 PM.

You can buy a Lisbon Shopping Card, which gives you 5% to 20% discounts at about 200 major stores in Baixa, Chiado and Av. Liberdade for a period of 24 hours or 72 hours.

Shopping streets

  • Baixa: From Praça do Comércio (aka Terreiro do Paço) to the Restauradores, the Baixa is the old shopping district in the city. It includes pedestrian Rua Augusta which has the most boring and mass-visitor tourist stores, and several European chain clothing stores like Zara, H&M, Campers.
  • Chiado: a number of independent shops and services and well-known brands such as Hugo Boss, Vista Alegre, Tony & Guy, Benetton, Sisley, Pepe Jeans, Levi's and Colcci, which makes Chiado, together with Avenida da Liberdade, one of the Top 10 places to shop in the world. Some informal brands like Crumpler are also there.
  • Avenida da Liberdade: Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Timberland, Massimo Dutti, Armani, Burberry, and Adolfo Dominguez are just some of the shops you'll find across this avenue, which is not just one of the most beautiful and wide in the city, but also one of the fanciest with splurge hotels and restaurants.

Malls

While most stores are closed on Sundays, many malls are open 7 days a week. They usually open around 9:30 AM and close by 11 PM or midnight, although the film theaters within them usually run a late session starting after midnight.

  • Armazéns do Chiado, Rua do Carmo 2 (Metro: Baixa-Chiado Station). This upscale and trendy shopping center was developed inside Lisbon's historic grand department store which burnt down in 1988. The food court on the top floor has a terrace with a brilliant view over Baixa and Chiado.
  • Centro Comercial Colombo, Av. Colegio Militar (Metro: Take the Blue Line to Colegio Militar/Luz Station), ☎ +351 21 771-3636. 9 AM - Midnight. One of the largest malls in Europe, this shopping and leisure complex also houses dozens of restaurants, a bowling alley, health club, multiplex cinema, funfair with rides including a roller coaster, and a go-cart track.
  • Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama (Metro: Oriente Station). A large mall in the Parque Expo.
  • Centro Comercial Amoreiras, Av. Eng. Duarte Pacheco (Metro: Marquês de Pombal Station). The city's oldest mall in eye-catching post-modern towers housing international chains.
  • El Corte Inglés, Av. António Augusto Aguiar, 413 (Metro: Sao Sebastiao Station). The Spanich department store chain invaded Lisbon, armed with cinema and supermarket. It can be a bit pricey but with good quality items.
  • Dolce Vita Tejo, Avenida Cruzeiro Seixas,Amadora (Metro: Take the Blue Line to Amadora Station, and take a bus from there as the mall is beyond walking distance.). One of the biggest Shopping Mall in Europe.

Souvenirs

  • Avida Portuguesa, Rua Anchieta, 11 (Chiado), ☎ +351 21 346-5073, e-mail: avidaportuguesa@gmail.com. Vintage and nostalgic products and brands.
  • Lisbon Souvenir - Handicrafts and Textiles, Rua dos Remédios 61 (In the center of Alfama, the old part of town), e-mail: lisbonsouvenir@gmail.com. 10:00 - 00:00. Typical tablecloths, tee towels, and wool jackets, all made in Portugal. 

Groceries and markets

Grocery stores are closed on Sundays after 1 PM, except (a) those smaller than 2000m2 or (b) from November 1 to December 31.

  • Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho (Cais do Sodré). 7 AM-1 PM, except Sunday. A large indoor farmer's market open in the mornings. This is a great place to buy snacks for the day while traveling on a budget. Pick up nuts, fruit, veggies, cheese, bread or meat or delight your travel mate with some beautiful flowers. Go early! as the stands tend to close down in the early afternoon.
  • Mercado de Campo de Ourique, Rua Coelho da Rocha (Tram 28 to its Western terminus at Prazeres). An indoor market selling a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and jewelry. A perfect break while Tram 28 turns around, it's calmer and less crowded than other markets listed.

Flea markets

  • Feira da Ladra, Campo de Santa clara (Take Tram 28). 6 AM-5 PM Tuesday and Saturday. A lively out door market offering both new and used products. Markets of this type have pleased bargain hunters since the 12th century in Lisbon and the Feira da Ladra name has been around since the 17th century.

Safety in Lisbon, Portugal


Lisbon is generally safe but use common sense precautions, especially at train stations and on public transport.
Some areas are best avoided late at night because of the risk of mugging: Bairro Alto, the alleys, Cais do Sodre. Some night clubs in Lisboa have a poor reputation.

Crime
The most common crime against tourists is pickpocketing and theft from rental cars or on public transport. The metro carriages can become crowded and opportune for pickpockets but simple precautions are enough to maintain your safety while traveling on them.

Violent crimes
There are some episodes of violent crimes (eg robberies) and some drug related crimes in places such as Bairro Alto and Santos, especially at night. Chances are you'll be approached at least a few times by certain types offering 'hash' or 'chocolate', especially in the downtown area on and around Rua Augusta. If you are of fair complexion or obviously a tourist you are more likely to be approached. Also, due to soaring house prices, the Baixa area is not inhabited by a lot of people - as soon as the shops and offices close at night, the area sometimes becomes a fair ground for muggers - caution is needed in back streets, and walking alone is not advised unless you know the area well.
It's also encouraged to be wary of the Intendente-Martim Moniz area. Intendente is a well-known area for prostitution and drug trafficking, and even though the situation has changed in the past couple of years (police now regularly patrol the area), it is still problematic. Martim Moniz is also notorious, at night the area occupied by shifty crowds that more often than not will cause some trouble. During the day, however, Martim-Moniz is quite safe and pleasant.

Also be careful with bank machines in the city center. Groups of adolescents occasionally stay close to the multibanco and wait until you have entered your pin. They then force you away from the machine and withdraw the maximum amount from the machine. Try to withdraw money earlier in the day and try to avoid some of the train stations late at night, especially Cais do Sodre station.

Scams
Criminals in Lisbon are very quick and witty and think of scams about how to get money from you (like pretending that they need to "borrow" money from you promising to pay you back in a few hours). In cases they might work in pairs, one offers drugs, while a second approaches you and the first pretending to be a cop, and asking you to pay a "fine" if you don't want to go to jail. Just walk away and avoid any interaction from the first moment, if you are approached. Young tourists should be advised as they will likely be approached by many people, especially near the Chiado Plaza. A firm 'no thank-you' ("não, obrigado" - if you're a male / "não, obrigada", if you're female) should be enough to deter them.

Arrumadores
Also, if you are driving a car, you should be on the lookout for one of Lisbon's greatest plagues: "arrumadores" ("ushers"). These are drug addicts, petty thieves or homeless people who stand near vacant car parking spaces and "help" you to park your car even though no help is obviously needed. As soon as you step out of the vehicle, the "arrumador" will try to extort money from you as payment for the "service". They might also pretend to be "official" parking space guards or security and promise to keep an eye on your car - obviously, they will leave as soon as you give them money and walk away. If you ignore them or don't pay them, there is a slight risk of having your car robbed or damaged (scratched, windows broken, etc.).
Although "arrumadores" are not excessively dangerous, caution is always needed: many have been known to use this scam to attack or rob people, and instances of car jacking have been reported, especially when unescorted female drivers are concerned. Generally, you should always avoid "arrumadores" and simply look for another parking space (preferably in an area where more people are around) or just park in a private parking lot, which is a bit more expensive but a sure way to avoid this hassle.

Walking and Driving
Lisbon has one of the highest rates of car accidents in the European Union, so be extra careful when crossing the streets. Drivers don't usually respect pedestrian crossings unless there is a red light for them to stop. Driving can be tricky without a GPS system as there is poor signaling in the streets. Drivers overall are not too aggressive compared to other European capitals, although this is disputed by (mostly Spanish) tourists.

In case of Emergency
Ambulance, fire brigade, police: call 112.
Same number is used with both land line and mobile phone. The number works on any mobile phone, whether it is keylocked or not and with or without SIM card.
Portugal has two main police forces - the Republican National Guard (GNR) and the Public Security Police (PSP). Both can be contacted, but the PSP is the main urban police force.

Language spoken in Lisbon, Portugal


As with the rest of Portugal, Portuguese is the main language in Lisbon. However, most younger people know English, and it is possible to get by speaking only English. Spanish is widely understood, though few are fluent in it, and many locals will respond more readily to English than to Spanish. Nevertheless, any attempt to speak Portuguese is always appreciated, and even simple things like basic greetings will often draw smiles and encouragement from locals.

When asking for directions or trying to make out announcements, do note that Portuguese, while similar in writing to Spanish or Italian, has a very peculiar pronunciation. In most cases, the letter "j" is pronounced as "zh", thus e.g. the river Tejo is pronounced "tezho" (and not "teho" as Spanish speakers would render it). Portuguese is also very "soft", with a peculiar accent, and many vowel-consonant combinations are pronounced very differently from other European languages. It may be good to memorize the proper spelling and pronunciation of some destinations you intend to visit to avoid misunderstandings or misreading directions.

LOCAL TIME

12:47 pm
December 10, 2019
Europe/Lisbon

CURRENT WEATHER

10.38 °C / 50.684 °F
scattered clouds
Wed

10.49 °C/51 °F
light rain
Thu

14.38 °C/58 °F
light rain
Fri

14.68 °C/58 °F
light rain
Sat

12.53 °C/55 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

1 USD = 0 EUR
1 GBP = 0 EUR
1 AUD = 0 EUR
1 CAD = 0 EUR

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



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Average: 10 (3 votes)

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The Praça do Comércio (Portuguese pronunciation: ˈpɾasɐ du kuˈmɛɾsiu; English: Commerce Square) is located in the city of Lisbon, Portugal....
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