Art and Culture

A Guide to Visiting the Capital of Portugal

A Guide to Visiting the Capital of Portugal

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It is the oldest city in Western Europe. A popular year-round destination due to its Mediterranean climate, the city faces the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its white limestone buildings, narrow alleyways, and laid-back charm. The city is well known as an alpha level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group due to its immense contribution towards the Finance, Media, Commerce, Entertainment, Arts and International Trade to various parts of the world. During the ancient Portuguese times, Lisbon would serve as a world capital of International Trade. It is a major economic center of the world and Europe and one of the largest container ports on Europe’s Atlantic Coast.

History of Lisbon – The modern Capital of Portugal

Lisbon has been lucky to have to great past with glorious histories to contain. Pre-Celtic tribes used to inhabit this place in the Neolithic Period and built various religious and funerary monuments, megaliths, dolmens, and menhirs. The architecture still survives with the great help from the Portuguese government. The city was invaded by Indo-European Celts in the 1st Millennium BC thereby mixing the culture with the Pre-indo-European population there. If we go by the Stories and legends, the name of the city was named for the mythical Ulysses who had founded the settlement after he left the Troy in order to escape Greek Coalition present at their doorsteps.

Tourist Attractions in the City

Apart from its highly valued Historical legacy, the city also boasts of modern day architecture and contemporary art forms. There are varied places in the city popular amongst the foreign tourists. While the capital city is connected by air travel throughout the world, it is also highly connected with rail routes with major cities of Europe. The best way to get around the city is to use the tram system. The best line to take is the Tram 28. It is an attraction in itself and has been operating since the 1930s. The tram goes to most of the major tourist attractions, and the ride offers beautiful views of the city. Some of the Oldest attractions in the City Include the Bairros, various forms of which are -

Alfama: The oldest neighborhood in Lisbon is located to the south.

Belem: The most popular destination in Lisbon for visitors.

Chiado: Lisbon’s main shopping district.

Bairro Alto: The center of Lisbon’s nightlife.

Baixa: The city center was built to withstand an earthquake.

Estrela: This neighborhood is best known for its Basilica.

Alcantara: A former farming village, it has recently turned into the main nightlife spot.

 Archaeological Legacy of Lisbon

1. Aqueduto das Aguas Livres: Built in the 18th century, this is the best place to get an incredible view of the city. The aqueduct includes the largest stone arch in the world, covers 18 kilometers, and connects to the entire canal system of Lisbon.

2. Torre de Belem: This Gothic tower was built to guard the harbor of the Tagus River. It houses stonework dating back to the 1500s and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Museu Calouste Gulbenkian: The 50 year old museum houses a world-renowned collection of Chinese and Islamic art.  

4. Oceanario de Lisboa: Europe’s largest indoor aquarium was built with exhibits corresponding to the world’s oceans.

5. Mosteiro dos Jeronimos: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this monastery was built in the Manueline style of architecture. It is located in the Belem district, a neighborhood well worth exploring.

6. Castelo de Sao Jorge: Located in the hilly Alfama district, the castle was built by the Moors atop the highest hill in Lisbon.

7. Ponte Vasco da Gama: The longest bridge in Europe is definitely a must.


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