Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and the country's largest urban area. This attractive city lies on the Atlantic coast and is important in a number of spheres, including finance, media, trade and tourism. It is also one of the oldest cities in the world, dating further back than other European capitals such as London and Rome - as far as 1200 BC. There is therefore plenty to attract visitors in addition to Lisbon's pleasant Mediterranean climate.
Lisbon is located on the western coast of Portugal, at the mouth of the Tagus River. Approximately 550,000 people live within the city's administrative limits, while more than three million live in the wider metropolitan area. Much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, but many historic buildings remain.
While overseas visitors to Europe may be more familiar with the famous landmarks of destinations such as Rome and Paris, Lisbon is actually the seventh most visited city in southern Europe. Tourists can easily get around the city and its suburbs thanks to the Lisbon Metro and the traditional tramway system. Good, affordable food is easy to find and budget hotels or holiday apartments in Lisbon offer a comfortable way to enjoy the city without breaking the bank.
Lisbon is often overlooked by those seeking European culture and history, but that is a massive mistake. This colourful city boasts atmospheric monasteries, Gothic cathedrals, fascinating museums and magical scenery. Not only that, but the nightlife is good too. Here are a few of Lisbon's star attractions:
Torre de Belém - This ancient tower is probably Portugal's most famous monument. Built in the 16th century, it was designed to defend the city and features a wealth of sculpted balconies and Moorish-style turrets.
Praça do Comércio - This riverfront square once acted as the main gateway to Lisbon and is still a hub of activity today, with people and trams bustling around the imposing statue of King Jose I. The square often hosts festivals, processions and other public events.
Elevador de Santa Justa - Lisbon is spread over a number of steep hills, making it difficult for its residents to move about prior to the advent of modern transport systems. One ingenious solution was this iron lift, which was built in the 19th century to connect the district of Baixa with the higher Bairro Alto district. Designed by engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, the lift is 45m high and carries passengers in its two wood-panelled cages.
Sintra - Those with time to spare should consider making the 40km journey to Sintra, an old town that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors will be wowed by a castle and five palaces, including the Sintra National Palace - the favourite summer residence of Portuguese kings in days gone by.
More than 15 million passengers travel through Lisbon Portela Airport each year. The airport is located within the city limits and visitors can easily reach the city centre via Metro or bus.
There isn't a bad time to visit Lisbon, as the city is blessed with a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, meaning it has hot summers and mild winters. Even the coldest month of the year - January - can enjoy days reaching 19 degrees Celsius. Night-time temperatures are also mild throughout the year.
If you're planning a trip to Portugal, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in Lisbon? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All Lisbon apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation.