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It is also the seat of the district of Lisbon and capital of the Lisbon region. Lisbon has a municipal population of 564,477 living in an area of 84.8 km², while the Lisbon Metropolitan Area in total has houses 2.8 million inhabitants, and 3.34 million people live in the broader agglomeration of the Lisbon Metropolitan Region (includes cities ranging from Leiria to Setúbal).

Besides its various cultural traditions, Lisbon is also the setting for contrasting architectural styles, ranging from traditional neighbourhoods with narrow streets (Alfama, Mouraria, Bairro Alto and Chiado), which date back to before the earthquake of 1755, to the neo-classical style of spaces such as "Praça do Comércio" and monuments such as the D. Maria II National Theatre. The devastating earthquake that struck the city center in 1755, followed by a terrible fire, led to the reconstruction of much of the city, using a more precise geometrical grid structure that emphasized symmetry as a means of highlighting the monuments and statues, such as the Triumphal Arch and the statue of King José. Basically, Lisbon has a vast range of influences that come together to produce a perfect combination of the classical and the modern.

Spring is the perfect season to wander through the city, admiring the many gardens that paint the city green and the monuments that embellish it. The Jerónimos Monastery in Belém is an authentic hymn to Portugal's maritime tradition, while Belém Tower is the royal symbol of Portuguese expansionism. Don't forget to go to the "Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém" and enjoy one of the city's most loved traditional sweets.

The more active can head off and discover the towns of Cascais and Estoril or the beaches of Guincho and Ericeira, where summer seems to last all year round and the sun always shines. You can also choose one of the many sports played in excellent conditions. There is golf for those in search of a more relaxing activity, or water sports such as surfing, kite-surfing and windsurfing. Only people who have felt the wind blowing through their hair and felt the rhythm of his heart can truly understand the ongoing love affair that the Portuguese have with the ocean, all year long.


Trips to discover the hidden away secret places around Lisbon would not be complete without a visit to Sintra. Sintra was formerly the summer retreat of the kings of Portugal, and it has maintained the magic of ancient mediaeval towns. You can still find the influence of the Moorish occupation of Portugal during the Middle Ages, and gaze in wonder at the famous painted tiles in the streets, and on the façades and interiors of some buildings. For those who are tired and would like something sweet to eat, there are horse-drawn carriages to take you to one of the many tea-rooms, where you can enjoy the famous "travesseiros" and "queijadas de Sintra".

Back in Lisbon, the Bairro Alto is one of the neighborhoods that has preserved the asymmetrical streets typical of the 17th century, and it is packed with shops, cafés and restaurants. For those who wish to get to know Lisbon better, choose one of the many restaurants there and savor one of the typical salted cod dishes. In some restaurants, your meal may be accompanied by the Portuguese guitar and you can hear fado being sung, creating a unique experience that your heart will never forget. The night is still young, and you can continue it in the same area at one of the many bars and nightclubs where various types of music coexist in a musical symbiosis that combines techno, funk and pop, with jazz, opera and traditional Portuguese music. Lisbon's animated nightlife only comes to an end in the early hours of the next day, when the deafening noise of the music gives way to the first rays of sunshine, which seem to cover the entire city with a golden and violet veil, blending light and colour until it becomes hard to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Now imagine flying over Lisbon and admiring the area that hosted the World Exhibition of 1998. This event not only enabled the area to be regenerated in urban and environmental terms, but also modernized and projected the city's image on the international stage. A trip on the cable car, which takes you over a kilometer from the Vasco da Gama Tower to the Lisbon Oceanarium at the Parque das Nações, is one of the best ways to enjoy the amazing panoramic view of the park itself and over the River Tagus.

 

 Ten Things You Must Do In Lisbon

 

Enjoy Pastéis de Belém at the Antiga Confeitaria where they have been serving these delicious custard tarts for over 100 years.

 

Trundle through the historic streets of Lisbon on tram no. 28, the capital's best tram route.

 

Take an old town stroll through the ancient backstreets and alleyways of the Alfama, Lisbon's medieval neighborhood.

 

Rent a surfboard and wetsuit and catch a wave at Guincho beach, the heart of Portuguese surfing.

 

Experience the Portuguese blues and spend an evening in one of Lisbon's famous fado clubs.

 

Watch a football game, Portugal's traditional weekend pastime.

 

Dance till dawn at Lux, one of Europe's trendiest nightspots.

Music in Lisbon by night

 

Have a big night out exploring the funky bars and cafes of the Bairro Alto.

 

Take the train to Sintra and step into a magical world of fairytale castles and palaces. Be sure to visit the Castelo dos Mouros, Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Palácio Nacional da Pena and Quinta da Regaleira.

 

Watch the sun set over the river Tagus from the battlements of the magnificent Castelo de São Jorge.

 

Nightlife  


Lisbon's nightlife is buzzing and has something to suit every taste from small, smoky jazz bars to huge, hip clubs and some of most exciting African music.

Most bars open around 10:00 pm until 3:00 am, have a relaxed dress code and do not charge admission. Clubs will often have an admission fee at weekends, charging anything from €5 to €20, and some have a card stamping system to ensure you spend a minimum amount. Opening hours vary but many won't get started until 2:00 or 3:00 am and can go on until dawn the following morning.


According to The New York Times: 

"Lisbon: There may be no better place on the planet to be young and bold - if only in spirit."

 
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