Lisbon: City break in the best city in the world is written by The editorial staff, RejsRejsRejs
The popular boy in the class
Portugal's beautiful capital and the largest city Lisbon, is experiencing an increase in popularity in these years that only a few other major cities in the world can show. And as an emphasis on its growing popularity, the city was named “the world's best city break destination” last year by the World Travel Awards. It is often called tourism's response to an Oscar.
But what is it that makes a trip to the city of Lisbon so special beyond the - by Western European standards - low prices and the pleasant climate and the good food? In the following, you can read about four aspects that - among many others - have helped to make Lisbon the special city it is today.
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is known for its many old and beautiful trams. Among them are the small yellow remodelado models. They date back to the 1930s, and which include the original polished wooden benches. They are the most famous and have over time become a kind of landmark for the whole of Lisbon.
If you think it looks a bit steep when driving around Lisbon's narrow, hilly and often very winding streets, it may be reassuring to know that these trams are called remodelado. In Danish, it means "renovated", because they had their brakes and electrical system upgraded in the 1990s.
The most classic and popular tram line in the city with the old remodelado models is number 28. This connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique and passes through the popular tourist areas of Graça, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela.
Today, however, trams in Portugal's capital are used mostly by tourists. As the locals increasingly use the metro and bus. They do this, among other things, because the trams are usually full of tourists. But also because the trams are more expensive than other means of transport in the city (2,90 euros for a single ticket against 1,45 euros for a metro ticket). However, a trip with one of the old trams is worth the whole price!
Tip: Buy a day pass at a metro station, which applies to both buses, metro and trams in Lisbon, Portugal. That way, you avoid having to worry about paying when you step into the often crowded trams. And you also save money unless you walk around to everything else in town. Extra tip: If you want the best opportunity to get a seat on the most famous tram routes in the popular times, get on at the beginning of the tram route.
The seven hills of Lisbon
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is known as the 'City of the Seven Hills', City of seven hills. The nickname first appeared in the book Livro das Grandezas de Lisboa from 1620, written by the monk Nicolau de Oliveira. He wanted to equip Lisbon with some of the same characteristics, and virtues as 'The Eternal City' of Rome, which is also - according to legend - claimed to be built on seven hills.
When Oliveiras arrived in Lisbon by boat, he immediately named the seven hills. As Lisbon - in his view - was built on. In addition to São Jorge, which houses the castle of the same name, it was São Vicente. Here you will find, among other things, the famous Alfama neighborhood; Sant'Ana. It is located between Martim Moniz and Rua Portas de Santo Antão; Santo André, topped by Largo and Miradouro da Graça; Chagas at Largo do Carmo; Santa Catarina in the Bairro Alto district, close to Largo Camões; and São Roque, located in the Bairro Alto district but in the part close to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
The voyages of discovery
Tip: A great place to start your trip around the hills of Lisbon could be São Jorge. Here you will find the most complete view of Lisbon's old center, the Tagus River and '25. april 'bridge. The castle itself looks more impressive from the outside than from the inside, but the view from the castle is worth the whole trip.
The history of Portugal and Lisbon is inextricably linked to the great voyages of discovery. In Portugal's heyday as a seafaring nation, Portuguese explorers, traders, and colonizers led to Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
In the Belém district, you will find plenty of evidence of the time when Portugal as one of the world's largest seafaring nations. The country discovered, mapped and colonized other continents in the 15th and 16th centuries. Among the great explorers of the time were Bartolomeu Dias, who reached the Cape of Good Hope and the Indian Ocean in 1488; Vasco da Gama, who led the first fleet around Africa and later to India in 1498; and Pedro Álvares Cabral, who in 1500 became the first European to “discover” Brazil.
One of the most significant monuments commemorating this period in the history of Portugal and Lisbon is the Monumento aos Descobrimentos. It is located in the same place on the banks of the Tagus River, from where the ships were once sent to India and the Orient.
The squares of Lisbon
Tip: In addition to the Monumento aos Descobrimentos, the Belém district also has a beautiful park, which is nice and cool on a hot summer day. The temperature here is often 4-5 degrees below the temperature in the center of Lisbon when it is warmest. In the district is also the famous monastery Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also in this district that you can taste the famous Pastéis de Belém cake in Rua de Belém Nos. 84 to 92.
Much of Lisbon's life is centered around the city's many squares and squares. The city of Lisbon has as many as 108 squares and squares; of which several large and well-known places such as Praça de Luís de Camões, Praça do Príncipe Real, Praça dos Restauradores and Praça do Comércio.
The most central square in the city is Praça de D. Pedro IV - popularly called Praça do Rossio - which is a tribute to the Portuguese king Pedro IV, who balances on top of the square's high pillar. Throughout history, the square has been the scene of popular uprisings, bullfights and executions. Today, it is used for more peaceful events, in particular as a favorite meeting place for locals and tourists in Lisbon.
Another very popular place - especially among tourists - is Praça do Comércio. Here you have both views of the river, the cities on the other side of the river, the central part of the Baixa district and São Jorge, which rises above the city (and which is especially beautiful in the evening with the lights on).
In hiding from the sun
Tip: When it's really hot in this beautiful city in summer, Praça do Comércio is one of the cooler places in the city center. It lies down to the river, from where the wind from the Atlantic Ocean penetrates. A refreshment here in the shade of an umbrella at one of the many cafes and restaurants is not to be despised. Be aware that prices are higher than most other places in the city. And that the square is usually full of tourists - at least in the summer.
Enjoy the capital of Portugal - Lisbon!
What to see in Lisbon? Sights and attractions
- São Jorge (Azores)
- The 7 bakers
- Monastery of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
- Monument to the Descobrimentos
- Pladsen Praça do Comércio
- Praça de D. Pedro IV Square
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