Lisbon is an explorer's paradise.
The second-oldest European capital after Athens, the city was once home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan, and Prince Henry the Navigator. At its peak, the city served as capital to an empire spanning several continents, from South America to Asia. That traditional of exploration is now captured in world-class museums and monuments, including the stunning Monument to the Discoveries.
Lisbon is also unique among European capitals. Located on the edge of the continent, it developed its own strong artistic heritage. Spared much of the devastation of World War II by the country's nuetrality, the city has not undergone the massive post-war renovation typical in other European capitals. Many of its neighborhoods maintain a charmingly antiquated and medieval appearance.
The city is built on seven hills, each with a different personality. A tram ride to the top offers visitors breathtaking viewpoints. The mild, mostly sunny climate, makes the days seem longer, making it perfect for exploring. Experience the city's genuine and multifaceted neighborhoods, and become fascinated by an eclectic mix of sights and sounds.
Museums and monuments include the Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, a symbol of triumph, the Belem Tower, and the Monument to the Discoveries. Saint Georges Castle and the famous Alfama district offer some of the best views in town. And the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum hosts the oil tycoon's vast collection of art. If you like shopping, Lisbon's your place. Bargains abound. The greater Lisbon region also includes two UNESCO World Heritage sites, palaces, beaches, mountains, and other areas of historical interest within kilometers of the city center.
An international city with a palate to match, Lisbon offers nearly every type of cuisine, but the "must eats" come from the sea. After dinner, take a stroll along the scenic waterfront, experience the soulful sounds of Fado music, or visit the Bairro Alto, an artsy, bohemian quarter of Lisbon known for its lively bars and restaurants.